Tuesday, April 28, 2009


Yeah, lately I have been slacking in regards to posting on the blogosphere, so here are some updates.
Most importantly Bit got accepted into pharmacy school at UMKC, yeahhhhh! Starting in August she will be a full time student in a professional program for a whopping 5 years, sucks to be her! But this is what she really feels is her calling so here we go. BTW, there were over 600 applicants for only 100 positions. 

I have been riding some now that the trails have been a little drier. Swope is getting closer to completion, and that place just rocks, there is a trail building day scheduled for both Sat and Sun this weekend. Again if you have not ridden at swope and you feel like getting a killer workout in, check it out at swope trails

Finally, I started composting last year and was stupid enough to put it next to my house. So all winter we had mice coming in to enjoy the heat. So I am in the process of building a fence in my back yard to have an 8' strip of yard isolated for a big compost bin and a shed for yard tools etc..
Here is a photo of the posts after being poured.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Free Time

It is some what of a routine for Jer, Travis and myself to meet mid-morning on a weekday for a hot sweet cup of latted mochachino carmel macchiato americano at one of the fine midtown coffee shops. We generally spend a ridiculous amount of time and money chewing the fat and avoiding something more productive. Why do we do this? Cause we can! 

4 weeks ago I joined Jer and Randy Braley at my favorite place, The Filling Station. Randy was expressing his wish/goal to make photography his full time gig, so that he would have more flexibility and free time with his life. While sipping my mocha at 10:23 a.m. on a Tuesday I deeply exhaled and broke the news to Randy, free time is highly overrated. Going to the park on a weekday is not very enjoyable when you are the only person there to enjoy the trees budding, and the flowers blossoming. If you were to go mountain biking by yourself at noon on a Wednesday you would not see another rider on the trails. Sounds nice doesn't it? Not really, what happens when you taco your wheel going through a rock garden, knock all of your teeth out and lose consciousness only to be dragged off by coyotes. Those things just don't happen in the evenings and on the weekends when the trails are clogged with cubicle workers. Climbing in Arkansas during the week is horrible. For instance, last week Jeremy and I climbed Tues-Thurs at Sams. We only saw one other group of 2, it gets pretty lonely sharing all of that perfect sandstone with nobody.

So for those of you who have always wondered what it would be like to have weekdays free. It is very highly overrated. Keep your desk job kid!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

The wind is not my friend

There is an old saying which goes, "May the sun shine warm upon your face and the wind be at your back." I would imagine that this comes from sailing. But it applies to many other things in life, mainly bicycling. This morning I joined Travis and Jamie for a road ride out to Olathe and back. The mileage total was somewhere around 47, but it felt more like 90. The wind was constantly at odds with us, changing direction every time we took a turn. Travis was charging down the road with myself and Jamie trying to keep up. Drafting seemed utterly useless because of the winds angle. By mile 35 I was fully bonking. Luckily Jamie wanted to stop at coffee shop, and with some borrowed money I filled up on a double shot espresso and a cream cheese muffin. The first several miles after the coffee I felt fresh, but quickly the buzz wore off and I was tired and in need of a toilet. So telling someone "may the sun shine warm upon your face and the wind be at your back," is much nicer than saying "break a leg." Particularly if referring to cycling. 

And please don't honk at bicyclists to let them know you are coming. You would have to be deaf not to hear a car driving down the road while riding your bicycle. And if the cyclist is deaf, he or she won't hear it anyway. Peace.

Friday, April 3, 2009

Arkansas DMZ

Just returned from a glorious 3 days in Arkansas with Jer and the mutts.  Having heard about the damage from the recent ice storm, I finally got to see the flotsam and jetsam first hand. One word- Awesome. I know that alot of people would not see it as "awesome." But the raw power of nature is always impressive to me. The combination of cold, hot, and moisture at a certain elevation range yielded what must have been 2-3 inches of ice. Which was obviously to much for the decidous and evergreen trees to handle. I would guess that 70-80 % of the mature trees were broken at 2/3 height and missing most of their major branches. Any tree that was near a bluff line or on a steep hill side were completely uprooted. The only trees that seemed completely unaffected were the samll saplings, young and green they are able to bend all the way to the ground without snapping.
The picture doesn't do much justice, but this is the trail between the Throne and Chickenhead Wall.

Tuesday we met Jer's friend Ben Rodda in Harrison and went cragging at Sams Throne for the day, just cruising on the classics and marveling at the weather. That evening we met up with Cole Fennel and his buddy Chris. Cole is in the process of writing a guide book for Arkansas Climbing. Yeah, I know that Boston Mountain Press just released a guide book last fall for Northern Arkansas, but just you wait. Full color, pictures of the cliff with color coded lines denoting trad or sport. The parts that he had completed looked quite impressive. If you have ever seen the new guide book to Indian Creek or Red River Gorge then you know what to expect. 

Wednesday morning we got a very late start leaving the campsite around 10. Jer, Cole, Chris, myself, 4 large backpacks, and three 50 lb dogs all squeezed into my Pontiac Vibe and screamed down 15 miles of twisty, hillybilly inhabited dirt roads to Stack Rock. I first visited Stack Rock last fall and had an inkling that it might be my new favorite crag in Arkansas. Incredible rock (even for Arkansas), remoteness, stellar views of the boston mountains, and you have it all to yourself. Stack Rock is for sure my favorite crag. Can't wait to go back.

puppies crammed in the back of the car

Remember how I said that we got a late start. Well that turned out to be a blessing. I finished my last route 5 minutes after the sun had dipped below the horizon. My arms had been cramping on the last 3 routes. So I was very thankful that we hadn't got a earlier start. Cole gave us the full tour which included lots o steep climbing, big moves and big whips. We hiked out in the dark, arrived back at Sams Throne around 9:30 and commenced dinner.Add Image

jeremy's artsy photo of some vibrant pine needles with me uglying the backdrop

Thursday morning we got moving early, broke camp before the forcasted rain arrived and headed down to get some action photos for Cole's new guide. We warmed up and cooled down on Dead Dog, by the time all of us had climbed it the rain was upon us. Which was fine since my fingers were raw and it hurt to crimp on anything. 

Can't wait to go back down to those ancient mountains and get my next lesson on perfect Atoka sandstone.