Tuesday, September 29, 2009

I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park

This Saturday I spent some time with Seattle Works and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance do so some mountain bike trail maintenance. There were 10 volunteers and we worked on the I-5 Colonnade Mountain Bike Park and it was a lot of fun dirty work.

I didn't even know this place existed. I do own a mountain bike, however my mountain bike skills are at the beginner level. Nowhere near the expert/trick level required at the Colonnade. I have done a faceplant already on my mountain bike when I first started mountain biking years ago. The Park looks awesome, however it'll be some time, till I get to the other trails, for now I'll stick to the beginner trails. I still love the warning sign, and I don't have pictures of it, it says something like this: "Full Face Helmet and Body Armor highly recommended."

It was fun to watch the mountain bikers do tricks and jumps on some of the trails. This area under I-5, many years ago were filled with squatters and junkies. Now it's replaced with mountain bikers and the area truly cleaned up. Since the whole colonnade is a community resource, it's quite amazing how such space has been transformed to an urban park.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Bucket of Balls

Went to the driving range with Joe & Krause (not pictured). It was Krause's birthday and so a day at the range was a lot of fun! Driving ranges are popular in Seattle, well mainly because it rains quite a bit (big surprise) and it's a lot of fun.

It's all the fun of golf without having to find where the ball landed. It takes most of the frustration out of the equation.

I never thought I'd enjoy golf, but there's something oddly satisfying driving a ball 200 yards down range. The driving range is cool as everyone is working on their stroke, some are great, most are good, and quite a bit are beginners. We fall into the latter category. It was nevertheless a lot of fun.

There is a zen-like moment when you connect with the ball and everything aligns. Your shot powers through and your golf ball follows a nice straight ballistic trajectory.

I have to find out when the ballpicker makes his rounds, as I heard that it's a lot of fun to aim for the armored golf cart that picks up the balls downrange.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Moving Rocks

I signed up to volunteer with the Washington Trails Association. You can check them out at WTA.org. They are a great group.

So, I met some of my old friends who love to work, play in the dirt, and make the world a better place. I know it sounds amazing, but they're just a quiet bunch of folks. Well, not on the trail anyways.

So I went up the trail on Mount Dickerman, got a pair of tools and went up with a work party of a dozen of us up the trail. We were doing maintenance at the trail, particularly this one stretch of trail that crossed a rock slide.

The day was beautiful and you can see the 4 Rocks, and the Ice Caves from the clearing that was left by the rock slide. We were at about 1900 feet elevation, and only about 1/2 mile up the trail. The trail goes up to 5900ish feet to the top of Mt. Dickerman in 4.5 miles or so.

I was working with a couple people on a rock wall. We built up the rock wall and made a decent trail. Moved a lot of rocks. And it all started with one rock at a time.

So what say you is a rock wall? Well the trail is uneven based on the landscape. You build a rock wall to shore it up so it's even. A rock wall also helps prevent it from collapsing and should last for sometime. It's mostly built with natural materials and it's not joined by mortar, simply it's geometrically placed so that the pressure/weight of the rocks supports the trail.

It's harder to explain, if you're interested in more about Trail Building, you should read "Tread Lightly on the Land" It's a how-to manual on building trails. There's a lot more to trails than meets the eye as you have to look at the slope, grade, water drainage, materials, support, etc...

Anyways, it was a great deal of fun all around. Starting with one rock at a time.

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Winter Wonderland

Some more snow today. Everything is covered. Still snowing. And snowing... 

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Spin Spin Spin!

Ah today was a lot of snow coming down. There were pile-ups everywhere in Seattle with the West Seattle Bridge being notorious for Pile ups.

Anyways, today was the first time I put the chains on my truck. I've always had them, as they are required to carry them up the pass. I've carried them and haven't had to use them, till now.

It worked well after some trial and error. There's just some road slapping noise if you go to fast, which is understandable, so basically with chains I shouldn't go over 25 otherwise it makes a racket on snow-free roads. It already does. It sounds smooth though on lots of snow and ice and you can feel it grip the road, which is wonderful. Also I bought 200 lbs. of sand for the back of the truck prior to the snowfall to improve traction.

Anyways an interesting day to say the least.
Posted by Picasa

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Drive - New York, New York!

Well, Thanksgiving was spent with our good old friends, the Eustaces. It was a great time and brings back memories from a long long ago. I remember having Thanksgiving with them 20 years ago, and some things never change. It was a wonderful Thanksgiving with lots to be thankful for.
Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Paradise.... Mount Rainier National Park

Went to Paradise and Longmire. There were some snow and got to see some cool sights.