Friday, June 1, 2018

DIY Redneck Garden Art

Adding some cheap-ass bling to the gardens. What did I learn? That I don't have enough patience for spray paint. I hope I don't turn into one of those people who has hundreds of yard ornaments scattered all over the yard.

Monday, May 14, 2018

First Gravel Ride

Took the Domane for her first gravel ride. McDonald Forest of course. There is something purely fine about riding a bike in the forest. My gravel racing ambitions may well be too ambitious. I don't have enough motor for the uphills and I don't have the balls for the downhills. I can't blame it on the 32mm tires. I'm the same on my mtn bike with fat, squishy tires, so it's just me.
Let's get this show on the road
No matter. I had fun and I didn't burn up the brakes in my deathgrip.
All right it does look rather puny here, but I swear this gravel
was made of boulders. I did get better at riding through it.
Dang but the trail builders have been busy! There are new trails everywhere. Some open, some a work in progress
New trail

Dave's Trail
Views, flora, but no fauna. She (doe) dashed up the hill and out of sight as soon as I pulled out the camera. I need to start carrying a real camera. I feel limited with the phone, and I get lazy using it. No excuses.
Clear cut views

little trees in spring green

Wild Iris

Bike porn and cool old stuff on the trail
It was a good ride. Not an ideal set up for gravel, but good enough for when I need to scratch that gravel itch.

Tuesday, May 8, 2018

Artsy Craftsy Stuff

A couple of digital birthday cards. Ran into a "full scratch disk message" playing around with these. Only the second time I've had that happen. A restart seemed to set things back in order.

It's not often I have the time to play around with creating digital images, but it's always fun times when I do.

Weekend Rides and and a new Bike

So I bought a new bike. :) I haz a happy.
I'm a bad, bad, bad-bad-bad customer though. Faithless. I could have ordered my bike through my favorite bike shop. Was going to, but ... found one in my size at another store in Portland.

... and I gave in to the temptation of instant gratification.

Now I can't face going to my local store. Oh the shame!

Trek Domane SL6 WSD.

Ron and I joined the Willamette Wanderers this weekend for the group ride. Ron ended up turning back, due to not feeling good. We're both getting over colds, and he got the double whammy of a sinus infection to boot. I will find out later that he rode almost as many miles going back to the car as I did continuing on with the group. Something about a wrong turn... He would meet me later in Independence with the car.

The group did a loop from North Albany to Helmick Park then on to Independence for lunch. Such a great time of year to ride in Oregon. Everything is so green and pretty, but I didn't snap any pics on this ride. Ron and I had lunch while the rest of the group continued back to Albany.

Ron and I returned home and I went for another short ride from the house. 37 miles altogether. I did get a few pics this time.

Empty roads

Shoe Tree

Ron surprised me Sunday morning by wanted to go for a ride. We decided to repeat the loop I did from home yesterday. It was a pretty morning and I ended up with more pics than I planned.

Empty roads again



Camas in a field. Pic doesn't show how pretty this was.

Camas and bike porn 

The hard hill that hides behind the easy hill

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Tulip Festival and Markum Inn

I hadn't planned to write a blog post today. We've been to the tulip festival a number of times. It was a regular group bicycle ride for a number of years. This is probably the first time visiting in a car. Our purpose was simply to get some ideas for bulb purchases later on when we get to landscaping around the house.

I took a camera, but didn't plan to do more than a few pics for reference, and maybe a selfie just to show that we were here. Wrong time of day and too much wind for great photos, but I have to say the weather was otherwise beautiful and the flowers were at their best.

The festival folks had cars exit out a back way, along a tiny road that wound it's way out to a main road. I'm not sure if it was a private road or what. It was about the size of a bike path, but all the traffic was one way, so no biggie. We trusted Google to get us back around in the direction we wanted to go. Ended up on a road with a familiar name, and finally back to a main highway.

I think what made the day blog worthy was discovering a nice restaurant on our return home. We were just going to hit up Big Town Hero Deli in Stayton for lunch, but as we were wandering back we passed this nice looking place in Marquam.

Markum Inn and Muddy Boots Bar, located on hwy 213 in the unincorporated town of Marquam Oregon. What the heck is this nice looking restaurant way out here in the boonies? American food with an emphasis on beef. No gluten free bread/buns for the hamburgers, but a number of salad offerings and/or grilled veggies for Ron. He also polished off the beef patty from my hamburger, sans bun. :)

Did I get a pic of the place? No. So I stole one from the interwebs. I did get a pic of the inside, but no foodie pics. I'm tired of food pics, sorry. But the food is great. And not that we had anything from it today, they have a wood fired oven for pizza, grilled veggies, etc.
MarKum Inn and Muddy Boots Bar. Photo from the internet

I always think it's a treat to stumble across nice surprises like this.

When I want to find  a restaurant, something local and quaint, they're nowhere to be found. Today we weren't looking, but our back road ramblings brought us right to one.
One last pic from the Tulip Festival

Tuesday, April 17, 2018

Shellburg Falls with Bruno

I couldn't wait for the sunny days that are coming this week. I had to get out today. Took the dog to Shellburg Falls for a little 3 mile hike in the forest. My ankle is still bothering me, so we stuck to the main road. Bruno didn't care, there were plenty of sniffs to be sniffed wherever we strolled.

Bruno butt
One mile in we came to Shellburg creek and the lower falls. We didn't take the trail to the upper falls today. We took the road up around to the top of the falls and caught a peek of it through the trees. We also found the trailhead for August mountain trail. A trip for another day.
Shellburg Creek

Looking down on the lower falls

Only saw three other hikers today and we didn't get rained on. Found a few wildflowers, but no pics turned out. Happy dog on a leash isn't conducive to photography.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Ankeny Boardwalk

You have one day to enjoy nice weather. Don’t waste it!

I hurt my back a week ago. Then my ankle and thighs, compensating for my sore back, began to hurt a few days later. This is one of those times when bad weather is a blessing and I won't feel the need to try to do something ridiculous, like riding a bike.

The good news is things are slowly getting better, and a little activity actually helps, so with today being the only sunny day in an otherwise dismal forecast I paid a visit to Ankeny Wildlife Refuge.
The Boardwalk 
Viewing blind

This is a nice easy hike, a stroll really, along soggy paths and a boardwalk that travels over wetlands. Today the wetlands were, definitely wet. This is the best time to visit I think.

I’ve honestly not seen the water this high before. It was up to the edge of the boardwalk, and then finally spilling over the top. I could see the end of the walk, but I didn’t bother to wade through the last two puddles.
High Water

Almost to the end and
finally the whole walk is underwater
On the way out I found plenty of spring wildflowers (or perhaps weeds). Most are subtle little bits of color.

Heading back to the car I spotted these cute little boots waiting by the sign. There were some children on a hike and I guess they left them here to change into once they finish. They'll be wishing they had their boots when they find the puddles.