|Afternoon hike with my parents|
I am currently sitting at my brother's kitchen table in Bend, OR with nothing that requires doing. Being able to sit and relax for a day has been pleasant so far (the entire hour of it to this point). I'm enjoying the bird chirping outside, although it is probably being stalked by the homeless cat Gavin and Amy are adopting, and the promise of not driving today. It's been a while since I've been able to chill for an entire day and not feel pressure to do anything. Since February I have been in Montana, Idaho, Utah, Arizona, Nevada, California, Oregon, Washington, Minnesota, and Wisconsin.
|Climb #2 on Solvang Guide Ride|
I met up with fellow TCH guides, Brendan, Heidi and Marshall after two days of driving and we prepped for our first camp and then were in it. During camps there is no time for anything aside from the guiding. We all awoke early, made lunches, prepped bikes, ate breakfast, went for a ride, ate lunch, packed/cleaned bikes, drank wine, ate dinner and did it all again the next day. During the whole time you're entertaining clients and having a blast. The two weeks flew by and a lot of times it didn't feel like we were working, but by the end exhaustion creeps in and slaps you in the face.
|Rolling Green in Solvang|
The riding in Solvang is incredible. I enjoyed the rides in Tucson, but loved Solvang. The green (yes, it's occasionally still green in California), rolling hills combined with a couple big climbs and winding descent made for some great days in the saddle. It may be that central California was something new to me whereas Tucson is in my home state and didn't have the new-car kind of excitement. I still loved Tucson for the camps and especially the trail running. The rocky, technical trails there had Solvang beat. It was hard to find trails in California and locals don't take kindly to tromping through strawberry fields and vineyards.
|Ominous Trail Day on Mt. Sentinel|
As soon as the ride ended and I recovered enough to drive, I jumped in the van and drove back north. I spent the night in the snowless Sierras before passing through northern nowhere Nevada. I briefly scouted the Ruby Mountain range, determined its worth detailed exploration, and continued on to Missoula in time to pick up Sara's friend, Shannon, from the airport.
|A Good Way to Break in New Mountain Bikes|
I turned the corner last weekend though (I hope) and had a great long run up the main corridor of the Rattlesnake followed by another 90 minutes
|Raging Rattlesnake Creek. Long Run Turnaround|
Either way it promises to be a fun event. Sara will also be racing the 20 mile, which is five miles farther than she has ever run before. The race director, Sean Meissner, is a friend from Flagstaff and puts on great events. Plus I get to see my brother (and Sara's sister) in the trip. And we may get to explore some more trails after the race as well.
For now, I am going to enjoy the rest of a leisurely day.