Sunday, November 1, 2009

Deeply Shallow

So this post highlights a few instances of irony. Saturday we had the trooping of the little devils. We had a fair turnout, but even so we have a ton of candy left over. Not sure what lucky recipient will be blessed with this sugary booty. Since we’ve made an adjustment toward healthier eating, it's ironic to be giving away candy. Sort of like sharing your left over cigarettes, or crack cocaine.


Speaking of that, I notice the Pope came out strong against Halloween: bold statement that. No ruling yet on those pedophiles in blackcloth hiding behind the pulpit however. At least they’re taking on the hard questions first. Given the Church's relationship with children, I don't see any irony here at all.


Sunday dawned foggy and cold but morphed to sunny and cool. I was on the fence about a ride. I had a pretty full agenda last week and just felt drained that morning. In fact I slept in, something I rarely do. Think dozing in the big chair with the hum of football commentary lulling me along.

But my conscience got to me, that and the glare of the low hanging sun streaming through the living room picture window. I decided a short ride out south bank; just enough to get the ticker pumping, nothing serious.

So out the door I was wearing the SIR Class A fall uniform: LS Blue wool SIR Jersey, shorts, and nothing more. Actually a little light for November 1st, but that would assure a short ride. Once I got over the Chehalis river bridge I thought “might as well ride up Garrard creek”. Time to start practicing what I have been saying – fewer junk miles, more intensity.

I usually try to take care of business before I ride off, but occasionally I get a short way into a ride and realize there is something I forgot. This bridge replacement project looked like an oasis, more specifically, (and ironically) the porta potty looked positively inviting.






Dyna Lugger? I llike it, that could be my new climbing moniker! (is that name a little ironic?)



I thought this was particularly ironic; Kids jumping up and down on the little econobox, within arms length of the play structure.




Garrard Creek, that's irony! You might imagine a country lane dipping in and out of wood lots and pastures following a meandering brook. On the Garrard creek road you actually do see the creek, once, as you cross it.



But mostly you see climbing (Mt Garrard?) How ironic.



An hour later I was at the top. It was warm in the sun and with a little sweat under the wool, and some heavy breathing I decided to drop down into Independence Valley rather than turn back. It would be a little longer, but it was 3:00 pm so I figured I could make the loop past Swede hall, into Rochester, and then race for home befor the sun went down.

Of course the descent was through dense forest, no sun to be seen, and that warm sweat quickly turned to cold condensation. I was chilled near the bottom so cranked it up a bit. Work on the climbs, and work on the descents, ironic? Independence valley, no irony there if you are heading east. It’s flat to rolling and bucolic.



I love these scenes and am so thankful that these places are right off the back porch. The older I get the more I appreciate the tranquility that comes with country living.

Another bridge replacement project.



All those Obama Haters might think these public works stimulus projects are just so much political pork, but out here in the sticks, it has a huge impact and makes a whole lot more sense than loaning billions to banks in Manhattan. There are lots of bridges like this that were washed out in the flood of 07’ and for these counties with a low, agrarian tax base it would be years before they could all be replaced. Ironic that it took a national fiscal crisis to help us with our local infrastructure crisis.

This place is a perfect example of what I had great fears about when we raised the house at Rocky Acres.



Ironic that the 'basement' may have cost more than the living quarters. But this guy really had few options: The house is in a little triangle of land between the creek (where the bridge was being replaced) and the Chehalis River (about 50 yards behind the house) and the county road I’m on.

Here's the big ol' Chehalis, looks pretty calm just now.



Steelheaders were out in force, both drifting and casting from the bank. It took me back to my days in the Skagit, and later out in Forks.

When I made the turn at Rochester I had a decision: I could go by back roads through the reservation, taking shelter from the wood lots and windrows of Poplars, or I could opt for the straight shot down highway 12, with an almost guaranteed headwind.



Either way, it’s not far so I chose to beat my head against the invisible brick wall and get that added measure of training benefit. I’d generate a little more heat working against the wind, and I needed it, I was now officially under dressed. Ironic that what started out as a 'coffee ride' without the coffee, turned into a mini suffer fest. Ironic that this was probably the nicest, sunniest November first I have seen in years and yet I was definitely chilled due to my fickle route choice.

About 50K in about 2 and a half hours, and through three counties. Nothing to brag about but I stopped for pics and a potty break, and it’s better than growing roots into the Barcalounger.

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