Posts Tagged ‘pics’

Rafting North Umpqua

Friday, July 1st, 2016

Back in Virginia, I used to organize an annual canoeing and camping trips for me and friends. It was a long standing tradition (eight times in nine years) that served a good way for a bunch of us to get away from everything for a weekend, drink beer, and eat things that weren’t good for us… oh, and canoe. That tradition died when I moved to Seattle, but I was eager to start it anew.

After a few years of settling into our new city, and feeling the need to set up a new tradition before we had a kid, I decided to set up a rafting trip. Not only is canoeing uncommon in the icy mountain rivers of the Pacific NW, rafting opportunities abound. A bunch of emails later, there were four of us headed down the southern Oregon for two days on the North Umpqua River.

Day one was cold and rainy, but a fantastic representation of spring adventures into nature for this part of the country. The sun did break a few times to warm us up, despite the 50° water temp. Sunday was much warmer; warm enough that two of us tried out an inflatable kayak and I took a (short) swim in the river. Two days of quality, moderate white water and an evening of dry camping… including a wicked sweet turnaround of our campfire situation… made for a pretty good Father’s Day weekend that will be my last as a non-dad.

Here are some photos – a video or two will be posted next.

Tour de Whatcom

Sunday, July 28th, 2013

Yesterday, I completed the 50 mile version of the Tour de Whatcom. The ride itself was a bit less than that, especially since we kinda went the wrong way towards the end of the course, but I did a few laps around the parking lot to make sure I went over the 50 mile mark. Yeah, I’m like that. It’s the farthest I’ve ever gone on a bike; having done 45 miles once in high school.

I have to admit that it wasn’t as miserable as I was expecting, even with twice as much elevation gain as promised. My 40 mile training ride last week was a lot worse, but I think that’s because I really pushed myself last week and made a point to pace myself yesterday (to the point of talking to myself out loud). I was really hoping to get in under the three hour mark, although I’d rather finish slow than not be able to finish.

My Life List goal is to bike 100 miles in a day. Melissa talked me out of signing up for the 105 mile version of this ride, which was probably a good idea given how little I’ve ridden recently. I only did four training rides for this event, ranging from 25 to 40 miles, so I feel like I could do 105 with no major problems given a solid level of training. If nothing else, I could stand more saddle time to avoid the swelling… which is a new experience for me. >_< Maybe I’ll do the 105 next year.

As for the ride, I had a really good time. I would have liked to do it with someone I know, but a ride that size means you’re never really alone. I didn’t form any lifelong friendships, however I did chat with a handful of people here and there. Most of my time was spent contemplating life, enjoying the spectacular views and coaching myself through the 16.8k pedal revolutions is took to complete the ride. It was my first proper open road ride and I liked it SO much more than the urban and suburban stuff I’ve historically done. There’s something freeing about cruising down a country road at 20 mph in a line of bikes. I can see how cycling clubs build friendships.

Did I mention I raised $1,150 for the American Cancer Society too?  Yeehaw! A sincere thank you to everyone who contributed.

A gigantic thank you to Melissa for supporting me before, during and after the ride. We made a weekend of it by booking a plush room with a view. As you may have guessed, a review is pending. I think we’re going to get her a proper bike and do some riding together.

What’s next? I’m back to CrossFit after six weeks of training and rehabbing my back. That and three months of strict Paleo. Eek!


The winning bib number

The winning bib number

Large back, tiny bib

Large back, tiny bib

Showing off my money calf at the start

Showing off my money calf at the start

First rest stop

First rest stop

The biggest climb, right after the first rest stop

The biggest climb, right after the first rest stop

Back squatting my Trek at the halfway mark - NO SMILING!

Back squatting my Trek at the halfway mark – NO SMILING!

High school cheerleaders to congratulate me!

High school cheerleaders to congratulate me!



I told you I won

I told you I won

A Porsche Family, Again

Friday, March 15th, 2013
Click picture above for full gallery

Click picture above for full gallery

We are now the proud owners of a 1976 911S!

Before I get too carried away with this post, there are two things I’ve been meaning to write about. I’m not really sure why I haven’t before now… I guess I just didn’t feel like it. If I had to pick something, I’d probably say it’s because I really didn’t have a lot to say about it.

1) My dad sold the 1967 911S my grandfather bought in Germany and brought back to the United States. This car stayed in my family, and was only driven by a hand full of people, from the time he bought it until my dad sold it in the summer of 2011. While it had always been considered an heirloom, the car grew to be far more problematic than it was worth. When a car leaving you stranded is a very real concern, it’s time to let it go. I looked forward to having the car but if I’m honest, having my grandfather’s shotgun isn’t a bad second choice.

2) Late last year, my dad sold the 944’s that we raced for 10+ years in the 944 Cup. This was an eventuality that’s timeline was fixed when Melissa and I moved to Seattle. I could go on for paragraphs about those 10 years; I’m not going to. It was a major portion of my life and one I’m very glad I got to do with my dad. I have one or two regrets, namely how abruptly it all ended and never winning a race, but by and large I’d consider the time extremely well spent. Aside from my relationship with Melissa, it’s the longest thing I’ve committed to in my life. I think that speaks for itself.

Where was I? Oh, yeah… we now have a 911. If this seems a bit out of left field, you’re probably not alone as the cards were kept pretty close to the chest on this one. I’m sure I’ll get a couple of the same questions, so I’ll attempt to answer them without having to make you ask. Hopefully I get them all.

I thought you wanted less cars, not more. What gives?
It’s true, we’ve been talking about becoming a one car family for some time now. Melissa is going to leave her car in Virginia to be sold by friends there. I’m also going to be selling my Subaru so we can buy one car that’s more suited for city living and can also be considered “ours.” The to-be-named replacement car will serve as our primary car for pretty much everything, so while not technically a one car family, it’s the car that will get driven by both of us most of the time.

What about your motorcycle?
As much as it pains me to say it, I am going to sell Emma. Unless I’m going to pay to park it at work and drive it all year round, owning a motorcycle in Seattle is not practical. I commuted for awhile last summer, but it got old pretty quickly. Now that I take the bus every day (for free), the bike has been relegated to when I get out on weekends during the summer.  While I love the thing, I just can’t justify paying $600+/year in insurance (plus registration) for two dozen rides max. I will probably buy something when Melissa and I are ready to explore the PacNW on a motorcycle, but I can’t see that happening in the next few years.

Are you going to drive it to work?
Save a rare occasion, I’ll still be taking the bus every day. Amazon pays for all my busing, so I only ever drive when I need to be at work really early or have something to do directly after work. I’d say I drive to work 4-5 times a month… and I’ll probably end up driving the 911.

Why this car and why now?
The short of it is that the right car came along without even looking for it. Older 911’s are getting very expensive, to the point that most examples are actually considered collector cars. It remains to be seen if this car will end up as a collector’s car, but it’s unlikely it won’t be worth at least as much if we ever decide to sell it. It was also a marriage of convenience given we’ll be going down to one car and the Ducati is heading to the chopping block. Now we’ll have something that’s fun, can be driven in the rain AND can serve as a backup vehicle.

What about the car?
It started life as a 912E and had ~50k miles on it before it was completely gutted, rebuilt and upgraded with a 2.7 L 911S engine. Given the only real difference between the 912 and 911 of the era was the engine, it’s now titled as a 911S. It’s got a bit under 6k miles on the rebuild, so it’s about as fresh as you’re going to find a 37 year old car.

You love personalized plates, are you going to get one for this?
Heck yeah! Washington actually lets you put authentic antique plates on cars that are at least 30 years old, provided they show the year the car was manufactured. A quick eBay search resulted in the plate below last registered in 1976. The number doesn’t have much significance beyond GT stands for Grand Touring (auto racing, etc.) but it’s definitely cooler than a random strong. The best part is I never have to renew them or pay for new decals. Score.


What now?
It’s being shipped from Ohio to Seattle over the course of the next week. Then, we spend some time getting to know each other while Melissa finishes up grad school. Hopefully by the time she visits in April, the new car will have a name. After that, we live happily ever after.