Monday, May 4, 2015

May - Week 1

Week 1:

p.s. Blogspot auto-formatting, oh how I hate thee

Happy First Birthday, Butter-Wouldn't-Melt-in-His-Mouth-Spike!

May started with a blast of me working a really long week and then spending most of Saturday firmly ensconced in a four hour nap. So much for "getting things done" on Saturday.

Fire Prevention/PO Control
Despite the power nap, I did make a dent in pft's vegetation pile (he'd been clearing scotch broom, manzanita, and low-hanging pine branches) by taking several trips up and down in the Baja. The burn pile is now taller than me. And we lopped off the low-hanging branches from the gorgeous big oak tree at the bottom of the driveway. I love the look of the graceful dangling branches brushing the ground, but since I'm not willing to cut down our trees, the next best thing is to get them up off the ground in case of a grass fire - hopefully limiting the chance of any fire getting up in the trees. OK, so I'm dreaming - given the multitude of other trees that could catch - but we have to start somewhere.

I also removed - gingerly and with great caution - the poison oak that was growing up the side of my mounting stump and the enormous bush that was starting to encroach on the driveway in such a way that I was concerned it was going to grab my arm as I went past in the truck. And yes, as a result of this, PO-covered powerline training, and hugging cute dogs, I have healthy PO patches all up and down my arms.

Fergus and I went out and "did hills" on Sunday. I had intended to ride from ALT, but when I got to the gate it transpired that my gate-opening sticker had expired, so I had to do some elaborate backing to get turned around. With that plan nixed, pft kindly came to the rescue and brought me my freshly-purchased Auburn State Rec Area annual Poppy Pass ($125 - awk - picked up on May 1st) from home (I'd predictably left it in my bag) and so we went and parked at Cool instead (bonus - the Cork and Fork next door do freshly baked takeaway pizza for those starving moments post-ride).

Mindful of the muggy heat (mid-70s to 80°F), I opted to do shady Browns Bar first, up Goat Hill, and up the next 250' climb to the High High Trail.That put us at 1,400' in the first 7.5 miles. Then we trundled over and did the Training Hill.

We finished up with 2,700' of climbing, which I thought was quite creditable (Fergus was less enthusiastic) and earned him the rest of the week off. He did good this week having done about 7000' - all of it pretty steep - in the last two weeks, so we'll leave it at that. All climbing and no rest will make Fergus a dull boy.

Switchbacks below ALT

Confluence - finally starting to cool off

Confluence - looking upriver on the Middle Fork - Tevis Trail

Snacking for sustenance before we start the big climb up

Fergus ended up barefoot in back because the boots I'd slipped on were ones that, well, I'd slipped on, so why did I think they'd stay, dummy? The left rear popped off after the first creek on Browns Bar (pulling the back screw attachment through the boot wall and tearing it slightly ), so I took them both off and he did all his climbing nekkid in back. This wasn't too bad, except that the Training Hill is pretty bad in places and I was wincing as he struggled up the steepest parts - not fair for him to have him pushing off that hard on that kind of terrain. At the top, I slipped the boots back on and there they stayed for the last couple of miles home.

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