Monday, February 20, 2012
Hi All. How have you been? I've been on a roller coaster, as usual, even though I keep telling my life that I really do not enjoy up and down rides, it does not want to listen. Oh, well, might as well adapt.
Allow me to skip the down parts, since I really don't like those, which explains why I suck at downhill skiing and bike down really slow (JoLynn, my bike group leader, can testify to that), and focus on the positives.
My application for the volunteering position for the center for the blind is in the works. DA is checking my background and it seems doing a very thorough job because it's been already two weeks. My assurances that I am not a serial killer did not work so I have to wait for their report.
I know a little about the woman I will be working with. She is about my age, is strong willed, and seems to be determined to get in shape - I just love that and can't wait to meet her! Hopefully soon.
I got to spend some time in the snow!!! So skiing was not as bad as everybody thought it would be this year. Northstar, my favorite resort, is pretty good about making snow, and while I was there, it snowed a couple of times. Still, there were hardly any people on the slopes. I should not complain about that, right? I like downhill skiing though spending 3-4 more time on the lift than on the slopes is kind of silly. I am getting better at skiing though I wish I took skiing lessons when I was 5, not 50!
I had a couple of spills, one when a child-missile ran into me from behind. Dad, apologizing profusely that he was not watching, was nice enough to collect my skis and my bones so I could continue having fun. I am happy to report that I seem to be intact.
And then there was an overnight backpacking trip to Martis Peak lookout tower. This was for sure the highlight of the Tahoe trip. This is by no means a challenging hike but with a loaded backpack and snowshoes it makes for a very good workout. Not being certain if the tower was going to be accessible, I carried everything I needed for camping in the snow, which made my pack quite heavy. The snow was fairly fresh, but not too soft and not too deep, for which I am glad because I do not think my snowshoes would have been big enough to support me and my pack in thick, powdery snow. There was nobody around, nobody, so the trail, the mountain, the tower, the sunset, all the trees, the sky, the stars, and the views were mine, all mine - I am not possessive, not at all.
The tower was open, the door was not frozen, so I spent a very comfortable night sheltered from howling winds. With windows all around I could see a lot of stars, still, I just had to venture out to look because in my light polluted area I never get to see so many. It was magic.
In the morning I put my microspikes on and ran for Sherry to join all the other runners, walkers, and bikers who wanted to make a statement that we will not let thugs scare us away from doing what we love. Hers was a totally random and senseless death. I think for the first time, while in Nature, I felt a lot of anger. Running helped cure it and when I was done, I actually felt empowered.
Still, I had to go back as I realized that all my clothes were very sweaty and that staying one more night would not be wise. Reluctantly I packed my stuff and headed to the car.
Snowshoeing is hard work but fun. I love that I do not have to stay on trails and can go practically anywhere I want to. So ever so often, after a few hours of downhill skiing and dodging snowboarders, I would venture out into the forest to enjoy peace and quiet. These were my little trips to heaven.
If you are interested, there are more pictures of snow wonder on my FB page.
I promised myself to do some biking during my Tahoe stay. Well... that did not happen. I biked a bit when I came back for a couple of days to deal with some stuff in Bay Area, but again not as much as I hoped I would. I have a very long list of excuses for why not if anyone wants to know them for future personal use, email me.
When I got back late on Friday, I checked the route for the Saturday morning ride and I almost choked: 50mi and hard climbing. I almost called the whole thing off but then I thought that the worst thing that could happen would be Ewa turning around and going back home. The start of the ride was ominous, I fell. A girl riding in front of me yelled 'stopping' and before she finished the word she was stopped, and so was I, only I was on the ground. Nothing got broken so we continued. A mile later we heard a loud bang. My back tire blew. Was the universe trying to tell me something? OK, I had a spare, of course. We continued on. I survived a steep climb and thought we were done climbing for the day. I even had (some) fun going down till... a nasty piece of glass kissed my tire. Guess what happened next. If not for the generosity of other riders (yes, in the future I will carry two spares especially that this is not the first time I punctured my tires twice on one ride!), I would have to be calling for help. Another change, more riding and... more climbing! C'mon, whoever planned that ride was just plain mean. But guess what, I did it and without stopping, I actually enjoyed it (my butt did not), and I am so grateful for the opportunity to train with this group because I know that there is no way my mind would let me do this route by myself.
I will be checking your blogs later tonight. I am curious to see what you all have been up to and I need some inspiration.