Friday, March 24, 2006

Move along, noting to see here....

Well, humm....what can I say? Training for the big bike ride continues. The training schedule is pretty intense but so far I'm holding up fine. I've lost almost 10 pounds so far. Thats a good thing! The high levels in Kim's bloodwork seems to be coming down. It is till high by all standards but it is coming down. Thats a good thing also. The weather is getting crappy! The first day of spring brought a heavy down pour of snow and it's snowing today as well. I've been doing a few articles for various groups and that seems to keep the
mind running in overdrive most of the time. There is a ton of ideas that I am working on right now for future articles. It seems like that when it stops, it stops cold, and when the ideas come again, they just will not stop coming. Thats a good thing! Other than that, nothing to report that might be interesting.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

More about the Picklesimer Fields ride....

The Picklesimer ride begins at the rear of the fish hatchery parking lot just below Looking Glass Rock in Brevard Nc. To be more accurate, the ride starts at the base of John Rock. The trail guides that got me interested in doing this ride are not very clear on some of the most important details of getting on this trail. Things like, just exactly what is considered to be the back of the parking lot? Suffice it to say that the back of the parking lot that the guide referred to is not the same as the back of the parking lot that I had pictured. So.......instantly, I'm heading in the wrong direction on the wrong trail. Of course I didn't realize this until I had cranked my way up several very long hills and had used up all the energy that should have been directed to riding on the right trail.(unnamed waterfall along the trail:photo by me of me)

When I began to realize that I was not going in the right direction, the question of just exactly how many backs of the parking lots can there be? Well, the answer is two. But not all was lost however. For every uphill climb, there is an equal and opposite downhill thrill ride. It just doesn't last as long as the uphill. Once I made my wqy back down the mountain, I noticed a small trail with bike tracks going off to the right. I found it! This is the back of the parking lot! It didn't seem like the back of a parking lot but nonetheless, there were bike tracks on it. This was a pretty good sign that this just might be the trail in question. So I make a sharp right and off down the trail I go. After a few decent uphill climbs and a rest break or twoI come out on the very same road that I was just on. As a matter of fact, it came out about 50 yards from where I turned around. Now I'm totally confused. So for lack of a better plan I just stay on this road and decide to follow it and see it had to offer. Basically nothing is what it had to offer. This is a four lane interstate for a bicycle. Not much fun at all. Mostly gravel, lots of road dust and cars flying by. I have almost decided to turn back and give it up for a loss when I come upon a gravel road off to the left. The gate was locked so that means no cars, no dust and a nice easy ride to somewhere. So I hang a left here, go around the gate again begin to climb another mountain not knowing where it will lead. I got nothing to loose, I'm already lost! Well, sort of anyway. I can't find the trail I came for and that makes me feel lost. I'm just about ready to turn back again and head for the car and pack it in for the day when up in front of me I spy a couple out for a day hike. They looked like they knew where they were going so I wheeled up to them and asked them just where the heck am I and where is the trail I' looking for. They had all the answers. As it turns out, the trail I came for intersected the road that i was already on and the spot where we stopped to talk was right in front of the trail that I needed to be on. So after looking at his map for a few minutes and getting a mental picture of what I needed to do, I thanked them for getting me pointed in the right direction and I pedal off. Basically down the hill and two left turns gets me back to where I should have been to start with. I leave Picklesimer that day after riding only about two miles of an eleven mile loop that I wanted to do, but I didn't leave with a sense of defeat. I didn't do all that I set out to do that day. I did something more than that, I did something that had no planning involved. As the old saying goes, “If you want to hear God laugh, just tell him what your plans are”.

(this sign marks the intersection of Butter Gap and Long Branch trails:photo by me)

Monday, March 13, 2006

Picklesimer Fields......

Well, it's been quite adventure for the past week or so. Kim has been in and out of hospitals and doctors offices having some tests and praying that the doctors will find out what is going on with her and get it fixed really soon. God is on our side and having faith in his power will get us through this little bump in the road and put life back on the right track again.

Nothing is more nerve racking and trying than having a spouse with health issues. Sleeping doesn't come easy and the anxiety of wanting answers and not getting them in a timely manner sure does frazzle the nerves a little. We both need a break from the stress of worry. Life has a way of jumping up in front of you and forcing things on us that we do not want or need. It seems like just when you think you have things finally going in the right direction for a change something will happen that causes you to replan. And of course a replan is not always that easy either. It is more often than not a compromise that can be really hard to come to terms with. We all want life on terms that we decide on and not something that we are forced to live with. I'm no different. I want peace and joy and lots of 72 degree days. I'm not king, royal blood can not be found on either side of our family and being in control of every aspect of our life will never happen. We all want good things to happen to us. Again......out of my control. God will grant peace in his time not in my time. So as I write this, I come to realize that the lesson that I think should be learned here is that patience is just as important as the answer we have been seeking. Perhaps patience is the answer.

I did make it out to Picklesimer Fields before Kim started having health concerns. I'm not really in the mood to say much about that ride at the moment but be sure to watch out for it in a few days.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Plan "B"

So far the weather is looking pretty good for this coming Saturday. High's will be in the low to mid 50's according to the reports. That means that maybe, just maybe it is time to oil tha chain and head to Brevard, NC. and hit the trails. I will post more info and pics later if this actually happens. It might be just a little on the cool side once I get back into the hills but it should be fine if I don't stop and allow myself to cool down very much. So once the ride starts, the idea will be to keep up a pretty good pace to keep as warm as possible. When the weather man says it's going to be 50 here at home, you can bet that it will be at least 10-15 degrees cooler there. No problemo! I'm ready for the wheels to hit the dirt! Come on Saturday!
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