Sunday, July 25, 2010

Summer in full swing

This past weekend Peanut got picked up at camp. Here she is (above) with a couple of her camp pals. She ages out this year, so it might be her last, unless she wants to be a counselor in training. We'll see.
After camp we drove over to Carlton, MN for the Voyageur 50 Mile Ultramarathon. After checking in with race officials the night before, Peanut and I drove up to Duluth for dinner. We had spaghetti at Grandma's restaurant (Grandma is the namesake for Grandma's marathon). While there we enjoyed the sites and sounds and ambiance of Duluth and Lake Superior (above). Good father-daughter bonding time.
This was my second run at Voyager. Both times I started with a Mankato running pal, TW. Here we are at the start of Saturday's event. Three years ago we toed the start line and rand the first section together. I finished in 10h 30m, but sadly TW suffered one of his very rare DNFs (did not finish). The conditions were blistering hot which aggravates any nagging injury, and demoralizes even the most determined runner.
This year would be different. TW and I stuck together for the first 4 sections, through the dreaded Power Lines, (five, very steep, roller coaster hill climbs of about 350 feet each, on gullied and muddy surfaces... and that's being nice). Our carefully paced efforts paid off for both of us. We both had plenty of leg to make the return tip. You can sort of see (above) the mud and crap on my scrawny legs after they crossed the finish line in 10h 25m for a PR (personal record) on this course. Peanut volunteered at one of the aid stations and enjoyed the sites, sounds and people of this terrific event.

We returned home to a quieter household. Beaner is in Pittsburgh with church doing a community service project. Chalupa is off at Wapsi-Y summer camp. The crops of beans, carrots, peppers, cucumbers, and tomatoes are all bountiful.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Back to work

At the beginning of the summer, Beaner said she'd mow the lawn and therefore earned the right of first refusal. By July... she refused. Peanut lasted for just less than half a yard... she refused. Now Chalupa has the right of first refusal. So far, so good. I suggest you take a look at her hands. Yep, those are soccer gloves. ????

Friday, July 09, 2010

More Vacation Stuff

Here we sit pre-launch on a white water rafting expedition in Durango, CO. with Laura's cousin Barbara. She was a magnificent hostess. She took us to a hot spring swimming hole and a BBQ round-up with some terrific entertainment.
Here's a great shot of Sidetrack. Can't remember where I snagged this picture, but it's a keeper. Certainly, from the expression on her face... she was having a fun time.
Ok, these next two pictures are of the Grand Canyon. Anyone who has been to the Grand Canyon will tell you... no picture, postcard or video can do justice to this hole in the ground. You have to stand on the edge to truly appreciate the magnitude and beauty of this wonder; the time and patience it took to be formed, and how small and insignificant we really are as a species.
This is a breath-taking place to be sure. We journeyed to the edge from Flagstaff, AZ. If we ever have the luxury to choose where we retire ... Flagstaff is in the top three contending locations.
More posts to come....

Monday, July 05, 2010

The List

  • We traveled 10 days, from a Thursday through a Monday. During this time, we figured we were in a car for about 80 total hours.
  • We were at sea level (maybe below in the desert outside of Las Vegas) and climbed as high as 13,635 ft.
  • Gas cost us anywhere between a low of $2.59 (Iowa City) to a high of $3.79 (Wells, NV).
  • We traveled through countless national parks and forests to include trips over the Golden Gate Bridge and Hoover Dam.
  • We traveled through nine States including 5 state capitals.
  • The only rain we really experienced was in the painted desert (of all places), and as we drove back into Iowa. Temperatures ranged from 31 degrees in Copper Mt. CO (frost on car), to 116f as we approached Hoover Dam.
  • Worst city (by consensus) was Reno, NE.
  • Best surprise city was Truckee, CA.
  • Sidetrack and Buzz may have to retire in Flagstaff.
  • Too many great memories to list. Love our Cousins and grateful for their wonderful hospitality. More later....

Friday, July 02, 2010

Tribute to Abby Road?

Ok, so we tried to do this on Fisherman's Warf, but it sort of failed because there were so many people. This was our best attempt at this location, and even here we see a confused by-stander (walker).
With our Cousin, Kim, we almost nailed it Abby Road photo op while in Half Moon Bay for lunch. It's all very silly stuff.

Golden Moments

Our plans to tour Alcatraz got scuttled, as did our plans to visit the Exploratorium. So we make lemonade out of lemons and spent a full morning at a Golden Gate Park
Here we are on the beach behind the Golden Gate Bridge. It was a cool morning, but the beach none the less.
Here is a photo of the Golden Gate Bridge as we approached it from San Francisco.