Saturday, January 29, 2011

The Finale

The birthday week in California was a hit.

We had a Thursday midnight flight to Boston out of LA which allowed us to lallygag some before the two hour drive to LAX. We decided on the Mount San Jacinto tram. . It was the Palm Springs highlight and the $23 fee was a bargain.

The bike ride around Palm Springs was lame. We both found the place a very mundane. It's pretty much a retirement city with a casino. The casino people fit the stereotype perfectly. You know the type. It's the guy at dinner wearing his cap, but his lady doesn't notice because she is on her cell phone. They are both fat and smoke. The world famous Follies made us both feel like we had been flimflammed. Kind of like the Irish clan that offers to put a new roof on your home for an unbelievable cheap price. Watch the video on the link and decide for yourself.

The boys only stayed for the weekend but before they left we took a hike to Deep Creek. A 10 mile drive up dirt roads, a five dollar entrance fee per person allowed us to hike two miles into a canyon, cross a creek so cold that it felt like someone was banging your feet with a hammer. It was neck deep in places by the way. The reward was to sit in natural hot springs. The family loved it. I liked the hike, even the strenuous hike out of the canyon.

We finished the trip with dinner in Santa Monica, where the week began with a bike ride to Venice Beach, before returning to LAX for the red eye to snowy Boston.

California is a place we both like as a winter getaway. Especially Santa Monica which is very cool. We will be back.

View of Palm Springs Valley from Mt. San Jacinto

Round Valley Trail Mt. San Jacinto
 Hiking the trail at the top of Mt. San Jacinto

View from the tram

Monday, January 24, 2011

Birthday Adventure Part II

The birthday adventures continued with a hike to Deep Creek in San Bernardino county. A desert hike that took us two miles into the canyon, to the river.  We had to cross the river that was unbelievably cold.  It was worth the hike and the crossing pain because once across there were hot pools of water that had seeped out of the mountain. It was bath temperature

As always, click for big. Click again for bigger

Beginning the hike to the river

The hike got steep

And steeper and deeper

We were not alone, but who is complaining

 The water was so cold it felt like we were walking on nails 

The landowners cabin.  $5 per person to access the trail

 A long dusty ride to the main road

For part three of the birthday trip the boys flew home to Boulder and Atlanta and wifey and I drove to Palm Springs. 

Stay tuned

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Biking The Beaches of Southern California

The Surprise birthday trip took us all to Santa Monica California.  After an evening arrival we gathered at a Mexican restaurant for a light dinner and heavy drinking. That combination eliminated one rider from our Saturday bike ride along Santa Monica and Venice beaches.

There were lots of running groups this day and my suspicion is that they may be the same club but different levels of runners.

The beaches are full of fitness "freaks" who do some out of the ordinary routines and most are really fit, naturally. 

 Besides the fitness freaks there are plenty of the regular type of freaks. (so to speak)

It has been said that dog and owner often resemble each other.

 Most importantly.   Bikes and their riders. 

We ended the day at the US/Chile soccer match at the Home Depot Center and got a new Facebook wall photo.

Next stop on the birthday bus.......Palm Springs  for a bath

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Surprise Birthday Trip

When wifey turned 60 the boys and I took great pains to plan a trip without her knowledge.  I told her how to pack and just go with the flow. At the airport check in she found out where we were going and of course it was on her list.   She and I spent a few days together in St John's in the Virgin Islands.    On the 5th day, we chartered a small sail boat for a moonlight cruise.   During the cruise the boys came on deck from down below to add another layer to the surprise.  Needless to say, it was a wonderful vacation.

Tomorrow is payback.  Wifey has the same set up for me.  We are flying out of Boston to lands unknown to me.  I have two possible destinations as a guess.  Both are because I am such a fanatical football fan and also a coach.  My choices are Barcelona because they are playing Racing (rah sing') on Saturday.   However, the US is playing Chile on Saturday in LA.  Hmmmmm.    We'll see. 

It could also be Iceland.  Or Bermuda.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Blizzard and Baltimore

Another blizzard heading our way. Wednesday is predicted to be the brunt of the storm. I am leaving early Thursday morning for National Soccer Coaches Association of America convention in Baltimore. If the plane is allowed to leave that is. We'll see.

We got a few inches of Snow on Saturday which again closed the MUP. The town DPW is still fighting with the Selectmen over the purchase of a new truck. Till then, they are holding the MUP hostage saying they can not plow it without special equipment.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

You Tube Some Winter Blues Away

Thanks to

The Bicycle Bunkhouse. Dalbo, MN

Tim Cook ride across America

Saturday, January 1, 2011

"First Day" Hike

There were lots of choices in activities to welcome in the new year.  A bike ride, a row on the Acushnet River, a couple of walks, and runs.  We chose to hike the Blue Hills just outside Boston.

There were a few choices of guided hikes of different levels and times.  Because we had hiked these hills many times wifey and I chose to go out on our own.   We did a mildly strenuous hike which took a little over two and a half hours.  The weather cooperated with the temps hovering around 50F for the duration.  I did see a couple of road bikers out for a ride, but on this occasion, I didn't envy them in the least.

Groups forming for different levels.  Red flag means very intense hike.   We opted out of that one.

The towel was to dab the perspiration on this winter hike.

There is always another hill to climb

Climbing to skyline trail

Two of the friendlier hikers on the trail