Thursday, March 17, 2011

Finally, MTBing but not before Joey got hurt.

Joey, our sweet Catahoula is scheduled to have surgery in the morning. He jumped out of the camper and got his toenail stuck in the stairs and broke the nail half off above the bone. It bled off and on for most of the day so we finally decided to take him in to see the vet. (We didn’t realize just how bad it is) Joey’s a tough pup.

Finally, we got to do some riding today!  So, the trails are not easy to find here in Santa Cruz. I think all of the trails we rode today are illegal. But, we saw an awful lot of mountain bikers on them! Kurtis Keene “the American dream” was shredding on his Specialized Demo 8. Making it look easy.  So much rain lately made for some puddles and mud. Luckily, being from Western Washington, we felt right at home on the slick roots. There’s a cool trail called “Magic Carpet”(downhill/flowy/light freeride) that we rode first. Next, was “Mailbox” and “E.T.”which were more steep, rooty, and fast. “Z’s” is the Freeride Jump Zone with some 10, 20, and 40 foot gaps. SWEET! 
The best part of the day for me (Trey) was finding the super secret DH trail that was steep, fresh an loamy the whole way down for a good 20 minute run. No mud or water on it at all!

Rocks and Sand

Friday, March 11, 2011

Tsunami Surges

Can it get any more insane?

Such an emotional day today. It started at 4am. We were asleep in our camper at a prime spot near the beach overlooking some beautiful seastacks right off shore. Our plan was to wake up with the sun and explore the area for some killer pictures. As you can guess...things did not exactly go as planned. There was a loud Knock,Knock,Knock at the door. Startled by the knocking and Joey barking. We sat straight up in bed. I went to the door and yelled "who is it!". The response was "Oregon State Police!" I opened the door and the policeman was worried about Joey running out and attacking him. He was quite a distance away from the camper yelling for us to move to higher ground as Japan had suffered a huge earthquake and a Tsunami was headed our way around 7am. WTF!

So, we packed up and headed about 10 minutes up the road to high ground. We fell back asleep for a few hours. After breakfast, we decided to go back to check out the beach we had originally camped at to see if it was OK to explore. Looked good to was around 10am and we assumed the Tsunami action had abated. Studying the tides, we got a feeling for the way it surged back and forth around the rocks. We knew we could go out pretty far and explore the tide pools as the waves receeded. Then, head back in quickly once we saw some waves spilling over the smaller rocks offshore. Doing this a few times and we had a good idea of the wave/surge cycle.

The last time we went out and were coming back in...2 couples had come out on the tide flats to explore and take pictures. One couple went around the backside of one of the seastacks and I remember thinking "they're going to get wet if they don't watch it". The other couple was maybe 50 feet from us and closer to the shore. However, they did get caught up in a fast surge that was only 3 feet deep, but it swept them off their feet and quickly began to carry them South into deeper water. It was a surreal moment as Natalie and I began to realize the consequences of what was happening before our eyes. These people were in REAL TROUBLE!

I started running parallel to the brother and sister (we later found out). I yelled to Natty to call 911 and watched them struggle against the current. Quickly, I began to sense that they were not going to get out on their own. So, I started to take off my shoes, socks, and pants as I ran. Thinking that I don't want to be weighed down by clothes if (no, when) I have to go in after them. The guy was closer, I went after him first. He was struggling, yelling for help and not making any progress against the current. Reaching him at about a 100 yards from the beach, I grabbed his hand and he was able to grasp mine so I could pull him in to the beach. He begged me to "go save my sister".  She had already gone about 300 yards out to sea and another 300 or so yards further South down the beach. Looking out to her, I could see that she was not able to fight the current any longer. I was either going to make the commitment to go out and get her or watch her drown.

Of course I had to do my best to get out there quickly. The water was super cold and I couldn't feel my feet after a 100yards or so. By the time I got to her she had rolled over and was completely limp. The way she looked when I flipped her over was shocking. Her color was greyish-blue, eyes glazed over with white foam coming from her mouth. NOT GOOD!  She had on blue jeans with a belt that I used to pull her in towards the beach. Still another 50yards to go and I was close to my limit. Approaching exhaustion and worried about another tidal surge closing in....a search and rescue guy came in just in time to help me haul her in the rest of the way to the beach.

Natalie met me on the beach carrying some of my clothes, some of the victims clothes, wallet, credit cards, keys, etc...strung out all over the beach. The paramedics were working on the girl and it looked like she was conscious but still not a good color. I hope she's going to be OK. Meanwhile, the other couple had been clinging to the rocks for some time against the current. They looked like they had been in a washing machine. Totally drained and glad to be alive. WOW! That's the story. What a crazy morning. At least I got my workout for the day.  Natalie as well for sprinting back and forth between the truck, me, and the other couple on the rocks. I hope that was as wild as it gets for the rest of our travels.

Will write has been a crazy day.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Man Man

First 48 hours of Rain, Wind, and Mishaps.

We hit the road on wet Tuesday morning around and headed south though the rain to Portland in order to complete final errands before our true departure. We had only five stops to make in downtown. If you have ever been to Portland then you know about their narrow roads and street parking. This day turned out to be quite stressful and in my opinion is not included as part of our year long adventure. However, Trey, navigated the camping beast and we made it out alive. Little did we know that we should have just stayed the night in the parking lot of ” Fat Tire Farm” as the rest of the evening played out like a great suspense thriller. As we drove the dark narrow hwy, headed towards Cannon Beach a great storm was brewing off the Pacific Ocean. I will try and make this short by saying Trey and I felt like we were on a boat out in the middle of the ocean during a hurricane, as we tried to sleep in the camper for the first time. The next day was no different. Wind gusts of to 70mph were hitting the camper from all angles. We spent a lot of the day grumpy and stressed. Our moods took a significant shift when we approached “Boiler Bay” an amazing little inlet with crashing waves and panoramic views of the ocean and mountains. We stopped at many places along the way but for some reason this place reminded us of why we started this journey to begin with. I guess if we want to travel this beautiful planet then we must see it as Mother Nature intends.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Come to Papa!!

Come to Mama!!

picking up camper

It's a new day!!!

After an exhausting week of snow Trey and I were finally able to venture out of our home and travel south to Portland Or. In order to pick up a few essential items for our travels. We first stopped at Universal Cycle so Trey could pick up the new “Troy Lee Design” helmet.

Looks good Trey.

Ate lunch chicken and broccoli (delightful)

Then we went to Camper Outlet where our new dream home awaited us. We spent a couple hours there going over the do’s and don’t of the camper. I thought I would be bored and antsy but I felt quite intrigued and enthusiastic about the prospect of learning about an automobile. Took some pictures, thanked the guys there, and then parked in the lot to finish our lunch in the camper. Joey (the dog) was a little unsure about climbing metal stairs at first. But once he saw us both in there with food (food being the key word in this sentence) he hopped right in and began his usual very attentive begging (mooching) stance. Joey likes the camper but I don’t think he has put it together that we will be living in there for a while. I will say he does know something’s up seeing as how we have sold just about everything that we own.

I took some great video of Trey driving the camper. I put music to it. I’m working on my mad editing skills.

Speaking of mad skills. Trey drove the camper into Portland so we could pick up our bikes from Fat Tire Farm. I’m sure some of you have been there and know that FTF is in a neighborhood of narrow roads and street parking. He did great; only once did he have to go out of the way to get to the street that he wanted. Nice work Trey.

driving with the camper

For those of you wondering if I will ever be driving the camper the answer is…I’m going to pause there and tell you a little story.

Yesterday, I drove Trey and I down to Portland in my little Caliber. Now I am known to hit curbs from time to time (everyday) and yesterday was no exception to the rule. While leaving the gas station I pulled forward from the parking spot and drove up on to the concrete barrier. Trey yelled “stop Stop StoP” My thinking was I could just plow over it and Trey strongly disagreed with my choice so I put the car in reverse and back out of the spot at Trey’s request

. Trey’s words not mine, “YOU ARE NEVER GOING TO DRIVE THE CAMPER!!!!

I'm not complaning :)

Okay so back to Fat Tire Farm (the greatest bike shop in the PNW) We arrived there to pick up our three new bikes. 2 for Trey and 1 for me. Trey got the new Specialized Demo 8 II and the new Ibis Mojo HD. and I got the new Giant SX Reign.

Beautiful bikes!! Thanks to all the folks at FTF for working with us and giving us such an awesome deal. And here is a special shout out to “Patrick.” You rock and if you make it up to Whistler this summer you have a place to stay with us.

For any of you mountain bikers reading who have never been to FTF it is worth the drive!! Start your day at “Mother’s Bistro” and then head to the bike shop…

Fat Tire Farm!