Monday, December 27, 2010

December ...

Cody and I trekked out into the Bob Marshall, Glacier’s dog park, to hike to Stanton Lake last weekend. I was psyched to use my new show shoes. I got to the trailhead, strapped them on, walk-waddled about fifty awkward feet, took them off, and lashed them to my pack. So much for snowshoeing. With the recent warm daytime temperatures and overnight re-freezing, repeat, repeat, repeat, and no new snow since Thanksgiving day, it wasn’t so much hiking in snow as walking on top of two feet of ice. But my awesome, new show shoes sure looked cool strapped to my pack. So there was that. It was a good hike. It was cold, around ten. Cody's fur wasn't holding up as well as my Gortex jacket. Our quest for a dog coat that fits continues. Get in the game, Tail Wagger’s. I give you one more week until I eBay it instead! I drank a lot of coffee to stay warm. The hike was nice and easy; someone who had snowshoed when the snow was still new and powdery beat a good path for us. For the last mile we followed mountain lion tracks. Cody was my lion bait ...

I got one blurry, non-descript photo before my camera froze and refused to work. Maybe you should have been there? I swear that's Stanton Lake.

We really took our time and turned a six-mile hike into a five-hour jaunt. I’m still learning to slow down -- a December hike doesn't necessarily have to translate to fitness for bike racing in April, idiot.

On the way home I made my first Saturday night stop of the season at The Belton, recipient my prestigious "Favorite Bar in America" award (sorry Rock Room), for live music and the best food. As always, it delivered: A decent bluegrass trio and the best Reuben I’ve ever had.

I mailed my twelve-year-old snowboard boots and bindings to myself from New Jersey. As soon as I find a cheap board at one of the many sporting good consignment shops in the Valley, Big Mountain (no life ticket necessary) will be mine! My show shoes will hopefully be more practical then. Vertical travel!

Monday, December 13, 2010

K-9 Keg-Pull ...

Nothing never truer than Cody and some other dog goofing around on the brewery floor, dog-owners telling frowning brewery-owner not to worry, 'cause, "It's cool, they're both house-trained." Dog is my co-pilot. Later, drunk, we chucked heavy, wet snowballs at the two-story brick wall across the bar patio. They made a phumpf when they hit they wall, then half stuck, half fell. I told her that accuracy isn't so much strength as it's all in the form. She mentioned Nashville, passingly, among her laundry list of places lived. "Marry me, leave Kentucky--." "Come to Tennessee," she said. "You are the only ten I see."

How did Cody do? He didn't. They yelled "Go!", he sat on his ass and licked his paws.

How did I do? I had the most fun I've had in months.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Weekend ...

Part 1: Drive to Polebridge. Buy and immediatley eat three Polebridge Mercantile danishes.

Part 2: Begin at Bowman Lake. It's purty.
Part 3: Hike to Numa Lookout and then climb to Numa Point. It's cloudy.

Part 4: Talk to the cute girl on the trail. Say, "Good day for a hike, huh?" She responds by saying that her fiance is moving here soon.

Part 5: Spend the night in Hornet Lookout. Spill an entire can of tomato soup on the floor and clean it up with toilet paper.
Part 6: Go home.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

About your ad ...

I am writing you in response to your CraigsList posting about a condo. In the post you say that the condo is in a "desirable" neighborhood. I am curious: What makes the Reservoir Road community a "desirable" neighborhood? Can you please tell me where the "undesirable" neighborhoods (and the "undesirable" people who live there) are in our area so that I know to stay clear of those places? I think we should all live in gated communities (gotta keep the riff-raff out); I know how necessary it is to have a swimming pool in a part of the world that doesn't even average a daily high of 80 during the summer months. I know that's my "desire."

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

My second year ...

Poached camp spot above Lake Koocanusa (near Rexford, Montana).

I rode my bike from home to Eureka to Rexford down Lake Koocanusa to Libby to Kila up West Valley Road to Farm to Market, home. In three days. 222 miles. With the dog and gear in the trailer. The trailer is definitely nearing its retirement. I pulled a century on the third day -- 102 miles. I'm glad I didn't die. Traffic on Route 2 on Labor Day sucked, especially the closer I got to Kalis-hell (Kalispell). I'm glad I didn't flat the last day -- I was down to my third and final tube with 100+ miles to go when I realized I was without a patch kit (oddly, my first flat was two miles from my house and my second was on a three-block ride to the grocery store in Libby). Highlights of the trip included that valley south of Libby at nine a.m. (this included a ranch flying an American flag ... and a Steelers flag), watching "Waiting" in a hotel room in Libby (after an eight hour day in pouring rain and temperatures in the lower 50s, I needed to sit by a heater for the night, even if it was $65 ... ouch), getting caught skinny dipping in Lake Koocanusa by a 50-year-old woman (she looked sort of psyched, though), the cheese burger at the River Bend Bar, the cute hostess at McGregor Lake Lodge who seemed slightly impressed by me, and eating trail mix and pop-tarts and drinking Gatorade or Mike's Hard Lemonade for breakfast, lunch, and dinner for three days (burning 4,000+ calories a day is cool). I think Cody's favorite part was chasing squirrels near the lake; otherwise, he was no better than a kid in the backseat on the way to the beach, whining, "Are were there yet?!" Good times. Also, due to the weather and because, well, I just don't really like taking pictures, there is very little visual evidence of this trip.

My touring set up: a 'cross bike, no panniers, and a Burley trailer with the seat cut out.

It will pour and be about 50 degrees for the next fifty miles. It sort of sucked.

"Are we there yet?!"

Note: (Kootenai + Canada + USA) / "Somebody who's real clever" = Koocanusa

Thursday, March 4, 2010

In the Canyon ...

I went up to the Dew Drop in the Canyon last night with Nate for free game feed night, every Wednesday. I ate a healthy portion of venison goulash. The bartender promised me that next week, 'cause I'm a newcomer, just for me she'll serve her favorite: mountain lion.

I also met a woman last night who told me her son went to the Art Institute of Pittsburgh and is now a successful graphic artist in Maine, making more than one hundred thousand a year. I was a little tipsy and told her I made-out with three Art Institute girls my freshman year at Duquesne, all photography majors -- none of them made it past their sophomore year. Small world stuff ...

Saturday, January 9, 2010

How my day started ...

Wake up this morning. Have to shit. Go into bathroom. Toilet is frozen -- the water in the toilet and in the tank, frozen solid. Shit. Thermometer reads -3. Put on boots, snow pants, gloves. Trudge into woods behind my house, there's a foot and a half of snow on the ground. Take a shit. Trip pulling pants up and fall bare-ass into snow. Go home. Take hot shower -- these pipes are somehow not frozen. Crawl back into 20-degree sleeping back and sleep for two more hours.

Would you consider these First- or Third-World problems?

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 ...

I've been living here with one foot out the door -- but not any more. Though this may not be home, it might be, and I now know Pittsburgh is not. Punks not cops in 2010, resist convenience.