A few quick updates on the house

… it’s been a long time since I’ve blogged about much, so on Father’s Day 2018, I’m posting about a lot of random stuff.

About 8 years ago we bought a place along highway 58 with the goal of building a house on it “Next Year”… and every year since then it’s been “Next Year”. Last year we thought it was finally the year it would happen, but delays in the permitting process and weather prevented that, but it’s looking like there is a very good chance we’ll at least start building *this year* and very soon.

(This is the site plan for our property, we have 4.5 acres)

Lane County dragged their feet on granting us our building permit and didn’t finalize it until very late in the year. So late in fact that we were only able to just barely get the driveway finished before the rains started in earnest.

We also contacted a septic installer to install our septic system, but they’ve proved to be the least competent septic installer in Lane County and our septic system is *still* not complete, and suffered some damage over the winter because it wasn’t buried.

We still absolutely love the property with one small exception, we are right on highway 58 and the noise from the road is bad. We are working on a fence which should help a bit, and we’ve planted over 80 trees which should help block site and noise.

We’ve been living in the RV for about a year now which… sucks… but not quite bad enough where either of us want to move back into an apartment in town. Being on our place and being able to work on the driveway, plant trees, install irrigation, and enjoy the wildlife on our property makes up a whole lot for the RV life.

Our septic system should be completed within the next week or two and our main builder is just finishing up a project and will soon by starting the grading and build up required before building the foundation. We’ve been told everything is lined up to be ready to move in August.
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Out to have new experiences.

Riding bikes seems to be a forever evolving thing.  You start by learning to ride, then try to acquire some skills to improve your riding experience.  With each skill mastered, comes the need to try to do something harder, more challenging.  Well, how about trying to ride a bicycle built for two?

A few weeks back Ogre and I were allowed to borrow a friend’s mountain tandem to see if we would enjoy the experience.  We had played with the idea of getting one for a while, but I was nervous about the discrepancy in our ride levels.  I had heard that matching your cadence is really important in riding a tandem.  We ended our demo ride with big smiles and a decision that a tandem would be a great addition to our bikes.  Over the following weeks we began looking through ads and discussing what features we thought would be the most important to have on our tandem.  I personally wanted a rear suspension.  The demo bike had a Thudbuster seatpost, but I felt like more suspension would be a better option.  We talked about the tandem for a couple more days and finally decided to plan to get one for our anniversary in July.

Then this past week he comes home with the news that another friend has a mountain tandem that he’s getting ready to put up for sale.  Want to try it out, he asks.  Why not.  He makes the arrangements, we get up Saturday morning, load our gear, and head out.  Morgan has the garage open and is setting up the bike so we can try it as we pull up.  He lives close to Joaquin Miller Park and has an idea of a route we can use to demo the bike.  He rode along with us giving us hints and preparing us for anything tricky up ahead.  The funniest part was him telling us how he rides this section or that one with his son so we should be ok.  We manage to complete the route without any carnage and return to his house again wearing big smiles.  What a blast!

Ogre turns to me with one question, so we doing this?  Oh, yeah!  So now we have our own tandem mountain bike to hit the trails.  It’s going to take a little while to learn how to ride the tandem together.  Other tandem riders we’ve spoken to have given us lots of great advice.  The one thing that keeps coming up is that the captain and stoker must learn some commands.   Everything from which foot to start pedaling with to when to coast have to be communicated back and forth.  It’s going to be interesting learning all new skills, but I definitely think I’m up to the challenge.

The Kindness of Strangers

This is all amazing to me. When I was first contacted about this I had no idea the efforts this group would wind up going to for this. The guys from Believers on Mountain Bikes and offered to put up a cross in memory of Sylvia’s passing on the Porcupine Rim trail. I thought the idea was extremely kind I have been exchanging emails with a representative talking about the event for months. Well they finally did the ride on the 5th of May and it exceeded my expectations in every way. Here are some of the comments from of the event:

We had almost no mechanicals and only one wreck in the group of THIRTY riders that come down with me. There were more BOMB riders that came down that day, not sure the total though. A lot of people asked questions (just other riders and hikers on the trail) about what the cross was for too – everyone asked me to forward on their hearfelt sypmathies to your family.

So without any further comments here are the pictures from the ride:

Raising a Cross for Sylvia Raising a Cross for Sylvia Porcupine Rim Trail Raising a Cross for Sylvia

Memorial Ride for Sylvia

Well yesterday would have been Sylvia’s 16th birthday. We spent the some time thinking about her and went out to sushi which I know she would have loved. Char cooked Sylvia’s favorite desert, a great Kaluha Fudge Cake.

On a related note, someone from Colorado Springs contacted me and has volunteered to do a Memorial Ride for Sylvia on the Porcupine Rim trail. He said he would put up a small cross for her and his group would stop and remember her when they passed the place where she died. I told him I thought is was a great idea. As it turns out he scheduled the ride on May 5th, Char’s birthday. Anyhow, here is a link from his site where they scheduled the ride. The group is Colorado Springs Believers on Mountain Bikes. I haven’t asked but I get the impression that they would welcome anyone who wanted to join the ride (This is confirmed see comments below).
Char and I have discussed attending the ride but I’m not sure I could return and revisit those memories yet.

Vacation

I am going on vacation over the next month and there will be a lot of traveling so I’m not sure how much posting I will be able to do on the site. Certainly there will be a lot of pictures taken and I will try to get some video’s taken as well but how quickly they will wind up here is unclear.

While I gone I plan on returning to Moab and Fruita and will certainly find many other places to ride on our trip. Other destinations at this time include South Dakota, Yellowstone National Park, Sun Valley in Idaho and lot’s of other places.