Monday, December 31, 2007

2007 Highlights

List of most important things that happened to MCWeyen in 2007 with a 1 to 10 ranking next to them.
Joined the rockin' Bobs-bicycles.com cycling team (8)
Won the George's Spring Series for a 3rd year in a row (5)
Won the Tour of Walla Walla (biggest win of my cycling career) (9)
Got sick and "experienced" the Tour of the Gila in all of it's "kick your @$$" glory (7)
Surviving the extremely rain soaked Mutual of Enumclaw omnium (6)
Wrecked really hard at the Mt. Hood Cycling Classic (4)
Lapping the field at the Eagle Criterium with teammate Brandon A. (6)
Got dumped by my 8yr girlfriend; partially induced by riding my bike too much (11)
Getting to experience Nationals in Pennsylvania and Illinois (hit 65mph on a training ride!) (7)
2 man 97 mile breakaway with Justin M. at State Champs (6)
Winning the Bogus Basin Hill Climb - less than expected!! (8)
Mountain biking a lot in the off-season (5)
Doing a 180 back into my lane at 65mph around a 35mph corner on Highway 55 (7)
Realizing that I need to use my vacation for vacation rather than big stage races (5)

Writing this blog - it's New Years Eve and they don't have anything for me to do at work (.05)

Here's to a great 08.
Thank you very much Bob's (Vern and company) for making some amazing things happen for me and everyone else on this team this past year and more to come with the ringing in of a new year!

Breaking Trail

Couple shots from cross country skiing at the North South Ski Bowl off of the White Pine drive. There is always a way to get out in the back country and sometimes it's even more unique.



Thursday, December 20, 2007

Running Out Of Gas

Last Saturday, I decided to challenge Kyley to a hike up a steep hill to get to some score hot springs. On the drive there, the Outback Sport decided it wanted to present a challenge of it's own to me. The story goes... I have no way of knowing how much gas I've got left in the tank at any given time since it came from Florida and went through the sulphur catastrophe of 2001 that ruined a lot of gas gauges. Anyways, the only way I know when to fill 'er up is when the average gas mileage that the car gets times the size of the gas tank (now proven to be EXACTLY 12.7 gallons) equals the distance I've driven. Lately, the gas mileage has been going down due to cold temps and more city driving, but this tank proved to be especially nasty. Even with bad gas mileage, it should get at least around 320 miles. Not this time, 298 was all I got out of it. Just as we popped over the top of the Horseshoe Bend hill, it sputtered. Put, put, put and caaaapoot. Lucky for me, it was all down hill! Only one problem, there's a flat section in the middle of the grade on the way down to H.B. Out I got to push along State Highway 55 for just a few feet. That was sketchy at best, but fun in a crazy kind of way. Rolled into town and thought to myself of a Mitch Hedberg line "I don’t know how to fix a car. If my car breaks down, and the gas tank does not say “E”, I’m f***ed. But if the gas tank says “E”, I get all cocky; “I got ths one, don’t worry about it. Lemme get out the toolbox, AKA. ‘wallet.’” So I got all cocky and busted out my toolbox, AKA wallet. First, I had to hop a ride from a local to the gas station since there's a hill through town that a ton of metal on wheels doesn't seem to want to go up without any controlled explosions going off in chambers with pistons (your Bill Nye lesson for the day if you happen to be under the age of 10 or so).
N e ways, once we got to the hot springs, we were pleasantly surprised to see only two other cars, which is crazy low numbers at mile marker 4/skinnydippers h.s.
If you wanted proof that I'm a road cyclist and not an ultimate fighter, here it is:
Sometime I'll take a pic of my flexed quadricep instead of the upper body white out... okay, so you don't want to see that either right?
Here's where it is:

Also, I hooked up the indoor trainer for the first time this winter on Wednesday. War Of The Worlds was only so-so for a motivator when riding the trainer. Did a couple one leg drills. For those interested in how boring this ride was and get all wigged out over power data, here you go.
Yup, I only use the default software since I only like to use the powermeter as a motivator and to even out efforts. I know how fit I am and in which ways from using a couple age old methods called intuition mixed with trial and error; seems to be working so far. As you can also see in this graph, I had to stop a few times to turn up the volume or crank up the fans.
Oh yeah, a couple weeks back, Rumps and I went for a 16-ish mile hike (gps died) around a similar course I did one blog back. It was like a winter wonderland since the snow fell after a cold rain and stuck to everything.

Have fun over your holiday break... over 'n out

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Back Log Blog

A couple long hikes and a trip to a rockin hot springs is all I've got to report this time... here they are:
1st hike - Tad, Calvin, Erik and I took off from Harris Ranch. Slack and I made it to the top of Lucky Peak and back, 3000ft of elevation change over 11 miles. Good to get the legs prepped for the hard hike.
Over the same weekend, Kyley, Gavin and I were in McCall for Thanksgiving and decided to venture to a new hot springs. On the drive in, we had to ford a fairly deep (16" or so) creek and the only way it would be somewhat possible was to break up the ice dam on the far side.
Once we made it across (that was a thrill!) and past the one mile hike, Vulcan hot springs were great. Rhett, Gavin and I getting cooked at an even 103 degrees.
The following weekend; the big hike:
I missed the Bob's group hike and took off from the same point (top of Brumback) thinking I might catch them. Headed up the "freeway" to Hull's Gulch to 8th St to a trail that I couldn't find the name of to the Boise Ridge to 5 Mile trail to Rocky Canyon Rd to a couple more trails that I didn't find names for... maybe I'll read the map sometime and figure out what trails I was on at the end there. Somebody had been cyclocross riding on the trails in the snow. Whoever you are, you are officially hardcore.
18.7 miles at 3.2 mph = 6hrs of hiking with a tough beagle named Lucy.


On 5 Mile trail, just before meeting up with Rocky Canyon Rd, I came across this old structure. Maybe it was used by hunters?
Getting back to the car was a welcome site! I'm still a bit tired.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Trying To Complete The Jump Creek Canyon

Jump Creek is a great place to hike and pretend to be a rock climber. Along the way, the views are great too! I've hiked it multiple times, but am yet to make it all the way through the canyon. Last Sunday, the goal was to make it all the way to the point where the canyon opens back up to flat land. According to my Delorme, I've gotten really close before, but never made it. On Sunday, Calvin A., Lucy (a beagle) and I started the hike from the lower parking lot and went to the falls first. We tried to go over the falls the way that requires a bit of rock climbing, but couldn't quite get Lucy over the last section as it required go-go gadget arms. Instead, we went back down and started back at the canyon from the other route. We stopped to see the "Face of the Owyhee's" and shortly after I got these shots:

At around 2 or so miles in, we passed where I'd maxed out at before and made it to the second falls, which proved to be one of the greatest challenges. Immediatly after getting past the falls, the path became substantially more difficult with brush filling in the entirety of the walkable area at the bottom of the canyon in most places.

We got to the point where we were walking on top of the brush. Even the dog could walk on top of it. At one point, a branch I was using to pull myself forward gave way and I took a good bath in the creek. Eventually we got to a point where we couldn't pass through it anymore without a machete or burning it down. I knew we were extremely close to the end of the canyon, but we couldn't make it. Oh well, by that point, we'd seen all of the good stuff. We climbed out of the canyon in one of the few dirt side canyons and hopped on the dirt road not far from the rim.

All-in-all, a good hike

Friday, November 16, 2007

Quantity Vs. Quality

What do you want? Do you want more than your neighbor has and that's pretty much your only comparing factor? Do the Jones' have more than you and you have to beat the Jones' to be worthwhile in today's society? Go forth and plunder until the Jones' have been defeated. Their enormous SUV or pickup truck has clearly been conquered by your new Caterpillar 797B dump truck towing your 10,000 square foot house on wheels to work and back every day. Now I'm not going off the deep end and saying that there is no need for material goods, but I am asking do you really need that extra whatever it is you have your mind on. Will it provide you a function that makes you happier? Now if that Porsche 911 Turbo really can make your entire body tingle like no other from the shear force of 480 horses thundering off the line with an intense G-force that compares to nothing you've ever experienced in your entire life, go out and earn it. Want it with every last little bit of passion you can possibly muster.
Consider first, do you really, and I mean REALLY want it? If not, what's the point? Did the last big purchase you made make you happier? Are you using it to it's fullest extent like you thought you would? If the answer is yes, way to go, you've used your noggin wisely.
Okay, so far, all I've talked about is the material usage side of the equation. Like the pythagorian theorem cannot determine C if you are missing A or B, human waste cannot be determined without the quantity of users variable. X number of people using Y amount of materials over Z amount of time in comparison to the rate of renewal that the earth can sustain. Another way of looking at it is rate of consumption directly compared to rate of renewal. Now I'm not going to try and claim that our rate of consumption is not sustainable which is one of the major arguments between republicans and democrats today, but I will say that both our rate of consumption per person and the quantity of people are both going up at extremely rapid rates. How long until we overtake the sustainability rate? I don't know. What I do know is that if we stay clear of that point, quality goes up. We have more resources to make our products with very high quality. We wouldn't have to worry about cutting back anything. For example, today's houses are cookie cutter models. Unique designs of years past are just that, years past. No more are houses designed to last hundreds of years, but are dated after 10 years or so and you rarely or never see such amazing efforts that were common in Europe just a few hundred years ago (example: the Sistine Chapel). There are hundreds of examples where quality could be improved, but in it's stead, we put quantity. Most obviously, quantity of people. More, more, more people. We all have to have our genes extended as far as possible. Our family line must be as controlling in society as we are capable of doing. There are two philosophies to doing this. One being to have kids that are very intelligent and physically powerful to be as far reaching in society as they can be via quality of character. Two being to have as many kids as possible and infiltrate society with shear quantity, even if the quality is questionable. Now I ask, do you prefer quality or quantity? Do you want the best for yourself/kid or do you want the most for yourself/kid?
Are you tired of the more, more, more demand that society puts on you or do you buy into it hook, line, and sinker? Where true happiness occurs is in the pursuit. The desire for something better. The question now is, does better have to equal more? More is obviously eventually not going to be sustainable, it's just a matter of time. Do you want the next generation (your kids) to enjoy quality of life or just be alive, breathing air and exising? Must you have three or more children? Maybe take a second to view Idiocracy.
If you want a new perspective on things, maybe you could learn a thing or two from Christopher McCandless. Take a listen to Eddie Vedder's - Society. Go out and read or watch Into The Wild. Open your eyes to the world that isn't too far from the grasps of societies demand for more, more, more. Go see the world from the top of a mountain, go breathe fresh air, get out and enjoy your own powers.

hmmm ooh hooo hooo
It's a mystery to me
we have a greed
with which we have agreed
You think you have to want
more than you need
until you have it all you won't be free
society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
When you want more than you have
you think you need
and when you think more than you want
your thoughts begin to bleed
I think I need to find a bigger place
'cos when you have more than you think
you need more space
society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
society, crazy and deep
I hope you're not lonely without me
there's those thinking more or less less is more
but if less is more how you're keeping score?
Means for every point you make
your level drop
skinda like its starting from the top
you can't do that...society, you're a crazy breed
I hope you're not lonely without me
society, crazy and deep
I hope you're not lonely without me
society, have mercy on me
I hope you're not angry if I disagree
society, crazy and deep
I hope you're not lonely without me

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

Attack Of The White Weezle


What better way to start a blog than to add a map with all sorts of information that you don't know anything about yet. For all you know, I was out on a treasure hunt and was attacked by an eight ounce white weezle (weasel) and to escape him, I had to run up a mountain, go for a swim all the way around the shoreline of a lake and then run too far down an old dirt road before returning to the car for safety. So, maybe that's not what happened, but it's a good story anyways huh?

Here's the ferocious creature in it's natural habitat.


To better understand the white weezle, you should see the area in which we found it.


Nothing to do with the white weezle: Louie Lake, where the GPS says we swam the shoreline (marker 3).


In this picture, you can see the white weezles' arch nemesis, Mitzi, a black Heinz 57 with very short legs.

Markers 1 and 2 were the first two times I'd seen the GPS add information that didn't actually happen. The missing line segments were places that it lost reception in the trees for long enough that it couldn't piece together where we went. The oops is where we missed a turn off from a dirt road back onto the trail and had to back track a bit. As for the long arrow/trailmix section, there really is no need for such a waste of your time, but then again, you are on my blog.
After the hike, we met up with my sister Lianne and niece Kathleen for a trip to the Gold Fork Hot Springs. If you've never been, I highly suggest it. $9, but worth it with six pools of differing temps, at least one with white sand (the bottom three were too cold for cold evening use)

The next day, I waaay overcooked a corner on the drive back and lost control of the car. Lucky for me, I didn't flip, nor did I over correct and just skidded to a stop at which point the car hit the guard rail and popped off the front bumper. I didn't get hurt, but I learned a lesson about driving too quick! First car wreck ever at the age of 28... maybe I should go back and adjust that blog about wrecking?


If you didn't get enough from the Delorme map, here's the Google Satellite map.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

The Old Back Yard

Standing atop a cliff that I've been going to since I can remember being able to walk brings back a few memories. This time was different than the fifty other times I'd been there in one way, I brought a camera. From this vantage point, many a hunter has collected their yearly food stock, but on this day, all I requested was a good view. 200+ feet below, a lone doe walked across the old ice mines, holes dug out of large volcanic rock to keep food cold many years previous. Welcome to my old back yard.

That is Moscow Mountain in the background, just left of center.

On the hike down and around from the cliff to the ice mines for the usual closer inspection, we found signs of somebody's successful hunt.
Going back down the hill, a picture of the cherry orchard was in order. The orchard used to produce large tasty cherries, but after years of not being cared for, they grow smaller and less impressively.
The cherry orchard was/is on the right side of the flat section in the center of the picture. Note the large "K" on the hillside to the left for Kendrick.

As for the rest of the weekend, a seafood dinner Friday night started things on the right foot! The next day Lianne, Mark and the kids showed up (older sister and family) and a trip to the bowling alley was on the agenda. Watching a 3 and 5 year old bowl two games was great, many times wondering if the ball would eventually hit the pins or not. Maybe a little embarrassing on my part though when I could only muster a bit more power as my back was still messing with me. It was more of a shuffling/sliding effect of getting the ball down the alley than true bowling.
The next day, Kyley got to experience my dad's road motorcycle, the Honda Goldwing. Later, we took the kids down to the park where I used to play and showed them the pool where I learned to swim. Many a good tan was earned there, no farmers tans from riding a bike too much back then. Eventually, the time came for the usual late departure and return to the real world, here and now.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Random Stuff

House parties are the way to go for sure! Saturday night was a ton of fun over at the Rumps' new place. A good percentage of the racing community showed up and we worked the entire night on finishing off a keg of Table Rock micro. Start a fire in the driveway and b.s. the night away, that's the way to do it.
Next day, I took my mom and Kyley out to the Kuna Caves
And without any good reason, Wednesday morning, my back went out on me and I've been hobbling along ever since. Luckily, it's getting better. Tomorrow, Kyley and I take off north to hang out with family and as long as the weather is good, do some more motorcycling. This one's brief, I'm kinda blogged out lately... or it's the back kicking in again. If you think I'm gonna breakdown and suck on the bike, think again! I'll admit, 28 isn't the same as 18, but I've got new cycling shoes and they've got a lot of miles left in 'em.
Over 'n Out-
MCW

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Deadwood Hot Springs

The snow will be coming to the back country soon, so venturing as much as possible now is a must. Saturday's trip was a sort of a birthday present to my mom and a chance for me to go see some new country. I had hoped that my sister and brother-in-law could go too, but they were too busy with their new jobs. Also, Kyley was still in Chicago so... anyways. On the way there, I decided to check out the Bear Valley road route, which takes off from highway 21 closer to Stanley than Lohman. On the way there, we got an incredible shot of the Sawtooth mountain range

Once we started the hike, I got the GPS up and running, but when we got to where I thought the coordinances were for the hot spring, there were no hot springs! Nor was there anywhere around that looked like there could be hot springs.
On the hike in:

We just kept on going up Warm Springs and I hoped that we'd come across some warm water. Sure enough, another mile up the trail, we found hot water, but it disappeared into the hillside with no pools anywhere in sight. To find them, I went running all over up the hill, but to no avail. There were elk trails and even a previously cut out trail, but they led to places that I wasn't going. On the way back down the hill, I decided to trek further up the creek and vuala, there was steam all over the place which led directly to the hot springs.
Instead of you getting to see me running all over the hillside to find it, I just erased the trip in and GPS'ed the way out instead. The little red flag is where I thought the hot springs would be, but that was closer to where we had to take off from the main trail onto an older, lesser used trail that continued up warm springs. Total hike, one way, would be a little over three miles as long as you don't tack on a hike all over the hillside.
There were 3 main pools, one natural cave pool and two built up pools that were much larger. We showed up too late to fill up the larger pool, but the smaller of the two built up pools was already full and ready for use. Upon hopping in, the temp was perfect at around 100 degrees.
I gotta ask, is that litte extra section on the right detention for those who get too drunk?
We didn't get much time to sit, around 45 minutes or so and we had to get going to beat sun down. On the way out, I wanted to check out the Scott Mountain road. It was pitch black out with no moon, but I could tell that the area was a must see. On the other hand, the road was pretty bad. Don't take your two wheel drive on it unless you want to drive 5 mph or less most of the way and say sayonara to your shocks. Luckily I drive a car designed for rally racing (Outback Sport). Mine's not suped up at all though, in fact, it's the 1.8 liter rather than the 2.2. Someday I've got to see that road in the daylight!
On the agenda for this coming weekend: A trip to the Trinity Lakes, Oktoberfest at Eric's and then a visit to the Kuna Caves and maybe Givens hot springs.
It's good to have nice weather in the offseason!!!
Over 'n Out for now-
Mr. Whisky (more phonetics)
BTW, I added pics to the Bogus blog finally

Monday, October 08, 2007

Planes, Dirtbikes, Hikes, Steaks and Apple Jacks

There was no down time at all this last weekend! The run down goes like this: the roommate Brandon shows up at my work and we load up to take off for the weekend. Destination #1 Grangeville. Meet up with my dad for a dinner at Ernies Steakhouse. If you happen to be a fan of steaks, Louie's is the place! Next morning, wake up to some clouds that we thought would put a damper on our plans to fly, but since we had no specific destination to begin with, we could fly in whatever direction with weather good enough for visual flight. By 8:00am we were in the air, destination Joseph, Oregon in the Cessna Skylane 182:
On the way there, I saw the confluence of the Salmon and Snake Rivers for the first time. There were at least 4 jetboats that had made the trip up for some stellar fishing. Before landing, the Wallowa's presented themselves, just for a moment, but in very good lighting.
Once we landed, we weren't exactly sure of where the local hotspot for breakfast was, so we flagged down a car. Not only did they let us know where to go, they gave us a ride! Turns out that the Cheyenne Cafe is where it's at if ever you want breakfast in Joseph.
On the flight back, we went a slightly different route and the Imnaha River (left) was a first time sight for me.

Upon landing, we decided that a hike was in order since the weather was good and we were close to the South Fork of the Clearwater River. The Blue Ridge trail headed toward Sourdough Peak was a good destination. Roughtly 8 miles of hiking with around 2300ft of vertical change was something that my legs just hadn't dealt with in a long time and it was a great way to get some new muscle developement before weight lifting season (aka winter) starts.

After the hike, we headed for destination #2, Kendrick, my hometown. That night, dad's friend Steve showed up with some homemade hard apple cider that could easily knock a guy flat in a matter of minutes! That stuff was good! Add to that the options of Bourbon or Blue Moons and you've got a good setup. It didn't knock me flat, but it did loosen up some sore legs. That night, a log could only wish it could sleep like I did! Wake up Sunday morning and break out the motorcycles for a refresher lesson on how to tear through some mud. It had been at least 5 years since the last time I was on a dirtbike, but it was something I'd been missing out on for sure. Brandon might rock down the trails on moutain bikes faster than me, but he ain't got anything on me when it comes to dirtbiking. Dad on the other hand does, he's been doing that stuff for years and years and... yeah, you get the idea.

The result of 10+ hours of driving = getting to do a lot of things over the weekend! The only downside is that the pile of chores around the house continues to accumulate. It could be a tough thing to catch up on since I've met a woman who I like spending time with more than doing chores. Sorry Brandon, I'll catch up on my half on Wednesday when the new beauty takes off for Chicago.
P.S.
Of course I had to GPS the flight. The image is from Grangeville (right) to Joseph (left). The first loop was to see a heard of elk, the second was to see the confluence or maybe we just couldn't make up our minds which state we wanted to be in? Top speed I saw was 155 mph. The file wouldn't import into the Delorme software, something about being above the ground I suppose. I was hoping to see an above ground 3D image, oh well. Here's the Garmin map:

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Welcome To The Boondocks

Dad came down over the weekend and took the family out to Boondocks Saturday. Good stuff I tell ya! Unlimited go-carting, laser tagging, miniature golfing, air hockey, skeetball, et cetera bodes well with the high energy types (pronounced Y-en's). Most of us left with at least one mark for wrecking the go-carts, but you don't get kicked out until you've got 3 strikes, so we were all good to go. My personal favorite was the 19 cart, but the 3 wasn't too shabby either. Here's the proof that the fam is a hint on the competitive side - Dad taking Rhett for a spin in one of the double karts:
Older sis' Lianne leaning into it:
Kathleen with Mom at the helm

The niece and nephew were the most excited of anyone, but they were just missing the height limit to drive the karts on their own:
7hrs of fun will make one hungry, so off to the food court it was:
The skeetball record at Boondocks needed to be broken! My "regular" scores weren't anything to write home about, but the record score popped out a lot of tickets for the kids to go pick out kewl toys. If ever you feel the need to tie my record, here's how to do it, with the left hand none the less. Don't forget to grab the ball before it drops in the bottom hole if you do happen to miss!

None of the miniature golf pics that I wanted to turn out turned out, but this one is good anyways. It was a runaway landslide victory by Lianne, although Josh (brother-in-law) was keeping it close until about 6 or so holes to go.
Pop's also took the crew out to dinner and a movie Friday night. Joe's Crab Shack was fun, but Balls of Fury was pure cheese that only Jack Black could have made better. Sunday morning was spent having a good breakfast at Goldy's with the entire family; that's a pretty good place with unique menu selections.
The coming weekend will include a 4 seater flight into Smiley Creek Lodge (pilot Jim Babb of Grangeville) and a hike into one of a few different possibilities of mountain lakes, then dirtbiking on Sunday.

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