Tuesday, August 26, 2008

The Cast Iron Advantage

Endurance athletes and almost all women could stand to add a little iron into their diets. What better way than to learn to bring back an old tradition? The cast iron skillet has become the best cooking tool I own. Mix in Grapeola oil (found at Winco), an aluminum spatula and paper towels and you have the perfect ingredients for an amazing cooking utensil.
Some say to never wash cast iron with soap, but I've learned the hard way that it will save you a huge hassle to just wash it. There is a big BUT on that though. When done cooking, get everything out that you can with the aluminum spatula, then let it cool off before washing it. Once you've washed it, dry it off immediately with a paper towel. Turn on the stove again and heat it back up some to make sure all the water is 100% gone and then apply some oil again. Wipe off all the oil with a second paper towel as best you can and vuala, you have yourself a perfectly ready to re-use cast iron skillet. One thing that I've found is that lard just doesn't work like the reports I've read on the web, it makes everything stick.

The cooking buddy of choice

Blackened catfish with a Wild Blue brewski to wash it down

Elk burger and diced up potato with some carne asada seasoning

Salmon fillet with brown sugar... and a Samuel Smith Oatmeal Stout

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Derange The Status Quo

Mixing up the norm frequently is an unending desire for some. If you're good at it, the only constant is change. This time, the change was to my feet. Some toenails decided to turn purple. Some skin decided to fill with water. And some muscles decided to not like me anymore. All for the purpose of getting to see some incredible land and tough it out with a hardcore bunch of outdoorsy fanatics.

The assembled trail hit men just itching to get out of civilization.

Seth and I flying in

The last time all of us were clean at one time. Seth, me with Lucy at my feet, Dad with Mitzi behind him, Gary, and Doug

Trail sputtered out and cross-country hiking ensued. Keep in mind that some of our packs were 60+ lbs, mine included

Three stings from these #$*@er's on day one

A bend in the North Fork of Moose Creek

Seth on an overlook

Extra curricular activities - a hike up to a natural elk/dear lick found us a great pic and some elk antlers

Moose Creek landing strip

The Selway River

Camp detonates every which way

The views are fantastic and never ending

Jumping from a 15ft rock... gotta open the pic

Day 1 - 13 miles, by far the hardest day
Day 2 - 8 miles
Day 3 - 13 miles
Day 4 - 9 or 10 miles
Day 5 - 6 miles in the pouring rain
The first day, the trail has not been maintained since the last time we went through there and the brush was rough on the legs. Day two, Doug saw a huge black bear and Gary saw another. Day three, we dropped out of the mountains to the Selway River trail. Day four, we found a hole with at least fifty salmon lounging around. The last night out there, an extreme system came through and drenched the packs and most everything else. Luckily we had flies for the tents and kept dry for the night. The next morning, it was still pouring down and we had to pack fast and get out of there in a hurry. We did the last six miles soaked and at some top notch speeds.
Charlene couldn't get the time off, but it did save her feet and that first day was pretty hard.
The only way I'll do that exact same trip again is if they clean up that trail down Wounded Doe Creek! Amazing sites, but overly hard.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Orange County Part Deux

Yes, I had my first experience at the above listed business. No, I'm not actually 12... I don't think. Cheap bURGEr's!

Sunday's road race didn't go so well for anyone outside of California. 141 starters with roughly 50 finishers and probably 35 of those were from Cali. Between heat and high humidity, many of us were facing heat stroke conditions and didn't make it to the line. Wish we had started at 7 am instead of 2:30 pm.
A new personal record was set Monday to top things off. Five states in one day! Since Tadios minivan needed to drop off my traveling companions, Calvin and Slack, for the Tour of Utah, I got in a few extra hours of driving. Cali, Nevada, Arizona, Utah and Idaho all in one day of 14hrs on the road. When we were in the Mojave Desert, AC/DC's - Highway To Hell came on and it seemed fitting since we were headed to Las Vegas.

Here's a bit of a ride I was on last Saturday through Silverado, an old mining town.

Friday was a trip to Knott's Berry Farm

The Supreme Scream was the personal fav

That rear tire deflated my chances for a shot at a good result at Nationals. Lots of work, all let out from 116 pounds of pressure.

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Orange County

Here I am on a Thursday night in Orange, California between events at Elite Nationals. It's a lot of fun to be here, but some bad luck struck yesterday. At around 14 miles into the individual time trial, my rear tire decided it didn't want to stay full any longer and it was game over for me. Too bad too since I was having a great time trial. Just guessing from where I was in respect of the guys around me, I think a top five would have been very possible. It was the first time I've ever flatted in any time trial in my entire life. Luckily, the team did alright with Kevin in 7th and Calvin in 15th.
Today, Calvin and I hit up Huntington Beach and showed off our lack of tans to the locals.
An alright place to be

It's kinda busy... for miles and miles

Idaho cyclist blinding the locals

Calvin blinding the locals

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