Buckets o’ Rain: Photos Fall 2012

10 Jan IMG_3843

What have we been up to the last 6 months?  A whole helluva lot!  The whirlwind of fall began with a very exciting next step–a new home base to launch our lives.  From this new casa, we’ve kept busy with biking, canning, pressing, bottling, laughing, dancing, and spending quality time with those we love.  Without further ado, here are a handful of pictures to scroll on down through:

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Surprise! A lovely dinner in the park for my belated birthday:

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Our lovely new house:

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The first night in our new home!

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And Shannon reaping the bounty of blackberries from our backyard: IMG_3756

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Three-day Wine Country Tour out in Walla Walla with a couple dozen amazing, vino-loving friends–epic bonfires, Russian poetry, and gigersnaps galore.  A wonderful weekend organized by the one and only Tyler Blake Davis:

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Canning Op in full effect. 150lbs tomatoes, 20lbs cucumbers and 30lbs peaches don’t stand a chance. The bounty? 40 jars of tomatoes, 12 jars salsa, and 14 jars of spicy pickles. We ended up freezing (and eating!) most of the peaches.  All in a days work:

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First home project–a place to hang our gear. Before & after:  IMG_4063  IMG_4073

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Hanging with the fam for an early autumn BBQ:

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My nephew Calvin harvesting the last of the carrots from Oma & Gampa’s garden:IMG_3627

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Father and son duo tackling the overgrown yard:

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The fam supporting Shannon for the 2012 Walk for Lupus Now –Team She She:

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Just a few apples to make cider:

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After a few hours of cranking and crushing by hand, we break out the bike, throw it on a trainer, zip tie a wheel to the crank and connect the two pieces together with an extra bike tube. Genius: IMG_4236

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Love this little man:IMG_4271

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Seattle Sounders dominating the Portland Timbers 3-0:IMG_4288

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On to wine.  900 lbs of Syrah and Cab about to get crushed:

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Getting Tom the Turkey ready for our Housewarming Harvest party:IMG_4344

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Watching the Seahawks upset the Patriots 24-23.  Great game with lovely ladies–Ann, lady Grady, Rebecca and Meg.

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First soggy commute of the year–still smiling!IMG_4410

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Bottling our 2010 Syrah…IMG_4430

And pressing our 900lbs of 2012 Syrah and Cab Sav with Leslie, Tyler, Colin and Hilary.  Us before a killer hail storm started pelting down:IMG_4445 IMG_4483

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Bike trip out to Doe Bay on Orcas to soak in the tubs and watch the Frost Giants rock the house:IMG_4539IMG_4538

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Happy Birthday Dave–celebrating with shot-SKIS!

IMG_4556 Happy Birthday, Erin!  Scorpios are everywhere! IMG_4615

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Racking our 2012 batch for the first time, with Leslie and Tyler:IMG_4583 IMG_4588 IMG_4595

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With Thanksgiving around the corner…meet this year’s Tom:IMG_4627 IMG_4630 IMG_4638

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Back in the ‘Burgh for Thanksgiving.  Devlin in the middle!

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First ski day of the season, up at Crystal–with John, Julian and Richard:IMG_4736

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Impromptu beats on the Hill with Andy, Colin, and the crew:IMG_4744

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Getting my paint on:IMG_4745

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Megan and Rob on a quick but amazing weekend trip to Seattle:

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Getting our place ready for the weather–clearing the sidewalk and sealing up our abode:IMG_4812

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Christmas in Seattle:IMG_4771 IMG_4826

Christmas in Portland with my Brendan, Natalie and the boys:  IMG_4875 IMG_4880 IMG_4905

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Got my skins on for our first short backcountry tour up at Baker

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At Austin Pass–halfway there!

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JANUARY 1st 2013!  Absolutely beautiful day at Crystal with new friends:
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Did you make it all the way to the bottom??–Congratulations!

So many more adventures on the books for the winter and spring.  We’ll keep you posted!

G’night,

E

Cycling around the world

27 Jul

One year ago today, we were in the Ozarks.  The day before, we had left our fallen sweat on the hot, dry roads of Kansas and made our way into Missouri with smiles on our faces. We ate the best Dutch Blueberry Pie that America has to offer, and rolled up and down the beautiful foothills on our steel horses.  Dave’s bike gloves had their final day in the sun before disintegrating, and we spent our non-riding time neck deep in cool natural springs.  Oh, and a turtle peed on Dave after he saved it from the tires of an impending car.  Why the nostalgia?

A couple weeks ago, we had the pleasure hosting Rob, a fellow touring cyclist (or cycling tourist…) who was on the 10,001st-ish mile of a cycling journey around the world. He had left the UK with a good friend, traveled east across Europe, Russia, the –Stans, then through China, and Japan.  After hopping a quick flight to Alaska, he cruised south, through the Yukon and into our very own front yard.

Giddy with excitement to be able to pay forward a minuscule fraction of the generosity we experienced last summer, we welcomed him in and introduced him to our lovely city…Brauwers for beers, Shilshole for Cornhole and sailboat oogling, a simple night sipping fine whiskey and grubbing on Mexican food, a jaunt out to Redmond for the Derby Days Crit and festival, Rock n’ Roll, a Death Metal play, a night on the town in Columbia City complete with pinball, ice cream, beer and martinis (a great combination, by the way), and amazing conversations throughout.

Five days later we were saying goodbye to a dear new friend.

Coffee in hand, we sent him off across the ferry to ride the Peninsula and cruise down the coast.  After that?  Yep, South America, and then back home…in maybe a year or so…

It was fun to reminisce, and hear the stories of a fellow traveler.  Like the good cycling nerds we are, we talked tires, tubes, and tents, shared secrets of the simple songs that got us up the steep climbs, and told stories of the epic downs. But between the stories of bear scares and unleashed dogs (and a whole lot of laughter), by the end of the ‘weekend’ we had been introduced to dozens of characters from around the world—folks merely connected through a twenty-something year old dude on a bike.  It’s nice to be reminded of the simple unabashed kindness that strangers will show you if you let them, whether you’re in Azerbaijan to Nickerson, Kansas.

Alright, alright, one more plug, then I’m off!  Rob and his buddy host a blog of their cycling travels called Around the World for Water. They host talks and raise money to provide safe and sanitary water to developing countries through WaterAid—a worthy cause to check out!  They’ve also got a Facebook page that has some crazy photos posted.

Thanks, Rob, for bringing your traveling spirit and a little bit of all those you’ve met along the way to our humble home.

G’night,

E

Grabbing beers and grub at Brouwer’s:

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Rob trying his hand at Cornhole!

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Beautiful night on the Sound, Shilshole:

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Very, very, serious games of pinball going on at Full Tilt.  Who knew that Dave is secretly a master of game?!

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Checking out Derby Days:

Fully loaded and on his way:

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Last stop, Zeitgeist–one of the finest shops to get a kick of caffeine.  A little piece of trivia: Zeitgeist means ‘in the spirit of the time’

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Safe Travels…

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Weekend Warriors once again: Hood Canal bicycle tour

7 May

So, first off, we fail.  Our last post was back in February?!  Sheesh.  A lot has happened since then.

We’ve officially been hitched for over a year and to commemorate the day we set off on our honeymoon bike tour across the country (exactly one year ago!), we decided to hop back on our bikes and go for a weekend-bike-tour-oyster festival-pedal around the Hood Canal.  Our legs were strong (as was the wind), the sun gushed down (as did the rain), and the oysters were delectable (as was the fresh air).  We finished the 135 miles in front of our home with smiles and a nice layer o’ sweat upon our faces.  It’s amazing how it only takes a couple days away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind, to be brought back to a place, pace, and time where you truly believe you can do anything.

Cheers to all of YOU who make us who we are.

 

the OVERVIEW

Bicycle Loop around Hood Canal (from Seattle)

the DEETS

Day 1: Seattle to Twanoh State Park, ~25 miles from Bremerton

With a little bit of forethought and planning, we were able to bust out of work Friday afternoon at quarter to 4pm and catch the 4:20pm ferry with a couple dozen other commuting cyclists over to Bremerton.   We ran into Dave’s coworker, Matt, and after a lovely trip across the Sound, Matt guided us to some great grub at Noah’s Ark Restaurant.  After filling our bellies with dirty sammies, we climbed out of Bremerton (twice–once up a monster dead end hill, and then again the right way, le sigh), and made our way to Twanoh State Park just as the rain had sufficiently numbed my toes and the sun had gone behind the mountains.  Yummy beers to top off the night, our tent and down feathers to keep us warm, then off to Dreamland…

Day 2: Twanoh State Park to Dosewalips State Park ~43 miles

After breaking down camp, we headed off along the water.  The ride was mostly flat with some smaller rolling hills closer to Dosie.  The highlight of the day might have been stopping at Hoodsport Winery for some pear wine, but unfortunately, it wasn’t open at 9am (shocker).  We sat on the stoop of the storefront, had some snacks, and pushed off towards Hama Hama for the Hama Rama Oyster Festival.  As they say along the canal–“when the tide is out, set the table!”  Fresh oysters from the beach, live music, shucking contests, plenty of food and drink, I’m hooked!  We hung out for 3+ hours then made the last ~13 mile “push” to our campsite.  It may have been cold outside, but great conversation and tuna mac kept our souls and bellies warm.

Day 3:  Dosewalips State Park home ~54 miles

The stretch between Dosie and the Hood Canal bridge may have been my favorite stretch of the riding–mellow traffic, endless forests opening up into the farmlands and pastures of Quilcene, long steady uphills and gratifying downs that allow your mind to wander and struggle just enough…Then across the bridge, lunch in Port Gamble, a not so great route onto Bainbridge, a flat tire 4 miles from the ferry, and a happy daze on the ferry ride home.

Happiness and love,

E

the SHOTS

Taking refuge from the rain, about to load onto the Bremerton Ferry:

Matt showing us the way to Noah’s Ark Restaurant:

Nothing beats a beer after a good day’s ride, at Twanoh State Park (and yes, it was very cold):

Nettle Honey jamming out in front of a mountain of oyster shells at the Hama Hama Oyster Rama:

Combing the beach and finding a monster sea snail:

Tuna Mac will always have a place in my heart, especially with the addition of our Full Circle spinach:

Ain’t she a beauty (thanks again, Annie-boat!):

Breathin’ deep, sweatin’ hard, and lovin’ life

Still Truckin': Biking the Chilly Hilly and winter adventures in the PNW

27 Feb

It’s February, it’s cold, it’s rainy and this deep dark winter can be quite depressing in the PNW.  For those who have been following our blog, last summer was just the opposite, extremely hot, windy, dry and deserted. Luckily, it takes alot to keep Erin and I in the house; timid to venture out into the mountains or countryside. Since the last post from our trip to Port Townsend working on the 120 ft wooden schooner ‘Adventuress‘, we’ve skied, hiked, biked and ran our fair share. A weekend at Mt. Baker for our amazing friend Tyson’s birthday, cheered for the Giants in the Super Bowl, skied with Erin’s awesome cousin, spent a Groupon weekend at a B&B in North Bend were we hiked Tiger Mountain, the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie and in the evening snuck into Snoqualmie Pass Ski area to party down with the Red Bull Crew at their Big Air competition. Another ski weekend is tucked in there somewhere and then to top it off, last weekend we were on Bainbridge Island with another amazing group hosted by the one and only couple, Cooper Rooks and Lee Knight.

A couple of weeks ago when a friend of ours, Mike Penn and his wife Dana were in town, Cooper and I were chatting about the upcoming bike ride put on by the Cascade Bike Club, the ‘Chilly Hilly‘. Since Cooper lives on Bainbridge Island and right on the bike route, it was obvious that we should invite people over and slumber party before the next days ride. Everything came together nicely as we had 8 people for dinner, 7 spending the night and a group of 8 for the ride the next morning.

Now, this is my 5th year biking the Chilly Hilly. It is the inaugural bike ride early on in the season when either the cold weather or your weak winter legs will make you miserable if you’re not prepared. The ride itself is not too bad. 33 miles with lots of rolling hills. But I swear, there have been some years it has been so cold and windy that all you want is call a taxi and have them ride you back to the ferry!! But this year, the rain gods decided to give us mercy and we had a sunny blue bird day. After a great evening of jenga, beer drinking and ridiculous youtube videos, we were blessed in the morning with banana waffles, strong coffee and sunshine combing through the pines. All of this was more than enough to boost our spirits and carry us 3 hours circumventing Bainbridge until we reached the finish line and the quaint town of Winslow where we gorged on island famous BI BBQ and Anchorsteam Porters. Ahhhh….all in a days work. Wish everyday could be so crystal clear.

Today….sluggish, Monday.  Definitely not as fun as yesterday and alot more borning. But this upcoming weekend should be no different than all the rest. Erin is off to see her close friend in San Diego and I signed on to crew in an early season sailboat race out on the Puget Sound. Talk about cold, let’s hope I don’t fall in. Until next time.

Here’s an article  in a local Pittsburgh magazine about our honeymoon trip: http://lebomag.com/1314/in-focus/

Adventuress: A weekend Bike Tour to Port Townsend w/ Sound Experience

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What a weekend. Biking through rain, snow, hail, slush and sunshine, we made our way out to and back from Port Townsend with smiles on our faces.  Sharing stories, sea shanties, and a bit of ourselves, we worked shoulder to shoulder with new friends and became part of the schooner’s inspiring living history.
Cheers to the Adventuress,
E

Photos:

Early morning ferry ride:
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Quick stop in Port Gamble for a bit of nostalgia and a couple cups o’ jo:
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Arrival at the boat!
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Collective strength!
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Scraping spars:
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Refinishing the deckhouse exterior with our new buddy, Matt:
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Panniers packed – Preparing for a winter weekend bike tour

13 Jan port townsend prep

You may be more than a bit surprised to be getting an email from us now, after how long??  Well, it is safe to say that the roast beast leftovers have been devoured, the nutcrackers packed safely away, the zillions of dried pine needles swept up, and the new years resolutions are making their way into limbo…but you will be happy to know that we survived the glutinous love of the holidays and are excited for the weekend.

Friday the 13th at eight o’clock on the dot…what is the world doing? Decompressing from a hard week of work, getting primed for a night out on the town, on the lookout for werewolves?  Well, not us.  We just had a relaxed dinner of grilled cheese and soup–lovely in all its simplicity–and cannot wait for the sun to rise tomorrow morning. By the time the sun hits the horizon we will be decked out in spandex and wool, riding the ferry across the Puget Sound, and beginning our ride up into Port Townsend.  Yes, yes, the weather forecast may not inspire cyclists across the northwest to grab their helmets and hop of their bikes…

…but a little snow doesn’t scare us…..alright it does a little, but we’ve busted out our booties, our ski gloves and spandex, wool and fleece galore!

A while back, Dave had a rad opportunity through Full Circle Farm to sail with Sound Experience and had a wonderful time.  SE is a pretty amazing organization that hosts leadership and environmental education programs aboard a historical,  133 foot wooden schooner for weeks at a time.  But a big ol’ beautiful boat needs serious upkeep, so a few weeks back, they sailed it up to Port Townsend, dry docked it, and this weekend they have invited dozens of people to collectively varnish, sew, haul, and hammer away, as part of the national MLK weekend of service.

After sailing with SE, Dave’s enthusiasm was contagious and we decided that “no matter what” we would volunteer on their next weekend of service.  Months pass, and, well, “no matter what” apparently means snow, eek!  We almost bailed on the biking bit (because we could also just drive), but there’s something to be said about getting back up on our steel horses and facing the elements together once again. The best part? We get to bike through Port Gamble, where we tied that glorious knot 8 months ago.   That’s not to say that when I’m soaked to the bone, freezing, and Dave is the only one in earshot, he may or may not hear something other than lavendar and roses coming from my mouth, but it’s all part of the story, all part of the adventure.

Our gear is set. Time to have a few fingers of bourbon, hit the hay, and dream about tomorrow.

Cheers to an amazing man who fought for freedom and a long weekend to celebrate life,

E

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