Archive for October, 2012

Is He Still Alive?

Right, then…

Well, I really should write something since it’s been too long.

What the hell has been up with MIMW2 since mid-summer (besides referring to himself in the third person)?  A few things, but not a lot.

In late June I got an e mail from a friendly work acquaintance:  He was going to be sailing in The High Sierra Regatta and needed crew and wanted to know I was interested. 

Well, yeah.  So long as he doesn’t require America’s Cup-grade sailing skills, we’re all set.

The High Sierra has been held for 59 years on Huntington Lake, which is located at about 7000 feet in the Sierra Nevada range, about 2 hours outside of Fresno.  I’ve always heard of the regatta, but never was able to get to it until now.

We were sailing in the Victory 21 class (that’s the model and length of boat we were on).  The nice thing about this as while these are fine boats and can be “raced”, they do not typically attract the hyper aggressive sailors.  So basically, our job was to sail around 8 or so buoys in a sporting fashion and not hit the other boats.

How’d we do?  Well, if there was an award for most improved, we would have won it.  The first race we did not even complete, because we missed a bouy entirely due to a navigational gaffe and were disqualified.  The second race we completed, but were the last boat off the race course; not the last boat in our class, mind you – I mean, of all the boats that were sailing that day (upwards of 150, I’d reckon) we were The Last Boat .  But at least we finished.  The third and final race, we finished last in our class. 

Welp, someone has to bring up the rear, so no reason why it shouldn’t be us. 

What’s more important is that we had a good time.  The club that we were sailing with was a good group of folks.  Also – everything else aside – I got to spend the weekend camping and sailing, so no matter how “bad” it could have gotten, it wasn’t that bad. 

About that weekend, I picked up a cold bug.  Started as a sinus thing then migrated down to my chest then back up again.  The short version is that it took 3 months and 3 rounds of antibiotics to finally get back to where I can do something worth writing about, which is part of the reason there hasn’t been much posted.

The end of the illness was marked with a trip to Yosemite.  Note that it was about this time last year I went there to hike Half Dome and turned back due to snow and ice.  This year, we did a shorter (10 mile) hike up to Nevada Fall.  Even though it wasn’t “all the way up” it was still a good hike.  There is something about hiking down John Muir Trail into Yosemite valley that sort of puts you in to a calm, mindful place.  That and the views of Yosemite are mind-flatteningly beautiful.

One cool story:  While we were resting on the bridge above Nevada Fall, a woman that was visiting from Florida came up to talk to us.  Her and her husband arrived the day prior (as did we) when Yosemite was socked in with either fog or low clouds, so there really wasn’t much to see. So she got checked in, had dinner and went to bed.   The next morning the cloud/fog had lifted, so when she exited her cabin she saw that she had been sleeping next to a 4800-foot granite wall (with Half Dome on top).

You could imagine her surprise.  It was actually a treat to see how excited she was to see something that is virtually in my backyard (OK, 5 hours from my backyard, but still).  Yosemite is one of those places that make me proud to be in California.  I mean, I do have a love/hate relationship with the state, but whenever someone wants to dog on The Golden State, I can say “Yes, but we have Yosemite” and it’s conversation over.  I don’t think I’ll ever get tired of visiting.  There has been some noise about a backpacking trip starting at Tuolumne Meadows and heading up to Half Dome, so I might have to look into that for next year.

So, now that I’m back to functioning normally more or less, what’s on the agenda moving forward?  Well, the first order of business is to regain the fitness that I lost over the last 3 mos.  In addition to losing general cardiovascular and strength conditioning, I put on about 10 lbs which, considering my affinity for chocolate chip cookies, isn’t as bad as it could have been.  So, I’m getting back into my running/riding/climbing routine I had going before all this hit.

As for travel, in Mid-November I’m celebrating my [late] birthday with some friends at Costanoa in Pescadero, CA.  Costanoa is sort of an outdoorsy-nature resort on the coast.  Accommodations are tent-cabins (similar to those in Curry Village in Yosemite)which I find to be quite nice – not as plushy as a hotel, but cheaper and nicer than a tent (not that I would have minded that).  The main draw to Costanoa is it’s proximity to mountain biking, hiking, kayaking and other assorted whathaveyou.

Then about three weeks later, I’ll be heading down to Key West, FL to meet with my “adopted family” for a week.  I used to go down there once a year for an annual Parrothead gathering, but I sort of lost my taste for those antics; now I want to see what KW is like the rest of the year.  Regardless, I’m sure I’ll have something to post about those trips.


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