Monday, November 27, 2006

Thanksgiving 2006 - Elkhorn Yurt

This Thanksgiving Angela and I decided to partake in a non-traditional Thanksgiving celebration, by ditching the turkey and leaving everyone behind. This year we opted to enjoy our holiday in the backwoods of Idaho, by spending 2 wonderful relaxing days at Elkhorn yurt. What's that you say, not sure what a yurt is? The yurt we stayed in could be described as a hi-tech semi-permanent round tent. Housing 2 bunk-beds, a futon, wood stove, dinning table and a kitchen stocked with utensils. This modern yurt shares the name and shape, but is a far cry from the original Turkish term of "yurt" or "dwelling place". * Below is a picture of where we stayed.

"Elkhorn Yurt"

King of Subtle: The original yurt idea for Thanksgiving was to fill a yurt with friends and have a Yurtsgiving celebration. In the pre-planning stages I started to ask friends the question, in my sometimes subtle manner “any plans for Thanksgiving?" I tended to get answers like “I have family coming into town” or “heading over to grandma’s house”, etc. After hearing peoples answers we decided that we’ll just head off to the yurt ourselves. As it turned out there were people that had nothing going on over Thanksgiving and could have come along or there plans fell through and could have gone. Next time I think we’ll be more direct and send out an Evite and hope for the best!

Over all the yurt was wonderful, a great chance to get out and play in the snow. Life moves pretty slowly out in the woods, and that’s the way’s I likes it! We ate good food, drank some beer, played guitar, talked, played cards, did chores like split wood, and went snowshoeing. There was about a foot of snow on the ground, just not quite enough to go sledding, but plenty to melt for water and to get good use from the snowshoes.

"The View"

Here's all the pictures from the trip: pics

Sunday, November 26, 2006

50% Procrastination + 50% Laziness = Zero Blogging

Here's a few links to photos of summer and fall adventures that I didn't get a chance to post. Some were major events that I really wanted to write about. But hey 50% Procrastination + 50% Laziness = Zero Blogging....

Halloween - October 31, 2006

Went as the bearded lady, won $100 for the most scariest costume. Is it wrong for a bearded lady to look good?

Homebrewing - October 27, 2006Two different brew's this year, hopefully a lot more brewing coming soon!
Harvest Festivus - October 21, 2006 Hosted our Second Annual Harvest Festivus.
Blue's Kennel Project Built a kennel for Mr. Blue Independence.
Greenhorn Gulch - September 30, 2006Biked a tough but fun mountain bike trail near Sun Valley. Idaho.
City of Rocks - September 8 - 10, 2006 Awesome climbing trip to the City did a bunch of trad climbing.
Hood To Coast Relay - August 24 - 28, 2006Go Team "Rocky Mountain Oyster Shuckers."
City of Rocks - August 12 - 13, 2006 First trip this year to the City of Rocks.
Fisher Creek Ride - August 05, 2006 Road a bitchen mountain bike ride in the White Clouds on my Birthday! 29 years old.
Imogene Lake - July 15 - 16th, 2006Hike in the Sawtooth to Imogene lake.
WFHS 10 Year Reunion - July 06 - 09, 2006

Holy Crap where did the last 10 years go? Out having fun!

Costa Rica - June 14 - 18, 2006Spent a week down in Costa Rica.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Sawtooth Relay 2006 - The Happy Prostate

The weekend of June 10, 2006, brought my second year of running the Sawtooth Relay, the 62-mile relay that runs from the Stanley to Ketchum Idaho. Last year I ran with the Virtual Runners a corporate team from the Network Group. Here are the pictures from last years run: Virtual Runners

The year of 2006 brought on a new team dubbed "The Happy Prostate." The team consisted of the following people: Dan Doyle, Steve Oliver, Ryan Fisher, Steve Durnel, Lee Knosp and Ryan Smith, with Joe Knosp as team volunteer and Angela Thomas served as co-team captain.

"The Happy Prostate"

This year’s team formed up quite nicely, everyone on the team I would easily call a friend, plus we regularly run, bike or climb together. Angela, however could not make this years run due to a certification exam that she was taking the day of the relay. I'm proud of everyone for competing in the race, the team did excellent! Also I would like to extend a huge thank you to everyone that helped and supported us along the way.

For those that are not familiar with the Sawtooth Relay I'll explain. A Sawtooth relay team consists of 6 people that run 2 legs that average about 5 miles per leg, 12 legs total. The course runs from the elementary school in Stanley, out to Hwy 75 and turns south for the next 59 miles to Atkinson Park in Ketchum Idaho. We started off in Stanley with spectacular views of the Sawtooth Mountains and as you head south towards Ketchum you get views of the White Cloud Mountains. Also the Salmon River keeps you company as it twists and turns along the Highway. Halfway thought the course you'll come up and over Galena Summit at 8,701 feet, here marks the divide between the Salmon River and Wood River drainage areas. The Pioneer and Boulder Mountain ranges come into view as you drop off of the summit and the Big Wood River takes you all the way to the finish line.

"The Sawtooths"

During the registration process for the relay each team member is required to declare there average running time for a flat 5 mile run. Based on the estimated times the officials for the race assign each team a starting time. The slower teams generally start early and fast teams start later with the hope that everyone ends the race at about the same time for the big party and awards ceremony. Our team had an 8:00am start time this year and Lee Knosp was our starting runner for this years relay.

"Go Lee Go!"

Here are the statistics for Leg 1: (Lee Knosp)

Description:Rolling gravel and paved roads through Stanley and on Highways 21 and 75 with full view of the Sawtooth Mountains and the Salmon River.

Miles:5.96
6,370 feet
Elevation Loss:170Elevation Finish:6,500 feet

Roadkill:+2
Estimated Time:50:39:36
Actual Time:49:46:xx

After we cheered for Lee at the start of the race we drove about 2 or 3 miles up the road and hopped out of the team vehicle and waited for Lee to run past. Here we give him water, take or give any clothing and do some more cheering. This process is done for each runner as they run there assigned legs. Also here is where the next runner starts to warm up for there leg. After Lee passed us we piled back into the car and motor up the road to the start of Leg 2. Here is where Lee handed off to Steve for Leg 2.

"Lee Knosp to Steve Oliver"


Here are the statistics for Leg 2: (Steve Oliver)

Description:Gradual uphill on Highway 75.

Miles:5.83
Elevation Gain:190Elevation Start:6,500 feet
Elevation Loss:20Elevation Finish:6,670 feet

Roadkill:+1
Estimated Time:52:28:12
Actual Time:52:28:xx

Steve handing off to Dan for the start of Leg 3.

"Steve Oliver to Dan Doyle"


Here are the statistics for Leg 3: (Dan Doyle)

Description:Rolling uphill on Highway 75.

Miles:5.03
Elevation Gain:240Elevation Start:6,670 feet
Elevation Loss:30Elevation Finish:6,880 feet

Roadkill:0
Estimated Time:43:35:36
Actual Time:43:48:xx

Dan handing off to Ryan for the start of Leg 4.

"Dan Doyle to Ryan Fisher"


Here are the statistics for Leg 4: (Ryan Fisher)

Description:Gradual uphill on Highway 75.

Miles:4.43
Elevation Gain:190Elevation Start:6,880 feet
Elevation Loss:10Elevation Finish:7,060 feet

Roadkill:-1
Estimated Time:42:49:24
Actual Time:40:46:xx

Ryan handing off to Ryan for the start of Leg 5.

"Ryan Fisher to Ryan Smith"


Here are the statistics for Leg 5: (Ryan Smith)

Description:Long steady uphill leg on Highway 75.

Miles:5.83
Elevation Gain:310Elevation Start:7,060 feet
Elevation Loss:0Elevation Finish:7,370 feet

Roadkill:-4
Estimated Time:46:38:24
Actual Time:52:20:xx

Ryan handing off to Steve for the start of Leg 6.

"Ryan Smith to Steve Durnal"


Here are the statistics for Leg 6: (Steve Durnal)

Description:Long, steady uphill leg with curves and switchbacks to .15 miles past Galena Summit.

Miles:5.35
Elevation Gain:1,331Elevation Start:7,370 feet
Elevation Loss:0Elevation Finish:8,701 feet

Roadkill:-3
Estimated Time:42:48:00
Actual Time:56:24:xx

Total Roadkill for everyone’s first legs came too -5. Doh! Roadkill is how many people you pass or get passed while running your leg. Here's Steve handing off to Lee for the start of Leg 7.

"Steve Durnel to Lee Knosp"


Here are the statistics for Leg 7: (Lee Knosp)

Description:Long, steady, downhill leg with curves and switchbacks.

Miles:6.02
Elevation Gain:0Elevation Start:8,701 feet
Elevation Loss:1,411Elevation Finish:7,290 feet

Roadkill:-3
Estimated Time:51:10:12
Actual Time:45:17:xx

Lee handing off to Steve for the start of Leg 8.

"Lee Knosp to Steve Oliver"


Here are the statistics for Leg 8: (Steve Oliver)

Description:Steady downhill on Highway 75.

Miles:5.09
Elevation Gain:0Elevation Start:7,290 feet
Elevation Loss:360Elevation Finish:6,920 feet

Roadkill:0
Estimated Time:45:48:36
Actual Time:45:39:xx

Steve handing off to Dan for the start of Leg 9.

"Steve Oliver to Dan Doyle"


Here are the statistics for Leg 9: (Dan Doyle)

Description:Moderate length leg with steady downhill.

Miles:4.64
Elevation Gain:10Elevation Start:6,920 feet
Elevation Loss:350Elevation Finish:6,590 feet

Roadkill:+4
Estimated Time:40:12:48
Actual Time:40:43:xx

Dan handing off to Ryan for the start of Leg 10.

"Dan Doyle to Ryan Fisher"


Once people finished up there second leg there's only one thing left to do! Enjoy a well earned frosty cold beverage.

"Well done Dan, Lee and Steve"

Here are the statistics for Leg 10: (Ryan Fisher)

Description:Long leg with rolling downhill on Highway 75.

Miles:6.13
Elevation Gain:40Elevation Start:6,590 feet
Elevation Loss:410Elevation Finish:6,220 feet

Roadkill:0
Estimated Time:59:15:24
Actual Time:56:03:xx

Ryan handing off to Ryan for the start of Leg 11.

"Ryan Fisher to Ryan Smith"


Here are the statistics for Leg 11: (Ryan Smith)

Description:Moderate length leg with gradual downhill.

Miles:4.97
Elevation Gain:10Elevation Start:6,220 feet
Elevation Loss:290Elevation Finish:5,940 feet

Roadkill:-1
Estimated Time:39:45:36
Actual Time:38:59:xx

Ryan handing off to Steve for the start of Leg 12.

no photo was taken!

"Ryan Smith and Steve Durnel"


Here are the statistics for Leg 12: (Steve Durnel)

Description:Short leg with gradual downhill on paved bike path.

Miles:2.63
Elevation Gain:10Elevation Start:5,940 feet
Elevation Loss:150Elevation Finish:5,800 feet

Roadkill:0
Estimated Time:21:02:24
Actual Time:20:34:xx

Total Roadkill for everyone’s second Legs came too -0. Much better showing than our first legs! Here's Steve Durnel running to the finish line.

"Go Steve Go!"

Each team that finishes the race gets to join up with there runner for the last 50 feet of the relay. As the team crosses the finish line they announce the team name and everyone cheers! Here is where we consume the free food and beer, listen to the live band, relax and discuss the highlights of the completed race, last they give out awards. No trophies for team "The Happy Prostate" however the great memories and free beer is all the award I need! Until next year Sawtooth Relay, Happy Running! Check out all the 2006 Sawtooth Relay photos: The Happy Prostate.

"Just a few more miles to go!"

Tuesday, June 27, 2006

Crash and Burn!

Lost a hard drive in my ISA 2000 Server while I was down in Costa Rica and I’m still working on recovering from the loss! The old site will be partly out of commission, including: media, network and email. My entire backup failed for the old server...figures. Built up a new ISA 2004 Server, however it doesn't like to publish out the script that generates the thumbnails for the media section. So if you browse and wonder why it doesn’t work, well...still working on fixing it.

"my server"

Monday, May 29, 2006

Bend, Oregon - Angela's Birthday Trip

Angela's 27th birthday fell on Sunday May 21st and we decided to head to Bend, Oregon for some rock climbing at Smith Rock and mountain biking along the Deschutes River.

After work on Friday we went down to Ha Penny for Shaunna's TNG "take this job and shove it" party. Angela and I worked for TNG last year and had similar parties. Good to see some old faces but I’m sure glad I/we jumped ship in 2005. We stuck around to about 8pm and then started the 3 hour drive to Burns, Oregon. Spent the night in Burns, got up in the morning and drove another 3 hours to Smith Rock. We set up the tent, had some lunch and started hiking to the Dihedrals for some sport climbing!

"The Dihedrals"

The Dihedrals is one of the more popular areas to climb at Smith Rock and on Saturday May 20th it was jammed packed with climbers. We started out by jumping on a 5.6 called "Easy Reader." Although an easy and fun climb, "Easy Reader" was almost our last climb of the day. The climb goes up the rock face and finishes off to the right from where you started, also if you were to stand at the start of the climb and walk to your right the rock face rounds off inward to a crack. Below is a picture: the red line represents the route I climbed and the green line shows my decent.


After I finished the climb, Angela preceded to belay me back down. I was cleaning the quickdraws from the climb and when I took the last draw off the rock I unexpectedly swung into the crack, represented in the green line in the photo. Swinging is never a good thing while climbing, but in general this wouldn't have been a huge deal if I had an equal size belayer. Due to Angela's fit petite build the sudden momentum knocked Angela off her feet and pulled her a small distance across the ground. But amongst her shaken nerves and scrapped appendages she managed to do the most important thing a belayer can do. “No matter what happens, you do not let go of your break hand.” Otherwise gravity will win...Thanks Scamp!

A close call to start but we managed to get in a few more climbs in before the day was done:

Lichen It - 5.7:
Bunny Face - 5.7:
Rabbit Stew - 5.7:

Overall the climbing was excellent, and the weather was perfect! We had planned on getting in two more routes in the morning; however we woke up to rain showers and couldn't climb. So we had breakfast and then drove off to Bend in search of the Deschutes River Trails.

The Deschutes River was wonderful to ride, providing diverse scenery and varied terrain. We biked out and back 11 miles out to Dillon Falls. The only downside to this ride was in several areas on the ride the trail looked more like a big pile of spaghetti, with trails going off in multiple directions, and no clear markers. Several times we ended up off the main drag and had to work our way back.

Here are the pictures from the trip: pics

Also who knew The Great Sphinx of Giza is located in Terrebonne, Oregon?

Thursday, May 18, 2006

The 3rd Annual Lava Rama 2006

Hot pools, cold beers and running too...Lava Oh yea! The weekend of May 12th we ventured across the wonderful State of Idaho to run in another Wild Rockies event. Lava Hot Springs, Idaho is a small town in the South East corner of the State, about a 4 hour drive from Boise. Lava is a great adventure destination; this was our second trip this year. Here the pictures from the last trip: February 2006

Friday after work we packed up our swag, pitched the dog Mr. Blue in the back of the car and motored down the road. We arrived into town about 11:00pm, and pretty much checked into the Tumbling Waters motel and went to bed, the 3rd Annual Lava Rama kicked off at 9:00am. The starting line for the race was in the town park about 100 yards from our hotel. Needless to say the starting line was considerably easier to find compared to the last Wild Rockies race in Oregon: OTC

This year the Lava Rama course was extended from 6 miles to 9.5 miles, during the pre-race meeting Mr. Wild Rockies himself said he would be surprised if someone makes the loop under the one hour mark. The winner of the 2006 Lava Rama was Tom Borschel a nationally ranked trail runner who came close to the lofty goal with a finish time of 1:05:12.

The race started in the park, headed down Main Street and quickly turned southward out of town. After a few miles of pavement we turned off on a dirt road and proceeded to go up into the hills! The weather was beautiful for the start of the race, nothing but blue skies and warm, however at about mile 5 the temperature was hot and I was in trouble. I was sucking wind and sweating buckets, I was fighting what I call the Triple Constraints of running:

  • Weather
  • Altitude
  • Fat Ass

I normally have two goals in running races. One: Finish and Two: Don't Walk. Well I finished the race and finished in 3rd place in the men's 20 - 29 age category; however I had to walk on several occasions. Damn you Triple Constraints! Angela came in 2nd place in the women's 20 - 29 age category. We also cleaned house during the post-race raffle, Angela got a hat and some cool sox's with a Tyrannosaurus Rex embroider on them and I got a synthetic running shirt -woot! Overall the course was great and a lot of fun; we even ran passed a little snow. Some of the trails had loose rock and were torn up. Angela took a few tumbles on the run and scraped up her legs, but she got up and kept on running! Good job Champ!

Biking is a major part of the Lava Rama; the Dual Free Competition was fun to watch. The Dual Free is a biking race where two riders race downhill over manufactured obstacles and jumps. No major crashes happened but watching them navigate the course of see-saws, humps and 8+ foot jumps was rad!


There was also a Kids under 10 bike race, our money was on the little girl racing in a dress with cowboy boots on!

"If I ride, I make damn sure I look good!"

Check out all the pictures of the race here: Lava Rama

Offical Results: 1:38:16

Monday, May 08, 2006

The 3rd Annual Oregon Trail Classic 2006

On Sunday, April 30, 2006 Wild Rockies hosted the 3rd Annual Oregon Trail Classic in Baker City, Oregon. This event was our first big run of 2006, and the unyielding 10.5 mile course was defiantly a doosey! Wildrockies.com describes the loop as "rolling climbs and descents with lots of twisty singletrack."

We were hoping to get friends to join us on the race, but we just ran out of time to get people interested in running the race. Angela, Blue (the dog) and I packed up Saturday afternoon and drove to Baker City. We checked into the Bridge Street Inn and started walking up and down the main drag of Baker. Good thing we had an umbrella in the car, because there were some good thundershowers in the area. Did some window shopping and talked with some local folk. Surprisingly there were quite a lot of events going on in the small town. However due to the race in the morning we opted to have a quite evening. We filled our bellies with pasta and excellent brew at Barley Browns. If you ever find yourself passing through Baker, do yourself a favor and head down for a beer!

Sunday morning at 6am we got up and preceded to get ready for the run, we decided to give ourselves an hour to make the eight mile drive. Plus that should give us ample time to stretch and warm up. The directions listed from wildrockies.com were vague "Located at the Virtue Flat ORV Area, near the Oregon Trail Visitors Center, about eight miles from Baker City." The night before we chatted with several locals and we asked them if they knew where the race started, however no one knew exactly the ORV area was. The best people could say is that the ORV area was near the Oregon Trail Visitors Center, which is also what wildrockies.com said. Needless to say we had a hard time finding the turn off for the ORV. After several passes we were running low on fuel and time so we drove back to the freeway, gassed up and ask the lady who pumped our gas "where the hell is the ORV area?" She wasn't exactly sure but thought the access road to the ORV area should be across the road from the visitor’s center. Backup the road we drove, sure enough there was a dirt road where she said it would be. As we turned onto the road I glanced over to my left and saw the oncoming traffic's stop sigh. There on the post were four little signs that marked the race turn off, three orange arrows and a handwritten "Wild Rockies." The argument could be made that the signage for the turn off could be a bit hard to see when you’re going past at 55+mph. Here is a picture of the sign:

Overall the race was very fun and the trail was well marked. The terrain of the race varied from: ATV roads, flood water drainage ditches, faint single-track marked with orange tape, and with plenty of hill to huff up and down. A few prizes were given out, but we failed to win any free swag. However what we did win was first place in our respective age categories: 20 - 29. We each got a medial and got to stand on the podium. Unlike Angela who actually had some competition, I was the sole person representing the 20 – 29’s. Default… the two sweetest words in the English language. Thank you for your words of wisdom Homer J. Simpson. The age group 30 - 39 proved to have the stiffest competition in both men's and women’s category. Those speedy old timbers*!

Check out all the pictures of the race here: Oregon Trail Classic

Official Results: 1:43:50

*getting mighty close to 30 - 39...doh!

Friday, May 05, 2006

Breakfast and Margaritas

I went to Las Vegas on April 21, 2006 with Angela and her bro for their cousins wedding. Only took a few photos: Vegas. I did learn that the beverage Sparks is a horrible, and I'm ashamed of having one. But you have to try things at least once!

From sparks.com "Sparks, is a ready-to-drink that contains 6.0% alcohol by volume with the addition of active ingredients caffeine, taurine and natural herbs guarana..." I think monkey poo has to be in there too?

Friday, April 28, 2006

Photo Test

cheat

Oh yea.... you work it da Cheat!

Friday, January 06, 2006

Ugggg....

Well almost got the old blog up and working...still need to work out some kinks in integrating the blogger.com stuff into lordmerlin.com. Hopefully I have the site working soon, then I can be a writing fool. Of course there will be no shortage of spelling and grammar errors!