Monday, October 31, 2011

Uphill Shifting on a Mountain Bike

Here is a little bit of advice about shifting gears on your mountain bike as you are riding uphill.  Aaron Phillips gives a good description of both shifting and directing your bike as you sweat your way uphill.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Sailing Race around the World

Here is an interesting event.  On November 5th the 11th around the world sailing race will begin.  The race lasts eight months and covers some 39,000 miles.  Some sections of the race have not been made know because of the problem of piracy along the African coastlines.  

There are six teams from six different countries: Abu Dubai, New Zealand, France, United States, China, and Spain.  Over the last 11 races ten sailors have been killed, most recently in the 2005-6 race when the sailor was washed overboard.  

I have to wonder why Great Britain has not put forth a team as they were one of the great ocean going nations of the world.  If you would like more information or follow the event visit there very complete site The Volvo Ocean Race 2011-2012.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Saving Money for Winter Events

It is that time again, at least in the Northern Hemisphere, winter is coming.  The mountains have started to acquire that white frosty covering.  Excitement is beginning to build for the winter sports.  And what better way to celebrate the coming season then a ski swap.

The ski swap has been a family tradition since I was a small boy and continues to be for me.  In the days when saving money and doing as much as possible yourself was the norm the ski swap was a wonderful way to buy semi-used gear at a wonderfully reduced price.  

Where I live it is the Mt Spokane Ski Patrol Ski Swap.  Not only can used equipment be found but also last years models.  Unless you are a ski snob, last years gear will do very well and so will the savings.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Columbia Plateau Trail - Martin Rd to Lamont.

Photo by D. McMillin
Starting at Martin Road about 20 miles SW of Cheney, Washington, the Columbia Plateau Trail travels over a massive man made land bridge.  Most of the bridge was cut from the surrounding land and the massive cuts can be clearly seen both up close and from the other side of the valley.

From the Land bridge the trail cuts almost straight to the little farming community of Lamont, a community of 70 people and a large grainery next to the old track, now the trail.  About halfway down the trail a local farmer has piled a very large stack of fence posts.  If you have a long enough lens you may even be able to take some excellent photos.  

This trail is only good for walking on as the railroad grade gravel make riding a bike almost impossible.  In many place walking beside the trail is possible and can be navigated with more ease than the trail.

Previous section

Friday, October 21, 2011

The Eskimo Roll - How to do it

This is an excellent teaching video.  The instructor breaks the Eskimo roll down into it individual pieces, a method called part-whole, and shows you how it is done.  The last time I tried to learn this skill, without taking a course, all I could do was flop around in the water while my friends laughed at me from the shore.


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Musical Spelunking

I found this on  When on an adventure good friends around the proverbial campfire singing a song is about as old as recorded history.  This is the modern rendition.  Watch and enjoy.

Adventures On Tap: Acoustic Spelunking from kristi flango on Vimeo.

Monday, October 17, 2011

The Trails of Glacier National Park

I found this in an online Missoula, Montana online newspaper.  Jake Bramante set himself a goal of hiking all 734 miles of Glacier National Park in one year, 2011.  What I like about this blog is Jake talks about all his hikes and you can get a pretty good idea of what the trails are like.  

Jake has yet to complete his goal but is within 20 miles of the finish line.  If you are interested in finding adventure in Glacier National Park and would like to either see pictures or even some video blog information you can check it out at Jake's blog Hike 734.

It is always exciting to dream about doing something that possibly no else has ever done.  And as far as anyone knows Jake is the first to do all the miles in one year.

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Great Corn Maize Capper

Photo from LA Times
This has been in the news the last couple of days but it is just too funny to pass up. A young family found themselves lost amongst the sway stalks of scrumptious fresh rows of golden corn in Danvers, Massachusetts.

The sun was setting on this adventuresome couple as they wandered lost. What did they do? Call 9-1-1. Out come the local police with a K-9 unit to look for them. What do you suppose happen, the dog found them about 25' from the exit. They question begs to be asked, why didn't they just walk through the corn until they hit the edge of the field and walk around? I suppose that question will not get answered by the unidentified couple but the farmer is getting great publicity for his Maze. Both Leno and Letterman are looking for an appearance.

This is a great example of, think instead of panic, it will you from unnecessary embarrassment and tie up local authorities with something they will end up laughing about for many weeks.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Biker vs Antelope

Evan van der Spuy
This is going around the internet.  The mountain biker is participating in a mountain bike race in South Africa.  It appears the antelope had it in for the biker a one Evan van der Spuy as it intentionally dropped its head to clobber Evan.  This is a great helmet promotional and should be a warning to all who forgo the wearing of a melon bucket.  


Monday, October 10, 2011

Aasgard Pass

Aasgard Pass - Photo provided by Summit
Here is a hike that I think is worth taking but is not for the out of shape or faint of heart.  Aasgard Pass can be reach by two routes.  The first is through Snow Lakes, a much longer route but not as steep and possible less dangerous.  The second route is up through Lake Colchuck, this is the quickest route to the top but certainly not the safest.  People have died in Aasgard Pass. 

The trail to Lake Colchuck is about 5 miles long and the last mile or two climbs through the trees in a punishing series of switchbacks.  Lake Colchuck is a beautiful turquoise colored body of water the color is much more noticeable from the heights of Aasgard.  

Climbing, and I mean climbing, Aasgard Pass takes time and commitment.  The trail starts at the end of Lake Colchuck and winds its way along the left side of the pass, the right side has a stream flowing down it and should be avoided especially when there is snow over it, a lady died in 2010 when she fell through the snow and into the stream.  The trail is marked by a series of cairns, a man made pile of rocks.  There is no exact route and many people have built their own cairn, just make sure to stay on the left side of the pass and keep moving upward.  

Aasgard pass is the high point along the trail to the Enchantments and also requires a permit to access.  Make sure to get a pass because the wilderness rangers will find you.  This is definitely a worth while hike and you will get, in my opinion, one of the best scenic views in the Pacific Northwest.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Extreme Kayaking - A New Video

Here is a very well put together video of some extraordinarily exciting kayaking and rafting.  Instead of saying any more let's just allow the video to say it all.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Essential gear for Biking

For biking there are things to bring along, especially if you are traveling outside of walking distance from your home or car.

1) Helmet - This really is a necessary item.  Everyone crashes from time to time and the helmet can prevent serious injury to the control center of the body.
2) Mirror - All summer I rode my new road bike without one of these and a couple of times drivers, who feel they do not need to give a bike room, whizzed by me and almost sent me into the ditch.  The rear view mirror has decreased the amount of times that has occurred.
3) Spare tire and repair kit - You never know when you will have a flat, they always seem to occur at the most inopportune time.

4) Pump - If you get a flat you better have a way of pumping it back up.

5) Multi-Tool - Other things do go wrong with bikes while on the road and a tool in the tool bag can make the difference between thumbing a ride or finishing the ride.

6) Water

7) Headlight and Taillight - If you are riding before or after the normal hours of daylight you certainly want to be seen by the bigger less maneuverable motorized vehicles.

8) Bike lock (U-bolt type) - Because people really can not be trusted, leaving ones bike unlocked is a sure fire method for getting that newer nicer bike.

9) Gloves - A good set of padded gloves really cut down on the numbness in the hands and make long rides much more comfortable.

10) A little food

Monday, October 3, 2011

Taking Time Out

Photo by D. McMillin
Today I went for a six mile hike out of a need to just get out and enjoy a nice warm but not hot day.  I brought along a kite with me because the wind was blowing and the location, Turnbull Wildlife Refuge has some very open spaces.  

About two miles out I stopped and pulled out the kite for a little fun, the kite is a stunt kite I purchased at REI.  After a couple of minute of painting circle, lines, and other odd shapes across the sky I began to really enjoy a time of standing still and laughing when the kite crashed into the ground, just like a child at play.  This is one of the reasons I get out, to stop and remember what it is like to enjoy life like a child does.  Seeing and doing new things is exactly what children do.  

Though this is a not quite what Jesus meant when he said, "you must be like a child to enter the kingdom of heaven," life is found much more livable when we learn how to enjoy it like a child.