Nancy Cycles!

Nancy Cycles!
"You got to be careful if you don't know where you are going, because you might not get there." ... Yogi Berra

Monday, July 22, 2013

Our final day out West

Sunday 7/22/2013

First a lesson. The town is not Mazahhma (as in momma, the way most of us western WA folks pronounce it), it is Mazama as in Alabama.

The welcome sign indicates all the activities that Mazama has to offer

Our group of wonderful women went their separate ways today, a few chose to ride UP Washington Pass and back down, a few went hiking or walking, some drove directly home, Kristi relaxed and Susan fished, and three of us (Vickie, Connie and I) did a final bike ride in and around Mazama.

John Boy Walton seems to have parked his truck here


Even the birds get a rustic cabin

Fighting a headwind along the road, we were getting parched. The cabin that Connie was sharing with others was nearby so we stopped in for a restroom break, colder water than was in our bottles, and even got some ice for the road.

I gotta a brand new pair of roller skates, you gotta brand new key...

At the top of a deceivingly longgggg hill we found the swimming hole under the bridge. We didn't swim this time, but walking in the cold water revived us for the ride back. Well, that and the food we ate for lunch.

Iced tea & coffee again at the end of the ride, and then our real goodbyes.

Susan met up with me and we drove to the Blues Festival in Winthrop. Audrey, the owner of the hostel where we are staying, had received comp tickets to the festival and could not use them. She generously gave them to us! These were $80.00 tickets, so we feel very fortunate and thankful for them.

The temp by the time we got to the grounds was 96 degrees and we lasted only about an hour and a half in the afternoon sun. We went home for a shower and cooling down then came out for a little evening music, bringing pizza for dinner on the lawn while we sat and listened.


Photo with phone (no camera with me) to show the venue


People lined up to walk through the water mister for relief from the heat


26th Annual Winthrop Rhythm and Blues Festival

This wraps up our out west adventure for this time. We have more adventure come, but first home to the chores and tasks that await. See you soon though. Thanks for following along with us.


Sunday, July 21, 2013

Our Rainbow Rider group arrives

Friday & Saturday 7/19&20/2013

Vickie and I met for a nice long ride on Friday morning, and Susan would spend the day fishing and catching along the Boulder River. We got an early start for our ride - 8:00 -- to beat some of the heat and were successful until around 1:00. We stopped in at the Cinnamon Twisp in, well, Twisp for an iced tea and crumpet (the best cinnamon roll I have ever had) before facing our last hot ten miles home.

We had a few roadside attractions.

A "sculpture park" in the middle of farmland


Close of one of the sculptures
A well fortified mail box


This would suffice for the osprey nest I biked by in Superior and the mama screamed warning for me to stay away


Heron sculpture in the pond


The Heron has caught a fish

We returned home in mid afternoon, in time for a shower and to get ready for dinner with our group of cyclists who were gradually arriving for the weekend. Dinner was a cookout hosted by our friends Gay and Mary Ann who live here. We had our usual fun time together, and planned our rides and meals for the following day - Saturday.

Fourteen (14!) of us rode our bikes and four of us did other activities on Saturday. WOW! We had 18 women (Rainbow Riders) join this weekend event. Mazama/Winthrop is a long drive from Seattle, and when first thinking of doing this event, Gay and I thought we might get five or six rainbows come out for it. Each and all of the 18 who are here have not only had a fantastic time, they want to make this a annual event! We'll work on it.

The ride was along the Chewuch River, the route Susan and I did on my birthday, but in the other direction. We were smart to get an early start again, but the heat still caught up with us by noon.

Connie was the first rider to come upon the cows in the road

This is a free range area and Connie slowed way down when she came upon the herd of cows, one that was clawing its hoof at the ground as an intimidating gesture.

Lots of bike lined up at the falls for lunch

We rode up as far as the Falls and had our lunch before heading back and having a stop at a water hole for a swim. I got no photos of our glorious time at the little beach along the Chewuch River. We all took the plunge into the icy river and, once in, felt oh so refreshed. After lingering at the beach with a few more plunges for a while, we headed home.

On the way is a Cider Shop where only a few of us remembered to stop for some chilled cider. I was remiss in not emphasizing the stop and will be sure to do a better job of that next year!

Refreshing Cider stop for a few of us

Most of us gathered at the Rocking Horse coffee shop for (iced) tea and crumpets in Winthrop at the end of the route, sat at a picnic table in the shade and overlooking the river and watched a group of floating rafters. We parted with the plan to meet at Jill's cabin for dinner. And what a spread we had there! We had a few rainbows volunteer to cook, and the rest of us brought something to go with the main course.

The loud mixture of laughing, chatting and moving about was, as usual, music to my ears.

A few of us will go on a short ride tomorrow (Sunday), a few will hike or walk somewhere, and a couple will ride over Washington Pass -- for the fun of it. We had our hugs and goodbyes for this time with our normal plan to ride again soon.


Friday, July 19, 2013

Hike to Cutthroat Lake

Thursday 7/18/2013

Susan has been so good about biking with me, this would be my day to do a hike with her to a fishing hole. Hiking has become one of my less favorite activities because my body rebels. I never know if I will have pain in my back, hip, leg, knees -- or wherever! This day I was pain free -- even wearing knee sleeve turned out to be unnecessary.

This is my kind of hike! A little more than two miles each way and relatively flat -- as in no climbing. I had a great time and now think I would like to do more hikes of similar nature (once in a while).

Crossing the bridge at the beginning of the hike
North Cascades
North Cascades

The object of this hike was fishing. Susan carried in her gear -- rod, flies, and clothing (mostly what she wore to hike in).

Susan's rod is in her pack


Beautiful scenery ahead of me too ;'-)

Once we got to the lake, Susan set me up for a relaxing hour or two while she fished along the river/creek. She knew to get me protected from the flying insects and set up with food, chair and foot rests so that I would not bug her to quit fishing too soon!

Set up in the screen tent with a camp chair and snacks -- forgot to bring my book

Susan got a bit more than an hour of fishing -- and catching -- and I got a nap.

More of the North Cascades

We hiked out and drove back toward home. The minute I was able to get phone coverage our friend Vickie (H) called to say she was had arrived in town and would meet up with us for dinner later. We had a great dinner in Twisp and Vickie and I planned our biking day that would free up Susan to do an all day fishing outing with no guilt.



Wednesday 7/17/2013

Grrrrrrrrrr -- I had finished this post and could not publish it. When I went back later it was gone! So this is a second attempt, and may be a shortened version as I have little time this morning, and -- I may not recall it all from two days ago ;'-)

We awoke to a bit of rain this morning and, being true Seattleites, we so enjoyed the cool refreshing feel it gave us. We have had very little rain on this vacation and apparently we have missed it. In addition, it gave us a reason excuse to be less active today. We did a driving tour of the area.

I don't know if our fire has had influence, but we were interested in touring the Smokejumpers Base.

Born here in Twisp in 1939

Luke is a rookie, has yet to make a jump and is waiting anxiously for his training to be over with so that he can become an active jumper. Susan thought he said there are 350 and I thought he said 700 jumpers in the nation. Either way, they are an elite group.

Luke gives us a demo of getting into the jump suits

There is a rigorous physical strength and agility test one must pass before being accepted into the crew. Then there is ongoing workouts and training. You can see by Luke how in shape one must be.

Suits, masks and gear are hung at the ready for jumpers to get into in about 30 seconds


Parachutes are hung to dry before being inspected and folded on the long tables. Here is a model of a dressed jumper ready for action.


Food, watr, tools and gear get dropped from the plane with four days worth of supplies


Inside the plane we see the set up and get a lesson on how it all happens from the air



Not equipped to jump -- in more ways than one


The wings are made from work gloves

After the great tour that Luke gave us, we drove on for a visit to the Fish Hatchery. Last year CFR (Casting for Recovery) held part of their camp lessons here. CFR is a fly fishing retreat and teaching camp for women recovering from breast cancer. Susan has attended for several years now, and last year became one of the instructors.

CFR campers are insured success in catching fish

The fly casting was taught on land in a different location and the fishers were brought here for the catching of fish. Always nice to be successful at a new endeavor.

By the end of our driving tour the rain had stopped but we remained in rain mode. We relaxed at the cabin, did some reading, napping and playing Rummi Kub on the porch. Another fine, and full day.


Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Birthday in the Saddle

Tuesday 7/16/2013

Deferring to my birthday (yes Jim Ali, I am THAT old), Susan agreed to a nice bike ride today -- but brought along her flyfishing gear as well ;'-). After our breakfast at the Duck Brand Cantina, and a trip to the gas station (!) to pick up a couple of sandwiches, we hopped in the saddle for our ride out on the Chewuch River Road. We negotiated a few hills, but nothing bad.

The road was quiet of auto traffic, and eventually there was no traffic. There were horse ranches and we could have even rented a horse for the day (not I!). Cows and other farm animals rounded out the scenery.

An old sign -- I don't know what a Charolais cow is

It took only a little prodding, but I managed to persuade Susan to ride to the Falls Creek Falls to have our lunch.

Susan made to the falls


A birthday picture
Birthday lunch at the falls

After lunch it was my turn to give back some time for Susan to do some fishing in the Chemuch River.

Susan is releasing a small fish she caught as soon as she had her line in the water


No time to take off her bike helmet, Susan is ready at any moment to fish


A butterfly joins me in my wait for Susan at the river

It became quite hot by mid afternoon and our water bottles held tepid water! We found the city park once we entered town and refilled with cooler (not cold) water before completing our day on the road. And just around the corner was Sheri's Ice Cream shop (again). An ice cream soda was EXACTLY what we needed to wet and soothe our parched throats. Ahhhhhhhh.

Showers, a move into the new cabin and a trip to the School House Brewery ended our adventure for this day.


Tuesday, July 16, 2013

A Town Without Electricty

Monday 7/15/2013

Our friend Vicki, in Missoula, warned us to keep an eye on the fire near Winthrop. Oh no! Not more fire worries.

We kept our eye out and saw some dissipating smoke in the distance as we neared Winthrop, and once in town learned that there was no electricity here or in the neighboring town of Twisp. The fire that is somewhere in the valley, knocked out a transformer and thus electricity was lost and would return at about midnight. There was one place in town that had a generator going and was open for business. The Ice Cream shop. Our dinner consisted of the sandwiches that Maura had sent with us, and a HUGE Ice Cream Waffle cone. Oh well, we had to sacrifice somewhere.

Our plan is to stay here for about a week. Susan researched and found that the new Hostel in town would be opening several cabins as well this summer. So she signed us up for a cabin. We arrived at the Hostel to find that the cabins are not yet completed (or built for that matter) due to lots of glitches the young owners have run into. We will be staying in what will become their own home at some (hopefully soon) time. It too has not quite been completed so we stayed the first night in the bunkhouse as no one else was there this night.

Nice Hostel right in the town of Winthrop
Their (Audrey and Paul) future home cabin behind the hostel building
The bunkhouse for us alone the first night here
We met the friendly Biscuit rescued from the pound just two weeks ago and is very adjusted to her new home

We are told to not expect this would be the norm for the upcoming cabins that will not have the conveniences of indoor bathroom, shower or other amenities. We feel rather fortunate for the cabin we get this year. Though the cabin is not complete -- finishing touches as well as plumbing -- this will be our home for the next week.

Step onto the sofa to get to the bed in the loft


Kitchen not quite complete, but we have air conditioning


Our outside deck


This is as far as they have gotten on construction of any additional cabins they had hoped to have done by this month. Perhaps for the winter crowd.

It sounds like the future cabins will be somewhat like those at KOA -- bare bones.


UPDATE OF "OUR" WILDFIRE: The report we just read from about half an hour ago says that there are 1300 acres and is still at zero percent contained. Crews are now working to clear brush ahead of the fire and attempt to keep it from rolling downhill -- toward our friend's cabin. We called Carl and he says it is very smokey; the crews did some back burning on the hill; the road is closed to anyone coming in, and if anyone (them) leaves, they will not be allowed back in; they figure they have enough food to last them for four days; the fire is burning now more to the east of them, and they feel that they and their cabin are safe -- but there is no guarantee.