Thursday, June 30, 2005

Rhubarb Tour

I can now check another thing off my Life's List of To-Do's!

Sunday, June 26, 2005

Bound for the Blue Ridge

It's been over a year *gasp* since I've ridden in the Blue Ridge Mtns. Riding on the Parkway is always a ride I enjoy, no matter what part I ride, in what state or how many times. I love it. I couldn't help but notice I've got six days ahead without anything scheduled so that got a couple brain cells a-burnin' and I decided to head north to the mountains.

View from Mt. Mitchell, NC - Highest peak east of the Mississippi
Rarely do I head anywhere on a planned trip without some idea of something to do or someplace to see. This trip, which starts on Friday, is no different. Weather permitting, it'll be a day of wine and music in the mountains at the Wine Down the Music Trail.

Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Lovin' Me Some Kitties

Yesterday I had to stop at the pet supply store to pick up, yes-you guessed it, some pet supplies. While there, I noticed there were three kitties available for adoption. A mom and her three kids were in there lovin' up some kitties and once they left, I kept the love a-comin'.

The first cat I saw was the biggest of the trio, which were all in separate cages. This cat was given up for adoption because its owner was moving and couldn't take the cat. It was an adult cat, a brown tabby, much like my Omega but with longer fur. It was curled up in a fluffy bed and had a melancholy about it... or maybe it was just tired of people coming in there and disturbing her. I'd like to think it was the latter and she just wanted some quality nap time.

The second cat was an itty bitty thing, with long and lanky legs. She had greenish eyes that were a color I've never seen in nature... they were stunning. I was mesmerized by them. She was very talkative, which I love in a cat. The description details on the cage label said she didn't like cats. Hmm. A little girl with a 'tude. She was extremely affectionate towards me, so hopefully she'll go to someone who loves receiving lovin' in return. I rubbed her jawline through the cage and she'd purr with a passion. On occasion she'd reach her paw through the cage, which seemed to rip at my heart. I didn't allow myself to feel sad, however. I thought with certainty that she'd have a loving person to have as her very own.

There was a black and white cat in the next cage, which are commonly referred to as tuxedo cats. Like the kitty next to it, she would reach her paw through the cage to touch my hand. She had a sweet temperment and a soothing purr, too. Her description said she was an active kitty and I would imagine she'd do well with kids. The little girl who was in the room before me sure took a liking to the "Sylvester cat", as she called it.

While sharin' some love with these girls, I thought of my own three girls at home. They were adopted kitties and have been a tremendous joy in my life. Zoe, Cleo and Omega are sisters from the same litter but you'd never know by looking at them. They are different in appearance and personality and each have their unique qualities that make each of them incredibly special. This is Zoe, my big gray snuggle bear. She can commonly be heard talking to me while I'm on the phone with someone, she has no manners when it comes to phone etiquitte.

Tuesday, June 21, 2005

Fresh Produce

One thing I love about summer and rural areas is the abundance of fresh produce and homemade edibles for sale by local farmers. When the tummy says "let's snack", my eyes are peeled for a roadside seller. The fruits never taste any sweeter and the customer service is better than any vending machine or corner convenient store.

Ward, Alabama

Sunday, June 19, 2005

I Saw The Signs

Viewing photos taken from March 2004 to March 2005 reminds me of the many miles ridden during that year. I won't venture a guess at how many there were but I can safely say somewhere along those miles were 25 states and more than 70 national parks. I would never have imagined seeing some of the places I saw, many I didn't even know existed.

The parks that left the greatest imprint on my mind and heart are those in the southwest. There's a definite sense of calm I feel when I'm in that part of the country... it's a soul-soother and a place where any moments spent there are not long enough.

April Snow in Utah
I was thrilled to see the snow-capped mountain peaks as I made my way to Bryce. I couldn't resist stomping around in the snow to get a photo of my riding boots in the frozen precipitation. As I stood at an overlook around 9,000 feet in elevation, it had really hit me where I'd been only a few days before. I rode from the sands of the Atlantic Ocean to the sands of the Pacific Ocean then rose to the mountains to stand in snow. I felt a tremendous sense of accomplishment but more than that, the overwhelming sense of wonderment.
Zion, Utah
Zion completely stunned me as I rolled into the visitor's center on Earth Day. I pulled into a parking spot beneath a cottonwood and stood looking up at the sky and the rocky walls surrounding me. The cottonwoods were releasing their fluffy white seeds and I imagined standing in falling snow. The image is forever burned in my memory, it was purely magical. Coincidentally, I called Neil as soon as I dismounted and he said it was snowing where he was. I felt like I could completely relate to his surroundings.
Red rock of Utah.
Tannish red rock of Utah.
One of the many tunnels I rumbled through.
Taking this picture seemed like an easy one with a guaranteed usable result. I'd just attempted to take photos of a male turkey and his three lady friends but that didn't work out as I'd hoped. It was fun to be out there alone, no traffic to consider. I laid along the painted lines and snapped a few pics and enjoyed the freedom I felt while lying there. It was just a moment later that a truck pulled up behind me with a laughing driver behind the wheel. Where'd he come from?? Was I that lost in the moment?
Cabrillo, California
I've got to hand it to the rangers at this national park. They were very tolerant of me and Doug, a fellow rider who rode the 50CC when I did. Doug agreed to roll around the San Diego area with me so I could hit this national park for my stamp. While in the visitor's center, we were literally crying from laughter as we read through the guest book. We tried like hell to keep our laughter at a light roar but it was so difficult! I'm sure nothing we read was that amusing and it was just our fatigue wreaking havoc on us. We'd both ridden coast to coast as well as complete a Bun Burner Gold (1,500 miles in less than 24 hours). We were tired and the simplest silly things tickled us profoundly. After easing things over with a ranger, we rode to a rocky cliff just outside the park and watched the sun set. I didn't know Doug until that ride and it was a nice place to talk and learn a little something about someone.
Desert rock and blooms.
Aztec Ruins, New Mexico
Tunnel road in the Jemez Mtns., New Mexico.
After winding my way around southern California, Nevada, Utah and Colorado, I stopped in north central New Mexico to visit with my brother Doug and his familia. It was a special treat to have my brother all to myself for one day. He took me out for a long drive through the Jemez Mountains. My brother is very knowledgeable about the area he calls home so it was an educational tour as well as simple sightseeing venture. One stop we made along our way was at the Valles Caldera. (Tonya at Adventure Journalist was recently there and has fabulous photos from her visit. Check out her June 15 entry.)

Tree Trunk

Time can make soft that iron wood.
The tallest trunk that ever stood,
In time, without a dream to keep,
Crawls in beside the root to sleep.
-Edna St. Vincent Millay

Saturday, June 18, 2005


Trust your hopes.
If you do not hope,
you will not find what
is beyond your hopes.
-St. Clement
New Mexico, April 2004

Sunday, June 12, 2005

Letter Stealing

This is big fun! I couldn't complete the *^#@! sentence I was trying to make because there were 21 other stealers on while I was! Bastidges! Warning! Your blood pressure WILL rise while participating!

Tribute to E.T.

Elliot: He's a man from outer space and we're taking him to his spaceship.
Greg: Well, can't he just beam up?
Elliot: This is REALITY, Greg.

E.T.'s Retired Ride, Columbia, SC June 2005

Friday, June 10, 2005


As common practice, I will hit Yahoo to search for things that interest me, puzzle me, or just allow me to pass time. I have this photo of a fish and a boy from the Columbian excursion and didn't have a snappy caption to add to it so I hit Yahoo. What I found was a pretty groovy band from the northeast called Boy With a Fish. The lead singer definitely sounds like Michael Stipe and I dig the accordion... the sounds reminds me a bit of John Mellencamp, whom I believe I'll always love.

And yeah, I'm still missing a catchy caption!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Road Trip

O public road
I say back
I am not afraid to leave you
Yet I love you
You express me better than I can express myself.
~Walt Whitman

Columbia, South Carolina - June 2005

Saturday found me on a road trip to Columbia for an overnighter. It was there I met bricotrout with the hopes of attending a bluegrass concert. What false advertising that was! What we actually discovered was a hokey quartet dressed in country/western wear belting out old country songs like Waylon Jennings' "Good Hearted Woman". Fortunately, the performance was in a riverside park and FREE, so the setting was nice for walking and relaxing in the shade with a cool breeze a-blowin'.

Prior to the concert, we roamed around an antique shop's lot. It was a photography mecca for Brice but I wasn't feeling quite so inspired. I wonder if the large number of ant bites on my ankle had any impact??! The buggers bit me after I took my first shot, this entrance photo... just where exactly IS the entrance?!?!