Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Bugaboos!

The last time I (Wes) saw the Bugs was about 15 years ago, when we stopped by for ONE DAY on our way home to Montana. If you are a climber, that is akin to having two bites of the world's best gourmet feast before it is ripped away and replaced by a stale corn dog. Needless to say, I was excited to come back for a longer jaunt, and to teach Steffy the mystical ways of the marvelous instrument we call the piolet.
After we finished our bike tour in the Canadian Rockies (below), we hitched back up to Jasper, grabbed the car, and headed to the Bugaboos for about a week. What a wonderful place to be. We slept in Ray and Meg's mega tent. I think that we had about three times the room as in Stef's little guy. By the end of this last trip we had slept about two months of this summer in a tent. What fun! We climbed a few great classic climbs with longer then normal approaches and descents due to the warm weather, which made one of the main passes very dangerous.

Steffy in the mornin'... How cool!

Approaching the Pigeon Spire. Stef got to jump some cravasses, and learn why we cross snow bridges so early in the morning!

The Howsers, from the summit of Pigeon. What a FUN route!

Pigeon and the Howsers, from the base of Snowpatch. Note the climbers on the icefield following us. Is that great or what!

Maybe that piolet will make a good cam-hook?

"Yeah! I'm back!"

"I hope the porcupines don't eat our brake lines."

Jasper to Hayden Lake, ID - 8 day, 810 k Tandem tour

After we got back from Europe we came up to Jackson while we looked for jobs. Wes happened to find one in Jackson doing robotic engineering. But they didn't want Wes to start for another month so we took off for another adventure. We road our bikes from Jasper to Hayden ID. It was 500 miles of wonderful Canadian Rockies. Here are a few pic.

Happy camper.

Right here the river disappears into a hole in the limestone. It drops 100 ft in a 3 ft wide slot within 6 feet! There are no signs to mark the spot, either. Cool!

Somewhere in Idaho near here, we finally blew out one of out Continental Ultra Gatorskin tires, which we put about 3000 km (many of them rough) on in Europe and Canada, with one pinch and one puncture over some serious roads. After I put on our spare tube and tire, we had - I am not making this up - at least 12 pinch flats in 2 days. We burned up all our spare rubber, patches, and emergency equip, and finally had to to limp it in (pumping the tire every 1.5 km) within hitchhiking range of a walmart for a new spare, etc. I will not be buying the REI brand tires again! Go Continentals!

We sure loved this ride! 4 bears, two sheep herds, and endless beauty! This is a highly recommended route!

Pics from Europe

Thursday, June 25, 2009

There and back again

Hello all! This will be the last update before we hit the states, and then I swear you'll get pictures. We just had some bangers and mash and a big pile of fish 'n chips a block from Piccadilly circus in London, with a pint of ale very much in the flavor of Coopersmiths. Yesterday was our last riding day, and we rolled into Zurich for the best stealth camp ever. The youth hostel was - I am not making this up - $90 plus $30 to get there, but we found a picture perfect hidden park 100 meters from the airport. Park bench, under a tree, the whole bit. We topped off our last night in Switzerland with a fancy-pants cheese fondue dinner, which was 1) amazing, and 2) astonishingly easy to pull off on the dragonfly and highly recommended. Major bonus points here, fellas! 30 km in the morning for coffee and we rounded out our trip at 2345 km! Dinner in Londen, and we'll stealth in the airport tonight.


Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The gorgeous - so we hear - German countryside

Sorry, no pics again! The functionality of USB on the surprisingly rare internet access point has been 1 for 5. I´ll edit all this stuff with real pics when we get home. For now, here´s the update! And Addie, the numbers are the daily/cumulative kilometers. I am loving my GoLite puffy, by the way. Sehr Gut!

From Vienna, which is locally Wien, pronounced 'veen'... from which we get 'Wiener', which is akin to 'one from Wien'...

Day 18. 15/1490 km. Vienna and back by train. We spent a nice off day looking at statues and what not in Vienna, which is really a great city to see on foot, like Rome. I ate approximately every 100 meters.

Day 19. 88/1573 km. St. Polten - Grein. A nice day, but we had a stout headwind. It was obvious we were going the wrong way, with windmills everywhere, facing the same way we were, and spinning like crazy, and oodles of cyclists going the other way giggling. Last night it really howled. We joined the VERY popoular cycle route along the Donau river after 30 km, and stayed at a campground in the evening. We stopped for a bite at a pretty stone building that turned out to be a world heritage site, the Stift Melk, with the most unbelieveable reliefs and gilded carvings in the cathedral, and frescoes to match. Quite amazing and unexpected. The pretty building that drew us in was only a gate post! We also ran into a couple from vail who are doing a similar trip, and we met them again the next day also.

Day 20. 116/1689 km. Grein - Schlogen. I bet we passed 200-300 cyclists today. Only one had a tent. The first half of the day was so-so, but after lunch the traffic died off (most cycle tourists we see are 50-65, and go 30-40 km a day, on plastic) and the scenery improved. I bet our total integrated elevation profile gain/loss today was less than 20 feet. Very flat = very fast! We found a great beach to finish the evening by a great stealtch camping site. A little clevery shrubbery and we were so invisible.

Day 21. 97/1788 km. Schlogen - Egglfing, Germany. After a great breakfast and a nice morning tour, we hit the confluence of the Inn and the Donau, which was very pretty both naturally and architecturally. After luch, where we met a 60+ retired couple about 6 months into a cycle tour, we picked the 'ugly' side of the river for a hot 'n sweaty 40 km to a great campground in Egglfing am der Inn. We met three couples today over 50 who were repeated long-distance cycle tourers. How cool!

Day 22. 66/1854 km. Egglfing - Burghausen. When it rains, it pours! We were warned last night of impending rain, and it opened up before we left camp. In the pouring rain, which never let up, we blew a chain, which ate a deraileur, and killed the front rack during the repair. I screwed up the chain repair, so five hours later when we found a bike shop, the new derailer was similarly obliterated in ten minutes. Back to the shop, a new chain and deraileur, and at 6 pm the shop owner gave up and left us with one functional gear, no brakes, an irreplaceble cable he cut two inches too short, and a bill for 140 euros, and went home. All in the rain. Major suckfest. We limped it into Burghausen, to find the hostel closed at 9 pm... BUT! we ended up at a nice pension next to the longest castle in europe! What a relief! They could have charged us any price at that point...

Day 23. 116/1969 km. Burghausen - Hundham. A very nice day after yesterday. I repaired the new deraileur so we get two gears now, and fixed the brakes, rack, etc. The rain only hit us twice. We stealthed in a pretty forest camp by a stream. It was a very pretty day with rolling green hills and the German alps to the side.

Day 24. 110/ 2079 km. Hundham - Bad Kohlgrub. This was a much nicer day than the previous, with 3 or 4 showers and sun in between. Lunch in Murnau was pretty, and the views were again great. Too bad we never did see the high Alps. We caught up with a cycle tour guide and rode together for 30 km or so in about 45 minutes. I guess the stimulating conversation got our blood pumping! Big rain dictated an impromptu stealth camp a bit early, and it rained all night. We found our first bad wine, too! You have to get really cheap wine for that...

Day 25. 53/2133 km. Bad Kohlgrub - Fussen//Lindau. Quite cold and reainy today. The rain turned to snow about 700 m up, and it really took it out of us. Poor Stef passed out on me from the cold and wet. I also made another 15 km detour - yesterday too - and then we laid the bike down crossing a railroad in the rain, trying to dodge another bike. We limped into Fussen and elected to take a train to gain half a day or so, and to dry out a little. That bike repair day had cost us mileage we couldn't afford, and the wreck left us needing to make 140 km a day to make our flight. Stef's castle was invisible in the murk (she has been talking about it for months. Really Cinderalla and all. Long blond hairs hanging out the windows.) so we got a postcard. Almost the same. It was nice to take the train though!

So, we have today and tomorrow to make it into Zurich, which we should be able to do. We are getting stronger, and the longer days are getting 'shorter'. Stef hurt her knee when we wrecked, so we'll see how she does. Looks like a couple more days of rain for us. We look forward to seeing everyone!