Monday, February 1, 2010

Crazy carpets

So I've been having a blast this winter. It's not really winter here in Kamloops, with the average temp for the last 3 weeks at +3 deg or so, and all the snow melted from the valley. We are road riding down low and xc skiing up high, so it is an ideal combination. I mean, we have about 10 activities to choose from each day with the trainer rusting in the basement!

The biggest news by far this year is that I got engaged to Catherine Elizabeth Vipond. Yep, that was crazy carpet adventure # 1. Just before Christmas we went for a hike up a local mountain in the Kamloops area, and built a snowman at the top. I wrote the words in the snow (it covered about 75m square), and she said yes! Then we crazy carpeted back down parts of the way, where it was steep enough and didn’t have too many rocks. Definitely got a few bruises on the hips from the rocks.

For Christmas we drove down to Corvallis Oregon and visited with my brother Adam and his girlfriend Sarah and my parents who flew out. We did a sweet road ride up Marry’s peak until we hit snow, and some good mtb rides both there and in Bend. The xc skiing at Mt Bachelor in Bend was awesome, with berms and tabletop jumps built into one of the trails, you could ski it like a bike trail.

Then when we got back home I worked a bit more, (as a finish carpenter = doors, trim, cabinets etc), and looked for the next adventure.

Crazy carpet adventure # 2 originated from xc skiing 80km/week at the Stake Lake ski area. At one point (the absolute furthest from the parking lot), I saw where a large spruce tree had broken off and split length-wise right around a growth ring, forming a piece of wood about 12 feet long and shaped like a canoe or a C. Anyway, I thought it was really cool, and decided to get it to make a vertical display shelving unit for something cool like rocks and bike parts or whatever. So first off I had to build a sled, which involved at least 5 power tools, some scrap wood, and 2 crazy carpets.

Then we drove up to the ski area and parked as close as we could (6km away). Next we skate skied in pulling the sled (it was faster than me on the downhills). When we got to the tree I nailed some wood onto the trunk as lader rungs, and climbed up in my slippery ski boots to cut the piece of wood off. Only part way through my sawblade broke. Then we threw a rope over the top and Catherine was able to break it off and pull the tree down. I trimmed it to length with an axe, and loaded it onto the sled with a 3rd crazy carpet attached to the back because it was so long.

Then picture a very out of control transport truck on icy roads, and that was what I was like pulling it. Very slow pulling 100lbs up hill, and then it would try and pass me on either side on the way down hills, and try and run me over too. Luckily Catherine was able to ski behind holding a rope and snowplow on the downhills so we had a bit of control. It fit in the car from on top of the dash to the back of the trunk. Now we have peeled it and it is drying in the basement.

CC adventure # 3 was just yesterday. Catherine and I drove up near sun peaks, and took a back road, that lead to another back road, and then up a logging road. We drove up 3km in the trusty 2wd vibe, and then we put the chains on and went another 1km up. It was pretty impressive driving up a 20% grade logging road that had snow over ice. Eventually when we got to where it was 10 cm deep snow and 25% we spun out.

From there we snowshoed 5km up the road, and then another 4km with some bushwacking (in 1m deep snow then) to the top of a mountain by Tod mountain. We snowshoe ran back down, and when we got to steep enough parts of the logging road we crazy carpeted. The last section was by far the best (the one we couldn’t make up in the car). It was about 500m at 20-25%, with a fresh 4X4 tire track (they only made it 500m farther than us). For this pitch I dove on the crazy carpet and got up to 35km/hr! Now that doesn’t sound fast for people who ride bikes, but when your face is 5cm off the ground and your ribs and hips are bouncing along with snow flying into your face it’s fast. We both had headaches afterwards, and I have a stiff neck today. There aren't any crazy carpet pictures because how do you hold a camera let alone take a picture in that position at speed.

Hope you’re all having great adventures!