Monday, December 14, 2015

Finals Week

Things are going pretty well with a few exceptions. All the work I put in on the drain pipe from the French drain didn’t fully solve the problem. There is still a very small flow even though I dug down several inches below the drain pipe and where the flow comes out of the ground and put in two tractor buckets of good clay. I must not have gone deep enough but I am not going to worry about it. I diverted the small flow back into the trench I dug and that seems to be working to save the road. If I ever get some money, I will hire a pro to fix the problem. I responded to Tracy’s unfair e-mail and explained why I have been more than generous with her. She will get her money (likely between 45 and 60K) when I sell the hollow and not sooner. The contract I initiated with her (a very generous one) states that clearly so I have no idea how she can write that my “promises are cruel and empty.” I am sorry she is angry but I am undeserving of it. My classes are almost over (it’s finals week) and I will be off for 5 weeks. I have decided to have my knee done in May and next Tuesday I should get a cortisone shot from Dr. Gardner. I’m hoping that will hold me till May. I am in too much pain all the time so I really have to do the surgery. Had a nice dinner with Cathy Gallo on Saturday and it now seems that Lou can work as long as he wants to. I am meeting Claire tomorrow and we will have a good chat. On Thursday, I am planning to take Maddie and Claire out to dinner and then to the Cinebowl to use up the video game card I bought for them. That should be fun. Kelly is still struggling a bit and I hope I have been able to help her some.

Sunday, December 6, 2015

A rough day

I had a very difficult day, though the kayak trip with my friend ended with a fine bunch of waves. She was very good and she wasn’t too cold when we finished up. I got too upset in the middle of our trip and it was because of the e-mail from Tracy, who really blasted me, and I think unfairly. I brought up some of the unfair things that have happened to me at Radford and my friend was supportive though she didn’t see everything my way, which is reasonable. Anyway, I dug up the buried treasure yesterday with the farm tractor so I don’t have to worry about anybody finding it and none of it is still on the property. I wasn’t feeling great this morning and tonight I feel on the verge of getting sick. I know when I have such a stressful day that I am likely to get sick. I have finished up all but one of the 444 papers and I have made up all the part twos of the final exams so the movie questions are the only things that remain. I am sorry Tracy is so angry with me but I really do think I have been more than fair with her. When I sell the hollow she will receive a lot of money (at least 40K) and she will get even more since I am going to give her half of any of the added value I receive from the electricity and from the right of way (if the sissons will sell it to me). I don’t have to money to pay Tracy now and the contract is clear that she gets her money when I sell the hollow, not before. My friend thinks she will never forgive me and perhaps she is right.

Friday, December 4, 2015

One Week of Classes Left

Another week goes by and it is time to catch up. No big news this week. I finished my 13th week of teaching so I only have one more week of teaching and then a week of finals. I have started grading the 444 papers and they are about as expected. I hiked this morning and then worked some on my drainage project, adding the two ten-foot sections and putting some clumps of dirt to keep them in place. I just got an email from my kayaking friend and we are going on Sunday at 1. I met Claire on Wednesday and had a good chat with her. She met Gyorgyi and I was glad they got to meet. I ordered a present for Lucia and I asked Kelly if it would be okay to send her a birthday card but I haven’t heard from her so I’m not sure what to do. I called TIAA to find out about the switch to ICMA and the fellow assured me that I wouldn’t lose any money and he thought that since my money is all in guaranteed accounts, then it probably wouldn’t be forced to move. The incredible violence in this country has me thinking of moving to Canada when I retire. It really is a bad time to be living here. I have set up my colonoscopy for the 5th of January and Claire should be able to come with me. Then I may just drift down South for a week or two before the spring semester. AEP has dropped off supplies but they haven’t started work yet. I think I can keep the generator going until they finish, then I will have Power Zone come pick it up and service it.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A good thanksgiving even with the loss of my Aunt Rose

My trip to New York and New Jersey went well, although it was marred by the death of my aunt rose at 99. She died on the Friday before Thanksgiving and I went to the wake on Monday and the burial on Tuesday at Moravian cemetery. I caught up with my cousin Tina and chatted a lot with Alana and Jeffrey, two of her three children. My visit to Gabes was also good, although Julian got sick after he played for 2 hours at the Children’s Museum and I had to get him home in a cab. The next day I babysat him at home and it was kind of boring since I couldn’t go out until they all returned in the late afternoon. My visit to Gyorgyi’s brother for Thanksgiving was very good. Laura was very glad to see me and Gyorgyi and I played with her for hours. Andrew provided and excellent dinner and Sylvia (not spelled correctly) was nice to spend time with. At dinner we all had to give a short speech telling what we were thankful for and Laura said she was very glad I came to visit, and that she liked that I was funny and liked to play with her. The next day Laura and I went for a walk to the playground and had a very nice chat. I am looking forward to seeing Tina and her kids, Julian and Laura in the springtime. I returned on Saturday and went home to check out the road before I headed into town. On Sunday, I got the tractor out and finished digging out the trench and then partly buried the 50 piece of plastic 4 inch pipe. It is draining perfectly into the stream and saving my road. I got a hike in and I played piano (not bad since I hadn’t played in 10 days). I talked with Kelly and I think I cheered her up a bit. It makes me sad when she is struggling. AEP dropped off some supplies today and a backhoe with a 12 inch wide bucket (which seems too wide for the trench but I’m not sure). I think they will start very soon. I ordered the 8 speed cam for my bike and Ian is going to put it in very good shape. The whole project should cost about 500.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thanksgiving approaches, just in time

I had a wonderful visit from my 203 students today. They really enjoyed the hollow and the hike and we had some good food and good conversation. I had the house in nice shape and tomorrow I will try to do some work on my trench with the water from the French drain. Classes are still going well with not big problems. I have one class left before the break and I am ready to get up to New York to see Gabes, Francesca and Julian and then Gyorgyi’s niece Laura. It should be fun. I texted Kelly some and I think we will chat this week at some point. She seems okay but is still feeling guilty about the house. Gyorgyi and I had a nice dinner at Rockfish Grill and went to see a very well done movie, Bridge of Spies. Tom Hanks was very good and the Russian agent was excellent. I still have lettuce so that is fun but the cold is coming. Bryan got the approval from the County on Monday so the AEP work should start very soon. I should have electricity by late December. Bryan’s overall bill will be about 3,000 and that I can afford. I just hope AEP doesn’t hit stone and they have to charge me several thousand to get through it.

Friday, November 6, 2015

My electricity is on hold

It is almost a catch up blog but since it is Friday I guess I am a little early. There seems to be a problem with the electrical permit. Bryan called me yesterday and asked if I had called the county since it seems someone has. I certainly didn’t, as I assured him, and he said he would go down today and try to see what is going on. I was hoping to have electricity by mid-December but late December is probably more realistic. I am still eating lettuce out of the garden and that is a treat. Two days ago I took the tractor out and dug a trench for the water pouring out near the greenhouse and that has dried up the upper part of the road completely. I purchased 70 feet of flexible pipe and I hope to get the trench fully dug and the pipe in by next week. No big rush on that since the road is now protected. I got the lawn tractor back today (241 dollars for servicing it) and I rode up to the house to cut up some of the remaining leaves and then did the same on the orchard road and in the orchard. That should help with evening the road since too many leaves prevent the scraper from working right. I saw Claire during the week and that was fun. I am supposed to join the Gallos for dinner tomorrow to celebrate Cathy’s birthday. I have two gift cards for her from her favorite stores. Kelly seemed a little down when I talked to her but she didn’t call back so I think she is handling things okay. Two more weeks till Thanksgiving break and I am looking forward to seeing Julian and Laura. I’m sure I will have fun with both of them. Had a nice walk with Rob yesterday and things are going well for him. I will be having my 444 class out tomorrow and I have done the major cleaning today. An hour and a half tomorrow should finish things. We will be moving into the new building in June, and I told Rosemary I won’t be ready with all my packing until the spring semester ends since I will need to use some of my stuff until then. I certainly don’t want to be looking in boxes until then. I haven’t heard back from CEA about my paper proposal but I had two essays accepted at Dan Woods’ Virginia English Journal. I am also hoping that my poem will be accepted by Floyd County Moonshine.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Week 9 is over

Another catch up entry. I have had a good week. My dealings with the low level administrator are over, and there are no repercussions. I played golf with Craig today and I was awful. I couldn’t focus. It was pretty cold at first—I had to wear my jacket—and the leaves on the greens really threw me off. I missed some short putts also. It was still fun to chat with Craig. Bryan’s guys put in the meter base on Thursday, so that is finished and Bryan was supposed to file the permit today so I hope he did. Once it is approved then AEP can begin its weeks of work. I filled the potholes in my road (there are some I have to fill in the Sisson road) and I scraped it so it is a lot smoother. I got the lawn tractor picked up for it servicing (I waited two years this time) and I trimmed a little near the gate and the orchard. I have gotten some hikes in (it is simply too lovely not to) and I have had a few salads from my garden. My classes are going pretty well and I think I will get okay evaluations in the two I am going to have evaluated. My kayak friend has been very busy but we are planning to go tomorrow at one so that should be fun. I am excited to try out my new wet suit and my wet socks. I have done a little house cleaning since I will have students coming the next two weekends. I talked to Dave and he doesn’t thing he is going to travel to the Grand Canyon so I am not going to head to Big Bend. I will try to see him next summer, depending somewhat on whether my summer school class makes. Kelly seems to be doing pretty well and that is a relief. I am not going to suggest visiting her. If she brings it up and it seems comfortable I will head up. Dan Woods has accepted two of my essays for his publications so that gives me something for my FAR next year. I hope Floyd County Moonshine takes me poem and that CEA accepts my paper proposal.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Week 8 Ends

Another catchup as I guess I will be doing until the semester ends. Things are going fine and I really don’t have any major complaints. Kelly is doing very well and that is important to me. She is buying furniture for the new house and she send me some fun pictures of Lucia. I don’t think she needs any extra attention from me so I will just stay in touch here and there. She knows if the situation changes I will be there for her immediately. The situation with Claire G is also going well. She has to finish the blocking but then one more semester and she will have a degree in interdisciplinary studies. I can’t wait to attend her graduation. I am supposed to take her to dinner on Monday to discuss her taking my Study of Fiction course and I am sure we will discuss other things. Lou left a nice message thanking me for helping her and I appreciated that. My kayak friend got sick so there was no kayaking trip this weekend. I didn’t care that much about the actual kayaking but I was looking forward to seeing her. We always have such fun, talking and joking. I had lunch with Claire Hall on Friday and that was a lot of fun. We went for a nice walk on the VT campus after lunch. I also saw Gyorgyi for coffee on Wednesday and we had a good chat. She wasn’t feeling that well but we had a good time for over an hour. I hurt my bad knee again when the low level administrator running the Open House sent an incompetent email with the wrong details for getting into the Fitness Building. I parked closest to the supposed entrance but it was an emergency exit and I couldn’t get in, and the next suggested entrance was also an emergency exit and again I couldn’t get in. I had to walk up a hill (or go up about 20 stairs) and my leg was already aching. I told the administrator that she had “really screwed me this time,” and it is just one more instance of her disdain for faculty and her inability to get things right. She also had the audacity of complain to my chair, even though it is apparent that if she had checked the entrances out (with a quick phone call) I would have parked right near the only entrance and not reinjured my bad knee. I showed the email to my chair and she agreed that the instructions should have been checked out. Now I am worried that I may have to have my knee replacement done soon and that may mean I will have to use my sick leave (which I have plenty of) and take the spring semester off. I was trying to be a team player (and have the surgery done in the summer) but now I may just use my sick leave and do it in the spring. Bryan is coming out this week to put in the meter base and according to Jim Casteele, I should have electricity in a month or six weeks. I will be able to have a bigger air conditioner (and that will make the house so much more tolerable in hot months) and a larger electric heater so I won’t have to cover my head with blankets on the colder nights. I have ridden my bike almost every day, done a shorter hike to the orchard almost every day (Tuesday and Thursday morning I am lucky just to do weights and yoga), and played golf a few times despite my knee hurting during every activity.

Sunday, October 18, 2015

Week 7 Ends Okay

This is another catchup entry. The big news is that I should find out on Wednesday if the Sissons will let me have electricity put in. If it were just a cable underground I think they might but they have to connect the cable with about 10 above ground boxes and I don’t think they will go for that. I also asked Danny if he would consider selling me a right of way across their road. He didn’t reject the idea, saying first that he wasn’t sure if they were going to sell the farm, and then saying to wait until we figured out the electricity situation. Having that right of way would be an immense benefit, and I think I would spend up to 65 thousand for it. 80 would be too much, but even at that price I would be able to sell the property much easier. I have to wait and see, something I never like doing. I had a wonderful trip with my kayak friend. It is lucky I am my age or else I would be falling in love; I’m not sure that is not happening right now. Certainly my friend is an amazing woman. Haven’t heard from my troubled friend. I left a message for her on Thursday but no response. I assume she is busy and doing okay. Had lunch with Claire Hall at Gillies and then we had a nice walk. I should see her again this week. Claire Gallo had a very good week and I am hoping things continue well with her. My classes are going well and I am almost certain that my problem student has dropped the course. Midterms are on Tuesday for three of the classes and Thursday for the 444 class. I have the Tuesday midterms done so one more left to do. I have finished the seventh week of class and things are quite well. My knee is a little better and I took two bike rides today along with weights and yoga. I went in for the Open House at RU and had 4 visitors, not too bad. The hollow is in good shape and Jim Casteele has put down the survey makers down so things are moving along on the electricity. I had dinner with Claire Hall on Thursday and that was a lot of fun. Kelly is doing fine and that makes me feel very good. A lot of drama at the Gallos this week with Carla and Claire but I think things are getting better. My kayak friend and I are hoping to run from Foster’s falls to Allisonia next weekend if the weather is okay. That is the route for the Triathlon, which actually takes place next year.

Sunday, October 11, 2015

Week 6 is over

This is another catchup entry. The big news is that I should find out on Wednesday if the Sissons will let me have electricity put in. If it were just a cable underground I think they might but they have to connect the cable with about 10 above ground boxes and I don’t think they will go for that. I also asked Danny if he would consider selling me a right of way across their road. He didn’t reject the idea, saying first that he wasn’t sure if they were going to sell the farm, and then saying to wait until we figured out the electricity situation. Having that right of way would be an immense benefit, and I think I would spend up to 65 thousand for it. 80 would be too much, but even at that price I would be able to sell the property much easier. I have to wait and see, something I never like doing. I had a wonderful trip with my kayak friend. It is lucky I am my age or else I would be falling in love; I’m not sure that is not happening right now. Certainly my friend is an amazing woman. Haven’t heard from my troubled friend. I left a message for her on Thursday but no response. I assume she is busy and doing okay. Had lunch with Claire Hall at Gillies and then we had a nice walk. I should see her again this week. Claire Gallo had a very good week and I am hoping things continue well with her. My classes are going well and I am almost certain that my problem student has dropped the course. Midterms are on Tuesday for three of the classes and Thursday for the 444 class. I have the Tuesday midterms done so one more left to do.

Friday, October 2, 2015

my river adventure

Well, this will be an interesting update. Classes are going well. My problem student has stopped coming so I am hoping she is going to drop. We have had rain for days and a lot more to come at least till Tuesday. My interesting story involves the New River. I went down to the 114 bridge on Wednesday after taking a bike ride along the river near the campus. The river was at 8 feet and it is usually at around 2.5. I was trying to take a picture to send to my kayaking friend but I couldn’t figure out the zoom on my new phone. Then I saw a kayaker upstream clinging to his upside down kayak. He was more than halfway across the river but my first instinct was to jump in and try to help, as I have done a number of times when I have been kayaking and someone gets in trouble. I took my shirt off, but now I had no kayak or life jacket, he was far off, and the currents were intense. I decided not to jump in and instead ran to my truck, got my rope and started to head down river to see if I could throw the rope out or jump in if necessary if he got close. First, however, I wisely called 911, quickly told them what was going on, and then started down river. With the river up there was no path, just a lot of vegetation which was tough to get through and which caused me to fall a couple of times. In fifty yards I had to give up and I worked back to the clearing and talked to the first policeman who arrived. I offered to try to head across the cornfield in my 4 wheel drive pickup but there was no clear path and more police and emergency vehicles were arriving. I told my story a few times and then left, very upset and worried about the kayaker. I starting crying as I drove and I knew that if he drown, I would feel incredibly guilty since I didn’t jump in. I called the police and they didn’t know his fate. Then I called again about a half hour later and they told me he had survived. Of course, I started crying again but for such a different reason. I went to sleep still questioning whether I should have jumped in, but after a decent night’s sleep I awoke knowing I had made the right choice. He was too far out and the currents were much too strong. However as I got out of bed, I realized that I had severely injured my left knee (my really bad one) and could hardly walk. I had to put on my knee brace and walk with my hiking stick, and I am still using it on Friday. I hope to be fine in a week or less.

Thursday, September 24, 2015

the fourth week is over

Another weekly catchup. It has been a good week, with my classes going well, things with my troubled friend are better, and I am getting plenty of exercise. I have done hikes regularly, played some good golf, weights and yoga daily, and two bike rides most days. The greenhouse it doing well and the two new trays have some sprouts while the first two have 4 inch lettuce. Within 10 days I will be eating lettuce. No kayaking with my kayak friend since the river should be flooding and I wouldn’t want to put her on it even if she wanted to. The house is in good shape and only a couple little things remain to be fixed. I have hiked with Rob the last two days and we had a good time chatting on a variety of topics. Claire Gallo is doing better so that is a relief.

Friday, September 18, 2015

third week done and I have survived

Another weekly catchup. My classes are going well and my problem student didn’t show up at the last class so I am hoping she has dropped the course. I doubt I will have such luck. Things in the hollow are doing fine except for the solar which is still giving me problems. Today, with a lot of sun and running the generator for three hours, I got the batteries the highest so far (1 1225 4 1240 7 7 1250). I have never gotten 1 above 1255 and 4 and 7 past 1270, which is full. I hope to charge them a little more tonight and there should be sun for part of tomorrow. My greenhouse garden is doing well and the new trays have very small seedlings. My troubled friend is doing much better and I think I can take a break from contacting her this weekend. I was very worried a couple of days during the week but I think things are really getting better. I will be going kayaking with one of my other friends tomorrow. Looking forward to that. I think we are getting a 2% raise in November so that would be good. I have been doing my weights and yoga, biking (often twice a day), playing golf very well, and a very little amount of piano practice. I bought a new phone today because Verizon had a good deal on an LG 4. I have phone and internet but I have to get my email and music on Monday at Radford. Claire Hall seems to be doing very well and I hope to see her for dinner on Friday. I wrote a very good response to Dr. Schnecker’s response to my BBB complaint and send it this evening.

Friday, September 11, 2015

second week of classes done

Another catch up entry. A lot has happened since the dinner disaster with Claire. She did apologize and I told her when she and Maddie want to try dinner again, to just give me a call. I have finished my second week of classes and everything is going fine. The student who cheated on the surprise quiz and slammed the door apologized for both things and was fine in Thursday’s class. My second Realism and Naturalism class on Washington Square was very good, and Jenna’s presentation was outstanding, hopefully a good model for the other students. Kelly seems to be doing much better and though I don’t think she is out of the woods yet, she is calmer and a little happier. I have been in touch with her through email, text and phone almost every day and I think my support is helping. Talking to her today was much easier, certainly not crisis mode. Alfredo doesn’t understand why she got in touch with me but I really don’t care. She got in touch and I have to be there for her as I have been for the past 25 years. When she is back to her old self, things will change I’m sure but for now I want to be available whenever she needs me. I went kayaking with my friend last weekend and we had a lovely time. We went from Dudley’s to the Arsenal bridge and paddled very slowly chatting a lot. I have been doing my morning hikes when I can, weights and yoga every day, 2 bike rides almost every day, and golf almost every other day. The hollow is in good shape and the lettuce is up (about 2 inches) in two of the trays and I am hoping the other two trays will sprout soon.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Ist day of classes

This will be a long catch up. It is Tuesday and I have now finished my first day of teaching. It was rough having 4 courses but I got through. I think it will be more interesting dealing with the literature. I slept poorly last night and tonight, though I got a nap between classes 2 and 3, I am tired. I did ride my bike along the new river for over 50 minutes and after I finish my blog, I will try to do another ride on the Tech campus. I did my Lumosity training so that’s good. I haven’t heard from Darya so I’m not sure what is going on with her. I have been in touch with Kelly and I will talk to her tomorrow. I hope I can help her with my support. My dinner with Maddie and Claire turned out fine, except that Claire wanted to return home so I drove her back (fortunately with Maddie in the truck) and then Maddie and I went for steaks at Bull and Bones. She is a wonderful young lady. I have the house in order and two trays in my greenhouse have come up so I should have lettuce in a few weeks. I trimmed around the house, took the tractor out, did some walks and checked out the generator. I went out to walker creek and caught 5 nice bass. I have been biking a lot and tomorrow I hope to play golf in the morning before I head to the dentist.

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Thursday Meetings at RU

Thursday was the first day of my duties at Radford. I had to attend the College meeting, then the department meeting, then the personnel meeting. I was pretty tired since I didn’t sleep well last night and it was very hard to get up. I drove in around 8, got a Starbucks coffee and made it through the meetings. I packed up the stuff in the refrigerator and then got some ice and a sandwich at Jimmy John’s. I was going to go straight home for a nap but I felt better after the sandwich and decided to go for a bike ride on the Huckleberry. I rode for over 50 minutes then headed home and dropped off for a very deep nap. It was hard to wake up but I finally did, had a cup of coffee, practiced the piano, finished my weights and yoga, then took a hike down to the gate twice. I have planted my first three trays and I watered them twice today. At about 7 I drove into town and did my second bike ride around the tech campus. I wanted to go to a movie tonight but none interested me so I am just going to go home when I finish my blog. I did get a phone message from Kelly and e-mailed her back. I hope I don’t get hurt again but I do want her to know I am still there for her. I also responded to Darya’s e-mail and I will be sending her the Writing Poems book.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Fall lettuce is planted

Tuesday started out very well, with my first hike since I returned on Sunday. I pruned the road some and went up three times to the orchard. I still have some pruning to do but not much. I may have to cut down the infected fruit tree so it doesn’t get the others sick. When I got back from my hike I planted three containers with lettuce and set up the watering system again. I did another laundry, did my weights and yoga, practiced the piano, and washed the dishes. I also put the new sheet and pillowcases in the truck and organized the crates better. I drove into town around 2 and had a nice bike ride on the Huckleberry for over 50 minutes. Then I drove to East Coasters and left my bike to be worked on, the chain needing tightening. I had some food over at Our Daily Bread then took a nap. I had East Coasters order my bike seat since I was having problems with the website. I then decided to drive out to Walker to fish but Rob called and I decided to go back and walk with him again. We had a fine walk and then I went to VT to do my second long bike ride. Good day.

Monday, August 24, 2015

First day back

I got in last night around 10:30 and there was a 5 inch thick tree down that would have required me to get the chain saw out and that seemed too much so I just walked up and settled in, watching some TV and doing my weights and yoga. It was great to be home. I got up early and went to do the grass before all the bugs came out and it got too hot. The mowing went well and it didn’t take me much longer than usual. Next I unloaded the truck and got the kayak out and opened up at the cabin. Then I finished up with the truck, started a wash and fixed things around the house. I got things in pretty good shape and then did my yoga and weights. It was time to drive into town and play golf (which I did very well, 46 for nine) and then head to my office to take care of the Digital Measures stuff (Rosemary still wanted me to print out my FAR, even though that wasn’t supposed to be my responsibility). I got that done with help from Nancy Taylor and then called Rob and he was ready to go for a hike and we had a nice chat. I think things with Noah will get better; at least I hope so. Then it was time for my bike ride, for over an hour on the Tech Campus (it was much harder with all the students back). Now I am working at Starbucks and then it will be home by 11 or so. Claire e-mailed me and I hope to see her Wednesday.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Pomona and Oliver

I got up pretty early and I decided to go ride my bike for 50 minutes and then do my weights and yoga out in the driveway. That worked perfectly and I was able to say goodbye to Laura and Andrew and Sylvia and head off at 8:30. The drive was no fun and it was much slower than expected and it was clear I wasn’t going to make Jenny’s in the evening unless I drove straight there with no nap, no second bike ride, no golf and no watching Tiger on TV. I certainly didn’t want to do that so I called Jenny and arranged to see her tomorrow morning. This gave me time to play nine holes at the Pendleton Golf Course (and to watch Tiger’s last 4 holes), and make it to William and Mary for a 50 minute bike ride with my lights on. I ate at the Applebees and then showered and fell into a solid sleep. Today should be the last day of my trip so I was feeling both excited and a little frustrated that I still had to drive to Virginia Beach. That was an hour there and one back and I couldn’t stay that long, but I knew it was best to visit. Jenny asked that I come at 10:30 so that gave me time for a 45 minute bike ride in large adjoining parking lots in Virginia Beach. When I got there I could see that Oliver was a lot of work. Paloma was glad to see me and we all went for a swim in Jenny’s parents’ lovely pool. Then it was time to start back, just a little past noon. I ran into traffic by the 64 tunnel and all the way up to Charlottesville there were many instances of rubber necking. Just heading up Afton Mountain, 64 West was closed so I was stuck there for almost a half hour. I knew I needed a bike break so at the Cyrus McCormack farm I exited and rode for 40 minutes. Then it was drive on although I could tell I was getting tired so I decided to stop at the Applebees at exit 137 and have a bite to eat and do my internet stuff. My trip should end by 10 or so tonight.

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Julian and Laura

Fortunately, today was much easier weather wise and after a 50 minute bike ride at Willowbrook park and some weights in yoga in my room, a quick nap set me up to get ready to head to the city. I got the 1:30 ferry so I was in the city at 1:55, meaning that I had 20 minutes to walk so I heading up past the heliport and back to catch the R. I got to Gabe’s house right about 3:30 and Julian was waiting for me and off we went to the playground where he had a good time climbing things and riding his scooter with a kid he met. I was able to sit quite a bit and I did end up playing a bit with an 8 year old who was fighting with his mother and I made up a game for him which he very much liked. Then it was time to head home and dinner was fabulous. Francesca made a wonderful salad topped with marinated pork that was unbelievable, one of the best salads I ever ate, and then there was some terrific pizza, like nothing you get in Virginia. There was some good conversation but I was really tired so I went to bed at 10:30 and didn’t sleep well. When I got up Julian was ready to go with his babysitter Cassie and I went for breakfast and coffee nearby. I didn’t walk around since I wanted to safe my legs for Julian’s adventure and I am glad I did. He got back around 2 and by 2:10 we were off for the x27 bus stop. Unfortunately, the express bus didn’t come till 3 so we had an ice cream when the Mister Softee truck pulled up (and Jules covered himself in ice cream, which I washed off most of at the fountain in the playground across the street) and Julian played some on the monkey bars. We made it into Manhattan in about 40 minutes and got off at 23rd street, the northern terminus. I offered Julian a trip to the top of the Freedom tower (which is not open) and a cruise around Manhattan but he wanted to go to the Children’s museum up on 83rd. It wasn’t too impressive but Julian had fun and when it closed at 5, he wanted to go the Grand Central Station where he wanted me to buy him a present. The toy store there was fun and I bought him a city bus that he didn’t have. He wanted to see the Metro North trains so we walked out on the platform and got on one so he could see inside. Jules was a bit worried that the train would start off, but I told him, if it did we would just go to the first stop and come right back. After we got off I asked the conductor where the first stop was and when he said Cortland, NY, I realized I almost made a big mistake. Julian was now hungry so we had dinner at Cipriano’s in GCS. I had a good tortellini dish with a side salad, and Julian had pasta with butter and some good bread. I checked the express bus schedule and found that the last express but was at 7:06 so we were going to have to get over to 41st and Fifth pretty fast after dinner. We made the 6:51 bus and when we got to Bay Ridge, Julian wanted to go to the playground, even though it was close to getting dark. I called Gabe and he said no, that Julian had to come home and that’s where we went. He didn’t want to go to bed so I played one game of chutes and ladders with him but that didn’t help much. After Francesca put him to bed, Gabe and I had a nice chat and then it was time for bed, pretty exhausted but pretty satisfied. I decided to leave at 8:30 so I would have time to ride my bike, do my weights and yoga and take a nap and that plan worked well. I got to the Hampton Inn by 11 and ended up taking a nice ride at the Rutgers University Farm, then weights and yoga and then a good nap. I got to Andrew’s right on time and Laura was very excited to see me and we went for a swim almost right away. The pool was wonderful and we played all sorts of games and then we went for a short bike ride and played on the swings. What a smart and interesting 10 year old. First Julian, who is already an interesting child, and then Laura, who really is exceptional. It was also fun to see Andrew and Sylvia and Andrew prepared an excellent dish of salmon and rice and we chatted long into the evening. I got up pretty early and I decided to go ride my bike for 50 minutes and then do my weights and yoga out in the driveway. That worked perfectly and I was able to say goodbye to Laura and Andrew and Sylvia and head off at 8:30. The drive was no fun and it was much slower than expected and it was clear I wasn’t going to make Jenny’s in the evening unless I drove straight there with no nap, no second bike ride, no golf and no watching Tiger on TV. I certainly didn’t want to do that so I called Jenny and arranged to see her tomorrow morning. This gave me time to play nine holes at the Pendleton Golf Course (and to watch Tiger’s last 4 holes), and make it to William and Mary for a 50 minute bike ride with my lights on.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


I was going to drive north and connect with 95 once I crossed the border but my GPS, finally working, told me that taking 1 through St. John’s made more sense and it did. I fumbled my way downtown and ended up right by the water at the place where they do concerts. The only problem was that it was pretty foggy but that really didn’t bother me. I found the bike path which I had ridden on before and had a lovely long ride with the sun clearing things somewhat. After that I decided to head for the border and though I was tired I wanted to make it before I napped. The border crossing was easy and I bought some wild blueberries which were quite good. It was time for a nap and then I was hoping to find a golf course but I didn’t until I was less than 25 miles from bangor. Sawmill woods was advertised as a 9 hole par 36 course and thought I was a bit skeptical, it turned out to be a fine course, most holes from the red being about 300 yards and some quite tight. I played rather well and shot a 48, marred by one eight on a hole that my long putt took a remarkable bounce the wrong way and ended up 30 feet away, which I proceeded to three putt. I found a campground about 6 miles from bangor, checked and then drove into town for my second bike ride on the Eastern Maine Community College campus. It did have a residence hall which somewhat surprised me. After my ride I found a shady spot and did my weights and yoga, then headed to the nearby movie theater where I found out that “The Man from UNCLE” was playing at 7:30 which gave me time to head for an appetizer at Chili’s, watch the final 5 holes of the pga championship and do my lumosity training. I was a little bit worried about the mosquitos when I got back to the campsite but they were not a problem and I slept well, waking around 6:00 wanting to get going right away since I knew I had 450 miles to drive. Getting going at 6:30 always make the day easier and I had almost two hundred miles before I stopped for a nap and then my first ride, a 50 minute push at Merrimack College, a Christian school with a very nice campus. After that it was time to drive again and I must say that since I left Bangor, traffic was pretty heavy and even heavier as I got close to the beaches. I had to be very focused since people cut right in front of me and everyone was going too fast. But I drove safely, wasting a half hour in traffic because of a big accident, and finally stopped again at exit 32, Queen Street south of Harford, a favored pit stop in the past. I ate a light meal (no carbs) and then took another nap and then it was the second bike ride, this time just over 35 minutes. Traffic had eased up and at almost 7 I headed out with a plan to get to the KOA in Newberg. However, as I neared the Taconic I pulled off and found a nearby state park that charged 15 (it turned out to be 22) which was almost 30 dollars less than the KOA. I got there at late dusk and just as the dark took hold, I reached Cold Spring and the American Grill where I had a fine sashimi tuna salad. I am glad I am going to have an extra day by myself in NYC. I love to walk around by myself, wandering wherever (although I often walk from the SI Ferry up to the Freedom Tower, around Greenwich Village, Chinatown, Little Italy, across the Brooklyn Bridge, Central Park and Times Square). I woke up to the big push to Staten Island. The drive was intense but not too difficult and I even improvised a bit on the way down, moving from the Taconic to my favored Saw Mill and then over to 87 before the Cross County. There was a few minutes traffic getting on the GW bridge but it wasn’t too long before I was getting off the Jersey turnpike and entering Staten Island. I went to ride my bike at Willowbrook park and then visited my parents’ grave. Now it was time to check in at the Hampton and then take a nap. I did my weights and yoga, and drove to the Ferry. It was very hot so walking up to the Freedom Tower was slow with several stops. After visiting the two memorial pools, I walked up through Tribeca and then over to the Barnes and Noble at Warren Street where I bought Under the Volcano. Now I took the train up to Central Park and rented a bike and rode around the whole park. I didn’t realize there was a big hill at the northern end and also a large swimming pool which looked very enticing. After that it was time to have dinner, this time at an excellent sushi place at 6 Columbus Circle. Now it was time to walk down to Times Square and I was pretty much done when I got there so I sat for a few minutes, took the 1 down to the ferry and got home by 10:30 for some TV.

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Back in the USA

I was going to drive north and connect with 95 once I crossed the border but my GPS, finally working, told me that taking 1 through St. John’s made more sense and it did. I fumbled my way downtown and ended up right by the water at the place where they do concerts. The only problem was that it was pretty foggy but that really didn’t bother me. I found the bike path which I had ridden on before and had a lovely long ride with the sun clearing things somewhat. After that I decided to head for the border and though I was tired I wanted to make it before I napped. The border crossing was easy and I bought some wild blueberries which were quite good. It was time for a nap and then I was hoping to find a golf course but I didn’t until I was less than 25 miles from bangor. Sawmill woods was advertised as a 9 hole par 36 course and thought I was a bit skeptical, it turned out to be a fine course, most holes from the red being about 300 yards and some quite tight. I played rather well and shot a 48, marred by one eight on a hole that my long putt took a remarkable bounce the wrong way and ended up 30 feet away, which I proceeded to three putt. I found a campground about 6 miles from bangor, checked and then drove into town for my second bike ride on the Eastern Maine Community College campus. It did have a residence hall which somewhat surprised me. After my ride I found a shady spot and did my weights and yoga, then headed to the nearby movie theater where I found out that “The Man from UNCLE” was playing at 7:30 which gave me time to head for an appetizer at Chili’s, watch the final 5 holes of the pga championship and do my lumosity training.

Saturday, August 15, 2015

Starting to head back, at least to NY

Saturday was going to be a drive day and driving through Cape Breton National Park made it a slower drive to start. I ended up stopping at Pleasant Bay to ride my bike around the harbor (Tracy and I had kayaked here) and then it was on to the spectacular coast near Cheticamp. I took a lot of pictures and will send some out to friends later. I had a lobster salad lunch in Cheticamp along with some seafood chowder and then it was time to drive, at least until it was nap time. My gps wasn’t working but I used my map figure out where I was and ended up at the Canso Causeway, then drove on to Truro and then Amherst. I stopped in Antigonish for a couple slices of pizza with “The Works” (regretting it almost immediately since I had pizza yesterday) but now I wasn’t hungry and I found a road just outside of Truro where I rode my bike for another 50 minutes. I got a text from Darya and they were not going to be in Amherst but I called and told her about my experience with the tidal bore (which was indeed boring since it was about 6 inches high). Laura texted me about my visit and I sent her back a picture from the Highlands. She is very excited to see me and though I am ready to get home, I will go visit her. Gabes left me a message and Wednesday and Thursday will work fine and Julian is also very excited to see me. Then I promised Jenny I would come to Virginia Beach to see her and Oliver, her baby son and her daughter Paloma, who I haven’t seen for several years but may remember me. She was a lot a fun when I saw her last in Oregon. I made it to Amherst and luckily found a campground immediately. I checked in and then drove into downtown Amherst which was not impressive at all. I did a little shopping (bananas and water) and now am going to have a meatless salad at Pizza Delight and then head to Tim Horton’s to check my e-mail, and do my lumosity training.

Friday, August 14, 2015

Cape Breton

Thursday started okay, with coffee at Tim Horton’s and another 50 minute bike ride at Memorial University. Then I went back to the campground, showered and started for the ferry. After a half hour it started to rain and that made things a lot more difficult. I got off the Trans Canadian and started for the ferry but pulled over to nap. Then I went into Placentia for lunch and then to the ferry terminal where I was able to ride my bike for 35 minutes before it was time to board. My room was small but very comfortable (the boat is pretty new and more a cruise ship than just a ferry) and did some cleaning up of my gear and my weights and yoga. I walked around some, watched the last 45 minutes of Wreck It Ralph, walked around some more then watched a half hour of Interstellar. The ferry got in around 9 am and I started my drive to Cape Breton. I stopped at the turnoff to the Englishtown ferry and rode my bike for 50 minutes, then stopped at a café for a sandwich and whom do I see but Darya and her boyfriend. They said they had seen me biking and were very surprised to see me as I was them. We talked about perhaps meeting in Cheticamp for dinner but things unfolded differently for all of us. When I finally got into Ingonish, the fellow at the Highlands Golf Course (an expensive course and only 18 holes available) told me he could get me on at 3:10 if I wanted to play by myself and that it would cost 90 dollars. I took the tee time, took a quick nap and then headed for the main street café for coffee and strawberry shortcake. The café had internet so I checked out the course in Cheticamp and it was basically the same price so I figured I would treat myself and probably just play 14 holes. I got there, paid up and then met the couple ahead of me after the first hole and they offered to let me join them and I did. Eric and Susan were a lot of fun and I played well for 14 holes and then lost it for the last 4. It still was a lot of fun. It was after 7 and I still didn’t have a campground, but just after I left the golf course, there was the Ingonish National Park campground and they had plenty of space. I rode my bike for 30 minutes then headed to Andrew’s pizza where I answered my phone messages and found out that Laura was expecting me today (I texted her back and the 21st will work) and also talked to Darya about meeting tomorrow perhaps (they went to Meat Cove and were going to go kayaking in the morning). Interesting day.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Problems and Some Solutions

Tuesday broke with sunshine and a desire to do things, almost confusing at points. I went and had my coffee and breakfast sandwich, checked my e-mail and then headed to town. I stopped at Bannerman park to ride my bike for 50 minutes and then headed up to Signal Hill for a walk and some pictures of the beautiful harbor. Heading back I stopped in town and went walking along the harbor and along water street. It was perfect. I stopped for a vegie burger and salad at Jack Astor’s overlooking the harbor. Then it was more walking and then back to the campground. I wanted to play golf and instead of driving 40 minutes outside of town, I decided to play at Pippy Park even though it would be with other players. The 27 hole course was packed but when I got to the first tee, I could have played by myself but I asked the 2 fellows in front of me if I could join them. Bret and Paul were salemen for heavy equipment accessories and they were very pleasant. Paul hit a drive almost 280 and I, after opening with 2 6s, ended up shooting a 44, the key moment when I putted in from off the green from 40 feet, giving me a birdie. Then it was back for a nap, weights and yoga, another bike ride (this time on the main Memorial University campus, a very good place to ride. After that it was time to head into town for dinner and I luckily parked right near Oliver’s the place bret and paul recommended. The dinner was superb, fresh local cod with blueberry sauce, steamed mussels in a yummy coconut sauce, two lobster claws which the terrific waiter (to whom I gave a 40% tip) substituted for the scallops that were supposed to come with the meal. It was one of my best meals ever, and after it I decided to take a short walk down water feeling pretty good about things. Wednesday was supposed to be rainy but when I awoke past 8 (I had to take a sleep aid) it was sunny so I decided it would be another do things day. The showers had just been cleaned so I got a good hot shower in and then headed over to Tim Horton’s to do my Lumosity training and the blog. Then it was time for a 50 minute bike ride at Memorial University, then a ride to Cape Spear, where the wind and the fog were a bit much, then back to town for Quidi Vidi but the street had a Pakistani restaurant and a grocery where I got a mediocre sandwich. I went back to Tim Horton’s but now my computer wouldn’t allow me to get any e-mail so that was a real problem since my phone wasn’t getting them. I tried to call but that went nowhere, so I decide to head off and do my second bike ride and then go into the public library at Memorial and see if I could fix things. The bike needs some work on the chain and Ian at East Coasters explained how to fix it, but it will be a little complicated so I decided to wait till I really need it. The visit to the library was a failure, but I did leave a message at the help desk and when I got up from my nap and did my yoga and weights, I tried to fix it but the internet at the campground wasn’t the best so it didn’t work. This was giving me a bad feeling but I decided that I should go back to Fog City for dinner because I knew their internet worked. That was a good move because I was able to change the password and get my e-mail back. I changed the password on the phone but it is still not working but that is not too big a problem.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

a tough day of driving

Monday was a very hard driving day. There was a lot of heavy rain and wind and I gave thought to stopping early and getting a room many times. I stopped several times just to get off the road and finally I stopped at a catholic elementary school when the sky cleared a little and hoped to get 5 minutes of riding in, but I was able to get a full 50 in riding around the school parking lot at least 50 times. I was very grateful for that. The weather was a little better now so I decided to try to get close to St. John’s and maybe even head into town for dinner. I stopped at an awful campground that scared me off when the proprietor came to the door in an undershirt and the place looked like one’s worse nightmare of a trailer park. I drove away quickly, and stopped to use my GPS to locate a campground even closer to town at Pippy Park. It was only a few miles from downtown and it was clean and pleasant. I checked in and then went to the Avalon Mall for a very late lunch. There was a movie theater there and that seemed promising for later. I then went bike riding over at the nearby college, took a nap and then returned to the mall for coffee and a brownie at Starbucks. I checked the movies out and the Mission Impossible movie was showing on Imax at 7:30 so that gave me time for a little walk, a salad and vegetable stir fry at Fog City, and then a very entertaining movie. I was tired but when I got back to my campground I did my weights and yoga. Not a terrible day overall.

Monday, August 10, 2015


This morning I got up around 8, obviously needing the sleep. It was sunny (it was supposed to be raining) so I was indecisive about what exactly to do. I was still thinking about Twillingate but when I called the woman said there were no icebergs left so it would be a whale tour exclusively. That made my decision harder but when I got to 340 I thought it best to go to Twillingate, a lovely coastal town, and get a boat tour in since the weather was so nice. I stopped at Boyd’s cove to bike ride for 50 minutes and it was a pretty ride along the cove. Then it was off to Twillingate for the whale watching. We spotted one male humpback and that was good enough for me, just to see the 40 foot creature for an hour. We also saw cod chasing capelin to the surface and that the captain said was very unusual to see. I met a couple from Montreal and the woman, Darya, and I had a pretty intense conversation about spirituality (I am spiritually impaired as I told her) education, and writing. She is supposed to send me some poems. I really enjoyed meeting her because she is clearly a seeker, and I felt a little bad that I am so complacent. On the drive back I was indecisive again, mainly because I couldn’t get my phone to work but just as I got into Gander, I was able to call the golf course, and though it was after 6, they were going to be open till 9 so I could get nine holes in. Now I had purpose and started playing a very nice course but realized I should try to get a campsite so I called Jonathan’s Pond Campground and made a reservation. Now I focused on golf and it was a decent course but the front 9 had 4 par 5s and 3 par 3s so I ended up playing the last hole, the fourth par 5 as a 270 yard par 4. I ended up with a 49. After finishing I decided to drive to the campground and pay so I could stay in town as long as I liked, but I got misled by my GPS and I ended up wasting 20 minutes. Once there I treated my ear and then did my yoga and weights (which I had skipped yesterday) and then went for a 25 minute bike ride. Now I headed into town for dinner and luckily there was a Chinese restaurant open till nine (it was 8:45) and I got there and had a fine dinner and an entertaining conversation with the owner’s 6 year old son, who was very friendly and very bright. I then went to Tim Horton’s but I just read the news since I was too tired to do any work. An indecisive but productive and ultimately rewarding day.

Saturday, August 8, 2015

the ferry and the first few days in NF

When I got up, I decided to try to get the first ferry at 10:30, so I drove to Forteau and set up the ice cream for the two ladies at Coastal Motors, then drove to Blanc Sablon and arrived at 8:25. There were more people on line than I expected so I figured that I would probably get the 3:30 boat. At 8:30 the ferry opened and I got number 20 and for the next two and a half hours I waited to see if I would get on the early boat. There got up to number 17 before putting things on hold, but they said there was still a chance that I would get on so I stayed and finally, they issued me a ticket and said to drive down to the dock even though my place was still not guaranteed. Number 19 hadn’t shown up so there I was looking at at least two open spots but not on the boat yet. A minute later they put me on first and it was so close I had to take the bike and bike rack off. The voyage was in almost complete fog but I was excited to get to NF and the first thing I did was ride my bike for 50 minutes on a side road a few miles from the ferry. I kept driving and was hoping to play golf at Cow Head when I passed Doctor’s river and my plans immediately changed. What a lovely small river! I got in my waders and off I went, catching two brookies before I saw that there was a fellow fishing about 100 yards ahead of me. I didn’t understand how he got ahead of me (he was actually coming back down) but when I reached him, we had a nice chat and he told me he had caught 100 trout. Impressive. I was a little disheartened since he must have caught almost every fish in the river but the cascades were so tempting, I decided to fish and I ended up catching nine, not bad in a previously fished river. I decided to stop in Port au Choix and found a campground there and rode my bike for 35 minutes then had a good dinner of local shrimp and scallops. In the morning, I decided to head to Cow Head and try to play golf. Try is the key word. It was about 8:30 when I started and the greens were wet, bumpy and slow. The fairways were very slow and wet so a good drive only went a few more yards. I ended up with a 50 or a 51, but it was long even from the red tees and it took me five shots to get to the par five greens. After that I asked if I could ride my bike on the cart path and they said fine since there was no one on the course. I rode for 50 minutes and then it was time to head to Rocky Harbour in Gros Morne National Park. I drove in at about 11:45 and had a nice lunch of cod au gratin and fish chowder at the Fisherman’s Landing. After that I decided to drive toward Norris Point and as I got to the harbor, a tour boat was just about to leave so I jumped out and asked if I could still get on and the mate said yes. I bought my ticket and had a wonderful tour of Bonne Bay. Gros Morne mountain in the distance was quite imposing and the little towns we passed were very picturesque and the tour guide’s historical notes were rather interesting. I then was going to explore some more but instead I stopped at a picnic site and did my weights and yoga. After that back to the Gros Morne RV park and some more biking, then some piano practice (the second time this trip). As the sun was setting I took a walk out by the wharf and it was quite pleasant. Now it was back to the Fisherman’s Landing for some chowder and coffee and some work and later the lobster dinner I was hoping for all day. I walked a little on the sidewalk along the harbor and then back to my campsite for a decent night’s sleep. I awoke at 6:30 and by 6:45 I was on the road. I decided not to go out to the Tablelands (the bare red flattish mountain) and instead drove on until I found a decent place to ride my bike out by a lake. I was tempted to fish since there were so many places where I could cast easily, but I saw no one else fishing so I passed on it. I was going to keep driving for a while but I found a lovely little stream that looked full of trout. It was amazing but I only got 8 fish, and I think someone must have fished it earlier. After about a half hour I slipped and fell in, but that didn’t bother me too much (it was warm and not too breezy) so I kept fishing. All my clothes were drenched and I discovered that my camper top had spread out again so I would need too really fix it this time, drilling holes and putting in screws. I drove some, got a sandwich and decided to take a nap. I pulled over at a large pullout and moved all the stuff into the front. Then I climbed in with my stomach feeling a little odd. In five minutes it was an emergency as I had to go to the bathroom again and again and I was dizzy and almost passed out several times. Finally I got back in and fell asleep for a while and when I awoke, I felt okay. I thought I had food poisoning and I wasn’t sure how long I would be okay so I moved the stuff into the back and drove to Grand Falls. I was going to get a room near the hospital (I vividly remember the awful night in the emergency room in Texas) but when I got close to town I was still feeling okay so I thought I might get a campsite after all. I couldn’t find one so I stopped at a hotel just off the highway but they were full . The front desk woman was very kind and let me use the laundry facilities and during that time I rode my bike (still a slight bit queasy). I also found a campsite nearby and talked to the fellow there and he said it was fine to come after I finished the laundry. I fixed the camper back with screws and when the dryer needed another round, I had soup and salad at the hotel’s restaurant and then collected my laundry and headed off to the Beothunk campground. I checked in and decided to head to Tim Horton’s for tea and dessert and take a shower later.

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

L'anse au Loup is not much different

I am in L’anse au Loup at Fast Freddy’s, the only restaurant in town, and I just had a piece of very decent carrot cake with a cup of tea. I drove in a very relaxed manner, stopping for a bike ride on a flat area on the road to St. Lewis, driving around red bay, and eventually getting into town about 3. I drove over to the next town, hoping to get an oil change at Fonteau Motors and I got that and a lot more. The two women there, especially Laura Prosper, were very sweet and helped me print out an email, and then fax it to Suburban Propane so I could get the Early Buy rate, which will save me over 500 dollars. The dead line was Friday so I just made it. They also called the ferry people but it would have been hard to get on any of tomorrow’s ferries so I decided just to wait for my scheduled time on Friday morning. After another bike ride along the pretty shore, I had an early dinner at Fast Freddy’s of local fish (in a fish and chips). Then I drove back toward the Pinware for 5 miles and found a small stream backed up by a beaver dam and cast some lures in from the top of the culvert. I got one hit on the wooly bugger but no fish. The bugs were wild so I quit after 20 minutes.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

the labrador coast

I slept pretty well and I wasn’t on the road until after 7 and the weather was threatening all day. Despite that I was able to fly fish middle brook with my mosquito jacket sprayed with bug spray and catch 11 trout on Royal Wulffs and nymphs. I also got a 40 minute bike ride in (and got pretty drenched) and finally got into Happy Valley and went to the closest Laundromat and did my clothes. I decided to get a room at the Royal Inn since there didn’t seem to be a campground and I wasn’t sure where I could stay. The room was fine and after checking in I decided to head to the dock area, where the Happy Dragon, a medium sized freighter, was unloading with its own “Big Lift” cranes. I rode my bike for 50 minutes than chatted with the ticket agent at the ferry office about the trip to Nain, which takes 5 days roundtrip and which, he said, quite a few people take. After that I went and showered and headed to the Jungle Jim restaurant, where I ate the Bahama Mama, which was stir fried chicken and vegetables with basmati rice, always a treat. Then it was back to the room for TV in English, a real treat. In the morning I got going early because I knew I had a long ride ahead (I figured that the dirt roads would end when I got to the junction for Cartwright) and it was indeed, 40 mph on poorly maintained dirt roads and 25 in the construction areas. I did stop to ride my bike and to fish at a long pool and caught 16 brookies. The drive was tough but I really wanted to see Cartwright so I drove the 50 plus miles to find a poor town with a little fishing industry and not much else. I rode my bike around the wharf area for a half hour and then ate an early dinner at the pub at the Northern Lights Inn. It was a Caesar salad and a hot beef sandwich, drenched in gravy. I needed something hot and it was adequate. I now had to drive to Port Hope Simpson and that was a very long drive, over 120 miles on difficult roads. I had hoped to get there by 8:30 being told that there should be a restaurant open till 9 but as I got closer I saw a sign telling me that it was now a half hour later, since I was in another time zone. Dinner was out but when I finally got into Port Hope Simpson, a gas station was open and I got an egg salad sandwich and a homemade cinnamon bun. When I got to the Alexis hotel, I realized I had just missed dinner but Carol in the kitchen offered to heat me up some turkey vegetable soup and I ended up with a very decent dinner. I did my weights and yoga and then was ready for a well needed shower but there was no hot water. Great. The woman at the front desk told me just to wait a bit but it didn’t warm up so I showered in coldish water. After that it was TV time and I enjoyed watching. In the morning, I got up early and started doing some work on my outlines and getting some e-mailing done. I had coffee and my stomach seemed to have settled down (it was uneasy for a few days). I went back to bed and when I woke up I decided to head to Charlottetown and Pinset Arm. The drive was fine and Charlottetown was okay, not as poor looking as some of the earlier towns. Pinset Arm was also decent, and I rode my bike along the road past a pretty island. After the ride, I went back to motel for lunch and then I headed for St. Lewis. The ride through the spruces and firs was monotonous but after speaking to the woman at the hotel, I was hoping to see a moose or a bear. There are no deer and the caribou herd doesn’t come here anymore after the Churchill Falls project. There was an iceberg in the harbor but the fog prevented me from seeing it. I stopped away from the coast hoping that the cold wind would lessen but it didn’t so I rode in my sweater and jacket for 35 minutes and gave up. The inside of the truck was quite pleasant. I drove back to the hotel for a seafood dinner (all frozen) but quite good. Then it was a quick nap and back to work on my outlines and rules and sending out an e-mail. I had a cup of tea and did my weights and yoga in a very nice warm room. Now that the major dirt road driving is done (I have about 120 miles left and two days before taking the ferry to explore the southern coast which I think will be prettier), I am feeling much better. I am supposed to camp at Pinware but if it is really cold, I may just get a room to be more comfortable.

Saturday, August 1, 2015

the tourist people lied about the black flies

I ended up eating at the Zonic restaurant and the chicken Caesar was quite good. Then it was back to the campground for a decent night’s sleep. In the morning I headed to the Tim Horton’s for coffee and an egg and cheese croissant. I did my Lumosity training and caught up a little on the news, the big thing being the piece of the 777 that has been discovered. It really has to be from MH 370. After that, I drove out to the golf course and was able to play nine holes, though the bugs drover me more than crazy. I ended up shooting a 51, and even though the bugs were fierce, it was a silly second shot on the last hole, a par 3, that doomed me. I went for the pin, which was no in line with the bunker, and ended up in the bunker and flubbed my first shot then hammered my next one and ended up with a 25 foot putt for a 49, and the putt wasn’t close. Then it was time for a nap and then a bike ride in the parking area around the mall. It was very good to be away from bugs and able to stop and not be attacked. Following the bike ride, I started my drive to Churchhill Falls and after fishing an interesting spot on one river and getting nothing, I stopped at a little stream and my luck changed. The little brook trout (up to nine inches) was killing my Royal Wulff and I caught and released 20. The black flies were awful (my wrists were bleeding) and even with my mesh jacket, I had to use bug spray. I drove into Churchill Falls desperate for a shower and to my disappointment I was told there were no campgrounds, but I could sleep in the parking lot at the town center. There was also a restaurant open till 10 and that was good. I went up to check on the hotel rate and when I told the clerk that I really needed a shower, he helped me get one in the gym. Such a shower I have never had. Boy, did that feel good. I gave the clerk 10 dollars after I finished and he was thankful. I rode my bike for 20 minutes and have just finished my pizza and salad dinner and carrot cake and tea dessert.

Friday, July 31, 2015

almost to labrador

Tuesday was a return to Quebec, this time taking Boulevard Champlain for a couple of miles before parking next to the bike trail that headed toward Place Royale. It was about a 45 minute ride and I was glad for the break when I got there. Place Royale was full of restaurants and shops but the highlight was the Chateau Frontenac, now a grand hotel, overlooking Place Royale. I wasn’t sure I could get up to the chateau, located in old Quebec, but I decided that I’d try. After 45 stairs and some steep walking, I made it up to Old Quebec and the walk around there was fine, also loaded with shops and restaurants. I walked into the Chateau and it was as expected, rather formal but quite lovely inside. I walked along outside and then it was down to Place Royale for lunch at Cochon Dingue, and had a very good piece of cod. I was tired after the bike ride back to the truck (into the wind the whole time) so I took a well needed nap and then headed back to Levis to play golf. It was a long course but I played reasonably well and had a 47 and then a 48. Now I decided to drive back into town to get a novel to read and I found a bookstore that had some English novels and I got one of Ian McEwen’s. I then drove into Old Quebec and walked around before having a really good dinner at Bello’s, risotto with duck confit and carmelized onions. I wanted to go to Ant Man back in Levis but my GPS threw me off and I made a couple of mistakes so I decided to head back to my campground for a shower, intending to go back to the Tim Horton’s for coffee and dessert. Instead, when I got there I saw that the movie theater next to it was open (even though I had checked earlier online and couldn’t find it) so I ran in and since Ant man was just starting I got a popcorn and thought I was a very lucky man—until I found out that the movie was in French. I got my money back for the movie but I had to keep the popcorn, which I donated back to the theater staff. I got on the road a little after 8:30, hoping that traffic would be easing up and I made it out of town fairly quickly, passing an impressive waterfall park and then driving on. I stopped at a pretty tourist town and decided to get my fishing license, and after 4 futile stops, I finally got it at a sporting goods shop. The young man there recommended the local river and told me where to park. I got to the recommended spot but after trying it out decided to see if I could ride my bike upstream a little, and that worked out very well. I rode up about a mile, dropped down to the river with my bike and then walked along the river for perhaps 4 hundred yards stopping to fish a few times. No hits but a lovely river. And my knees held up very well even though I had to pick my way through rocks at points. I kept going, riding my bike once, doing my weights and yoga and ended up at Tradossuc, which was a very pretty and very touristy town. I rode my bike out by the famous dunes and then looked for whales at the big parking area at the end of the road. Then it was time for coffee and excellent New England clam chowder and some work on my outlines. I walked some and then ended up at an upscale burger/ pizza place where I had four cheese pizza and salad. Back to the campground for a late shower and a decent sleep. On Thursday morning, I headed toward route 389, the northern road to Labrador City. At Forestville, I stopped to play nine holes and though I was frustrated at first, I calmed down and shot pretty well, just breaking 50 on a long course even from the red. Back to driving and bike riding, weights and yoga, more bike riding when I got to baie comeau where I found a very nice bike trail, and then the turn north. 389 started out well enough, paved and not too curvy, and I stopped several times to fish the lakes right by the shore. There were dozens of lakes and some rivers but I had no luck. I had no way to really tell what I was going to find so I kept driving and finally stopped after driving in the heavy rain for over an hour at the Energie Motel (right near Manic 5 a huge hydroelectric dam). I was going to sleep in my truck but the bad weather made me choose a room for about 80 American dollars. It was small but clean and though the TV had only French channels on, I watched a movie and some of a CFL game. I actually figured out most of the movie and enjoyed it. It was the first room I got on the Colorado trip and after 6 days on this trip. It was quite nice to have my own shower and a little larger bed. The next morning it was back to dirt road at points and I stopped a number of times to fish. I had an interesting experience at The Torrent, which was about 60 feet down but there was a path that led to a very tempting pool so I decided to get on my waders, bring my fly reel and flies alone with my combo rod set up for spinning and started down—unfortunately too early and I got my rod all tangled up and I was crazily upset, asking the universe why I couldn’t enjoy myself even a little (what a crybaby) and had to backtrack and find the right path. It was very steep and loaded with alders and I almost gave up but after all this effort I needed to get to that pool—and I did. I started with my spinner and caught a small trout that probably was a parr, a baby salmon. I changed to a wiggly tailed lure and that brought no response. I went back to the spinner and got another parr and with the rain threatening I decided it would be best to try to make it back up and I did, slowly and with much difficulty, but amazingly, my knees weren’t too bad from all the abuse. They really are better, probably from the weight loss and the biking and other exercise. The road was mainly dirt the rest of the way and very bad the last fifty miles. Right near the end was a huge iron pit mine (I was later told it was the second biggest in North America). I’ll bet thousands work there. Fermont was kind of bleak, but I found a campground and they told me there was a restaurant in town that stayed open until at least nine and that was all I needed. I checked in—for 15 Canadian dollars—and then took a great shower in a brand new shower and bathroom.

Monday, July 27, 2015

the next two days provide a lot of interest

I ended up sleeping in a truck stop and it wasn’t too bad. I had to take a sleep aid pill because I was wide awake at 2, worried about the Kelly situation. I am still confused but it is clearer that my role can only be as supportive as I can be regardless of how frustrated I feel. I was so generous to her, hoping that she would buy the house she really wanted and instead she is not happy at all and my generosity seems wasted. I drove until I got to Binghamton and stopped to bike at Broome Community College for 40 minutes then it was time for a nap. 81 got close to Lake Ontario near the town of Pulaski and I headed for the lake. I found a boat landing that had a very nice wooded road leading to it and there was also a little bike path to see the lake, unfortunately shrouded in fog. I rode for 50 minutes and then drove on to eventually play golf at a fine course near Watertown. I shot very well, playing 14 holes, with my short irons way up in the air. I putted very well also. After golf I drove to the Canadian border and decided to head toward Montreal on 419 but then I saw a sign for 1000 islands National Park and that convinced me that it was worth rethinking my plan. I stopped at the visitor center and knew I needed another nap before I decided on a plan. When I awoke, I drove to a state beach and the woman told me that there was a KOA near Rockport and restaurants nearby. That decided it. I headed for the KOA, registered, took a swim, did my weights and yoga and then headed off to explore Rockport. It was cute and after exploring some more, I came back to the have a very decent dinner at Cornwall’s pub. Haven’t heard from Kelly and I am not sure when I will call her. I don’t want to upset her any further but my lack of calling may be seen as not being there for her, which I don’t want her to think. I got up pretty early and began my drive to Montreal. I stopped to pick up supplies at a Canadian Tire and then keep going into town. Traffic was very heavy but I was pretty fresh so I got through with little problem and ended up doing it without the GPS. The directions I got at the visitor's center outside of town were very helpful and I ended up at the dock in the old port where I parked. The bike trail was right there so I rode along it for probably 4 miles mainly along the lovely canal (where power boats were riding and kayakers were paddling), finally stopping at the very large Atwater market, and there purchasing a fine lunch of an interesting swiss like cheese, some wonderful olives and a roll from a boulangerie. I rode back to the Quai, then rode on into the old city and then headed back after a brief visit. I headed off and stopped outside of town for a nap then rode on, stopping again to do my weights and yoga. I decided to drive straight into Quebec City and again I didn’t rely on the GPS but the map the visitor’s center gave me. I wanted to ride down by Place Royale but the time and the traffic caused me to turn around, park, and ride for 3o minutes at a local park. After that I rode my bike down to the Cosmos Café, where I had an excellent Caesar Salad and then Halibut with mixed vegetables with ginger. It was excellent. I rode back to my truck and after getting lost briefly, I got to the KOA just before a storm threatened. There I took a very needed shower and shaved (also very needed) and then headed for a Tim Horton’s a few minutes away.

Saturday, July 25, 2015

a mixed start for the trip

A good opening day for my trip but I think I drove a little too much and then couldn’t find a campground. I will probably stay at a nearby truck stop rather than spending 100 for a room I don’t really need. I am presently eating at a Ruby Tuesdays and I will probably stay here until at least 10:30 then head off. I am waiting for a call from Kelly about the house. I was hoping she would be more comfortable with things by now but it appears not. I got up early, loaded the truck, then went back to sleep. When I got up I did my leg raises, weights and yoga, then showered and headed off. I drove to JMU and rode my bike for 50 minutes then kept driving and stopped at Shippensburg University for a 40 minute bike ride. I should have stopped but I kept driving and got to the Ruby Tuesdays just before dark. My call with Kelly didn’t go well. I am confused and I don’t think I am helping her right now.

Friday, July 24, 2015

tomorrow I leave and all is almost ready

A busy day that went quite well. I loaded the kayak and all the gear, checked the battery water, drove the tractor down to the gate and back evening out the road along the way. I also dug out three bucket loads by the spring and dropped them on the road to build up more of the edge. I took a nap and then went for a hike to the orchard, then back for leg raises, weights and yoga. Now it was off to lunch at Nagoya’s with Claire after dropping off my cooler full of refrigerated goods and picking up my inflatable mattress. I then went and played a comfortable round of golf, playing about 12 holes, then it was off to Blacksburg for a 30 minute bike ride before meeting Gyorgyi for dinner at Greens. I did my lumosity training at the Starbucks in University Mall and I plan to do a second bike ride later. Not sure if my plans to see Jenny are going to work out but I am going to try to meet her and her family.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

the trip is getting closer

A fairly restless night and I finally gave up on sleep around 5, then did things around the house until it was light enough to drive up to the orchard and do the lawn mowing. It went well and when I got back I was able to go back to sleep for a little while and when I awoke I decided to do the trimming and that also went very well with the trimmer battery running out just as I finished. I took a hike after that and that was fine. A few more flowers (daisy fleabane, chicory and white asters). I practiced some, did my leg raises, weights and yoga, and straightened up the house a little more. I am planning on leaving Saturday so tomorrow will be fairly busy, especially with lunch with Claire and perhaps dinner with Gyorgyi.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Closer to heading for Labrador

Today has been a good day. I hiked in the morning, pruning the road and the orchard. I added queen anne’s lace and common evening primrose to my flowering list. All of the fruit is gone from the fruit trees. I vacuumed the kayak so it should be fine now. I used the air conditioning today and that really helped. I practiced jazz piano and did my leg raises, weights and yoga. Then it was time to head to Nissan to get my tires rotated and the truck checked out for the Labrador trip. The truck was fine and then I went and played golf shooting a 45 and then a 46, so it was a good day, especially good putting. After a dinner of broccoli and shrimp at Nagoya I rode my bike along the river for 50 minutes then went to my office for a quick nap. Rob wasn’t available for a walk but perhaps tomorrow. I haven’t heard from Sarah Morris so I am not sure if I will be meeting her and Emma for lunch. I am set to have lunch with Claire on Friday and then hopefully dinner with Gyorgyi on Friday. I did read an article about the 10 warning signs of Alzheimer’s and I have a little of 2 categories but I certainly don’t seem to have a real problem right now. I guess a lot of people worry about this but I think I am still in pretty good shape. My lumosity training is getting better so I guess that is a good sign.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

good visit to help Kelly move

My trip to Kelly’s was very productive, and though Alfredo and I had a little disagreement, we worked it out and worked together to take apart the long and ugly storage piece that bothered Kelly a great deal. I made several trips over with Alfredo and one by myself and we got a bunch of stuff over to the new place. Lucia seems to really enjoy the playground right in the back, particularly swinging higher and higher on the swing. I think with a little landscaping change, the front will look nicer and the new carpets and the wood flooring should make it much more appealing. I rode my bike each morning for almost an hour, then did my yoga and sleeping in the guest room with no dander was quite pleasant and though it was warm inside, it was bearable with the fan in the room. I had a good chat with Kelly and that was nice. On my way back on Monday, I played golf at Sleepy Hollow in Charlestown, watched an hour and a half of the exciting British Open, rode my bike at Roanoke College, then went riding for a half hour at VT before going to the movies to see the new Terminator movie. Awful beginning but much better once it got going. Today I got my book order in and rode my bike at RU for almost an hour. I took a hike this morning (heal all, oxeye, wood nettle, white avens finishing, common St. John’s wort, wineberries almost gone, thin leaved cone, enchanter’s nightshade) and did my leg raises, weights and yoga.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

ten hours of sleep and almost no dizziness

I slept till almost 10 after going to bed around midnight. I felt much better with a very slight sense of dizziness. I did a hike, opened up the kayak to dry completely, did a wash, cleaned the dishes, did leg raises, weights and yoga. I went and did some pruning on the pasture road and got a nap before I headed out to go drop off the Miyazaki tapes at VT for Gyorgyi. After that I picked up my bike but as soon as I got to the CRC, the bike sounded awful so I had to head back and fortunately, they were able to fix the problems with an adjustment to the main sprocket and a new chain. It ended up costing me over $300 but I now have a good backup bike and a fully repaired original bike. Then it was off to meet Rob for a very good walk (I will see him tomorrow for my fatigue and dizziness) and then off to VT for the rest of my first bike ride, cut short by a big storm. I called Kelly and I hope she is well and I talked to Claire Gallo who is not feeling so well and wanted to not hike on Thursday, which is fine with me. Dinner and video games and/or bowling will be fine. I should have dinner with Cathy tomorrow and that will be fun.

Monday, July 13, 2015

the dizziness is getting worse

Today was a decent day but I was pretty dizzy at points throughout the day so I called Rob’s office to set up an appointment on Wednesday. I hope it is nothing too serious (perhaps my weight loss or my meds or the pre-diabetic stuff). I am starting to worry a little about driving and riding my bike. I don’t want to hurt anyone else or myself. I had one instance on my bike where I had to stop and I almost had to sit down. I need to figure out what is going on. I am a little dizzy right now. This morning I took a hike to the orchard and back and it was hard for me. I needed a nap when I got back but I was able to do my leg raises, weights and yoga before I headed out to meet Claire for lunch at Nagoya’s. She is doing very well and I hope she gets one of the full time positions at Tech or Radford. I went to play golf, feeling a little dizzy but I played okay. I was one over bogey golf for 4 holes (including the par 5) but I got an 8 on the next hole and then a 7 on the next. That meant I had almost no chance to break 50 (I would need a 4, 4, 5, not impossible but very difficult). On hole 7 I put my second shot in the water and then chipped to within 8 feet and fortunately made the putt for a 5. That meant I needed a 4, 4 to break 50 and it didn’t look good on the par 3 after my first shot rolled off the back of the green. Very fortunately, I putted to within 4 feet and made the putt for a 3. Now all I needed was a 5 on the final hole, a difficult, uphill par 4, and my first two shots were quite good. My third shot was good but it rolled way back off the green so I had about a 40 foot putt. I hit it well but I still had 5 feet and amazingly, I sunk the curving putt for a remarkable 49. I then went to RU for a nap and then my lumosity session, and then to the Perry Street Garage to ride my bike while the weather outside continued poor.

Saturday, July 11, 2015

back home and into the swing of things

Today, Saturday, was productive. I got up at 6:30 and cleared around the house all the saplings that were brushing the house and all the Virginia creeper that was growing up the side. After that I took a walk to the orchard (going back down twice more}. I practiced my piano—and I am getting better—did my leg raises, weights and yoga, then cleared around the house with the trimmer. I had a wasp nest in the door that I had to spray but I didn’t get stung. Friday was also a good day with a morning hike (st. johnswort, heal all, fleabane, Deptford pink, still some oxeye daisies). I ate some of the last wineberries and some black berries, and sliced up an apple and ate half of that. The grass is cut and the road is in pretty good shape. I did my leg raises, weights and yoga and then I practiced piano before heading in to play golf and ride my bike twice, once on the river trail and then on campus.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

the end of another western trip

I am back home, having gotten home in 4 and ½ days. The trip home was pretty uneventful with some bike riding, some golf, and not much else. The kayak trip on Saturday was a blast and the water seemed at points to be 3 plus, comparable to Nantahala falls. I almost flipped a couple of times and I was definitely lucky not to. The pictures are outstanding and I am attaching a few of them. We did two sections, the first a lot of non stop class 3, and the second, the Bridges (the rock at Killer Bridge was underwater) and I don’t think I ever paddled as hard. I should really buy a lighter paddle; that would give me a quicker stroke which would be very helpful. After a night of simple incredible rain at the KOA near Ashland, I was going to head right home, but I stopped at Castle Rock to play nine holes (48) and I needed some good holes at the end to do that. The rain threatened but I got all nine in and then I stopped to ride my bike for 40 minutes at tech, the rain cutting that ride slightly. Then it was home by 4:30 and unpacking the wet truck, doing a laundry, doing the leg weights and the arm weights and yoga, I heading into town for salad and coffee and I hope another bike ride.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Finally a few fish

It is Friday and the day started well with a half hour of fishing the Big Thompson, a very tempting stream. I got two hits on a Royal Wulff and had to stop when my right knee started hurting. I have to be very careful not to reinjure it. I am signed up for a kayak trip tomorrow and then I start home. I should get back by the following weekend and that feels like a good idea. Yesterday I entered Rocky Mountain National Park from the western entrance and at first I was not impressed. The first 15 miles were not very interesting but once you got into the middle of the park, it was quite grand, not as spectacular as the Canadian Rockies but very impressive. Later I fished a tiny stream above 10,000 feet on Old River Road, a winding dirt road that ended up at the Alpine visitor’s center. I later fished a lovely stretch of water at the start of the road, but the water was pretty fast and it was tough to fish. I did get 25 minutes of biking in along with almost an hour of riding earlier in the day. I am back to doing yoga and working out with a ten pound weight I bought. My upper muscle tone has really declined but three days of working out has already helped. I have done a good bit of evaluating where I am in life right now and I think I am in a decent place. I am a good friend to Kelly, Rob, Claire, Gyorgyi and Cathy and the girls. I am still teaching okay although my memory is not what it was. However I worked hard on the Lumosity training and have raised my scores to the highest level I have ever achieved. I have set some new top fives so I guess my mind is still okay. I am still writing some and my commentary on Ferguson, Missouri and my radio essay on babysitting were decent pieces. I am still in touch with Gloria, although I haven’t heard from Dolores and don’t expect to. My health is pretty good and I exercise quite a bit so I think I can put off the knee surgery for a few years. I still love living in my hollow and I think if my health remains good I can stay at least till seventy. I have mixed feelings about serious relationships. I cancelled Match because I wasn’t even checking it but there are moments where I feel too isolated and lonely, not too often but enough to bother me at points. This has been a very expensive year for me but I don’t expect my spending to continue at such a rate. I still have a chance of retiring after 5 semesters but it looks like it will probably be 6. I still get angry too easily and I have to constantly control that. Fortunately, that anger usually doesn’t affect my relationships but it is a trait I wish I didn’t have. I finally got a chance to fish some perfect water, a long pool on the Poudre, and had a ball, catching and releasing 4 trout and bringing up a few more on Royal Wulffs.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Kayaking and the Black Canyon

It is Tuesday evening and I am sitting in an Applebee’s in Montrose, Colorado. I have just had tortilla soup and a side of broccoli. I had a long and productive day mainly because it was lovely weather all day with just a sprinkling of rain around 8:30. I got up around 7 and started drying out all the kayak and fishing gear. I put up a line and clothespinned all the wet stuff and then started cleaning up the rest of the truck when I decided to dry out the kayak also. I wanted to get it dry and I figured if I wanted to kayak the animas in Durango I could rent a duckie if a company had one. I decided to take a ride over to the whitewater park about a half mile away and there were a number of drift boats getting ready to put in. The whitewater park looked tempting but I wanted the kayak stowed away so I just looked fondly at the class 2 rapids. I was almost finished with my ride when I decided to ride back, check on my stuff, grab my breakdown rod and reel and some lures and head back to fish a bit from the shore. I fished one spot above the put in and it was promising water but I didn’t get a hit, and no hits at the two spots below. However, I enjoyed it quite a bit. When I got back I tried to get on the internet but it didn’t work well and I figured that when the drying was done I would go play golf at the course just outside of Gunnison. Then it struck me that since it was so nice, I should head for the Black Canyon. I checked it on the GPS and found that it was 55 miles away but it still seemed a good idea and I could spend an hour checking out the overlooks and the get into Montrose for the Women’s Soccer Semifinal, which the USA won against the favored Germany. The Black Canyon National Park was stunning, simply put and though I got to see three or four of the overlooks (the others demanded too much walking for my limited time) I was very inspired by this amazing place (I am thinking I may return tomorrow before heading to Durango. On the way out to head to Montrose I decided to take a look at the east portal and it was interesting but didn’t seem that great a place to come back and fish. So I drove into Montrose, got there with five minutes to go in the first half and then ate a salad and watched the second half. I had spoken to the fellow at the Black Canyon Golf Course and he said if I got there by seven, I could play nine and after the US scored its second goal I headed off and made it with ten minutes to spare. It was a long course and I didn’t shoot too well so I ended up with a 51. Still, it was nice to play. My kayak trip on Monday through the Bighorn Sheep Canyon on the Arkansas was fabulous. The early water was a lot of fun and the canyon was solid Class 3 and I couldn’t have handled any more. The guide thought I did very well and I can’t disagree. I am very glad I hired the guide (for 150) or I would have never been able to run such ambitious water. Later I drove to Gunnison and was just able to get in a little fishing up near Three Rivers just before dark. Then I had a nice pizza dinner in Gunnison before heading to my site at the KOA.

Sunday, June 28, 2015


I am sitting in Oscar’s Bar and Grille in dumpy little Limon, Colorado, having just finished some food and iced tea. I ended up playing 14 holes of golf and then I took another long bike ride about 40 miles from Limon, this one for another 50 minutes. I eventually got to Limon in time to watch the end of the Canada / England women’s world’s cup. I was hoping Canada would win but England prevailed 2-1. I am staying at the KOA here, certainly not the best one I have ever seen. A hot shower is a hot shower, however, and it felt quite good. I got a text from Kelly about the open house. There were 3 families that came and they thought the house was a bit overpriced. I think it will probably have to be reduced a bit, but I think that is to be expected. I have set up a kayak trip on the Arkansas with a guide since I couldn’t hook up with a rafting company and I do want to kayak the Arkansas. It is Sunday morning and I am in common grounds, a coffee shop in Denver just off the 16th street mall. I slept fairly well at the KOA in Limon. I did my laundry (so now I am set for 10 days) and got to sleep after midnight. The ride in was easy and I was bike riding along the Platte by 7:30. The river was way up so I couldn’t ride along cherry creek. I rode for almost an hour and I was struck by all the transients along the river, dozens, to be sure. I am going to walk some and maybe see a movie before taking another bike ride.

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Almost to Colorado

I am sitting in a McDonald’s in WaKeeney, Kansas having finished an Asian salad and nursing a very decent cup of coffee. I took a lovely bike ride this morning besides a freshly mowed hayfield and acreage planted in soybeans. I saw a jackrabbit, meadowlark, nighthawks and a number of prairie wildflowers. After that I drove on to Wakeeney where I walked through the small downtown. The only building of distinction was the courthouse, but the downtown was quite clean and even the abandoned storefronts were decent looking. I played golf yesterday and took a couple of bike rides so my weight is holding steady. The only interesting event on this trip was an incredible thunderstorm coming into St. Louis that forced me to exit the highway with the rain coming down in sheets with my truck shaking while parked at a truckstop. Tomorrow I will be in Denver and that should be fun, biking along the trail I’ve ridden before and walking around downtown. Kelly sent me text thanking me for my help on Tuesday. She read my e-mail but hasn’t had time to respond. I texted her this morning wishing her well with the open house and praising the new house. We will chat soon but things are fine I think.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

first two days of the Colorado trip

It is Wednesday evening and I am waiting for my pizza at the Pizza Cottage in Buckeye Lake, Ohio. It has been a decent day, getting off at 5:30 from Catonsville, driving 400 miles, playing 13 holes of golf at the Lakeview Resort in Morgantown, West Virginia, riding my bike for 40 minutes along the Muskingum river—through a virtually deserted Riverside park (with loads of fields and not one being used at 6 pm). I was going to try for the KOA in Dayton but decided instead to stay at the KOA in Buckeye Lake. I signed in and eventually got to ride another 35 minutes mainly in a semi-abandoned shopping plaza after I found the sidewalk in front of the lake houses was not meant for riding and the gravel at the KOA was too bumpy to ride on. I am glad to be out of Catonsville. I did help Kelly and Alfredo but things got tense with Kelly when I told her that she and Alfredo were not landscapers. I was very tired and had to take a lot of rescue inhaler but I shouldn’t have pushed my point with the realtor, who reluctantly agreed with my appraisal. I think the new house is really nice, with lots of space and in a very good neighborhood. I wrote Kelly a long e-mail today and I hope it makes her feel better. Perhaps I shouldn’t have gone up to help but there is no doubt that the pictures of the house wouldn’t have been done on Tuesday. Playing with Lucia was a lot of fun and she seems very comfortable with me at this point. I left the hollow in very good shape with the road graded and the grass cut. It is Thursday morning and things are going well. I have finished 200 miles and it is a little past noon, did my lumosity training, talked to Gyorgyi and wished her a happy birthday, rode my bike for 40 minutes, picked up supplies at Walmart and took a 30 minute walk there because it was raining, and took a nap. I should get to Denver sometime on Sunday and that will avoid traffic. My breathing is back to normal and last night I slept quite well in my truck. I also am glad I am not watching much TV. When I stay in motel rooms I end up surfing too much and staying up too late and I think it affects my ability to sleep.