May 2008

Home to Rainier National Park, Carbon River Road

Went via Orting Valley, Wilkinson, Carbonado, then returned up Pioneer to Canyon Rd, 75 miles. Beautiful conditions, and was able to see Mt. Rainier well. No camera, unfortunately, to document the event. Nice first outdoor ride of the year. Moderate hilly outside of the Orting Valley and road quality was poor but constantly uphill, once you get to South Prairie. I came within about a mile of the park entrance, turning back only because there was quite a bit of snow around me, and it was getting to be rather chilly, not being totally dressed for deep freeze conditions. Coming back, I encountered Doug & Margie with the Chases, taking a stroll along the Orting Valley. I guess they weren’t used to high-velocity items propelling into them on the trail. I also stopped for a bite to eat in Orting. This is a nice trail for uphill training.

My first century 100 miles (161 km) 6.5 hrs

Another beautiful day, so I decided to do a variation on the 12APRIL trip. Riding my bicycle from home, I went through Sumner to Auburn, the first 14 miles. I then went directly to Flaming Geyser State Park, though not stopping at the park. Immediately past the park, I hit the first of many hills that were to define this trip. Those hills were mostly avoided, or encountered on the downhill, in the last trip, going the other way. I then did a slight out-of-the-way loop, going by Hanging Gardens State Park. The Green River runs through this park, which is how it appeared from the road.

After I arrived at the town of Black Diamond, I turned north to Kent, then riding to Kanaskat-Palmer State Park. Riding into the park, I watched some rafters go down the Green River.

The trip then headed straight south, going through Enumclaw and Buckley. There was the Mountain (Rainier) and cows.

Finally, I headed down to the Orting Valley, doing a slight duplicate of myself to achieve exactly 100 miles on the ride. Here is the trail, going by the Puyallup River.

At the end, I was doing 18-20 mph (29-32 kph) but was a little ragged. The hills were moderately steep, and the temperature rose as high as 32 Celsius, making it too hot for me. You could tell that by the end of the trip. I decided not to do the last hill to get me up to South Hill but called Betsy, and she came to get me.  Meanwhile, some may wonder what a person eats on a long trip like this. You certainly don’t need a balanced diet and don’t need fats. I mostly GU it, which comes in small packages that you can rip open with your teeth and easily slurp down while riding. It is almost pure carbohydrate. Most bicycle jerseys have three little pockets in the back where you can keep your stash of GU. I also consume large quantities of gummi-bears and wear a hydration kit on my back.

I hope to do a few more centuries (100-mile rides) this year and am already signed up for two centuries and a double-century. So, I’ll lug my camera along, and expect more adventures in the chronicles of the Feuchtster.

Der Sommer ist gekommen

Sommer ist angefangen, und mir ist Wanderlust. Bergklettern oder Fernfahrraden ist für mich besonders gut, und gibt schönes Gefühl. Letzte Wochenende gehen ich und Freunden nach Mt. Hood, um zu klettern, mit Seilen und Steigeisen. Heute habe ich mein erste “Century” – 100 milen (162 km) am Fahrrad gegangen. So kannst du die Reiseberichten lesen unter “Kritik” –  Bike Rides and Hikes. Jetzt kann ich nicht aufhören du denken, wie schön war unsere Reise nach Deutschland und Österreich. Für Betsy und ich war die Treffen mit Herbert, Diane, Annita und ihre Eltern unvergesslich. Wir wissen nicht, wie wir könnten unsere Freunden und Familie danken für alles was sie getan haben. Wenn sie kommen nach Amerika am Besuch werden wir nicht Fahrraden, sondern Autofahren zu Mt. Rainier, Seattle, Puget Sound, und alle unsere Lieblingsorte. Bitte wir haben extra Schlaffzimmern, und für uns werde es eine große Ehre sein, sie als Gaste zu haben.

Since most of my friends don’t speak or read Deutsch, it is only proper for me to do some Englisch. I have some new hiking and bike ride reports. Summer has arrived, and the Northwest becomes a veritable Paradise. We have about 30-40 Rhododendron plants in our yard, and they all start blooming in early May, which will go through mid-June.  Here are a few examples…

Since they bloom at various times, about half the Rhodys are not yet bloomed, and we can anticipate beauty in our yard for the next several months.
OK, nothing controversial is expounded in this post, so I will instead just mention the book review of Ron Paul’s book “The Revolution”. Since I am a Ron Paul advocate and will vote for him even if he is not on the ballot by writing him in, I anticipate that all of my friends will do the same. Alright, go ahead and vote for somebody that you really can’t stand. Obama’s scary. McCain will escalate the Mideast war. Hillarious is a joke. I never voted for Bush, I don’t typically vote Democratic, and the new Republicans are really Republicrats. Only Paul takes stands on economics, foreign policy, and moral issues that I could live with. Please, if you are Amerikan, purchase a copy of The Revolution and read it. Then, write in his name on the ballot at the next election. It’s that simple.

The Revolution

The Revolution: A Manifesto, by Ron Paul ★★★★
I’ve taken a break from reading larger texts, to read this book, which arrived a day before (I actually ordered 3 copies). I’m not much of a political wonk, usually hating the idea of politics, but, Ron Paul is a lonely exception. I supported Ron Paul before he ever became known to the public, voted for him for president, and will write his name on the ballot, just to avoid whatever bimbos are put up by the Republicrats for us to vote for. Nothing doing! Dr. Paul covers 5 relevant areas. 1) Foreign policy – like many of my previous posts, Paul advocates getting out of everybody else’s space, 130 countries’ worth of space, to be exact. 2) Support for the constitution – Paul suggests that we return to taking the constitution seriously, rather than allowing politicians to delegitimize sections to meet their convenience or so-called public need. 3) Economic freedom – Paul discusses the issue of removing the current tax structure, while concomitantly cutting back massive federal spending, 4) Civil liberties – Dr. Paul discusses how the use of such new institutions such as the Patriot Act, government eavesdropping, government regulation in health care, drugs, etc. have actually harmed more than helped Americans, and 5) Money – Dr. Paul discusses how the loss of the gold standard and absence of accountability of the federal reserve has led to a massive increase in the money supply while simultaneously devaluing money. All in all, the book is an easy read and a must for anybody who really cares about the future of America. Dr. Paul is certainly correct in anticipating an eventual collapse of the system which the feds will fix at the peril of even more of the freedoms that we currently cherish.

Mt Hood Summit attempt

This attempt was yesterday with Ronn Goodnough and Doug King on the South route (trade route) of Mt. Hood. We achieved approximately the 9500 ft. level, at the base of crater rock, before weather conditions deteriorated to the point that it would not be either comfortable or provide a good view on top, and with some climbing members surprised that the ascent of a peak was as strenuous as it was, realized that they needed slightly more physical conditioning. That’s ok. I also got into condition at the beginning of a climbing season by just doing it, realizing that the first climb would be tough, and the rest far more endurable. So, we headed up the mountain at 00:20, with the first stop at Silcox Warming Hut.

This first photograph is with me and Dr. King. We were already quite warm. Since it was pitch black, we all needed headlamps to climb. We continued our ascent until the summit disappeared, and all that we saw was this…

Stockhausen: Helikopter Quartett

Stockhausen: Helikopter Quartett, Arditti String Quartet 1996 ★★★★
This quartet gets 10 stars for strangeness. Honestly, I’ve never heard anything quite like this. The quartet is performed with each string player in a separate helicopter, hovering over the audience, with the sound piped down and mixed. For all its strangeness, it seems to work. It definitely is not sonorities that we are used to hearing, yet, it is not unpleasant, and manages to comfortably integrate the sound of the beating rotors to the tones produced by the string instruments. This CD is definitely not for the neophyte or conventional classicist. It is a single track, recorded slightly longer than 31 minutes. This could be one of the most intriguing 31 minutes of listening experience that you have ever experienced, should you wish to venture beyond Bach and Beethoven. By the way, after playing this 4-5 times in the operating room, I’m now forbidden to play Stockhausen in the OR. We’ll see.