Replaced my long suffering cycling gloves with a pair Peal Izumi Barriers that I got on sale at REI. Mesh backs are nice for my hot hands and the palms are pretty comfortable. Not crazy about the color, but for $15 I can live with it.
This was my first attempt at making a penny stove. I only made a few mistakes when putting it together. All told it probably took me an hour to do it. If I made one today it would probably take me twenty minutes. I used the instructions here:
It is a simple, and satisfying project that has a great make or break moment the first time you light it up.
Mine worked first time, no problem.
The addition of a titanium Snow Peak Mini Solo Cookset fit the stove well. It has a capacity of 830ml which seems perfect for solo bike excursions and not too small to make water for two if needed. The set comes with a small single walled cup that is graduated in ounces and milliliters that I have found to be useful for measuring just the right amount of water when making coffee…. which is the real reason I picked the Mini Solo. The inside diameter is the same as a Jetboil, so I can use the french press filter and plunger to make coffee.
I think the penny stove has become my go to stove for light and fast. If it was REALLY cold I’d still go for my MSR Whisperlight, and my MSR Pocket Rocket and Jetboil each have their niche, but as something to throw on the bike or in the pack for a warm drink or quick meal, the penny is proving tough to beat.
Field test at Johnson Creek.
Implementation on a cold and wet day picking mushrooms on the Mt. Hood NF.
Fly fishing for coastal cutthroat has become something I think about a lot. Chasing a totally wild population of native trout in an environment that is as dynamic and unfamiliar as the Puget Sound makes it ripe for imagination.
Fly fishing in any ecosystem is an interjection into the lower reaches of the food chain. Those foods that trout enjoy are not glamorous. They are unassuming, slow, easy targets that represent the largest number of calories and protein consumed for calories spent.
We are students of the biology that resides directly below the trout in the food chain as much or more as we are students of the trout itself.
In freshwater, transitional forms of insects are extremely productive. Either so newly active that they lack the facilities to escape predation like the emerging pupae floating from the bottom of a lake, or those that are at the end of their life cycles, like the caddis fly landing on the water to propagate the next generation and therefore illuminating its silhouette to the lurking predator below.
In the saltwater estuaries that I have fished for cutthroat trout the prey is no different. In the spring, Chum salmon fry emerging from their natal streams are an easy, and popular target for hungry coastal cutthroat. Sandlance and krill are also easy and appealing targets for cutthroat and therefore what we, as imitators of prey use as the basis for our flies.
A trip to River City Fly Shop provides the raw materials.
Hook, string, and fur. A Lambuth Candlefish is one of my favorite flies because it is simple, beautiful and effective.
From near to far: Euphasid in a variety of colors, James Peach, Ferguson’s Green and Silver, Chum Baby, Sandlance, Mickey Fin (the orange and red), and Lambuth Candlefish. Easy to get carried away when you can think so vividly about fishing while you are tying flies.
I’d like to write a couple book reviews on several books that I have on Sea Run Cutthroat. That might be a good project for this week as I think the weather here is going to quickly turn to rain.
While travelling to a number of National Forests for work this past spring I was able to visit the Colville NF, where I worked for two summers as an archaeologist. It is a beautiful, remote, and infrequently visited National Forest and is a favorite spot for me.
Most notable on this trip however, was an afternoon visit to the Little Pend Oreillle National Wildlife Refuge. A huge area that is home to elk, bears, deer, and grouse, the Little Pend Oreille River also flows through the valley. I had the good fortune to spend a summer living in the bunkhouse on the refuge and learned to fly fish on this river.
It was a great treat to be able to wet wade the river again and catch a couple nice trout.
What a beautiful little stream.
An elegant tool.
The operator. Taking a nap, waiting for the boss to pick me up.
Mushroom permit, field pack, and a paper bag. You don’t need much else, besides a reasonable degree self assurance that you aren’t picking the wrong mushroom.
Lobster Mushroom. Found a ton of these, and knew that some are edible. Apparently these are formed when other mushrooms are infected with a “zombie” fungi that turns them red, makes them grotesque shapes, and nullifies any toxic compounds.
Identifying the host mushroom is important however, and I didn’t come prepared with a field guide.
Even though I’m not a working archaeologist anymore, I can’t help but turn over a rusty can in the woods. This was a good one. Steel can and pull tab opening make this about 40 years old. Not quite historic.
A decent hour and a half in the woods.
Home, cleaned and ready to cut up and dry. I could have saved myself some work if I could have brushed most of the dirt off one my one in the field. I think I will go get an inexpensive 1” bristle paintbrush to use next time.
I’ve been busy with some things for the last couple of months.
Most importantly, getting married:
I wish my tie was straight in that photo. Doesn’t she look beautiful?
Then we went on a honeymoon:
And I saw this neat Marin MTB:
I like the binder clip on the reflector, the rust, and what look like cut off canti mounts on the fork. Saw this at the beach in Santa Monica.
I still have some posts in the works about the bikepacking trip, some ongoing changes as I get the Stumpjumper dialed in, and fishing in a couple places.
My hope is that people are reading the blog, but Google Analytics says otherwise almost every week. I’m thinking of moving to blogger or wordpress to be able to facilitate comments. It would be nice to have a discussion with interested folks about my posts.
George Duke died on Monday.
In all of the clips that I have seen of him playing with Frank Zappa, Stanley Clarke, or his own band, he was always smiling.
It was a smile that you couldn’t fake. He was just having fun.
I decided to make some changes to the Stumpjumper and I think it came out really well. I tested the new setup on some singletrack on the Kitsap Peninsula a couple weeks ago during my bachelor party.
Myself, Brian, Tony and my brother Jameson all showed up for the party, along with my Dad who was cooking a 10lb brisket on the smoker while we were playing in the woods.
Inspiration for my bar choice came from here. I like the way these bars look and thought they would feel good and allow me to strap some stuff to them to go camping.
I picked up a set of Velo Orange Milan bars, some round cork grips and a Crane brass bell from Universal Cycles, a 100mm Nitto Technomic stem from Velo Cult and a brake cable hanger and some cool red cable ends that match the paint from 21st Ave Cycles.
Bar height is much better than with the bullmoose bars. I’ll post something about my tool roll soon. It is rock solid and carries everything I want. Repping the Colville NF Archaeology program with my bottle.
My buddy Brian had a Redline 29er that was fun to ride. We swapped bikes on the way back out to the road and instantly almost crashed each others bikes they handled so much differently. But, after getting used to them, we each liked the other setup too.
Tony was riding a 56cm Surly Crosscheck complete with Panaracer Fire Cross 45c tires. The bike was too big for me to do any serious riding on it but when I took it for a short run it felt very confidence inspiring. If I got another frame to do commutes and road riding on, monster crossing my CC would be first on my project list.
Vast but not least, here is some video of the trails we rode, shot by Tony using his GoPro on a handlebar mount. Music by DJ Shadow.
A trip to Eugene for work was a great excuse to take my bike on the train down and try out commuting in a new city. The train ride was great and the 20 mile round trip to and from work everyday was a quick way to build miles. It rained hard a couple of days, blew wind and pollen into my eyes so hard I could barely see another, but was great fun and a great test of the load carrying capacity and handling of the Cross Check.
Travel configuration, Union Station. The bike needed to be empty for the train ride so I brought a backpack and my messenger bag to carry on to the passenger car.
Rain, Willamette River. I found that my messenger bag rolled up nicely on the front and provided extra capacity to carry my laptop on my back. With my laptop, work clothes, work shoes and rain wear I had the back bags full.
Train, Eugene Train Station. Waiting to load the bike on the return train to Portland. Even with all of the great riding that I did, the train ride was my favorite part of this trip.
I have a bunch of material from the last two months that i haven’t had time to post, but am working on now. As I get posts completed I am going to post them without regard for context or chronology. No one will notice. Mostly because readership is so low as to be nonexistent.