Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Ascutney VT among other things!

This started out as a mixed up week and a last minute change of plans for the Ascutney VT trip added to the, chaos is the wrong word, but I can't find the right one at the moment.  

Also I'm getting tired of the weekly log title so I'll challenge myself to come up with something creative that may actually reflect the content...



Monday (5.7) - Ro and I did our Wednesday hills on Monday because she had Jury Duty on Wednesday and who knows how that is going to go...  Since we missed last week, at this moment I don't have the foggiest idea why....   This was one of our quickest hill workouts.  Ro really wants to start running again.  I think I'm ready to run with her.  I REALLY enjoy being able to talk though, so it's tough.   But if I don't do it I may lose what little ability I have left to run breath and talk?

Dave was tired from a big mile week so he volunteered to hike Jax's loop with Jax.  Cool.  I probably used the free time to get some grocery shopping done or some housewifery.  Who knows.  

Oh, I see from my camera roll I used the time to sit on the porch and drink beer.

Tuesday (0) - Was going to be a ride with the EBAC (Electric Boat Athletic Club) Tour de Testosterone but that turned into a washout, again.  


All packed up and no where to go.  :(


Wednesday (20 +1.5) - I got in late, a chat with Dr. B about this Lupus / Undifferentiated Mixed Connective Tissue Disorder diagnosis and is it possible this is undiagnosed Lyme or one of the other two, anaplasmosis or babosis?  Can we just prescribe a course of Doxy and see what happens?  That was a resounding NO.  He did humor me and give me another Lyme Panel.  I can't remember the stages of grief,  Dr. B didn't say it out loud but he did say I was going through the argumentative stage, my blood and urine workups are off the charts with inflammation and then that positive ANA test and well the rest of the Auto-Immune symptoms....  grrrrr, can't this just be Lyme or some variant of that and heavy dose of Doxy and I'm alright again?  PLEASE!!!  Maybe that's the bargaining stage of grief?  UGH...


Ro and me


Anyhoodles, I stroll in late, "Who's Dave Burr?" is in and rather lonely, lots of people "working from home".  I was there about 90 minutes and went to meet Ro for a bike ride.  We were getting some version of a ride in come hell or high water!   We did a quick 20 miles and both felt better for it.  


Pence was in town making traffic horrible


As Wednesday night is knitting night, Rory is almost finished with her sweater, only a little bit of knitting left!   We are in year 5 of knitting this sweater.


May I play Pin Ball?


Jax got an in town walk, which he rather liked!  Very much to my surprise.  He poked his head in various stores with open doors and was cordial to all the people he met.  He seemed to be most interested in the beer and pinball place, "Flip Side" and wandered in and was greeted by the patrons.    That fulfilled his requirement for a walk, to do something interesting.  He's not into miles, he's into action.  Ok, gotcha, Giz and Gus and Diesel were all about getting as far as they could in the 60 - 90 minutes allotted for their evening constitutional.  Action Jaxson wants, well action! 


Beer is always on the menu


Thursday (3) The change in Ascutney plans were to leave a day early because Saturday looked like a rainy crappy day and Dave wanted us both to have our long activity opportunity.  Cool!  We left a day early.  Knowing that Thursday was mostly a travel and set-up day we took a few hours to get moving in the morning and left by 10 a.m.  There were no hookups at the camp.  We could fill with water and dump and that was it.  A learning opportunity!  


Dorks!


The loop around the camp was 1/2 mile, and Jax had a loop after set up to burn off the crazies, after dinner, and then before bed.  Also, we did a little stroll up the auto road to see what we could see.  He was NOT into constant climbing or the asphalt so we called it after 3/4 of a  mile and headed back to camp.


Can't we go back THAT way? -- Jax


Friday (50 + 3) My day to do my long ride was Friday.  Dave's friend Bill was coming up for the night and they were going to do a long trail & gravel grind on Saturday.  I set out by 8 a.m. for a 50-mile ride where I thought I'd see 5 covered bridges.  I saw 4 and one was someone's driveway.  Vermont is not as good as New Hampshire at pointing out where their covered bridges are.  OK!  Got it.  Now to learn about Points Of Interest (POI) marking on the Garmin so I know when I'm supposed to be looking for something.  Add that to lessons learned!   

Relive the ride here.




I knew looking at the elevation that the hard climb was in the first 25 miles.  Where exactly I wasn't sure.  But when I got to the top I knew it!  And the 5+ miles of downhill was very welcome!  Such pretty country on the uphill and on the downhill, it was so incredible. There was also an equally long climb and descent on the second half of the ride, just not as high.  OMG it nearly killed me, well brought me to tears.  I reminded myself my longest ride was 35 miles and that was a few weeks ago so adding in 15 was a HUGE jump.  Once I finally got to the downhill all was grand, then the last 10 miles 5 were up a small hill and then down...  I stopped for a few minutes and gave myself a pep talk, a snack, and reminded myself there was beer and this was less than 30 minutes of torture.




Bill arrived an hour after I got back and they decided they would go for a quick ride. Jax and I took a nap.  I needed one!




Saturday (3)  Dave and Bill were off for their long ride and I drove Jax up the auto road so he could summit Mt. Ascutney.  It was going to be a bit warm for him.  He's good until 50F and then he kind of melts. 




We took the Summit trail and chose the Slab route on the way up.  This presented the poor guy with two metal sets of stairs.  He cannot deal with these things and attempted to claw his way up the side of some ledge.  I thought for sure we were gonna be goners tumbling over the side of the mountain.   Ha ha.  We made the summit he drank a bottle of water out of my hand and wanted more.  Crap. I need to remember my hydration pack as dorky as it would look for such a short hike it would have been a good idea. 




We took the Slot trail down to the Summit trail this was free of metal stairs and Jax was much happier.  He downed another bottle of water once we got back to the truck. 





After all that we settled in to hang out at camp, I read and played on my phone, Jax kept an eye on things until he was ready to nap or needed me to take him on his rounds to go pee.  He won't pee or poop in our camp site.  Respecting the boundaries of his home?  Not really sure but he thinks it took us long enough to catch on!




Sunday (23 + 3) The weather was decent for a short bike ride and I found one over the Windsor-Cornish covered bridge into NH and several other bridges in NH.  NH is much better about tagging summits and points of interest, I'll give them major props for that.   For both states I'll give the drivers major props for being kind and considerate.  The only asshat driver I dealt with while biking had CT plates, go figure. 

Relive the ride here.


Windsor-Cornish Bridge

The Windsor-Cornish bridge is the second longest covered bridge in the US.  I thought that was pretty cool!  It was a dreary day to be on the bike, but riding always perks me up and it was early enough on a dreary Sunday not a lot of people were out on the roads. 




When I got back Dave, Jax, and I did some touristy things, went to the Quechee Gorge and then to Woodstock (where I got to see one of the bridges I missed on my Friday ride) to wander around and have some ice cream!  Jax liked the ice cream part.  On the drive home Dave decided he wanted to Summit Mt. Ascutney, via the auto road and the Summit / Slot trail.   So the three of us did that!  Having someone to keep an eye on Jax meant we each got to climb up in the observation tower!  Even on a crappy day it was a beautiful view.


Quechee Gorge

We made the best of the situation at hand, for sure!


Dave and Jax summit Mt. Ascutney


Mileage:

Feet: 19
Saddle: 93 

Books:


The Pillars of the Earth
by Ken Follett

Still plugging away.  It is an interesting book and I'm very attached to the characters, either love them or hate them!  I wonder if Kingsbridge Cathedral will get finished?

Knitting:

A couple hours progress on the red white and blue socks.   Amy loosened up the scar tissue in my shoulder and it is a lot less painful, I'm still not ready to knit more than an hour every other day.  I like being able to lift my hand above my head pain free.  This is a cumulative injury between separating my shoulder on my mountain bike crash last year and the posture I take while I knit socks all don't work very well together. 

Sincerely,
Beth we all live our days as we see best for us at the time.

Monday, May 21, 2018

Week 20: 5/14/2018 - 5/20/2018

ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Actually, I feel a bit better now.  

Monday (5)  Woohoo 5 miles!! I had to run up and down a hill to hit it, but I did.  I felt it the rest of the week too...  That ache that says you did something.  There were points where I wanted to walk, I didn't I plodded along, maybe I'll get faster, maybe I won't, I honestly don't care, I'm happy, and what matters most for me is me.  

Dave went out on a ride leaving Jax home alone, it took him more than a full minute to recognize that I was home and for him to roust himself from the nest he made in our bed!  Poor guy is still tired.  I was glad.  If he had greeted me barking and doing his flying Wallendas routine across the foyer I would have taken him to Canochet just to get him out.  I was happy he sauntered down the stairs gave me a half-hearted whappa whappa and settled into his chair.


Crazy dog and crazy boy

Tuesday (12.5 + 1.5) The EBAC ride was called on account of thunderstorms.  I hemmed and hawed on doing the ride by myself.  Mostly deciding not to do it because of the small mishap this morning with Jax.  He ferociously sneezed and threw his paw into my eye giving me quite the gash above my eye!  He missed my eye and we can all be thankful for that.  I hollered and felt my eye socket filling up with blood from the gushing wound.  Dave got me something to mop up the blood.  Jax couldn't figure out what all the fuss was about and wasn't it time for his breakfast?  

As the morning progressed the wound kept seeping and grossing out some of my co-workers.  I went to health services and Dr. D patched me up with three suture strips and a big white bandage.  He said if he sent me to urgent care they would put in some stitches but he didn't think it needed that but IF this didn't stop the bleeding I should go to urgent care for stitches.  Oh yeah, and hold up a minute you need a tetanus shot.  

Ro texted that she might be up for a short ride doing laps around the Pfizer Tri course, was I interested.  Sure!  I'd be there in 20 minutes.  I was feeling the 5 miles from yesterday and the fatigue from the weekend and that seemed perfect, plus who knew what this head wound was going to do while I exercised.

Dave texted that Jax would like a walk and he hoped I forgot about this mornings events.  I got home and the radar looked like I had till 6:30 for a quick walk.  About 5:57 the CODE RED alerts sent by the town went off.  I had been seeing lightning and hearing thunder, but they were pretty far apart.  We were a half mile from the house.  It sprinkled, then the skies opened up and the wind picked up.  Jax was pissed his feet were wet and his ears and finally he was just so soaked he stopped caring and stopped to smell everything.  Guess things smell more in the rain?    

The seeping blood washed out of the bandage, I thought this was a good thing, and it was, no more seeping blood!  Yeah, no stitches!  I'm still miffed about having to get a shot, I did need a tetanus shot anyway, it's been about 10 years.  


Lovely

Wednesday (0) OMG I was so tired on Tuesday night and couldn't get moving Wednesday morning.  I am so lucky to not have to punch a clock.  With all the storms that rolled through on Tuesday night, I figured I'd avoid I-95 and quite possibly yet another accident on the Gold Star Bridge backing traffic up past my work exit.  I took US 1 into work and stopped to get myself some coffee on the way.  Discovered the rest of US 1 into Mystic is going to be retarred,  YEAH!     That caused the slow down I was hoping to avoid, but whatever, it is a nicer drive to work.  


Trillium I saw on my hike in NH on Friday


Thursday (5.7) The rain is relentless and unending.  Sliding down the hills, while sounding like a lot of fun could end either Ro or I up in the emergency room so we did the flat beach loop.  Rachel, Amy, Georgia, and I met up for Beer'd I said I was walking, Rachel grabbed a jacket, she was good with that.  Amy and Georgia ran.  Rachel said, "I didn't know we were going to walk THAT pace." HA!  I said, well I did say walk, not stroll.  We cut the course short to end up finishing with Amy and Georgia.  Georgia doesn't drink at all when she drives she went home.  A woman of principles and great stories!  I'll have to speed up my run to be able to hear some of her stories!  Turns out Amy and Rachel know people in common through pianos.  How awesome is that?  I figured we'd all do well being WI, MI, OH women and as long as football wasn't discussed no fist fights would break out, ha ha ha!!


Dirty Girl course - Friday's Hike


Friday (1.8)  I drove up to NH, to discover both warm temperatures and sun at nearly 44North!  How awesome was that?  I went for a short walk out on the Dirty Girl course, scared the crap (well scared a scream for sure) out of the guy fixing the bridge, and found a trillium AND a cutely painted rock that looked like a smiley face, along with parts of the very well marked and fun course.  


Cute!


Saturday (3.5)  Yes this was a 10K+ 6.4 GPS miles, so probably closer to 7 if someone took a wheel out there.  It was pretty clear to me after two miles the attack of pleurisy I was having Friday let up a lot but not completely and I was in no shape to be out on those trails running.  Hiking, hell yes, running, hell no.  Knowing when to call it a day to not suffer for weeks afterward is a skill I am learning.  After the top 3 finishers passed me I also knew getting lapped was a bad sign and to pack it the fuck in for the day.  


"Guess I better do something interesting"

Leslie was so sweet when she saw me she was very concerned and said: "Beth what happened."  All I can say is you need to fold your hand when you need to fold your hand.  Even the first finishers looked at me with concern rather than the disdain I expected.  Hoop suggested I just was looking to be FTB "First To Beer" and gave me his glass to taste the awesome Saison Garrison City Beerworks female brewmaster, Nicole Gray, and two other female brewmasters dreamed up.  The 603 runners are awesome, no judging of my decision.  I felt a lot less self-conscious about my decision but still didn't want to hang around for the awards, I had a beer, chatted a bit with Leslie, and set off for rainy SO RI.  


Wheeeeee

Along the way, I kicked myself for not stopping at a beer store and I knew what I was looking for, Hobbs Coffee Stout.  I found a beer store via the wonderful Untapped APP and headed off to Greg & Jane's Beer & Wine in Epping, NH.  Very awesome beer store, wide selection, far more than the 60 brands offered they advertise.  Always a good thing.  I was conservative in my selection, plus they didn't have a grocery cart for me to fill up.  Apparently, that is not a normal thing, filling up a grocery cart with beer?  Rachel and Amy COMPLETELY disagree, it is totally normal.  Clearly, I have found my people.


"Do I have to do it again?"


Sunday (3) The rain let up about 11 a.m. and by noon it looked like decent weather for a bike ride or a hike with Jax.  Jax didn't get out for a few days and was going crazy.  That always makes me think of the line from Fargo "We are going crazy down at the lake there"...    I know it's in reference to something else but it makes me laugh.

He started his spinning routine as soon as he saw I had socks in my hand and didn't let up until my shoes were tied and we were headed out the door.  Crazy boy. 


Jax slipping a bit on the bridge he was ticked he had to cross.

We went to Wahaneeta, I figured we'd be the only people there, I was correct.  It was still looking like it might rain or it might be sunny.  The radar looked ok.  He had a good time wading through all the streams, he is very anti-bridge.  


Stop choking me and stop taking my picture.


Mileage:

A low week in the saddle:  13
A decent week on the feet: 21

Maybe someday I won't feel like the crap that's left over after you scrape someone else's dog crap out of the tread of your shoe...

Books:

The Pillars of the Earth
By Ken Follett

About halfway through, very good!  Prince William is a horrible man and his actions are very disturbing.  Tom Builder is making good progress on his cathedral.  Prior Phillip is impressing the Bishop and can continue with his cathedral.

Knitting:

I can manage about an hour of knitting before my shoulder rebels on me the next day.  I may have to go back to knitting baby sweaters.  Amy of the pointy elbows has been working at the bound up scar tissue and suggests I take breaks every 15 minutes and stretch. She explained what's going on, that helped a lot! She's a good egg!  

Sincerely,
Beth trying really really really hard to not be frustrated and angry all the time.

Monday, May 14, 2018

Week 19: 5/7/2018 - 5/13/2018

Birthday week!!  I'm as excited about being in my 50's as I was about turning 30!!!

Monday (2.3) - I felt off most of the morning and bagged a lunchtime run.  I took Jax on a hike when I got home from work.  I think we both felt better for that.  He definitely likes the interior ledges in the Riverwood Preserve, it's been fun seeing where he will lead me.  I contemplated taking him to Wahaneeta, it's another underutilized preserve, then thought that he's had a lot of upheaval with Spud, and doing something familiar will be better for him.  Probably a good call on my part. 


Dave confirmed reservations at Swanzey Lake south of Keen, NH and I went looking for some rides starting within 10 - 25 miles of Keene, NH on ridewithgps.com. I figured I'd see what other people or riding clubs have posted as routes to see what I'd do for my road ride over the weekend, figure it is a good way to get a lay of the land.  Sometimes a local riding club or bike store has routes posted on their website but that hadn't been updated in quite a while. I discovered a route named covered bridges.  Oooohhhh cool! I googled around and there are 7 covered bridges in the area we are camping, and I could ride through 5 of them pretty easily.  Two were a bit further out than I wanted to go.  




Fortunately, Pisgah is close and allows dogs!  We can do some exploring there on Saturday as that looks like it will be kind of rainy and overcast, not good road or off road biking weather.

Tuesday (0) - My second opinion appointment with the Rheumatologist at Yale!  I dutifully collected my last years worth of lab results and completely forgot that form you always have to fill out when seeing a new doctor.  Whoopsie.  From the moment I walked in the door at the outpatient clinic, I knew I made the right decision!  The receptionist was very helpful and friendly all while juggling several patients.  I didn't wait long until the initial nurse fetched me to get the standard set of vitals.  The NP was super nice and chatty and she assured me that it was OK that I forgot the form and that Dr. Danve would be thrilled to have the stack of lab results.  She mostly asked questions from the form and for some of the questions my facial expression must have been "Why on earth would they ask me that?"  she picked up on it and explained why those questions were asked.  Holy crap, really?  Someone is going to answer a silent question.  That made me feel more comfortable to ask other questions and give more than one line answers.   The doctor came in right away, wow!

It was a good appointment.  He was very thorough, asked lots of open-ended questions, prompted me to continue, really listened to me.  Another slew of tests ordered and two were really more my concern than his.  While I didn't walk out with answers, my concerns were heard and addressed.  I'm not crazy and something really is going on and someone will do something more than a 2-minute phone conversation telling me to take these and see me in a few months.


This is the boo-boo dog from the Ortho.  Michelle said Mikey used to hug him for his shots.

Wednesday (32 + 2.5)  Happy Birthday to me!! 51 years I've been on this planet.  Thank you, Chris!  You are my #1 favorite person for thinking it's impossible I'm that old!   

Jax was a bit ticked I was lolling around in bed so he came up and farted a blue streak to stink up the room to get me up and moving.  Thanks, pal, appreciate it... NOT. 

Took me on a 51K bike ride.  I knew 51 miles was a bit out of the question, although at about mile 25 I was considering it I felt really good.  Then I turned back into the strong Southerly wind and was ready to go home!  Know when to say enough!


I've always wanted to check out this waterfall/ old mill site off Babcock Road


Dave and Jax took me on a hike before dinner, and Dave made a cake. 


Jax checking on that thing.


The tires and tubes I need to make my Dolce into a gravel grinder arrived, I just need to get a seat.  I'm getting a bit more psyched about this and a couple of Dave's friends seem to have some pretty standard gravel grind loops.  The Dolce is a touring bike, the frame is built for rougher roads.  If this turns into something I do enjoy I can sell the Dolce and get a traditional gravel grinder, I suppose...  Barney is to heavy for a 30-mile gravel grind, he's more 15 miles or under mountain bike.


Birthday Pizza and Beers


Thursday (4) - Finally broke a 12-minute mile again on my 4-mile run!  My last Euflexxa shot in this series is Friday so I can run a bit more comfortably and consistently, that will help this whole pace issue, I'm sure.  It felt like a good run.  A flurry of packing and prepping for the trip to NH. Jax was concerned and excited all at the same time.  He wanted to know if he was coming or if only one of us was going somewhere.  Funny how they know.


Don't even think about leaving me behind! - Jax


Friday (4.1) - Last Euflexxa shot for 6 months.  No cold spray.  I definitely felt the needle and the stuff go in this time.  I started to get concerned that introducing this substance into my body was causing some sort of immune system reaction.  Nahhhhh, as I write this on Monday, all seems normal.  Ro and I did our walk on the flats, that doesn't count as real exercise, right?  We got into camp about 5 p.m. and I took Jax exploring (forgot to start the space watch right away) while Dave set up camp.  I think this gives both of us a bit of a lay of the land and lets Dave do what he needs to do without us underfoot.  


And that's the point we left.


We stayed at Lake Swanzey, it's a private camp with full hookups.  Most of the 100ish RV spots have permanent residents.  I think more as a weekend vacation than living.  But I'm really not sure.  Definitely, some of those motorhomes and campers hadn't moved in years, they were 'dug in'.  


And we came back to enjoy the fire!


Saturday (5.7)  - Dreary morning, but it looked like the rain wasn't coming till 11 a.m.  We ventured off to Pisgah to have an adventure!  We parked at the main entrance and ventured down Old Chesterfield Road to the Doolittle Trail to the Broad Brook Trail back on Old Chesterfield Road to Snow Brook Trail to Orchard Trail to Jon Hill Road and then back on Old Chesterfield Road to get back to the truck.  We had rain from mist to sprinkles for the last mile.


What's going on out here? - Jax


The trails were very cool with lots of historical markers from Cider Mill, Lumber Camp, and lots of Farms and Homesteads, even a School!  It was hard to see the remains without reading about the spot.  Very cool!  Most were from the early 1800's.  Neither one of us could imagine farming that hilly rocky land.  



OMG, it's a rock, can we move on? -- Jax


Jax thought this was all fun but did we have to keep pointing out the interesting rocks and trees?  He looked back at us a couple times "Yeah, its a rock, there are lots of them, can we move on?"  he is a funny dog.  He spent the afternoon sacked out while Dave and I played Scrabble, perfect for an afternoon where it did nothing but rain. 


The desired effect - a sacked out dog!
Oh and beer!


Sunday (2.6 + 16) -  While Dave got his bike ride in  I took Jax around Swanzey Lake, all dirt roads a nice calm walk, I was sure to point out the big hunks of granite to Jax, who I'm sure rolled his eyes.  HA HA  

I got my bike ride in!  I didn't get a shower, which only really sucked for the people around me.  :)  I would not have cared except we were stopping by his parents, he assured me it would be just his parents, it wasn't.  I'm sure I smelled a bit and for sure my hair, that hadn't been washed in several days and for several workouts.  EEEWWWWW...  BUT this stop lifted the embargo on me talking about Spud, so I'll survive.  I couldn't post our hike or my ride on Strava till after plus no talking about it on FB, that sucks.  It is something exciting!!!  


$5 fine if caught going across the bridge driving or riding faster than a walking pace


I rode 5 of the 7 Covered bridges, two I had to ride through and turn around and ride back through and get back on the main road because of the time constraints.  Dave picked me and Ruby up at a gas station, the miracles of modern technology!  I'm at this spot and he could navigate there.




Jax did very well this time, he snuggled into his bed in his spot and was less of a nervous nellie, we were glad about this.  On the way home on Sunday it was clear he was exhausted his loud snoring confirmed this!  Dogs sleep a great portion of the day, this is a big change for a middle-aged boxer boy.  I think it is agreeing with him and we will have many more adventures.  He was very relaxed at the campsite and walking around camp.




It was a pretty exciting week!


He's a Tired Boy - this was Monday night.

Monday morning Dave had to wake him up by 6 a.m. and he staggered to the head of the bed and flopped down, totally not into his usual morning wrestling and flailing about routine.  Oh, goodie I have a snuggly dog again, well at least for 30 minutes...

Mileage:

Feet:  22
Saddle:  49

Getting closer to my saddle goals!  I need to prep for the Mount Washington Century for sure.  July isn't that far away.

Knitting:

Still plugging away on the red white and blue socks.  Just a couple hours of knitting didn't seem to aggravate my rotator cuff too much.

Books:

The Pillars of the Earth
By Ken Follett

This is going to be a long one and so far interesting.  Ultimately it is the building of a cathedral, the story is more about the builder as well as the monks the cathedral is being built for.  

Sincerely,
Beth, nice to have something else to think about and focus on!

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Week 18: 4/30/201 - 5/6/2018

Wow!  51 is creeping up on me really really fast.  Thank you, Muddy for not recognizing I turned 50 last year.  You are too kind!  Somedays I think you guys actually do like me or at least tolerate my presence.

Monday (3.2) The last thing I wanted to do was do anything, but I wanted lunch and I knew that if I did something, anything, I'd feel human again.  The stupid whatever is causing pain when I breath deeply seemed to go away by the end of my walk/run.  I felt it a teensy bit in the evening, but nothing like I felt on Friday walking back home from downtown.  A half mile uphill that felt like 3.  I'd suppose the more dramatic would say FML, I'm alive and functioning, just not where I'd like to be functioning.  It's all on the list for the new Rheumatologist, considering my family history of heart/lung issues it is a HUGE concern for me. 

A different list, a list none the less!
From our first adventure out.  Time to make lists and check them twice and make more lists.
I can't talk about Spud publically the nosey SIL that tells the Smith's everything doesn't read this. He's ours!!  It is a logistical nightmare between the State of RI and the Town of Westerly, you have to have a VIN Certification for registering in the State of RI but in the Town of Westerly, you have to have a Registered trailer to get a VIN Certification.  The higher court, in this case, is the State, we will play by their rules because clearly, we CANNOT get Spud registered with no VIN Certification.  OMG, it was like reading a Vogue pant sewing pattern, put in the buttonhole, then place the zipper.  I can't put in the buttonhole unless I know how it is going to line up with the zipper and it is easier to line up the zipper then put in the buttonhole, not line the zipper up with the buttonhole.  Cray cray.  Sometimes it is easier to deal with a dealership than a private party. 

Tuesday (20 + 1.2) Spud arrived home and I was able to find someone halfway reasonable (read: with only a minor attitude) at the Westerly PD to talk to.  "If you have a registered legal vehicle towing the trailer you are fine.  Bring it to the station between 4 and 8 tonight for a VIN check."  She hung up in the middle of my thank you. UGH. I can't wait to talk to the people at the RI EZPass about the transponder lost in the mail.  Wow, the attitude is a head-scratcher.  

And he's home!
This was the EBAC (Electric Boat Athletic Club) Tuesday night ride.  I talked Ro into it.  Rather Tom talked me into talking Ro into it, hoping they'd get some 'cute girls' his words not mine, on the rides.  LOL.  I was looking for a nice group ride.  I rode with some of the guys last year and they follow the rules of the road and are respectful of people.  Win Win.  (I'll not go into my tirade of those obnoxious PMC bikers) We joined up with the B group ride 20 miles NO DROP.  I'm happy to be the person waiting for riders in a NO DROP ride because people wait for me on my Saturday a.m. NO DROP ride.    We clearly did not need to arrive promptly at 4:15 p.m., because it took the 20 riders a while to assemble.  I had the route in my GPS, makes me feel comfortable.  Tom was going to hang with Ro and I and we were all going to hang with Lucas.  Totally new to cycling, from Brazil.  OMG he was so erratic.  It would have been a horrible ride if he complained a blue streak like Grace's husband, but he didn't, he cheerfully sped ahead and then lagged way behind.  Can't fault him for that, right?  I told Tom he was 'as advertised' Tom said he got a lot better on the last ride.  Whooo boy....  we all have to start somewhere, right?  We either learn or we don't.  We did make a pit stop at 10 miles (it was a 20-mile ride for christ sakes) but we stopped.  Regrouping we gave Lucas some tips.  "Car Back" when the car is behind us and "Car Up" when the car is coming at us on a narrow road.  He was thankful for some guidance, we assured him we all had to learn all of these things and this is what these rides are for.  

It was Ro's first road ride since last season and she was nervous, I've never heard or seen her so concerned.  She's a freaking powerhouse, 5'2" 59-year-old you'd think was 30 (looks and energy).  It took me a day to realize just how concerned she was, I did my best to reassure her that she would continue to kill me on the uphills and I would kill her on the downhills and it was 'as advertised'.  

Bottom line, a good ride, I nearly got taken out by Lucas, we all did, actually.  I rode well with Tom and Ro, and they rode well together not having ridden together before.  If Lucas is the summer project so be it.  A 20+ mile 14 MPH ride on Tuesday nights is a good thing.  I can let George and his gang murder me on Saturday mornings when I have the rest of the day to recover!

Dave spent the evening figuring Spud out. He said I was easier (dayumn he must be pretty complicated) I took Jax for a short walk.  

Wednesday (5.7 + 2.3) Ro and I had some freaking peppy hills!  To say seeing the pace didn't thrill me would be a lie.  I felt like I was lagging the whole time.  I was tired going in and my legs were tired, Ro's too.  But we kept our pace and our jibber jabber and I'm over the moon thrilled.

When will the leaves be green again?
Dave went for a ride so I took Jax to Riverwood, he was so excited to go!  He got in 3/4 of a mile and found a trail leading back to the exit and followed it.  Oh no...  I forced him to go a different way when I got wise to what he was doing when he turned us around.  He wanted to go on an adventure; really he wanted dinner and both his peeps. #dogproblems  He is far needier than either one of us expected.  

Thursday (0)  There is a black snake that shakes its tail!

Northern black racer (Coluber constrictor)

Description: The northern black racer is a large, shiny black snake with a silky appearance because of its smooth scales. At maturity, black racers are generally 36-60” long, but they can reach up to 73” (more than 6 feet). The throat of the Black Racer is white and the belly is an unmarked grayish blue color. While in the juvenile stage, the black racer is grayish with a series of dark ovals along the back, an appearance that changes as the snake matures.

Life History: Black racers can be found in a wide variety of dry terrestrial habitats. They are territorial and maintain discrete home ranges. They usually emerge from hibernation in April and breed from May through early June. This snake has a varied diet, with prey including small mammals, birds, and frogs. Appropriate to its name, the black racer can move very quickly, and will typically flee from danger. However, if cornered, it may respond by rearing up and striking. When agitated, these snakes often vibrate their tail rapidly, which creates a buzzing noise. This behavior leads many people to mistake them for rattlesnakes. 

Pretty cool!

Friday (0) Second round of Euflexxa shots started my day.  I'm not supposed to exercise after the Euflexxa shot, given with NO cold spray, I'm a tough broad.  Actually, it didn't feel any different.  The left knee felt just as stabbed as the first week. 

Jax:  You both have lost your minds, haven't you?
Dave spent the day washing Spud, when I got home from work I helped with the last little bits of that, putting him back together, and cleaning up.  Dave managed to smash his hand in the awning, it is a roll-up retractable number and closes at a pretty serious force.  It swelled up pretty seriously and he took some mega painkillers.  This left a lot of the clean up to me and figuring out where things went.  He's not good at putting things away, he's better and putting them in a pile to deal with later.  

Saturday (25 + 3) Went out on George's 41-mile ride, I made it nearly 13 miles and knew I was done.  There was no way I was going to keep up with the group and we hadn't even tackled the serious hill.  George insists on NO DROP, I really couldn't keep going.  I turned around and headed back to my car at a far slower pace than I rode the first 13 miles.  It was an off week for me.  I was having trouble taking a pain-free deep breath since the previous Friday and haven't been sleeping well for this reason or that.  I can't remember getting dropped so seriously by these folks.  Clearly, my engine needs some more work?  Clearly, it was not my day for a group ride? This is really frustrating.  Then again, I did ride back and not call for help?  I'm not disappointed, the emotions are sad and frustrated.  

Dave:  "Jax, this is gonna be fun."
Jax: "Are there treats in there?"
Dave did ask if I thought I could finish the ride at my own pace. Yeah probably.  I took a little break to have a snack and mess with the cleats in my shoes.  I think I finally have them adjusted correctly.  I'm happy puttering around and Woodville Road is fresh tar and gorgeous so riding it twice wasn't a hardship.  I'm so glad to have that road back in the lineup.  It's a fun road to ride with a set of nice rollers, lots of cows, and very few cars!  Not having to dodge potholes or worry about flats or getting thrown off my bike after hitting one was lovely.

He'll get used to it, comfy camping and the oppressive lead.
\We did our first overnight in Spud. Dave got all the important mechanical and electrical and water in good working order, now we were going to test it all out. This was also a good opportunity to get me involved in a thorough cleaning inside and out and figure out what was in all the nooks and crannies.  For a 20' trailer this was a big job!  Clearly, the previous owners didn't use him much, which was good.  Lots of Mr. Clean & Windex inside and a nice coat of wax outside.  Looks brand new!



Wax on!

Jax was not overly enamored with all of this, he was better than we thought he would be, all in all, this was a change of his routine and stressed him a bit.  He was thrilled to have his peeps in one place, he was not thrilled to be tethered to Spud or to not be allowed on the limited furniture we do have.  His claws would shred the dinette and he has to be lifted up to get on the bed, it's pretty high.   When Dave put the coat of wax on I took Jax to explore the campground.  We enjoyed that, and part of his problem was he had to poop and didn't want to do it where he was hanging out.  After a 1.5 mile walk and a couple HUGE poops he was much better.  


Wax off!
Shiney!

I got a bit of the lay of the land and to see other campers and their setups.  This really is a culture unto itself.  Everyone was really friendly and said "Hi" and talked!  So not New England, Dave said it's just the way people are, you have to prove yourself before you are worthy to be acknowledged and the simple act of being here gives them proof of your worthiness to be spoken to.  It's weird.   Anyhoodles, I was able to see how to use a few of the things we found in Spud and said: "what is THIS for?"  A couple things seemed pointless so we put them in the recycle bin at home.  They do have a pretty serious purpose and are now stowed in Spud.  The sewage line guide was one of them.  If you are in a swanky camp that has full hookups (Electric, Water, Sewage) you use these stand things to hold the sewage pipe up so the black and grey water can flow into the sewer.  Pretty cool.

I thought it was a paper sorter!
It's a sewage pipe holder.
This is the high-end side of the campground.
Sunday (1) We were up early and home by 8:30 a.m. unpack and do house chores and a big yard clean-up.  The rain started about the time we filled up the refuse trailer, perfect timing!  

Squirrels got into my birthday goodies from Zingermans.
Glad mom got the ones in the wooden box or those rascals would have had a field day.
I think they are STILL pissed from getting evicted from our attic.

Knitting:

Still working away on the Red White and Blue socks.  These will be a while I think.  Lots going on.


Reading:

A Thousand Pardons
by: Jonathan Dee

I have no idea how this ended up in my cue, it did.  It started out interesting but now seems like a woman whingeing about her pre-teen daughter and ex-husband, nothing specific, mostly that they breathe and talk at her rather than to her.  As a result of a rather scandalous divorce, she ended up with a job in a PR firm where her MO is to send whomever out on an "Apology Tour" and then all is right with the world.

Mileage:

Saddle: 45
Feet: 16

Sincerely,
Beth who wonders if she can take a nap now.