Category: Travel

Matho Tapila Mega Moto Adventure

My new favorite picture of Nick and me

In June, Nick, my dad, Karen, Dave and I undertook our most ambitious motorcycle tour ever. Twelve days, five states, seven national parks, 3100 miles, and only two notable bike issues. Whew!

Highlights included a return to the 99 miles of twisty road leading to Lolo Pass, seeing all sorts of wildlife (moose, buffalo, big horn sheep, grizzly bear, pronghorn, and more), bowls of legendary cheeseburger soup, seeing the Brewery Follies in Virginia City, geysers and thermal springs in Yellowstone NP, showing those WY people how we dance in Seattle, an unexpected visit to a roadside air museum, hilarious entertainment by a singer in Gillette, WY (where Les Canards Sauvages almost got renamed “the water people”), contrasting visits to Crazy Horse and Mt. Rushmore, meeting an artist whose work was solicited for inclusion in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery, walking around Devil’s Tower, prairie dogs, surviving 30+ mph cross-winds, a sobering visit to Little Big Horn, $2 margaritas and evening games of pool, an early morning blast up the Going to the Sun Highway (with no cars!), skinny dipping in Avalanche Lake, rafting the Middle Fork Flathead River, a visit with long-time family friends in Sandpoint, ID (dinner at a floating restaurant!), twisting the throttle through some of Washington’s best roads, being met by riding friends (Mark and Laura) in Winthrop on our last night, and surviving the final day’s ride home.

We live in an amazing country, and I’m so glad I get to experience it on two wheels with friends and family. Watch the slideshow below to see some of the visual highlights. (The arrow in the lower right corner will embiggen it.) Additional pictures by my dad are here.

 

Life lessons from the seat of a mountain bike

P1010985Nick and I spent 4 days in the Methow last weekend exploring the trails on two wheels with our friends Dale, Ed and Jennifer. I’m not a natural mountain biker by any means. It’s a sport I have to work at … *really* work at … to avoid being a total klutz. Even after all that effort, I still have loads of room for improvement.

Some of the best life lessons come from doing the hard stuff, though. Here are some of the things mountain biking is teaching me:

17. Ups are followed by downs.

16. Sometimes the best way past an obstacle is straight through it.

15. Boldness pays.

14. The hardest parts are also the loneliest.

P101097913. There’s fresh horse poop on the trail ahead.

12. Balance is first among the virtues; momentum is second.

11. Success requires confidence, but cockiness invites failure.

10. Some people are lucky at some times; nobody gets lucky every time.

9. It’s all about the being and the going, not the having and the arriving.

P10109848. It’s tempting to focus on the immediate problem to the exclusion of the big picture.

7. The thing that nails you is the one you don’t see coming.

6. It’s worth stopping for a breather to see where you are.

P10109765. Thousands of tiny decisions shape the ride.

4. Fun starts when you push your limits.

3. You can get hurt, heal, and try again.

2. Practice makes you better.

1. No quitting allowed.

Methow Balloon Festival

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Nick and I made a last minute trip to Winthrop for some spring skiing earlier this month. We got up super early on Saturday morning to check out the Methow Balloon Roundup before hitting the trails. Having never been so close to a hot air balloon before, I was smitten by their old-timey charm.

Diablo Dam

Diablo Dam

Nick and I stopped at Diablo Dam on our way to the Methow Valley recently. When it was completed back in 1930, it was the tallest dam in the world. Today, it isn’t the tallest dam anymore, but it still generates power for Seattle.

Late summer travel

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The long summertime hours tend to pull you away, sometimes far away, to places where there is trail dust and ocean spray. A few weeks ago, my family filled the weekend bags with essentials and went where the wind blew us. In just a smattering of days, we squeezed sand between our toes, indulged in sweet, flaky fish ‘n’ chips, chased foamy waves, and laughed for an an hour, then another — and far later, one more.