Category: Travel

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.

First Passage

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In early May this year, I found myself unemployed – just barely recovered from the shell shock of working at one of the best and worst jobs of my entire career. I was leaving the gym, headed home for a much needed shower, when the phone rang. It was Jamie and Niki – the sweet couple who sold their house to Nick and me back in October.

They were about to buy a 40-foot catamaran, which happened to be located in the Caribbean on an island I’d never heard of before, and could I drop everything and help them sail it back to the United States?

My heart skipped a beat at the thought of participating in such a big adventure. I had raced dinghies and the odd keelboat for about 15 years. And I’d always wanted to try sailing a long distance. I’d just never had the opportunity. The pull of the wild unknown made me say yes immediately.