pow houndin'

Bought a lift ticket Saturday.
Spent the morning gettin'
rowdy over at CVR w/ Abe.
I think we skied one 'groomer'
all morn, Maching down gravity,
who says big skis can't carve?
Lots of fun turns picking the
pockets of that little mountain,
plenty of fun lines if you have
an eye and look for 'em.

Then raised funds for TCT
at Hellbenders...beverage
proceeds went to the club,
I did my best to help out.

And so had a slowwww
start on a foggy Sunday
morn...much like everybody
else it seems. Lots of the
unmotivated milling about
until the Sun finally popped
out from behind grey shrouds.

Got back on the leathers and
had a blast on the packed in
and fassssst singletrack up high.
Out solo so worked a nice tempo
seeing how qwikly I could cruise
along....yeah, man that's a lot fun.
Those local HASH's they do must be
a blst, and there is one at WG on Sunday...


what I said....

in response to a thread on a fishing forum about
folks packing heat while out fishing for trouts.

yes, you do have the right to carry, a permit, whatever...I don't get it.

Since there's a chance this'll be deleted by the MODS, figured I'd preserve it here...yeah, I'm one of those dirty fucking hippys who just doesn't get why people live in such fear of each other that they think carrying a sidearm is appropriate or necessary behavior.

Man, this place is so fucked up.

linky to thread if you're bored: hotlink clicky


''Suburbia', cute retort.

The reason I ask is that, yes, I too have had numerous 'wildlife encounters.' Momma bear w/ cubs, coyotes day and night (spooky as hell when you're out XC skiing thru the woods in the dark), rattling snakes and yes, even a rabid varmint or two....and never once have I wished to myself, "if only I had a gun."

So, I'm really just curious about how often it happens that a weapon needs to pulled while out on the stream? I'm pretty sure I could fend off a rabid coon with a few swift kicks and evasive actions....pretty easy to tell the innocent childrens to 'run back to camp/safe place' and defend them against that rabid 15lb beast.

And as far as the human factor...glad you felt like a big tough guy once those fellas got a glance of your piece.

But, really? Seriously?

[rant on]
Don't lecture me, or anybody else for that matter, about the risks of being 'out there', The dangers of hillbilly methheads, wtf? Suburbia? yeah, whatever. You have no idea about my travels or experiences, just as I know nothing about yours, beyond your persona here.

Personally, I like to believe in the good in people, and bank a bit on the laziness of your common thief. I'm more concerned about somebody breaking into my car at the trailhead, than an encounter a half hour's walk from said trailhead. I'm banking on the fact, that when I'm out there, anybody else out there is there for similar reasons...enjoying the marvels of this big blue marble we live on.

When I do run across somebody packing heat, open carry or concealed, I will cut a wide berth. Because I figure that that fella & I have totally different approaches to living, and if he thinks he needs to carry that, around here...well, who knows how he's wired? sorry, just don't get it. just don't get that fearful approach to living. best defense is a good offense? or something, yeah, whatever, it's still a defensive position...not very welcoming in my mind.

here's a little scenario to ponder...say two fellas decide they wanna try out this flyfishing thing, cuz you know, bassin' on the river kinda sucks right now, and maybe this flyfishing can cover this slump. So they get their new outfits from Bass Pro, combo discount!, and the salesdude there in the flyfishing department tells them about this great hole on such & such creek. It's stocked, ez fishin for bucketed in trout, and these guys had just hit it up last wknd, caught some fish and had a blast. So they come back this wknd. They know there're trout there, so that's where they go...straight there, straight from their truck to that hole, making a fast splashy beeline to their newly found hotspot. Stealth, respect? They're green, clueless, used to flinging jigs and plugs from a boat.

But, dang it, there stands some dude fishing their new favorite spot. He's see's them coming and immediately glares at them. They pick up on the evil eye and they're like, WTF? They pull up and observe this guy, feeling this weird vibe that that grump is putting off. They don't know of any other places to fish, they don't know any better, so they just hang out, maybe hope to learn something by watching this guy fish. And they watch, and they watch and watch. But see, this fella ain't catching anything. hmmmm....so, maybe they figure he'll move on since he ain't catching much, and let them have a crack it. So they camp out, waiting.

But this guy keeps giving 'em the evil eye, and then they realize thru a flash of sunlight into a fold of the vest, that that grumpy weird dude is packing heat....

"Well, eff that, like we're gonna learn anything from him, we're out of here..."

Or, maybe they were really there to jump you and take all of your gear...but I doubt it.
[/end rant]

perspectives, personal choice...call it whatchya want it's all good. But I just don't get the overly fearful mindset that drives folks to feel the to need to carry in situations where it's simply not called for.

Out west, packing heat for grizzlies, yeah, I can understand that I guess...but the old dude packing heat that I met on the Letort last spring? W.T.F.?

and hopefully that's all I'll ever say about that...Mods delete if you feel the need.


in with both feet.

so, as you know, with that knee thing last year, I found some welcome reallocated time to get back out on the trout stream. also recognized some tendencies that are, well, just how I am. I find it pretty easy to focus on something, and then pursue just that...college/racing bikes, move to Carlisletown, then it was fishing, riding/racing again, then flying RC sailplanes, a broken collarbone and back into bike adventures for the last decade w/ lots of skiing for 'balance' over the last 6ish yrs.

Then this tendinitis thing in the spring was either that physically serious, or I had finally pulled the plug on always just 'riding thru it.' Just didn't/don't have the motivation or desire to constantly tell myself those bullshit lines about 'pain is temporary, weakness.' There's only so much fire in belly to keep turning yourself inside out, just so you can see how much further you really can push yourself, it's a rule of halves I think. You'll never quite get there.

I'm quite happy with the level I took it to. I've never reeally written about my fourth ever fixed gear ride before. That first ride around the W101 loop...I recall cramping and wanting to cry like a baby, then finally reaching the CP at the bottom of Sassafras after walking up the entirety of both of those previous two fireroads, you know which two... Then I remember sitting in a chair at that CP having that cliche-esque internal debate...

"well, you didn't come here to not finish this on a fixed gear.
if I press on, I will probably have to walk every climb.

and will cramp into potentially permanent
disfigurement at the bottom of every descent.

and IF I continue, I really am not normal.
I apparently really do have issues, cuz this
ain't right...

hmmm, may as well see where
this rabbit hole leads...."

Here's where I popped out:

And, God damn!!! That was one hell of
a ride! So glad Mr Photog was there to
capture that moment. That moment,
that week, the journey to get there, this
fucking blog, le Tour!!!, all started fresh
by standing up from that chair at the base
Sassafras, and doing it one foot in front
of the other.

How else you gonna get there?

So, yeah, peak bike experience, then reap Ullr's rewards with a season for the books, peaking out an off the charts ski-o-meter. Do it all with a slim to none preventive maintenance program, stretching?, and you end up with lots of 40yr old imbalances, outside of the head. Yeah, sure, I could've listened to Dr. Evil from the gun, dude knows his shit....but I know part of me was like, cool..an excuse, err, valid reason, to 'step back'....

"my knee is wrecked"

Other than admitting that I'd had enough and just couldn't keep pushing, because I just didn't have the desire to take it to another level. Because I just couldn't, can't, wouldn't, couldn't, can't, just don't fucking want to anymore....for now, or something...Jesus it's hard to let go...I just don't have the stomach to commit to that workload, what it takes to be 'fast', or simply survive at times when you toe the line...not when I could be standing knee deep in 52deg crystal clean trout water conditioned air while everyone else battles triple digit heat out along painted white lines. Do all that work for what? sorry, been there done that, don't need to go back, admit that I can't reach the next level....run the body into the ground and reboot and find other challenges that satisfy this enginerd's minutiae analyticalness.

Mix in a physical challenge with way cool gear and shit, I'm more than happy. Bikes are a mechanical love affair. Racing, a physical quiz relying as much on Jedi mind tricks as raw power to weight ratios and how to achieve all of that balance in the punk d.i.y. fashion, always a first love....then when I was flying/building/designing gliders, how I loved the handlaunch events! Throwing your toy glider, this marvel of basement craft. Molded kevlar, carbon & foam launched into the wafty updrafts you can just feel...the higher you throw, the further your range, the longer your search for 'good air.' yeah, finally some rocket science and a day's worth of running around a field throwing gliders against your typical American fare all day long....that's my kind of game....until they introduced discus launch for those old lazy fucks...

And Fishing, yeah, fishing, fly fishing, harassing the trouts....been fishing as long as I've been pedaling, and, ha, yeah, just recalled that an early girlfriend had Trout for a last name...go figure. Anyways....fishing, casting a fly, fishing, casting, fishing, casting, fly fishing, flycasting. Casting a fly rod....man, how do you describe it? Like everything, you gotta work from a solid center, and from there it's about rhythm and feel, acceleration and flow. But, all you're doing is waving a line thru the air, with a fancy stick, a way fancy stick. But there's also all the hippy shit, being in touch with the environs, having a sense for what's happening, about to happen, and then dropping that specially selected fly into that seam of current just so, with just the right follow thru to get those silky slack loops in the line, all the better to deal with those eddies and whatnot.

All to put those goofily arranged feathers convincingly into Mr. Trout's line of sight.

And if that happens once every ten, 40, 100 or who knows how many casts for me, I'm a happy fella. Mtn brookie fishing is as much about walking thru beautiful places and making challenging casts, as it is about the actual fish caught. Like tele skiing, there's always that 'perfect turn' that brings you back. Oh, and yeah, I've at times considered fishing w/ a hookless fly...I mean, if you fool that poor fish enough that he actually strikes at your fly due to your perfect presentation, do you really need to drag him out of his environment, torturing him thru battle along the way? Beyond 'pics or it didn't happen,' if you're already practicing catch & release, then why not snip off your hooks at the bend? But then again, they're 'just fish,' right? right?

So, yeah...
"that's where it's at,
that's how it is,
check it,
check it out."

and uhmmmmmm, I guess the short of it, is that yeah, I'm pretty much 'retired' from bike gaming if you haven't figured that out yet. Still making cogs and riding for sure; grassroots get togethers, will be behind the scenes at the local Meeshow events, lending Mumbles a hand with his race day needs (new camera!!) and taking a shot at the ever elusive Mutant 100 here in the backyard of Meeshow. That would be my self supported, local mega trail loop dream...and looking at the route sketch from '08ish vs newly discovered trail = an even longer day into the night, but worth it I'm sure. Ands there's still that week long bike tour dream of somewhere to somewhere, maybe with a laid back fishing rod tag along approach in PA, or maybe big miles and big mountains along semi-familiar border country terrain...see how the Spring plays out.

And still wanna make time to chase hatches in the spring, mid-late May? I do now have a full quiver of fine cane from 2 thru 6wt to abuse the fishes with. Yeah, I'm a gear junkie, sue me. Right tool for the job, why deprive yourself of enjoyment? Make sacrifices elsewhere and find balance..there's probably something to that Jedi shit, don'tchayathink?

With that, with alllll that, I'll see you on the slopes or whooping it up in the woods for now, possibly on the trail when the weather suits or maybe on the water when it's more in balance with the air temps, by spring creek standards.....I sure hate fishing in gloves.


i dunno...

something I've got to learn.

got to learn that sometimes
it's best to step it back, and
avoid painting oneself into a

Looks like it thawed a bit in
the valley, same as here locally.
snow is forecast, same as locally,
gonna get frigid fucking cold again

Which means that that sweet
natural packed powder base
from last wknd is gonna lock
up solid by the wknd. Just a
matter of how much Ullr drops
on us to sugarcoat it, but I've
got a sneaky suspicion it's
gonna be ankle to boot top
light fluff over pretty solid
hardpack. hmmmmm...

could be a good wknd to use
that pass I bought for RT. And
get out into the forest to break
in whichever picture takin' gizmo
I end up with...there's still marginal
snow in the backyard, imagine
a smidge more in the nearby
hollers. Maybe get out for
some creekside cruising....


an old box of flies.

ran across this during the most
recent expansion of the rod quiver.

An old 1926-ish Wheatley Box,
with flies. Thought was a neat
little bit of history, speaks well
that after 80+ yrs, the box is
still usable if need be....neat
old flies too.

couple of salmon flies

maybe a bass fly?

a streamer or two.

and a handful of classic wets,
some w/ remnants of the
original gut snelling, others
w/ modern eyed hooks..


on and on and on and on

this winter just keeps delivering.
WG was off the hook yet again,
condish were very, very, very good.

A cupcake tour on Saturday, picking
up good vibe Foofs & Sajkovich & bud
along the way. Got out to the Nat'l
Nord before most, lots & lots of soft
snow to play in, then back around to
the frontside for qwik tour lap or two
to polish it off.

Apres' follies and celebrations,
help out here and there with
rental returns then sneak out
during the 6pm dinner for a
staff ski tag along. damn.

I mean, damn, those WG groomers
are so thrilling in the dark! Making
turns by feel and whatever instinct
can be mustered, dancing thru
charcoal on parchment scenery..

no better way to learn, right?
Deprive the senses and rely
only upon the ones that matter
chasing locals thru moon shadow
darkness....got bliss?

Usual groggy Sunday morn, I do
love the sunrise, just one more
snooze though...Hook it up with
the Rocktown crew, mainslope
warmup laps reveal a settling
snowpack with a hint of extra
speed and an interesting crunch
from the flash freezing mist that
mustv'e blown thru overnight.

Conditions shift, shift the approach.
Low angles with speed are a blast,
singletracking is groovey and plenty
of fun hot lap leap frogging with the
group, finally dropped one of the
Cathedral Rocks, whoot! stomped it
until that tree got in the way on the
runnout, gonna figure out these damn
leathers....finish the day with blown
out legs and sketch mach looney
spectacularity straight down the
mainslope, ahhh, good times.

And of course, can't ever ever ever
say enough about the good vibes of
WhiteGrass, what a special place.
Thanks for everything Chipper & Crew.

So, yeah, pics might be limited
for a bit, there was, a, uhmmm,
incident. It was a good 3-4yr
run with the old SX100, but I
smushed it pretty good while
skiing a really fun shot of trees
on Saturday...lens no worky
no more. I'm honestly surprised
that it lasted this long. (There is
onboard helmet cam of said
moment, btw...)

Now I'm shopping for something
that I won't be worried about
while out on the water, the old
Canon did get dunked once or
twice last season. And also want
something that takes a higher
quality picture...manual input
controls are desired. Thinking
the D10 or Panasonic's TS-2.
Anybody using either?


neener neener neener...

if you weren't there,
well, then you weren't,
and you missed it...

pic from Chaga.


ring it in.

lot's of not's going ons.

triple crown sort of wknd.

1: Skied the big plastic at RT
on NYE morn, damn...couldn't
make a turn for shit with those
things. Trying to finesse with
fine movements wayyy too much
and it's totally different than the
freewill of leathers. Plastic & burly
skis ask for a different application
of power.

When in doubt, apply speed.

Then kick in those finesse moves,
and it all comes together. One lap
of chasing OMW's roost and things
were finally back on plane for the
rest of the day, can't wait for WG
to reload though...hope that was
it for the 'January Thaw' of oh'11.

Round two of the triple was spent
up in the hamlet of Coburn, picking
out a new trout assaulting weapon.
More than a few times last year,
fishing the Letort or the Little J, I'd
find myself wishing that I had just
a bit more reach when spotting that
riser up along shadow's edge, parked
just a rod's length beyond what you
can do with this 4wt. Or for when it's
time to sling some big flies at dusk,
when those big Letort browns come
out of hiding and show themselves...

So, I had it in my head that I needed
an 8' 5wt to fill that niche. Ran up to
see Jonas in Coburn, and spent a couple
hours waggling and casting a fine selection
of rods he had on hand, settling on a rod
from local builder Jim Downes. An 8015-
Swelled-Para taper...whatever that all
means. All I know is that for me it's
mindless unthinking instinctual casting
compared to the others. And a drop
dead beautiful rod to boot. Paired it
up with a Hardy Cascapedia MkII reel.
Classic looks, modern quality.

Damn fine lookin' outfit, eh?

Third jewel was getting out on the
Jabberfixy for Sunday Service. Had
ridden her the other night on the
A.T.V. ride, seemed to flow pretty
good, knee reacted decently enough
so I played Ride Dictator and picked
out a lowlying loop with plenty of
creekside flowiness for Sunday's
group thang....can't get over how the
trail network in Meeshow has evolved
over the years.

Linked up a solid loop, mostly all in
the woods other than the deer fence
zone and railtrail between the parks...
sing it with me now, 'a three hour tour....'
but with no storms or wrecked boats,
although the sponged out and thawing
frost heave was taxing here and there.

And, as always, there was that moment
of sweet Jedi zen pedaling thru sunlit
strobing tree shadows that makes it
allll worth it and leaves you wanting..

bring it Ullr, you fucking pussy.


Happy New Years!

remember to keep it simple.