Sunday, June 16, 2013

Homer Excursion #1

I have been nursing my shoulder back to health, and was finally feeling up to venturing out of the house. Hitched a ride down to the enchanted hamlet by the sea at the southern end of the Kenai Peninsula for some summer sun drenched fun, a birthday weekend,  and to test my one-armed biking skills on the beaches of Homer and explore the Kachemak Bay coastline.  

Jesse was elated that I brought him some parts to put the finishing touches on his new fat bike, which we have been working on to get built up over the past 8 months.  

 Most difficult part was getting moving, big tires and high bottom bracket make it necessary to jump into the saddle without tipping over; Balancing was hard especially when navigating the rocky coastline at high tide, since we slept through the low-tide.

 Our friends Cycle Logical set us up with 3 Puglsey rentals for the day, and opened up a whole new world stoke for Kari, Seth, and Jensen. 

 They're smiling because they don't know about the knee deep mud we are about to trudge through...

Trying to ride through 6 feet of soft mud from a recent bluff slide, was wishful thinking

So tired that a rock was a welcome pillow for a quick nap on the beach.

After 10 attempts, Seth has perfected river crossings.
About midstream, the ballon-like fat tires begin to float and be carried down stream by the current, necessitating an upstream angle or ferry, keeping the angle of movement 45 degrees to the flow of the current.

Overall, I was able to adequately navigate the beach terrain with one arm, while maintaining a guarded attention to my injured shoulder, but suffered an extremely sore back and bottom as most of my body weight had to be back in the saddle and my torso was twisted at an extreme angle to reach the bars.
On the list before the next bike ride: Nitto Albatross Bars, and a springy saddle to soak up the bumps.

Fish Tacos! Halibut fresh off the boat. 

The next day we woke for an early morning water taxi across the bay with promise of more sun, new beaches to explore, and some rock-climbing, a rarity in a state known for its crumbly unstable volcanic cliffs, what the climber folk call "rotten rock". 

Trip mascot.

As we made our way across the bay, we became inspired to return with skis and snowboards.

This route is called Salty Dog.

Keep calm and Belay on.

The birthday boy.

Setting the route.

 Spent most of my day looking up at people climbing on cliffs, and got a wicked sun burn.
FInally got bored enough, that I convinced them to loan me a harness, "I can totally climb that with one arm, looks like an easy route."  Only took 60 seconds on the wall, for my rational mind to kick in, "Never-mind, this is a bad idea!"

Cover shot for our upcoming limited release CD.

 Corgis make the best adventure dogs,  fearless, loyal, and portable. 

'Real' Alaskans boulder in extra-toughs.

Pirate face.

 Due to the high tide, we were stranded this beach with a few families, with acrobatic children and copious amounts of boxed wine.  After a few dixy cups of Malbec I decided to show off for our new friends. 

Finally made it back to camp once the tide went down, our little camp spot became isolated by high cliffs and dense forest at high tide.

 Birthday donut surprise.

'till next time.
I left Homer vowing to return, with visions of living in a vintage Airstream in the woods, riding my fat bike to work via the beach, and life without the incessant din of traffic, sirens, and the pervasive noise of a city.  Brought back memories of why I moved to a small mountain town 11 years ago, after only 2 years in Boulder. 

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