Tuesday, May 29, 2012


Fly fishing stream extraordinaire so I am told. Bucolic country scene, me in my Mother's day gift, a pair of waders from our fly fishing group rummage sale, a $7 vest that blends into the waders, my $25 boots from clearance table from fly shop in Dunnigan, my fly rod,  just about ready to enter the stream. No picts of me mucking in the knee high mud in the water, not picts of me spending 20 minutes getting a wind knot out of my line, no picts of me judiciously keeping my feet in the water so as not tresspass in the private ground at water's edge. No sirree. Don't want to dunk the new camera. No picts of me catching fish. Which I didn't do anyway.
Todd with his catch at a different part of the stream. He was really pissed when the kid on the next rock over caught about a pound trout using lures about 10 min later. I was more pissed when the kid let the fish dangle above the water and the father seemed in no hurry to release the fish. This is a catch and release only stream, probably because the flyfishermen can really brag about the size of the fish if they are all released.
Todd replacing fly that the rock ate.

Score for the weekend, rock 3 flies, Sam the dog broke off 2 flies, tree 1 fly, fish caught 2 trout both released and my really beautiful bluegill caught in the pond while I was practicing my casting

Hereford Ranch Hat Creek Campground

We live in a beautiful state, this state of California. I am reminded whenever we take off for a weekend, the Mendocino Coast, wine country in the foothills, Lake Tahoe.
This weekend it was Hereford Ranch Hat Creek about 20 miles north of the entrance to Lassen National Park. Hat Creek is a world renown fly fishing stream. Hereford Ranch is a great campground and there are some country roads I've been wanting to explore on my bike since we were at the cam 4 years ago. Since we are towing a trailer, we limited to 55 mph so it's a nearly 5 hr drive. I our world, that's a stretch for even a three day weekend.
We ran into hail and  rain showers nearing the Lassen Park entrance, the kind of rain that is just this side of snow. This was the precursor to the rest of the day, coldish rain off and on. It was perfect weather for scouting out fishing spots and taking a drive up a mountain road just because it was there.
It finally stopped raining after dinner to chance a bike ride. I grabbed a plastic bread bag to cover my sopping wet bike seat, shade of my days at UCD where a bike was my only transportation. I was rewarded with spectacular views of Hat Creek and what I am going to call my Magical Ghost Mountain.

There must have been a cold storm cloud just hanging over a particular magical white cinder cone. All of the tree studded peaks around it were dark spruce green, the one in the middle sparkling white. Saturday night rain erased what had been there the day before. The peak was the same green as the peak in front and the peak behind. Only that little flat patch on the top gave a hint as to the splendor the day before.

My Sunday  sunrise ride was just a gift. Sunrise  over Hereford Ranch pond,

mist rising off the cows and meadow grass

Sunrise over Lassen Peak.

Just a bike, an open road, a camera, what possibilities, what a day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Farmers' Market May 14, 2012

The first of the season peaches, nectarines and apricots have arrived. Ok, it's not quite real summer fruit but close enough. The fruit is definitely firm. the peaches had the flavor of early summer peaches, just not the texture. The nectarines were just too sour for me to buy. I'm not a fan of apriots unless someone give me a bunch of free ones I can make into jam and maybe a pie.

As I sit and write, I have a bag of cherries beside me, just waiting. I promised myself not to eat so many cherries at one sitting today.

Friday, May 11, 2012

BikeFest at the Capitol 2012 Lunchtime bike ride

Well, I didn't win the bikes that were being raffled off, but Bikefest was a great lunchtime diversion. I scored a free watermelon freeze and and officail 2012 Bike Month t shirt.
It was great people watching if you like sweaty cyclists walking around in matching lycra/spandex clothing.
Sounds good to me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Napa Country Iris Gardens

We spent the weekend camping in the Lake Berryessa area. The Old Man reminisced about riding up the road from Winter CA to the cafe on Steel Canyon Rd. We drove the road on Sunday morning. It is a demanding climb for a cyclist and has been on the tour of California route.
Neither of us had  been on Steele Canyon Road so we took a side trip to the lake.  Much to our sprprise, about 2 miles down the road, we found Napa Country Iris Gardens in full bloom.

Of course she said, we have to stop, we we did. To say we were blown away by the blooms would be an understatement. If I had not left my camera at home, there would be picts. Check out the blooms on their website.

Check out new releases Golden Gaga or Teasing Tiger, only $50 a bulb. My favorites were Jolt and Coffee Whisperers, at a reasonable $6.00.
The Gardens are are only open for another week or two. It's well worth a trip and is only about an hour from Sacramento.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Walking at Lunch

Can you see the strawberry juice dripping off my chin? It's Farmer's Market season downtown. It's a mere
10 -15 minute walk to Roosevelt Park at 9th and P Street. I had $17 to spend and came home with 
55 cernts. Fresh-from-the field strawberries were 3 brimming baskets for $7.00, Delta asparagus 2 bunches for $5, crookneck squash 3 for $1.45. That left  $3.00 for3/4 lb of my first summer cherries.
I finished about half of the cherries on my walk home. I washed the strawberries. The berries are succulent and juicy.
The blueberries will have to wait for next week. Can peaches be far behind?
In addition to the fresh fruit, the flower vendors are back. Food carts include Indian, Mexican, the pizza oven guy, barbeque and Chinese. The bread vendors are around the backside of the park.

Umm Umm Umm

5-9-2012 Note to self. Remind me in the future not to eat the entire 3/4 pound of cherries in an afternoon. Oghh my poor cherry belly.

Friday, May 4, 2012

Lunchime Bike Rides

Downtown Sacramento is a great place to work and 4th and Q St offers many possibilities for lunchtime bike rides. Today's ride will be to Beer's Used Books on the corner of 9th and S St.  This is merely a 5 block ride, about 10 min from desk to shopping.  
Walking, this takes max 15 min, Ok, I walk fast, it took 12 min from book purchase to sitting at my desk and this included stopping to wash my hands, but it's only 5 blocks. That leaves 30 min to browse through shelves of travel, cooking, and the new arrivals.
Beers offers a 10% discount every day from 12 pm to 1 pm. Have to be back at my desk by 12:15 so I asked if I could have the lunchtime discount 3 min early. Owner checked the clock on the wall and his cell phone. No go. I asked that if in the future I bring proof of my lunchtime, could I get the discount. Nope, 12 is 12. So instead of 2 books I bought 1. Instead of offering me the discount 3 min early I saved $10.50 and Beers lost a $9.00 sale. Ummm. Their store, their rules. Don't ask for an early 10% discount.
I came home with The Sewing Circles of Herat by Christina Lamb about life in Afghanistan circa 2002


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bike Polo

Modern Hardcourt Bike Polo has roots in early 2000s Seattle[1][2] Originally started by messengers who had downtime in between deliveries, the game developed in Seattle and some of the earlier rules were founded (3 on 3, scoring with the end of the mallet). As people moved and traveled the game branched out. and is currently played in over 30 countries and 300 cities.[3]

So I've seen one or two guys practicing polo in the tennis courts at Southside Park after work but haven't seen a scrimmage/game before this morning. The wheels are solid with great graphics. I only wish I would have had more time to watch.
Just a little snippet of the real world reminds me there is life outside of work.

You Know it is Cycling Season When....

...you sit down in a chair, feel a wet spot on the back of your shirt and realize it is a coffee stain from Starbucks mug that leaks.
No, I'm not wearing a white shirt today, it's greenish so the stain doesn't show.