Sunday Morning Bike Ride

I did some work on my website today and one of the elements I wanted to add was a time-lapse video. If you don’t already have it, the new version of ios has the time-lapse option on it. I’ve tested it out around the house, but it’s so fast that you can’t really do anything fun with the video. I read somewhere that depending on the length of the video, it gets processed into a shorter version. The video I took was probably around 15 minutes total, but after it finished processing, it was scrunched down to a 30 second clip.

This was still incredibly fast and unusable, so I dumped the video into Adobe After Effects and slowed it down to about 1:40. It’s better, but not ideal. Now it looks like a bunch of still shots all pieced together.

Anyways, you can take a look at it on the About page of the website. I thought it would be fun to video the bike ride from my house all the way down to the ocean, so that’s what I did. I don’t have a phone mount on my bike, so I was reduced to holding the phone in my hand throughout the trip. Again, not ideal but it’s another adventure worth trying.

After I finished shooting the video, I took this picture from the South side of the pier looking down toward Newport Beach. The water was warm and the sun shining bright. Great day for an adventure.

Huntington Beach Morning
Beautiful morning in Huntington Beach.

Backpacking San Gabriel

We recently went backpacking up the east fork of the San Gabriel River. The river is well traveled by miners, bungee jumpers, and some of the folks that venture a bit past the bungee jumping spot to hang out in “The Narrows.”

We were a couple of the folks that ventured a bit past the bridge. The bridge was cool though. They had music and bungee jumping. The river (more like  a creek) was flowing below, so there were quite a few people hanging out in the water below.

Living it up with a PBR
Living it up with a PBR
Fail
Fail
Our camp
Our camp
We wouldn't have made it without the water.
We wouldn’t have made it without the water.
Big horn sheep? !
Big horn sheep? !

We clearly saw the tuba sheep, but on our way out we passed a chatty miner who let us know that we just missed 6 up on the ridge. Overall it was a good trip. Definitely the best hiking (near water) that we’ve experienced to date.

The one negative was the amount of miners that were up there. I understand the draw of mining, but some of the people up there are sketchy. I suppose for good reason. The main trail is something like 6 miles to the Bridge to Nowhere, and is traveled by all sorts of idiots without water, wearing flip flops, you name it. Some of those miners have a bit of coin on them after mining, so I can understand how they would be on edge with a bunch of teenagers running around. To a normal person, they seem like tweakers. They might be, but that just goes to show the level of sketch depending on who you run into out there.

I also had my first encounter with a rattlesnake. I’d never heard a rattlesnake before, but I knew exactly what it was when I heard it. It was near a boulder face that had some water trickling down. I walked up to the trickle and without knowing it the snake was right there. He didn’t see me at first, but when he did I jumped back a good 5-7 feet. Good times..

It was an overall success and we’ll likely go back. Maybe not quite as far into tweaker territory next time.

2 Games to Go

I took off work early yesterday to join Callie and her parents for a Dodger game. We left Huntington Beach around 2 pm in order to beat any possible traffic that would hinder our ability to get to the game on time. The game started at 7, so we were a bit early.

We stopped by the Griffith Observatory, which was a pleasant surprise. I’m disappointed that I’ve waited this long before getting out there. If you go there, I’d recommend setting aside at least a few hours to soak it all in.

The Dodger game was great. We showed up to the park about 30-45 minutes early which is always nice. First stop is the concession stand to get a tall beer and a Dodger Dog. This is only the second time we’ve been to a Dodger game this season, but it’s always a treat going to Dodger Stadium because I think they are doing a great job of modernizing the ballpark while at the same time keeping the lore of generations past.

IMG_1890-0.JPG

We won 4-2 over the Giants reducing the magic number to clinch the division from 2 to 1. Tonight Clayton Kershaw is on the mound, so if the rest of his season is any indication of how tonight’s game will turn out, we should wrap things up fairly easily.

One final thought: When you first show up to park, they give you the option to pay extra to get a better parking spot. It’s not really worth the extra money you pay. What would actually make it worth it to plenty of people (making it worth it to the Guggenheim Group) is to give an expedited escape route once the game is over. Instead of paying $15 to park, you pay $25, but you don’t have to waste an extra hour of your life trying to get out of the parking lot.

My Story

I’m originally from Fairbanks, AK. Most of my family is from there too. My parents split up when I was young (I’m not sure what age I was exactly). Both remarried, but my mom decided to move to the lower 48. My step dad tells this awesome story of taking the journey from Fairbanks down to the lower 48 with no clear direction in mind. They drove through Canada and into Washington, Oregon, California, and eventually settled in the Coeur d’Alene, Id area. He said after all the places they traveled to/through, he asked where my mom wanted to live and she chose Coeur d’Alene.

So I spent my childhood and adolescence growing up between Fairbanks and Coeur d’Alene. When I say Coeur d’Alene, I use the term loosly. Our house was technically in Rathdrum. There’s a couple main roads that go North and South in the area and one of them is Ramsey Rd. Ramsey is cut off just North of Hayden by the Coeur d’Alene Airport. Just North of the airport where Ramsey picks back up is where we were.

During the school year, I lived in Idaho playing football and a few other sports along the way, and spent my summers in Fairbanks with my Dad and that entire Barkdull side of the family.

The Cabin

Most weekends revolved around going up the Teklaneka River to the cabin. “The Cabin” is a mythical land where anything you want to do is possible. Fishing, shooting guns, jumping beaver dams in boats, bonfires, you name it. It’s a cool place. For a while there was even a log mill on the property that was used to build one of the cabins on the property.

Fishing the TrickelThis picture on the left is from a place called “The Trickel.” If you look at the water, you can see the murky water on the left, with the clear water feeding in from the right side of the picture. I believe this is a branch of the Nenana River that feeds into the Tek, but I could be wrong on that. The Teklaneka is a glacial fed river and has a lot of silt in the water.

It’s difficult to fish the river because the visibility for the fish is pretty minimal. When you find these streams that feed into the main river, it’s usually a great spot for fishing. In this picture I’m sitting on the boat motor casting off to the far bank and letting it drift toward the main river.

Most weekends we would have a pretty big crew headed upstream. Usually it was a multi-family affair with 2 or 3 boats heading up. You know the routine; a few people/family would be responsible for some of this food, a little of that food, the other family would be in charge of stocking the beer cooler, etc. It usually worked out, until there was a time when it didn’t. On that trip we were grateful that the river was full of fish and there was some tinfoil on hand.

I honestly can’t even remember when the original cabin was built, but I do remember when the second one was built. We used garage door panels as the flooring which do a great job of 10399056_1139984632007_3281581_ninsulating, and pretty much all of the construction materials were made from a log mill that cut up logs that were all dropped from our property, trimmed up and cut into nice pieces of lumber that seem to still be doing a fine job today. There’s indoor plumbing (may not seem like much, but in the middle of the Alaskan wilderness it’s pretty damn clutch), and one of the other cool features is the fact that there are two doors on either end of the cabin that are wide enough to drive a snowmachine into. Really the only time you’d want to do that is if a snowmachine got stuck in the overflow (water on top of the river ice that’s covered by snow). Because of the cold, the snowmachine track can freeze up pretty badly, so the only way to get rid of that is with heat. De-icing the track inside the cabin can be an unfortunate necessity from time to time.

Winter Months

During the school year pretty much all I wanted to do was ski. I sucked in the beginning. I started when I was 9 on a pair of Rossignol 198s. Thinking back, that sounds completely ridiculous. Those skis kicked my ass, but I did a pretty good job of being crappy too.

After shape skis came out, it took me a few years before I was able to afford a pair, but once I did things became a bit easier. Having the 198’s was a good learning experience though: sink or swim.

University of Idaho

After high school I went to the University of Idaho. I floundered through the basic credits and gravitated toward the business side of things. I ended up getting a public relations degree with an emphasis in marketing. I don’t know if it was just an area that I excelled at, or if it was the professors, but it seemed to be the right fit. Their professors in the journalism and mass media department definitely know what they’re talking about.

California016

After college, I was a bartender for a couple of years and didn’t do too much other than work, fish, ski, and party. Working is always good. Fishing and skiing are even better, but the partying wasn’t so bad either. I have a few friends that would take a bullet for me and I’d like to think that I’d do the same.

I moved to California for a change of pace. I needed it. After college nothing was happening, and something needed to happen. So I moved with my girlfriend at the time and it failed miserably. We moved back to Idaho 6 months later, did more of the same for another year and then decided to move back to California. It was rough. I really didn’t want to move back the second time, but what can you do? I’ve been here ever since. It hasn’t been easy, but few things in life come easy that are worth having.

Work

Work is a big part of my life. I don’t want to get too into it on this draft of the about page, but sometimes I find myself wondering how I possibly could have been so fortunate to be a part of some of the organizations that I have been. I’ve been close to being homeless, I’ve eaten plain rice for days on end, I’ve almost gone back to Coeur d’Alene, I could say almost to a lot of things, but the biggest takeaway that I have is that I’m still here. I still wake up early in the morning to kick some ass. Whether or not it’s true, I hold onto the belief that if I don’t kick ass for every minute of the work day, my job is (and should be) in jeopardy.

I miss my family and I love the Northwest. It’s where I belong, and I will go back there some day.

The farther one gets into the wilderness, the greater is the attraction of its lonely freedom” – Theodore Roosevelt

The Beginning

Holy cow. I made the creation of this blog waaay harder than it needed to be. I went down the rabbit hole of the .org site and downloading wordpress, etc. Anyways, here I am on the .com site and am relieved that this is up and running now.

The focus: I’ll talk about my life, the people around me, work, and anything that catches my eye. I don’t want to be boring! I want to be a better writer, so in order to do that, I must write. Not to become a professional writer, just to become better at writing. So here goes..