Wednesday, August 19, 2009

NM: Beinvenidos a Espanola, NM!

April 22 - July 16, 2009

Photos of the apartment in Santa Fe, NM. I lived about 30 miles from where I worked. My cozy bed.
The lovely living room with red wall.

The bathroom.

The kitchen view from the dining room.

The living room with a kitty peaking out the window onto the deck.

The housing keeps getting better each place I go!

OR: Road Trip Salt Lake city, UT

August 11, 2009

On the road trip to OR, we stopped in Salt Lake city for the night. Picture of the great salt lake.

View from the other side of the Great salt lake.

Me walking out of the great salt lake.

Me floating in two feet of water with hands and feet out of the water.

Picture of the mountains during our hike just outside of Salt Lake city.

Salt Lake city was absolutely gorgeous. We drove by the famous mormon temple and other structures, but of course could not go in them.

OR: Road Trip Arches Natl Park in Moab UT

August 10, 2009

On our road trip to OR, we stopped in Moab UT for the evening in order to hike at Arches National Park in the morning. There are over 2,000 cataloged arches in the park. To be considered an arch, the opening has to be at least 3 feet in any direction. This is the famous double arch. Mary and I outside of the arches.

Erosion from wind and rain.

Driving into the national park.


Mary and I on the viewpoint of fiery furnace.

Fiery furnace.

Delicate arch.

Double arch on our hike to it.

Looking through the arch. You can faintly see the moon!

Moab and Arches National Park was unbelievable. You could spend days visiting all of the arches and hiking around the area.

OR: Portland Century Bike Ride

August 16, 2009

I rode in the Portland century bike ride with Mary the first weekend in Oregon. We chose to ride the 50 mile flat course.

The ice sculpture:
Mary and I in downtown Portland.

After the first rest stop with our bikes.

House boats on the Columbia River.

Johnson creek watershed.

We finished the 53 miles in just over 4 hours. The ride was very frustrating as it went along a trail and along the roads of Portland. It was very difficult to pass other riders secondary to the narrow bike lanes. The other riders in general seemed very inexperienced and not very safe. Mary had her first accident secondary to other idiots on the road. The best part of the ride was the amazing food afterwards on Portland State University campus.

Monday, July 27, 2009

NM: Espanola Clinic

April 22 - July 16th 2009

This is a picture of the two kitties that lived outside of my apartment. It is very common for cats to be eaten by coyotes, so it was good to see these cats staying nearby the place.

This is a picture of smoke over the hospital from a forest fire about 2 miles from the hospital that I worked at.
Me and the tech Mercedes. She spoke Spanglish and taught me lots of spanish words, mostly bad ones.

Me and Rudy, another physical therapist that I worked with.

Me and Ramona, a PTA that I worked with and camped with her family.

Me and Dennis, a tech that I worked with and sat next to. Often I serenaded him with my music skills.

Me and Gina, the secretary.

Gina took this picture of me dancing in the lobby during Espanola fiesta days. They clearly picked the white girl to display her dancing moves.

I had a good time in Espanola, especially outside of work with lots of hiking, biking and cultural events. Everyone I met at work was real nice but when it came down to it, I was still just a traveler in their minds.

IA: RAGBRAI July 19-25, 2009

July 19 - 25, 2009

Day 1: Council Bluffs to Red Oak, 54 miles

We started the ride at Mary's parents house. On the first day we had 4 riders, Mary's sisters Diane and Janet, Mary and me. Our pre ride picture. Me and Mary

A picture while riding showing some of the hills of Iowa.

Mary riding into the famous stop-- Mr. Porkchop.

The four of us eating our huge, boneless Iowa porkchop. It was quite good.

Diane only rode on the first day, so then there were 3.

Day 2: Red Oak to Greenfield, 76 miles

Our view riding into the first town.

The first town famous for swedish items. This is a little view of how many people there were. You had to get off and walk your bikes through most of these small towns because there were so many people. The food in this town was all based on donation.

Swedish dancers.

Getting off our bikes at the meeting town. It was a pretty big hill, so glad that we walked up it!

Our welcome signs. Mary's dad grew up in this town so we took pictures of the farm house that is now a historic landmark.

Day 3: Greenfield to Indianola, 80 miles

In our first town there was a skillet throwing contest where the goal was to throw the skillet and knock the basketball off of the dummy. Pretty amusing.

We rode our bikes through Madison county, the setting for the famous, Bridges of Madison county. This was a replica bridge set up in the middle of the town.

In Indianola we stayed at Diane's house. It was pretty nice to have a bed to sleep in. This was our welcome sign in Indianola. About a mile up the rode we saw a 50+ yard slip and slide along with a band playing. Janet and Mary.

Mary and I walked to the beer garden that night for some beverages.

Me posing with a member from our favorite team, Team Jorts. These guys and gals wore jean shorts aka jorts and tuxedo tops all week. They always seemed to be having fun.

A picture of Diane, her three children Joseph, Andrew and Thomas, Mary and Mary's mom who gratefully drove the SAG wagon across Iowa and set up our tent each night.

Day 4: Indianola to Chariton, 37 miles

Mary was sick the day before and this morning. We had to laugh when we saw the place that she ordered food from was Montezuma Iowa. Apparently Montezuma's revenge isn't just in Mexico.

Even though Mary was sick, we decided it was a good day to stop off for a few beers. At the beer garden we met a team named Team Angry. They would smack stickers onto peoples butts. This was one of the better smacks. Note the hand print, brusing and blood.

About 10 miles from town was a popular stop for a swim, a random pond.

Finally we made it to the next town!

Day 5: Chariton to Ottumwa, 80 miles

Mary's coworkers made an encouragement sign.

One of the bigger hills we had to tackle.

Welcome to Ottumwa!

We stayed at a Mary's old grade school teachers house with her 5 grandkids and 5 of Mary's friends outback.

Day 6: Ottumwa to Mt Pleasant, 71 miles

I like to refer to day 6 as day suck. This was the first day that I felt pretty sick. The wind was rough and the roads were very flat, so for me, very unpleasant.

Our ritual hour stop for lunch. This day held a little nap for me under a tree as well.

Day 7: Mt Pleasant to Burlington, 45 miles

Our last day, with a guest rider, Kelley, whom we met in the DR. We decided it was a day of 2 Fat Tires and 3 flat tires.

In the last town we had the option of going up the Snake, which is classified as "the world's crookedest road." At take 2, I made it up in my lowest gear.

450 miles later, we hit the Mississippi River. After you dip your tires, you get to hold up your bike victoriously!

Mary's right quad grew 1/2 of an inch.

Just call me quadzilla. My right quad grew 2 inches.

What an accomplishment!