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!