Wednesday, October 30, 2013


My apologies for all who follow my blog for my lack of blogging.  This year seems to have been a whirlwind of on and off water activity.  Overall, I have to say that Life is not good . . . it is GREAT!!!  Here's a little of what's been up and what to look forward to in my blog in the remaining months of 2013.

Terrestrial pursuits - yes those that know me know that I am as at home in the forest and trails as well as on the water.  This summer and fall, I have almost religiously mountain biked twice a week.  Bombing through the forests of the Mendocino Coast is one of my favorite things in the world.  It is also great for fitness and mental clarity.  In September, one of my riding buddies and I ventured into the Sierra Nevada's for a change of scenery.  Hole in the Ground Trail near Truckee was one of our best rides of the season.  Rock gardening in granite on two wheels was challenging and fun.
Hole in the Ground
Also in September, I enrolled in a semester course in dendrology - the study of wooded plants (trees).  Learning the nuances of tree identification and scientific names has definitely been stretching my brain.  A new game that I have started is mentally reciting the scientific names of the plants that I see when mountain biking up a long grade.  Yes, I admit that I am a geeky science nerd.
Can you name this plant?
Of course, fall is mushroom season on the Mendocino Coast.  Another new game for fall is the post-ride weigh-in.
Boletus edulis
Of course followed by post-ride refueling with food from the forest.

And fresh veggies from the garden

On the water, I have done a lot of guiding and coaching this year.  The positive feedback from my students about a specific technique or tip that I have helped them with has been really exciting and stoked me out on coaching paddlers.  Like my days in the classroom, I have tried to find that one key skill that a student needs to accelerate in their learning - it seems to be clicking for me in my coaching.
No hat, no helmet - definitely a rare moment.
All summer, our beloved Black Pearl (Valley Gemini SP)was in the shop so I was back in my Valley Avocet RM for teaching.  I got to do a couple of fun sea kayak trips including paddling the stellar Area 10-13 with friends Jim and Tess but most of my play time this summer and fall has continued to be surfing my Necky Jive.  Yes, the Jive has been my go to surf toy as Jeff and I search for an hp surf kayak for me.  This summer I worked up to dropping on bigger, steeper waves.

In October, Jeff and I once again ventured north to Pacific City, Oregon for the 5th annual Lumpy Waters Kayak Symposium.  I dare say that this was the best one ever.  The weather and paddling conditions were excellent, the students were open minded and eager learners, and the coaching staff was top notch.
Sunny, warm, and small surf on the Oregon Coast for Lumpy Waters.
Of course, I am a bit excited to share that 3 new toys came home with us from Lumpy Waters.  Stay tuned for my reports on them.  First will be my report on the new polyethylene Valley Gemini SP.   It has inspired me to want to rock garden and surf more in a sea kayak and has lit a fire under Jeff to finish up the repairs on the Black Pearl.

So this is a little of what I have been up to and why my blog has been a bit quiet.  Yes, I have been learning lots and have lots to share.  Some gear reviews are next on my plate for blog posts.

Life isn't good - Life is GREAT!!!  Thanks for reading and hanging with me on life's adventures.