Sunday, June 30, 2013

Weekly Pano: Mt. Tam!

Cruised up Mt Tam last weekend... pretty gloomy with dense fog in Oakland and SF, but above West Point Inn, it was sunny and warm.  A memorable ride as the guy I started riding with over the GG Bridge showed me the way up Old Railroad Grade on his carbon road bike.  I <3 p="" tam="">

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Manzanita Lake Cabins @ Lassen NP

Last weekend we cruised up to the Manzanita Lake Cabins in Lassen NP.  The Chases, Metreses (Metres-ites?) and the Kuwabaras reserved a cabin per family for the weekend a while back.  Back then I had thought we should have decent skiing on Lassen... but yikes, upon seeing Lassen's condition, my heart shattered.  Bleak.  What a weak end to the season.  Probably the first year since puberty that I hadn't skied in April or May. 

GoodGirl loaded up!
soon after arrival we decided to check out the lake.   According to wiki, Manzanita Lake was formed 300 years ago by a rock avalanche.  It's a pretty wild lake with seaweed like plants growing all over, full grown trees underwater, etc.  This first day, there must've been a hatch as the lake was buzzing with flies towards sunset.
Pumpkin loved it!
Kimbo was a bit concerned (look at her face)... I wanted to test out his lifejacket.
Soon Mia & her folks arrived, and the two started playing musical chairs on the steps.
unhappy kiddos
happy kiddos
Hi Kai!
Chez Chase made dinner for us on Fri night.  Mahi Mahi with avocado-cilantro marinade?  Amazing.  Try to have that man cook up dinner whenever you go camping.  I think I was too busy stuffing my face to take any pics.  

The next morning, Dave, Danielle & I went on a short run up Manzanita Creek, while the Chases checked out the park.
It was HOT.  Not as hot as the Central Valley (it was in the 110s down there), but still hot enough that Danielle went dunking in Manzanita Creek... which is straight snow melt.  
Yee haw!
Kai = Hippie.  Not only is he wearing tye-dye, he's having a no-pants party.  

The kiddos loved the slackline...
Danielle's folks, who live in Red Bluff, joined us for the weekend in their RV.  They were on their way back from a nice road trip in Oregon.  We had another amazing meal on Sat, courtesy of Chez Chase of course.... the secret ingredient?  Chicken. 
After dark, Metres and I went out on a Milky Way lit, alcohol fueled paddle across Manzanita Lake.  That light on the left is Metres stumbling around his SUP.  
And on to some wildlife pics!  Here's Metres' rocketbox after driving through the central valley during sunset.
Ducklings!  This log was a busy place.  Ducklings, goslings, muskrats, and lots of babies...
Muskrat!  This guy lived right in that log.  He was collecting plants for his nest the whole day.
Some kind of Borer Beetle 
Another picnic at the lake? Sure, why not!

Ellery being silly.

Helen Lake... which is supposed to be a great place to swim.  Next time...

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hipsters in Thailand?

You betcha!  Check out this hipster in Chiang Mai!  He must have a cousin in SF showing him the ropes.  That fixie was a bit too big for him, but he rode it like a champ through Thai traffic.    I'd say he did a pretty good job of following The RULES

Friday, June 14, 2013

Thailand with Kai! (part 1 - Chiang Mai Night Market)

A few weeks back, Kimbo, Kai & I were joined by my folks on a vacation to Thailand!  We figured Kai was still not yet 2, so while he could still fly free we'd take advantage and head to a country we love.  Thailand is also closer to my folks who are in Japan, and they also love Thai... and they lived there for a few years... and my dad speaks Thai pretty well.

So we hopped on a flight from SFO to Tokyo (11 hrs) then another flight from Tokyo to Bangkok (5.5 hrs) slept at a hotel next to the airport for 6 hours, then hopped on another plane up to Chiang Mai (1 hr) ... and I've gotta say Kai did really well.  We may have a future vagabond on our hands....

"Airplane... airplane... airplane..."
snoozing off on the flight...
Kai's first visit to Japan.  Too bad we didn't leave the airport... he sure liked all the buttons everywhere.
We ran into our folks looking for the departure gate at the Narita Aiport.  Woohoo!
Once we were "settled in" in Chiang Mai, it took us about 30 min to find a massage...
Many, many massages followed.  The going rate in Chiang Mai was about 5-10$/hr... amazing.  Many massage parlors are located at the temples (wat)... and those seemed to be the best.  
We were in a heat wave for the first few days in Chiang Mai.  Hovering around 90 deg with a 70% humidity meant the lows were a balmy 75.  But it also meant I'd drink about 5 fruit shakes a day (60 cents - 1.50$ depending on the fruit) 
The Som Tam (Papaya Salad) was sooooo yummy (a-roy) in this heat.  
My mama put pumpkin's hair up as it was getting in his eye. ..
So we decided to give him a haircut.  See that jar, it's popcorn with maggots.  It's some kind of buddhist good luck charm.  Many stores had it right next to their cash register.  Maybe it also doubles as a security tool, and you can throw it at a potential robber...
Riding in a Song Taew... the easiest way to get around for cheap.  Notice my mama's holding two fruit shakes. .. that was normal.  
There is a Saturday & Sunday walking street market in Chiang Mai.  Both are probably the best street markets we have seen in SE Asia.  Lots of variety at these markets... including hairless Pomeranians eating ice cream. 
The food... oh the food... I'm pretty sure I could eat Thai street food everyday for the rest of my life...

Udon?  Sushi?  What the.... we decided not to try the sushi in a mountain town in 75 deg heat on day 2 of our trip...
bugs!  mmmmm

Chiang Mai has many temples.  Too many in my opinion... 'round every corner there's a 500 yr old wat.  I swear.  They're a nice quiet reprieve, but it's easy to get wat-ted out...
Check out the bee swarm over buddha's head.