Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Celebrating our 10 year anniversary in Marin!

Spent a wonderful kid-free weekend up in Marin with Kimbo for our 10th anniversary!  

We cruised up Fri afternoon, had lunch at Marin Sun Farms, got baked goods at Bovine Bakery, and Double 8 Buffalo milk ice cream.   Then we put in at Nick's Cove and spent a night on our own beach.  Tomales Bay was quite windy and getting across on the SUP was quite difficult.  

Sat, we packed up and had a pleasant paddle across the glassy water back to the car.  We loaded up, checked in to Mayacamas for lunch and went on a bike 

getting ready to get on the boats.  
The conditions... 
We ended up at Pelican North Beach.  
Woohoo we made it!
gathering firewood.  
All set up!
Nothing to do but watch the tide roll out...
And play with the night shot mode on my gopro
Nice Sunrise!
Cool halo around Hog Island
Lots of seals wished us "happy anniversary" on our way back.  
Loading GoodGirl back up.  The car didn't start, but one of the Blue Waters employees helped us out by banging the starter... and she started right up!
Brunch at the bakeries.  Talked a few bike tourists here who were headed down to Mexico.  
And lunch at Mayacamas!
Then we hopped on the tandem and cruised to Vincent Arroyo
Kimbo taking a shot of my selfie shot... we rode by some other randonneurs who were in the middle of their Fleche!
Picked up a few nice bottles here.  We need to become members again...
And after a steep climb, we made it back up to Mayacamas!
With this waiting... it's hard not to pedal fast...
Sunset drinks at the pool
The next morning I decided to go on a quick run and drove down to Oat Hill Mine Rd... which I've heard a lot of good things about from Mtn Bikers.  
It used to be an old road used by wagon trains... and there are plenty of fun single track options at the bottom.  Looked really fun.  I wanna go back with my bike soon.  
On our way back, we stopped at Russian River Brew Co for lunch... and some Plinys...
And more Plinys...
Special shout out to Chelsea who hooked us up with a night at Mayacamas!!!

Monday, May 29, 2017

McCloud Falls

Fowler Campground is a pretty sweet spot to camp on your way up to Ashland.  30 min from I-5, so too far off out of the way, and this is waterfall country.  Snow melt from Mt. Shasta feeds this tributary of the Sacramento River, making it an especially fun stop after doing Shasta from Brewer Creek or Clear Creek Trail Heads.

Here's some more info

The kids scarfing up their breakfast
First, from Fowler's we hiked up to Middle Falls...
And I caught a lizard... which Kai really liked.
The ventral view of the Western Fence Lizard
The rainbow from the upper falls.  
And then we cruised down to Lower Falls, which gets the most sun, and has some pools for the kids to play in.  
Kimbo caught a butterfly!
This water is freezing!!!!
The falls were pumping!  Bigger than I've seen it before.  
After our fun day, we made the easy drive up to Ashland so I could make it to my rehearsal dinner for Cam & Athena's wedding.  Here's the kids eating dinner with Evan's kids.  
Story time!
Crazy thunder storm that night.  Preceded by this awesome rainbow.  

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Baby Cali Forest Scorpion

Saw my second scorpion in Oakland.  Pretty close to the same spot at Redwood Regional Park while night riding.

Pretty sweet egh?

Monday, May 15, 2017

Ecuador! - Part 4: Jungle

During our time in Quito we talked to a few travel agencies to figure out what we should do for a few days to splurge a bit... and we decided to go to the jungle.  There were many operators offering tours, so we shopped around and found one that fit our schedule and worked with our budget.  There are several Jungle Eco Lodges in Ecuador, and we chose to go to Cuyabeno, one of the more popular spots with half a dozen eco-lodges next to each other.  I think the experience is pretty similar at any of the lodges, some being nicer and more expensive, others being more budget, but all offering similar tours and experiences... which I'll talk about below.  We decided to go to Jamu lodge, which was a very clean, nice lodge... we'd recommend it to any one.  

Here's the previous posts... and one final one coming up!
More pics and gphotos

Good Energy always wins
We got on a long overnight bus ride (where I got my camera stolen), while car sick... take the flight!  So worth it... but made it out to Lago Agrio (Nueva Loja)... where there's really nothing here.  Oil industry and now Jungle eco tourism.
Loading up for the 2 hour boat ride to the lodge at the Cuyabeno Bridge.
The nests of the Caracara... I believe
There are 5 indigenous tribes in this region of the Jungle... represented here.  
we're on a boat!
The boat ride down provided a glimpse of all the animal life we were going to see... 
jungle turtles
After unpacking, settling down and having a beer, I felt much, much better... 
For sunset we cruised up to Lago Grande(along with 20 other boats) for a quick swim... and some bird watching.
We went on a night hike that night (really only 400 yard) from the lodge, but this was one of the more interesting activities we did.  There were so many hidden insects everywhere!  Crazy...

This guy was HUGE!
Back in our room we decided to use the mosquito net...
Pink Dolphin lodge
There are also some native settlements along the river.  No doubt these places have been highly affected by tourism.  We had mixed emotions about that...

Banana tree

Crazy mushrooms
A local lady took us out and showed us how to make some of their traditional foods...
we found this guy hiding in the leaves...
Griding up the Cassava roots...

Cassava does contain some poison... but I think once you cook like this, it's ok?  Not sure... 
And Voila!  Your cassava tortilla...
With tuna and salsa from a can..
Kim testing out the blow dart gun
Drying out some cassava
Recycling and compost?  Really?  
Chickens everywhere!
Natural paint...

The pooper

Then the shaman came by and guided us through some of their basic beliefs and 
Shaman pic.  
Back at the lodge... I got to check out the view from the pooper.  
Map of the area...
More monkeys!
Second sunset.  Is sunset at Lago Grande always this pretty?
Bats on our roof...
Ugh oh... Kimbo needs to have a "War Eagle" talk with this guy...
Circumzenithal arc in the Jungle 
On the flight home... our friends got the stewardess seat.  
The view on our flight home