Thursday, December 31, 2015

Here's to Another Year

Twenty fifteen started with a mountain bike ride and a shower remodel. Ironically, 2015 is ending with laying out a mountain bike trail and more home repairs. If you'll remember I conned Jeaph into helping gut and rebuild our leaky shower. He ended up doing most of the work (and truly did a great job) after the KYMBA New Year's Day ride at Laurel Lake.
I took Boone and Ty backpacking up Powder Mill Trail on MLK weekend. That was a great trip except I busted my good camera. Earlier in the fall I got a replacement camera, and for Christmas I finally got the lens to go with it. It's been almost a year...
Kipp got me back out on the small stones. I visited his BMW area a couple-three times and managed to reassure myself I was far from being in shape to rock climb again. I decided to focus on running and ended up losing even more fitness as my body broke down month after month.
Early in the year I bailed on doing my first ultra—the Yamacraw 50k—due to lack of training. I managed to do the Flying Pig Half Marathon off the couch with a not bad time. Afterward I did get back to running regularly with a brief return to mountain biking as a proofer for the Mohican 100. Of course that ended with a mangled derailer. Then I mangled the derailer on my road bike and was off of it until just a few weeks ago.
We had a hectic cross country season. I was an assistant coach while trying to train for my own runs. I returned to the Iron Horse after two years and broke two hours surprising even myself at the effort. But that was my running peak for the year even though I was shooting for the Rough Trail 50k a month later. I ended up dropping back to the 22k race, finished well, but totally quit running until just recently. My body needed the rest badly.
I was able to draft and get adopted a county wide bicycle and pedestrian plan for Powell County. In July I took up the PMRP mountain bike trail building cross once again. It's been quite the saga, but there is still potential and the pilot light is still lit on that fire. There will be a few miles of MTB trail there eventually. I've also poked my nose back into the possibility of a MTB trail at Natural Bridge State Park, and on New Year's Eve the Training Partner and I hiked a new section of potential trail to connect up to the Powder Mill Trail on Forest Service land with the blessing of the District Ranger. Things are moving forward.
New trails I rode this year were Jenny Wiley, Ben Hawes, Waverly, Cherokee Park, and two areas in Des Moines. I became a enthusiastic single speed mountain biker.
At the end of the year I finally started to get my act together. The road bike is roadable again. The Ute has been making the trek to town again. The Cannonball is sooooo close. And we started really working on the house. I've fixed some structural problems with the carport. We've started prepping for a new steel roof. We finally cleaned up the basement and the yard. We have a new flock of chickens. We fenced in the yard so the Naughty Dogs can't eat all of the new chickens.
My kids keep growing and amazing me. My son is almost as tall as me. He's so smart and an incredible kid. And Bean is smart, and funny, and just a great person. Both of my kids are fantastic. Mandy and I have been married over fifteen years now. And while the last few years have been rough it seems to me like we just get stronger. I appreciate her more and more all the time. I have an amazing life. I can't express to you how blessed I am and how thankful I am that I have her in my life.
Things have started to turn around. We are finally both fully employed. We bought our first “new” car this year. It was actually a 2014, but that's the first vehicle we've owned that wasn't at least ten years old when we got it.
I got a new trad rack for Christmas. Mandy and I are both excited about the prospect of climbing again. I have this gig GPSing crag approaches for a guidebook app. It's maddening to be hiking upt to multiple climbing areas and not being able to climb. Soon.
I've stalled on my book(s) but my short story will soon be published. I should work on more short stories and my longer works this year. I should get serious about my writing and start trying to improve and to sell myself.
Hopefully I will soon be able to share some exciting news from my job. I know 2016 is going to be another amazing year. There will be rough times. There will be dark times. But in the end I have a great life and I foresee this being an incredible year.

Have a Happy New Year.   


  1. Sounds like a good year. I was just up at the gorge this past weekend. My wife wrecked her new car avoiding a dog! My mtb is at the shop going single. I got so aggravated with gears on the trail. I'm excited to read about the possibility of new trails in your area.

    1. Single speed is sooo addictive! We're actively working on Powder Mill planning at this point. One thing you could do to help out is write or call the (new) District Ranger for the Cumberland Ranger District and voice your support for improving the existing trail. Jon Kazmierski: 606-784-6428

      Jon is also a mountain biker :)