Monday, August 28, 2006

More Fog ...

Eureka! California. Vacationland, America. Tomorrow ... Redwoods. This is the Days Inn desktop. Laptop case, mini amp ... computer hook up. Life's good.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

More at that.

I applied for an apartment in the burbs today. 1x1, big deck, clubhouse, pool, gym, sauna, hot tub, theatre, putting green, ball washer. Swimsuits, Chicks. Gosh. Party. Ball Washer? Travel agent?

Date: 23 August 2006
Miles Riding: 17.60
Bike: Road
Ipod: No
August Bike Mileage: 139.47

Date: 21 August 2006
Miles Riding: 9.64
Bike: Commuter
August Bike Mileage: 121.87

I grew up (on a bike) here so I know more about the neighborhoods and address locations than most of the realtors. Me: "The cross street is Cypress?" Realtor: "No, Second." Me: "Are you sure? Is it right across from the Baptist Church?" R: "Yes." M: "That's a stretch." It was a lot for a sh*thole that smelled like stale cat in a somewhat marginal neighborhood.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Fog

The view out toward San Francisco. Since my last post I have logged another 750 miles of in the air time and 750 miles of trailer towing time. I am officially in California with all of my stuff, although I am still feeling homeless, despite staying with my parents. For those of you that are interested -- that's 1 hour and 50 minutes in the air and 13-15 hours on the road.

This shot is a look directly at SFO from a spot further south on the peninsula. In the fog there is San Bruno Mountain. That's right ... fog.

I feel like I am at home. Because I am. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Apartment Shopping.

Date: 17 August 2006
Miles Riding: 6.74
Bike: Commuter
Ipod: No
August Bike Mileage: 112.23


Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Commute to Work

The commute went well and I was early. 2.2 miles to the train, 25 or so minute on the train and another 1.5 miles to work. Piece of cake. Cycling here is a little more dangerous interesting than in Mesa. For the most part in Mesa there isn't much on the street parking and almost no angled parking, so getting doored is rare and cars backing out into you is pretty uncommon.

There is an endless list of hazards in San Francisco, including pedestrians in the street. I'll need to get a bell, and am happy to entertain suggestions.

After work I looked around for an apartment on the bike.

Date: 16 August 2006
Miles Riding: 17.75
Weather: 59°F., 73% humidity..
Average: 9.5
Max: 23.8
Bike: Commuter
Ipod: No
August Bike Mileage: 105.49

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

I Can't Leave You Alone for a Minute

While I was away, it seems that nothing has gotten done at all -- especially if you use the quality of the roads as a standard. Frankly Arnold, what have you been doing while I was gone, because it certainly hasn't been taking care of the roads. It's probably been good for you to have moved your life to Sacramento -- because the freeways around Hollywood suck. I felt like I had gone to Pennsylvania. I think I hit some potholes the size of New Hampshire. Didn't any one suggest that it might be nice to repair the roads? Really, what exactly are you doing? Pumping Iron?

The worst of it was driving this piece of shit Budget rental truck which would rock back and forth when I hit a bump, and get worse and worse , like it was going to self destruct, unless I put on the brakes or accelerated violently. Driving the eleven sixteen (27 in metric hours) hours here from Arizona was a real chore. I want my money back.

I'll need to go over to the Seven Eleven right away and register to vote. So I can vote for that Warren Beatty guy -- or Clint Eastwood. I know -- Warren Beatty and Clint Eastwood for Governor next time -- I want to see those two duke it out. It will be like the Fight Club. To hell with running the place. Did I mention that the place was on fire when I got back. Geez!

I want two things from my next governor, to fix the potholes, and to get those dangerous Budget trucks off the road. And put out the fires. I know I am being hard on the Budget trucks, but I had gone just 20 miles before that damn truck threatened to kill me forced me to brake quickly and pull over and make sure I was still ok. There were times in places like Pacheco Pass where I had to drive 45 MPH -- so I wouldn't tip over crash.

High today in San Francisco? 54°F. Are you hot? No. Are you wearing shorts? Yes. It's a habit I picked up in Arizona. Do you have to ride to work tomorrow? Yes. How far? I'll let you know. I think it's two miles to the coffee and train riding book reading hour, and then another 2-3 miles to work once I get off the train. Commute time with coffee? 1.5 hours. Can you take the bike on the train? Yes, the train car closest to San Francisco -- is for bikes. Can you ride and drink coffee at the same time? yep.

Meet the question man ... and ... welcome to San Francisco. I have to go now and find some bike riding clothes for my first day at work.

Sunday, August 13, 2006

Picture This

It's move day four. Shawn has managed to find the camera and snap a picture of the truck trailer and volvo, with him at the wheel and the AZ sun behind it. He's waving out he window. That's what you'll see if you are here in the morning.

Currently everything is packed into the truck. This is clearly the best time to rob me. Just figure out how to drive off in that truck.

When I say everything I really mean everthing. Except some things that wouldn't fit. Everything from the regular house is in. All of the soap, toothpaste, clothing, bicycles. So today when I spilled some gross liguid all over myself, I literally had to stand naked at the sink while I washed them. I waited until all the helpers had left, so that it wasn't as exciting. Now they are in the dryer (the clothes not the helpers), sans cling free ...

Honk, honk, Miss American wave out the window of the float truck as I go by. Big trail of dust as I leave the wild West. Bonnie Raitt singing "The road is my middle name" on the Ipod.

If I want clean clothes now I will have to wash them in the sink of some motel, or drive to California,

Saturday, August 12, 2006


This is a scorpion. It's not in the house, but almost got packed. I don't know what kind of scorpion it is, but it meets the basic description of a Bark Scorpion, which are quite poisonous. They get kinda riled up when you poke at them with a stick.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Standing Myself Up

Rode about 2.9 map miles today to fetch this. Today was the last day at the industrial military complex for me, sad as that was. So now I am going to move into this truck and be home free for a few days.

It's threatening not to monsoon (look, it's a verb) outside and just kill us all with humidity, and right at the critical time when we can't take any liquids on planes. I know everyone thought those were bottles of water, they weren't. They were an inflammatory liquid, vodka. How on earth is everyone going to get drunk enough to put up with flying?

Thankfully, I'll be driving, too.

Date: 11 August 2006
Miles Riding: 2.9
Weather: Hot, humid and sweaty.
Average: N/A
Max: N/A
Bike: Road
Ipod: No
August Bike Mileage: 87.74

Alison Brown plays on the stereo, Mambo Banjo. I'll get there ...

... and ride

Today's ride was an odd replay of this ride, minus the breakdowns. It wasn't as much fun as this ride (just so seemingly a faked ad for Specialized), but was a great close to a while riding with the happy hiking guy.

This chapter of this book is slowly closing. I remember a faster closing shapter ... once I made a phone call, borrowed some money, then rode a bus and bought a plane ticket, and flew home, having changed continents, and traded chopsticks in for a fork, all in about a day. I mean -1/2 day in real time.

In retrospect this is a gradual change.

Date: 11 August 2006
Miles Riding: 6
Weather: 103°F.
Average: N/A
Max: N/A
Bike: Road
Ipod: No
August Bike Mileage: 84.84

Wednesday, August 9, 2006

The Crack of Thunder

The Smell of Ozone. I rise tumultuously from decent sleep. Lightning strikes repeatedly very near the house. A light show rages out the windows. Stark shadows flash against the walls. It's muggy. It's not yet dawn.

Monday, August 7, 2006

The Question is ...

Will there be a Monsoon soon? This is East and slightly south from my house and is the obscured Buck Moon.

This was taken well after dark and is ... very interesting to me. It was taken just after the one above and towards the Northeast in the direction of the Usery Mountains. It reminds me of a painting. To the trained eye, there may appear to be spurious light flare in the upper left. It's from the lightning I guess. I was hoping for the rain itself.

Sunday, August 6, 2006

Superstition Wilderness -- Bluff Spring Loop

Desert Tortoise in Miner's Canyon, Superstition Wilderness.

Well -- there's so much to talk about today. This is the hike that started my romance with the Superstition Wilderness. A little over a year ago one of my friends introduced me to the happy hiking guy, because we both were going out to hike on a regular basis in the heat of the Summer.

Near the Dutchman's trail right near the start of the hike.

On one day in July of last year we took a hike together for the first time. The 10.5 miles (despite the map saying it's 8.5, my gps said it was 10.5 last time I went) of the Bluff Spring Loop. We started out at 6:00 AM, just like today, and when we finished at 11:30, it was a respectable 109°F. Today was more like 100°F and we finished at 11:00 or so.

During today's hike we talked about how much my health had improved over the last year. It was clearly obvious during the hike because we could compare it to last year. I really thught I may die (from the heat, or just from exhaustion) on the hike last year, this year I was strong and comfortable for most of the hike.

Since Dale, our mutual friend, also joined us, we could make comparisons to the ill-fated Superstition Ridgeline hike of November last year, which the three of us did together as well. The Superstition Ridgeline hike is 11 or so miles, with about two miles of verticle element. The Superstition Ridgeline hike ended some 12-13 hours later with me barely able to walk. Today's hike contained none of the pain I have had on almost every hike I have taken since then.

Miner's needle from the "front." Superstition Wilderness.

Miner's needle from the "back." Superstition Wilderness.

There is some descepancy in the naming of the trails. The USGS Topo map of the Weaver's Needle Quad dated 1966 clearly calls the route to the right out of the Peralta trailhead Miner's Trail. New maps and the signs on the trail call this the Dutchman's Trail (104), so that's what I am going to call it. To complicate things more, the USGS map calls the Bluff Spring trail the Dutchman's trail. Ever wonder why people keep getting lost? So for the section of the trail from Bluff Spring to Peralta (completing the loop) I am going to use the current name of Bluff Spring trail.

Dale and I in Miner's Canyon.

The hike started uneventfully with the three of us heading out with out much thought, and we traveled the easy 2.6 miles out to the junction with the trail to Coffee Flat, crossing a couple of small streams on the way. Then we made the ascent to Miner's Summit, a saddle next to Miner's Needle where you can find the junction of the Dutchman's trail and the Whiskey Springs trail.

Chris at the Whiskey Springs Trailhead.

From the Miner's Summit the trail heads down into Bluff Spring Canyon to Crystal Spring, and the junction with the Bluff Spring trail, which leads back to the Peralta trailhead. It crosses Barks Canyon before descending into Peralta and the trailhead. Today there was water in most of the canyons along the trail; I was surprised.

There was Running Water in Bluff Spring Canyon, Superstition Wilderness.

There was all this water and everything was green. Despite the heat and humidity, I think the monsoon season is my favorite time of the year to be in this desert. The descent into Barks Canyon is steep and the color was awesome.

The Steep Wall of Barks Canyon in the Superstition Wilderness.

Today's hike is probably the last hike in the Superstitions before I leave for California. It was a great closure to a long sojourn to Arizona. Who would think it possible to see a Desert Tortoise and a Gila Monster in the same day and not be at the zoo. It will take more than a few tears to say goodbye.

Amid Speculation that this is a Mexican Beaded Lizard, I am going with this ID, a Banded Gila Monster, (Heloderma suspectum cinctum) in Bluff Spring Canyon, Superstition Wilderness.

Saturday, August 5, 2006

Pay Attention DagNabit. I mean Pass the Advil

Moonlight over Hernandez, Digital Photograph by Shawn Kielty, August 5, 2006, in Mesa Arizona. Digital Photograph. © 2006 Shawn Kielty.

I crashed, it's that simple. It was dark and I was trying to escape the road for a bit at a stop light by scooting up the handicapped ramp to the sidewalk. The front wheel made the breach over the edge of the curb (I missed the flat spot because I was too cocky not paying enough attention to details), but the rear scooted out from under me and splat. A passenger in the vehicle trying not to run me over asked if I was ok and I was trying to say no while at the same time saying yes. But it all doesn't matter because the driver went right around the corner and drove away.

If I haven't broken my patella I think I'll be ok.

There some road rash, a dented elbow, forearm and knee. Of all the crashes lately I think mine is the least on the damage scale. Ruby, Gilby, Juneau Jill, and Alberto have all crashed recently.

So I guess it's my turn. Last time I crashed I was about 17. It hurts a bit more these days.

Date: 5 August 2006
Miles Riding: 18.73
Weather: 100°F.
Average: 12.8
Max: 19.7
Bike: Commuter
Ipod: Cream, Crossroads
August Bike Mileage: 78.84

Pass the Advil -- an ice pack and a cold one. I am sure I'll be much better at 5:45 AM tomorrow -- as I leave for an 8 mile hike to Miner's Needle in the Superstition Wilderness. I'll be sure to take a camera.

Y'all pay attention -- cause right now -- I am up for August!

The Move, Day 1

The move has started. The library has grown considerably since I shipped 5 boxes UPS to NH in 1997. There are now 13 boxes of books. And 2 boxes of other media. I think I need to trim down my book budgt because it is impacting my move budget.

The moving crew of Lorenzo and Freddy (and I) devoured the book and kitchen packing, and consumed about $100 worth of boxes -- gadzooks! Jane set us up with a pizza, which we devoured too.

Get Out and Ride!

I was up at 6 this morning. And out on the bike. The weather has been cooler, and there were a ton of people out. I saw the Saturday morning 6 AM ride with Paragon Cycling, and there was a large peloton, so I suspect it is a popular ride. This ride has something of a no-drop policy, so if you like to find a group ride, this might be a good choice.

Date: 5 August 2006
Miles Riding: 13.79
Weather: 83°F.
Average: 13.1
Bike: Road
Ipod: The Cowboy Junkies, Me and the Devil
August Bike Mileage: 60.11

Friday, August 4, 2006

Serial Shooters Nabbed

News Today.

This shooting of a Saturday morning cyclist in Mesa must be related. It occured right where I used to live at Stapley and Brown, near the arrest point.

Thursday, August 3, 2006

Shoot the Dog

Bladderpods (genus Lesquerella), near Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument.

Well -- was that the last ride with the happy hiking buddy? I hope not.

I remember once my friend John and I were walking down the street in Flagstaff, and I noticed this marquee said Alison Brown Quartet, $10. I said, "we need to go in here."

What does she do? She reinvents the banjo. And what a banjo.

Date: 3 August 2006
Miles Riding: 12.90
Weather: 100°F.
Average: n/a
Bike: Road
Ipod: The Alison Brown Quartet, Shoot the Dog
August Bike Mileage: 46.32

Looking out over Phoenix from the top of Camelback. Posted by Picasa

That's Phoenix behind me. From the top of Camelback Mountain. Photo compliments of the Happy Hiking Buddy -- © 2005. Posted by Picasa

My ugly desk. Posted by Picasa


Wow -- that's me on the phone. Photo © 2005. One of either Nancy Brown or Foster Curry took this photo. I don't know because I was looking the other way.

What is there to say about this? Near Crystal Spring Reservoir in California. Posted by Picasa


Roo -- or Ru was from New Zealand -- he was good -- one of the guides. He took good care of me. Colorado River -- September 2005. Posted by Picasa

Kapow! -- Jeff Foote telling a story to Shelly Lake and I. Posted by Picasa

Jeff Foott photographs the Patagonia wearing science girl (I didn't get her name -- sorry) , and Jack Dykinga kabitzes. Colorado River at the confluence of the Little Colorado. September 2005. Posted by Picasa

The Little Colorado enters the Colorado. The mud is the Little C. that was the last of the clear water. Colorado River, September 2005. Posted by Picasa

Shelley Lake hiking over to visit me and look through the lens. Colorado River, September 2005. Posted by Picasa

My Notes Suck

This is East of the confluence of the Little Colorado. On the Colorado River. Posted by Picasa

Weeping Spring

Weeping spring and Monkey Flowers on the Colorado River, September 2005. Posted by Picasa

Big River, Small Boats

Marble Canyon, The Colorado River, September 2005 Posted by Picasa

Shan Creek near Grants Pass, OR in flood state. I didn't actually realize I was shooting a video.

Cattle Egret. Kern National Wildlife Refuge, CA. Posted by Picasa