back and forth

My two lives. My late night/early mornings life of mad crafty energy, where my fingers itch to create and my mild mannered day life of teaching, biking, tennis and the love of my life!

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Mt. Diablo - the first assault

Mt. Diablo - I grew up under that mountain. After Cantelow, after Cardiac, there was Diablo. Here's a profile that Chris posted on BF from his birthday ride when he and Red did it with Smoooth and Sassy. Too small to read here, but you get the idea! 3847 ft at 22 miles for the peak, from the Southgate.

Well, this Saturday, I tried it. From the steeper Northgate side.

I was supposed to meet a number of TE riders in Walnut Creek. I got there early, and waited 15 minutes after the appointed hour! Did I get the day wrong? Wrong week? All possibilities for me! Lots of kiddies and parents at the park, but no cyclists. Well, after driving over an hour to get there, I wasn't going to leave without giving it a go! Surely, I could find the mountain on my own. So I hopped on my bike, and headed back out to Oak Grove, and hung a left. Sure enough, within a few blocks, there was the sign to Diablo.

Heck, I was winded before I got to the park! I was also bundled up, as per a suggestion for the descent. I stopped at the park entrance, was waved through by the rangers, and I was in!

The weather was perfect. Sunny, no wind. Here's a pic from just inside the park.

It was a great ride! I always did like uphill better than down, and it certainly was a lot of up. Previously my max for an up was maybe a bit over 3 miles at Shasta. This just wouldn't stop! Steeper parts, bits of relief. Hardly any cars, lots of hardcore riders! The kind that have legs twice as long as mine, and half my age. lol. But I kept on...
and on...

and on!

At this point, I had climbed over 3000 ft in about 11 miles. I was hungry. I was cold. Trying to trick my mind with 'just up to the next corner, and you can eat!' was NOT cutting it anymore. My mind was coming back with 'You're gonna bonk, and you still have to get down the mountain!' 'If you're too tired, you'll get sloppy, and you'll crash.' '18% grade at the Wall? HA! You'll never make it!!'
Needless to say, I stopped to contemplate, ate my Luna bar, and Mind over Me won again. She had the decency to sooth me by the remindar that riding Diablo was a goal timelined for the next 3 years if ever; and I didn't do too darn bad for the first time, alone.
The little round tower is the peak. True, at this point I knew I was ready to turn. It was only about 0.75- 1.0 miles up to that tower, but it looked a gazillion miles away from my vantage point. Better to make it safely down the mountain and come back another day!
And the TE riders? Apparently there are 2 parking lots! They went up to something called the Junction, and took the South road down. That would have been fun! Next time. There's always be a next time!

Wednesday, December 05, 2007


My backyard was a horror. California has a ridiculous amount of growing days, and I grow weeds best. So I made an offer for young Duran and Joe from Alaska, and friends of dd. Clear out my yard. Please! And in exchange, they get a used electric drum set, formally owned by dd best friend, Andrew, to help fund his next ink. ???

My yard looks HUGE now! It was 2 1/2 days of work for the two. I need to have these pics so I can remember what it can look like if I stay ahead of the weeds!

Very cute touches too, like lining plants with rocks and such.
Meyer lemon and heirloom roses

Compost bins and herbs. Lots of room for tomatoes!!

...and Joe, a tired Duran and dd, after the job was done.

Monday, December 03, 2007

Ode to a 14" Saw

Okay, well a limerick anyway, from my good friend, John!

Diana just scored a big saw
I hope it arrives with no flaw
Then slices through rock
In a tick of the clock
Revealing gemstones too cosmic to draw
It had a few 'flaws', but thanks to Stoner, here in mid-operation, 'Mabel' is up and running!

..and that means another poem!

Usually a boat needs a dock
But not every saw craves a rock
You'll be dropping your jaw
As you look on with awe
At gems falling like wool from a flock

I am so hooked. Stoner stayed for hours, and we didn't even eat! Poor hostess am I, but we were both engrossed and unable to leave the saw alone! And then Stoner heads home, and I kept at it until 1:30 am!! This absolutely amazing rock was the Rock of the Day
Burro Creek, by the white stuff.

Then I started cutting on this small, long rock and had to keep slicing into the early morning. From the dendrite spot. That was the best spot!

The variety of Burro Creek was amazing!
I think I have to ration myself, like the kids these days and videogames! lol!