Sunday, July 31, 2011

SEON (Super Easy Overnighter)

There'd been some scuttle among friends this past week about a possible group overnighter to the campgrounds at Riverside State Park on Friday night. The group part never materialized but in the process, I managed to get a commitment from Patty, and there was no way I wasn't gonna take advantage of her willingness to give bike camping a shot.

The original plan was to wrap up our responsibilities for the week and head out late afternoon, but neither of our jobs would let go their grip and we finally rolled at 6:30.

First off, let me just say, I had my camera inadvertently set to macro mode, so these are not the greatest pictures. Don't take that as an apology, just deal with it. (I'm so glad we can talk like this.)

Somewhere down there is where we'll spend the night.

Camper Patty, rolling strong along the parkway.

A place to call our own.

I pulled all the stops when it came to introducing
Patty to the finer aspects of camp cuisine.

Including the concepts of naked . . .

. . . and fully dressed.

After a night of sleep dominated by the sound of the nearby river and a relaxed
morning dominated by a good cup of Via, we were packed and primed.

But we couldn't leave without saying goodbye to our new friend Loren.

Loren was the only other cyclist in the campground. He was slightly more hardcore than us, having started in Cali and having been on the road 10 weeks, and having just gotten started really, as he was on his way to Boston and scheduled to get there no time soon. With just a few exceptions, for most people there is only one brief period in you life that you can do something this crazy and it's in your late teens/early twenties and even then you have to be deliberate to make it happen and it was awesome to see and hear about all that went into his planning and what he had experienced so far, and what he anticipated going forward. And it was a good thing it was interesting, because the dude could talk the ear off a deaf man. Seriously inspired, is he.

There were some things that surprised us and I won't go on and on, but the one thing that must be pointed out is that he's touring in a full face helmet. Downhill style - check out the pic. He was hit by a car a while back and he's not taking any chances. Patty and I handled it and turned it over and looked inside and holy hell. It's heavy as a rock and thick as a brick. He had just come from Grand Coulee and all I could think about was climbing that massive hill outta there while wearing an R49-insulated bowling ball on my head. Let me revise my stance from holy hell to holy living hell.

This is a shot of his Washington map, a thing of beauty.
As he's heading east from here, he's pretty close to being done with it.

Back on the road, Patty powers up Doomsday Hill.

We rest-stopped at Indaba for a real cup of coffee.

To be serious for a minute, here's essentially the whole deal about this post:  Patty and I had a super fun, chill time bike camping in the woods just 9-1/2 miles from our house.  We left late on Fri, got back early on Sat and felt like we had lived a whole day by noon. We were fully in the woods, on the shores of an awesome river, and yet there was drinking water, trash cans, and restrooms.  Bike camping doesn't get any easier.  Yes, there's a time and a place for more epic adventures, but there's also a time and place for a quick, easy overnighter in your back yard.  It's too great of an opportunity not to take advantage of and we highly recommend you check it out.


mike said...

this is what awesome sauce is made out of.

we were just getting ready to dive into this sort of thing with our little one... and then opted for #2.

so cool that you have a willing accomplice. partners in crime make this sort of thing so much fun.


p.s. - got the green light for my own pump track as we re-landscape the yard into a living landscape. the path will ramble between the ever expanding garden, the slowly expanding berry bramble, and the still dreaming grape arbor / stone pation complete with bread oven and stone grill.

Not said...

Interesting about the full face helmet. My wife has a different sense of temperature than I do - at 70 degrees F she's cold and I'm hot. So I've thought about getting her a full face helmet (for onroad riding) for 9-10 months of the year.
- Ventura

liza said...

looks like a lot of fun. hopefully we can squeeze in another SEON with you before the summer's over!

Pat S said...

Mike, pump track? bread oven?? stone grill??? Not sure how the camping thing will work out for you - there will be absolutely no incentive to leave your yard!

Ventura, this thing was massive, even for a cooler-running person. I'd wanna shop around and check out some other full face helmets to see if maybe there was something a little lighter.

Liza, I hope so too. I think you guys would dig it.

mike said...

Pat, hope the eye heals. Ouch.

Yeah, leaving will be hard, but I think more from all the work we have to do over the next 2 years. Especially with the tree house in the mix. Just have figure out how to fund it all.

After some more thought regarding getting fat, if you aren't interested in snow racing, its likely the new Muks would be a great choice...