After two days of riding everyone went out the trail and did trailwork. This wasn’t much of a payment for all of the amazing treatment we’d received except for the fact that there was poison oak EVERYWHERE. I covered myself in technu, wore long sleeves and pants, and washed in the ice cold river afterward but I still ended up with poison oak covering half my body. And not the good half.
Peter started doing some basic pruning during his trailwork.
But then it morphed into this dramatic trail widening project which involved moving large boulders. Every man that walked by the project wanted to get involved and eventually pretty much everyone was working on the same 15 feet of trail.
Overall people only worked from about 10am to 2pm at the latest. We probably cleaned up a couple hundred yards of trail, and we probably all got poison oak, so overall it was a good day.
On the second day in Downieville we got to ride another new trail called the North Yuba Trail, which goes between Downieville and the Indian Valley Campground where we were staying. Peter rode from the campground into Downieville and I took a shuttle into Downieville and started from there. The trail stewardship picked us all up as a group, drove us into town, and dropped us off at the Yuba Expeditions bike shop.
I rode with our new friends up First Divide and then we turned around to meet Peter back at Yuba Expeditions for lunch. You can see Peter and I right in the middle of the photo above with our helmets on, recovering from our lunch. Photo source. After lunch the whole group of us went back down the North Yuba Trail back to our campsite. It was pretty far so I’m glad I didn’t ride up with Peter, though I can imagine it is fun both directions as it was a very rolly trail.
The trail was beautiful and really fun to ride. I’m looking forward to riding it again. I was tired by the end and ended up getting my front wheel jammed in between two rocks and then flipped over the handlebars. Luckily there was only a three foot drop at that point of the trail so I didn’t fall very far, but I didn’t almost knock out my front teeth (but managed to put my hands in front of my face). I broke my rear break handle out of the socket as well as bending by whole chain ring.
In the evening back at the campsite there was a BBQ, fund raising raffle, and much drinking and mayhem. Peter and I are to the right of the giant stove talking with our new friend Heather and the coordinator for the Sierra Buttes trail stewardship. Photo source.
The Sierra Buttes team cooking up dinner.
Peter and I went mountain biking in Downieville a couple of weeks ago. We went as part of a large group who were invited because we are members of the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship (i.e. we donate money for trailwork). The weekend included two days of mountain biking and one day of trail work.
On the first day we went for a ride which started in this tiny town called Forest City (population around 10-20 people). First we did a loop that started and ended in Forest City and had us riding through some snow banks and a river crossing. One part of the trail was either just created or just redone because it had been cleared by a machine to be about four feet wide.
At the end of that ride the Sierra Buttes team had a little care van set up with fruit, chocolate, chips and drinks. I think I ate a half a watermelon all on my own.
We then went on another ride which went quite far out of town and required a *grueling* road ride to get back to forest city. The dirt part was really fun but it will be a while before that road climb allows me to remember it. Luckily Peter helped me up the hills or I think it would have taken me all year just to ride back.
After the up hill the Sierra Buttes team was waiting with another care van but this time full of chips and margaritas.
At the end of the day we went back to the campsite we had picked out and ended up sharing it with a couple of really cool girls. They were way more prepared then we were and had all sorts of snacks and were really generous. We made new friends!
The cats are still alive and doing fine, though they both keep shedding their collars on a regular basis now.
They’re too big now to share a cat bed so they have to take turns in their favorite spots. Since they both *love* my office chair I made this second cat bed next to it so they would both have a place to sleep and it seems to have caught on.
We put them both in a kennel for the first time when we went to Greece for work (more on that later) and they both lost weight while they were there. They were definitely a little traumatized when we got back — they both acted very needy, like they thought we were never coming back for them. We’ve taken them to the kennel once more since then (for just two nights) but Peter isn’t so excited about taking them back again.
I was working for the last three days we were in Japan — we had a team “offsite” where all of the program managers got out of the office and spent several days talking about overall organization changes that would improve our jobs and productivity. It was pretty fun and we work covered some pretty nice lunches as well as dinners. My mom and I split the dinners so she got to come out with us, which was really great.
A.G. (middle above) lives in Tokyo so could order for us and also knew good restaurants to take us to. This night was a little fancy and had some drinks as well as sushi and assorted meats.
The next night we went out for street food which was dish after dish of “mystery meat”. I tried raw cow heart but I don’t think I would eat it again. Afterward we went to this really cute bar and had drinks and dessert.
Below left is me and my coworker Anna, who I bonded with during the trip. Below right is my coworker Thomas, from Hong Kong. This guys is totally tough but below he is demonstrating how he is a “puppy” for his wife.
Back at our hotel a company selling razors (I think) had set up this huge TV which had a digital camera set up in front of it. It recorded you standing in front of the TV, then displayed you on the TV with the addition of a beard or mustache. It then put shaving cream on your face and then shaved it off. It didn’t make me buy a razor but it was totally awesome!
You now walk into our house and think “what is that crazy yellow thing down there?”
It’s the lemon room!
We have a ceiling!
We have a floor!
We have a pipe of doom!
Steps version 1:
Steps version 2, after the building inspector said that rebuilding them required that we bring them up to code. <sigh>. The only difference is that the new ones don’t have a step down outside of the door:
The other big step forward, besides paint, is the corrugated iron awning that is now over the entire back stairs:
Not only is it totally effective bug it is also cool looking, and doesn’t require a post to hold it up since it’s attached to the under-side of the deck!
On the inside progress is being made as well — we’ve got windows and drywall!
And though we still have the pipe of doom we now have a back door!