Monday, May 30, 2011

North Ogden Spring Water - The Stump

Super welcome stop at a unique spring on my way home from Park City, Utah. Easy to find. It was cool to bump into a woman my age who has been filling up with spring water here since her grandmother brought her as a child. In 1931, pioneers had four horses lug the cottonwood tree stump, and created the stump into a drinking fountain for the spring. The land has since been donated on the condition that it not be commercialized and that the spring be tested twice a month. The city of North Odgen got behind it and funded an artist to create a fibreglass version of the original stump for the water to flow out of.

The spring water flows freely from the pipes and the fountains. Real refreshing taste. This stop will be a regular one for me, just off I15. Coming from the north, Exit 349 (UT-134) east 4-km to N Washington Blvd, turn north 150m... Stump fountain in park next to Lee's Marketplace (NW corner).

Saturday, May 28, 2011

California Stomping Grounds

Nothing like an action packed week in San Diego to fit in all the epic rides in the area around two Swami's group Saturday rides (races as some people call them).
stayed at Cyclo-Vet rider Captain Rich's place

just a small group showed up for the Swami's ride when the LiquiGas boys were in town post-Tour-California!

I don't know who they are but thought best to snap a pic for the cycling crowd at home
a snake print on my mountain bike ride
favourite trail in the Elfin Forest

wild fennel!

hot windy day in the Borrego desert

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spring Water - Ojai, California

Checking over the website, I printed out info for any springs on my driving path on-route for spring bike training in southern California.

enjoying the views at the peak of Hwy 33 north of Ojai, CA

A spring west of Helena, Montana was missed as I needed to make it to my couchsurfing home before dark. I stayed in the cute mountain town of 250 residents in Basin, Montana with couchsurfer Joanie, her husband and Tori (2nd French bulldog I've met). Meanwhile, I had a couchsurfer stay at my place while I was travelling... works out real nice!

Next day, with a 16-hour drive ahead of me, I still took a detour to East Ogden mountains to search for spring water. Loaded up my backpack with all my glass bottles... hiked in on a hot day and due to sketchy directions (Kristin Spring or City Spring) and spring run-off, I did not find the spring. Still, a nice break out of the car. Made my destination to my friend Leslie's place in Newbury Park (west of L.A.) that night almost before dark. typical scenery up Hwy 33 with fresh yellow fragrant blooms

Les joined me on an epic out/back ride on old Highway 33 out of Ojai, it was fun to have a friend join me on a spring water venture to find Belly Ache Spring just outside of Ojai. There was a steep hike up to the top of a waterfall to get the spring from its source.
Les saw the waterfall on our ride in at Mile marker 22.35. We parked the van, packed up all our bottles and hiked up a vertical climb next to a waterfall... I'd almost call it 10.5 scrambling in places. There was a sketchy trail mostly in brush on either side of the waterfall, though easier to just walk up thru the water. It was pretty adventurous, and reminded me of the adventure race days.

At the top of the waterfall, the spring was flowing up out of the ground with the main stream out of a pipe for ease of filling bottles. We both loaded up. Somehow we both ended up carrying 5 gallons each (Les is twice as tall as me!) so that's, oh, roughly 40 lbs each! The descent was now a little trickier.

I freaked when I saw a water snake in my path! though Mr.Snake kindly moved to land for me. Les pointed out the poison oak so I wouldn't grab any of those bushes.

All in all... it was well worth the effort to get this water, and supremely brilliant tasting!!

Highlight as well that day was stopping at the largest online raw food warehouse in Ojai, The Raw Food World. I was excited to get to walk around and shop.
Bonus for my little white car getting the supreme wash treatment from Leslie's kids, Lei & neighbour buddy Ben, with Naomi and Alf inspecting!

Sunday, May 08, 2011

Following Turbo-Tim on the Genesee Loop

Pretty fun for me to draft behind a fast guy's bike and go on a long ride. Well, "fun" as in "fast and challenging". There were many moments today my legs were screaming at me trying to keep the pace and to be sheltered from the winds.

Tim Kulak and I ventured on our 2nd trip this season out southwest towards Devon looping north over the Genesee bridge and back thru west Edmonton. Round trip 181-km. This loop has some pretty nice back roads with minimal traffic and interesting scenery. There is no stop for water past Calmar only 1 1/2 hours in. We like to take the backroads (Devon TT course) with the valley hillclimb so we bypass Calmar. On our last ride, I noticed a cute B&B on Hwy 622. I phoned ahead to see if we could stop in for water. Very kind of Carole and Roland from The Heartland Inn to leave a few bottles of water for us in their mailbox.

90-km in on our ride, one dark cloud hovered over us and decided to spit a few ice pellets and raindrops for no more than 5 minutes. Otherwise, pretty sunny for the rest of the headwind ride home.

I was glued onto Tim's wheel for most of the ride though cracked a couple times. Too much flatlander riding. Tim was ultra amazing to pull the whole time strongly! We rode back in record times!!