Wednesday, January 21, 2015

CA races and training (and dogs)

Some of our wanderings around the Bay Area lately... we're having a good time exploring and visiting Kip.

Terraloco puts on some interesting events that we'll do whenever possible.  The latest was the Mission Artscape, running around the Mission District to find murals and answer questions about them.  It was a blast, and I even managed to edge out John and Kip for the win for once.

Pre-race photo with all the participants:


The following day we did our first BAOC orienteering event in the woods, and it turned out to be a doozy.  We ran around Tilden Park above Berkeley, encountering steep hillsides, slippery eucalyptus leaves, deep woods, open fields, amazing views, and a bit of poison oak.  I wasn't sure what I'd gotten myself into, but at least my nav was decent until I got sloppy near the end.  For me it wasn't so much racing as figuring out how to get up, down, and sideways on the steep slopes, but John and I both had a good time out there.  An interesting introduction to orienteering around these parts.

Last weekend we happened upon a Pet Expo, the highlight being a costume contest.  The cuteness level of this blog takes a sharp upward turn with these puppies.

An adorable clown, with a guitar-toting "rocker" looking on:


Mr Pimp won 2nd place, he was very cool about the whole thing:


And our winner the Minion - most hysterical when he waddled around, this pooch was totally into the role:


OK, back to pretty scenery and our less-adorable mugs...

We drove north of San Francisco to go roaming around Mount Tam.  The roads driving in were completely socked in with fog.  Happily, the top of the mountain rose above the clouds.  Love the view of the "white sea" with Mount Diablo in the distance:


Top of Tam:


Kip hanging around, being a rebel:


We didn't find a way into the fire tower, but we sure enjoyed the snack break and the views:


Looking south where the city is supposed to be:


A few fun trails and a nice long downhill run later, one last stint with the camera.  Muir Woods is awesome, after all.  Love the big trees.


The woods are lovely, dark, and deep.


John considering some trail work:


It has been a fun January in CA so far!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Welcoming 2015 in San Francisco

Taking advantage of one of Kip's days off and the nice weather and the fact that the Bay Area has so much to see... time for a day wandering around in the city.

Yoda looks perturbed at the intrusion:


John beat Kip to the podium:


Big trees and a pretty bike path:


A bit hazy but the GGB is slightly visible in the background:


Trying to figure out why this piece of pavement is roped off (besides the brief appearance of a John Beard there):


Good idea,..


Alcatraz across the way.  We also watched people swimming in the chilly water, not something any of us could see ourselves doing.


Playing some older games at the Musee Mechanique, what a blast from the past:



Kip getting zapped by Uncle Fester in an oddly disturbing game:


A consolation prize for missing the Big Dig challenge in Las Vegas...


USS Pampanito:


John working the ropes:


Love the seals!  For a bunch of creatures mostly just lying around, they were pretty entertaining:


Happy (early) Birthday Kip!


Matching sweatshirts:


A stroll up Lombard Street (a bit of a tourist madhouse):


And finally... not sure what this is but something compelled me to share it:


Happy New Year y'all!

Sunday, December 28, 2014

A winter week in Colorado

For Christmas/Beard family reunion, we flew to Colorado for a week in the snow.  It was pretty cold for picture taking, but I managed a few (once it stopped blizzarding).  Somehow didn't get any proof that anyone else in the family was there - hopefully I'll get a copy of the group photos eventually.

For now - here are a few shots of me and John clowning around on the slopes of Monarch ski area:


John rocking his new Android hat (popular opinion seemed to think it was a frog or a Shrek, but one lift operator figured it out):


For some uphill workout, we did a bit of snowshoeing, including once in a minor snowstorm.  Kind of get the impression that John is like "how did I get here?"


All that snow made for some great skiing:


But we did have to stay pretty well bundled up.


Beautiful Colorado scenery (once it stopped snowing all day and night):


We were also lucky to spend a couple days with Danny and Eric.  Danny suggested visiting Winter Park to see their Christmas Eve "Torch Parade" - fun!


The parade was super cool - skiers carrying torches coming down the slopes, with fireworks overhead, and special guest Santa on a sleigh.  Awesome.


It was worth the chilly fingers and toes!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year everyone!

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

North Face race weekend

Jason invited us to join him for some race volunteering at the North Face trail champs last weekend.  Sounded like fun - and it was!

Team V, getting into Trouble:


Love the big bridge:


All smiles as we prep to hang glow sticks on the course:


It's a beautiful course, lots of spectacular views:


We hung glow sticks on Friday, then got up at 0-dark-hundred on Saturday to crack the ones hanging along the first section of the 50-mile course (the race started at 5 am).  It was relaxing being out in the darkness and walking along the trails.

Watching the huge lead pack run down stairs around mile 18 or so:


Challenging lighting for early-race photography, but anyway, there are a bunch of runners on the trail across the way:


Back at the Tennessee Valley aid station where we helped with traffic control (cars and runners) and got to watch the leaders of all the races run through before the final section of the course.  Here is Sage Canaday on his way to an impressive 50-mile win:


And Dakota Jones nipping at his heels, finishing in 2nd place:


Timothy Olson covered in tattoos and mud:


Hey, it's Ryan!  He and Kelly ran the 50K and it was great to see them.


He accepted an offer of a beer, which we thought was pretty funny:


Kelly opted for more "normal" race liquid:


Fun times at the race - and only just a bit of cleanup from the mud.

On Sunday we took a little tour of downtown San Francisco.  It's about time John and I made it into the city.


The Christmas tree at Union Square:


This is also where we caught our very first live flash mob!  We just happened to be there at the right time.  Either that or Ryan is incredibly adept at planning city tours.  Very cool.

A bit of the flash mob experience:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UdDTtJhsRfw

A neat Irish bar that Ryan and Kelly knew about:


Another giant Christmas tree, this one with a wonderful set of lights strung to it, and a nighttime selfie attempt (bonus points if you spot John):


On Monday Jason suggested the Japanese Tea Garden in Golden Gate Park.  Beautiful, peaceful, quite lovely place.

Hopefully not too spoiled with the addition of selfie-takers:


From one side this looks like a tree growing out of the water.  From the back you can see that the tree grows out from the bank, turns upward, and is supported by a post that looks like a tree trunk.  OK, that's hard to explain, so you should go there and check it out.  Pretty amazing.


Lovely waterfall:


What a fun weekend!  Thank you Jason and Ryan and Kelly!