Monday, December 18, 2006

Up the Slickpoo

Riding in the last weeks or more has been hit and miss with the weather dumping snow, then melting away with coupious amounts of rain and some winds strong enough to blow out the fires of Hell. This pic is from last week when I snuck in a ride between the yuk weather stuff...

Today was an exceptionally nice day out, cool temps but overall a nice sunny day - perfect for a bike ride. So while the rest of the world was experiencing the Monday blues the SeanMan and I were out riding the local backcountry enjoying the sun...and it was perfect. As usual any ride with the SeanMan involves plenty of vertical riding. Today we kind of just winged it and eventually found ourselves climbing up Slickpoo grade just off of Mission Creek up to McCormack Ridge. We'd never been up it and the SeanMan had only been down it once.

The SeanMan looking back at the great view on Slickpoo Road....

Looking up towards McCormack Ridge from Slickpoo road...

This is the good life...

Monday, November 27, 2006


The weather, to say the least, has been rather disturbed over the last week. Today (a Monday for all you working people) started out sunny and beautiful. So the SeanMan and I arranged a ride to take advantage of the situation outside however the weather tried to take advantage of us it seems. We started on a ride to Cloverland and beyond with both of us riding Fisher 29er Supercals, but of different vintage. The wind picked up just before we started (of course it was a headwind as we were going up hill) and later snow squalls rolled though all around. The wind was kind of cool (that means it had some bite), but we pushed on eventually crossing into winter above the snow line.

At the high point of our ride a crowd of elk (yeah I know most people would call it a herd of elk) greeted us. Even with the snow and wind the views were totally worth the ride up.

Monday, November 20, 2006

SuperCal #2

It seems that I just could not help myself (again). Apparently a new full-suspension Gary Fisher Supercaliber 29er with my name on it mysteriously found it's way to B&L Bicycles. B&L's secret agent out in the bike aquisition underworld had some idea that I needed one of these things sooner than later and ***Poof!*** there is was.

I already have a Supercal 29er - the original model Fisher introduced as a 29er in 2002, but it is a hardtail. Full-suspension (like the new Supercal model) is a butt's dream and let me say that my butt certainly likes having good dreams...having both front and rear suspension on rough trails or on back-road rides greater than 60 miles is a great way to keep a smile on your face and the angry soreness away from a soft butt.

I put the new bike through to its first test on the Asotin Creek Trail (some sweet single-track with plenty of "bump" to test the suspension). The ride up on the road to the trail I intentionally hit every bump and wash-board to get a feel for the suspension's ability. Impressive is all I can say...I was not expecting such a plush ride on a bike designed primarily for cross-country racing. Up on the trail it's only disability was me - the bike was a top performer on everything from rock-gardens with 4-6 inch rocks to flying over studder bumps. It railed though corners without drifting or loosing any ground - which means the suspension did it's job of keeping the tires planted on the ground. I have been on FS bikes that had inherent drift in corners due to suspension abnormalities that would allow the tires to "soften" their bite in a corner.

The final thought after the first ride is nothing less than smoooth.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Dog Gone

Our last dog is gone. After 14-1/2 years, old age finally caught up to my friend, Jasper, who has been with us for the last 14-years after we found him in the Bozeman, MT animal shelter. Jasper was a kind friend and good companion who loved being with us. I hope that he is happy running in doggy heaven with his pals that proceeded him - Jessie, Cajun, and Harley Davidson. He is missed...

Friday, October 27, 2006

Another Fall Sub-Epic

It has been really nice out the last few days so I have been taking advantage of it by pedalling around the country-side enjoying the fall scenery. Yesterday was no exception...I decided to explore the South Fork Asotin Creek Trail. I was told it would be a cool place to ride, but the person telling me this must not have actually biked up it. After noon (when it was pleasantly warm out) I rode the 23ish miles up Asotin Creek Road to the trailhead. Right after I hit the trail I found a skull, which later I think was a sign to go back. The trail follows the creek bed up and requires several creek crossings. The fall colors were spectacular, but the trail was like riding one long rock-garden....the pic here shows the trail by the skull...yes there is a trail there...

If you need training on how to ride a trail made exclusivly of loose, fist-sized rocks covered with a mat of yellow fall leaves then go there! After a mile plus of riding this jarring, slippery trail (plus two more skull/bone piles) I decided I had enough and turned around. It may have been better on my full-suspension bike and I may try it sometime (probably not).

On the way back I spied a cow trail that traversed the hillside above the creekbed trail so I took it and was back in a flash - I finally found truth in the saying "Beef it's not just for dinner"...Moo!

At the bottom I decided to reward my dissappoinment by climbing up Smoothing Iron Ridge Road for a better view of the world. The road climbs the ridge between on the North and South Forks of Asotin Creek.

The pic here shows the canyon were the Asotin Creek (North Fork) Trail runs...a Cadillac trail compared to the South Fork trail...I was amazed at how rugged it was, something you don't notice riding through the trees on the trail below.

Up on top, late in the afternoon, the views were totally worth the long, steep climb up. I sat an had a snack under this huge old dead tree.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Sun + Rain + Ice + Mud = FUN???

This morning the sun was shining and the air was crisp and cool...another perfect fall day here on the edge of hell. By noon the beauty of the day was calling me to ride somewhere on the dirt. So I packed up Baloo in the Subi and made my way to Moscow Mountain for some inspirational single-track riding. The weather was forecast for rain today, but I bah-humbugged that thought and ingnored the clouds on the horizon as well as the rising winds. I made my way to the top and uncontrollably hit as much single-track as possible including exploration of some unridden trails I had noticed on previous rides. Let's just say that I was having way too much fun to notice that clouds had turned the sky an angry dark gray. What caught my attention was the ice pellets that were stinging my skin...Whoa...instant reality check...time to go down off the mountain now. I was grinning all the way down because there is nothing more thrilling than a fast, twisty single-track decent on wet trail with freezing cold rain soaking you, mud flying in your face, and ice pellets stinging your skin...

Sunday, October 08, 2006

The Fountain Grade Epic?

We're going where? All I heard was lots of climbing so it was, "yeah let's go!" It was another SeanMan epic ride into the unknown...Well after we started the SeanMan gave me one eye-popping little detail he neglected to tell me about one of the climbs - As he had put it, "I was happy that I didn't drop below 3mph..." Wow was all I could think...that must be one steep pitch up and it was a gravel road. Well you know hill steepness to bike riders is sometimes like the size of the fish that got away to fishermen. Then bit later as we are pedaling up a 12% pitch (which means steep to you) he says this is nothing compared to what's to come. Just as we top another 12% pitch he stops and points - "The Wall," otherwise known as Fountain Grade.

It can be seen here in the distance (look close and you see the SeanMan riding in the foreground - Click the pic for a better view)

Yep it looks steep and yes it was steep also - the SeanMan said he saw 16% on the altimeter. What a great climb and long (very long) to boot.

Up on top we cruised through some rolling hills and found the ultimate Buba Redneck hangout. There is a place up in the middle of the woods called the Forest Saloon and the parking lot out front was stocked full of Buba SUVs and big redneck pickup trucks plus one Isuzu - I later wondered what happened to the poor sole that drove that one.

We continued our journey in a cool, light rain past Soldiers Meadow lake then home. Total climbing today was 6300 feet - most of that in one stretch.

It as another awesome day of off road riding - beats a boring road bike ride any day. The cheering section at B&L (that would be you Bruce) or anyone interested in epic off-road rides can join us anytime.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Soldiers Meadow March

The SeanMan decided we should ride from his house to Soldiers Meadow and back. Being restless due to lower activity from my recent knee injury (that really means bored out of my skull) and the suggestion that the ride had monster climbs on steep, kick-your-butt-I-want-to-walk-instead-of-ride grades struck my adventure nerve. So I loaded up my trusted old geared Fisher Supercal-29 and met the SeanMan for a climbing fest he almost guaranteed would make me wimper (it takes a lot to make me snivel about climbing). I was seriously thinking about taking one of the single-speeds, but I did not want to push the knee that hard yet.

Up in the shades of the highest elevation there was some of this very strange looking cold, white stuff.

It was remarkably similar to snow...but it's too early for such a thing around here or at least I thought it was until now.

The SeanMan's word was golden - the climbs were super steep and long. The only rest on a climb when it was "less" steep for a short time. The downhills were fast and seemed rather short only because each downhill ended in another straight-up climb. Overall the SeanMan's altimeter said we did 6000 feet of climbing - it seemed like more. It was a perfect day - lots of vertical cycling!

Saturday, September 16, 2006

When Bikes Bite Back

Earlier this week I was up on Moscow Mtn trying to get some ride time in away from the smoke here in the valley of hell. It was a beautiful Monday on the mountain with some of the foliage showing its end-of-summer color....

Well it was a great day that is until my bike decided to rip the skin off my body....
This is what a knobby tire does to a knee at high speed...I can't easily explain what happened other than speed was over 25mph, I was railing around a sharpish corner, there was a stick across the trail, a hole just beyond it, and my mind was thinking about other things. All I know is that my front end slide out on the stick then hit the hole before I could recover and my knee was acting like a brake on the knobby tire as my whole body was a friction mat on dirt and dead pine needles. It was the most spectacular wreck I have ever had and I feel fortunate that I could actually get up straighten my front wheel and ride off the mountain. My biggest worry was the grapefruit sized lump on the side of my knee and my knee was numb. After getting back to the car, drinking a cup of java, and eating something I decided I should have the lump on my knee looked at....grrrr
So I made a visit to the local emergency room in Moscow (at the hospital where I just so happen to work). I found out that there was no major tendon, bone, or knee damage. The swelling was most likely a hematoma and should resolve on its own. Well it did go down in 24-hrs the problem is that much of the fluid compartmentalized in my lower leg and has been slow to absorb back into by system. I'm sure it did not help that I worked three 12+ hr shifts this week at the hospital. Today I'm thinking a bit of light spinning on the bike may be feasible. We will see...

Sunday, September 03, 2006


So I've been slacking some...for the month of August I rode what I normally do in a week to a week and a half. Shameful? No way...I have excuses like I was studying for my RN boards scheduled near the end of the month, learning a new job at Gritman Medical Center, and there has been some serious smoke in the area from localish forest fires in SE Washington. The smoke is the big reason for not riding later in the month and now...I don't find pleasure inhaling 50 packs of cigarettes worth of smoke during a short 2-hour bike ride. Riding in smoke is not for me so I grump around, tinker with my bikes, work on the money pit (the house), and do other "stuff" waiting for the fall rains to start. In other words I'm going insane right now waiting for the right wind shift to ride.

I did get a short break once this week when the area was clear of smoke... Of course I powered up the steepest stuff I could find on my shamefully new LeMond Poprad cross bike...Hmmm. I found it to be tough duty though climbing 3000+ feet up 10-18% grades on gravel with170mm cranks and a 38x27 for a lowest gear. Let me just say that the initial 2000 feet up was a real two leg burner.

After reaching the high point of the ride some 30 miles into it I was not happy to see a massive plume approaching from those worthless, inconsiderate field-burning spud-heads. I could see the Idahole smoke plume drifting on the horizon throughout the day, but a small wind shift brought it right towards me. I hoofed it towards home in a hurry once I realized the Idaho smoke monster was coming to get me. I was too late though in my homeward assault and got swallowed by the smoke plume 17 miles out. Even with soft pedalling and mostly down hill efforts I was overcome and puked by the time I got home. Yuk! So shorter trips are in order for anytime the smoke clears again - if it ever does that is.

The RN boards? Let's just say that now I am an RN! And please remember...Nurses are here to save your ass not kiss it!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Trans What???

OK...Is it insane to ride a loop around Iowa in April = Rain + Mud Yuk for 300 miles? I've had some weird thoughts that this could be "fun" but I am not sure I want to drive all the way to Iowa just to ride in potential bad weather. Trans-Iowa IIIHmmm...maybe we (that really means me and my continuously talking inner-self) should make an unsupported off-road ride across Washington at the same time as the 2007 Trans-Iowa III (a show of solidarity if nothing else). It could be called the TWA. It could be a race, a challenge, or a just a damn long ride. The John-Wayne Trail could be a good option since it theoretically spans the state. But I am not yet clear on whether it can be ridden the whole way. Just a thought...and yes you have to take into account that this thought from an insane, bike obsessed geek.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Riding the Cave

I knew I would have a wee bit of spare time today (like half the day) so I packed Baloo (that's my Lenz Sport Leviathan 29er - a true mountain bike to you) in the Subaru this morning. After working half the day doing more orientation yuk at Gritman Medical Center (a fabulous place to work) I cruised up to the Pond-9 area on Moscow Mountain for some delicious singletrack about attitude adjustment - there is nothing better than riding singletrack under a canopy of pines. Lately I've been doing some road-toad stuff for some quick stress relief, but all between the cars driving too close, the (cough, cough) SUV exhaust, and the lovely carcinogenic smells (which I'm told smells like money) from our neighborly, sharing, stinky-assed pulp mill....oh yeah the point - well between all that bunk I sometimes think road riding is more stressful than stress relief.

Up on Moscow Mtn. I took Headwaters Trail up and headed for the Cave Trail on the backside for some real fun.

Getting there...

Cave Trail...
The singletrack was soooo good I decided to ride it all again in reverse (which made for 20+ miles total)....

I got home and for some reason thought it would be fun to do a club time trial on my old road bike. It turned into a real the order of occurrence - rain, lightning, major gusty winds (of course it was totally calm when I started then 100 yards after the start I got blasted), a sticky front shifter (I was stuck in the small ring for about 2-miles spinning real fast), and finally a tumbleweed decided to commit suicide in my rear derailleur (that means I had to stop and pull it out...yeah it was dead). The overall idea of a time trial is not to stop but go as fast and as hard as you possible can to improve your time - it's only you (me that is) against the clock...needless to say I was a bit crabby after the tumbleweed incident...I finished in 25:40 not bad considering all the time sucking events that happened in that 10-mile starting goal was to be in the 24-minute range...maybe next time...

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Salute to Adam Lisonbee

Adam Lisonbee (a mountainbike endurance athlete) has said it all with this extraordinary writing about the "you's and me's of the world." Dang, his words hit my biking soul down deep.

He's right that we spend too much effort putting pro athletes aloft when it is ourselves we should be admiring - to heck with those drug infested, cheating pros and the crappy fiefdom they have built for all of us to both love and hate.

It's not about them anymore - it's really about you and me, the lowly want-to-be-fast cyclists...those of us with a real passion to ride just to ride and be a bit better tomorrow...where winning or placing is glory and loosing is inspiration to fight harder...Thanks for the redirection, Adam.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Headwaters Love

Donna (that's the love of my life, my soul-mate, my best friend...)
got back from a family/friend visit in Michigan late Saturday. I always miss her dearly when we're apart, but it is very therapeutic for our relationship to have time apart...when we get back together we seem to appreciate each other more and express more love toward each other than ever. I'm always amazed that we have more to give each other - just when it seems we have reached the highest plateau of love we find one higher. Now I'm thinking that these plateaus will end only if we put limits on them.

Sunday afternoon we spend hiking the Headwaters Trail up on Moscow Mountain. It was a super warm day and up on the mountain was the best place to be with my best friend.

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Huckleberry 100

Ahhh...the Huckleberry, the fruit-of-fruits, the fruit I will go to extremes to taste. In it's raw form there is nothing more a "properly" made pie it is worth the extra mile(s) to have just one bite. Just imagine what I would do for a full slice of Huckleberry pie topped with Huckleberry ice-cream...YUM!!!

On Sunday the SeanMan and I rode over 100 miles just for this tasty treat (at least that was my motivation).

And I must say that it was worth every pedal stroke to get to Elk River Idaho's Huckeberry Haven. It was so good that I'm thinking about riding up there again.
It is hard to have any facial expression with a mouth full of pie.

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Riding Hot

It is done - I have completed my BSN (that's a highly respected nursing degree to you). Oddly enough I received my "post-dated" diploma and grades before I was done...what's up with that??? Oh well I'm not going to worry about it any. To celebrate I decided to ride my bike (gasp!) - yeah it's been some time since I've put some serious miles on, except those infrequent times I rode to work in Pullman at B&L Bicycles only to have the SeanMan pull my fat ass nearly all the way. Thanks SeanMan, so what if you've shot my ego all to hell, I really appreciated the wheel, the pain, and the reminder that mortality happens when you don't ride for a month (that's a lame excuse).

So I did a hill climbing road ride rode late yesterday afternoon for about 2 hours in scorching heat (101-106F according to my fancy bike computer). The pavement was like riding on Rice Crispys (air bubbles seem to form in boiling tar). OK the ride was good and I thought I was ready for what I really like - a long dirt-road MTB ride. This morning I took off planning to do a loop up the South Fork around to George Creek (I estimated it to be 80-100 miles), but I got 30+ miles into it and decided no way was I going to make it - I could feel early signs of heat exhaustion setting in and even though I was slugging down the water I was becoming dehydrated (hard to imagine that 100-degree temps can do that). So nearly at the top of the climbing I turned it around and headed home. That's when the real problem presented in the form a 15-20mph headwind making the lower canyon like standing in front of a blast furnace (which means it was dehydrating me much quicker than before). I stopped several times and jumped into Asotin Creek just to cool off. By the time I reached Asotin (56 miles down, 5 more to home) I was very well done, miserable, and had to stop in the park and just cool down for an hour or so. The place looked like Gehenna (that's Hades or Hell to you)... ...and it smelled like it too with the spew of that stinky-assed Lewiston pulpmill drifting in the winds...enough to make me puke! And I did (another sign of heat exhaustion) - Hello partially digested peanut butter! It tastes almost as good coming up as it did going down - YUM!

I limped the last 5 miles home, took a cold bath to cool off, took a 8 oz. dose of the miracle drug for exhaustion & nausea (Coke), then layed around waiting for my stomach to settle so I could rehydrate. Oh yeah, Donna (that's the love of my life) was not happy with my condition either...I got a well deserved ass-chewing for my Hot ride - there's more than one way to get rid of my fat ass I guess.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

SS and Toads

Went for a ride today on the new SS, a rigid (as in no suspension) Gary Fisher Rig. This bike is sweet on the long back-road rides I like to do.

It was a nice morning for ride up both the North and South forks of Asotin Creek by way of Cloverland Road. I even took in some wildlife viewing along the way...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

No Control

I have no control over boxes showing up at my house with bike parts in them. I have no self control over seeking out and buying new bikes. I'm beyond addicted to say the least.

For some reason another Gary Fisher Rig SS (that's a single speed) showed up at my doorstep. This one is being built up rigid (as in no suspension) just so I could punish myself for buying it. Now if only I had time to ride...I'm finishing my last 160 hours of clinical requirements for my nursing degree. The goal is to have these hours done by the end of June, which means I have little to no time to ride...this means I have no control of my life yet either...

Friday, June 02, 2006

Gears & Suspension = Weird

I was up in Moscow for a job interview at Gritman Medical Center. Wow, what an awesome place and to say the very least I decided that this was a place on the top of my list to work in the future. After a most outstanding interview I decided to shed my tie and slacks for some bike shorts and jersey for some pure single track bliss on Moscow Mountain. Baloo, my new Lenz Sport geared, full suspension bike was in the back of the Subaru waiting patiently. First though I unwound after my interview with a super yummy (extra large) cinnamon roll and coffee at the Moscow Food Co-op . Soon after I hit the trail and found that gears and full suspesion felt really weird after my 24-rh race event riding single speeds the previous weekend. It felt much harder to pedal and it was way too cushy it seemed. Baloo needed some riding (besides my SS bikes are still trashed with mud-yuk from the race).

Since I had never done a full loop on the Headwaters trail I decided it would be fun to do it in one complete run. Zoom-Zoom...Fun is an understatement for this trail and after 5-miles I was spit out where I started with a big smile. The Moscow Area Mountain Bikes Assn (MAMBA) deserves huge kudos for making and maintaining these super awesome trails. I ventured back up and did Cave Trail and several others before I jumped back onto Headwaters for my final decent back- yes, it was another thrilling twisting ride down. By the end of the ride some 30 miles later the suspension still felt weird, but much appreciated. The gears were still odd though.

The interview - let's just say that the following day I got a phone call and Moscow is definately in my future...

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

255 Miles of Single Speed Insanity

Yep - that's right I put in a total of 255 miles on single speed bikes this past weekend. Most of that mileage was done as part of a competitive 24-hr race in Spokane put on by Round and Round. In the past I have done this race as part of a 5-person team on a geared bike, but this year for some insane reason I decided to do the event solo on my single speed. The end result of the race for me was 4th place after riding 210 miles with a total ride time of 17-hr 54-min during the 24-hr period in adverse weather conditions. The other 6+ hours were spent mostly on letting my very upset stomach right itself on 2 occasions. I figured out the part of my nutrition plan that was causing my puky feelings after the 2nd near trail-side puke and excluded the product. After that I was riding well again turning consistent lap times. Rain was a factor at times since it turned parts of the course into a fun mud-yuk slip-n-slide...perfect for a single speed (hard on all those poor geared bikes).

This event was only a trial for me so that I would know if this kind of mountain bike race was for me and to find out if my nutrition plan would hold up. I learned that junk food (potato chips and Coke) are saving graces for me when my body is trying to violently up-chuck at the thought of anything labeled as a "sport" or "endurance" nutrition.

I went to this race totally unsupported and ended up with more people helping me than you could imagine. Twice in the early morning I had hot pancakes waiting for me at the end of a lap - the people at this event were totally awesome.

In the end the ouch factor is not as bad as I thought it would be after I was done. My butt suffered on this rock-infested, bumpy course - that means my ass hurts. My hands suffered a bit also, but not bad. Nothing was bad though since I went for a "recovery" ride with some good friends from Sandpoint the following day - for some reason we had to ride the course again, but at a "leisurely" pace (on a SS that means nearly normal pace). This recovery ride along with 2-preride laps on Friday and the race gave me a total of 255-miles on the SS this weekend.

You think this is insane? I'm looking for another 24-hr race to do this summer (maybe this time on a geared bike).

Thursday, May 25, 2006

The Insanity of 2 Single-Speeds

I made my Gary Fisher Supercal into a single speed (that means it has only one gear) bike last night. It's super light and ready to fly...well as fast as a single speed will fly that is.
But, wait that means I now have 2 single speed bikes...hmmmm
What's up with that??? I know nothing, I'm not telling, you'll just have to wait and find out...although I do not think you will suffer nearly as much as I will over this insane scheme I'm working on. Hahahaaahaaaaa....

Saturday, May 13, 2006


Baloo is a one of my favorite blue colored Disney how many blue Disney characters are there??? I don't know and don't care all I know is that Baloo is famous to me for singing a song about the Bear Necessities...a song that never seems to leave my twisted mind.

The bear necessities for me includes bikes - lots of bikes, never enough, always looking, highly obsessed with a bike addiction that I can't turn off. Please, would someone turn it off! I change (buy-sell) bikes faster than a Chameleon changes color... I freely admit I have a cyclogical disorder, but I can say that the SeanMan is much worse than I am about going through bikes so there is still hope for me. My obsession is mostly with 29er mountain bikes unlike the SeanMan who has a generalized bike habit.

Recently Baloo "showed" up in my bear necessities bike collection... That's all you get to see for now...there's nothing else to say here except how can one person ride four (as in 1, 2, 3, 4) mountain bikes??? SeanMan you got an answer to this?

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Deer Flats

OK so it's been a while since my last post...I've been busy doing know - like riding my bikes! I've been putting in some sweet longer rides - my favorite thing to do when I have time away from school or whatever. Mountain bike rides are a giga-zillion times better than (yawn) road rides, but then again after a few rides on my road bikes I am reminded of why mountain biking sooooooo much better. But wait...I admit I like road riding (gasp!)...but only when the road goes verticle.

Today I decided to ride my oh so cool Gary Fisher Supercal (that means 29er mountain bike to you and it means a fun ride to me - Thanks Gary for making this bike for me). Today's destination was to a place called Deer Flats - actually it was a total accident that I arrived there after taking a wrong turn. To get there it's about 40 miles on the dirt (riding the bike of course - only a real dork-o would drive) with an elevation gain of about 3800 feet. Deer Flats is adjacent to Anatone Butte overlooking the Grande Ronde valley (a 3000 foot drop) with the snow covered peaks of the Blues in the background - breathtaking and worth every mistaken pedal stroke to get there.
The odd thing is that Deer Flats is not flat and although deer were there they were not on a flat - figure that one out??? The wrong-way was mostly clear of snow, but I did find some near the top (which those of us that ride mountain bike know is just more fun added to the adventure at hand)...I almost feel bad that road-toads never get to experience this much fun.

This is about the smallest of 10 or so patches of pure snowy, mud-yuk fun!

Looking NW
And finally looking SW over the Grande Ronde Valley