and pain too?
And this little rigg'in carries my rigging.
Today was a different matter altogether. After making a mother's day breakfast for mom featuring poached eggs (Gordon Ramsay-style) cleaning up and taking care of the kids I headed up to the mountain. Wanting to make some quick progress, I left the heavy tools at home and took only the McCleod, loppers, and a steel rake. I started where we (the family) left off yesterday, near Vulture Rock (the end of the last Wednesday night ride) and headed South. Very quickly I burned down to the end of the rock spine creating two nice rock moves complete with alternate lines (for climbing) and then began searched for a naturally occurring switchback to get me down to the forest floor. Didn't find one, so I manufactured one (read: benching).
It rained off and on all day long, but I was cozy in my PSU Mont Alto timber sports t-shirt, my synthetic Patagonia pants, and running shoes (Adidas Response trail). The hat and clear safety glasses served to keep me dry and bug-free for the better part of the day. Besides I had my cellphone/camera/mp3 player and I was jamming to Mt. Stage, Gypsy Sun & Rainbows, REM, and the White Stripes (to name a few). At 6 pm things got really wet. What was a sporadic shower here and there become a full-fledged soaker. I had just finished benching and gathered up the tools. There were 8 flags left and I decided to try to shoot a bisecting line to Blue in last ditch effort at reconnaissance rather than retrace my steps back up das Berg. First I donned my TNF Activent jacket from bygone years - it is highly breathable and water resistant and 11 years old (read: leaky).
This scouting proved complicated. In reality, I would need around 50 flags to do the job and would be lucky to find any of my original eight. However, I did get the "feel" of the land - what Ansel Adams would have so eloquently referred to at the "earth gesture". While I may never go that route again, I did find the contours and eventually - blue.
I was completely soaked. What I mean is that had I jumped into a lake - fully clothed, I could not be wetter. The temperature was in the very low 50s so I did a reality assessment: Big guy, mostly synthetic clothes, soaked, no shivering, light on food, mildly dehydrated - cool. I would just run to warm up. So McCleod and rake in hand and backpack on back I began running down blue. Couldn't help but notice that all of the water bars were clogged. Thinking when is the next time a bloke is running by here in the rain with a McCleod in hand? I stopped at each one and McCleoded it clear.
Back on the road, I knew I had less than a mile to go. Still pouring, I ran/walked back to my car. Started it. Turned the heat on max and hit the A/C button - you know that trick.
Put the tools away. Hmmm. What to do about clothing? I removed the running shoes, socks, and then my pants. While standing on top of my sandals, I wrang out my pants. Took off the t-shirt, hat, and gloves and then put the pants back on and donned a cycling jeresey.
On the drive back to town, my pants completely dryed out as well as my TNF jacket. So much so that I was comfortable stopping in at Giant Eagle and picking up some beef tenderloin, shallots, bread, shrooms, and thyme - you know the usual stuff.
I wanted to try Gordon Ramsay's incredible steak recipe. Couldn't help but notice that Ye Old Spirits Shoppe on 7th street was closed. Luckily, I still had some Stone Oaked Arrogant Bastard and Brooklyn Double Chocolate Stout in the fridge at home.
Got home, fed the dog, unloaded the car, changed, cracked a beer, checked email, and then got to it. Gordon makes a mean steak - in the skillet not on the grill. In short, it was unbelievable - a stout, thyme, and shallot reduction over a rare to medium-rare filet accompanied by assorted wild mushrooms.
Had a portion left over for when Michele and the boys returned from Annapolis and apparently, it was better than the Mexican they had in Annapolis.
While there is a little more trail to go - Wednesday's ride should be better than last week's.