Wednesday, September 29, 2010

The Running Mario Brothers Game...

For weeks now, I’ve been running/walking laps around a local park in the wee hours of the morning. A mid the various individuals (that I can count on one hand) I have seen at the park, I’ve formed a “wave” relationship. You know like the one that you have with the neighbor down the street. You recognize him and never had said a word but you wave at each other when you see each other as you drive by in the car and what not. Well, that in a nut shell is my relationship with Mr. Mario Brothers. I have personally to myself referred to this short Latino man that I see almost even morning run at this park. He rather looks like a Mario Brothers. He always wears a ball cap and has a rather prominent mustache.

Mr. Mario Brother runs the opposite direction as me on the outside running trail of the park. I don’t trust myself to be coordinated enough to run on the trail; so thus I keep to the flat even cement. He is always running smoothly, and always has a perpetual smile under his mustache. He is also always wearing long sleeves and pants even in the middle of the hot summer mornings. Why? I don’t know, but he’s out there running fully clothed each time I see him.

So each morning as I run counter clockwise and Mr. Mario Bros. runs clockwise, I get a wave from him each time we go past each other. I wave back to him of course. Lately, I’ve noticed that when I’m walking I just get a wave from him but if I’m running I get a wave and a thumbs up from him.

So to make my morning run/walk a little more interesting I’ve turned this into a game. A moderate workout equals two waves. A good workout equals two waves and one thumbs up. A real good workout equals three waves and two thumbs up. I’m working towards four waves and three thumbs up—but I may have a heart attack before that ever happens!

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Bicycle Training for Dummies…

I rather stumbled on to a new form of cycle training last night. Or should I say in hindsight I discovered that I was training when in fact it was not a “planned” training? You’ve got to love that hindsight is 20/20!

(Photo- Half way up Big Mountain-- I had to stop for a breather... Go Figure!)

Last night as I was doing my usual Tuesday night Emigration Canyon ride, I pulled off to the side about 2 miles in. My back tire felt strange to me. A couple of the guys on the ride stopped with me. One of them, being more mechanically minded than me (like 80% of the population) took a look at my back bike tire. Well, to make a long story short… I was riding my bike with the brake rubbing pretty hard. He managed to release the brake enough so I could still use my brake and ride the rest of the canyon.

(Photo- Fall color on way from Emigration towards Big Mountain's base.)

It was as I was riding my bicycle up the rest of the canyon that I got to thinking. My rear brake was probably rubbing pretty hard against my back tire ALL weekend long. That would especially explain why the ride on Saturday seemed harder than usual when I was going up Emigration, and well, that climb to the 7100 ft top of Big Mountain. It had exhausted me, and seemed to take FOR-EV-ER! But the real thing that had amazed me was that somehow I had managed to stay up right riding that mountain at 3.1mph. OMG! I never knew I could ride a bike that slow uphill and stay upright! (Mind Blowing!)

(Photo- The VIEW from the top of Big Mountain.)
So last night as everyone was regrouping at the top of Little Mountain (Emigration’s Summit), one of the guys asked if this was a new form of training by having the brake on. “Kind of like that little old lady driving in the fast lane with the brake on?” Meanwhile I thought to myself, “Yeah, its Bicycle Training for Dummies!” Now
where did I put my dunce helmet?

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

The Start of Fall Color...

Oh, my favorite time of year-- Fall!  I love the cooler temperatures and the wonders of the leaves turning all those variations from yellowish green to bright red.  But best of all it means my favorite holiday (Halloween!) is not that far away!  Last night during a bike ride up Emigration Canyon, I managed to catch a glimpse of those wonderful colors starting up.  Enjoy!

Friday, September 10, 2010

Vacation with Mom in Omaha...

Yep, I went on another vacation.  This one was a bit longer than my last one and it was with my Mom.  We've discovered a few years ago that it was generally easier for us to get along if we met some where other than spending time on each other's territories.  So this year we decided to meet up in the big city of Omaha,NE.

Downtown Omaha Skyline at Night

I decided to divide up the drive there in two days and had a stop over for the night in Laramie.  I got there early enough to enjoy a bike ride before the sun went down.  I was surprised that for being such a small town that Laramie had so many bike laned/ share the road signs.  But then I realized that it was a college town and I guess that kind of made sense.  After exploring some of the town, I ended up about 5 miles out of town on a two lane highway with wide shoulder and some beautiful scenery.  Check it out....

Wonderful scenery outside of Laramie,WY

Some more of the Big Sky Country I rode my bike in.

The Sunset in Laramie,WY
The next day I ended up in Omaha at about 5PM in the afternoon.  Oooopps!  I'm trying to find my way through rush hour traffic.  Yeah, I didn't quite think this through as well as I should have.  In fact, I ended up getting lost because the traffic would not let me over to the exit I needed to use.  Needless to say I took the scenic round about way to the downtown hotel.  I called the hotel front desk and ended up with getting driving directions over the phone.  "Hello!  I'm a lost Utahn that's supposed to be checking into your hotel about now...But Darn It! I'm just a bit lost..." Laughter came across the other end of the phone.  Tony walked me through and I finally arrived at the hotel.

I'm going to share more about this trip with pictures because I think its more interesting than giving a blow by blow of my vacation.  So here's my trip in pictorial form.  Enjoy!

The highlights of the trip:

Joslyn Art Museum-
I was really looking forward to visiting this Art Museum, and it was not a disappointment.  I got to see 5 original Monet's, a Jackson Pollock, and I also happened upon a smaller Grant Wood painting that I have never seen.  Find out more about this museum by visiting their website -
Mom outside of Art Museum under sculpture near children's garden area.

Mom with Atrium in background.
A hanging glass balloon sculpture in the atrium.

Lauritzen Gardens-
This is Omaha's Botanical Center that boasts to having four seasons of beauty.  It had several different themed garden areas to enjoy.  Learn more about it at:
A sculpture in one of the garden areas at Lauritzen Gardens.

Mom at the entrance of the Victorian Garden.

Me with the aromatic Rose Garden in the background.
The Train Garden with operating model trains~!

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge-
The bridge from the side-- it's 3000 ft long and crosses over the Missouri River.
The view from the bridge of the Missouri River.

Mom on the Bridge.