Friday, July 25, 2008

Disappointed / 失意

My plans for this weekend were to go camping in Mendocino and do some advanced sea kayaking. We were signed up for a trip where we would paddle in to sea caves. This takes a bit of skill, but is also very exciting, as many of these caves can only be accessed by a sea kayak.

Unfortunately, on Wednesday I hurt my back. I have been to the chiropractor 3 times already, but my back still has not fully recovered. So we have canceled the trip. I am very disappointed.

ps - the photo is of me going through an arch earlier this year / 写真は今年前半にアーチを通過中の私だった。

Labels: ,

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Road Trip - Car Mileage

When I bought my Subaru new, I think they said it got about 27 mpg on the highway, and 22 in the city. I had heard that these estimates are usually a little high, and this matches the fact that on most trips I only was seeing 24-25 mpg (though I was usually getting 22-23 around town).

But last winter, we did a road trip to Albuquerque. With the higher gas prices, I went through the car and did all the little recommendations to improve performance (adjust tire pressures, etc.). I also took the Yakima roof rack off. We seemed to have much better mileage on that trip than I was used to.

So for this trip, I decided to track the mileage. I found a way to stuff both bikes, 2 kayaks, and all our gear for 2 weeks inside the car (with just enough space to see out the rear view mirror), so again removed the roof rack. The vast majority of this was highway miles, though there was a significant amount of time in the parks at much slower speeds (including stop and go). We did have a day of driving around Yellowstone with the kayaks strapped to the roof, and a few days around Ketchum with the Yakima rack back on so we could carry bikes). The weather was warm, so we had the air conditioning for just about the entire 2 weeks. And we may have, um, exceeded the speed limit from time to time.

The results were surprising. Over 3578 miles, we averages 28.25 mpg! That's 5758 km and 8.3 liters per 100 km for those who prefer metric. Wow, my little car is not as fuel inefficient as I thought.


Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Road Trip Part 3 - Ketchum, ID

We finished the trip with a week in Ketchum, ID (home of Sun Valley ski resort). Some friends had rented a house for the week and planned to do a lot of mountain biking in the area, so we decided to join them.

We did a lot of biking, along with 2 days of paddling (once on a lake, and once on the local river).

Picture to the right is of Sylvia riding through a field of wildflowers / 右の写真はシルビアと野の花:

Paddling down the Big Wood river / 川でカヤック乗り:

Fox / 狐:

Riding through the aspens / アスペンの木立:

Riding through an area that burned last year / 去年火事によって荒廃した森林所:

A herd of sheep coming through town / ヒツジの群れ:

Labels: , ,

Road Trip Part 2 - Glacier

Second part of our trip was to Glacier National Park, which is up on the border with Canada. This park was formed by glaciers, so has very beautiful mountains. There are still a few glaciers left (though they are getting smaller each year), but we could only see them from a distance. This park also has a lot of wildlife in it.

We did 2 long hikes, and a half day of paddling on the lake we stayed near. Below are some videos and pictures.

View from our hotel window / ホテルの窓からの景色:

We saw this moose while doing one of our long hikes / ハイキングの途中でムース見た:

Sometime wildlife is so hard to find. This female big horn sheep was walking through the hotel's parking lot / 雌のビッグホーンヒツジ:

Picture from our paddle / カヤックからの写真:

Mountains on the other side of the park / 国立公園の東側の山:

I wanted to see a bear while hiking, and in the last 100 yards of our last hike, we finally saw this guy / ハイキングの途中で熊見た:

Labels: ,

Road Trip Part 1 - Yellowstone

Loaded up the Subaru and went for a 2 week road. The first part of the trip was to Yellowstone National Park. The park is known for its thermal activity (it is on an old volcano) and wildlife.

We did 2 days of paddling, and spent a lot of time visiting the scenic spots. Below are some videos and pictures.

Boiling Hot Spring / 沸騰している温泉:

Getting hailed on while kayaking / 霰とカヤック:

Me soaking in a thermally heated stream (water was bathtub temperature) / 私は温泉の小川に入った:

Buffalo grazing / 放牧のバッファロー:

Black bear foraging for food / アメリカクロクマ:

And of course, lots of thermal activity, including seeing the most famous geyser - Old Faithful / オールドフェイスフル:

Labels: ,