Sunday, June 27, 2010

Driving...and other random thoughts

Some people really enjoy doing the driving. I am not one of those people. Mark does nearly 100 percent of the driving when we are traveling out of town. Since we became part of the owner group for Lakeview Cottages, we have made many trips up and down. The first time we took the "short cut," which saves us nearly half an hour, it involved a road that is mostly just wide enough for one car, with a steep drop-off. Freaked me out. Even with Mark driving, who is an excellent driver. In the length of 3.5 miles, it climbs from 5,000 to 7,000 feet elevation. Last year, a couple of the Lakeview cabins had not been rented and I wanted to spend some time up there, not working or managing, but just enjoying the beauty and serenity of Huntington Lake. It was midweek and that meant driving up there myself. Including that last four miles. Yikes!

Here is what I learned about myself. Driving slowly and steadily for 1 1/2 hours in mostly foothill and curvy mountain roads is something that I enjoy, something I even look forward to. For someone who has always had the car in "drive" and never learned how to drive a standard transmission, I now know when to shift to the lowest possible gear and when to use the other gears inbetween. Because it is necessary to drive more slowly and cautiously, it allows me to slow down in other ways as well. I rarely turn the radio on. Instead, I just enjoy the journey and with each passing mile, I feel myself relax.

So here's a question: how would you like this make this journey on a bicycle? Every June, bikers attempt the Climb to Kaiser, which is a 155-mile round trip that starts in Clovis, and ends at the top of Kaiser Pass, 9,200 feet elevation. It has been described as one of the toughtest rides in the United States, tougher even than any of the stages of the Tour de France. That 3.5 miles from Big Creek to Huntington Lake has an average grade of 10%, with some sections as steep as 20%. When we came down (very cautiously) from Lakeview yesterday, we passed over 100 bikers going up this road. Does this look like fun to you??

To  totally change gears (because I simply couldn't resist that one...), Amy from Diary of a Quilter  has recently returned from a trip to New York City and has started posting about some of the things she saw and places she went. As a quilter, of course the fabric destrict was high on her list. A few years ago, Mark and I went on an East Coast cruise and spent a couple of days in NYC.

We went on a walking tour of the garment district.

We did some shopping at Mood, where the Project Runway contestants get a lot of their supplies. Amy mentioned the high prices, which made me remember the most pricey thing I purchased in the garment district. I was looking for quilting cotton and didn't find a lot of that, although I was able to find a few pieces that I really liked. Our guide had cautioned us not to even ask about fat quarters because (a) the sales clerks probably wouldn't have a clue what we were talking about and (b) they usually didn't sell under yard-long cuts anyway. As I was walking around the store, I found the softest fake fur in a beautiful limey green color and when you ran your hand over it, it had turquoise undertones.

The problem: it was $75 a yard! I got the courage to ask the sales clerk if they ever did half-yard cuts and she said not usually, but in this case they could agree to sell me half a yard. It was 54" wide, but still, $37.50? And really. What do you do with a half yard of nearly-neon green fake fur?? I brought it home. And here is the answer to that question:
Worth every single penny.


05 08
JHNickodemus said... #

Definately worth every penny! That has got to be the MOST loved pillow in your house!

Needled Mom said... #

Awww...what a snuggly piece of fabric!

No!!! That bike ride sounds like no fun at all. I know how difficutlt it is to breathe at that elevation - much less exert energy.

amy smart said... #

Okay, that stuff is awesome! The color is great - I love how it has the turquoise in it too! I think I would curl up in a ball on top of it too!

Grandma G said... #

I'm okay with driving... when I'm by myself... as long as I know where I'm going. When we go somewhere together, Grandpa does the "nearly 100%", too. And I still don't know how to drive a standard transmission. :)

I'm glad you enjoyed your time away last "year". ;) Times like that can be so refreshing.

No, thanks... on the bike trip. My hill at the end of my driveway is enough of a challenge... which I haven't done for years, BTW.

That is the cutest picture ever! Yep, definitely worth the price!!

You done good, girl... all the way around!!

wishes, true and kind said... #

I'd say that fake fur went to very good use, and -- yes -- worth every penny!

Terriaw said... #

That green fur is so adorable under his snuggly arms! Don't you just love Mood? I have a picture of myself standing in front of that same statue - love it! I remember seeing crazy people like that biking up the mountains when I lived in Colorado - crazy people!

k said... #

Lovelovelove the pic of little man snuggling.

And E would be so down with those jammies.