Monday, May 31, 2010

Stand Up Paddle Boarding

Here's a picture of a woman stand up paddle boarding on Flathead Lake. Kind of captures the weather situation on Memorial Day in Western Montana.

I guess stand up paddle boarding is the answer to sitting down in a canoe or a kayak if you want to paddle.

I like to windsurf, and also enjoy the canoe, so I guess I can relate.. It's sort of interesting to watch anyway, and I'd much rather see this than someone on a personal watercraft making endless circles.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Washington State Line Bridge

They are closing and tearing down the old "state line / Spokane River bridge" between Idaho and Washington. It's the old bridge over the Spokane River that people used to use to get into the state of Washington from Idaho and and places to the east. Now people come in from the west on I-90. The old bridge still served as a secondary way into Washington State and also a way across the the river for people like me who live in Washington but work on the other side of the river or just want to get on I-90. I've ridden over this bridge on my bike for several years.

I imagine all of the people who stopped here in the old days before the interstate came through to take a photo as they made the journey to Washington and the west. This used to mark the entrance to Washington State. There's a small place to park.

It says; "Spokane River Bridge Eastern Gateway to the State of Washington and the Spokane Valley" And on the other side of the road it says; "Spokane River Perpetuatiing the name of the Indian Tribe Spo-Kan-EE Children of the Sun".

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Commuter Dog

This bumper sticker reads, My money and my kid go to the University of Montana.. It seems that everyone and their dog are stuck in traffic these days.
I rode my bike to work today. I need to get used to it because of the traffic congestion. And actually it was nice. It's going to rain the rest of the week so I have to decide about that still. At lunch I rode the bike over to a sandwich shop drive through. Did you know that some fast food drive throughs won't allow bikes..? It's not the customer image they want I guess.
So I was going to ride down to the river and eat my lunch but I decided to go to the park instead. My mp3 player was locked up so I just sat there on a bench by a softball diamond and looked at a chain linked fence while I ate. I had a "Russian" sandwich, but I don't know why they call it that. It was pretty much just a turkey sandwich with some roast beef also.. Is that what they eat in Russia?
As I sat there a guy showed up on the field with a soccer ball. Great big field and one guy with a soccer ball. I was thinking, it's too bad he doesn't have anyone to kick the ball back and forth to. Then another guy showed up. Soon there were a whole bunch of guys, who came from all directions and they set up goals and started a game. I sat and watched from behind the chain linked fence, and for a while I kept score.
Finally I decided to move out from behind the chain linked fence to get a better view. So I sat with my back against a tree and watched the game. Each player had his own body language, but there was one guy who seemed to be a natural for the sport. A short guy who seemed to always be in the action and making goals. His movements were fluid and smooth as if he'd been playing soccer his whole life. (or football, call it what you will)
Finally I looked at my watch and got on my bike and rode back to work. Don't these guys have to work? I thought as I left.. Are there that many people who can just go to the park and play soccer in the afternoon? Perhaps they are all stay at home Dads and get babbysitters while they play..
I took pictures of the guys playing soccor but the Commuter Dog picture was better. I feel just like that retriever when I drive my car home from work these days.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Flathead River

The Flathead River in Montana. I'm always driving up and down this section and sometimes I'll stop and take a picture. It's extra effort BTW as this time I had to climb over a barbed wire fence to get this shot..

I retain the rights to all of my photos.  Please do not use without permission.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Schwinn cruiser

Here's a picture of my Schwinn cruiser bike. I got it out of the woods and repaired it so I wouldn't exactly call it a beach cruiser, it's more of a timber cruiser.. It began life as a three speed probably in the 60s. The wheels didn't come on this bike but they were also in the woods. They are the old 26.5 size (or something like that), so I had to special order tires to fit them. Anyway they are different than modern 26 inch tires. I rebuilt the coaster brake which was stuck, and packed the hubs. I bought a new chain, new Schwinn pedals, and put a 70s road bike saddle on it. I can't deal with old cruiser saddles.

People say, "don, you should paint it." But I like the way it looks. Kind of has that relic look going on.. Well it's time to go for a ride on it.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Bike to Work Week Spokane

Another bike to work week in Spokane. This is a picture of the traffic leaving the comunity where I work at 5:00 pm or shortly there after. They've allowed all of this development both housing and business with little or no thought to the traffic problems. There is only one lane to get on the freeway going westbound. There are road closures and bridge closures everywhere. No matter what they do to repair and build to accommodate cars it's never enough.

To top that off they built this expensive pedestrian bridge over the freeway in exactly the wrong spot forcing people to cross traffic just to get to it at the intersection you see in the distance. As a result I never use it with my bike and just cross freeway on the one lane with the cars. The last thing anyone needs is a cyclist trying to get across the intersection here at this time of day. It's just a huge mess.
It is better to cycle for me though. With this much traffic it takes me about the same amount of time to cycle as it does to drive. Since I've been riding my bike to work I've only been hit by one car driven by a lady who turned into me head on. She said she didn't see me.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Oregon Grape

Here's a picture of some Oregon Grape that my Dad planted. I don't know who's bee that is. I think it's a young bumble bee. There were lots of bees on the Oregon Grape and it was hard to get the picture I wanted as they kept moving around. You can click on the picture if you want to see it bigger.

It was a beautiful day in Montana and Idaho today. Warm in the sun, and yet cool. I drove through the forest after a spring shower with the car windows down and the smell was wonderful.

I retain the rights to all of my photos.  Please do not use without permission.

Sunday, May 09, 2010

Elmo Montana

Here's a picture I took of my morning canoe ride on Flathead Lake. I'd say canoe trip but it wasn't really a trip. I canoe along that shore next to those trees. Sometimes I'll beach the canoe and look around on the shore. I was the only person on the whole bay,.. the whole lake maybe. I don't really understand that. You'd think there'd be lots of people who'd want to be out on the lake when it's like this. On the other hand there's no shortage of people driving back and forth on the highway that goes around the lake..?

I really am outside of the bubble..

Sunday, May 02, 2010

Canoes and vacuum cleaners

I don't know how I lived so long without a canoe.. When I'm at Flathead Lake, I just want to be out on it. I can't really explain it. It's not like there are fish I want or seals or anything like that. Canoes are like bicycles for the water. Click on the picture to get the Don's eye view.
And on the subject of vacuum cleaners,.. How could she possibly think this is a good vacuum cleaner I thought as she complimented me on my wind tunnel. It's plastic.. She never worked in a motel I guess. I have one just like this she said, and I love it. Really,. I thought. I'm not a big fan of plastic vacuum cleaners, and this plastic vacuum cleaner is totally substandard. Well I didn't say it but that's what I was thinking while I let her borrow my wind tunnel. And yet I'm sure her place is much cleaner than my place is. There's little doubt about it.. Just because you have good taste in vacuum cleaners doesn't mean you have a clean place.
I guess it's like guitars. Just because you have a nice guitar, it doesn't make you a good guitar player... Vacuum cleaners are exactly the same. So I guess if you suck, then buy a cheap guitar.
I really just wanted to talk about vacuum cleaners but I needed a reason to throw in my canoe picture. So I made it Canoes and vacuum cleaners, but I probably should have made it Vacuum cleaners and canoes. Vacuum cleaners don't make the best pictures.. I've tried.