Sunday, May 10, 2009

Keeping busy

First a little catch up, Lexi had won tickets from Radio Disney when we were at the Tempe Bike-A-Palooza for the Monster Truck Nationals at Firebird International Raceway. That event was two weeks ago. We had a real good time watching the trucks with jet engines speeding down the track as a "warm-up" before the main event. Because the track is a drag strip, the trucks started by jumping one at a time off a ramp, the doing wheelies down the track, and jumping over piles of tires. The second round featured the truck jumping over cars and smashing RVs. Several trucks "broke" during the event, but one "broke" spectacularly when it found itself driving on top of the wall at the edge of the track.

This past Friday was my sixth of twelve furlough days. I had a hard time choosing how to "stay busy" with a forecast of high temperature of 103 degrees. I decided to bike to Camelback Mountain and hike not just to the top, but from the east side over the top to the west side and back. But once again, there was a problem with the plan - about twelve miles into the ride, I punctured my bike tire and I did not have any spares with me or at home. Since Dawn was at home studying for her exams, she was able to pick me. However, she dropped me off at Camelback and the race was on.

I managed to get up to the top of Camelback in less than 45 minutes, and then I went down the very steep and rocky west side. The west side is very different from the east side that Dawn and I had been hiking on in the past. I made it down and fortunately I was able fill up one water and take a quick break in the shade before heading back up. On the way up it started to get hot and the steepness was pretty tough. When I got the to top, I was the only person up there since the heat was had driven everyone away. One the way down, the rocks were getting too hot to touch for too long. But I managed to do the entire hike in just over three and a half hours. The hike was only 6 miles long; however, there is a 1300 foot elevation gain over 1.8 miles on the east side (Cholla Trail) and on the west side (Echo Canyon Trail) there was a similar elevation gain over 1.2 miles and the trail was strewn with boulders.

My legs were still very sore from the hike, but we had free tickets to an ASU baseball game that I won from a drawing with the Tempe Bike Month for being a bicycle commuter. ASU had been number 1 in the nation, but recently fell to fourth and this game feature Winthrop University, which ASU beat 10-9. I caught a flyball that was hit towards our seats and I exchanged it with Lexi who caught a t-shirt a few minutes later. But the best part was that they pulled two volunteers to compete in a push-up contest. The person who could do fifteen push-ups the fastest won two tickets to see the Diamondbacks play. The two people competing were Lindsey and Lexi - Lexi claimed the tickets! The best part is, the girl would have already left for Virginia, so Dawn and I have a date together for a MLB game.

Monster Truck Nationals at Firebird International Raceway

Hiking Camelback

ASU Baseball vs Winthrop

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