So anyway, about this blog…
Tangent: But first, 2 things about the last post. First, if you ever want to find out how many coworkers really read your blog, do a post like that one. All week long, coworkers have been coming up to me, saying (mostly) nice things* about how they’ll miss working with me, mentioning that they read the post, and sometimes asking a follow-on question or two to try to get a handle on the details of the past-blown-up deal or B or C or some other aspect of the LQC*.
*A couple even hugged me, which I thought was kind of nice. In general, I’m not a Gratuitous Hugger, but I have some great co-workers. Now that I think about it, I don’t think I ever did a tangent on Gratuitous Hugging, which is a rich, rich topic. Oh well, possible material for Part 2.
**Never gonna tell. But contrary to what Co-worker Matt is spreading, there is no anagramming involved. Seriously, the guy sat down in my office yesterday trying to Da Vinci-Decode “ABC…” One of the odd things in my life, BTW, that I think has been if anything exacerbated by this blog, is that people generally assume I’m smarter than I am. Really, I’m not all that bright- I’m just interested in a lot of things and like to run off at the mouth. Lots of times I’ll be talking with someone and they’re looking at me and I can tell they’re thinking, “Boy, I wonder what he’s thinking about right now- probably some deep, important stuff…” But mostly I’m just thinking about when I can next go for my next bike ride. Or lunch.
Second, I’m sorry- especially to male readers- about the “We Have To Talk” teaser. Because men are terrified of that phrase. When our wives/SOs say it to us, we simply have no idea what’s coming next. We honestly don’t know if they’re going to ask us for a divorce, or our opinion on the color for the new drapes. Really, we think it could be either. Because in relationships- and this is the truth- men never really have any idea of what is going on. Oh, we like to think we do, but we’re pretty clueless. We’re like long-distance drivers who have absolutely no idea how an engine works. We know we’re supposed to fill the tank with gas when the light comes on and maybe check the oil every once in a while. We generally think that when we get back in the car and start up everything will run just fine, but for all we know the next time we turn the key the engine might just blow up, like at the end of The Mechanic. That’s kind of like… oh, you get it already.
Monday night OCRick and I drove down South to Gooseberry Mesa. After a quick night-ride on the Bench level we drove on up onto the Mesa and camped. I looked up at the stars for a while and saw Perseus, Auriga, Gemini, the Big Dipper, Draco*, Orion, Taurus, the Pleiades, Jupiter, Cassiopeia, and much more.
*Thanks, Doug M.!
Tangent: We have a new favorite Phenomenally Awesome Campsite on Gooseberry. For years we had an Awesome Campsite, but about a year ago it got taken out by a cell tower. Then back in October, we stumbled across the new, Phenomenally Awesome Campsite, which turns out- incredibly- to be even better than the Old Awesome Campsite. It’s 2WD accessible, private, right on singletrack, and the view, well…
The next day we rode all over the mesa. We pedaled past Piñon and Juniper and Cliffrose and Sagebrush and Mormon Tea and Prickly Pear and Turbinella Oak, and rolled over the Shinarump Conglomerate and the Lower Sandstone Member of the Chinle formation. The rock surfaces were dotted with bits of crustose lichens, and shady spots bore bright green swathes of moss. Away from the trail, in the open spaces between the trees, I spied rich black patches of mature cryptogamic soils. We heard the calls of Pinyon Jays, caught glimpses of the banded red & white Moenkopi members below the rim, the Wingate cliffs and Navajo domes of Zion in to the North, and the massive laccolith of the Pine Valley range to the West.
Tangent: So you’re probably wondering how I like my new bike. After careful testing, I’ve assembled this highly technical Evaluation Assessment Matrix (may be too advanced for non-technical readers):
Seriously, I love it. The low bottom bracket requires a bit of “awareness”, but gives the bike a wonderfully stable feel on fast descents. And the brakes deliver a masterful sense of effortless controlled power, even if the sounds emanating from them remind me of the zombies in The Walking Dead. I could prattle on about this or that feature, but the most remarkable (and surprising) thing about a full-suspension carbon 29er with a through-axle fork is that you don’t get tired. After a full day on Gooseberry in the off-season I just can’t believe how good I feel. My wrists, butt, neck, legs, arms- everything feels great. And the next morning I feel, well, normal.
All of these things- and the stars the night before- I not only recognized, but now knew something about their stories: what they were, where they came from, why they were here- pretty much none of which I knew 3 years ago. Though there will always be new bugs, birds, rocks, shrubs and stars to learn about, by any reasonable measure, I’ve completed the project. I’ve watched the world wake up.
Now that I finally have all kinds of time and freedom, I’m going to get to go to all sorts of cool places and see all sorts of cool things- stuff really worth blogging about. So I’ll probably blog again, which means starting a new blog. I’d probably leave a pointer here to the new blog for any readers who were interested, which is kind of silly, because then, well, it’s really the same blog… So here’s what I intend to do:
Next week I’ll complete the project, which I’ll call Part 1. After I wrap up Part 1, I’ll take a brief break from blogging- probably around a month*. Then, I intend to start Part 2.
*Couple reasons for the break. First, I’ll have said my piece and feel I can let it sit for a bit. Second, I want a break. Third, I’ll be traveling light in a third-world-y kind of place where I don’t really want to be dragging a laptop around.
All About Part 2
Part 2 will be more focused on travels, places and experiences over the coming year- it won’t simply be a continuation of blogging about the Wasatch and Northern Utah. And it’ll be different than Part 1 in other ways. Posting will be less frequent, and there may be other changes in tone, perspective and focus.
Note that I said “intend”. I’ll start Part 2 when- and if- it feels right. I’ve always felt this project worked best when I wanted- was itching- to blog, which fortunately, was most of the time. When I felt I had to blog, well, it felt kind of like a job. I’m taking a break from jobs- of all kinds- for a bit. I think (and hope) that I’ll be itching to blog again soon, but if not, Part 1 will stand on its own.
So that’s the “plan”, such as it is. Next week I’ll finally get around to explaining the thing I probably should have explained when I started the project- the Wasatch. And some other stuff.