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IN THE CLAW OF THE CRAB

Last week I was on a “fasting” day prior to my colonoscopy. Tuesday comes and I’m all prepped for something akin to what in my RAF days we used to call a “Pull through with a Rotating Pineapple” or the Aircrew answer to a giant hangover.

The procedure is similar to cleaning a 12 bore shotgun. First remove the fired cases

Now insert the lead weight of the pull through

Now attach a pineapple to the cord

Some time later and I’m awake when another series of tests begin starting with blood samples and then off to the MRI thing for a CT scan having been injected with some special fluid. Finally a few X-Rays of the lungs and the job is done.

Really in the claw!

My star sign is good old Leo but today it seems it has changed and this is what I have

Yes, a Crab in the Heavens …..

Yes, Stage IV Colon Cancer which has already spread to the liver

No real answers at the hospital other than its serious and maybe it could have started 10 years ago????  No idea what happens next until I get to see the Cancer specialist over in Durango. My worst fear is nothing happening and this tumor growing and closing off the colon forcing immediate surgery and the dreaded bag. Best hope is chemo 3 days a week and radiation to shrink the little bastard so they can operate without having to get this bag thing. Must say I feel bloody helpless and amazed that for something this serious there are all these delays ….. I NEED ACTION !!!

Some action, and only Tuesday, they can fit me in on Friday for which I’m very, very thankful. Keep a brave face on it!!!!

Tomorrow I get to meet someone who has had this cancer and survived so I will be very pleased to get some inside info and insight as to what the treatment is like.

A wine drinking session with some delightful snacks to put everyone at their ease while discussing such an unpleasant subject.

Cheese and Wine to break the ice

Of course not really sure what I’m up against and how the radiation  and chemo treatments have progressed over the years. Good info on what lies ahead.

Friday and off to see the Cancer experts in Durango. After about 2 hours of talking and looking at various game plans collectively we have come up with a treatment plan which will take about six months to get through.

To deal with the basic major problem of “the hen’s egg tumor up your bum” …….. as this thing gets bigger it is likely to close off the colon and require emergency surgery as I will then start to clog up like a blocked drain!

Currently I get severe “gas” which has me up every 20-30 minutes at night thus suffering major sleep deprivation. The answer here is to get the “bag” attached such that I can get the poop out of the system and not clogging up behind the tumor. This will allow me to get some much needed sleep.

The dreaded bag!

Hopefully with that done we can move on to the Chemo plan which requires a sort of inlet valve inserted under the skin on the chest and this then lets the chemo straight into the vein and the bombards the entire body with the liver and colon as the main targets. This treatment is twice monthly or eight sessions. Of course during this period they should be able to see the reduction of the cancer cells.

Eventually if the chemo has done the trick the radiology can be used to shrink the remainder of the tumor and then surgery to remove what  is left. If all that is good then the colon can be reconnected and normal services resumed!

Well I beat COPD so now for this one ……. wish me luck!

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ARE YOU READY NOAH ?

From 2100 on 6/13/19 until 6/17 we are under FLOOD WATCH as the river is rising at an alarming rate and should crest the bank sometime today!

With RED warnings all the way across my weather screen I’m out on the bike to check the severity of this upcoming disaster. Sure, the water is up a bit, no surprises there, with all the snow pack melt but nothing in my opinion of an alarming nature. Back after a 20 miler and see that the warning has been lifted????

I guess the Ark can stay in port and Noah can go back to his normal flood relief Uber duties.

Just about done on my weeding activities as I’m now on the big center bed. So far about 4 half days spent on the project and now time for the sprinklers to soften up the ground again. This works well and the ground is now in prime weeding condition!

As the temps are up over 75 the newly exposed plants are loving it as the creeping, choking, arsebine gets removed and exposes them to the sun …… ice plants in full glorious color.

Bumper crop of wild strawberries this year and some of my fir trees are finally behaving as they should with colored frons for the first time ever. Self seeded cotoneasters appear and a well behaved fir has suddenly grown a “top hat” which will have to go!

Bumper crop of wild strawberries …… yumeee!

At last !

Not keen on the summer hat  …. it will have to go

A full afternoon weeding for Friday and I’m really making progress and actually enjoying the task. My palm is getting sore so I’ll stop at 1700 to avoid the “Jesus Blister” and get a few more miles and a couple of beers.

Weeding goes well, the ride top up is pleasant and finishes at 30.42 for the day and a couple of beers wraps up everything.

Saturday and I finally push myself up the road to see the rock fall disaster area knocking up another 24.56 for the round trip. Time to get into Walmart and see the plant mortuary ….. its just that! Brenda finds a couple of plants and its then onward to 4 Seasons for some new Ice plants. Not much variety this year but I do buy the last 9 plants that are not yellow!

My illness is now debilitating and I can’t summon the energy or will power to do any more weeding, and then it starts raining!

Sunday, and its been raining overnight, but it dries up and I push on for a few more miles before the afternoon storms arrive. The lack of sleep with all this overnight gas shows and I find it hard work but 17.64 goes in he books.

After lunch another good session of weeding and I might just get it finished on Monday and even some planting if I’m lucky.

Nice idea but the storms roll in and now its raining and the afternoon will be taken up with all the preparation for tomorrow’s unpleasant hospital visit. Today is also a fasting day! A truly crap day in more ways than one!

Well if I thought yesterday was bad then I wasn’t thinking worst case scenario which is what I was in for today! Largish tumor in the colon which the surgeon really didn’t need to have tested. Further tests and seems its stage IV Colon Cancer and already spread to the liver. Joy of joys, life expectancy about 5 years!

“Meanwhile”, as Stephen Colbert says, the front bed weeding was finished yesterday afternoon before the rain arrived and now as its wind free and warmish I might try and get the last plants in the ground.

The layout for the new plants gets done, but before I complete the planting I need a run down to the Brewery to select some large rocks to use as stepping stones for three pathways I want to create through the bed. Once again the cycling has to take a backseat as other gardening tasks take over.

Rocks are home, washed and laid and more weeding down the lawn side of the Scuffy bed gets done. Need a few more rocks to complete the task and then more planting and those edge cuts.

First steps on the pathways

Another day and another trip to the Brewery for more rocks to complete the pathways. The last of the ice plants are in and now time to start the edge cuts! The lawn side of Scuffy is done after an  early morning start and work now begins on the edges for the center bed. By quitting  time I’m about 3/4 way through leaving just the last portion, lawn mowing, and final planting of the dianthus.

The other entrance

Saturday morning, scared, angry and a little weak.   ……. I’m beginning to wonder whether I have the resolve to fight this ……. or do I even want to?  ……… I guess you can fight this sort of thing if you have love, support and affection all around you ….. and of course you can still fail, but at least you tried.

…….…………  the thoughts are endless and not fruitful

 

Better get out there and get on with the gardening, at least it passes the time and gives me some sense of achievement …….

Topside edge done!

Roadside done, and the fir has lost his silly hat

By lunchtime the center bed edge cuts are all done but I’m feeling very weak. Out again after a coffee and start the final shear cuts on the new edges and it pours down with rain!! …. and now they are forecasting a FREEZE Warning for tonight. It could be worse as the poor souls in Steamboat Springs woke up to TWO Feet of SNOW  on day 2 of Summer, 6/22/19

Sunday, cold with the freeze, and feeling very weak from this lack of sleep. Hospital visit tomorrow so maybe some answers to the burning questions. Depression does not help, but neither does a lack of knowledge in these matters.

Hopefully it will warm up soon and I can get the photos of my efforts but I need that sunshine to show the ice plants in full bloom.

Ice plants with some new clumps of dianthus

Pool bed after another weeding

Front garden finally up to snuff!

 

TONY DOWN

 

ROCK FEST

24th May, first day after school has finished, and I’m out on for my afternoon ride. There is no end of wailing sirens coming from behind me as I’m between 2 and 3 miles out of town. Ambulances, fire engines, heavy rescue equipment, police and highway patrol all going northbound on the 145. Constantly stopping as they roar by I’m thinking there must be a mega accident up the road and of course it was only two days ago when I was on an activity trip to Ouray when there had been about 6″ of fresh snow up ahead covering all the trees and their leaves making everything look like a weeping willow. On the way home it had all melted but I did think conditions were ripe for a mud slide as there were several loose boulders on the verge.

Later reports show there had indeed been a MEGA rock slide completely destroying the road and cutting an eight foot trench

First picture

Two of these mega boulders weighing about 1150 tons apiece and the size of a two story house had broken away from the top of the ridge and carved their paths of destruction all the way down to the road and beyond.

Next reports say they will bust one of the rocks which will involve a lot of drilling and then loading with that expansive jelly which will crack the rock ???? The other rock may well be left where it is.

More pictures showing the devastation come in courtesy of a drone that did a fly by showing the magnitude of the event and the wonder that nobody or any vehicles were involved.

All this is just past my normal turn round point and is between 10-11 miles from the house.

Eventually they say they have one lane passable as work continues and more pictures come in showing the size of these rocks.

Still a lot of rock

Where they came from

Wow!

I really must get up there this week and have a look for myself. They also say the river is flooding up there as the monster snow pack is melting.

Still a lot going on in the garden.  So I’ll be working overtime on that for a few more days. I’ll take a ride down to the river, which was really flowing yesterday, with a lot of tree debris which will all wash up as the water eventually recedes, but right now its all headed to the lake, which I won’t be going on this year. No matter, there are plenty of places for me to fish.

I guess this is the one they are not moving

It’s a big un!

Still haven’t made it up there, Friday looks like a good day

Meanwhile with the slightly better weather and my first full night’s sleep without having to get up numerous times some morning riding has been achieved and I’m through that 700 barrier!

D-Day, 6/6/19 and for me a trip to the hospital to check out this “supposed” heart murmur?  I’m duly plugged in and watch the screen as the tech completes all his tricks to find same. 30 mins later nothing found. Guess I might make it to Christmas.

A mega gas day and near sleepless night again……. I really need this issue sorted out and the quicker the better. Time to try the opposite of the problem with some gas pills and a laxative (first time ever) so better stay on a short tether close to the house!!!

Friday, windy of course, no riding, but I do get to start on the pond beds. The order here will be, weeding, grass removal, edge cutting, and then the precision cut along the new edge.

Some serious weeding here!

A lot of grass and that “arsebine” !

By Sunday I’ve completed all the main tasks and the pools have been drained and are now ready for cleaning and refilling. The current medical concerns are NO better but today 6/10/19 I’m at the hospital for a consultation and the unpleasant procedure is scheduled for next Tuesday.

Better get on with my last few tasks.  Must say I have some trepidation about the hospital as someone we knew went in there for an operation on her foot and did NOT survive!!

Well I completed everything on the Waterfall Bed and its all up and running again so lets see how it looks.

Water Lilies still alive

ponds drained and ready for cleaning

Weeding complete

Edges cut

Ponds full

All running

Perhaps I do have some uses after all.

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

HANGING BASKET DAY 2019

Here we are again, ready for our annual visit to Four Seasons to select our hanging baskets. This year I feel I’m actually ready as we have sorted out the new balcony, replaced the irrigation system, and got the whiskey barrels, drilled and planted ahead of the baskets. All the basket hangers are up so today should be plain sailing!

Not too many buyers at the nursery and the selection begins in one of the outer greenhouses. One for sure and a maybe. Back to the main building………

Plenty here, and three more get selected along with a couple of the tomato plants with giant spreads and plenty of fruit. A few packets of seeds completes the mission and we are soon loaded and on our way.

Sadly I was not to know what was going on, however, the baskets are up and locked, tomatoes swing from the maple and fresh roses are planted.

The Maple in full fruit for the LAST time!

Baskets up

……. and locked

Good display

Roses planted, perhaps I have some use after all ?

Monday and I’m told to help with yet another Gazebo, the reason why this was purchased is completely unclear to me, no doubt it will be revealed in the fullness of time. It also seems I purchased another bed that I knew nothing about on my UK card so that will be vetoed today. Also, apparently, the house is up for sale along with other items. Seems I’m also surplus to requirements as well. Amazing how people change, along with their interests, and what was once  fun and pleasure is replaced with loathing and hatred. It would seem the age of compassion and understanding are dead.

 

TONY DOWN

 

ANOTHER 3 DAYS OF IT !

The weekend would have been nice but those bloody winds just kept coming and now for the last week of May temps might make 50F by day and a good chance of freezing at night. Of course its still raining, the never ending wind will be gusting 30 mph, and there is overnight snow in the forecast.

Now into Tuesday, and effectively achieved NOTHING, other than the planned shopping and fitting of hangers and irrigation. Outside its wet and goopey and still SNOWING (5/28/19) ……. how can I do any weeding? or even think about riding the bike?  ….. I seem to be at my wit’s end!

I’m told up the road the work force has removed one of the 1150 TON boulders and the road is now open and they may be leaving the other one where it is. Maybe get up there to see it when this awful weather goes away. Right now at 1030, cold wet, and miserable! Temp has just made 42F!

I eventually venture out in full thermals and it really is very nasty, cold, damp and rain in the wind. I do about 7.5 but it is so horrid I can’t push it any further. I’m cold and never really get warm again despite coffees and numerous hot chocolates. It pours with rain again at 1600 and the temp drops to 37F ……. WTF is going on???

Wednesday, bright and sunny, so just a chance something might get done. Whisky barrels need some drainage holes and the irrigation system needs finishing along with another bout of picking up branches from all these 30 mph gusts.

But first a Ride! Not too windy, a little chilly,  but press on anyway in the hope of getting 10 miles now and a few more later on. 17.78 goes in the book for the morning session which leaves 51.4 to get over 700 by the end of the month.

Afternoon and with irrigation complete, including another visit to the plumber for a new Y fitting, time for the barrels. Plan was big hole in the center and 5 more around the sides in a smaller size. The smaller size keeps jamming up so after two barrels its big in the middle and four more of the same on the sides. Task complete and barrels in place by the balcony uprights. It now gets really cold  and this calls for an inside fire!

The smaller holes drill bit keeps loading up!

The big one will do!

Still trying to control the “gut” and some improvement made by stopping ALL forms of medication and letting the system run on normal …. only problem excessive gas build up. Meanwhile, the weight is still going down and this morning an all time low of 183.8 which is 28 lbs down from where I started. Today the weather finally turns and I thought a run out to the boulders that closed the Telluride road would be good …….. but the gut has other ideas so I’m on a short tether. A completely wasted day!

 

Friday, and hopefully a nice day, and perhaps I’ll get something done and get the “mojo” working! Well clearly after yesterday’s setback my 700 by the end of the month is NOT going to happen and perhaps time to revise this year’s cycling goals. After the worst winter up here since moving up in 2007/8 and only having made 150 miles this month!!! the NEW total for 2019 will be 3000.

The next few days will be dedicated to the garden  and it all starts today! This morning we take on the whisky barrels, one tree and two bags of miracle grow in each and then a selection of fill in plants around the bases.

Whisky barrels …. GO!

3 with Clematis

2 with bleeding hearts

It all gets done leaving me time to start strimming ops before the main lawn mowing. With mowing complete I need to reset a piece of irrigation piping that has come to the surface by the rose bed and that one gets knocked off the list. Finish my efforts with some light weeding and clean up of the seed bed.

Now time for a ride and a few beers. 13.37 ticks over and giving me 661.97 for 2019.

Saturday June 1st, and its Riverfest Day, an annual Dolores thing with lots of bands playing in the park and other attractions for all.

Dead roses out and Scuffy beds weeded

I get some weeding done in the Scuffy beds and the 3 dead roses are removed ready for the new ones. Brenda wants to ride down to the park so a bit of tire pumping as her bicycle hasn’t been used in a couple of years. We get down there, pay the outrageous fee, only to discover she hasn’t got her phone! Back we go, and then with phone in hand do it all over again knocking up 4.56 in the process.

The gut is still struggling to get back to normal and gas abounds all night but I think I’m out of the woods so to speak as we come up to 10 a.m.

Today its hanging basket day again and NO frost in the weekly forecast so we will be off in a short while for 4 Seasons.

 

TONY DOWN

 

 

OK, WHERE IS SUMMER?

5/23/19 Last day of school and STILL snowing!

The non stop awful weather continued all the way through to the last day of school (5/23/19) and we even had yet another heavy snowstorm for the morning run and rain showers to complete the day with an overnight freeze warning!

All the trees are weighed down with it

Now while all this has been depressingly bad I have to be thankful we are not in the middle or east side of the country enduring Tornadoes and constant flooding from the nonstop storms.

On the cycling front there just has not been many acceptable days to go for a ride and this month in 24 days I’ve only achieved 200 miles! Must be the worst cycling winter on record, well my record, anyhoo. So today despite everything I’ll get out there later after repairing all our “Hot Showers” and “RV Dump” signs which were destroyed by the town snow plow.

Signs done

Remember this ?

Up with the NEW

With the sign job complete I’m on the road around 1600 and the wind is dropping off and the temp is up close to 60F. Two miles out of town and its non stop emergency vehicles, fire engines, several ambulances, heavy equipment and local police and state troopers. The plan is out to the 3 mile point and turn round there and then knock up 19.5 miles for the day stopping at the Brewery for some pizza and beers.

Later on I see the reason for the emergency! It appears there has been a massive rock slide 10 miles out of town which doesn’t really surprise me as with all my activity drives up and down the Telluride road I had a feeling that it was only a question of “when” with all the wet snow and constant rains of the last month. The road is now completely closed as amid all the dirt, trees, and debris two giant boulders, literally, the size of HOUSES came crashing down removing power poles and the “road” leaving an eight foot trench! One of these boulders is still there and will need to be broken up with explosives before it can be moved and the road repaired. There is no forecast as to when the road will reopen.

????????

These mega boulders are “Two Storey” and will require drilling and the liquid expansion work to crack them into smaller pieces before removal.

Saturday and lawn mowing and putting up the hanging basket hangers on the new balcony. A trip into Walmart for some roses before they kill them, plants for the whisky barrels, and 10 bags of Miracle Grow soil.

Replacement roses

Whisky Barrel center pieces

Fresh growing medium for the barrels

The late snowstorms of last week destroyed the gazebo, despite all our storage efforts of the winter, but we were NOT expecting another fierce blanket of wet snow in the middle of May!!!! The gazebo is dismantled and irrigation begins along the balcony.

Balcony irrigation begins

Harleys go by the house with their constant rumble only to return when they either see the “Sign” or make it 10 miles up the road. New pictures of the disaster are now on Facebook from somebody’s drone and show the magnitude of the repair task.

They must have been traveling when they hit the roadway……. thankfully nobody was involved

2 days you say ?

Good luck

I think the initial estimate of 2 days was ambitious and 2 weeks is perhaps closer.

Sunday and warm but windy and then another colder snap with yet more bad weather before finally warming up for next weekend …….. about time as we will be in June by then!

TONY DOWN

BACK IN THE DRIVER’S SEAT

The week changes and I’m now driving full time for Dolores or sentenced to 600 hours community service driving the school bus.

This week its full time on D11 but I had already booked 3 Activity trips for the week prior to the full time appointment. Managed a bit of clean up in the Shade Garden and a couple of barrow loads of branches and then some “break up” of the remaining ice and snow that had pushed the garden furniture down into the soil by about four inches!

Saturday and much work in the garden with all the boiler room contents of cushions and gazebo out, and inbound for the larger display items which were always difficult to put away in the loft space of the workshop. All the display bins out of the workshop and now lights and décor can at last get back in their correct boxes.

Finally the floor! and with hoover in full action things are looking much better. Hoover needs a blow out and the volume of dust is immense and I’m covered in it and think I’ve breathed in a good load which is making the airways hurt…….. really NOT good!!!

With the Gazebo up again we set off for Mancos for a delightful Easter Sunday Brunch. Very good and no problems with the diet which struggles along with a lot of “plateauing” at this stage but its still a downward trend.

A full week on D11 Horse and I have to cancel an activity trip as Brenda is away in LA and the dogs wouldn’t get walked or fed if I took the trip.

The weather has been a little better and cycling is done when it can be, but not always easy. Now we are coming into that windy season which I really dislike. However, I have been getting out there and should pass the 500 mile barrier, today 4/28/19, and on the weight side another first at 190.4 !

Edward turns 39 on the 29th but his new phone won’t accept calls from me if he is at home!! ……. we roll into May and once more the weather changes and we have 3 days of pouring rain and a nice cold wind.

Late developments on the Activity trip schedule and the Baseball team that I have been carting around the state get a double bonus set of trips with 3 days at Aztec this week and then a game at Cortez and an overnighter next weekend at Delta.

New numbers with a Friday ride taking me up to 522.91 and the beginning of the end with the last of the Nutrisystem meals taking me down to 188.4 which I don’t remember ever seeing!

Baseball games all go pretty well and we are now off to Pueblo this week after the Delta outing. A nearly 6 hour drive to get there, night stop, and two games on Friday then drive home.

Prior to leaving on Thursday the weather becomes nice, warm and sunny, with a rise into the 70’s and I manage to creep the total up to 587.04 but the weather is supposed to revert to WINTER on the day we leave!

Thursday, and after the morning run, the parents of the Baseball Team arrive to decorate the bus before it’s departure for Pueblo and the State Championships. The weather in Pueblo is close to 90F but very windy. We get a full “911” departure escort with Police and the Town’s  fire trucks with blaring horns and flashing lights. 8 hours on the road with plenty of stops and some roadworks but we are finally there.

On the personal front I have been anything but well and although I achieved a good weight loss getting down to 185.6 there have been some consequences either related or not. Another Doctor visit to deal with a serious upset stomach issue has so far revealed nothing other than no infection but other problems. It seems all the effective medicines out there have a magnitude of side effects. Ibruprofen  that I have been using as a pain killer for my shoulder injury while going through rehab causes stomach bleeding and should not be used by people over 62 ? All the anti-biotics that I was told to take for the pneumonia and coughs kills all the good stomach bacteria which may cause “leaky gut” !!! now I’m left with 4 weeks of nonstop uncontrollable diarrhea  which the proven Imodium has NO EFFECT on !!! Looks like I’m going in for some very unpleasant testing soon.

Not for me!

By the time we have made Pueblo the weather has changed back in Dolores and is now cold, wet and very windy. New discovery in some of the rooms are BED BUGS!!! I don’t see any.

Friday and off to the games and it sure is warm. We are leading 6-4 as we start the bottom the 6th but the opposition get some wild hits, a couple of missed catches and before you know it the score is 6-10. All out in the 7th and we are on our way home.

The END of a great season

The journey home is anything but nice! Coming down I25 it must be blowing 50mph and the bus can only just make 55 into the howling headwind. We turn off on the 160 and make our way into the awful mountain weather ahead. Pouring rain, bursts of SNOW and yet more wind.

Stop at Alamosa which has to be one of the windiest places on Earth! Up ahead you can see Wolf Creek has the next batch of foul weather and sure enough its coming down blocking the windscreen and even settling on the road!!!!!!

….. but its the middle of May ????

Finally into Pagosa Springs and yet another stop. Just another two hours to go.

TONY DOWN

 

APRIL AND CHANGES

It seems although winter may not have quite finished with us just yet there has been a slight warming trend. The ravages of all our recent snow storms are done, and for the most part, it has nearly all melted although I shoveled about 4 tons of snow and ice on Monday so that the Safari could be moved to its other slot. The puddles have dried up and many of winter’s potholes around the town have been filled.

The town’s Street Cleaner has been out and about and despite previous Town Manager’s efforts its back to its old problems. Runs out of water!! leaking seals, incorrect brush settings and a badly latching rear door on the debris container!!! It is its own Tornado of dust wherever it goes, but at least you can see the plume and the dust cloud coming.

A busy week after the “would you like to drive full time? question” with a long trip on Saturday to a  new place for me “Hotchkiss”, and then another activity trip on Tuesday to Nucla. A refresher drive on D11, the Horse, both morning and afternoon, and then a surprise trip on Thursday morning when the other interested party goes for a “ride along trip” on the said D11 ? Hopefully there won’t be any “12th hour” changes as I’m driving it Monday as the Sub then full time from Wednesday onwards. Friday and as Dolores has a 4 Day week I’m driving the special needs boy into Cortez morning and afternoon.

Cycling back on the program with some days in the 50’sF and not too much wind and I’m hoping to wrap up the week with 300 miles in the bag. Weight down to an unseen set of numbers at 194.8 from the initial 211.8 starting point.

Friday goes well with the CMS run to Cortez, a quick 5 miles around town and then into Cortez for some more rehab on the shoulder. Home again, lunch, and out for a few more miles before the p.m. run to CMS. All complete and now for the top up for my “20” and a few beers. The beer is most welcome and I finish the ride at 23.30 with only 16 and a bit left for the 300.

Saturday and a return to the pool tables. The skills are still there but just fall short in the final stages. However, another 20.39 on the bike first so the 300 has fallen.

 

Sunday and today’s mission is to explore a large lake on the NM border but state owned. Still waiting for run off and a bit low due to last year’s drought. Looks good and a few “slots” are earmarked for booking after the end of the School Year on May 23rd.

1st choice would be 130 and then either 136 or 140

We return via Durango and after Brenda trolls her phone we come up with a new place on Main Street, El Moro. A nice bar with a good atmosphere and excellent food ….. we will be back for this one!

 

Don’t remember this one

Very nice inside

Maybe after the diet!

Pleasant weather on Monday, it almost feels like Spring,  and a few more miles take me to 332.1 but then the temps drop THIRTY DEGREES, yes 30!!! as another huge storm rips through the entire country. Cold, wet, and miserable and with the combination of snow and cold winds riding comes to an end again.

Here we go again

Thursday and Friday still cold with the biting wind but supposed to be back up in the 60’s next week, I hope so, Winter and I are not friends anymore!

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

MORE CABIN FEVER

Enough, I tell you!

Yesterday, 3/23/19 we decided a treat was in store after yet another bout of rain and snow. Now I love it when its snowing and you can get cozy with a nice roaring fire but after over 4 months of same its becoming more than tedious!

The joy of a REAL log fire

Time to cross the Colorado border and enter New Mexico for a visit to Red Lobster ! It was, as expected, delicious and well worth the drive……. and NO crisis on the Southern Border!!

No problem at the New Mexico border ?

We take on “Lobster Fest” with much gusto!

These just keep on coming…..  Mister Piggy loves them

Superb!!!

Sunday and with the melt/thaw in full flight parts of the garden that have been hidden for 4 months start coming into view. With a full determined effort the Waterfall Bed and the Center Bed are finally cleared of Christmas decorations and the last of the frozen in power cables are out of the ground.

Last of the decorations finally removed from “Scuffy” now that the onboard snow and ice have let go of the fixings and cables. Now all that remains is to work my way through all the boxes and get them all back where they should be. With the floor cleared I can get the stuff up in the loft section and perhaps throw out a load of miscellaneous junk that has crept up there.

Cycling was a bit more pleasant with some half decent days and not too much wind to contend with. Mon-Wed averaged over 20 miles per day and by Tuesday night the total was up to 191.09 while on the weight front the total was down to 199.6 but I’m still pushing for more.

Wednesday and I’m on an Activity trip to Cortez with the Baseball team which is something I’ve never done before as Cortez always sent them in a Mini Bus with a teacher/coach as driver. While I’m doing my pre-trip the Boss man pops over and asks me if I would like to drive full-time? It seems someone is leaving (and I can guess who, but equally it also seems someone else has asked for HER route!) should hear the final outcome of this one next week.

Quick “Sub” drive on Friday afternoon, and then a 15 hour day and 355 mile drive for the Baseball Team on Saturday. The plan for the weekend is to review the weather and decide whether its a Sunday or Monday Ski trip. Weather not so good for Sunday so Monday is the DAY. plan for Sunday, a gentle top-up ride, to hit the 240 mile marker ……..

Yes, the weather really is THAT nasty!

I manage 3.70 of the planned 13.20 that I need before I’m forced to abandon in 34 degrees and blowing wet snow ……… maybe later.

Later …… temps up to 39F, wet roads, wind increasing, equally nasty and very unpleasant but I carry on and I’m very pleased as I see miles getting ever closer to the target and, with numb fingers and lips, but a running nose and watery eyes I make it home with 13.37 on the odometer and 240.17 for March and 2019. The weight is now at this year’s low of 197.0 lbs.

TONY DOWN

 

 

 

 

BUSTED SPRINGS AGAIN

The storm of the Century seems to have passed us by. About 10″ of fresh white stuff and now the next melt begins. Tomorrow the School is closed and then all next week as its Spring Break again.

Hopefully if it melts fast enough I might be able to get some riding in next week as the weather has certainly been keeping me in check this year.

The Ides came and went and after a small shopping expedition to top up with yet more salad veggies (hard work eating like a rabbit on this diet) the afternoon was spent sorting through the ever diminishing woodpile for something that wasn’t wet from the rain or still covered in snow. Three big loads chopped and brought in. A ride was considered but still muddy and the roads have too many puddles. Should be good for Sunday onwards as temps are forecast for the 50’s !!

Saturday morning, 3/16/19, and the scales say 200.0 !  very happy about the Zero! Today Brenda wants to drive up to Telluride and see if her COPD is going to be a problem before she gives skiing another go.

Need a “check run” to see if Brenda can breathe with the COPD

Pleasant drive up  the mountain, and they sure have had a load of snow! Mountain Village and the Gondola ride into Old Town and a drift down the sunny side of Main Street.

Phase II of the ride, on the Telluride side of the slopes, from Mountain Village

Time for a late lunch and from the many bars, bistros, cafes and restaurants we pick “FLORADORA” ….. we think we have been in here before ?

……. in we go

Like the artwork

Menus arrive, and we try “their” Bloody Mary”  …. V nice and pretty spicy ….

Can’t decide ….. I like the Honey baked Brie, and the Duck Eggrolls sound pretty good too! Well we have them both and they are superb

Duck Eggrolls and a plate of the brie in the top left corner

Sunday, the melt continues and its sunny and demi warm, well about 50F, which is a nice change and after a lot of “shall I ? shalln’t I ?” I get out there and knock up 26.80 miles. Monday and Tuesday are much the same and 27.32 and 27.45 are added. Wednesday and I should be getting a new rear cluster and chain on the Roubaix but the day is too nice so after a full blown working morning on the remaining iced in Christmas decorations and lights up the pillars I take another ride as the Thursday/Friday forecasts are awful! The year’s total now stands at 130.71

Thursday morning, a very slight dusting of snow and now some light rain as I set off into town. Very windy! with a strong Easterly. Hardly a sign of any snow as I fight my way through the gusts into Cortez.

Roubaix gets all it’s new bits and an hour later I’m on my way home along with a new cable for the gear changing system and a new dose of handlebar tape. Looking exceedingly BLACK out to the West as yet another storm arrives.

New cluster and chain for no more clacking

No sooner home and ready to take over dogs as Brenda is off for a lunch trip with Carol. She departs, I take the dogs out and get peppered with hail which then turns over to snow, and heavy resort style snow at that! 30 minutes later Brenda is back, lunch project has been cancelled! Too slippery and zero visibility and within the hour we have nearly 2″ on the rail. Just as quickly it all melts and now we are back to light rain.

The forecast is less than 1/2″ overnight and the same for Friday. However I awake to 6″ on the rail and it has finally stopped at 1030. Now its relatively warm, bright blue skies, and the melt begins again!!

 

TONY DOWN