Another New Car Stereo

Another new car stereo. The first one was for the Vibe, this time the van.

Old and busted.

Out with the old.

In with the new.

It's a Jensen HD5313IR CD Receiver ($90) from Crutchfield again. Sure I could save a few bucks at other stores but I like their excellent install guides.

It has HD radio, CD, Aux input, USB (with iPod controls) and SD slot. It sounds good. The controls are taking a little learning. It will be nice to use the Aux In with the DVD player. Jolene and I need to spend some time stuffing a SD card with music to put in this thing for road trips.

The install was pretty easy. I got the $10 wiring kit this time. The crimp connectors made the wiring much faster and were worth the $10, even if the crimp tool was barely adequate.

For $115 total it's a good upgrade.

Payson Canyon Dirt Tour

Before I get to the ride, Friday evening we went to the Utah County Fair. We looked at animals, crafts, fruits, vegetables, preserves, trains, legos, etc. After eating some fair food we watched the ranch rodeo. No riding bucking animals, just common cowboy skills - mostly roping. Here's my nephew-in-law (on the left) getting ready with is team to rope a cow.

Saturday I got up early to join Jesse, Brandon and Miles on a tour of the Payson Canyon trails. This is home turf for Jesse and Brandon so Miles and I let them guide us around.

It was a good route. We started at the bottom of Beenie Creek then took the road up to Pete Winward, then Sheepherder, then up the gravel Santaquin Canyon road, east on Rock Springs then up Frank Young. Here we split up. Brandon had already taken off to get home. Jesse and Miles dropped down the paved road to meet a couple for another loop. I took Blackhawk.

Still some wildflowers along Sheepherder.

A little stream crossing on Sheepherder.

Miles and Brandon.

Me and Jesse.

I've never done Blackhawk this direction (counterclockwise), I liked it. It was a little unnerving going solo, especially with Jesse and Brandon having seen bears recently. I saw a few other riders. At Blackhawk Campground I ran into the scouts from my neighborhood.

Blackhawk was fun, but my legs didn't have much punch after chasing three fast guys. There were more downed trees and muddy spots than past years but overall the trail was in good shape.

The tasty desert to this delicious meal was Bennie Creek. It was in good shape and a blast. It has to be one of the best downhills in the state - long and flowy with a sprinkling of tech.

Thanks Jesse, Brandon and Miles for a great ride.

Draper Rim (Ann's) Again

I finally got out for a ride yesterday. I thought about Millcreek or even Park City, but I was too lazy to drive farther. So I settled for Corner Canyon, as if that's really settling. I wanted to get up high where it's cooler, that's all. But Corner Canyon has some shade and the heat wasn't really an issue.

Up lower Corner Canyon, then Canyon Hollow, then Brocks, down Draper Rim (soon to be Ann's) all the way out to Oak Hollow and took the BST back then finished off with Creek View.

Draper Rim is still rough with plenty of roots sticking up but a pretty good line is wearing in. Gotta watch out but it has some flow and I had a good time descending it.

There is a new little sidecut trail to enter the tunnel on the east side.

The trail west of the tunnel has been smoothed and de-rooted. Pretty nice riding all the way to the end.

I stopped to take a phone call and a hummingbird kept buzzing me and peeing near me. I think I was in his turf.

There is an unofficial sign where Draper Rim crosses Maple Hollow DH. It says DH in graffiti script and points down and to the right. I like.

I really liked the long downhill west of the Maple Hollow DH crossing. Rolls nice, can go pretty fast but watch for loose gravely spots.

Patches of deep, loose sand in the culvert.

Why does the up-and-down section of BST along Mike Weir wear me out?

A word to the wise Corner Canyon rider: When you see white dirt, slow down.

If I had Rick's sales skills I would tout Draper Rim like he did for the Maple Hollow DH, which he called Crack Cocaine. It's a great trail but mellower, so maybe it's Mary Jane.


Where is this toilet?

Winning Utah Sticker

The nominees for most popular Utah window sticker are...

And the winner is...

Congratulations RAGNAR, you've jumped the shark.

P.S. - Since I'm such a non-runner, I think this sticker is for me:

30 Switchbacks, Bike Park, Tour Of Utah

I joined Josh and Nate for a ride in AF Canyon Saturday morning. Tibble Fork Reservoir was misty.

We climbed up Mill Canyon. The bottom has a rough-and-tumble quality. I made so-so attempts up the steep grunts. The stream crossings were usually followed by moon dust which does wonders for chains.

I like climbing the switchbacks to the top. Get into a rhythm and grind it out. We counted the switchbacks on the way up, I was surprised by the total: 30.

Bounced through the rock gardens along the Ridge, but there are plenty of smooth sections. And the view is good.

Descending Tibble put a smile on my face. Just plain fun. Seems to be rougher than I remembered. Is it unclimbable now? I'd like to see it done.

Kade has been bugging me to take him to the skate park so I took him Saturday afternoon. He had fun rolling around. He's not very brave yet but still had fun. I rode his bike around a bit - big man, little bike, had a ball.

After church Jolene and I drove up the Alpine Loop to see the Tour of Utah take that KOM. It's amazingly verdant and cool up there, refreshing. We rang our cowbells for the racers. Still impresses me how fast those guys ride.

It Goes To 11, Times 2

Today Jolene and I have been married 22 years. It doesn't seem that long. We are still in love and like being together. I'm a lucky man.

We went out for sushi tonight, it's our favorite eat-out choice. We went to Sushi-Ya for the $19 all-you-can-eat deal. We didn't kill their profit margin tonight, yet it was a good deal for us. Still savoring the flavors.

Reunion, Rain, Ride and Random

There is too much, let me sum up.

We had a big family reunion Monday. My father-in-law and his brothers and sisters and their kids and grandkids. 120 people.

We had breakfast, took some family photos and played some games at a park in Cottonwood Heights.

It started to rain so the action moved under the pavilion.

The next day I took Jolene's nephew-in-law for a mountain bike ride up Big Springs. He's from Wisconsin where the trails are flat and the air thick, he suffered but enjoyed the ride.

Today I got home early enough to go for a mountain bike ride up in the foothills. It had just rained hard and I wondered if there would be mud, but then I remembered the words of Sunderlage the Wise: the UC trails drain like kitty litter. Sure enough the trails were fine and I had a good ride.

On the way back I looked for a Mad Dog bottle. Mad Dog runs a contest on Facebook where they hide water bottles filled with goodies. I finally found one, bottle #9.

Exiting Provo Canyon the sunset was fire and rain.

Still glowing strong when I got home.

Come on, sing it:

Kade caught some stag beetles at the reunion. He's spent hours watching and tending them. We're trying to feed them but I think from the beetles point of view it's a death box. One has succumbed already. A circle of life teaching moment is coming.

That's all for now.

Only Mostly Dead

I need a magic pill, caffeinated sodas haven't been cutting it. The new job has consumed me lately. There was a big push to make 3200 units by the end of July. I've been putting in 10+ hour days. Saturday was 18.5 hours, then 12 more on Sunday. Can't remember the last time I worked so much. A little breather now but we have to get out another 1600 this month.

Jolene's had some gunk in her lungs for two weeks, maybe pneumonia. She starts coughing when she lays down. We're both sleep deprived and running on fumes. OK, enough whining.

I haven't been on my bike in over a week. Got out yesterday for a short but sweet ride up Big Spring. Took my wife's nephew-in-law. He's from Wisconsin, the altitude was not kind to him but he still had a good time.

Now Jolene and the two middle girls are at girls camp. Kade and I saw Kung Fu Panda 2 tonight. Looking forward to their return Saturday so we can get back to normal (I hope).