My time in Colorado this last year has been amazing...full of new friends, great riding, and fun work. In March, I decided that I wanted to return to my position at Fresno State -- not because Colorado and the work I did there wasn't great -- but because over the year, I gained new appreciation for the security and lifestyle that my position there allows me. I'm headed back to Fresno in early August and back to my associate professor position but with some new responsibilities. And I'm not leaving freelance writing behind, as I'll continue to do much of what I do now. I'll write more about all that as it unfolds, but for now, just wanted to catch up on my transition back to Cali. It's been a whirlwind, and what remains of the summer promises to be more of the same!
This is Jack and Catherine -- two good friends in Ft. Collins, who spent some time with me just before I left. They're sitting on the coolest "bar stools" ever at "The Drunken Monkey" in the Fort. They're swings, and fun even before you've had a few drinks.
You may remember that I was living in a teeny-tiny apartment in the Bubble, which was kinda cool when it came to packing to leave -- not much stuff! More than pictured here ... but not much!
And I spackled all the holes I put in the walls (not with my fists, but just the traditional nail holes from pics) all by myself! There's this really cool spackle that is pink when you put it on and then lets you know it's ready for touch-up paint when it dries to white. Doesn't take much to entertain me, obviously.
I hit the road towing a U-Haul behind my Su-boo-buh-roo, and along the way, saw these crazy-looking clouds. I don't know how to use PhotoShop, so, honest, they're real.
I was pretty darned proud to tow a U-Haul -- first time -- and can't believe I forgot to get a pic of it ... but I did take this snap of my view in the rearview mirror.
Stopped the first night in Fruita with Will and Joanne -- thanks again! -- and the second night, was here, in Spring Creek, with Carla and Dan -- thank you, too! The Ruby Mountains are spectacular.
And back in Cali after dropping my things off in Fresno at Katie's house -- which I'll share with her and her kids upon my return in August (more later on that, too) -- I drove through Yosemite to get to Bridgeport, where I'm spending my summer. Grew up by Yosemite, but the views there still take my breath away.
And I got back to Bridgeport just in time to spend a few days with the Fishin' Mission! As has become tradition, Jim, Missy, and now Lacey, and I had breakfast with our main boys at Hays Street on their last morning. This is Toni (Sparky) holding Lacey, Larry (Here-for-the-Beer), Jim (Toni's bro-in-law who was on his maiden Mission and doesn't have a nickname yet), and Gary (Walkbucks). Love 'em! And you can see that Lacey has become a fan, too.
And, yes, a little drinkin' goes on in B-port. Since I figured I'd be out at Rhino's a few nights a week all summer, I found a nice new low-calorie beer to drink. Miller Genuine Draft 64 -- 64 calories, crisp, and clean. Good stuff. And on one of my first nights back, Cammie (used-to-be)Padilla taught another friend, Roxanne, and I how to play 1-4-24, a dice game. My first two rolls? 1-4-24. Sa-wheet! Of course, we started playing for money after those practice rolls, and I promptly stopped rolling that particular combination. But it was fun anyway.
And there's always good eatin' in the hometown, as well. On Father's Day, I made Chinese food for Dad and the fam (Hot and Sour Shrimp, Ginger Beef, and Egg Rolls -- yes, homemade!), and Missy ordered a chocolate pie for Jim that we had for dessert. Jan Mills made it, and it was dee-lish.
And with all that drinking and eating, of course, I've got to do some miles here and there. Been riding up to Twin Lakes at least three days a week, and the views, as always, are to die for.
One of the best parts of spending the summer in Bridgeport, though, is being with family. I'm staying with Jim, Missy, and Lacey, who, as you can see, is as cool as ever.
So there's a little bit of catch-up. Things are going to be a bit busy the next few weeks with 4th of July and a trip to Oregon to cover the Cascade Classic for VeloNews.com, but I'll blog my best!