Sunday, October 21, 2007

Saturday's Huntsville Adventure!

Saturday was one of those Gift of God beautiful days. Being indoors on such a day would be snubbing Mother Nature. Early morning I split for Huntsville State Park for a ride.

Trees, sunshine, a bike, and some trail. What more could one need?

The trails were in good shape with only one notable carry around wet spot. The sand was ever present. I'm getting better at handling the sand. It's kinda fun to jump on a pedal and have your back wheel slide sideways instead of going forward. Good for the concentration, and a constant reminder to manage your momentum.

To add to the beauty of the day, the Lake Raven outfall was flowing just a bit of water.

The sound of the trickling water just added to the moment. I stopped and rested for a few moments. I could have taken a nap! The water flow had Chinquapin Creek up a bit. I haven't seen water in the creek bed before...

Being from south Louisiana, clear water mezmerizes me. Where I grew up the water is always the about the color of chocolate milk!

The riding was good, but as the morning wore on, it was getting crowded with riders and hikers. Glad I came out early!

After returning to my truck, I was greeted with something on the hood. It looked like leftovers from a fish gutting operation! I have no idea how it got there, or even what it was. I wasn't too interested in finding out either! Let's just say it was gross. After getting in the truck to head out back home I couldn't help but look at the mess on my hood.

There was no way I was going to stare at this all the way home. So, I decided to head north to Huntsville to find a car wash. After exiting off of I45 and roaming about near the Sam Houston State campus I located a car wash, and pulled in...

Time to give Rufus (my truck's nickname) a bath. Now, understand I haven't washed this truck in years. Literally, it's been probably two years! It's a nice tan color - the color of dirt! But today was the big day - sort of. The carwash took $2.00 in quarters. Luckily, a quick scan of the ashtray revealed exactly 8 quarters. YIPPEE!

First I hit the "stuff" with the foamy brush...

...then the super duper high pressure water blaster nozzle kabob!

But before I was done rinsing, I'd run out of time. Apparently $2.00 buys about 3-minutes of carwash time... A quick look around, and I found a change machine! YEA! Unfortunaly, I only had a $20 bill! Fortunately, the machine takes $20's, but man, that's a lot of change!

Now I have enough change to drive around the entire beltway! (I've always wanted to do that, just for giggles!) I finished up rinsing all the foam and soap, but didn't wash the whole truck. I think that would have cost about $50! Now it's half dirty/half clean!


Since I was already in Huntsville, and in need of another cup of coffee, I decided to roam around town for a bit. The city reminds me a lot of my adopted hometown of Natchitoches, LA. Sam Houston State's campus seems to be about the size of Northwestern's. It has a similar cozy feel.

My exploration brought me to a quaint little downtown area. Some seemingly interesting antique shops and a couple of possibilities for eating. I may come and check this out sometime...

I ended up getting my coffee at a place right off of Sam Houston State's campus called Kaldi's. It was good! The I booked it for Houston to get ready for the LSU v. Auburn football game...


Saturday officially marked the end of my first training cycle of 2008! The Prep phase is over! Now training gets more fun. I can finally add some speed drills. There are still lots of endurance level miles ahead, but having some variation to the base miles really makes training more fun.

To celebrate the occasion, I had a couple of my favorite beers, Full Sail Pale Ale. Yummy!

Next week is a Rest and Relax week. I don't really feel the need for it, but will take it anyway. I'm sure when I'm in the throws of the hard part of my training I'll be glad I took this time off! Couldn't come at a better time, as I'll be in New Orleans next weekend for Voodoo fest and other festivities!