Where upcoming journal entries will be posted

February 19, 2009

We will post our journal for our upcoming stuff on Charley and Kamala in Tandem

Stairway to Heaven

February 10, 2009

Ok, ok, maybe not sitting around all blissed out talking scriptures with JC and Big Daddy. Not even an oasis full of virgins waiting to service my every need, but, hey, it’s heaven. These are the stairs at the beginning of a nice little loop trail just as you’re approaching Cloud Croft, New Mexico. Stepping up each of these is a step toward heaven. Yeah, I know, I huff and I puff and I can feel my knees begin to burn. But, I’m alive. I’m smelling the pines, and listening to the birds. Zig zagging between tall pines and firs, I find myself walking off the trial to avoid the ice, vistas of White Sands and Cloud Croft present themselves as the trail winds around the mountain. Mountain meadows, covered in last week’s snow lay beside stands of, now denuded, aspins as Kamala, Halalujah and I meander along the trail until the ice on the trail tells us to turn back.

It’s a cool, crisp Saturday and we are the only ones on the trail. I used to watch a lot of sports on TV, but about 12 years ago I gave it up. I loved it, but I just got tired of watching and made a decision to stop being a spectator and get out in IT. It was a really good decision. Now, I’m not a fanatic about it. If we go over to someone’s house and they are watching a game, I watch, I participate, I can still appreciate a good shot, a good play, a nice, bone crunching tackle. but, frankly, none of them can come anywhere near the feeling of a walk in the woods, or a ride on the bike, or a paddle across the lake in a canoe. It’s the DOING, that make the difference. I have gone to High School sporting events, not for the thrill or the excitement, but because I knew the students playing in them. I got excited for them; yelled in support, felt great when they won and sad when they lost, but, I’ve got to tell you watching the most exciting sport doesn’t even come close to “climbing that stairway to heaven”. Nike had it right in their slogan, “Just do it” . And, here’s a little secret, do it with a really good friend and it’s like icing on the cake.

Waltz across Texas on two wheels

February 8, 2009

Cycling to recycle, cycling for groceries, saving the planet, saving gas, saving money, saving our lives.


Planned in March is our “waltz across Texas” to see the springtime wildflowers in all their glory. One of the greatest components of a tour is in the planning. Maps are spread out; thoughts of routes begin to develop. Gear is set out, repaired, tuned up. Anticipation again takes hold.

Christmas Big Bend road trip

January 4, 2009

The Christmas Big Bend road trip was a success; just what the spirit needed. The little improvements we had made on the pop-up all worked. We biked, and hiked and puttered around the park (about 80 miles wide).
We had been on the edge of the park many, many years ago, when our relationship was in it’s early stages, but we really didn’t remember much about it except “dancing around together on a mountain top” (Love does leave one with a very selective memory at times). This time we had a chance to see the scenery as the passion was reserved for nights in our little trailer, (Ahhh the gifts of maturity). The sights really were magnificent; the spiny vegetation, the hardness of the desert landscape, the stars in the night sky, the expanse of the vistas, the contrast of river and barren landscape had us both going, ‘uhouuu, awhhh. Wow, look at that.’ We took beaucoup(s) of pictures (God, I love digital cameras) which, I’m sure no one, but us, will ever see, but will grace our computers as a screen saver for this month.
Really awesome sights alright, but I’ve got to tell you it was the human story that impressed me even more; the few settlers that lived out there in this harsh land before it became a National Park. The spirit and tenacity of these guys had to be incredible. That desert would have wasted someone that had a half-assed approach to life. Those tough spirits are the folks that you would want on your team (no matter what the team was). Hell, I would have loved to have them in a class; tough men and women.
Above is a couple of pictures of a guy named Luna and his “Jacal” (house). The house is one room, about 8-10 feet wide, maybe 25 to 30 feet long, and no more than 5.5 feet high inside. And be careful standing up, ’cause the latias (the underlying support structure of the roof on which grass and mud are laid) are ocotillo branches with thorns still attached. The house was near an arroyo where he farmed and got water from (dry, dry, dry when we were there). The little note mentions that he raised a large family in this little Jacal, where he lived until 1947. He died at 108 years of age. A close look at his pictures shows an obviously easy smile. **Attitude is what gives Perspective** While there was no mention of his wife (only “raised a large family”), I kept thinking of how strong she must have been.

No jury duty

December 16, 2008

No Jury Duty.– We had to return for Kamala’s jury duty, but she was dismissed right away, so now to figure out where we go for Christmas, which by the way, we wish you a Merry one.

To see our Christmas video go to


The snow test

December 16, 2008

The Test – Kamala’s handiwork on sewing the new canvas proved a success. We are going to have to work on a “packing up” technique in foul weather. Here we are in Tucumcari New Mexico just before the real snow hit. An electric heater and an electric blanket had made our little sanctuary very cozy and the night went well, but as the snow continued to pile up we found it had all the inconvenience of a tent. If you’re in a tent and it’s time to leave, you’re going to pack a wet tent and will have to pull it out to dry somewhere down the road. So we packed up, icicles and all. It would have to dry out later, but as in life itself, it’s the dichotomy that reveals the charm.

Palo Duro Canyon (Texas)

December 16, 2008

Part of the gaggle?, herd?, flock? vatos? whatever, of Turkeys that strolled through our Camp Site at Palo Duro Canyon and flew up into the cotton wood trees about 50′ away to roost. We counted at least 40. The place was certainly paradise for them. The closest that I have ever gotten to a wild Turkey before was maybe 50 yards and they ran/flew like mad when they sensed me.

Post, TX

December 16, 2008

About an hour’s drive east of Lubbock Texas the flat, flat, cotton fields drop off about 300′ into a narrow canyon about 5 miles across and right in the middle sets Post Texas, population around 5,000. We vacationed a couple of days here. On a leisurely bicycle ride it took us about 30 min. to circumnavigate this metropolis. Cozy, well-kept neighborhoods indicated a comfortable affluence, but we were a bit taken back by this wide avenue leading to the courthouse. It has to rank right up there with Tienanmen Square and the Kremlin. I suppose it’s for their Petroleum Princes Parade or something. (this is one of the few pictures we have that doesn’t have one of those Oil Grasshoppers bobbing up and down).

Homebase ready (by Charley)

December 2, 2008

Kamala and I have finally completed our project of restoring the little pop-up trailer. Kamala has done a fantastic job of sewing the canvas. I mean great. Not having sewn very much in her life and to take the old canvas, cut a pattern from it and sew the heavy material together is just amazing. I have played more of a support role, you know, giving my opinion, making Kamala a cup of coffee, putting a microwave dinner on or telling her what a wonderful job she’s doing. It’s been a little tough, but fun at the same time and now it’s ready to roll, so we are taking off for a couple of weeks. The list has been checked, the bike and the dog packed and we’ll be rolling out tomorrow morning. Actually it’s just a little test run around West Texas and eastern New Mexico as we have to be back in a couple of weeks, so Kamala can do her civic duty as a juror and then I have my own jury duty the first week of January. I’ve been thinking of committing some minor crime, not enough to go to jail, but just enough to get convicted of a felony so I won’t have to do this jury crap. I’d rather dispense soup at the homeless shelter or give free condoms to hookers… ah, but that’s another rant for another time.

Back in the saddle again!

December 2, 2008

With trepidation and caution, we drove our tandem to a flat area and rode October 27th for 5 miles. The doctor told Charley not to ride for five months but it had only been 8 weeks. We believe that he was afraid of us falling. No joke, after all that pain, Charley was afraid also. Me too, for that matter.

As far as the ride goes, however, there was no pain in the shoulder. Slowly, gently we rode around quiet neighborhood streets. It felt good–a return to normalcy. We gradually, very gradually, increased our daily mileage. Our butts seemed the most out of shape. We’re back!