Thursday, April 26, 2007

Some more bad decisions....

I am sitting at my house, on a semi-comfortable chair, with my leg wrapped up and on the coffee table.

Good thing this is a small house, 'cause I can't move very far..

Of course this means I have not been getting out, and have no new fun to write about.

I have decided to turn to the vault, for a story full of many bad decisions.
It took place in around 1993, or sometime back then.

My roommate John Sibela and I decided to go camping in the gorge. I had done this 1 day, 14 mile hike up Eagle Creek once. It was a long and not very fun journey. I was also carrying a 3 pound bag of granola. That night we camped at Wahtum Lake, 13 plus miles out Eagle Creek Trail.

I had no tent, and slept next to the fire. It dumped down rain that night, and most of the tents had actual puddles in them. We were camped in the basin that held the lake, and all that water came down the hill.

The sleeping bag I was in had high qualities about it, and kept me dry. I had slung my jean jacket over my backpack, and it soaked up all the water and kept my stuff dry. Through a night of torrential rain unscathed...

Back to the trip with John...

We drove out to Wathum Lake, and set up camp. It is a great, kinda cold because it is in a deep cut between the hills. The water is very cold all the time. And very very blue.

After setting up camp. we went on a hike. We carried nothing, (I mean no water, no food, nothing) wearing shorts and t shirts.

We hiked up the hill to Chinindere Mt. This is a spot where the Native American's would gather, and hold some sort of rituals. They also built up little shelters in the shale, piling them up over the years. I have seen this also over in the mts. above the 'Couv.

I recall that we had no time frame in mind for our hike, and really no destination, except to get back to the camp at some point. We continued on down the trail to the Benson plateau. This is at 4,000 feet as it turns out.

This is a look at the Benson Plateau, above the Bridge of the God's.

It was here that we smelled smoke, and wandered over the top of the ridge to find a recently burned area, and a sign saying "Eagle-Benson Trail closed".

We hadn't even known there was a there. It was not marked, and after reading about it even more today, it is steep, dangerous, and hard to follow.

We decided to take it, which changed everything. Fisrt off, there were actually spots where little flames would sprout up, and we would of course stomp them out. But to be in the area of a forest fire, so soon after that it is still burning in areas, was very amazing.

Also, the fact that it had been burned made the already hard to follow trail impossible. I led us down the ridge of what is rated the second or third most difficult hike in the gorge, with no trail in front of us. Some spots were very exposed.This is an image from this trail, I found it on the web.

I can't recall how long it took us to get down the ridge, but between stomping out flames, and backtracking around things that would kill us, it took quite a while. it was getting later in the day, and hard to see.

We found the actual trail down near the bottom, and it dropped us out Eagle creek trail, right below Tunnel Falls.A look up at Tunnel Falls, with the trail seen above also.

Safely down at Eagle Creek trail, in a place I had been before. we relaxed for a while. It was definitely getting dark, and fast. A quick calculation told me that we had about 8 miles to go to the campsite. The first mile or two would be along Eagle creek, and the trail cut high above the it, into the rocks. This is not the place in the dark, and is exactly where I stood.

The road, and light, was 5 or 6 miles in the opposite direction. I made the decision to go for the campsite. I must say here that this is not what you are supposed to do.
when you are out in the pitch dark, in the woods, you must head for civilization.

Back to the story. We headed up the trail, through Tunnel Falls, hugging the side of the rock wall as the darkness fell around us. Above Tunnel falls is Twister falls, where the trail goes even higher up the wall, and the exposure was not good. I guess in reality we couldn't see how bad the drop was..

From this point we started moving more up hill, basically in pitch dark. John was behind me pretty much the whole way, and was not having a good time with it.

We actually passed campsites where people were hanging out. Though we could have stopped there, I pressed on into the night.

I hadn't realized he had his cell phone, until we started rising higher, and he got a signal, and decided he was calling for help. I took the cell phone away from him, stopped, and started explaining it to him...

If we called for help, they would either....

Send someone from the gorge, which would be 7 or 8 miles below us. This would involve hiking to us for many hours, possibly four hours, as we sat cold on the trail, waiting for them.

Or they would:

Drive out to Wathum Lake, park, and come down the trail to us, like 6 miles... This would involve us waiting for 2 hours or more.

Either way, we would still be walking out of here eventually. I could see the wheels turning in John Sibela's mind, as he was understanding the consequences of our actions.

I rallied for going on up the trail, back to our campsite. I told him I knew that there was one spot where we could take a wrong turn, to the east. I didn't know where it was, but I knew as long as we did not take it, we would make it back to the lake, and our cold beer and dinner.

I also discovered that the combined light of the cell phone and the pager was just enough to make it safely through the water crossings. it was not the water itself that was a problem, but finding the trail on th other side of it.

I had to constantly push the buttons on the two devices, so they would light up. The trail turned away from the creek, and off into the darker, deeper upper woods. Through a lot of this, John was holding onto the back of my shirt, as I moved on forward. He was really freaked out, and kept wanting to call for help.

We would hear noises in the woods that sounded like people, or campsites, or who knows what. Of course, no one was around us by this time.

I cannot even begin to relate to you what you learn about yourself on a trip like this. I think the one thing that really helped me out, was that John was so freaked out. I had no time to get too worried about what was going on.

The shadows, at night, in the woods, are overbearing. It really helped to just look up, and try to identify the cut of the trees, where the trail was pushed through.

Though not always prominent, a glimpse of this let me know I was still on the right track.

We spent hours on that trail in the dark, I think as many as 6 hours from Tunnel Falls to Wahtum Lake.

When we finally arrived at camp, we were exhausted, mentally drained, and very happy. We cracked some beers, made some huge sandwiches, and went to bed.

Sometimes when I think back on some of the things that have happened to me, I am amazed I have made it this far really. Some of the things that have gone on are just amazing.

Just amazing..

Tuesday, April 24, 2007


I like this chicken pic, taken at Duck Pond Winery, on the ride down to Rickreall for my 40th birthday.

This is Disco, a couple of wineries later... but on the same ride.

Jaiden on the farm, same party... He had to help Disco put up his tent.

Eric Spence, veteran, King of Leisure.......... I recall a Saturday with Spence and Shelly, that started out with Frisbee golf in St. John's.
We played two or maybe even three games, with Sandy the dog......Then moved onto darts at The Lucky Lab up there in the village. I think I had started to get a hang of the Frisbee golf, and was doing very well, winning a couple of the games we played.
Dart's, which isn't something I do much, was about the same way. I just pushed on through.

Which is exactly what was needed as we moved to "The Ship" to play pool. Pool is my game really. I should play pool all the time, and develop into playing for a living.
I was taught well by my dad. Eric also has a great pool game, so it was pretty tough.

I think next we moved onto bowling somewhere. Putting a wicked spin on the ball, and watching it head for the gutter before cutting back across to the middle is a great thing.

I don't bowl much, but once again, I have a knack for some things.... and bowling is another of them...And also once again, Eric is very good at bowling.

A full day of leisure.
I am surprised we didn't end up in the kayaks on the river.

Something is not right here....

Ted and Drew, nifty fixie handlebar ride polo.

Now, in Canada, they bow to the Queen and the Ringer....

On the street outside the Mill House one day, must have been at Booze and Fooze...

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Run Runner Run!!! Logan's Run Alleycat '07

(The title link goes to a routing map of the race.....)

Upon arriving at the B Side tavern, 6th and East Burnside, one thing immediately caught my eye...

Piles and piles of bikes. A good start to a great day, in my opinion.
Upon entering the bar, I saw Messengers. I saw Shifters. I saw Fakinger's.
I saw Seattlites.

Dammit, I even saw Canuck's!!!!

Pretty much at the crack of 2:10, Kennechi (Drunky McDrunkerton) announced that registration was starting.... We all paid out money ($2/messenger $5/whatever else you may be), and got the first assignment...

There was an hour period of pleasure, the first stop being backspace at 511 NW Couch. I cruised solo across the Burnside bridge, relaxing some, but also trying to keep myself warmed up for what I assumed was going to be a big, hard run.....later...
I had two of my finger's taped together. They were broken during polo a couple of Sunday's ago, then I popped a ligament in one of the same finger's on this last Sunday..... Not good at all! I was a little worried about simply holding on to the handlebars.

There sat Magnum, out of the "life clocks" (ring pops) we needed to pick up, but with the second stop slip, sending us to SW 4TH and SW Morrison.

Mary Lou and I played some pinball, then tagged along with a group of out of towner's towards the next stop.

Sensei the Loon was standing outside, trying to throw people off in his usual lunatic style, while the Grasshopper was already inside the mall.
"Team Tandemonium came in 5th place..."

The clue told us to count the windows in the sky bridge, then go into the food court to receive a "Holo Memory" (Polaroid photo). Hazel was there, and took what for the norm was a horrible pic of me, with my eyes closed......(I am not even close to photogenic)

I received the next clue, which was to go back across to the east side to Union Jacks, 938 E. Burnside. Inside sat Michelle, and a scantily clad, hard working friend, with the next clue, which was basically to go down the street to the B Side again, for Carousel at 3:30.

I took this photo of Michelle inside Union jacks, which is breaking the strip club rules to the ump th degree, then headed to Carousel.

We sat for a few minutes at the B Side, received our bracelets and a explanation of what to do next.

You could either wait for renewal (sit at the B Side and drink), or become a runner...

If you chose to run, there were 4 Sandmen, and 1 Sandwoman out on the streets, waiting to grab your bracelet and end your life (race). Having seen the movie many times, I knew how this was going to work, and it clued me in to one more reality.

I was the most heavily targeted runner. I had suspected this was going to be the case, as I was not picked to be a Sandman in the last couple of weeks. I certainly was the biggest threat, or , most probable to win, besides the factors of the random "unknown rookie", there fore I became the person to get.

The running began, and what appeared to be everybody raced away from the bar, toward the first stop, Chunk Station Zebra in SE. On the way across SE, I was attacked head on by all 5 Sandmen. My first jaunt with them reminded me how much work I had cutout, in order to mke it to "Sanctuary".

Matty came at me head on....I had to heavily swerve to avoid her..

Tad came at me.. Once again, head on.......

Danger came at me from the side, almost being successful.

Mason came at me, but, well, he is pretty old and slow, so not much of a threat to me...

All this happened between Se Powell and Se Bush on SE 21st.. I had already realized that the were not going to attack us on the north side of Powell, so I had smooth sailing across the top of Ladd's.

Here we were required to ride through their parking lot lake, where the next clue was hanging in the middle. I have been through this water before.. it is disgusting, dirty as hell, and filled with random pieces of whatever.

As I saw in a video this morning, I rolled through fine, missed the clue, and had to turn around to get it. This is where I hit something under the depth's, and planted both feet in the mire.....

I splashed out, and slow rolled away from the stop. This gave me the opportunity to pick up a group, which I led down SE 20TH avenue. We became 6 or 7 strong, a group composed of Canadian's, Seattlites, and Portland Fixter's. The next stop was up at 33rd and NE Grant Pl. I had already formulated a plan, in regards to evading Sandmen....and having a group around me as a buffer was the main key.

It is here I must add that total immersion of a old pair of Sidi Dominator's leads to one thing.
Velcro does not like to get very wet, and still hold well. The whole rest of my ride I was reaching down and reattaching the velcro. I was on my true track bike, so stopping was very paramount to the velcro holding. I must admit it had me a little stressed out.

I led them across the top of Ladd's, just out of the range of the Sandmen, who would surely be looking for us on the main route. Across SE, up Lincoln hill, we made it succesfully to the Laurelhurst neighborhood before I saw any other bikes.
We were on 31st ave, and I saw Tad, one of the Sandmen, riding fast and parallel to us on NE 33rd, following another large group.

I slowed my group down, to get Tad ahead of us, and by the time we got to Ne Broadway near the park, he had taken out Nerf, and moved on down the road. "Nerf"

We skirted around the back side of the school, and got the nutrition from the Sea we needed so much (Salt water and Goldfish crackers). I could still see Tad hanging on a corner, so we skirted him again, heading for the Princess Palace on Ne Mallory.

We bombed down NE Knott, cutting over to NE Fremont on my normal choice of cross roads, NE 24th ave. All the way down Ne Fremont to MLK, where we headed north, figuring the Sandmen would not try to catch us on the main busy road... I was right on that note, we never saw them..

The clues said to go through the alley, which is where the sandmen were waiting for us, so we went through the front yard, around to the backyard, to the most annoying (purposefully) stop on the race.

I had to juggle three pins like 5 times 'cause they were not watching. I then had to ride a exercise bike that wouldn't go over 20 mph. Supposedly you were supposed to get it going 30 mph.....

At least ten minutes later, we were finally off to another stop, the Skidmore Bluff. The entrance to the bluff is a bottleneck, and I tried to push some of my group to go in front of me, as I knew the Sandmen were there, hiding.

Sadly, it is not easy to find the bluff, and I had to lead it out, which once again lead to a confrontation with the Sandwoman, Queen Matty. We evaded her, once again head on, and rolled down the street to the bluff.

Here we were required to climb the tree, and get a zip tie. One of the rookies gave me a leg up, and I found a zip tie, then jumped out of the tree. I skirted around the trail to a side street, then slowed to let the group pass me, as I had already seen the yellow of Matty's bike behind a car, hiding.

This part gets a little fuzzy, but the story, as told by Mason who was hiding in the bushes, is that I sent one of the Fixter's out ahead, to see who was around the corner.

I then immediately turned around, leaving the sacrificial lamb behind, and headed back to the bluff.

I knew there was a way down the hill to Greeley Ave., but had never taken it. So, I just went straight down the mud through the woods, with a whole group in tow, all the while calling me crazy.

Just after that, I remember Ian stating that if he ever made it to 30, he was definitely following me. (30 being the age you are up for death in Logan's Run)

Down on Greeley, and far away from all the Sandmen, we stretched out and bombed for the next clue. the statue of the evil old lady on the esplanade. I took them straight down MLK, knowing once again that the main routes were a mistake.

Hot For teacher was waiting at the Old Woman's statue (Vera Katz), where she took pics of us.

It was then off to deep SE, Sellwood actually, to SE Linn avenue, and the house of the Old man, Mike Louis. Being the oldest and longest running messenger in town (he is actually grandfather claused into the building lease where he works, there by secured a job for the life of the company), we were required to take him a 40 of Pabst Blue Ribbon, and secure the last clue, a phrase to be stated when you made it back sanctuary, now being the B Side tavern.....

Peaches assured me I was in 2nd place at that point, and al I had to do was catch Chaz on the way back to the bar....( Chaz ended up taking out his own bracelet in a questionable attempt at evasion....)

This is where I made my first mistake of the day..... between the 7-11 where I bought the beer, and Mike's house, I decided to ditch my group, and strike out on my own.

Rolling north across Se 17th, I came across Tad chasing someone else the other direction, and Matty hiding behind a building, all in the same block.

They both saw me, and Tad dropped who he was chasing, and followed me. I was on my track bike, and he was on full gears and brakes.

I had to head down a hill in the rain that had just started falling, and during my skid, I lost momentum, which allowed him to catch me.

A mere 8 minutes from the end of the race, and what definitely would have been a win, my race was over.
The sandmen had terminated my life clock, but it had taken everything they had to get it done.

I lallygagged back across Se 12th to the bar, and watched the 7 finisher's come in.

I feel great about my race though, as 1st through 4th place were taken by British/Canadian's and Seattlite's who had ridden with me the whole way.

Team Tandemonium took 5th place, and more out of towner's made up the last three spots.

Khadel, 1st place... He got a great Chrome bag, and bought me a tall can of beer for my navigating skills...

DFL was also won by a Canadian, who shared a special prize with me on the sidewalk a little later....

The Sandmen, and women, got about 60% of the race participants, by my wonky math...
Tad got the most runners, with a total of 9. Magnum got one only, but it was Chaz who was in front of me. He had just waited to chase the fastest, which was a good move on his part.

In all, the 43 participants seemed to have a collective great time, Ken threw a great race, and the B Side could not have been more accommodating.

Check the PUMA site ( for the many future alleycats, including the "420" race, and the "Taxicat" next weekend.......


Thursday, April 12, 2007

The Day I Have Dreaded Is Here.....

“Hello, babies. Welcome to Earth. It’s hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s round and wet and crowded. At the outside, babies, you’ve got about a hundred years here. There’s only one rule that I know of, babies — ‘God damn it, you’ve got to be kind.’ ”

This is a quote from the book, God bless You Mr. Rosewater, by the now late, but always great, Kurt Vonnegut.

I discovered today, while looking at R. Kelly's blog, that he is no longer with us...

This is distressing to me for so many reasons, it may be hard even to explain... But I will try.....

I have had many people influence my life...

John Evans was the first bike messenger I ever met.... he helped to effectively ruin me for normal life...

My father, a very smart, and hard working salesman, who struggled with me and my issues the best that he could......

But almost above all, spurred on by a exploration through my mom's library, was Mr. Vonnegut...

My mind was never the same after reading his stories and books.

The crafty way that he wove in and out of his stories like they were one in the same...

The way his love for Indiana shown through everything.

The morality of his fiction also shown through, like a guiding light....

When I moved to Indianapolis for a while, I lived mere blocks from the house he grew up in.

I would ride my bike by slowly, hoping to see him coming for a visit. of course, he never did..... But I waited for the day..

I did see him on the sidewalk outside what used to be the Metro downtown one day.
I knew he was in town for a lecture at PSU.
I chose to say "Hi". He said "Hi".
And I moved on down the sidewalk.......

That is how I work.
Even though I had a thousand questions to ask, and I had his full attention, I knew the right thing to do was just say hello, and move along....

I have often thought that with my crazy mind, and his crazy mind, we may have had a hell of a conversation..........

The real thing I learned from his writings, is contradictory to everything I have been taught.
It is something that I hear about a lot, in comments about my writing.

This is using the word "I". And "You". And "Me". Not even just a little, but a lot.

Not what you are supposed to do.

Kurt put himself deep into his stories. As the ghost of a man who died building a cruise ship.

As a resident of Rosewater, Indiana, in any number of his books..

As the father of the atomic bomb, and creator of "Ice Nine", a crystal of material that has the ability to freeze the world in a half an instant...

He was never afraid to go against conventional thought.

I wonder what he even knew of it, having been a employee at a telephone company a lot of his early life, before turning to writing.....

I think that a huge life lesson could be learned here. A lesson about immersion.

Throw your all into what you do. Put huge pieces of yourself into whatever it is you do....Into everything you do...

The more I read today, peoples thoughts after his death, early reactions to his writing, etc., the more I identify with him...And the sadder his passing makes me feel.

This is a very sad day for free thought in America.....

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Broken Finger = Me no type = Pictures

This pic is of Todd D. Danger at last summer's stick stop event. I think it is a great pic.

This is me during the Chunkathalon, 2006. You can see Zoren right next to me, and Peter is on a tall bike, so his head is right above mine...

Mary Lou Who?

I stopped on the Hawthorne Bridge just long enough to watch this fisherman pull in this salmon, then drop it onto the floor of his boat..It was then I realized I should have been taking pictures all along..... Click on the pic to see the dog staring at this fat fish...

Matt makes a nice catch playing frisbee in the street by the stoop. I heard down the street on the same day, PI guys were playing football, in the tradition of Cascade Blue and the Creeps

A classic scene at the stoop...

Beefa installing a spoke card right before the "Whore Of The Core" race...


A pic of the always elusive "Shcnidecker", a messenger staple in this town, and someone I have known for like 20 years... making polo mallets

This is a classic example of a loud, Canadian invasion, in the gray skies above Rickreal.

This is the new "Extreme" feature in Rickreal.... In this pic you can see me gracefully sailing across it.

While in these next few pics, you will see that some are not quite as graceful as others.

Didn't quite get on there straight....

Nice anglular ridng style

Going down...
You can see when the pic is bigger that he clearly had the where-with-all to flip me off on the way down. A level thinker all the way into the dirt.

Everyone teaching Junko how to shoot

My alternative Polo bike...

This is a Guerciotti from the mid 80's, that is a one of a kind in my opinion. The chain stay has had a belt drive attachment (a press fitting that allows the chain stay to come apart, so as to apply a belt). I do not have a belt drive, but I plan to find one someday.

This bike has started folding in on itself, starting with a crack in the lower lug of the head tube, which progressed to a bend in the seat tube.
Then after a little while, I found a dimple in the bottom of the down tube....Game, set, match....Instant Polo Bike!!

Pigeon named Larry on Zac's bars..

This pigeon showed up wounded and on foot outside the Ash Street. I have more pics, including one with a sign right next to him that reads something to the effect of "This is Larry, Don't fuck with him"

On a side note, just after this shot there came a shot of Barney, the Rhinestone CowDan with Larry frightfully wedged between a big bun....

Larry again...

Wheelie Mark Scores!

This is a pretty good pic of Wheelie Mark scoring a goal. If you click on these pics they get really huge, lots of detail...

The polo that has been going on is way beyond expectations.

Great games, fisti-cuffs, more great games, beverages...

This pic of Sash is great, mainly because the mallet is against the ball, controlling it, but the ball and the mallet are both off the ground...
Brian going around the Ringer, or at least around his front tire, check the angle of the blur...

Team Murder and Team Wreck, represent..