(this is a posed picture with Hahnah on the 4-wheeler; not riding)
As the weekend (and 4th of July) approached the extra day off usually excites me into some grand physically grueling outing. However, with a family I am realizing you have to choose your epics.. and they actually become grander. The first years in Nome I would go out every weekend and many weekdays too, on some wild short intense excursion. Now that I have done a few things I have to venture further or to more interesting places each time. This leaves weekends and daily activity with the family and an awesome multi-day outing about once a
month-- unless I owe a bunch of time after a really big event-- as in now (ultrasport). In any case it's a great balance.
I feel like it's important to get Hahnah in a tent and out in the country any chance possible. That leaves us with limited options and the one that spoke to us well was using the truck to go out and beach camp. We loaded up the truck bed full of amenities (not what I am used to!) and even borrowed a friends 4-wheeler. The beach sand gets soft and we have to cross two rivers so an extra vehicle is a good idea. We were heading towards the Sinnok River about 30 miles of beach driving west of Nome. Last year we did it and it was great except it took a while because I rode the whole thing by bike behind the truck. This year the temperature was an outstanding 70 degrees! This was my first beach run on the west side of the summer and I was amazed. I heard the influx of miners coming to Nome increased since gold was up but holy crow, the first 3 miles every 200 yards a home made tent/hut was set up with sleuce box and water pump. It spaced out after that but the presence was still there even 10 miles up to the cripple river. The 4-wheeler traffic was incredible, by my standards. I couldn't wait to cross the cripple river b/c the "traffic" thins out considerably as no one usually goes past that river.
Unfortunately, the south wind was blowing the ocean waves high upriver and raised it a good 2 feet above normal. I had to cross by foot first and check the route and levels. It turned out to be well above the waistline and up to torso. Doable but with the waves coming in it's sort of on the borderline of the airbox on the 4-wheeler. A borrowed one at that so we decided to turn back. We camped not far away but the traffic was a little too much for me... I prefer none. A 4-wheeler passed every couple of hours except in the early morning... I may be spoiled but it's just not the same as the remoteness a few miles acrosse the river.
The next morning (today) we got up and the wind died down before swinging to the north and it had to be close to 80 degrees. The mosquitos were awesome. The beach was nice but the lack of remoteness kind of killed the ambiance and we decided to go back to town and work on finishing projects on the house but not before I chopped a bunch of wood for the winter wood stove (price of fuel oil is $6/gallon). It felt good to break a sweat and I was itching to do something on the ocean. I finally got my chance in the evening I busted out the kayak and rowed a fast 10 miles on the ocean. It felt great even though the 25 knot northwind kept wanting to shove me out to sea.
What to do tomorrow?? I think a bike ride on my newly acquired "training" bike that I bought for $25. It only needed a crank arm and some serious cleaning, lubing and tension adjustments. Of course since my hands go numb I added some fat padding. We'll see what tomorrow brings...