Should I change my name?

With Michelle down in Oregon with her roommate from college, I am on my own this weekend.  (I am going to try to get her to do a guest blog for her adventures on the Rogue River yesterday, they even considered “Pulling a Panama”)

I have decided that tomorrow morning will be the first hike of 2014, but I also wanted to get a good bike ride in today.  This meant starting relatively early (OK after 8, I was a serious slacker today, and slept in) to get the errands done, and then jumping on the bike about 11:30.  It was during the ride that I came to a realization about myself….

Lets not get TOO far ahead of ourselves here though.

After finally getting my butt in gear, I got the grocery shopping done, as well as going to the farmers market for the farm fresh eggs.  When I got back, in the cool of the morning, I also harvested enough lettuce from the raised beds to make my salad for the week.  Productive Stroh they call me sometimes.

I put everything away, had lunch, saddled up, and headed down the road.  For the second time in almost as many days, I had to walk the bike around a traffic issue.  This time it was a flat tire on a hot tar trailer.  Gotta love being on the bike when this happens!

I decided not to do TOO much in the way of a ride today, as tomorrow I am going to be going up Mt Pilchuck to the fire lookout up there.  It’s only a 6 mile round trip, but from what I have heard it can be a bit of a butt kicker! Since I can’t remember the last hike, I figured fresh legs were a good idea.

Given that, I decided to head out from the house and do a quick 30 miles round trip on the Burke-Gilman trail.  I shoulda known this would be an interesting ride when early on I saw this directly ahead of me.


I would’ve been correct in my assessment of the upcoming ride, because along the way I ran into yet another reason I love living in the Seattle area.  In three different places along the trail, I passed one of these.


Yep, right on the side of the trail, under cover in case of rain, was a piano.  These appear from time to time, all over the Seattle area. Mathmajor got to work early one day at the Seattle Center, found one, and sat down to play.  These are set up to promote music, the arts, and to entertain those that pass by.

I thought these two were very sweet combining bikes and music!



Maybe this happens other places, but I think we may be unique.  (By the way, I have read that the pianos they use are water-resistant.

Ok, enough about the ride, time for the realization…

As usual, when riding, my mind clicks along.  Today it was focused on tomorrows hike.  I knew when I got back I had to grab the big CamelBack pack and get it prepped.  I started listing off all the things I wanted to bring along, and where they were. and then it hit me….

But first, some background….

When Mountainstroh was born, it was the day Steve asked me to climb Mt Rainier in 1995.  That same day, he asked me to go up Mt Si with him as a training hike that weekend.  This was a November day, and I had only ever hiked in the summer!  I ran to Fred Meyers for long johns (they were cotton.  This was before I knew cotton killed).

I ended up hiking wearing work boots from my roofing days, wearing jeans, and carrying the same backpack I used when walking to campus back in WSU.

Hell, even when this was taken, the backpack was borrowed from my father in law and I was wearing glorified tennis shoes (called street hikers back then).



By the time THIS was taken, there had been MANY sales at REI, and I had enough gear tooutfit an entire family if need be (and I did many times)

 Strohs Summits


Shoot I had better and more gear than Mallory and Irvine, or even Hillary, when they climbed Everest!

But since 2008, the gear has dwindled.  Manchild lost more than one of my favorite coats in middle school, and Mathmajor “borrowed” and or misplaced quite a bit of gear, including some GREAT gloves.

So, as I was figuring out what to pack: Sun glasses, light wind breaker for the top, debating on gloves or more than a baseball cap) I kept coming up with the stuff I carry in my panniers during the winter.

Then it hit me….

I am no longer an avid hiker who is riding a bike for exercise.  In fact, my last real hike was Heather Lake 4 years ago

Heather Lake


Now I am a cyclist who happens to be going for a hike!  Initially, I have to admit, this made me a bit sad.  I took great pride in being an avid hiker, and as you can see above, the views are spectacular.

And then I started thinking; Is it time to give up the name Mountainstroh?  I still love mountains, and go when I can, but it is rare that I get there.  But Cyclestroh and bikerstroh just sounds stupid….

So Mountainstroh, and all its legacy will stay unless I come up with something better.  I will say though, that the sadness did NOT last long.  It was just too nice a day and too good a ride to be sad.



Assuming I make it to the top of Pilchuck, I will share the pics in tomorrow’s post!  Like the wind folks.

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