A look at 2018

Yeah yeah yeah, I know. Every stinking TV show, radio program, podcast and blogger does a “looking back post.” So here I am doing the same. But ya know, honestly 2018 has been a year of change, AND the blogger mafia threatened to take away my website if I didn’t do it, so, here we go, 2018…

In all truthfulness though, 2018 HAS been a year of change and memories, firsts and accomplishments. It will well be remembered in Mountainstroh lore….

First off, way back in February, I added a new state to my list of places I’ve visited. Michelle and I flew to, of all places, Texas. The land of the water towers

We were down to visit our niece Abby and meet her hubby to be Travis. We like him almost as much as we love Abs! Though, just for the record, Texas is a scary assed place to drive!!

In the end of March, some of our best friends in the world braved snow and ice and terrible traffic to drive from southern Oregon to Mountlake Terrace to help us load up and move.

It was one of the most miserable days on record in the Puget Sound Area. But Kim, Mark and Rob, help Michelle and I load a U-Haul, an SUV, a pickup and Subaru Outback to the brim. By 11 Am we were southbound and down, and heading to our new home at the Oregon Coast! An accomplishment and a dream come true!

That started our life at the ocean. Beach walks,  sunsets, whales and waves. Never have I been happier.

But there have been other mile stones and firsts.

The first ever 5 K walk/run in Sandals and Socks.

The first biplane ride

And the first time at a ghost forest

Truth be told, there is so much still we haven’t done or seen, I can’t wait to see what 2019 brings.

Now getting back to my roots, cycling has taken a different twist this year. Yes ladies and gents, our hero, mountainstroh, he who rides alone, had a year of amazing rides WITH people!

It all stated last January, when Michelle and I were sitting in MLT and Rob (yep THAT Rob)

Texted and said he wanted to do the Seattle to Portland….

“Damn…..” was my first thought. Cuz after this ride in 2014 I had retired.


So I asked innocently enough, “The one day or 2 day ride..” Knowing full well he would say 200 miles in one day. He did..

Michelle looked at me and said “You can’t let Rob die…” So sure as hell I was signed up!

In May, he and I teamed up and we completed his first century ride. Reach the Beach from Portland to Pacific City.

The last 15 miles were tough but we cranked it out!

When done, we had 60 days till the STP.

Then in July, early one morning, we saddled up in Seattle.

It wasn’t easy, and I was hurtin,


But damned if we didn’t cross in time for the one day patch!

I KNOW I have said it before, but this time I bought the t-shirt AND the jersey! I am NEVER riding that sucker again! Most importantly Rob did NOT die!

But the rides with friends were NOT quite done yet!

Kim was ready to Ride the Rogue! Michelle and I roadtripped down so I could ride support and she could be there to root Kim on. 40 miles, and a few headwinds later, the lovely and VERY tough Kim crossed the finish line with Rob and I in tow!

Hot weather, wild fire smoke and other health issues kept her from training but nothing stopped her from cranking out the miles! That 40 for her was every bit as big as the 200 Rob and I did, DAMN proud of her!

So in 2018 I had 3 big rides with friends. I have gone 3 YEARS and not ridden with anyone but myself. It was a fun year!

For stats, I ended up with 3285 miles overall (fun fact, December 2018 was the first month in 10 years without riding outside…) I had about 1800 fewer miles than last year (a record year) but damn, now my rides look like this


So even though the miles are fewer, the experience is better!

For books, I hit my Goodreads reading challenge and more, reading 32 out of 30 this year. The coast is a great place to read books!

Tonight, Michelle and I, and for the first time, the Manchild, sat and opened the grateful teapot. Reading those things that made us happy and thankful for 2018

That and our traditional mushroom risotto made for a an excellent evening,

Now, 2019 is just a few hours away. There are two big events we know of: our niece Abby gets married in June and the Mathmajor, our oldest son, gets married in September.

But as important as those to events are, that is just 2 out of the 365 days of 2019.  Michelle and I are entering the year wide-eyed and ready. We have become coast kids

Who knows how many waves, storms and adventures lie ahead for us next year.

But, whatever comes, we will be there together, with huge smiles on our faces and the love for each other and the Oregon Coast we call home.

Bye 2018, bring on 19!


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