Compared to what?

Do you ever notice that some arguments and grumbles keep coming back, time and time again?

This is the 5 year anniversary of the ride Rob and I took from Astoria to Crescent City.

As you may remember, a mile from the end I got a flat!

I have been sharing some of the memories as they pop up on Facebook with the group I started for people to share their love of the Oregon Coast. I can think of no better way to see all there is to see on the coast than from the back of a bike.

One does have to be careful of course.

There are dinosaurs

You can get sunburned

There are giant fish

And whatever this sign is waning you of.

And of course there is traffic.

The vast majority of the Oregon Coast route is on Hwy 101.

We cyclists travel along with cars, semis. campers and motorcycles.

This is what brought on the Facebook discussion, a very nice lady informed me in no uncertain terms that it is not safe for a bike to be 101.

The fact that its is a designated bike route in Oregon didn’t seem to matter,

She went on to say it was far too dangerous, and I shouldn’t stop doing it

As I have matured these last few years, (STOP LAUGHING) I have learned that sometimes its best not to get all huffy and go into battle mode. In this case I think she was truly concerned about the safety of the Cyclists.

But in my head I was thinking: Dangerous? As compared to what???

Anything can happen at any time to someone. Driving a car, walking, cleaning the gutters before the big rain hits (did that today). Shoot, a damn meteor could take me out clean while I am typing this. Or, more likely in this house, I could trip over a darn cat!

Anything CAN happen, but the key, to me, is do the best you can to minimize danger while still enjoying life!

When I went sky diving, I had professionals with me!

No not Dave

Those that jumped with me.

When I climbed BIG mountains I had guides with me

Just recently, when we ran the Rogue River, we went with a group and had two people who know the river well.

In short, I do everything I can to minimize the risk.

When it comes to the bike, I have been a serious cyclist for 13 years (though I have been riding since I was a kid)

And I have 40000+ miles of experience under my belt. I have bright lights, rearview mirror and keep an eye on all the cars around me.

Is there some risk? Yes, but hell on my back porch.

Right after we first moved in, I was walking in the dark, dazzled by the night sky and almost stepped off the side. of the deck. I coulda broken something easy.  And that’s in my own house.

What cycling does is keep me healthy, makes the heart and lungs strong, and relieves work stress.

More importantly, it makes me happy!

I could hunker and let life pass me by or I can get out and soar, seeing the world and experiencing life!

No, riding a bike on a busy road is NOT for everyone! But it is for me. Without it I would be a very sad camper and truly this woulda been a very boring blog…

“Today I did nothing, tomorrow I will do same. Thanks for visiting….”

Funny thing, I am reading Bicycling with Butterflies by Sarah Dykman (great book will do a review soon) but last night, while reading by fire on the deck, there were these two quotes

The first was her talking about how much their parents worry (and I have been told I am the cause of each of my moms gray hairs….)

This one was in response to those who said she was taking to many risks.

Finally she said, “Accepting the risk of riding a bike, lowers the risk of having a heart attack!” (paraphrased)

Folks, in a nut shell, do what you love. Those who do needle point can draw blood with a needle. Those at the gym can fall off a treadmill. I work in insurance claims so I KNOW how dangerous cars can be. And, hell, beach walks you can get lost.

I met Ross this week. He was walking the beach, forgot where he entered from his VRBO, so he kept walking thinking he would find it soon.  When I met him he was 6 miles south of where he shoulda been…

There is risk in everything. But maybe its because I rode in the back of pickups, jumped ramps on my bike as a kid, and climbed trees, I don’t mind a little risk.

I don’t have a death wish, but to quote Jimmy Buffett, I don’t wanna die before I am dead.

So do me a favor, no matter where you are, keep an extra eye out for cyclists. We are really nice people, and we are out enjoying life!

 

 

The last month or so…

Funny thing about August, we all know it is still summer and there can be some hot days, but in the back ground we all know…

To this end, its time to start getting ready for the bad weather coming.  Add to it, with as dry as things have been, fire danger is still pretty darn high. This week last year, our world looked like this

There were huge fires within a few miles of of us, the power was out and we had to bug out.  It was not a good week at all.

Last year’s fires  made me get smart and buy a generator. This month I made sure I knew how to fire that sucker up!

Happy to report it fired right up, and I plugged in the rock tumbler, sure enough we had power! I am hoping not to have to use it, but we are ready if we do.

So what are the chances of a fire?

Check this out…

The last week of July I was walking the beach. I had JUST been down at this part of the beach agate hunting. I was walking back toward the car and was half a mile away from the smoke  when every siren in town was going off!  I was trying to figure out what was going on, and turned around to see this plume of smoke and the flames shooting into the sky!

I hotfooted (no pun intended) back toward the fire. There are houses on top of that hill.  I didn’t know what I could do to help but wanted to be there in case I could. Hats off to our local fire fighters who got there (at the same time dealing with a head on car/semi fatality collision) and knocked this sucker down within minutes. No loss of property or injuries.  No idea for sure how it got started, but it shows how dry we are, and how fast it can hit the fan!

The other big event of the month, dealing with the feral cats…

Somewhere along the line we have ‘adopted’ 5 feral cats

No these are NOT them!  I have to chase off the resident raccoon family pretty regularly, they love the cat food.

We have Kitten Kitten, Filbert, Nutsy, Scaredy, and the youngest, Peanut (Kitten Kitten is the mom and we are pretty sure Filbert is the poppa.)

We don’t want more kittens. So Michelle got ahold of the local human society, and the traps arrived. Peanut thinks they are the best toys EVER!

OK folks NO worries. These are humane traps. The plan is to trap them, then they are picked up spayed/neutered and brought back.

The first day we trapped Kitten Kitten, and 10 minutes later got a call that the vet had to cancel due to covid. Folks, that is the smartest cat of the 5. we would NEVER catch her again. The cat wrangler told us to hold tough, but not trap any more that day. He found a vet and picked her up.

Poor thing, good thing they did, she had somehow sustained a broken jaw!  They fixed it, and she is now in a cat halfway house for recovery and meds. We will see her again in October.

This last weekend the two big boys, Filbert and Nutsy were caught, and have come home fixed.

Poor Peanut though has been lonely, Michelle left the back door cracked, and look who came to visit.

If she decides she wants to move in, looks like we will have a new addition. Stay tuned….

There have also been outside activities for me  of course.

This year has NOT been a high mileage year, in fact, I am still, here it is September, and I am still under 1000 miles for the year.  I should hit it tomorrow though…

The bikes, these two shown above and the eBike,

Have allowed me to see SO many cool things this last month,

A juvenile bald eagle being pestered by seagulls

A smiling baby seal just a snoozing.

And of course the assorted blue herons

As always, when pedaling along, you see so much more that people in cars and you can pull over for the photos!  Love these guys!

Finally, there is just the back yard of our house. It is a place to escape the world and just relax. It is one of the reasons we bought the house, and if I don’t bike ride or beach walk

It is an excellent spot to decompress after work…

Aside from just sitting and relaxing, nature adds to the joy of the back yard!

It has been one helluv an interesting last month or so.

I have found an excellent place to stop for lunch on a bike ride

Found a cool piece of art for the house


And with fall approaching, I can stay awake long enough for sunsets!

Not that I needed it, August helped remind me how much I love living at the Oregon Coast. It refreshes the soul, relieves stress, and makes crappy days at work worth it.

I am hoping the next month has more bike rides, tide pools and fun adventures. Most of all, I am hoping there are no fires or evacuations needed. Send cooling and raining thoughts our way!

Thanks for stopping by!

New adventures?

So, long long ago, in a town well north of here, I started this blog.

Back then, as I am now, I was a bike riding cowboy.  The silver bike and I traveled all over hell and gone.

And I’d share the places I went and the things I saw.

This continues today of course… Continue reading “New adventures?”

A true Oregon Coast weekend

I am so sorry y’all!  I have not been a great blogger dude.

I started a new page on Facebook, Life at the Oregon Coast. With everyone who seems to enjoy my photos, it just seemed easier to have my own page. From there I can share all the photos to other places. Scary enough, over 600 people have joined! Not bad for a bike riding, beach walking cowboy with a trusty point and shoot camera.

But with that, I have neglected this. So lets get back on track!

Continue reading “A true Oregon Coast weekend”

The 3rd Beahiversary!

I am a smiling man!

On March 23rd, it was 3 years since we loaded up the Uhaul, pointed our noses southwest and moved to the Oregon Coast!

A lot has happened in the last 3 years (can you spell global pandemic boys and girls??)

But as if I needed it, these last few weeks have reminded me, why I love living here! Allow me to tell you how… Continue reading “The 3rd Beahiversary!”

Agate Hunting Valente Style.

Anyone who has followed the blog for longer than a couple of years knows that Michelle and I loved coming to the Oregon Coast for vacations. We loved spotting whales, going on beach walks, going to lighthouses just walking on the beach.

Oh and sunsets and good food, and waves, and the people, and the food and and and….

Was it any wonder we wanted to move here?

However, one thing I never did, was hunt agates.  I knew there was a beach called Agate Beach. But in my head, it never equated with me looking for them. Who knew I’d be good at it…. Continue reading “Agate Hunting Valente Style.”

A Nice 3-Day weekend

You know, sometimes you just need an extra day off during the week… This week, I was lucky enough to score a Friday! 

Before I get into that, the important stuff first.  Michelle and I are happy and healthy, and yep still employed! We made sure to get our flu shots last month, and even though we are back in a Covid shutdown for a couple of weeks, we are making the most of it. 

We have already decorated for Christmas 

And in our backyard, Frosty the snowman is holding auditions for Santa’s Sleigh Team. 

We even went out for dinner the day before the shut down began. Tidal Raves in Depoe Bay has done an excellent job keeping people separated and safe, and who would miss a sunset like this?

So all in all, we are doing well! 

But I still wanted an extra day off! Continue reading “A Nice 3-Day weekend”

The End of Day Light Savings Time 2020

This is always my least favorite week of the year. The end of Daylight savings means the end of afterwork bike rides for the rest of the year…

But first, as always, the important stuff. Michelle and I are still healthy and happy and employed, we are continuing to survive the global pandemic and avoid people as much as we can!

OK back to the post, the end of Daylight savings time! … Continue reading “The End of Day Light Savings Time 2020”

I have tuned out!

Hi all, long tome no see! So long in fact, they have changed how to do a post. My apologies if I end up messing it up somehow. We’ll see how this ends up!

As always, since the time covid has come amongst us, the important stuff first. Michelle and I are happy and healthy and gainfully employed! We also survived the wildfires that hit our area, almost a month ago to the day today, without any damage at all. The Wind Gods smiled on us!

But now back to the post, what do I mean ‘tuned out’.

Folks, I am tired of the news. Especially the political news. I know who I am voting for, and I bet y’all can guess who it is! But keeping to my rule of NOT being political on this blog I will leave it at that.

But since I know, there is no need to watch debates. or listen to what the candidates said or tweeted yesterday, or anything else for that matter. In fact I have, for the first time in since I got here, changed the car radio from NPR to KCRF 96.7 classic rock!

OK, when did my 80s music become classic rock!!! Am I truly that old????

But I digress!

I am doing my best to enjoy the remainder of daylight savings time and getting outside after work. Beach walks and bike rides take the place of seeing or hearing people fighting and complaining!

Now I am not safe from ALL battles. There was this epic one recently in a tide pool. Who knew hermit crabs have knock down drag out fights?

(Quick note, I made it go back to old school blog post writing!! We will get this done!)

I will freely admit that I did get sucked into one online debate. 

One day, I was walking along the Salishan Spit and found this 

It’s about 4 feet wide and 2.5 feet tall. I posted it on a Facebook group I am in, dedicated to Flora and Fauna of WA and OR. The debate was on!! 
I thought it was the vertebrae from a whale, another thought it was the pelvis, still a third thought it was the back of the skull of the whale.  There never was a clear winner, no expert of Whaleology appeared. But you know what? No one got mad, no names were called, no one got unfriended. It was a polite discussion amongst people with different theories…  If only that could happen in other places! 
One thing a lot of us DID agree upon is that it was a once in life time beach combing find! A friend of mine suggested I hook a wagon to the fat tire bike
and haul that sucker to my back yard!  (Michelle said know. Turns out its illegal to bring home whale bones from Oregon beaches. Who knew??)
Now I should mention, but I won’t show the photo. what happened to the dead whale I found right before the fires.  
The decision had been made to bury it, and it was. I would’ve enjoyed watching them bury that sucker. When Michelle and I walked the beach 2 weeks after I found him, he was nowhere to be seen. 
However, as we know, the beach and waves have a mind of their own! 
Last week, when I found the whalebone I was surprised to see the whale was back! YEP sure enough the waves did it.
Wanna see the power of waves?
This is a photo from about 2 months ago. This big ole piece of driftwood was almost buried.

This is the same piece after the first big waves of the year hit (same waves that dug up the whale!) I took this last week. 

We humans sometimes think we are in charge. Momma Nature, though, every now and then, lets us know we are wrong! 

OH!  And speaking of waves, here is my public service announcement: When the waves are big, do NOT stand on or near big logs. Why?

Every year we loose someone to waves and driftwood. Even that big sucker above I have seen rocked by waves… 

OK, on to better stuff. The last few weeks have been fun (well outside work, work is never fun, that’s why it is called work!) 

First off, the Yaquina Head Lighthouse is open again! 

This is one of my favorite places to bike to! I’ve been there twice now, which is a good 44 mile round trip. These are the longest rides of the year. AND I hit the 2000 mile mark for the year! Not too shabby for not having a single 100 mile ride in 2020. (Ok I just looked on Strava 2137 miles to date! And counting!)

We did have a brief revisit of smoke! Nothing like when the fires were just up the road, but the NorCal fire smoke hit us for a couple of days. 

The nighttime red moon was REALLY creepy! 

But it soon cleared and sun came back! One of the things I love about this time of year is that it is still light late enough after work to go on a bike ride, but the sunset is early enough for me to catch! There have been 2 nice ones this week! This was Monday (I snuck down after cleaning out the gutters) 

 

And this was Tuesday at the end of the bike ride.

After 2.5 years of living here it still does NOT get old watching the sun set! 

Wildlife has been fun too! 

The birds love our back yard bird bath. He is a pine siskin.

Last night, no photo evidence, there was a young possum looking in the patio door at our car looking out at it! All I could think was that Mewson was saying, “You are one ugly cat” While Pete the possum answered “You are one funny looking possum!” I just let them stare at each other! 

Blue Herons, Egrets and kingfishers are all over, though eagles have been scarce. 

Whales are coming in closer again as well! 

And just yesterday, for the first time ever, I found a Roughskinned newt! I had parked the fat tire bike for a cookie break. 

He was hanging out near the fish ladder I found this summer.

Cute little guy, just sorta hung out for a bit then disappeared into the moss.  

I have found quite a few NICE agates lately.

 

I have them tumbling now, hoping they turn out as well as I hope! This one, perfect for halloween, also came home with me. 

I am also on the look out for a person! He or she has some serious mad skills! (sorry its blurry, but check out the balance!) 

I have tried, there is no way I could do this! I would love to watch one being done! 

All in all, as you have read, life is pretty darn good here! 

I am a lucky man to have a beach 3/4 of a mile from my front door. I am lucky I can saddle up my bike and see things that make me forget the world. I am lucky to have a loving wife who takes car of me. 

And I am even lucky to have Sal here who keeps seems to be watching me every chance he gets!

I swear any time I am near the water, on the bike or walking, he is there!  I choose to think he is just keeping an eye on me! 

OH!! One last thing!  Not a big deal but I thought it was cool! One of the Facebook groups I am a member of, dedicated to the rocky coast lines here at the coast, chose this picture at the banner for October. 

No money or fame, but I won a tshirt! Not bad for a point and shoot. 

Ladies and gents I hope this post finds you well. I can’t tell you enough how important it is to get outside, breathe fresh air, and love life. Get away from the TV and radio and take a walk. Plug in your favorite CD or mixed tape and take a drive. Get the hell away from the evil and hate and just love life for a bit! 

Like the wind y’all!