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! 

Head for the Hills!

You know, I think I went the entire month August without a post! Oops. And stuff did happen. I may have to go back and do an August post soon.

However, this is not that post.

First off, as always, the important part. Michelle and I are happy healthy and employed.

Fun fact, when I donated blood a couple weeks ago, the Red Cross did a Covid antibody test to see if I had ever had it. I came back negative. I was curious as both Michelle and I were pretty sick in February. But it turns out it was just a bug.

On to the subject of todays post.

Yesterday was Friday of Labor Day….

Continue reading “Head for the Hills!”

How I survive shelter in place by the letters!

Hi yall! Here we are week 4 of shelter in place.  First and most importantly, Michelle and I are happy and healthy. We are also still working full time. Hope this finds you all healthy as well!

One of the things I first learned about being a blogger is that it is not always easy to come up with ideas for a post. I learned early on we bloggers steal from others, and we are stolen from. I look at it as helping each other!

I tell you this because I stole this idea. I had Beth from Fit Ambitious Blonde read and comment on a post of mine. When that happens I always go out to their page to do the same.

She did a post listing how she is coping with the Covid shelter in place A – Z with something on every letter. I liked it!

Its a way to think of the positives during stressful times, so I decided to do the same!

Here is Tony’s Pandemic Survival List!

Continue reading “How I survive shelter in place by the letters!”

Shelter in Place, Week one!

Good morning all. I very much hope things are going as well as they can for anyone reading this.

Update from the coast. Michelle and I are still employed. We, and ours are still healthy and, things are going well.

I think she is healthy because she is smart and careful, and makes sure to keep us out of danger.  For me it more like this

Like many of y’all, the Governor of our state has issued a shelter in place order Continue reading “Shelter in Place, Week one!”

When the stars align and the beach gods smile…

One of the first things we learned when we became coast kids was how much we had never experienced in our visits to the Oregon Coast.

Like most, we would come in the spring and summer, we’d be hoping for nice days, no rain and great sunsets. We would always have our gortex JUST in case, but we’d be happy if it was shorts and shirt sleeves during our stay.

We had no idea, ok had no idea (Michelle grew up her  so she knew), about storms, high surf warnings, sneaker waves or king tides! They have taught me that fall and winter are the BEST times to be here! This weekend, was one that will live in memory. Continue reading “When the stars align and the beach gods smile…”

New Decade, New focus and a New Name

Way back in the way back days, before the Mountainstroh Blog, shoot, even before I am sure I knew what a blog was, I become a cyclist. It was December 2007, and I got my first real bike.

Who knew how far it would take me…. Continue reading “New Decade, New focus and a New Name”

A reason to stop

When I first started riding, it was all about the miles. I was new to the bike, a young strapping 44 and finally found a sport I was good at. I could climb any hill, cycle all day long, and seemed never to get tired. I was the wind.

Fast forward 11 years. NOT so strapping, sure as hell ain’t 44, but I can still climb anything you throw at me. I don’t go as far, but for good reason.

I am now the Oregon coast cyclist, I stop for amazing views, whales spouting and, as you can see here, to watch a bald eagle soar. I keep track of the miles, but now I ride for the experience, for the memories, for the life around me.

I am still good at what I do, and will keep doing it till the legs wear out. The bike is and always will be a time machine, making me feel younger and stronger than I truly am.

In my heart I truly hope that sometimes the eagle stops to watch me as I conquer a vicious headwind or make it over a steep climb. Maybe, just maybe, he smiles at me, as I do him when he soars.

The eagle and I are kindred spirits. Riding the winds, seeing the world and living the life. It is good to be free!

Cycling the Yaquina River

Everyone knows how much I love cycling along the Oregon coast. The majority of my miles this year have been between my house in Lincoln City, and Newport. Its a 25 miles stretch of road, much of it with views like this! Oh and yes there is a whale spouting!

I tell people all the time that I ride this route every chance I get, and I never get tired of it. There is ALWAYS something that makes the ride worthwhile.

There are times I want something different. Like today, since I was watching the Seahawks in the morning, I wasn’t able to ride until the afternoon. I try too avoid HWY 101 on Friday’s after work and Sunday afternoons. There are just to many people driving big ole Winnebagoes they aren’t used to.

So today I decided to ride the Yaquina River. Continue reading “Cycling the Yaquina River”

Work to live

Forgive any typos. I am doing this from the hip and using the iPad.

The workday started today before the sun came up. It was a Monday and I hit the floor running, it went non-stop, and with very few breaks, I looked at the clock and realized it was 10 minutes till quitting time.

There was more to do, but I was done.

I ran a few errands but then it was time for beach walk. Work pays the bills, provides health care, and keeps a roof over your head. But it is NOT life. The walk on the beach tonight is a reminder of what life really is!

I love our back yard.

So there were plans today to rent a giant weed eater and clear back some of the vacant lot next us. There are weeds, scotchbroom and blackberry bushes slowly encroaching on our yard. I say rent the weedeater. because we have no grass! A yard of bark and plants only! (Can I just say I love not mowing)

We received an email though, from the head cowboy of the HOA, saying a tree/landscaper is supposed to be out today to give a bid to clean up the lot to the owner. Since its 1) his responsibility, and 2) seemed like it was going to be hard work, I was happy to hang up the idea.

This found me sitting not he back deck in the morning, ready a book and sipping coffee.

While siting there, I found myself thinking, as I do often, I love our back yard! Continue reading “I love our back yard.”