Sunday, July 27, 2008

Pagosa Springs Excursion

Sandy, Lindsay and I are in Pagosa Springs, Colorado, for a week of relaxation. We arrived early on Saturday morning (2 AM). After some belated sleep, I set out for a ride to check out the town. To get to the main part of town, you decend to the river valley. This was fun. I was passing cars on the way. On the way back the resort the cars were passing me as I chugged up the hill for several miles.

Later Sandy, Lindsay and I explored the town by car. We found a great farmers market, checked out the hot springs, stopped at a private bread company and did our grocery shopping for the week.
Here are some additional pictures that I have taken so far:

This is the back side of our condo. The part of the structure that juts our is the hot tub room. We are right on the golf course so as we eat our meals, we can see the golfers tee off.

This is a view of the mountain taken from the tee behind the condo. We are in the rainy season for these parts. The day remains sunny until about 4 PM. After that time, the clouds roll in from the mountain bringing the rain.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Contest - Fill in the Thought Bubble

Let's have a little contest - a friendly competition - for all my blog readers. Tell me what you think is going through this cat's head. Comment on what you think should go in the thought bubble. All submissions will be put to a vote.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Summer Training Log - Week of July 13, 2008

Goal this Week: 150 miles - Goal was not reached this week. Out of town travel interupted training schedule.

Monday, July 14, 2008
Miles: 40
Route: Out to Goldfield Road, Usury Pass and home
Time: 2 hours, 5 minutes

Saturday, July 19, 2008
Miles: 45
route: Out to Goldfield Road, Brown back to Recker, Recker up through Las Sendas to Power. Power back home.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Price of Gas

I listened to Ted Koppel yesterday on NPR's Talk of the Nation. The topic centered on the drivers of demand for petroleum-based fuels. Here are some interesting points that were made during the discussion.
  • China is introducing 25,000 new cars a day to their highway system.
  • China's highway system now includes 33,000 miles of new freeway-style roads.
  • The Chinese government subsidizes the price of gasoline to buffer the cost.

Growing Chinese consumption of gasoline is becoming a real factor in the price of gasoline sold in the US. Chinese demand for gasoline is growing at an exponential rate which means that our fuel conservation will be insufficient to offset Chinese demand. The Chinese want our way of life and the consumption patterns that follow.

Our entire economic machine is dependent on petroleum and not just our cars. Petroleum is part of much of what we produce and consume from carpet to clothing to furniture. The US freeway infrastructure was conceived and built in a time of cheap petroleum. The US love affair with automobiles also began at a time of low-priced gasoline. Now China is falling in love with the auto. What does that mean for the future of gasoline for US consumers?

What do you think? Are we at a new place and time economically due to growing global demand for petroleum in developing industrial nations? Is the soaring price of crude oil just a function of speculators driving up the price? Do you believe that price at the pump can be traced back to a conspiracy among the petroleum companies? Do you think that eventually, gasoline prices will fall below $4 a gallon and stabilize? How will rising gasoline prices change your lifestyle?

Let me hear from you, the weeping consumer.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Summer Training Log - Week of July 6

Goal this week: 150 miles - Goal was Reached

Monday, July 7, 2008

Miles: 30
Weight: 174
Route: Sossaman to Guadalupe. Guadalupe to Crismon. Crismon to Baseline. Baseline to Goldfield Road to Lost Dutchman Blvd. Turned around and went back to University. University to Sossaman. Sossaman to home.

Other exercise: 20 minutes of elyptical work, stretching and light upper body.

Comments: The ride was great today. Full recovery from Friday's ride. I felt strong. Cardio was great. Recovery was very good. Another one of those rides that was pure joy.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Miles: 30
Route: First round of training at Fitness Works. Did a 50 minute RPM cycling workout. Hills, chase, speed routines. First time I have ever done that. It didn't kill me but it was a work out. The instructor was a former racer.

Second round of training was coming home and hopping on my bike for an additional 12 miles of speed work. I had the good fortune of a monsoon wind to ride against. Made a loop by going down Sossaman to Guadalupe. Guadalupe to Crismon. Crismon to Southern and Southern to Sossaman and home.

My legs are still tingling but I can feel the improvement in stamina. Breathing was a little tougher today - may be the dust in the air from the wind.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Miles: 43 (between two rides)
Route: Morning ride - Sossaman to University. University to Ellsworth. Ellsworth to the top of Usury Pass. Return home the same direction. Evening ride - Sossaman to University. University to Power. Power to McKellips. McKellips to Recker. Recker to about 4200 N. Turned around and went back to Recker and McDowell. Ride cut short due to a monsoon.

The morning ride today was a simple out and back. Did not have enough time to get too elaborate. Followed my ride by attending a physical therapy session in an attempt to correct an old lower back injury. A lot of core strength work and hamstring stretching. The exercises are making a difference.

The evening ride was cut short due to a fast moving monsoon. I hung out at a CVS on McDowell and Recker through the wind and rain. A nice guy and his girl friend offered me a ride in their 9 passenger van. What a gesture. I was truly touched.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Miles: 30
Weight: 172
Route: Sossaman to Guadalupe. Guadalupe to Crismon. Crismon to Baseline. Baseline to Goldfield Road. Goldfield Road to Lost Dutchman/Brown. Brown to 82nd. 82nd to University. University to past Sossaman. Wound my way to Clearview. Clearview to Superstition Springs Blvd. SS Blvd to home.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Miles: 20 For a total of 153 miles this week. Goal is met!
Weight: 172
Route: Quick and easy loop up Baseline to the Pinal County line. North to Southern. Southern to Clearview. Clearview to Superstition Springs and then home.

Riding at the beginning of the week was fairly easy but the latter part of the week was more difficult for some reason. I noticed I was having a difficult time sleeping after Tuesday. I got a littel sun burned on my arms on Thursday. Maybe a combination of things. I feel like I am a stronger rider but just more fatigued this week

Team Merkley is Accepted into U of U Medical School

Congratualtions to Team Merkley on their acceptance into the U of U Medical School this fall. This is truly a tribute to the "Team's" motto - Proverbs 3:5-6. Fasts and prayers were offered. The "Team" exercised faith, moved forward with other options and put the outcome in the hands of the Lord.

The Boizelle family is proud of Team Merkley! Erik, we are happy that you will be able to live your dream. Lauren, we are pleased that you will be able to finish your student teaching. We are relieved that an economically favorable path has been made possible.

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fourth of July, 2008

Sandy, Becky, Lindsay and I decided to go to Prescott for the 4th of July. Becky had never been to Prescott before. Lindsay has been to Prescott twice in the past to ride horses at Granite Mountain Stables. Sandy joined me on one of Lindsay's trips and we decided that it would be a lot of fun and much cooler to be in Prescott for the 4th of July. The town was bustling with activity. Parades, rodeos, music, cloggers...the courthouse lawn is lined with vendors under white tents selling everything from hand cream to serious works of art.

On the evening of July 3, after we settled in our hotel room, we went down to the main square in Prescott just in time to see cloggers on the courthouse plaza. We also visited several shops including a great jewelry store featuring turquoise from Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico and Colorado. The proprietor had inventory from the Navajo, Zuni and Hopi tribes. This is the best inventory of turquoise I have seen so far in Arizona. We finshed the evening sitting in the lobby of the historic Hassayampa Hotel listening to the music of a jazz quartet. This hotel, built in 1927, has been largely restored to its orginal state. There is a piano in the lobby for the public to play. I think the sign indicates that you really have to be able to play. Plinking around isn't welcome.

We spent the morning of the 4th moving around the courthouse square looking at vendor wares. Becky and Lindsay were very interested in the various jewelry tents. Becky found a few tie-dye and sarong vendors. We ate lunch at the St. Michael Hotel Restaurant just in the nick of time. There was a downpour, even some hail, while we were eating.

I bought a jar of green olives stuffed with jalapenos. I love olives. We watched a reenactment of the pony express. 60 riders took turns riding from Phoenix to Prescott. We were talking to some of the other riders when the final rider rode into town and handed off the mail bag. The riders then rode around the courthouse square on their way to the rodeo grounds.

We left Prescott for Camp Verde with intentions to return for the fireworks. We got sidetracked in Jerome, an old mining town that has turned into an artist enclave. This little town seems glued to the side of the mountain about 5,100 feet above sea level. Uptown is truly up and downtown is truly down! A series of switchback roads connect top and bottom. The road from Prescott to Jerome is not for the faint of heart.

While in Jerome, we spoke with the proprietor of a neat shop that sells new and old copper goods from the US and Europe. He encouraged us to go to Cottonwood, just a few miles east, to see the fireworks. Several of the surrounding towns all chip in on the cost. We took his advice and discovered for ourselves how towns pooling their funds for fireworks can generate one heck of a fireworks display. Cottonwood put on one of the best fireworks displays we have ever seen - 35 to 40 minutes of continuous fireworks. We saw new some firework patterns and presentations that were new and unique. To top it off, the temperature was a pleasant 80 degrees!

We are staying in Camp Verde tonight and will go to Sedona tomorrow. Lindsay has never been to Sedona so this will be a treat for her. The town has been built in and around the red rock buttes that seemingly appear out of nowhere in the desert. It's a beautiful place, with the contrast of Oak Creek Canyon just out of town, a green and winding canyon with one of the few year-round flowing rivers in Arizona (most of them are dry washes during the summer months). Sedona is a true tourist town, and apparently a fair amount of celebrities like to fly in for a quiet retreat.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Spackman Family Reunion

The Boizelle family was not able to attend the Spackman family reunion this year. We made the decision to not attend after a lot of personal angst but it was wise to cool the travel for awhile. We needed a little recovery before Becky goes off to college. We feel better about the decision knowing that over the last nine months we have been in Utah with Sandy's family several times for the weddings of our children and other events. We have been fortunate to see everyone who planned to attend the reunion since Lauren's wedding last August.

We are happy that Lauren and Erik were able to attend and provide some Boizelle/Merkely representation. We really wished we could have attended. This is the first Spackman Family Reunion that we have not attended since Sandy and I married. The reunions are always enjoyable.

We heard good reports from Syd and Marne that the reunion was a success. We learned that the cardboard boat race at first dam was especially fun.