Happy last day of February! Two months down in 2017 already?! Where does the time go? Time has certainly not been standing still for us as week 42 has kept us rather busy with Bertha properly rooted and hooked up now going on her third week in a row. Shore power, blah, blah, shore water, yadda-yadda…life is good these days!
Being overwhelmed with rain and flooding the first few days we were here in Redding made week 42’s nearly perfect weather just that much sweeter. It was a busy training week for us, still preparing for our first big race of the year this June, so having great weather always makes it that much more fun and therefore easier to get up and get out the door. The weather was nice enough this week to even permit a non-training ride together just for funsies for the first time in a long time. Redding’s beautiful mountain roads offer the perfect mix of challenge and beauty – forested hill roads that can seem to climb forever are back-dropped with the distant snowy mountain peaks that surround this tiny valley town. We stumbled upon a trail map of the area when we got here and have just been floored at all there is to explore when the weather’s nice (as it is more often than not).
Through our online social networking channels, Jim came across the founder (and former professional cyclist) of Ride Redding, “Redding’s Community Grassroots Cycling Culture Incubator.” Carson is just one outstanding human being, and an incredibly talented cyclist to boot! He took Jim out for a three hour ride with more than 2400 feet of climbing and kicked Jim’s butt! Nothing like riding with a former pro cyclist to really humble an ‘aspiring to be fast on the bike’ triathlete! Carson couldn’t have been a nicer guy and he knows this town’s cycling roads, trails, rides, etc. like the back of his hand, taking Jim on some of the more scenic routes including a climb to the top and over Shasta Dam – breathtaking! We’ve now made plans to see he and his wife next week and Jim will be riding with him again this week. It’s nice to have been in a place long enough to actually get to meet some people and make new friends; another thing you don’t think about too much until you live in a 150 square foot box on wheels with your spouse.
A quick update on our silly Amazing Race adventure (which continues to be obstacle after obstacle – perhaps in preparation for when we DO get on the show…). Those of you following along know that we just upgraded our audio and video equipment to finish our audition video for the show with the new GoPro Karma package. If you’ve read anything about these little flying marvels, you’ve probably heard some bad press around these things having various glitches and issues that have sent them crashing to earth. Jim was lucky enough (yay, not) to have an issue with his on its maiden flight. A mistake he wouldn’t duplicate, he initially took off under a very large tree, which, while totally clear and safe for takeoff and flight control check, turned out to be the auto-return landing spot the Karma set in its memory. A quick flight up a bit over the RV park to get a shot of Bertha and it suddenly went into an auto-land sequence that was inescapable. Jim’s been flying RC aircraft for more than 16 years now, but all his experience amounted to exactly nothing when the drone disabled remote control and initiated an auto-land sequence. All we could do was watch in horror as it flew directly over the tree and started to descend down into it. Jim tried everything he could to possibly control the drone but nothing worked in its auto-pilot takeover. Once it finally lowered itself onto a branch and made contact, it started to tear apart. Pieces of propeller flew everywhere as the brand-spankin’ new drone tumbled from the sky, ejecting the brand new camera and gimbal from their housing upon impact with the earth below. Yikes. Before we go bashing GoPro and this dangerous situation (glad no one was hurt!) created, the GoPro customer support team has been remarkable throughout this process. It’s so hard to prove that you didn’t crash your brand new drone when more than 99.9% of crashes are a result of inexperienced pilot error and most are with brand new aircraft. But the people at GoPro were right on it, hearing the description of events and at least being empathetic and understanding to the situation. They had Jim complete their post-incident report and upload the flight logs from the controller (pretty cool they have that tech, actually!) so they should be able to determine the system took control and nothing could have been done to have prevented the incident. We’re hoping for a quick and expeditious replacement, and the GoPro people have been incredibly nice and thorough throughout this process. Hopefully we’ll have a new setup soon so we can finally finish this maddening audition video (and Jim can get back to flying!).
Once the weekend was here, we tried to get back to our old habits of reserving Saturdays for our Adventure Day. We decided to double up our training with adventuring and ran to Clear Creek Gorge Overlook. It was another beautiful day to be outside and the 7 miles of rolling hills were truly a delight to run together en route to our sightseeing destination. The muddied water from the recent rain and flooding didn’t take too much away from the otherwise picturesque evergreen trees and fluffy white clouds against the blue sky over the rushing river below. Running back to Bertha was equally wonderful, after which we hopped in the shower and had a nice, relaxing evening together complete with Heather’s amazing cooking followed by a movie in bed. Perfect Saturday.
Yesterday we got our first big upgrade to Bertha – a new awning! Our colorful Week 15 edition of the blog noted the destruction of our original awning, which came as a result of a old, sun-faded, dried up fabric finally giving way and ripping itself in half on that fateful day last August. Hard to believe it’s been 6 months since we’ve had an awning, but like everything else in this life on the road, we find ourselves just kinda getting used to little things that we can’t always control like not having an awning for a while. Well, it just so happened that there was an RV repair shop next door to our RV park we spotted when we pulled in here a couple of weeks ago. When Heather called to ask about an awning replacement, we found out they actually were quite affordable and that we’d save 10% because we were staying at the RV park right next door. Score! So they appointment was yesterday and Bertha’s all back to having a nice patio area, complete with a place for Eeyore to park (for now) and space to set up our hammock!
Until next week, stay happy and healthy!
Total RV Trip Miles: 14,804.8