09-01-12 - Photos - August

Biking the Iron Horse / John Wayne trail to the Snoqualmie Tunnel. It was pretty awesome going up, just a steady climb and nice scenery. Not so much fun going down, just a really long coast and unpleasant vibration. (*)

Solo backpacking snow lake. Snow Lake is actually a really nice overnight because the camp sites are superb. The quality of camp site is so important to a backpack that I'd rather go some place kind of mediocre that has nice sites (nice = great views right from the site, lots of separation and privacy, at least the feeling that you're alone even if you aren't; no bugs or water running into the site) than go someplace amazing that has shitty sites. (of course, going to camp-anywhere National Forest is a safer bet than going to stupid designated-spots-only National Parks or no-fires Wildneresses ; boo). This was my first solo backpack and I enjoyed it a lot, very peaceful, lots of quiet time for thinking about algorithms; I may do that more in the future. I like the feeling of setting up camp and taking it down by myself, and if I want to just eat cookies for dinner and skip the cooking I can. I looked into getting a PLB or sat-phone for safety but they're crazy expensive so I don't think I will. The danger of hiking around here is grossly overstated; pretty much any hike around here you will see 50 other people every day; and you're never more than 10 miles from a road. I'm pretty sure I could break my leg and still drag myself 10 miles.

A few photos of home made fruit in home made bowls. I rarely take stupid food photos, but it just pleases me so greatly to make my own things and consume them for myself. I like to write my own software for myself. Interacting with other human beings is just a constant disappointment and frustration. I can see the appeal of becoming a hermit and going off to live in the country and make my own house and my own furniture and grow my own food, what sweet peace and relaxation that would be; no neighbors, no commuting, no making anything to anyone else's specs or dealing with the disgusting retailers who want to sell me flat-pack Chinese garbage and pretend it's "designer"; I hate purchasing experiences, they make me feel sick and dirty; I like making things very much.

(* = I got fed up with riding around cars; you fucking assholes suck the fun out of what is one of the most joyful things in my life; I'll be out riding Mercer Island and an hour into it I get into that real deep bliss from the scenery and endorphins and low blood sugar and all that, and then some fucking selfish stupid asshole will do some dumb fucking move like try to pass me while we go around a blind hairpin and it takes me right back into that "I hate you all" negativity (**); I don't want to be in that mindset, so I figured I'd try some dirt track riding to get away from the cars. (in my adulthood I have realized that there's no point in railing against the awfulness of the world; now I just try to figure out ways to live a life that is parallel but separate from the horribleness). I tried a few forest roads, but they're just too rutted and rocky and pot-holed to be a pleasant bike ride. You can ride the logging roads that are closed to traffic, which is nice, but those tend to be super vertical (I rode one that must have been 20% grade the whole way for about a quarter mile before I threw in the towel; part of the problem is that on dirt your rear wheel slips a lot with that kind of grade, so even if you get super low gears it's unpleasant). So far all I've found that's really great is this Iron Horse rails to trails conversion over the 90). (** = for all the self-righteous asshole anti-bike readers I can add that riding Mercer Island on the weekend when it's full of Freds (that's wannabe race cyclists) is at least as annoying as the cars; they draft my ass without saying anything (you do not have permission to draft me you fucker! it's stupid and dangerous! and if you're gonna do it at least give me a chance to draft you for a while, you inconsiderate selfish asshole, you are stealing effort from me, you thief!), ride two abreast on the narrow bridge path (***), and all manner of stupid shit).

(*** = actually the most annoying thing on the bike bridge are the fucking pedestrians who are just out for a stroll; WTF is wrong with you people? Oh I know, I'll go for a walk on the shoulder of a fucking freeway, that will be delightful. I really enjoy having gravel shot at my head at high speed. Hmm, it's a narrow bike lane with fast two way traffic, let me just stand around in the middle of it. God it's a nightmare on that damn bridge, anyone who goes on it other than out of absolute necessity has some serious brain damage) (****)

(**** = wow I didn't realize I had so much ranting pent up; I guess it particularly upsets me because the area I live in with the Lake Washington Blvd lined with trees and the wonderful loop around Mercer Island has got to be one of the best urban rides in all of America, and there's absolutely no reason that it couldn't be delightful for everyone on it, but the sheer stupidity and dickishness of some people makes it so much worse than it needs to be. It's very sad.)

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old rants