Tuesday, June 30, 2015

The Big Diamond Fiasco: A Girls Dream Comes True?

The Big Diamond Fiasco: A Girls Dream Comes True?

For as long as I can remember I have always picked up anything that looks shiny off the ground. I have turned around and gone back to spots where I thought that I might have seen something sparkle. I have stopped mid-sentence to reach down just in case it might be some long lost treasure. But alas in all cases what I come up with is glass or a piece of mica or better yet sequins that were found after a friend had a yard sale. It’s funny how after years of false hopes I have continued this ritual of sparkle hunting. It may stem from watching my dad pick up every penny he sees on the ground. He then follows up by saying, out loud, “rebate!” A slogan and ritual I have brought with me into my adult life.

A few weeks ago Dude and I were outside of the car waiting for Trey to catch up to us with the truck camper. I pulled Dude’s collapsible water bowl from the car and placed it on the ground and proceeded to see something shiny next to it, so naturally I dug my fingers into the gravel and pulled a perfectly cut diamond from out of the rubble. I blinked my eyes a million times and couldn’t believe what I saw! I became very excited and couldn’t wait to tell Trey that all my searching had finally paid off! After he arrived I showed it to him but he was a little bit skeptical of my find.

Once Dude and I were back in the car and driving again I thought surely Google could help me to determine if in fact what I found was a bonafide diamond. So at the next red light I reached for my phone and typed “how can you tell if a diamond is real” and clicked on “Top 5 Ways To Determine If Your Diamond Is Real”. The first thing I read was to try and fog up the diamond with your breath. The light turned green, I Velcroed the phone back on its Velcro spot, and began to drive. I reached for the diamond and just like that the damn thing flipped out of my fingers. I thought, well that sucks, but at least I know that it’s in the car somewhere.

48hours passed, all trash was out of the car, everything had been picked through and I couldn’t find the dog gang thing anywhere! After a couple days of searching and re-searching, I was sitting in the driver’s seat feeling busted, when I noticed a small hole where the brake lever is perched and my stomach sank. I knew that the elusive diamond had fallen down that small abyss. I begged a few guys and even Trey to dismantle my entire center console. No takers.

Finally, yesterday I knew that if I was going to find this thing that I would need to boob up and pull out a screwdriver. I watched a few “how to” videos on youtube. It took some time and frustration to pass before I could stick my hand underneath the plastic near the floorboard, only to feel the metal frame with more holes and worse the carpet was loose and ended just under the plastic console. I had yet another sinking feeling. I even told Trey that I thought it might be a lost cause. Trey said, why don’t you use a flashlight and see if you can see it. So, I managed to pop the whole center console up, but I was still in an awkward position where I really couldn’t see much at all. I stuck a knife between the metal frame and the carpet to peal it apart from each other, when I heard a very distinct sound. The sound was of something very small, sliding even deeper down into the abyss. 

HAHA! Alas! I had it cornered! So this next part was a bit intrusive, but had to be done. I grabbed a carpet blade and cut open the carpet at the base of the floorboard and began to feel around. A few tries went by before my finger finally landed on something small. I was able to drag it back and into my clutches. To my delight, I pulled out a very precious stone! I can’t believe that I found it! What are the chances that it would have fallen perfectly down into that tiny hole? And I had to dismantle my center console AND I had to put it all back together again. The good news is that I can vacuum out my car now. My car has been on lock down for a few weeks.

Now, after all that, if it turns out to be cubic zirconia I might cry.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Bavarian Bike & Brew

I love when everything comes together! Trey and I were headed north from Bend- Oregon to Olympia-Washington for just a one-night stay, when we found-out that a large ‘Oly’ contingent would be at the Bavarian Bike & Brew in Leavenworth WA that same weekend! This turned out to be a great ‘2-for-1’ deal for us because we were already headed to Stevens Pass Bike Park, which is just northwest of Leavenworth by only 35 miles. Truth is, we have always wanted to attend the Bavarian Bike & Brew ever since we left ‘Oly’ over 4 years ago.  

Nick and Rachel
Our desire stemmed from seeing photos of all our friends having such an awesome time riding bikes and camping in the forest. Initially, we were going to stay at the base of Stevens Pass and camp up there. But, we wanted to be where we could point our fingers and ring our cowbell at riders flying down Freund Canyon trails! Luck would have it that we found a spot to camp right next to a 20ft gap jump! The jumps were optional for the XC racers…but mandatory-fun for us. Some of the bigger gaps were blocked-off with caution tape. But that didn’t stop Trey from hitting up everything else that was around there. Stevens Pass was my first time back on my big bike since knee surgery in January 2015 (write-up for another day). So, I have been in reserve-mode for quite some time and giddy to get back to another season of riding bike parks. (If you want to read more about our time at Stevens Pass Bike Park go here)
Oh Odin
Getting to the Bavarian Bike & Brew was a bit of a fiasco. First off, we missed the turn into the forest and ended up on someone else’s farm. You have to imagine our monster rig pulling onto your property. It’s plastered in gigantic WorldBikeParks.com stickers and has another hundred or so other smaller stickers from every place that we have been to. Our rig screams “It’s Party Time”. We both parked and rolled down our windows to assess the possibility that perhaps we were the first ones to arrive. When a little red tuck pulled up next to us. A woman opened her door and asked, “can I help you?” 

The beautiful Kerry
So, needless to say we were not first to arrive but actually lost. Fortunately, we were not all that turned around and we were able to get back on course fairly quickly. As soon as we got on the right dirt road, we saw 3 of our friends walking their dogs!! And we knew that we had arrived! 

The Gibb's Organic Guys and Nick
Lee & Erin (Dude & Odin)
The problem now was that we were on a narrow dirt road, where if someone wanted to pass us, it was not going to happen! I absolutely hate when this happens. It makes me extremely nervous. So, once we hit a fork in the road Trey pulled off to the side and I took the left fork to scope out possibilities to camp or turn around. 

I got to the end of the road and there was no place for Trey and the road conditions were only getting worse. I made a U-turn and drove over a piece of rebar sticking out of the ground. It was blending into the background and just looked like a stick. The rebar jammed up into my fan and now my car was stuck and making a hideous loud screeching sound. In a panic, I jumped out of the car, just as a group of riders came by and three guys were able to help me maneuver my car back and forth. They managed to pull the rebar out of the ground, one of the men seemed like he knew something about cars. He checked my fan and said that I was pretty lucky! 

Kerry and Nick being cute

I caught up to Trey who was walking around, he found a group of our FOCF friends just down the road to the right of the fork. So we only drove a little bit further and snuggled in next to a crossing for the racers and a bunch of dirt-jumps, perfect! It was an awesome weekend filled with friends, riding, and laugher oh and a tear (you know who you are) We are always so grateful when we come through Washington, our friends are always up to some kind of party and ready to take us in at the beats notices (and you know who you are too) We rallied up at Stevens and rode there for three days, coming back to camp with friends every night…

Erin getting ready race day