August challenge: the trees of Irvington

We’re staying this week in Irvington, one of Portland’s inner east side neighborhoods.  It feels a bit like living in an Arboretum, with a great diversity of mature trees – there must be fifty different species here, often grouped in short rows along parking strips, each block featuring a different tree than the one before. … Continue reading "August challenge: the trees of Irvington"

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August challenge: the Kalaloch Tree of Life

The Sitka Spruce is a pretty amazing tree.  Previously we had a look at the largest known Sitka Spruce in the world, soaring nearly two hundred feet into the sky.  Today’s featured image is a much smaller example, but nearly as remarkable.  The Kalaloch Tree of Life ekes out its precarious existence on the wild … Continue reading "August challenge: the Kalaloch Tree of Life"

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Bikes on White Mountain

At 14,252 feet in elevation, White Mountain Peak in the White Mountains is the third highest summit in California. A long, rough, unpaved road (requiring four-wheel drive and high clearance) leads up from the Ancient Bristlecone Pine Forest visitor center several thousand feet to the University of California’s Barcroft Research Station at 12,470 feet. Normally … Continue reading "Bikes on White Mountain"

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Tioga Pass, part 1

Tioga Road across the Sierra through Yosemite National Park is one of the most spectacular high mountain routes (up to nearly 10,000 feet) in the US. But all the usual reasons—narrow lanes, lack of shoulders, curves, climbs, heavy traffic, lumbering RVs, inattentive drivers—make it a dicey proposition under normal circumstances. Consequently, bicyclists love the opportunity … Continue reading "Tioga Pass, part 1"

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D-Day

In 1983, as part of my ride from Athens to London, I spent three days bicycling along the D-Day invasion beaches in Normandy. Just in case anyone is interested, here’s a link to the D-Day pages from my ’83 journal, hosted over at CycleBlaze: D-Day

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In Memory

Today is the 75th anniversary of the Normandy Landings, so I felt it appropriate to pay my respect at the war memorials in some of the surrounding villages. Quite sunny though cool enough for arm warmers and gilet. Memorial in Appleton commemorates 16 local men who fell in both World Wars. Bigger village, Cumnor, more … Continue reading "In Memory"

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One Brick at a Time

Janet is right. Northern California suffers from a relative dearth of brick buildings. Why? Earthquakes. Brick buildings tend not to stand up to earthquakes too well. In the big 1906 quake, Santa Rosa suffered proportionally more damage than San Francisco. Practically every brick edifice in town collapsed. Nowadays, most of the brick walls around here … Continue reading "One Brick at a Time"

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