simplicitee

Reading, thinking, biking, sharing…

Spring? January 12, 2009

Filed under: happiness,mountain biking — onarete @ 4:50 pm

az-sky

Photo credit

It was a weekend for exploration on the bike, some successful, some less so, but all fun.   We rode new (to us) trails and logged some big hours.  The weather right now is idyllic-70, sunny, blue skies.  This is my favorite time of the year in Arizona, and I am doing my best to soak it all up and store it away.  Little sprouts of grass have emerged in the desert, returning for a while to this harsh place.  These days remind me of the first nice days of the year in Idaho.  In April or May, there will be a day or two where the sun comes out and the air smells fresh and you can open the windows at last.  If it is a Saturday or a Sunday, you do yard work and ride your bike and try to stay outside as long as daylight allows.  Its only January here, but I am reminded of these happy memories and my soul fills full.  Its funny how happiness comes from somewhere deep within, memories created years ago.  On Monday or Tuesday nights now, I will ride home at dusk and for once, I’m not the only one outside.  Older couples walk hand in hand, and children play in the streets.   I wonder if they have those memories of spring as well.

 

Thanks Giving November 26, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — onarete @ 4:07 pm

In the spirit of Thanksgiving, I would like to share some of the things that I am particularly thankful for:

  • I am thankful for my family.  Even though we aren’t together this Thanksgiving, we are together in spirit.  I am thankful for modern technology and transportaiton that allows us to stay so close. I am thankful for my parents who have provided me with such a solid foundation to grow, and I am thankful for my sister who has become my endless source of friendship.
  • I am thankful for my boyfriend who moved to be closer to me this year.  I am thankful that he provides endless amounts of love, joy, and companionship.  I am thankful for everyday that we spend laughing, and I am thankful for the days that he accepts my tears.
  • I am thankful that God provided such a beautiful earth for us to enjoy.
  • I am thankful that I have a strong body that I can use to explore that earth. 
  • I am thankful that I live in a time and a place that I can fufill my potential as a female.
  • I am thankful that I live in a country that will elect a black president.
  • I am thankful that as humans we experience compassion, that we recognize pain in others and recognize a good greater than ourselves.
  • I am thankful for our books, our libraries, our schools.
  • I am thankful for my job and that I have security in this very unsecure time.  I am thankful that I have enough to eat on Thanksgiving and that all my basic needs are met.

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Hope November 6, 2008

Filed under: Barack Obama — onarete @ 9:42 pm

obama2

“This is our time to put our people back to work and open doors of opportunity for our kids; to restore prosperity and promote the cause of peace; to reclaim the American dream and reaffirm that fundamental truth, that, out of many, we are one; that while we breathe, we hope. And where we are met with cynicism and doubts and those who tell us that we can’t, we will respond with that timeless creed that sums up the spirit of a people: Yes, we can.”

 

Religion versus God October 22, 2008

While I am not a religious person, I have always been a faithful person.  I pray daily and seek out God in the little places: in nature, in others, in my heart.  Before I act, I always try to ask myself if the action is aligned with my morals and values.  Above all, I try to be God-ful, sometimes failing, sometimes succeeding, but always trying. 

The most important values to me are love and kindness and I think all actions can be judged against them.  These values apply to our relationships with others, the earth, animals, and God.  During this election season (and earlier), I have been appalled by the hateful venom that has come from religious establishments in this country and from the lack of willigness to care for the less fortunate.

Reading blogs and listening to the likes of James Dobson, I keep hearing that the two most important issues for Christians in the election are protection of traditional marriage and unborn life.  I dont think either of those are bad values.   Marriage between a man and a woman is sacred and beautiful.  I also think abortion is generally morally wrong and I dont support it.  However, I also dont  beleive in a constitutional ban on gay marraige, nor am I part of the pro-life camp. 

Spewing hate towards the gay community and pro-choicers is wrong, wrong, wrong.  I really dont see how civil unions threatens anybody’s traditional marraige.  Are these people really that insecure in their marraiges?!?!  Civil unions are  not going to destroy anybody’s marraiges or corrupt your children.  In contrast, banning gay marraige is hateful and judgeful.  How about trying out a little love and kindness, and if your God dissaproves, then let him judge, not you.

Likewise, overturning Roe v Wade places a woman’s rights to control over her body (and her life) in jeapordy.  Taking away rights moves us towards a slippery and dangerous slope.  Nobody is pro-abortion, they are pro-choice.  If the pro-life camp spent the amount of energy and money they spent fighting abortion on adoption,  contraception, and opportunity for women, I think they would go much farther in reducing abortions.  In addition, they would empower women rather than dimishing their rights.

By focusing so much on gay marraige and abortion, Christians are completely missing the boat on far greater opportunities for good.  If Christians are concerned about murder of the unborn, they should be equally outraged about the murder of US soldiers and Iraqi citizens.  They should be concerned about the underpriveleged and struggling.  Providing universal health care is the decent thing to do.  Caring for veterans and the mentally ill is the moral thing to do.  Protecting the environment is being thankful for the gifts God has provided.

It is my opinion that the fundamentalist movement in this country doesn’t have much to do with God at all.  It has to do with fear and judgement rather than love and kindness.  I hope that the true Christians will vote in November (Republican or Democrat) with their hearts rather than with their church.  I will be, and I dare anyone to call me a heathen.

 

TOWM October 10, 2008

Filed under: arizona,life,mountain biking,Nature,Uncategorized — onarete @ 7:04 pm

 

This years TOWM was sort of a disaster for me, but also alot of fun.  After finding out that the 60 miler was actually 67.2 miles the evening before, I headed to bed.  We were camped in a lava field with all sorts of rocks and painful items stabbing me in the back, when Blair got really sick (the 6 hour flu?).  Needless to say, I was awake almost the entire night.  I still felt pretty good when the alarm went off, and I was looking forward to a day on the bike. 

The first 20 miles or so, I was just suffering.  For some reason, my bike wasn’t shifting and it was still really cold, so my asthma was acting up a little.  After the second aid station, I hit a fast and beautiful dirt road, and from there I had a wonderful day.  It was a little bit cold and breezy, and all the trees were turning.  So  many times during the race, I found myself saying a little prayer thankful for the beauty, for the fresh air, for the blood pumping through my muscles.  I am so lucky to have a life like this.

I ate really well and paced myself and just had a really good time throughout.  I never crashed and felt like I rode the downhills and technical sections really well.  Right before the final aid station it started to rain.  I stopped to put on my jacket and looked at the time.  It was 3 o’clock.  This was a serious bummer because I knew that the cutoff time for the aid station was at 3.  About 5 minutes later I rolled in, the rain pouring, and was pulled.  Part of me was really upset with myself and dissapointed, but a bigger part of me was smiling and happy and thankful for having so much fun and feeling so good.

I hightailed it back to the venue where the road was already turning to a gooey mess.  Blair and I threw all of our wet gear in the car, and decided to leave.  Judging by the numbere of other cars leaving, I think it must have been a pretty small crowd that stuck around for the night.  After a pitstop at Dairy Queen, Blair drove me home and unpacked.  I definately owe him one now.

The good thing about this race is that I felt really good and have obviously built up my endurance.  On the other hand, I am slooow.  Which I knew, but it was good to be reminded of it.  Now I know where I have my work cut out for me. 

Overall, I’d have to say it was a lot of FUN!

 

Worth a thousand words October 6, 2008

Filed under: adventure,arizona,happiness,life,love,mountain biking,Nature — onarete @ 3:10 pm

I will write up a report on TOWM soon, but first I want to share some pictures from the last several weekends of biking.

This is a picture of the McDowell’s on a hot summer morning.

 

Sweaty but still smiling.

 

 BB at a beautiful lookout in Prescott before we started descending.

 

Lovely little pool that we ran into late in the afternoon.  I stopped for a snack.

 

 

Going through a tunnel blasted through the rock.  This was in Flagstaff. 

 

Riding through the aspens; moments of joy.

 

Flagstaff September 23, 2008

Filed under: arizona,Camping,Flagstaff,happiness,life,love,mountain biking,Nature — onarete @ 8:11 pm

Photo Credit

We escaped to Flagstaff for the weekend.  These little trips become so easy when you do lots of them, things are organized, you know exactly what you need for 2 days camping and biking.  Flagstaff was cold and windy when we arrived early Saturday morning.  It felt like fall!  We set up camp quickly and headed out on the bikes.  

What a ride.  We rode singletrack for 5 1/2 hours, sweeping through all kinds of scenery: meadows, aspen forest, pine trees, red rock.  I was so giddy, I was flying.  After 2 1/2 hours, Blair finally made me stop to eat something.  I didn’t even feel like I was working.  “This is mountain biking,” Blair said.

Sunday we rode from camp, climbing several miles before we started “the climb.”  We rode waterline road to Abineau Canyon.  The road is surrounded by Wilderness area and offers spectacular views.  Every time I went around a corner my heart jumped in awe.  Right before the cabins, the road winded through the most amazing forest of aspens.  I had never seen anything like it!  Fat aspens as far as the eye could see.  (I will post some pictures once I get them uploaded).  After the cabins, the road became more primitive.  There were areas where the whole road was covered by rock slides.  The wind also picked up and was blowing me around like crazy.  Just as my legs were starting to give in, we made it to the end of the road, Abineau canyon.  This was at 10,500′.  I think that is a record on my mountain bike.   From there, we were able to see the Grand Canyon!  What a view!

From there, we had close to 20 miles of downhill.  Both Blair and I were riding slow to enjoy the scenery and also to keep from getting too cold (we were freezing by the bottom).  This was a fabulous ride.  Lots of climbing, but never too steep and jaw-dropping beautiful.

I feel so blessed to have a weekend like that.  In so many ways I am blessed.