Sheldon's 1998 Ural Deco - Week thirteen
"Beyond the Time
Day 69, Sunday April 11, 1999... Sitting here watching the snow melt. Of course the only two days that were beautiful this week were the two days that I was on the road. Of course that made for a nice road trip but I would have been much more pleased to be riding the bikes. The roads are sloppy, the weather is cold and windy. Right about freezing with 35 mph winds. Looks like it will not be a nice day for a ride. I do have to try to unpack boxes and dry more things from the basement. While I was gone I had left carpets draped over the back deck railing and they dried and aired out nicely. Lots more to do, plus web sites to work on. Late last night I started setting up State, Region, or Province chapters for NARMA. Should be fun to see how those grow.
Day 70, Monday April 12, 1999... 28 f. this morning. Not too bad, but supposed to warm to the 50s by afternoon. Jumped on the bike and decided to take it along the Skyline Parkway. That is the curvy, slow road along the top of the bluff. There are steep bluffs on both sides, rock, forests and few houses. It overlooks the bay and Lake Superior and has some of the best views in the U.S. Cruising one wooded stretch, with a stream and waterfalls on the right, forest on the left, two deer wandered across the road in front of me. They both walked about ten feet into the woods, turned and watched me roll by. I was waiting for them to ask, "what is that", but they didn't. The looks on their faces were very interesting. It was obvious that they had never seen anything quite like this. They weren't scared, just curious.
At lunch time I went for a ride to Canal Park, Park Point, Gitche Gummi Park, North Shore Drive and back. Had to leave work a bit early to get home to meet with the insurance adjuster, and when I arrived over the hill it was 66 f. (19 c.). The nicest day so far. About 7:00 my friend Tony Talarico called, and said "Help". His Windows had gone away on him on his business computer. Another excuse for a ride. I was there a half hour later and got home about 9:30. Stopped for gas on the way home and noted that I am getting about 37 miles per gallon. I had put 117 km (73 miles) on the bike today. It finally looks like the miles will start to go on fast now.
Son #2 (Andre') called today. He is going to be in Minneapolis teaching a class this week and is going to hang around over the weekend. I am running down to Minneapolis on Friday to pick him up then I will take him back to the Minneapolis/St.Paul airport on Sunday. When I told Son #1 (Aaron) he got kind of excited. He and a bunch of buddies are going to take off for a dragstrip in Wisconsin on Saturday and he wants to take Andre' with him. That is the first time I have ever heard him excited to see his brother. I think the two might be growing up. Aaron is 26 and Andre' is 24 and when they lived with me they fought most of the time. It is kind of nice to see that they are getting along, so far. I shall surely be giving hack rides this weekend.
Day 71, Tuesday April 13, 1999... 6:00 a.m. It is 20 f. (-7 c.) this morning but it is expected to be even nicer today than it was yesterday. But we are expecting snow tomorrow. I am going to ride today. I will head down the hill at the first chance as it is about 15 degrees warmer at the bottom of the hill this morning. At lunch I am going to try to take a ride into the country.
7:05 a.m. Just arrived at work after a very chilly ride. I was bundled up quite well, but there is not much that can protect you from these kinds of freezing temperatures. Rode into the sunrise part of the way, and it was spectacular. The huge orange orb rising over the forested land, the sky perfectly clear and all seemed right with the world. When things are so very perfect, well, except for the temperature, it is hard to believe there are places in the world where wars are raging, people are starving and life is not so good for everyone. I only wish that every person on Earth could have this experience today. It was interesting that there were about three times more cars on the road this morning than is usual. I suspect that many people, after hearing the weather report, decided to go to work early so that they could leave early and enjoy the first really nice day of the year. The forecast is now for 60 f. (16 c.) by afternoon, but it is expected that over the hill it may reach 70 (21 c.).
Something I forgot to mention about yesterday's ride to work was the hawks. This is the very beginning of the annual spring hawk migration. In the fall, the hawks and eagles from Northern Minnesota and Ontario fly south, and as they get to Lake Superior (which is 385 miles long) they are forced to the west along the ridge of the Laurentien Mountains. There have been counts, in one day, as high as 30,000. It is quite a sight and bird watchers gather along Hawk Ridge on the Skyline Parkway to watch. The fall migration happens fairly rapidly with large counts but the spring migration, as they all return to the North, is a bit more gradual. The Hawks and Eagles soar along the ridges, picking thermals to float on, like they were highways in the sky. At one point, as I rounded a bend and was presented with a spectacular view of the bay, city and lake, I had about 30 hawks and eagles in sight. At first I thought they were a murder of crows, but I soon realized what they were, and I pulled over and watched. There were two bald eagles and the rest appeared to be various other raptors. I only watched them for a few minutes but it was a sight that is not quickly forgotten.
Got home from work with 95km on the bike. Not bad for a work day, and it wasn't over yet. Pushed the Sportsman out of the garage just as one of my new neighbors stopped by. He was out bicycling with his children and had to stop by for a bit of UDF. Had a nice chat with him then kicked the Sportsman. I don't even remember the last time she was running but it had to be almost two weeks ago. Believe it or not, she started on the first kick. I was in shock... Rode another 50 km or so before putting them away for the night.
Went in and worked on my taxes until 1:00 a.m. Argh...
Day 72, Wednesday April 14, 1999... Had a seminar on Cisco Routers to attend this morning (Computer Stuff) and the weather was predicted to turn to rain by afternoon so I took the car. Missed the bikes though. Got back to the office about 1:00 p.m. and the place was hopping. Lots to do and not much time to do it, as usual.
Christal came over this evening for dinner and a movie. Cooked my special "Soy Chicken". Turned out great, and so did the evening. We had a very pleasant time, and I am again back to the Willie Nelson look, with two braids. She left at 11:30 and I jumped back at my taxes and finished after midnight. Argh.... (again)
Another dentist appointment in the morning. I believe this will be the last one for a while. Hopefully we have everything taken care of now.
Day 73, Thursday April 15, 1999... Just another rainy work day. It was quite cold out and I just was not in the mood for a ride in the rain at these temperatures. Riding in a nice summer rainshower is somewhat pleasant, but riding at near-freezing temps in the rain is one of the worst experiences known to man. No thanks. Drove to work, worked, drove home, worked. Tonight I watched "The Sand Pebbles" with Steve McQueen while I worked. I had never seen this movie and I finally had to quite working and just concentrate on it. Usually when I work at home I have the TV on with old movies or documentaries playing. I mostly only catch snippets of what it on but every once in a while something becomes so engrossing that I have to leave the work to watch. This was an incredible story, based on a true incident, which gave Steve McQueen his only Academy Award nomination. I actually was in bed at 10:00 p.m. Some kind of new record for me...
Day 74, Friday April 16, 1999... I had to marvel this morning at how blessed I am to live in the Duluth area. As I drove in the sun rising over the late was spectacular. It was framed by the Aerial Lift Bridge, and there were several ocean going freighters anchored off in the distance. As I moved a bit further up the shore an eagle floated along the shoreline, perfectly framed by the red sunrise. It is about 40 f. this morning so it should be a pretty good day.
Looks like the next few days are going to be pretty busy. At noon today I am going to accompany Christal to an art show at the Tweed Museum of Art. Tonight I have to drive to Minneapolis to pick up Son #2, about a five hour round trip. When we get back to Duluth, late this evening, I am going to drop him at his brothers house where he will stay tonight. They are leaving at 5:00 a.m. tomorrow for a race track in Wisconsin for a day at the drag races with Son #1's friends. They won't return until late Saturday evening. Andre' will stay with me Saturday night and he doesn't have to be back in Minneapolis, for his flight home to Phoenix, until 7:00 p.m. Sunday so we should have time to visit.
While the Sons are off on their trip tomorrow Lisa is coming over for dinner and a motorcycle ride. Hopefully the weather will cooperate and we will be able to get a nice ride in. Forecast is for " High 47 Low 26 Very windy. Overcast". Doesn't sound too promising.
12:35 a.m. Left work at 4:00 and drove to Minneapolis and picked up Andre'. We stopped at "Famous Dave's" Rib Place in Forest Lake on the way home. Quite good ribs. Not the best I have ever had but better than most. Arrived at Aaron's after midnight, took a few photos and I headed home. Sons #1 were going to "Garfield Avenue" for the Friday night street races. Three days a week hundreds of kids show up down there to run their hot rods. The police turn a blind eye to it. It took me quite a while to do some updating on my motorcycle web sites but now I am off to bed.
Day 75, Saturday April 17, 1999... Back to bad weather. Intermittent rain, and 36 degrees. Probably won't be any riding today...
11:00 p.m. Got a lot of small projects done around the house this morning and lisa came by about 4:00. I cooked up a huge batch of Rotinni with tomato sauce and meat balls. Dinner turned out great and we had some very nice time together. Watched "The Real McCoy" with Sandra Bullock on Satellite and now I am just working on the NARMA site and waiting for Son's #1 and #2 to come by.
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