I must admit that I'm wonderfully grateful that 2011 is over, despite it finally picking up some steam in November and December. The rest of it was a bit of a roller coaster. I don't particularly mind life moving fast, but the quick turns and bumps had made me a little nauseous. 2012 has already had one unpleasant surprise, but is still full of promise. Here's some of what's been going on.
I welcomed the new year — ok, not so much welcomed as acknowledged its presence the next morning — camping at Inks Lake State Park in Burnet. Friends had invited me out and we spent New Year's Day mountain biking at a new place called Reveille Peak Ranch. Later when I returned the bike I'd rented, the clerk seemed a little shaken to think that he'd given a brand new bike to a noob that went out to ride really tough, technical routes on rocks. Heh. It was sweet.
We drove down to the Spicewood/Bee Cave area and stayed at Perdenales Falls State Park Saturday and Sunday. Sunday we climbed at Reimer's Ranch. As soon as we parked at Reimer's, I recognized the car next to us as my friend, Ally's. Not only was she there, she was in the car, napping. I woke her up and she joined me, Butcher, Alan, and Rachel. We stuck to an easy wall and I was glad that I didn't exhaust myself like I usually do climbing out there. I guess that's how it goes when you don't show up until afternoon. Talk about a great weekend. You just can't beat climbing, mountain biking, and camping all on one trip!
I stayed in Austin, with my parents, after camping. They'd kept Annabelle while I was camping and were going to take care of here for the next several days, too, while I went to a wedding in Missouri. Annabelle generally stayed right around the house without being tied and would sleep with me at night. Her only problem came when we would leave the house and she would follow the car to the front gate (the house is several hundred yards back from the road) and chase it down the street. I'd worked with her on that Monday and Tuesday, but after coming back from a trip to town on Tuesday, she wasn't there. Annabelle was hit and we found her Wednesday morning by the road directly in front of the drive. She'd been a wonderful companion over the last year and I'll miss her dearly. Here are some of my fav pics of her. Thanks to Kaitlyn. She took all the pictures at the beach.
Wednesday, I flew out of Austin to Missouri where my friends, Brad and Erin Fields, would be married on Saturday. They were gracious enough to let me help where I could in the preparation and everything was perfect the day of the ceremony. I couldn't be more happy for the two of them and am thankful for their friendship. At the reception, there was a bluegrass band playing, complete down to a hammer dulcimer! The music was wonderful and a caller taught and led us in contra dances and square dances. I'd have never expected to enjoy it as much as I did, but didn't dare risk skipping because of some of Erin's threats from months before :-) Brad, Erin ya'll sure know how to throw a party!
A few days ago I had my first outdoor ride of the new year after 2 days on a trainer. Saturday warmed up sufficiently by afternoon for me to go out and enjoy the sun and I felt pretty good considering a month off through December. My average speed was barely down from where I left off and I now feel confident that I'll be up to par in a few weeks and ready for a year of strong riding!
I hope the new year has greeted you warmly. I'm still trying to decide if I'm going to make any resolutions for 2012. I you have any suggestions for me, be sure and let me know, or share your own.
Blessings and Shalom in 2012,