Words to live by...

"A good teacher is like a candle - it consumes itself to light the way for others." ~Author Unknown

"A good wife is her husband's biggest fan -- no matter how crazy he is." ~Me

"May God give you.. For every storm a rainbow, for every tear a smile, for every care a promise and a blessing in each trial. For every problem life sends, a faithful friend to share, for every sigh a sweet song and an answer for each prayer." ~ Irish Blessing

Monday, September 07, 2009

Dirty house

I clean when I'm stressed.

I think I get that trait from my mom, who would always break out the dusting and vacuuming when the Broncos would be blowing a game.

My house has been dirty.

Now that's a good sign in my house!

School has been going great. I have 17 well-behaved, sweet, and generally knowledgeable kids. I've certainly paid my dues with difficult kids in the last few years and it is a whole different world having a class without any major issues. I am starting to remember why I love teaching. (I'm really not just a fair-weather teacher, it just takes a lot of energy and tolerance that wears thin to have the challenging ones -- and yes it is often more rewarding to teach them than the 'easy' kids).

I finished the climbing part of my cute mountain bulletin board:

Now I just need some clouds. The kids love it and it looks really cute!

I am taking a full-time load of graduate classes this semester -- one online and one weekly class downtown. The classes so far have their ups and downs, and it is a lot of work. I'm getting through it though and I'm sure the semester will be over before I know it. I wouldn't call the classes stressful, just time consuming.

Even though work and class haven't been too bad so far, it sure was nice to have this three day weekend.

Friday night after work, Chris and I caravanned down to the Tabaguach/Shavano trailhead to park the Es and get a nice night's sleep before our big ride on Saturday. The views in the morning were spectacular!
E camping is the best kind of camping at the end of a long week.
Beautiful 14ers views!

Saturday, Brett, Chris, and I met Erik and Michelle at the Poncho Springs Visitor Center to organize our shuttle vehicles to go up to the top (the trail starts up at the top of Monarch Pass at 11,700 ft then climbs and drops back down to Poncho Springs about 34 miles later).

Our self-shuttle was a good idea until the keys for the finish car ended up in one of the start cars. Luckily bikers are nice and someone gave Chris and Brett a ride up the pass to get the cars.
Four bikes. Two 29ers. Two with front wheels on. Lots more room. Elements rock.
I was glad I had my camera!
Getting ready to roll.

The trail is a classic and I can see why. The rolling and varied terrain keeps the trail exciting. There is plenty of climbing for a shuttle route and since you are riding at 12,000 ft, the burning lungs add an interesting challenge. The down hills were great fun -- until we hit the sloppy mud and wet roots at least.
Our new team kits made a glowing debut. We got a lot of compliments on the trail.
All smiles today!
We spent much of our first few hours stopping to take pictures. Amazing views!
We spent a decent amount of time riding above tree line.
"Look fast!"
Chris, Brett, and Erik were speedy!
Chris might be getting his bike-smile back!!!!!!!!
The peanut-butter mud made things interesting!
Frankendoo takes a rest on the Rainbow Trail while I wait to the boys' pictures.
One of the best shots of the day.
The Rainbow trail had a lot of steep ups and more loose ickiness than the rest of the trail. Chris, as usual, rocked everything on his rigid single speed. People would watch him from the side of the trail with their jaws open as he made it up some of the steep climbs. I had a hard time walking them and he would give it one good grunt and be dancing up. He hasn't really ridden his bike in a while and it seems like he never put it down.
The end of the ride consists of a 35-40 mph coast down highway 285. Without a big ring on my bike I joined Chris in the "really spun out" category and we enjoyed the ride. I did wonder a few times if MTB tires are rated to go 35 mph for 10 minutes on hot pavement. They survived though!
What an absolutely spectacular ride. I felt good all day up until the last five miles or so on the trail. By that point I was getting pretty tired -- having been out on the trail for 6 hours so far. After the cruise down the highway we regrouped in the parking lot and there may have been some napping happening while Brett and Chris got the cars from the top.

To see the rest of the pictures from the wonderful ride, go here: http://picasaweb.google.com/marniplesko/MonarchCrestTrail?feat=directlink

The delightful weekend got cut a bit shorter than I would've preferred because I had to be back for a blood draw at 7 am Sunday morning. We all ended up driving home Saturday night instead of having one more night of camping.

On Sunday while Chris was climbing with Brett, I caught up on some homework and... yes ... cleaned the house. But thankfully not out of stress, just out of necessity.

It was a beautiful weekend.


Fonk said...

Nice!! I'm jealous, as Monarch Crest is a ride I long to do. Unfortunately, I don't think it'll happen this year yet, as I have every wknd in September booked already, and it'll probably be too snowy up there after that. :(

Cellarrat said...

Crest is awesome!