Relative Something

*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘adventure

Returned Home

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Traffic from the holiday weekend added about 40-minutes to our drive home from the lake. The usual intersections that tend to cause backups were significantly more backed up due to the increased volume. Other than those choke points, we rolled along reasonably well.

The highlight sight when we reached our driveway was the view of our fields freshly cut and dotted with multiple round bales of hay. We’d gone from telling our renter that the fields wouldn’t be available because we planned to let the horses graze them, to asking him to do us the favor of cutting them because the horses didn’t eat as much grass as anticipated.

The chickens have grown enough over the weekend that an unknowing eye wouldn’t be able to see a difference in age. At the same time, I am not ready to claim it obvious which of the Rockettes are going to be roosters.

Upon our return, I finally was able to unpack my travel gear from the bike trip, the weekend memorial for Cyndie’s dad, and the following weekend of 4th of July events. I am ready to be home for more than just a brief visit.

I still feel as though I have yet to process the joys of bicycling and camping with fellow adventurers back in the middle of June, let alone the whirlwind of happenings since.

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I met some wonderful new people who richly enhanced cherished moments when I was able to reconnect with precious riding friends from previous years. It was a little disorienting to depart the ride a couple of days early, but I am clinging to my memories of the notable times I shared conversation with several special people and the many laughs with groups of others achieved before I had to make my early exit.

One particular extended climb stands out for me among the many we faced because it forced me to stop partway to take a break and shortly thereafter had me walking my bike at the steepest incline. I’m afraid I no longer have the lung capacity to feed the needs of my leg muscles to endure hill-climbing like I used to.

Luckily, cleaning up horse manure in our paddocks doesn’t involve hill-climbing of any significance. I can do that all day, and after being away for another weekend, there is about a day’s worth available for the scooping. I am at another transition point where it is very possible the bike will be hung up for the rest of the summer while my time pursuits will be focused on projects on our property and up at the lake that don’t require pedaling.

One thing I’d like to accomplish is to convert some of the old deck boards into a small covered firewood storage rack for the lake place. I’m looking forward to being home again for a few weeks and resuming the rhythms of my usual routine. Hopefully, it can lead to time for a little extra-curricular carpentry.

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Written by johnwhays

July 6, 2021 at 6:00 am

Had Enough

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Have you had enough of the wayback machine by now? Since I am on vacation, all these wayback posts were formatted and scheduled before I left. At that time, I didn’t have a sense of whether they would be met with an appreciation or come across as a repeating annoyance.

It’s a random results generator. I’m guessing your response will have everything to do with which posts from the archive showed up for you.

I had thought about curating my own pick of ten old posts for the duration of my vacation but didn’t have the time it would take to scour the thousands of possibilities to come up with ones that seemed worthy. And worthy to whom? It’s a big world out there on the interweb where these blog posts can be found. Posts about chickens? Optimal health? Trekking the Himalayas? Words on images? Destigmatizing depression? All things love-related?

Okay, I suppose I could have found ten topics like those and horses and Portugal, and posted a gem for each, but remember that thing about not having time?

When the idea came to me for a random generator, I liked the thought that each reader would end up with a unique old re-post. Everyone would end up seeing something different.

When Julian successfully pulled off his manipulations of the coding in the span of one short phone conversation, I was giddy with delight. It was so much fun for me to use, I decided it didn’t matter if anyone else liked it.

I liked it.

Go ahead. Take another spin. You might find a gem.

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Written by johnwhays

June 24, 2021 at 6:00 am

Wayback Anew

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Everything old is new again. Click the image to enjoy a new look at something old.

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Today I will be departing the bike tour early after riding to Wabasha. Cyndie will pick me up so we can drive north to Hayward, joining her family for a weekend of remembrance for her father who died a year ago on the 24th of June..

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Written by johnwhays

June 23, 2021 at 6:00 am

More Waybacking

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It’s like birthdays and holidays all wrapped up in one big surprise click! What will you uncover today? It’s utter random madness!

(Cyndie thought the picture should be bigger to better see my cute little boy face.)

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Written by johnwhays

June 22, 2021 at 6:00 am

Wayback Again

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What will you find this time? You’ll only discover it by clicking the image…

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Written by johnwhays

June 21, 2021 at 6:00 am

Another Wayback

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Same as yesterday. You know what to do…

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Written by johnwhays

June 20, 2021 at 6:00 am

Wayback Somethings

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The calendar has arrived upon the week of my [abbreviated] Tour of Minnesota bike trip, this year combined with a long weekend Friswold family lake place gathering, during which time I will be taking a break from posting new content.

However, that doesn’t mean there won’t be something unexpected for you to find here each day. You know me better than that.

All you need to do is click the image below for an adventure with the Relative Something Random Wayback Machine, courtesy of creative technical support provided by our son, Julian.

Each day that I’m gone, a new invitation will appear, encouraging you to try your luck with a click on the Previous Somethings carrousel that is programmed to randomly load a post from my archive of over ten years of stories and pictures.

I offer no guarantee of high-value results, as there are plenty of clunkers mixed in with the sublime and the mundane that could pop up. If you believe in the possibility strongly enough, you might succeed in revisiting an old favorite, or maybe a specific message that you were meant to see on this particular day.

Take a chance! Click!

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Written by johnwhays

June 19, 2021 at 6:00 am

Self Taught

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The Buffalo gals taught themselves to climb their ramp into the coop at dusk! I had just arrived upon the scene as Cyndie was working to find a hole in the netting that would explain how one of the Rockettes ended up hanging out against the outside of the courtyard fencing. I did a quick head-count of both sets of chicks and walked around to where Cyndie was working.

The next time I looked in on the Buffalo gals, they were gone. All 12 had headed inside by their own volition.

That left the Rockettes to be tested with our new idea of herding them to their ramp to see if they would take the hint to climb up on their own. Very quickly half of them did take that hint, but the rest were a harder sell.

They seemed much more interested in cowering underneath their ramp and unleashing a cacophony of chirping. A modicum of hands-on support helped convey the intent and soon all birds were cooped for the night.

I think they will catch on to the ultimate routine soon, but further lessons will be delayed until after the weekend. Our trusty animal sitter is on duty starting today as we are off to the lake for a few days again. My birthday buddy, Paul, and his wife, Beth, are joining us up at Wildwood. There’ll be some biking happening, as I need to put on some miles in preparation for day-long riding beginning in a week on the 2021 Tour of Minnesota.

I wonder where I stashed my tent two years ago after the last Tour.

That ability I have to forget stuff… self-taught, I’m pretty sure.

I can’t really remember.

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Written by johnwhays

June 11, 2021 at 6:00 am

Time Weathered

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What a wind we experienced yesterday! A simple walk around the property was an exhausting struggle. The bare branches of our trees clattered overhead as they bounced against one another, putting me on alert about walking beneath them. Delilah’s ability to smell what’d been going on overnight was visibly altered as a wealth of distant scent information was arriving through the air faster than she could parse and the ground scents were being endlessly scrubbed away.

While deep in the woods near the edge of our property, we witnessed the sound of a large tree cracking and falling. My first impression had me turning to my left to look up the hill toward the direction of our house, but that didn’t sound right. Looking in the opposite direction into our neighbor’s woods locked into the full sound, but I couldn’t see the source.

It was definitely impacting multiple trees and the cracking and crunching made quite an impression. I looked toward Delilah and she was staring intently toward the direction of the sound, after which she looked up at me as if to say, “Whoa!” –as in, ‘that was huge!’

Yeah, that was a “whoa” alright. It was a big one that answered any questions about falling trees making sounds whether anyone was there, or not.

We were out on the second trek of the day and I could see the footprint evidence of Cyndie and Delilah’s first walk at dawn. Cyndie was able to stay on top of the frozen crust. It provided a contrast to the other extreme from her afternoon walk the day before when the soft snow had her boots dropping to the full depth, making a stroll on our trail into a real slog.

At the hour I was traveling over the terrain, my boots were just breaking the surface.

Our snowpack has experienced multiple thaw/freeze cycles in the last week and then yesterday the surface was scoured by the relentless battering of gale-force gusting winds. It barely looks like snow anymore. It resembles the surface of the moon, except for the occasional random foot path trails various wildlife visitors have left in their wake.

This morning’s peaceful calm almost enhances the perception of a lunar location.

It’s a calm before the next storm, we are told. A Winter Weather Advisory is on for tonight and tomorrow morning in our location. That crusty surface will be given a fresh new coat of inches on which we get to tread in the days ahead.

Huzzah to that, we say! Bring it on.

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Written by johnwhays

February 27, 2021 at 10:43 am

Rare Interaction

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We interacted in a social way with other humans yesterday! Late February 2021. A milestone. Duly masked for appropriate social behavior in a pandemic, we hosted our friends, Barb and Mike Wilkus to share an appetizer, visit the chickens, and then travel to Pepin for a snowshoe hiking event at YMCA’s Camp Pepin. Afterward, we returned to our house for a light dinner, dessert by the fire, a little banter, and …blink, blink… the night was over.

There will never be enough time to catch up on the year of social interaction we have lost since the pandemic swept the world.

Hanging with friends will never feel fully satisfying until masking is no longer standard procedure.

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Despite the limitations, we happily absorbed every second of the gift of friends who love the outdoors and are up for adventures. Camp Pepin was decked out with ice lanterns along a groomed trail and campfires aglow in the woods for an open house event intended to rejuvenate interest in camp activities that the virus outbreak has squelched.

As the dusk of the hour consumed us, we came upon a familiar scene of a deer carcass that had certainly fed a variety of wildlife.

 Looked strikingly similar to the one we found in our woods, antlers, and all.

The weather was perfectly comfortable for winter activity and the treasure of enjoying it with precious friends was a wonderful treat.

It sparks a glimmer of hope for visions of increased opportunities on the horizon in the months ahead. Do we dare begin to make plans again for renewing our old level of interactions with other people as vaccinations reach a greater majority?

That will be one step toward making it happen. Let’s all start making plans now for as normal a summer as possible to help galvanize the future reality we want to happen.

I am emphatically hoping it can play out sans masks.

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Written by johnwhays

February 21, 2021 at 11:29 am