I think I can finally say I've got the wood stove dialed. Well, there is always room for improvement, but I've figured out how much to load it up and how to set it to have heat all night, and still have coals in the morning. If I wake up around 3am and feed it some wood, I can keep a fire going all night, but if I don't, I'll still have hot coals if I want a fire in the morning to cook on (or not freeze my tits off). I bought about half a cord of mixed oak, pine, and cedar from a guy about two weeks ago, and I'm planning to cut up a couple Ponderosa Pine snags that are near my tent- should be plenty of wood to get me through the winter.
My girlfriend Amber courageously decided to visit and stay with me for ten days. She was supposed to fly out on Sunday from Reno, but the current severe weather storm warning through Monday morning convinced her to change her flight, so she's going to be staying with me until .... wait for it...... JANUARY 5TH. Holy crap. This is awesome. But mostly, I'm impressed with her resolve to live in my shitty little cold (well, its actually pretty cozy with the wood stove going), dark tent for an extended period of time. Luckily, I'm house sitting for a handful of days, so we have someplace bigger to escape to, do laundry, take showers, and cook on a real stove for a few days (Thanks E.S. and S.R.!)
We've done a good bit of cooking on top of the wood stove too, including gluten-free crepes (with raw pecans, apples, greek yogurt, peanut butter, and honey topping!!) and pancakes, mixed in with some more normal things like kale, scrambled eggs (with fresh basil and raspberry goat cheese!), and we're planning to do some more. We've also been brewing vast quantities of gourmet coffee in an old-timey thrift store percolator. AND I may have received a cast iron dutch oven for Christmas, so you can bet there is going to be some rustic, gourmet stove-top tent baking happening soon. NOM NOMS.
Well, between Amber visiting, bouts of rainy, miserable weather, and general holiday laziness, the training has lagged a little bit. On a positive note, Amber is on the recovery path from a running injury (she is a better runner than I am- even if I may be faster from time to time, it's only because of my dude-advantage), so we've been doing a bit of running together. So nice to have a running partner! Especially a really good looking one? We've been doing shorter runs (30-60min) around the tent and Nevada City, but also made a couple day escape down to Big Sur for some coastal runs (woo!). My body feels fresh from the recent reduction in training volume, but mixing up the training routine with some new locations and a running partner has my mind and spirit feeling revitalized. I'm going to work on a training schedule this afternoon- I need to decide on a few spring and summer races and work backward off of those. It's going to be time to start ramping up the miles again all too soon! I still need to fully address my imbalances and nagging groin injury/hip instability before I ramp up miles too much. I'm still off, and if I don't fix it now, it's just going to get worse and bother me all summer (again). I don't plan to let that happen.
All for now- the pictures and randomness below should do the rest of the talking. Happy Holidays! Get that carb-loading in while it's prime!
Near Monterey, CA
I had forgotten how much I love the coast and the ocean. Big Sur reminded me a lot of my summer working on the coast of the Olympic Peninsula.
This is just ridiculously inappropriate.
Poor Red's. If you are ever near Placerville or El Dorado, CA, you need to stop at Poor Red's, drink a beer, and eat some BBQ. Ryan and Matt- when you come to visit, we will go here. Barry would approve.
Coffee brewed with cinnamon and cocoa, anyone?
Holy sexy crepes, Batman! Also, check out that sleek, foldout plywood "buffet" table.
The blurriness makes me look faster. Seeya later!