Settling in - Winterlude 2021 - CycleBlaze

November 17, 2021 to November 20, 2021

Settling in

So we’ve been back just shy of two weeks now and are well settled in to a routine here.  We’ve gotten the urgent tasks done - gotten our flu shot and Covid boosters, seen our dentists, sent our Bike Fridays in for routine maintenance, relearned how to drive a car, gotten reaquainted with our winter wardrobes, just the usual.  

Nothing earth-shattering to report, but there are a few interesting points on Rachael’s health.  For some time now she’s been struggling with breathing - particularly when climbing - and maybe with her energy level in general.  She scheduled a range of tests when we were in town last summer, but nothing turned up as a concern - the consensus from her physicians and her test results was that she’s in excellent health.  Not the news she was hoping for, actually.  She was hoping for an explanation and an easy fix.

This winter has been different though.  For one thing, blood test revealed that her thyroid level is off and it looks like she’s due for an increased dosage of the thyroid medication we both take.  The other thing is that she met with an ENT specialist this week and someone after all this time finally looked up her nose.  Two good things to report here - first, they couldn’t see the ceiling when they shone a light up into it.  And second, she has enlarged inferior turbinates (our new word for the week - I’d never heard of turbinates, but we’ve apparently all got them up our noses acting as tiny air filters and radiators).  She thinks some minor outpatient surgery is in order and could be scheduled for when we return to Portland in February.

So, possibly good news here.  Or mixed news for me perhaps - I’ve been enjoying feeling younger and stronger because I’ve been having an easier time keeping up with her on the climbs in recent months.  Soon we’ll be back to her waiting impatiently at the top for me while I pretend I’m a only stopping along the way for photos.

Other than that, not much to report.  We’re getting out for rides when it’s dry, calm, and warm enough to sound like fun or at least bearable; which actually was surprisingly often this week.  It’s never warm - most days feel damp and top out about 50 - but we are getting out most days, which is better than we’d been expecting really.  

And we’re being cautious about where we bike.  We haven’t been out on the Springwater or I-205 bike paths yet because we’ve heard that the homelessness camps have made them both unsafe, but we’re finding enough other rides to keep us occupied -we’re glad to find that the rides out along Marine Drive, Kelly Point, the West Hills and Oregon City all feel comfortable.

Although there was an interesting incident biking back from the river along Vancouver Avenue this week when a diminutive elderly woman was walking her dog across the busy street in the middle of traffic, waving her free arm and repeatedly shouting “What’s your problem!” At the top of her voice.  Then she started walking down the bike lane in my direction and shouting at me also as I swerved to evade her and her dog, and I watched the mirror nervously wondering if her flailing arms would throw Rachael out into the traffic lane.

We can’t complain though, I suppose.  At least she wasn’t waving a gun around.  

Wednesday we rode together down to Oregon City and back. I went with Rachael partly to test out with her how safe it felt on the Trolley Trail (it was just fine), and didn’t stop for many photos. It was a good time to add the Steel Bridge to the collection though.
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And Tillicum Crossing.
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On the new connector south of the Sellwood Bridge.
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Amazing that these are still out this late in the season.
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Thursday we went out together again, to Kelly Point and then along Marine Drive to the Glenn Jackson Bridge. I had my camera along but it was too cold and gray to inspire me to pull it out except for this puffed up kestrel. He looks cold.
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And Thursday night, another milestone event - the first live music performance in nearly two years, at the Old Church. Masks and proof of vaccinations required. And we were back there again last night to hear the Paperboys.
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Today we started out together but immediately each went our own way. Rachael biked over to Mount Tabor following a route I drew up for her, and I headed south along the Willamette with no particular goal in mind.
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Looking across the river from Willamette Park.
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I’ve lost track of how many photos I’ve taken with this tree in Willamette Park, but it’s been at least a half year since the last one.
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Lednar De NallohWe all have our favourite tree, that's a nice one.
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2 months ago
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Today’s bridge: the Sellwood.
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Crossing the Sellwood Bridge I decided to bike north along the river to take some shots of the new art gallery Rachael pointed out earlier in the week.
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Andrea BrownI saw those yesterday too! You probably passed us.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Andrea BrownThey’re pretty nice! Someone went to a lot of trouble. Were you out on your bikes?
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2 months ago
Andrea BrownTo Scott AndersonI was out with my friend Betsy. We took part of the Trolley trail down to Milwaukie and back.
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2 months ago
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A nice thing about our new Garmins is that we can track each others’ positions. I decided to cross paths with Rachael, and our routes intersected on Clinton just east of Bruce and Andrea’s place. I had to shout at her to get her attention.
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Rachael said it’s beautiful up on Mount Tabor today, and I had to go. So I did. I only got this one photo though before the camera went completely black. I thought I must have broken it somehow, but after extensive troubleshooting research when I got home I found that I’d just accidentally pushed the LVF button somehow. I didn’t know it had an LCF button. Amazing that this has never happened before.
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Today's ride: 110 miles (177 km)
Total: 165 miles (266 km)

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Rachel and Patrick HugensHi guys,
Given the similarities I've had with Rachael, I'm thinking maybe I need my nose checked at my next medicare wellness exam.
Rachael, even though the definition of major and minor surgery: minor surgery is if it on someone else, major is it is on yourself) ....as a retired OR nurse, the surgery should go well.

The picture of Mount Tabor is stunning!
Rachel
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2 months ago
Suzanne GibsonRachael, I guess you aren't exactly looking forward to the surgery but a solution to your problem is good news. I'm sure it will go well and you will be leaving Scott in the dust.
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonTo Rachel and Patrick HugensGood point about minor surgery. I wouldn’t have any surgery done but it’s really spoiling my enjoyment of riding. I hope it helps. I’m sorry to hear you are having similar problems.
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2 months ago
Rachael AndersonTo Suzanne GibsonYou’re right about not looking forward to surgery but if it helps it’s worth it.
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2 months ago