Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Team Kettle Gets New Equipment

Verelle and I have been acquiring quite a lot of new gear. Some of the new gear is in preparation for the upcoming winter, and the rest is for the current activities we are participating in. Below is a list, description, and photograph of all the new gear we have acquired over the last couple of months.

Verelle has been without cycling sunglasses all summer and with the upcoming ride the rogue event that we are doing it was time for a serious cyclist to get some serious cycling sunglasses. The Smith V-Ti were the selection that Verelle decided on. She choose the Team CSC edition of the V-Ti by Smith Optics. This particular pair of shades comes with on three lenses, one of which is a polarized lens. Verelle has been very satisfied by her new shades.
We have used a garage sale tent for the last three years. It has served us well enough, but was never big enough, and always a pain in the butt to put up. Which, turned us away from going camping. Therefore, this summer we got a new tent. The tent we chose is the the Big Agnes seedhouse 3. We have used it several times now and are still impressed with its size, weight, and the ease of pitching. We would recommend this tent to anyone.

ent 5lb 6oz 5lb 13oz 3lb 11oz 8" x 20" 39 sq ft 14 sq ft 42 $239

Over the last two winters I have ridden my snowboard almost 200 days. If you combine those days of use with the previous two years of I put over 300 days on my snowboard. The majority of my days on the snow have been spent teaching snowboarding lessons or coaching for the Ashland High School snowboard team. With how many days I had put on my board it was no longer, well, any good. To put it mildly it was dead. And since I will be coaching again this year and will hopefully be on the snow 100 days it was finally time for me to get a new board. I picked up my new board at Hot Skates in Medford because Aaron (the owner) is awesome! It was a tough decision for me to make, but I decided on the black death speed tribe:
156 1221 24.5 29.04 8.3>7.78 24"

Verelle has ridden two seasons on one of my old boards. A board that is almost seven years old. So, it was also time for her to get her very first brand new board. She also got her board at Hot Skates and she chose the midlife theory:
158 1235 25.9 30.5 7.78 25"

Another one of my favorite activities is rock climbing. I have climbed a lot over the last couple of years in the same pair of shoes, and while they have never let me down it was time to follow our current trend of with the old and in with the new. I got the the scarpa mago:
Upper: Suede/Lorica
Closure: Lace-up
Midsole: X-tensionTM system
Sole: Vibram® XS Grip; 3.5 mm
Last: FH
Sizes: 33-45 (half sizes)
Weight: 450g (40.5)
Color: Apple Green
Product Code: 70011

There are certain things in a gear junkies life that you can never have to much of. And I recently picked up more of it:
the webbing

and the tie downs:

...more gear coming soon???

Travis (Cheddar Beer) Caldwell

Idaho rivers update

The season at OARS-Dories in Idaho is starting to wind down. Major forest fires in the Frank Church Wilderness Area have forced closures of over 200 miles of river we regularly run trips on. We've been limited to the Lower Salmon and Hell's Canyon for rafting and dory vacations.

With the late start I got to this season, I only get to do a total of 6 trips. The first was a Hell's Canyon for five days, followed by three consecutive trips down the Lower Salmon. In a couple days I head out on the Lower once again.

Trips on the Lower and Hell's Canyon are generally low-maintenance and stress-free. My most eventful and exciting trip was a 7-day kayak school, the third trip of my season. Two bond traders from Chicago, a health care policy worker from DC and a documentary producer from Manhattan came out to Idaho to explore the world of whitewater kayaking. Along with my friend Zak Sears, I had the privelage of coaching them for a week.

Unfortunately, on the third day Zak discolated his shoulder in a relatively calm section of water. He was throwing some massive flatwater loops (read frontflips in a kayak) when it happened. He swam himself to shore and was able to reduce it himself while in the water. Later that night, we evacuated him before we got too deep into the wilderness.

Short one crew member, we had a little extra work on our hands with setting up camp and cooking all our meals. Fortunately, everyone on the trip (guests included) really stepped up and got it done so we could still have a great time out there. The youthful energy everyone brought with them was great, and the combination of liquor, mixers, ice, and a hand-crank blender for frozen cocktails helped group morale undeniably. Here are a few pictures from the kayak school trip before the rest of them come out.

sorry, pictures coming soon.....

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Scoggins Valley Triathlon

September 1st 2007 I will be competing in the Scoggins Valley Sprint Triathlon. The distances for a Sprint Triathlon are an 800 meter swim, 13.1 mile bike, and a 3.1 mile run. The Scoggins Valley Triathlon is held at Henry Hagg Lake in Scoggins Valley, which is located 7 mile south of Forest Grove Oregon. The altitude is low, but the bike course has a solid amount of climbing. The run will also be fairly hilly and challenging.

I am nervous about competing in this event because it will be my first Triathlon in over two years. I am not in the shape that I used to be (god, that comment makes me sound old), and my training for this event has been inconsistent due to working two jobs. My goal is to go out and have fun, but I am also interested in pushing myself. I have done this event several times now and I will be discouraged if I am extremely slower then I was in the past.

Stay tuned for the full details on my performance.

Travis (Cheddar Beer) Caldwell

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Tastes like.... Kettle Chips!!!

Is there anything that tastes better than a bag of Kettle chips with a locally brewed beer? No. And although it is hard to go wrong pairing any Kettle product with a micro brewskie, we have come up with a well tested guide to pairing beers brewed in or around our backyard with yummy Kettle products.

Deschutes Brewery, Bend OR
Mirror Pond - a classic, and very popular, refreshing pale ale that is very well balanced
Pairs best with Cheddar Beer
The hoppy flavors of Mirror Pond compliment Cheddar Beer's tangy cheesiness and should be a regular part of any Kettle-head's diet.

Caldera Brewing Company, Ashland OR
IPA - well bodied with a strong hops flavor
Pairs best with Yogurt & Green Onion
These two work as a team, convincing your taste buds not to let your hands put them down. You will devour until you finish the entire bag, or six-pack, or both.

Full Sail Brewing Company, Hood River OR
Pale Ale - fresh hoppy aroma with a mild sweetness and clean finish
Pairs best with New York Cheddar with Herbs
Both of these flavors are classic and homey. The Pale Ale compliments the cheesy flavors of New York Cheddar with Herbs without overpowering them.

Rogue Ales, Newport OR
Dead Guy Ale - malty aroma with a rich hearty flavor
Pairs best with Spicy Thai
Both of these flavors are INTENSE! A hardy beer like Dead Guy is necessary to balance the taste buds after the super spicy flavors of Spicy Thai.

Thursday, August 2, 2007

The Ascent

Early Monday morning two parts of Team Kettle, Travis "Cheddar Beer", and I, Verelle "Tuscan Three Cheese" went for what has been my longest and hardest bike ride thus far. We began the ride from our home in Ashland, Oregon, with friends Tim and Kara.

First we rode to the south end of town via Siskiyou Street. We then rode down Crowson Street to Highway 66, where our ascent began. Highway 66, also known as Greensprings Highway, is a steep and winding historic highway that connects Ashland to Klamath Falls. The highway winds by Emigrant Reservoir before ascending into the mountains that connect these two towns. The summit of this highway is at 4,551 feet!

We began the trek up to the summit. At about 10 miles in all was going well, but being the easily distracted and often clumsy one that I am, I became caught up in conversation with Kara, and lost sight of the roads small shoulder that I had been hugging. Thankfully the fall was not too bad, and I had only minor injuries: a scraped up knee, a bruised and bleeding chin and a sore jaw. I could have easily turned back at this point and gone home to clean myself up, but I decided that having made the commitment to finish this ride was important, so I continued upward.

Once we reached the summit (which can be difficult even in a car!), we took a left onto East Hyatt Lake Road. The climb isn't as steep, but can be frustrating nonetheless. We continued down Hyatt Prarie Road to the lodge at Hyatt Reservoir. Then we took an impromptu lunch break! It was certainly unplanned, but we ended up visiting for an hour over pizza, breadsticks, coffee and coke! Mmmmm.... gotta love those carbs!!!

We finally continued down Hyatt Prarie Road, which was relatively flat, winding past Howard Prairie Lake, to Dead Indian Memorial Road. I thought that we would be begining our downhill soon, but I was very wrong. We had to ascend four (!!!) more miles of UPHILL!!! By this point I was just moving my legs, trying to make sure my pretty little bike didn't fall over.

We did finally reach the top, despite my complaining that we never would. The downhill of Dead Indian Memorial Highway is perhaps even more steep (and dangerous) than that of Highway 66, but after all the climbing it is FUN!!! Just a few miles in my toes were numb but the little kid in me was as alive as ever! It was amazing, and worth all of the climbing! And the sights: a hundred times better when you are on a bike!

So, on this ride we:

Rode 53.4 miles
Ascended 4,800 feet in elevation
Burned 3,052 calories

all in a total riding time of 4 hours and 6 minutes!

Here is a topo of the ride profile:

The entire ride down, all I could think was: what will I be eating later to reward myself for all this grueling work?
First: Kettle Chips! I had a bag of Honey Dijon with my name on it at home.
Second: Beer! This is actually an excellent recovery drink (or so I hear).
Third: Chocolate ice cream! No explanation needed.

And here we are, 53.4 miles later!: