Sunday, June 12, 2011

Waterloo Waterloo

I always wanted to bike in the Waterloo trail, and last Saturday this wish came true. We had to go there for a conference, so I carried my bike with me and I set out on the Evansdale trail heading south to LaPoint as I wanted to do. But for some reason I could not easily find the trail heading south, so I headed north instead which took me to downtown Waterloo, where I took this picture you see here. Unfortunately I had a little accident on my way back. Here is how it happened: There was a rope hanging low between two far apart trees. The first time I passed I saw it clearly, so I ducked my head and I went by without any problem. But on my way back I did not see it, and you can guess what happened. Well, since I did not see it, I did not duck this time, and therefore it got caught on my neck, just above my throat. It took me a few seconds before I realized I was being chocked, and soon after I made that realization I held the rope with both hands to ease the pressure on my neck, or my throat rather. Obviously having let go of the bike handle, the bike ran freely from under me, and I found myself hitting the ground with full force on my back, while the back of my head banged the ground and then bounced back up. I am glad I was wearing my helmet because that absorbed most of the impact and saved my head from serious injury. Fortunately the ground was grass and not hard asphalt which also helped saving me. Right after the fall I waited a couple of seconds to see if I was going to faint or if any organ in my body hurt badly, but luckily I felt OK and I was able to get up quickly. I tested my memory and my sense of consciousness and I found myself awake and sound, so I continued biking back to where I left the car and went home.
Other than at little mishap the ride was fun and the scenes were good.
I must be careful when biking in unknown territory again, for I won't always get this lucky.
Man how fragile the human being is.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Biking to Ely

- She can't sink!
- She's made of iron sir, I assure you she can sink and she will.
"The Titanic."
I remembered this conversation from the movie while I was biking to Ely, which is about 15 miles from where I live. The weather was cool but humid, and sunny. I didn't feel thirsty, and I thought I couldn't get dehydrated in that weather. But I assure you if you don't drink, even if you don't feel thirsty, you will get dehydrated. You don't feel thirsty because of the humidity, but in fact your body loses lot of water and minerals, which must be replenished or else. So, remembering the Titanic, I drank water, and lots of it, and good thing I did because I was really thirsty although I didn't feel it.
Anyway, it was the first time in the season I go out biking, and it was nice. It took about 3 hours both ways, and was worth it. The picture was taken just before I reached Ely, near the Wright Borthers highway which leads to the Eastern Iowa airport.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

The A Mountain

Nothing is better than hiking up a mountain trail when the weather is fine. Not only one gets the benefit of exercise but also gets rewarded with a beautiful scenery during the endeavor. Here is the scene from the top of the A-mountain in Tempe Arizona. Seen in the picture high rise buildings from Arizona State University and other sights of Tempe. Isn't it beautiful? To match the occasion I am wearing the Sun Devil cap to go with the atmosphere. No its not mine. I borrowed it from my friend Rafique. You can't see it in the picture but the Sun Devil stadium is on the left side of this panorama. In the neighborhood also, albeit you can't see in this picture, is the Islamic Center of Tempe, a nice mosque that looks like the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem.
I have great memories in Tempe, and it will always keep a special place in my heart and mind as long as I live.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Hiking on White Mountain

Phoenix, AZ in March is endowed with beautiful weather. The temperature is perfect and the atmosphere is dry. Hiking through the mountains trails is a great sport there, and that is exactly what we did, hiked through the South Mountain trails, and watched the wonderful scenes from the tops of each pinnacle we reached along the way.
It is a perfect setting for retirement and that explains the large number or older folks living there especially in the winter - they call them winter birds, because they flee their harsh winters where they come from such places as far north as Canada and spend a warm winter in houses they own or rent, and then flee the harsh summer back to where they came from.
Phoenix has a unique life, with its clean streets and nice looking Spanish houses. The desert looks wonderful with its Saguaro and Yucca plants, and many other cactus varieties that adorn the landscape. I just love it. Most people here are in great shape because of the lovely outdoors they enjoy, unlike cold places where people are shut up in their houses throughout the winter suffering from cabin fever. Each place has its unique beauty, and for Phoenix it is the desert landscape that highlights its glory, and for that reason I like it, during the winter or during the summer, and for its abundance of sunshine, 300 days each year.