Thursday, March 20, 2008
Sewer pipes & other sights
I've been visiting my cousin, Al, and his wife, Christy, in Lincoln all week (he's my only Link relative; we're the end of our particular line).
Lincoln, though pancake-flat, is in the Sierra foothills not far from Auburn, and we did a fair amount of bike riding and exploring in the area. It is very green and lovely this time of year.
One day, after wandering through the many bike paths around his neighborhood, Al and I ended up at the Gladding, Mc Bean factory, where they make large clay sewer pipes, as well as architectural terra cota facades for large buildings. I asked the gatehouse guard if I could take photos and he let us in to the storage yard, but not the factory. Great place.
They have a beautiful home, full of interesting still-lifes.
Christy took me for a drive on Tuesday. I don't know why, but someone thought they should plant tall palms on the roads around Penryn. There would be long rows of dead bare-topped palms on one side of the road and on the other, another long row, like above, still alive if not flourishing. They appear to be very old trees. (Wikipedia has a long entry about this town and when I get caught up I will read it and perhaps learn when, why and who made these palm-lined roads.
(Here's the pertinent, though unsatisfying - why palms? - Wikipedia reference: Joel Parker Whitney owned thousands of acres of land in the Penryn area in the late 1800s. In the early 1890s, about 1,000 California fan palms were planted along the boundaries of Whitney's Placer County Citrus Colony citrus farming venture, and many still stand along English Colony Road. These palm trees, otherwise out of place among the native Sierra foothill oak forest, are a signature of the area.) I took Sibyl with me this time. It meant schlepping my stuff, my bike and bike-riding stuff, and parrot-stuff. I missed my Vanagon. But Sibyl was a wonderful traveler and a not-bad house guest. She laid another egg, but was otherwise so busy being vigilant that she wasn't a pest.
Yesterday, I met high school friends, Tom and Tim, in Carmichael to ride part of the American River Parkway. They like to ride fast and hard and I was at a distinct disadvantage on my Bike Friday. I couldn't even pull the age-card, they're probably a year older than me. Tom hikes and snowshoes, Tim is a competitive rower. On the small climbs, I didn't have a prayer - I'm geared low for hill-climbing fully loaded - for touring - and so the flats weren't any better. Maybe I'd of been faster on the Cannondale. Sigh. But it was fun and I can see why they never ride busy roads, it is very beautiful around there, especially this time of year before it gets hot, though they tell me it's quite cool in the morning, all year.
Sibyl actually flew toward her sleep cage -not gaining height, but trying - ready to roost way before sundown. I think she was pooped. I'm quite energized, ready for a weekend of riding with the Velo Girls.