A Note from Fatty: Susan and I went to see the bone tumor specialist yesterday. He didn’t have a recommendation on how to reverse the cancer in her bones, but he did have an answer on what we need to do to get Susan walking again: a hip replacement. Left side. So we’ve got that scheduled for December 5.
Today, Susan and I will be going to her oncologist to figure out what the next steps are as far as fighting the cancer itself.
Thanks to everyone who keeps sending positive comments and email. We really appreciate them. Among the email I got yesterday was this photo from Caren.
She’s just back from the 3-day San Diego Breast Cancer walkathon, where she raised $12,500 — an incredible amount — to fight this disease.
I’ve never met Caren, just like I’ve never met most of you. The fact that so many of you go out of your way to support Susan and me like this is both touching and mind-boggling. Thank you.
An Update on the ”Get a Grip: 1-Week Weight Loss Challenge:” There are now 39 people entered in the 1-Week Weight Loss Challenge, with donations toward fighting cancer totalling $775.00. And just so you know, the Stunt Diet is working great. I’m down 2.8 lbs already. Yes, really. I fully expect to lose 7 lbs by the end of this competition, which will put me in great position to gain it all back (and a little bit more) the following week.
Four guys, after three days of riding and no showers, will do that to a vehicle. Seriously, I really have no idea how I’ll ever get my truck to smell not-disgusting ever again.
Also, I’ll remember it as the event that forced me to admit that camping can be pretty great.
We set up camp by a defunct windmill right off the Gooseberry Mesa trail, which is outside Hurricane, Utah. And when I say “camp,” I mean real camping. Tent (for some of us anyway — the wealthy and priviliged class among us stayed in Rick’s camper), no water, no facilitites. Which meant we had the area to ourselves — a good thing, considering the topics of the loud conversations that would happen around the campfire at night.
Some of the topics included (but will not be attributed nor recounted, to protect the very, very guilty):
- Dangerous Liaisons: One of us had, at a young age, been pursued by a wealthy widow who claimed she had had a dream that they were to be married.
- Revenge: As a teenager, one of us worked for a lawn care company. After being pelted with rocks throughout the summer by children in a trailer park, that one of us revenged himself on his last day of work by writing obscene words in the kids’ lawn with RoundUp.
- Scary: One of us has a wife who has been threatened by the Mafia.
- Ew. One of us has had his balls waxed, and looks forward to doing it again.
In addition to the almost surreal conversation, we had extraordinarily good food. I don’t know if it’s a function of being hungry after riding for the afternoon, or if it’s the open flame, but the brats we made were the best thing I have ever eaten.
That is not hyperbole, and I’m pretty sure others camping with me will back me up on this.
We boiled the brats in beer (with an onion chopped in) in a Dutch oven, then grilled them over a wood fire. And then we ate them on Kenny’s homemade bread.
Yes, Kenny makes and bakes his own bread. And it’s incredibly good.
We chose last weekend as the date for this trip months ago. It was a rare piece of luck that it just happened to be perfect weather for pretty much the whole trip. We rode a short section of Gooseberry on Friday, followed by Little Creek Mesa on Saturday, and then rode more of Gooseberry on Sunday.
I’m not sure there’s a more beautiful place in the world. You wind your way through tight, narrow trail, junipers and giant boulders on either side of you. It’s like being in Land of the Lost, but the set’s better designed. Here’s Bob coming out through one of the narrow canyons:
and here’s a nice shot of Dug, riding singletrack on Gooseberry. Massive exposure (i.e., certain death) is eighteen inches to his left.
As usual, I was by far the worst rider of the whole group. I’m often caught between thinking I need to find a worse group of friends to ride with, and being glad I have talented riders for friends, so I can see what’s possible on a bike.
Part of what they can do that I can’t, I think, is twist out of a bad fall. Case in point: check out Corey showing his cat-like grace:
Bob on a SingleSpeed
Bob borrowed my Rig for the weekend, to see what it’s like to ride a 29″ singlespeed.
I think it’s fair to say he loved it. I also think it’s fair to say that Bob rode his heart out, cleaning stuff he maybe wouldn’t have even attempted earlier.
I tell you what: there’s something special about riding a rigid 29″ SS. It makes you better than you were.
Check Bob out:
The kid’s on fire.
I bet you anything he’ll want to buy this bike from me. Now I’ve got to figure out what a reasonable price is.
A few things worth noting:
- We’re getting old: Kenny had to be careful during this trip; he’s recovering from a broken hip. My shoulder’s messed up. So is Dug’s. Brad often complains about how his goiter is acting up.
- I was a very boring person to be around: I loved being around my friends this past weekend, but could never shake all the stuff that’s worrying me. I was quiet, didn’t laugh at others’ jokes as much as they deserved, and was very tentative on the bike.
- We’re all very handsome men: Let’s end with the obligatory group photo (pops to larger version):