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Back the daily grind, flood damage, and giant urban rodents eating our garden.

Posted Jul 03 2012 9:29pm
The LHT looking better than ever,
Well there it is, the LHT all cleaned up after two full days of rain on my abbreviated tour. Even though I didn't end up doing the tour I had planned, I did manage to update the components on the LHT before my tour. It is now the build I always wanted to have for this bike. And it's ride is improved quite a bit. The tires alone were a great upgrade. I went from 26 x 1.75 Schwalbe Marathon Pluses to 26 x 2.0 Schwalbe Marathon Supremes. They are much lighter despite being wider and roll oh so much nicer. My riding position is much better and my braking is vastly improved with the upgrade to Paul canti's.

Yesterday I went back to the daily grind. Even though I only was gone two of the twelve weeks I had planned to be gone....it felt like I'd been gone twelve weeks. The whole having a dream, following that dream, discovering it wasn't the dream you thought it would be, etc, etc, etc, has really changed me. It will still take a lot of thinking to figure this one out.

While I was gone for two weeks my physical world changed as well. Duluth was hit with a "500-year flood". You would never think a city built on a hill could flood. But when the infrastructure is built for a 100-year event and you get a 500-year event, destruction happens. Apparently streets turned into torrents of water under heavy rain once the storm sewers and rivers could no longer handle the volume of water.

Today I came down one of the hills I normally ride to and from work. It is closed to traffic right now. As you can see in the pictures major sections of the roadway were undermined by rushing water and completely swept away.
Flood damage on 40th Ave W


Flood damage on 40th Ave W


Flood damage on 40th Ave W


Flood damage on 40th Ave W


Flood damage on 40th Ave W


Flood damage on 40th Ave W


Flood damage on 40th Ave W


Flood damage on 40th Ave W


Flood damage on 40th Ave W


Flood damage on 40th Ave W
This is going to take awhile before it is repaired.


Something else that can do a lot of damage...to our gardens, is the local giant urban rodents that wander freely in our city. Here's one caught in the act of munching our hosta garden yesterday morning.
Giant urban rodents
The picture is fuzzy because I shot it through our kitchen window screen.
Giant urban rodents
This young buck had a freshly grown velvet covered rack of antlers on it. Too bad Dash Riprock, our Border Collie mix dog, passed away. He could have herded that rodent right out of our yard.

In closing, thanks to all the kind comments on my last post. It's nice to know others felt my decision to stop my tour was a wise one.

One more point about that. Many commenters focused on the safety issue and the big scare I had in the tunnel. Surely that was the major factor in the decision. But the mental exhaustion from handling the logistics of where to camp cheaply and trying to find gluten-free food all while being in a calorie deficit and losing weight quickly was not sustainable for me. Even without the tunnel incident, I doubt I could have gone on for long that way. Going alone and hoping to camp cheaply isn't as easy as I had hoped it would be. In some stretches it would be nearly impossible in this day and age of population density and private land. And the alternatives are much more expensive or not as safe as I would have wished them to be. What an eye opener is all I have to say.

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