Category Archives: adventure

Orionids and Orion-nopes!

Last week was supposed to be the best time to see the meteor shower next to the constellation “Orion”. A very reliable source (the internet) told me that the best time to see these meteors was right before dawn. So I woke up at 4am to venture into the foothills of California to see these marvelous wonders. However, things did not go as well as expected.

 

me trying to keep warm

 
A friend brought their digital camera and blow up mattress to watch the stars with. Here is a nice long exposure photo that she took.

 

look! a shooting streak! (photocred: @beclshum)

 
This was around 5:30am.

However, when dawn came, our view of Orion was masked by an intense fog that came rolling over the “mountains”. Needless to say, we were unable to see any meteors after that.

  
So we hunkered down with our giant blankets to keep warm and waited until 7:30am so we could go eat breakfast at “Alice’s Restaurant” near Woodside.

   

i need glasses to sleep

 Even though i didn’t see much, i was able to see 2 meteors….and most importantly of all, the banana bread french toast and country potatoes for breakfast made everything worth it. I guess there’s always next year.

led zeppelin’s “misty mountain hop” comes to mind

Tagged ,

Lands End

If you’re like me and you heard the words “Lands End”, you’d think “fancy clothes that I never buy”. But did you know that “Lands End” is actually a place to hike in SF? Well i didn’t until i stumbled upon it after a bridal shower for a friend that we had in Golden Gate Park. In between adventures of opening presents and adventures in the rush ticket line for Phantom of the Opera, me and some roommates decided to adventure to Lands End (not the clothing store).

2015-08-22 14.06.07    2015-08-22 13.40.08 2015-08-22 13.40.12       2015-08-22 13.47.40

Turns out, it’s a great hike for wheelies and friends alike and sports some great views of the Ocean and Golden Gate Bridge. The paved wheelchair accessible trail only goes a quarter of the total trail, so if you want to go further, bring a sherpa.2015-08-22 13.39.52

2015-08-22 13.39.38

I see you blue “Accessible Trail” (and the fuzzy reflection of my iPhone)

2015-08-22 13.39.41

This hike is easy. A typical grade is 4% and the worst it ever gets is 60%!!! (I wish I could capitalize numbers)

2015-08-22 14.31.54

2015-08-22 13.59.37

Look! A trail!

2015-08-22 14.32.05 HDR

FREEDOM!

Near the beginning of the hike you can take an alternate route down the cliffside where you end up at Sutro Baths which was built in 1894. They are interesting to explore if you are into historical Grecian aquatic hygiene or just want to romp around in water. I ended up staying at the top of the cliff to enjoy the sunset while the roommates romped.

2015-08-22 13.37.01

People bathed down there

If you’re interested in finding more information/history of this place, check out this link:
http://www.nps.gov/goga/planyourvisit/landsend.htm

All in all, Lands End is a great place to go to spend an hour along the coast.

2015-08-22 14.05.38

Beware of curly hair + wind

2015-08-22 14.06.35

Discussing the Political Commentary of the graffiti to my left

2015-08-22 14.02.43

Bi-annual meeting of the glasses club #landsend2015

Tagged , ,

Bike to Work Day 2015 — (Handcycle + Wheelchair: Part 1)

May 14 was “Bike to Work Day” this year around the Bay Area. Last year I saw many cyclists commute to work and receive free tote bags and snacks, so naturally I wanted to participate this year.

shalom!

Biking to work, itself, wasn’t too hard of a commitment since I work about 3 miles from home and I’m in such great shape (*cough*). The hardest part was figuring out where to put my wheelchair while riding. Normally when I go on a ride, I will leave my wheelchair at my car so I can get it when I return. But, there was no way I was going to leave my chair at home and sit at my desk in a handcycle all day.

Here was the plan:

1) Drive to work the day before (as usual) and then get a ride home from a friend/roommate

2) In the morning, bike to work with my chair strapped to the back of my bike

3) Bike to my car already parked at work

4) Reassemble my chair and put my bike in my car during the day

5) Drive home

In the morning I met with my BFF, Becca, who was to be my pit crew in case anything went wrong on the ride over. She gathered all the bungee cords and rope she could find and somehow finagled my chair to fit on the back of my handcycle. This was my first attempt at trying to manage the handcycle + wheelchair combo.

Here’s how it looked before we departed:

BTWD15_pregame_side

Wheelchair sculpture w/ bungee cords

Wheelchair sculpture a la bungee cords

BTWD15_artsy

BTWD15_wheels_2

This is what 2 years of a Physics degree bought us

This is what 2 years of a Physics degree bought us

Becca also strapped my wheels to her backpack since I couldn’t fit them anywhere on my bike. (HINT: make a triangle with the rope; let gravity be your friend.)

Since this was the first time we had done this, there were a few hiccups along the way.

1) Not enough room on the back of my handcycle to comfortably fit my entire chair without anything rubbing

2) Once strapped in, my chair would jostle out of place and start to hit the spokes of my handcycle if I went over bumps too fast. We had to pull over to the side of the road a few times to realign and tighten some straps

3) Some of the regular biking routes have tunnels underneath busy streets where there are also bike barrier guards that someone in a handcycle cannot maneuver on their own. Luckily i had my pit crew to help me navigate and actually pick up the handcycle with me in it to get around the bars

4) If you leave home too late, the tote bags are all gone from the aid stations

On the road again....

On the road again….

LUCKILY! I passed two stations on the way to work and the last one had extra tote bags for us. Baby clif bar? Totally worth it.

nom nom nom

nom nom nom

I saw this bike trip as a test run for when I bike around Europe with some of my closest friends for my 10 year Crashiversary next year.

Things to remember:

1) The more bungee cords, the better

2) Maybe buy a back fender for handcycle, which allows more room for the chair to be strapped onto handcycle 

All in all, it was a success! By next year I’ll be a pro and be ready to hang my 2nd tote bag in my closet with pride.

tote bags = success!

tote bags = success!

Selfie!

Selfie!

Tagged , , ,