Archive for December, 2011

Dec 19 2011

Interval Training – Mendo Style

I vowed to get stronger, faster, and more skilled this fall/winter and have been trying to stay on track with regular training. With limited hours of daylight and lots of other projects to do, this presents a problem. Fall/winter is also our favorite time to hunt and gather. Hmmm – the need for high intensity exercise and the need for hunting and gathering?

Ah-Ha!!! Interval training!!! For years athletes and fitness enthusiasts have used interval training to boost fitness levels. The general gist of interval training is interspersing bursts of high intensity effort with periods of low intensity effort. Here is my evolving Mendo Interval Training Plan for Forage, Frolic, Feast, and Fun.

Intervals in the WoodsMountain biking and Mushroom hunting

How it works – Riding to specific mushroom patches and stopping to pick. Mountain biking on single track trails through the forest constantly engages the core muscles as well as challenges ones balance and timing. Short steep climbs and long sustained efforts provide cardiovascular training.
Cate mountain biking
Results – in 3 hours – cardio and core training, 2-3 pounds of choice edible mushrooms, fresh air, and FUN!!!

Variation – hiking and mushroom hunting. Not quite the core workout but a fun way to get a workout in while trekking to mushroom spots and sharing the adventure with friends who don’t mountain bike.

Intervals at Sea
kayak surfing and crabbing

How it works – setting crab rings in a sandy area near a surf zone and then going surfing. After 20-30 minutes, return to pull the rings which are hopefully heavy with dungeness crabs. Repeat 4 times. We usually end up sprinting between the crab rings and the surf zone and of course surfing always involves rolling.

Results – in 3 hours – an intense paddling workout(sprints, rolling, and salt water sinus cleaning), fresh dungeness crabs, and FUN. Lately I’ve been working on surfing a sea kayak and demoing a Dagger Alchemy. The day hatch is a handy place to transport and store crabs.

Variation – Dropping crab pots and going rock gardening – see CARS.

SUPing for Crabs
– (I got a SUP for birthday/Christmas this year). This week was our first time on the SUP’s so we are still learning and developing this variation. The SUP is definitely a good core workout and a lot of fun.

Frolic, forage, feast, and fun is the theme of these evolving Mendo Intervals. Who knows where the adventures will lead next.

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Dec 14 2011

Out to Sea

Just shy of her 100th birthday, Marion Osterloh made her final journey out to sea. Marian was an amazing woman – a teacher, actress, and writer. She taught for 27 years in the Chico area before retiring to the Mendocino Coast in the 70′s. In 2003, she published a book Fate’s a Fiddler about her life in Mexico City during and after the Mexican revolution. Marian was active in our local community and involved in many groups including Delta Kappa Gamma (an honorary service organization for women educators). I knew Marian through Delta Kappa Gamma.

Marian lived in a home on the bluffs above Seaside Beach. Marian’s wishes were for her ashes to be taken out to sea off the coast of her Seaside home. Marian’s good friend and fellow Delta Kappa Gamma member, Kathe, approached us about helping with Marian’s last wishes.

Seaside beach is a beautiful county beach north of Fort Bragg. Occasionally we will see it in magazine and television ads. One of the beauties of Seaside Beach is its thunderous surf zone. Even with the calmest ocean conditions, there is always surf at Seaside. It is a surf zone that surfers want no part of and paddlers view with at with the upmost respect. We knew that it would have to be a small day to fulfill Marian’s wishes.

On December 8, the day came. We had been having a stretch of uncommonly calm ocean conditions and the predictions were for another day of small seas. We loaded up the tandem sea kayaks and headed out. At Seaside, it was a gorgeous day – sunny, warm with thumping surf.

We got the tandem sea kayak to the water, and Jeff and Kathe headed out.

The local funeral home had packaged Marian’s ashes in a biodegradable box specially for the occasion. Jeff helped Kathe secure the package in her lap as they prepared to launch into the surf zone.

Jeff coached Kathe on paddling through the surf zone. They would try to time their paddle-out to avoid waves breaking on top of them by waiting for lulls and hovering to let the waves break in front of them.

Kathe did great. Paddling or tucking as Jeff directed. As they made it through the first impact zone, a large set loomed on the horizon.

The virtues of speed and stability of our 18.5 foot tandem sea kayak were evident as Jeff and Kathe launched over waves. They reported being airbourne at least twice on their journey out to sea. They successfully made it past the surf zone and paddled about 500 yards offshore to put Marian’s ashes to rest.

The return journey looked mellower for the most part with the exception of a tongue of a wave giving Kathe a saltwater facial.

Jeff and Kathe even surfed on their way back to shore.

Mission completed – feelings of exhilaration and relief swept over us as we felt the warmth of the sun and perhaps the tickle of Marian’s laughter as she completed her on her final journey.

Rest in peace Marian.

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