Fingal's Cave (Staffa, Scotland)

While on vacation I had the good fortune to visit the small island Staffa off the Isle of Mull, which is entirely of volcanic origin. What makes it unique?….the incredible examples of columnar basalt of varying size, from huge vertical columns sporting a layer of non columnar basalt above to smaller examples epitomized in the small islet of Am Buchaille. This cave and area was an inspiration for Mendelssohn's concert overture "The Hebrides" and popularly known as "Fingal's Cave." William Picher provides the music for this short video, playing both organ and trumpet from his album Te Deum (Suite in D Major, IV March).

Olympic Peninsula Bike Orbit: Apr 22-25

  Selfies at Ruby Beach, Day 2

Selfies at Ruby Beach, Day 2

I thought I'd kick off this season with a bike trip, so convinced a buddy of mine to join me on this orbit. The west side of the Peninsula dictated a couple of century days, made longer by the closure of Highway 101, adding 14 miles to day 2, and a reroute for safety on day 3, adding 16 miles. The last day was thankfully short at 47 miles, as I was suffering from a static crash on day 3 when starting out clipped in; I slid on some gravel in the turn and took the brunt of the fall on my left side and knee. I was also dealing with saddle sores, a first for me. Luckily Lars was a strong rider with a positive attitude, making this trip a pleasure for both of us.

  Salsa Cutthroat in hotel room

Salsa Cutthroat in hotel room

Our bikes were packed for lodging overnights, carrying not only the clothes and accoutrements for hotels but more extensive repair and medical kits; the west side is far from any kind of easy assistance. These more weighty steeds of course had an impact on our climbing and overall speed, but we still managed over 350 miles to make the 1:30 ferry on day 4. We totally lucked out on the weather with a high pressure system sitting over the PNW, providing clear skies and unseasonably warm weather. Although there were areas of lovely scenery and tranquil riding, so much of the transit dealt with varying road shoulders and speeding trucks, RVs and other vehicles that we cannot really recommend this ride due to the road hazards, at least not in our iteration. Please enjoy the video chronicle of this interesting outing below, and be safe out there!

STATS: Day 1 - 75 miles/4000'//Day 2: 112 miles/5600'//Day 3: 118 miles/3500'//Day 4: 47 miles/2300'

TOTAL: 353 miles/15,400'