Tour Time Again!

I can hardly believe it’s July already, but we’re a week into the 2010 Tour de France, so it’s time for me to drag myself out from under my rock again and get blogging.  This will be my catch-up post, and then hopefully I’ll be able to write more about the Tour next time.

I meant to get back earlier — I have tons of photos from our local Tour of California in May I’m excited about sharing.  I decided to forego the video this year in favor of still shots, and I’m pretty happy with the results.

Then of course there’s the yarn stuff.  I have a few (to put it mildly) unfinished projects scattered about the house . . . most of them are winter projects like sweaters and blankets.  In May I did manage to finish my Black V-Neck Sweater (Ravelry link) knit in a cotton/wool blend, and I’m very pleased with it.

Yes, it IS black.  Honest.

I’ve temporarily put aside my Hemlock Ring Blanket until the weather starts cooling off a bit.  But I’m really happy with the way it looks thus far.

I also knit up a few face/spa cloths using some nice soft cotton yarns I found on sale at Tuesday Morning (a very dangerous place for me to shop, if you know what I mean).  One of these made for some relaxing vacation knitting while I was at Clear Lake in early May.

Bernat Organic Cotton

I’ve been on a yarn “diet” lately (cutting back on buying) since I already have such a large stash and I’m such a very slow knitter.  In fact, I’m so slow that this year I decided to start my Christmas knitting in July.   No excuses this year!

Yarn diet — yeah, right.

For our Clear Lake trip, we discovered a comfy little motel near Kelseyville and the State Park.  It’s called Ferndale Resort and Marina, and the views of the lake are wonderful. The guys liked it because they were able to tie their boats up at the dock right in view of the rooms — and the fishing wasn’t bad, either!

The resort has a restaurant aboard the Clear Lake Queen, but on our first night there we went about 100 feet down the road and found excellent food at Zino’s. It’s a small, unimpressive-looking place from the outside, but the owner, who is also the host and server, was very gracious and the lake view was excellent.  My meal was fine (I had the leftovers for lunch the next day), but what I really loved was the soup.

I’d be very happy to tell you what kind of soup it was, but I must admit that stupidly — and unusually for me — I failed to write down any details of my trip (ask my mom about our road trip to British Columbia where I wrote down every single thing we ate on the entire trip).  All I know is that it was the Soup of the Day on a Monday, it was orange colored and maybe a little bit spicy but not too much, and it was absolutely delicious.  If anyone can help me out I’d be eternally grateful, and a little less embarrassed.

Our next big thing was the Tour of California.  This year we were lucky enough to view the first two stages from the roadside.Stage 1 took the riders from Nevada City to downtown Sacramento. The day before the race, the Big Guy and I drove along Salmon Falls Road to Hiway 49, thinking we’d pick a spot in view of the Auburn Foresthill Bridge.  A lot of other folks had the same idea.

In the end, though, we found a great place to watch a bit further along the route, near the Salmon Falls Bridge over the South Fork of the American River.

Along Salmon Falls Road

Stage 1 breakaway

HTC-Columbia’s Tony Martin

Tom Boonen, left, wearing Belgian Champion’s jersey

Lance Armstrong looking happy

As we were walking back to where we’d parked the truck, we noticed something bright red lying in a ditch by the road.

Souvenir!

The next day, Stage 2, we got up early and drove over to Howell Mountain — yes, the same place as last year.  Again this year it was raining.  Last year we situated ourselves up near the top of the climb, not far from the King of the Mountain sign.  This year we decided to stay closer to the bottom and found a sharp hairpin turn.  Then the only question was which side of the road to stand on?

In the end I chose the outside, and the Big Guy decided on the inside.  He had a disposable camera and got some good shots.  He also could have patted Lance Armstrong on the back as he went by.

LA right background; Andy Schleck center background; Tom Danielson center front

Fabian Cancellara, left, in red; Mark Cavendish center background

It’s surprising how hard it is to pick out faces as the peloton goes by!  I wasn’t even sure who I’d seen until I got home, uploaded my photos to the computer, and was able to get a closer look.  I’m just happy that I was able to get some good shots and still watch the riders go by without having my eye glued to the camera’s viewfinder.

It’s not over till the broom wagon goes by . . .

I have a bunch more photos of the peloton here, from both Stage 1 and Stage 2.

That’s all for now; I hope to be back in the next few days with some Tour de France commentary.


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