Friday, November 26, 2010

Team Shots

I just wanted to post these four pics. I really liked the way they came out. I took these when we were coming through the Buttes.

Fresh Legs Coming Though

I like to think of myself as a pretty in shape person. But there are times when I seriously question it.

I'm active. Yeah. I rock climb. I ummm. Well I did a triathlon? By the skin of my teeth. I dabble in mountain biking. And not of recent, but I ride a road bike too.

When Acey told me about this bike endeavor, I thought, YEAH! I'm healthy, in shape, just graduated from college, just spent six months working 10 hour days on a farm. I can do that. I can ride a bike!

Well that's what I thought.

We left Davin's house 5 days ago, and it has not been a smooth transition from ranch hand to bike tourist.

We left in inclement weather, riding away from a warm house with smiling faces waving goodbye. Davin took us on some kind of deer trail through his property, in the snow! I was telling myself, while pushing as hard as I could with my little roadie tires, DON'T FALL HERE JULIE! You can't stop, everyone is watching. Just keep up, you're almost out of sight. It didn't stop there though.

The first hills were the hardest. I really thought I was going to puke. I didn't tell Dav and Acey that though. I feel slightly like the weak link here, so I just bite my tongue when I can.

Cyndra, Davin's mom rode with us to Nevada City, where we then met up and stayed with our cousins Andy and Karin. Because of the weather, see my last post for details, the power had been out for 3 days. Acey keeps referring to it as post-apocalyptic. People going crazy left and ride. Looking for water and a warm place to stay. Anyway.

Acey at Andy and Karin's beautiful home

Saying goodbye to Andy and Karin

Moving past Nevada City was quite challenging. I mean we have almost traversed the entire state. Came out of the Sierra's and through the Coastal Range.

We stayed on an organic farm. Not skipping a beat, they put us to work. We rode all day, I kind of just wanted to fire up the whiperlite and drink some cocoa, but it was like being back at Sunrise, the crops needed to be covered and the frost was coming. I like that kind of work though. It felt like we were working for our bed that night night. Which ended up being in the hoop house.

After sleeping an average of 12 hours, you would think you would feel well rested, but not the case. I guess eating food like this doesn't help either. Don't worry Sunrise, my food ethics haven't gone down the drain, I was just desperate. And I love donuts, chimichangas, and potato wedges. Shhhhhh.

Every part of my body is sore, all the time. And miles? We haven't logged the most impressive of numbers, but when it comes to hills, we have logged some mother f-ing climbs!

When we're climbing hills, Davin is always the super star. I love it when Acey will be in front, then me following behind and Davin, in the back will come rip roaring by, "Fresh legs coming though!" Acey yells. And we laugh a lot, giggle rather. A true dream team.

Jack Frost? Is That You?

Yesterday Acey, Davin and I went into Nevada City to upload the film trailer, the one I keep writing about, the one I keep saying will be up tomorrow, the one that has been keeping us from getting on our bikes.. Well, if you couldn't read my slight bitterness, it was unsuccessfully uploaded, and we're still hanging out at Davin's (absolutely beautiful) home. But I'm going stir crazy!

We were visiting with our family in Nevada City... And using their Internet when our familiar friend Jack Frost decided to come say hi.

We had a beautiful evening with Andy and Karen, sharing a bottle of wine and listening to stories of Baja California but when we hugged goodbye and they showed us the door our jaws nearly hit the floor at the sight of the falling snow.

Ok, I feel like this is an appropriate time to insert my little bit on over exaggeration. First I love over exaggerating. I see absolutely no problem in adding a little umpf to the story if it gets the feelings and emotions you were experiencing across to the listener. I want the listener to feel like they were there with me. So my point is, I may embellish this story just a little bit to make it feel like you were there with us.

As we buckled our seat belts the three of us didn't know what the next hour and a half would bring. Would we make it back to Davin's house? Would we slide the truck into a ditch and need a tow the next morning? Would Acey's feisty cat persona become so scared that he would start making whimpering kitten noises instead?

Well thankfully Davin has driven the 49 about a billion times and could confidently drive it blind folded, this provided me some peace of mind in what could have been a perfectly disastrous situation.

As expected David, my Ranger, who is not equip with four wheel drive, not equip with snow tires, and my bad, not equip with chains, began fish tailing as soon as we rolled out of the driveway. This prompted some giggles as well as that uncomfortable feeling of your intestines being twisted.

But as we continue on it only gets better. Since the truck was squirrelling around, Acey and I both squeezed through the tiny window and sat on the wheel wells to help weight the bed down. Acey and I looked out the windshield at the snow falling and the wipers going full speed a head. Davin was driving like a bat out of hell. We yelled, "Slow down!" from the bed of the truck. But Davin called back, reassuring us that he really just needed to keep momentum.

It was as if he was cut off in mid sentence. Two guys were in the middle of the road, their car had slid off to the side, and what does Davin do? He slows down to ask if they need a ride. Isn't Davin as sweet as an apple pie?

Well again, cut off in mid sentence, asking them if we could help, our little truck begins to slip off to the side of the road.

Before we know if, Davin puts the truck in first, Acey, the two guys, who turn out to be from France, and myself are out in the pitch dark, digging out the snow by the wheels and are trying to push the truck up a small mountain.

We have little success but we try again. This time we got it going. Acey hopped in the cab, and while in motion me and the French dudes are running behind the truck, trying to catch up to jump in. I made it. So did one of the guys. The other one missed the tailgate entirely and fell in the snow.

"Get up! Get up!" I was yelling. With out hesitation this guy springs to his feet like a UFC fighter with serious determination and begins sprinting toward the tailgate.

It was like a child leaping into his mothers arms after a long week at summer camp. "JUMP!" I yelled. And into the bed of the truck he landed. Unscathed.

It was quite the unexpected visit from Jack Frost. Usually I welcome him with open arms and warm kisses, but from inside a cozy house of course. A cozy house that probably also had cookies in the oven. But not this time.

Soon enough it will be hot and sunny and I'll find myself wishing I was pushing my truck through the snow. Well maybe. Maybe I will just wish I was watching the snow fall from on top of an over stuffed couch with cookies in and around my mouth.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Where The Creative Juices Flow Like Wine

Ok, so one ridiculous reason why I absolutely love being around my brother, well aside from the fact that he hisses like a cat on a daily basis, I love how we can quote Dumb and Dumber together. I feel like that movie has been instrumental in our up bringing. Dumb and Dumber along with Indiana Jones and Ace Ventura.

It has been a slow process here, taking footage for the trailer, editing, and brainstorming. Shoot. Just getting a group consensus for a background color took two days. BUT good god has it paid off. The more time that goes into each work, the better it becomes. I'm really happy with the way everything is coming out.

This is Davin's genius graphic design. I either looks like I'm saying "Hey guys, follow me, it's all down hill from here." Or "Hey guys, F you."

I felt honored when I was assigned to creating the shots that would display our route. This is what I'm talking about. My first attempt was a little rushed and lacking the touch we wanted but once a little more time and thought went into it, we all put our heads together, and the creative juices flowed like wine. The outcome was beautiful. I love this kind of stuff.

I keep saying, hopefully the video will be up tomorrow. Tomorrow. TOMORROW! But with the way things have gone today, it looks like it will actually be up tomorrow. Check out the FB page:

Ignore This

When I was little, shoot, I guess it wasn't that long ago, I dreamt of being a model. A super model. Fantasizing while watching Tyra transform Everyday Janes into Miss Jay runway walking starlets. I would fondly refer to the show as ANTM, and wish it were me on the screen.

This is a shot of the crew and cast. Davin, myself, and big brother Acey

These are confessions that I don't often make public. I fell prey to all the catchy advertisements and gender roles that are constantly being thrown in our faces. Those once ambitions faded when I went to college. I no longer had a desire to be a Cover Girl and became perfectly ok with not being 5'11''.

Well now that I have pushed those fantasies aside I am finding myself digging around for those desires again. Acey, Davin and I have been preparing for the bike tour and film like psychotic fire breathing ants. I know that doesn't make much sense, but I'm getting quite anxious to get on my saddle. We all are. Hopefully tomorrow morning we will have the website up and the facebook page rolling. Please stay tuned.

Hi. I'm back from my tangent. Remember in Austin Powers when he's the photographer and he's snapping pictures left and right, snapping his fingers, saying "Ignore this. Ignore this." remember that? That's what it's been like here. Don't look at the camera. Act like you're just talking to me. Let's take that one more time. This is hard work! Well, exhaustive at least.

For the website we needed to take a couple shots for the bios. If you would have said photo shoot five years ago I would have said "Hold on, let me get a few outfit changes." But now I'm lacking some of that enthusiasm. Despite me feeling really awkward in front of a camera we had a great shoot.

Here are some of the shots:

Acey Aseltine. The film mastermind.

Davin Hart. The investigator.

Julie Aseltine. That's me. The most beautiful, blogging genius and cycling queen.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Well That Didn’t Take Long

Acey, Davin and I have anxiously been waiting for our film gear to arrive. And that day did finally come. This project is constantly becoming more and more official. Because of our funds we weren’t going to invest in the sound gear, but with a little help from Davin’s brother and the teams’ enthusiasm, we decided if we are going to make a film, we might as well do it right.

But I’m not entirely talking about the film gear when I say ‘that didn’t take long.’ For those of you who know me, and I’m sure if you reading this, you probably know me fairly well, it’s not uncommon for me to fall into a downward spiral of out of control laughter. A downward spiral that often ends with wet pants (unfortunately).

So when the sound gear came, Brent, Davin’s dad called through the house “Davin there are a lot of boxes out here.” The three of us perked up like the little cow-lets at Sunrise Ranch when they're about to be moved into the next pasture. We ran down the stairs like it was Christmas morning and excitedly opened the boxes. We are now equipt with a shot mic, boom pole, recorder, extra batteries, mic cord and my personal investment came today too, a new REI three person, three season tent. Yup, still a gear head.

Each item was exactly what we ordered, except the boom pole. Well this might not come across as funny, but I’m going to try. When Davin opened the boom, it appeared to be about one hundred feet long, the three of us were incredibly shocked at its length and the professionalism it brought. Davin was acting like he was trying mic something clear across the room and it provoked laughter that there was no turning back from. This is going to be a fun trip to say the least.

Here are a few shots that I took today:

Acey has been working on the preview for the website and the Facebook page. Stay tuned, hopefully in the next day or two they will both be up. Even in this dazed, mid-sentence shot, he’s quite a photogenic guy. I’m always proud to call him family.

Davin is the storyboard megamind. I mean mastermind. Now that we have the sound gear we can finally take some interviews and finish the preview trailer.

The trip is off to a good start I have have logged at total of zero, zippo, nada miles on the bike. Thanks for reading.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

The Calm Before the Storm

Saturday morning I left 5611 Little Drive before the sun had the chance to warm the cool concrete outside. My dad and Steph sent me off with warm wishes and a stomach full of eggs and spinach.

I spent the larger portion of the day driving up the 5 to Nevada City. It wasn’t the most scenic tour of the state that I have done, but the end destination was quite glorious.

Davin’s house was designed and built by his father about 7 years ago. The location they choose is tucked down along a windy road amongst large pines, absolutely astounding. We have been calling this our staging area. Spending time planning the route, brainstorming about the film, and doing research on traveling Central America. All things that we wanted to do months ago, but we're finding that it is essential that they be done together.

I have been really wishy-washy and ambiguous about my commitment to the film and the bike tour. But after spending a few days with the guys, I have decided that I’m in, 100%. This is truly an opportunity of a life time, and although I can't really afford it, the money or the opportunity costs, I also can't afford to miss out on the adventures.

We are waiting for the sound gear to arrive in the mail, it should be here Thursday, then we’re off. We will be riding down the 49, which from what I have gathered, we must be slightly insane. The 49 is filled with small shoulders, lots of tight turns, and most horrifically, gargantuan hill climbs. The 49 will take us to Yosemite National Park where we will stay a few days, hoping to get on a few climbs and do some hiking. From there we will ride down to Santa Cruz where we will meet up with some friends.

Here are a few pics that I took yesterday.

Acey and Davin checking out the tripods, deciding which one to take on the trip

Davin and I are working on the Facebook page when Acey came to take a little footage

Before going to a pre-Thanksgiving potluck we stopped at a cafe to get some tea and do a little more brainstorming

This little doggy was so cute, but an absolute hellion. Another great night of meeting new people, I'm looking forward to the adventures to come.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Homeward Bound?

I feel like I can drive from Colorado to California with my eyes closed now. Well, that may be a bit of an exaggeration but I feel pretty comfortable and confident with the drive. I've done it a few times with my pops, once with Alyssa, once with Lara, and most recently with Bligh and Alistar. The drive is beautiful from Fort Collins through the Rockies, into the desert and finally into Southern California.

This time I packed up my belongings in the David Douglas and headed out solo, well, with Ally. I was planning on meeting my friends Dustin and Brad in Joe's Valley for a little sandstone bouldering, but when the weather turned sour I decided to keep on truckin'.

I didn't hit the snow that I was expecting, but I did get a bit of rain. Here is a short clip. Ally spent most of the ride like this, with her nose wedged between the windshield and dashboard.

The Storm from Julie Aseltine on Vimeo.

This is a little video I took to capture the beauty of Nevada. A little shout out to Kate, the musical mastermind behind the mixes that filled my truck for 16 hours. The 90's disaster mixes and all the bad hip hop kept me going.

Untitled from Julie Aseltine on Vimeo.

Shortly after this video I found myself approaching the booming metropolis of a city, Las Vegas. I got ahold of a friend and asked for directions to Red Rocks, figuring I might be able to meet up with some folks and hop on a few routes.

Before entering the park, I decided to take a little peek into their newly built visitor center. What a beauty.

The Visitor Center from Julie Aseltine on Vimeo.

To my surprise, probably not to the surprise of some, I ran into an old friend. I hadn't seen Justine Jenkins for a couple years, but it was like now time had passed. Justine, along with about 60 other outdoor educators take a couple weeks in November and camp, climb, bike, and hike in and around Red Rocks. I pretty much unintentionally struck a gold mine in resources and networking with these folks from Naturalist at Large, Outward Bound, NOLS, and Boojum.

It was a great unexpected stop. So, homeward bound? I don't know. I feel (insert slightly hesitant voice) at home here. But I'm thinking of it more as a transition place, rather then home. This bike tour with Acey and Davin is the only thing that currently has me grounded. I know I miss the mountains and the snow but I have taken a great liking to the words my friend Claire, enjoy being home free for awhile. And also enjoying the words of another friend, Paul, just chill the fuck out. So with those two being my current montras, I think everything is going to be ok. And it's going to be awesome.

You Down With PCC?

Apparently this is a period of time that many experience. They experience it with the same amount of confusion, anxiety and excitement as I currently am. I'm calling it the Post College Confusion.

In the last six-ish months I was graciously welcomed into the arms of Sunrise Ranch. Working long, hard days and spending most of my extra time eating (butter & bread) and sleeping. It has been a true pleasure and I know whole heartily that it was exactly where I needed to be. There are many reasons why I should have stayed at Sunrise. I developed life long friends, loved the work, and loved the people. It's located in some of the most beautiful country I have ever experienced. But being home now, I know just as I made the right decision to move to Sunrise, I have made the right decision to move on. But it wasn't easy.

Thank you Sunrise Ranch and the Farm Team for the summer of my life. Thank you for also giving me a guilty conscious every time I even look at a corn-fed burger. My departure was a little less tear-filled than I had anticipated, I know it was because it won't be long till I return. After all, I need some freak-ish cult stories, and unfortunately I don't have any. Yet. So I'll be back.

This is the little porch that could. Patrick had a vision for this baby that he wasn't going to let die. This photo was taken on my last work day. Patrick and Kate played what I'm referring to as the best rendition of Oh Susanna I have ever heard.

Meet the Emissaries. These are the glorious keepers of the Light that is Divine.

Before I left there was one thing high on my list of To Do's: Take Cake Camping. And oh we did. Of course I forgot the tent (intentionally) and we got rained/hailed out, but a good time was had by all. Especially Kate. Here she is enjoying the crowed company of two wet dogs and an excessive amount of stuff. But she has coffee so it was all good.

Me and Foo. This picture was taken just prior to the previous one. Meet David Douglas. That's my new boy. He did well on his maiden voyage to Zee Shelf Road.

Me and Bligh on our way to Steamboat.

Me and Kate on my last morning at Sunrise. Tear.

So the PCC. I'm jumping in with two feet. 'Bout ready to meet Acey and Davin in Nevada City to embark on a journey of a life time. Wish me luck.