Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Half Ironman 70.3 (I am an Idiot) Diamondman Challenge September 2013

All Pictures at the bottom of post.

Now I am the idiot, no I did not do an Ironman, I did a Half Ironman. A few weeks ago I went to Lake Placid Ironman. I realized anybody that does an Ironman is an Idiot (Swim 2.4 miles, Bike 112 miles, Run 26.2 miles), 140.6 miles.
Lake Placid to watch a few friends do

I did a Half Ironman (Swim 1.2 miles, Bike 56 miles, Run 13.1 miles), 70.3 miles, back in 2010. Doing a Half Ironman is not idiotic, but what I did this time was.

I am not sure how, but a bunch of friends decided to do The Diamondman Challenge this year. The Diamonman Challange is a Half Ironman distance triathlon.

It was race weekend, on Saturday Crazy Christine and I went to "The First Timer" meeting and swim clinic. Crazy Christine got her nick name honestly. When we call her Crazy we mean it in a very positive way. You will understand as you continue reading. What she can do when it comes to endurance sports is "CRAZY"

Though I have done this race before, I felt it important that Crazy Christine go to "The First Timer" meeting, not only has Christine not done this race before, she has never done a triathlon before, like I said, "CRAZY".

Why the swim clinic? For me this was my year of the swim. Last time I did this race I was second to last out of the water for my age group, with a time of 58 minutes. This is where I had room to improve. For Crazy Christine, she had never done an open water swim, she had never swam in a wetsuit. Like I said, "CRAZY". Swimming in a lake is a lot different than swimming in a pool. In a pool you can see the bottom of a pool, in a lake you hope you can see a few feet through the water, but more likely you
might see your hands. In a pool you have lane markers to keep you swimming straight, in open water swim you have 100 plus people all swimming toward the same buoy.

We both got at lot out of "The First Timer" meeting and the swim clinic.

Saturday was a long day, one that I did not drink enough or eat enough, I will pay for this during the race.

Sunday, race day, I drove to the race with Crazy Christine. At the race we meet up with Lorenzo, Klark Kent, and Laine. You may remember Laine from the adventure race I did a few years ago, she is also "CRAZY". Of course you all know Lorenzo as he is the idiot that just did the Lake Placid Trenton Half Marathon with us last year.
Ironman. Klark Kent ran the

For Klark Kent, and Laine this is their first Half Ironman, but both have done several shorter triathlons. Clearly that are not as "CRAZY" as Crazy Christine, as they have done triathlons before.

The women would be starting 5 minutes before the men. Training for a Half Ironman is less than 50% of the training for a Full Ironman, but it still requires a fairly rigorous training program. Because of my nomadic life style since leaving Botswana I have not trained the way I would of liked
to, or should of. The only area I had focused on was the swim.

It was 7:20 AM and the women were off, the swim course started with about 100 women all swimming at a 45 degree angle north toward the first yellow buoy. All we could see were orange swim caps splashing in the water.

As the men's start, got close I realized I should be about the same speed as Klark Kent. The gun went off, we headed toward the first yellow buoy. Both Klark Kent and I realized the lake was shallow enough to touch bottom so we ran as far as we could until we were forced to swim. Marking the course were orange sighting buoys and
yellow turning buoys. The women had orange swim caps and the men had yellow swim caps. It made for a very interesting swim.

Once we reached the first yellow buoy we made a right turn and headed to the second yellow buoy. Klark Kent was significantly faster (I think his arm span was about 9 feet) than me when he swam, which was about 75 meters, he would then back stroke for about 25 meters. During Klark Kent's back stroke I would catch up, sometimes even pass him. We hit the second buoy and made a left turn, we had completed about 200 meters.

Beside bumping into Klark Kent every so often, I felt great, was comfortable, going straight, and relaxed. We hit the third buoy 350 meters done, another left turn, Klark Kent and I were still giving each other love taps, plus two other swimmers bumped me
once in a while. We were now doing a 1,200 meter straightaway. I felt very comfortable, going straight, toes were cramping a little, but that has happened to me on a long swim before. All of a sudden Klark Kent is swimming toward the shore, rather than toward the fourth buoy. I yelled and he got back on course. We hit the fourth buoy, 1,550 meters done, another left turn 150 meters to the fifth buoy.

As we made our last left turn and headed for the last yellow buoy, Klark Kent stopped doing his back stroke which allowed him to get a nice lead on me. I hit the last buoy, made a right turn, the beach was 100 meters away. I could see Klark Kent he was out of the water. As I finished I was feeling good and knew I crushed my time from the my last Half Ironman. 1.2 miles done, time 48:16 last time 57:39, I improved by 9 minutes and 23 seconds, life was good or so I thought.

I went to stand up, every muscle from my waist down cramped / knotted up, quad, hamstring, calf, feet, and toes, in both legs. I am glad I was in 2 feet of water or I might have drowned. I could not walk but I was happy with my time. I beat 2 people in my division which is one more than last time, and I beat 18 men in other divisions. I could not have been happier with my swim.

If I could only walk! I hobbled to the transition area about 200 meters from the lake. Klark Kent was just finishing up his transition, he beat me out of the water by just under a minute, with a time of 47:22. Here are the Swim stats. Laine - 33:09 first women out of the water. Crazy Christine 38:32 first time she ever did an open water swim, like I said "CRAZY". Lorenzo 42:21 he just did an Ironman a few weeks before.

Once I got to the transition area, I sat down to take off my wetsuit, from my ribs down my abs cramped/knotted. I knew what the issue was, nutrition, somehow my electrolytes were off. When training for an endurance event nutrition is as I important, if not more important than the training.
Between me not eating correctly during training, (gaining a few lbs) and not eating and drinking properly the day before the race, my body chemistry must be all screwed up, or at least that is what I thought.

I fell of my stool, and laid on my back, every muscle from my ribs down were cramped/ knotted, I was like an upside down turtle with his legs tied together by a wetsuit. Luckily for me another competitor noticed my predicament and helped by removing my wetsuit.

With a little (lot of) pain I got my bike shoes on and headed out of the transition area for the bike. My only hope was the bike would loosen up my legs and the hydration / nutrition I would take in on the bike would square away my body chemistry. I could not lift my leg over my bike to mount, so I had
to lay my bike down and step over the bike and lift it back up.

My first mile was 14 MPH, though very slowly, my legs were working so I was happy. I figured Klark Kent was a good 5 minutes ahead of me. I knew my body well enough that my issue was chemistry, I had to get electrolytes in me. I knew Klark Kent trained with Lorenzo, and Lorenzo was a stickler for carrying electrolyte tablets, so if I could catch Klark Kent he might share some tablets with me. I started praying Klark Kent was a slow biker, or either Lorenzo or Klark Kent would flat so I could catch one of them.

I accelerated my pace staying between 18.5 and 20 MPH, as the course left the park we made a right hand turn, went straight until we hit a T intersection where we made another right. The course was two separate loops with us doing one of them twice.

I was about 15 miles in and had just completed the first loop, I had not seen Klark Kent coming back as I was going out so we must of been on the loop together. I was hoping I was close. Mile 15 to 20 I tried to stay above 20 MPH usually around 21 MPH. I was desperate for electrolyte tablets, I was
fairly sure my legs were not going 56 miles in this condition. As I headed onto the long stretch which I call the second loop (really an out and back) I saw Laine, she looked strong and was moving fast, heads down focused. I gave a quick yell, saw a smile as she passed.

I was now praying I did not see Klark Kent, or Lorenzo. The sooner I saw them, the further back I was from them. I still had several miles until the turn around. I had been downing gui packs, but they did not have the quaintly of electrolytes I needed. For fluids I was drinking a mixture of Green Tea and Gatorade.

I was feeling better than I should have with my legs in the shape they were in. Mile 21 was 23 MPH.
I saw Lorenzo and then Klark Kent, I now knew the electrolyte tablets were out of reach, they were a good 2 miles ahead of me if not more. A few minutes later I saw Crazy Christine. I made the turn to head back and I caught Crazy Christine. I slowed to chat with her, she was doing great, enjoying herself. Crazy Christine was on a borrowed bike, wearing borrowed clothes, biking a distance she had never completed before. Like I said, "CRAZY".

I said my goodbyes and accelerated. I was having a difficult time getting above 17 MPH, all of a sudden it hit me, WIND! There was a strong head wind. Not only did this force me to slow down, I realized my ride out had a tail wind, I was not riding as well as I thought.

At mile 29 the angle of the road changed which helped with the wind, but I got more bad news, I saw
riders coming at me and they were good riders. What this meant was, we do this section twice. I knew we did the first loop twice, but now I would hit that wind again in another 15 miles or so. Mile 29 to 47 I was able to keep my pace above 18 MPH. I saw Laine again, she looked great.

I had 11 miles to go mostly into the wind, I had a ton of energy, my legs were holding up, I would get cramps if I pushed, but could stretch them out if I slowed. My lower back was cramping and that gave me some concern.

The day was getting hotter. I had brought a water bottle just to dump on my head to cool me, that was working great. I had a camelback with 72 oz of
Gatorade / Green Tea mix. I was sucking those liquids down knowing I needed the fluids.

With 10 miles to go I remembered Lorenzo kept his electrolyte tablets on his bike. I thought I could grab some in the transition area when I finish the bike and before the run.

My last 10 miles were my slowest with one of them being barely over 14 MPH.

I made the left into the park, rode the last mile stretching my legs as I rode. My fear now was would my legs hold me when I got off the bike.

I got off the bike laid it down so I could stepped over it, never lifting my leg more than 8 inches. I hobbled with my bike to the transition area and racked my bike. My time 3:06:47, I was happy with that considering my legs. The last time I did this race my bike was 2:55:07 I was a full 11 minutes 40 seconds slower. Not a good sign. My watch said my average speed was 18 MPH, I will take that.

Klark Kent was the fastest biker with a time of 2:53:10, Lorenzo was right behind him at 2:54:00, Laine was next at 2:56:06 and Crazy Christine finished the bike in 3:32:47.

Somehow I changed from my bike shoes to my running shoes (that was not pretty). Every time I bent down to tie my running shoes I would get cramps. I would of paid a kings ransom for Velcro laces at
that point. I downed the 16 oz bottle of ice water I had in the transition area. I could hardly walk, how was I going to run. I could see Lorenzo's bike. It was like being lost in a desert for days, and seeing water. I went over, grabbed the container Lorenzo kept his tablets in......

Not good news, it was empty he had used them all on the ride.

Do I go or do I stay, I went. My first mile was 9:36 pace, typically I would be running a 8:30 pace. Even at a 9:30 pace, I knew I could NOT it. A good friend, Andy Sandy, who had recently done the Lake Placid Ironman, told me if you know you will need to walk during the run, walk before you need to so you can still run some. I made that decision, walk 1/4 of each mile and run 3/4's of each mile.

One strange thing, every time I would run, my heart rate and respiration would accelerate. This was not normal for me, unless I am sprinting my heart rate stays fairly low. While this did not effect my performance it did give me some concern.

This method of walk / running worked well up to mile 6, I was walk / running at a pace between an 11 and 12 minute miles. I had seen Lorenzo and Laine running together which meant Lorenzo was having a great day. Shortly after seeing them I saw Klark Kent heading back in, he also looked great, I was the only IDIOT.

The run course was out and back, 90% of it was in the sun and boy was it hot. At every water station I drank water and electrolyte fluids, while dumping water on my head. At mile 7 my legs (calf) would cramp each time I started running. I switched to a brisk walk, no more running for me.

Crazy Christine caught me around mile 7, she walked with me for a little bit, she was having fun, she
looked great, and was one of the few runners or should I say walkers that could still run. Like I said, "CRAZY"

I urged her to run on, I would be fine. She was gone in a flash, I am sure she was close to an 8:00 minute pace if not quicker. Like I said, "CRAZY".

I continued my brisk walk, between 14 minute and 15 minute mile pace. The run was suppose to be 13.1 miles, at each mile marker my watch was off by .5 miles. If this held true I would be covering 13.6 miles not 13.1. As I completed mile 12 I saw Crazy Christine she had finished and was coming back to find me. We ran the rest of the race together and my last mile was 10:43 pace, boy was it painful.

I had completed the full course 7 hours 18 seconds, over an hour longer than last time.

For the Run, Crazy Christine was first with a time of 2:10:16, but remember she walked a good bit with me, otherwise she would have been faster. Lorenzo was second at 2:11:05 and he helped Laine. Laine was third at 2:23:59, with Klark Kent right behind her at 2:30:56. DUG brought up the rear at 2:55:01.

The race was over, it was fun, painful, but fun.

For our group Lorenzo came in first with Laine just behind him both in under 6 hours, Klark Kent was next in just over 6 hours, then Crazy Christine around 6 and a half hours. Full results below.

So what happened? Why did I cramp? I tried something new (big mistake). There is the cardinal rule in endurance racing, Never try anything new on race day. I overloaded on Green Tea before and during the race. I was tired going into the race and wanted the caffeine. I AM AN IDIOT ( I need to write this a few hundred times on the chalk board)

Dumb me, I did not think about the diuretic effect caffeine and Green Tea have on the human body. What I did, was pull all the water (hydration) out of my system before starting the swim. This hydration is what keeps your muscles flexible and lubricated. Think of running a car engine without oil, yep the engine seizes. In the case of the human body the muscles seize. When I finished the swim my leg muscles were totally dehydrated.

Another purpose of hydration, is it helps keep your blood thin, when you dehydrate, your blood thickens, the blood is what gets oxygen to your muscles and takes waste away. My blood must of thickened by the run and that is why my heart rate and respiratory rate was so high.

The good news, I finished, the bad news I did not listen to my body, the heart is a muscle and needs that same hydration the leg muscles need. I could of done some real damage, or if my blood got to thick I could have stroked.

That is it for being an IDIOT, I think I learned my lesson. Off to my next adventure.

Race Results
Lorenzo Swim 42:21 T1 3:26 Bike 2:54 T2 1:34 Run 2:11:05 Total 5:52:28 (9th in his age group) Laine Swim 33:09 T1 2:03 Bike 2:56:06 T2 2:08 Run 2:23:59 Total 5:57:27 (3rd in her age group) Klark Kent Swim 47:22 T1 4:01 Bike 2:53:10 T2 2:42 Run 2:30:56 Total 6:18:13 (8th in his age group)
Crazy Christine Swim 38:32 T1 7:43 Bike 3:32:55 T2 7:42 Run 2:10 Total 6:37:09 (4th in her age group Like I said, "CRAZY"
DUG Swim 48:16 T1 5:36 Bike 3:06:47 T2 4:37 Run 2:55:01 Total 7:00:18 (12th in my age group)




Friday, September 6, 2013

Lake Placid Ironman July 2013


Not me! I am not an idiot. Four friends recently competed in the Lake Placid Ironman event.
Lorenzo, Wade Howard, Andy Sandy, and Stacey Racer. For those that do not know what an Ironman event is, I have posted two videos. The first is Lorenzo explaining to his wife, that he is going to do an Ironman. The second video is Stacey Racer hiring her Ironman coach who is also her husband Frank. Once you watch these videos you should understand what an Ironman is. These are rather short videos.

 Lorenzo explaining to his wife he is going to do an Ironman

Stacey Racer interviewing her Coach / Husband for the Ironman

All kidding aside, it was very inspirational to watch these four friends train for over 6 months and than compete with 2,500 other idiots, I mean athletes.

I was very luckily that Lorenzo invited me up a few days early to spend sometime with him and his family at the Whiteface Lodge  in Lake Placid, New York. While I have been to Upstate New York
many times, I had never been to Lake Placid. What a beautiful area.

It was early July, but from what I could tell it is a place you can visit all year round. There is so much to do, much of the activity is outside. Fishing, hiking, boating in the warmer weather, cross country skiing, down hill skiing, bobsledding in the winter. Lake Placid has hosted the Winter Olympics in 1932 and 1980. You may remember the Miracle on Ice when the 1980 United States Men's Olympic Ice Hockey team beat the Soviet team. This happened in Lake Placid.

We arrived Friday afternoon the race was not until Sunday. We had a nice relaxing afternoon at the lodge. The competitors, Lorenzo, Wade Howard, Andy Sandy, and Stacey Racer had a pre-race meeting.

Early Saturday morning I met up with Frank, Stacey Racer's husband and coach. We had decided we would do the Ironman Bike route to get a perspective of what the athletes would be doing on Sunday. The bike route is a 56 mile route around the lake. Our plan was to do the route once, for the race the
athletes would do the loop twice.

It was 5:30 AM, 55 degrees and no humidity, you could not have asked for a better morning, the air was cool and crisp. The bike route starts off in town and you immediately hit some easy rolling hills, what a way to warm up. About 6 miles into the ride you hit a 9 mile long down hill. You might say wow that makes it an easy ride, NO! For Frank and I, the sun was just coming up and we were heading east, so we could see just a few feet in front or us because of the sun glare. We had to ride our breaks the whole way down. For the racers, they did not have the issue with the sun, but wait to you hear what they had to deal with.

Once at the bottom of the hill we made a sharp left and rode a very scenic section of the ride, for about 10 miles, right along the river. We got to the town of "J" did a quick out and back, before heading back to Lake Placid, we had about 20 miles to go, so far so good. Remember that 9 mile down hill in the beginning, up to this point we had been riding mostly flat. What goes down, must go up. You guest it, the last 20 miles was all up hill. Frank and I had a blast, but remember we
did not swim 2.4 miles before the ride and we only did 56 miles on the bikes, not the full 112. Plus we had breakfast after our ride, for the Ironman they will be doing a marathon when they finish their ride.

After breakfast I meet up with Lorenzo, his family, best friend, Wade, and Wade's girlfriend Amber.

The plan was to go for a hike to Copperas Pond, This is one of Lee Ann's (Lorenzo's wife) favorite places. At the start of the hike I got a little distracted and lost site of the group. The trail was well marked, but I guess not well enough for me, somehow I got lost. I eventually found the pond, but about 30 minutes after everybody else. Lorenzo was worried about me (ne cell service), and went back to find me. Somehow we missed each other and he ended up doing the hike twice. Exactly what he needed the day before an Ironman. Lee Ann was correct Copperas was fantastic, there was a rock that hung about 10 feet over the pond, but seemed like 20
feet. We could jump off the rock into the cool fresh water. We did a little swimming, and had lunch before hiking back.

The afternoon was rest and relaxation for the competitors, while the spectators had another plan. We rented a boat and took the boys tubing. Lake Placid is a long narrow lake. This allows ski boats to get up some nice speed which can be a lot of fun if you want some wild tubing rides, fun and wild was what the boys got.

Tubing Video

Lorenzo had a great dinner brought in for everybody to enjoy. The key was a nice quite dinner with no stress and an early night to bed.

We all meet up at 5:00 AM. I was Lorenzo's support team. The bikes were all dropped off the day before. This morning before the race we had to drop off the special needs bags, each racer has a bag that they can put anything in. They will have access to the bags half way through the bike and half way through the run. It was a wild scene, 2,500 competitors along with their spectators and support staff.

I was not sure where Stacey Racer and Andy Sandy where, I was watching over Lorenzo while Amber kept and eye on Wade. Lorenzo is a very laid back guy, in fact he is so laid back sometime we have to take his pulse to make sure he is still alive. Not this morning he was ready to go and he had a plan and we better follow that plan or who knew what might happen.

Wade and Lorenzo entered the swimming area, Amber and I were on our own, no spectators allowed in the swimming area. Once the race started we could see all the swimmers, but had not idea where our friends were. As the swimmers started finishing, about an
hour after the start we headed over to the section they had to run to get to their bikes. Yep, swim 2.4 miles and then run a half a mile, bare foot, on cement, to get to your bike.

Wade was the first out of the water, followed by Andy Sandy, Lorenzo was just a few minutes behind Andy Sandy, with Stacey Racer taking up the rear. The weather, it was perfect about 58 degrees and overcast, well almost perfect about 10 minutes before the swim finished the skies opened up and we had a moderate rain for 30 minutes. No big deal, or was it. Remember the bike course, a few miles in there is a 9 mile steep down hill, it is also VERY windy. Now the riders had a steep, windy down hill that was wet, not the best conditions for biking. Yes, there were a few spills, but nothing critical.

The bike would be somewhere between 6 and 7 hours. I found Frank and we went and got some breakfast while we waited for the second loop of the bike. Fortunately the rain let up and the bike course dried for the second loop.

You know the saying all bikers look the same, well it is true, trying to find four bikers out or 2,500 is close to impossible, but not impossible. We found 3 of the four, could not find Andy Sandy. Lorenzo made up some time on the bike completing the course in 6 hours 17 minutes, Wade, right on his tail at 6 hours 24 minutes, and Andy Sandy and Stacey Racer taking up the rear in just over 7 hours. They were now all off on the Marathon, 26.2 fun filled miles.

Again we saw 3 our of 4, this time we never saw Lorenzo. Though from what I heard he had a smile on his face the whole run. Lorenzo had the best Marathon time at 4 hours 4 minutes. Remember this was a 4 hour marathon after swimming 2.4 miles and biking 112 miles. Wade completed the
marathon in 4 hours 42 minutes. Both Andy Sandy and Stacey Racer were just over 5 hours.

Detailed times:

Lorenzo        Swim 1:30:41  T1 8:05    Bike 6:24:07  T2 5:46   Run 4:04:17  Total 12:12:56
Wade             Swim 1:19:07  T1 10:14  Bike 6:17:15  T2 8:09   Run 4:42:18  Total 12:37:03
Andy Sandy  Swim 1:26:08  T1 15:45  Bike 7:08:01  T2 8:57   Run 5:22:53  Total 14:21:44
Stacey Racer Swim 1:37:34  T1 8:56    Bike 7:11:18  T2 11:01 Run 5:41:11  Total 14:50:00

I was shocked four people just spent between 12 and 14 hours doing a race and they all looked like they were ready to rock and roll. I think it may have been the adrenaline. After a nice soak in the hot
tube everybody called it a day.

After spending a day watching these nut cases compete, if you do not believe me, that they are nut cases, go back and view the first two videos. I felt this competition was not for me, but I wanted to make sure. I decided to go down to the lake and do one loop of the swim, 1.2 miles. After an hour of swimming, I completed one loop, 1.2 miles. Stacey Racer was the slowest swimmer of the group and she did 2 loops in 1 hour 37 minutes. If I could do two loops at the same pace I did one loop at, I would have been 23 minutes behind Stacey Racer. Now I was convinced I would never do an Ironman.

After the swim I was off, not sure to where, but I was off.



All Pictures

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

San Juan Islands and Seattle June 2013

When I tell people I am heading to the San Juan Islands, they think I am talking about going off to The Strait of Juan de Fuca  is a body of water just Northwest of Seattle.
exotic tropical islands. In reality I am heading to the Great Northwest United States. The San Juan Islands are located in the Strait of Juan de Fuca.

To get to the San Juan Islands I flew to Seattle, drove an hour and a half to Anacortes, took a 45 minute ferry to Friday Harbor.

My nephew "Z" has recently moved to Seattle so he will be joining us on our visit to the San Juan Islands. We arrived at Friday Harbor late afternoon, our ride was a little late picking us up, so I walked around the bustling town or Friday Harbor, while
"Z" and Margarite sat on a park bench and people watched.

We are visiting Rusti needs no oil Van Rooy and Towering William Van Rooy, together they have combined experience of over 160 years, but you would think it was closer to 100. We know Rusti needs no oil Van Rooy and Towering William Van Rooy from our friend we met in St Johns Virgin Island, Usain Bob and Marisol. The Van Rooys are Marisol's parents.

Rusti needs no oil Van Rooy finally showed up, giving us some lame excuse about Towering William Van Rooy having to fax some paper work to the state to put a property claim on some land on the island.

We later found out this excuse was the truth, Washington recently legalized Marijuana, state officials are concerned about the drug cartels starting to import marijuana from Mexico and South America. To alleviate these concerns they are allowing Washington State residents to stake claims to public lands as long as they promise to grow high quality marijuana and sell the marijuana at a fair price.

The economic boom this will bring to Washington State might be greater than what Pennsylvania is going through with natural gas and hydraulic fracking.

The Van Rooy's live in Roach Harbor, about a 20 minute drive from Friday Harbor. They live in a very beautiful condo complex right on the bay overlooking Roach Harbor.

Once we arrived, Towering William Van Rooy put "Z" and I to work moving his sea kayak down to the dock. We were glad to do this as we would be using the sea kayak during our stay.

We had, had a long day of traveling, after a fantastic dinner prepared by Rusti needs no oil Van Rooy we were ready for bed, but that was NOT going to happen. We found out that both Rusti needs no oil Wizard players and insist their guest play ever night after dinner. We reluctantly agreed, not knowing the game would last into the wee morning hours. After only a few hours sleep, I got up early to enjoy a beautiful morning run. The air temperature was about 60 degrees with a fine rain. The landscape was lush and green, not a whole lot of wild life. The deer were plentiful, and not scared in the least, you could run right up to them.
Van Rooy and Towering William Van Rooy are champion

After breakfast we went for a walking tour of English Camp. This is where Towering William Van Rooy revealed his plan to become the dominate marijuana grower in Washington, State. To stay under the radar of the larger growers that are trying to get into this market such as, Del Monti, Dole, even ConAgra, Towering William Van Rooy is starting on San Juan Island. We learned that Washington State is only allowing small farmers to stake claims, farmers doing less than $500,000 per year. The idea is, help the small guy, not the multi-national company. Towering William Van Rooy's idea, is once he get his first grow plot going, he will stake
more claims one in each of his 45 grand children names, this will insure the state does not find out his long term plan of being one huge pot farmer.

English Camp is where the British set up their encampment during the Pig War, yes we use to fight wars over pigs. The views across the bay were spectacular as we're the flower gardens. We had lunch at Roach Harbor which started with homemade doughnuts.

After lunch we went out on Tahoma, which is the Van Rooy's motor yacht. The name Tahoma is the original Indian name for Mt Rainer the tallest mountain in Washington. The Van Rooy's are of the
belief we should only speak American if we are truly Americans, thus when ever possible the speak and write in the American Indian tongue.

We were hoping to see whales while out on Tahoma. Though no whales, we did enjoy a great afternoon out on the water where we enjoyed great food, great company,
and beautiful views, including Sea Lions, and Dolphins.

After our whale watching adventure we had another great dinner prepared by Rusti needs no oil Van Rooy, and then another late night of Wizard.

Today would be our last full day in the San Juan Islands. We got up early and took the kayak out to get a close up view of the area. First it was Margarite and I, with Towering William Van Rooy and "Z" following in the Boston Whaler. Once I tired of paddling, "Z" and I switched places.

That afternoon "Z", Margarite, and I took the jalopy into Friday Harbor to see some of the sites. One of the highlights was the Whale Museum, other things to see in Friday Harbor are, artist studios, and the local farmers market, I wonder if Towering William Van Rooy will sell his products at the farmers market once his farm is in full production.

On the drive back to Roach Harbor we saw Bald Eagles both full grown and eaglets. There is a local that feeds them at 3:30, we happen by at the
exact right time.

After dinner at a local restaurant we had another late night of Wizard. In the morning we would took the early ferry back to the main land.

What a beautiful morning. We took the scenic ride back to Seattle stopping at local markets on the way. Cherries are in season so we stopped and picked up a few
pounds. Our plan was to stay with "Z" for a few days before heading east.

After hearing about Towering William Van Rooy's new farming venture I decided I would look into it. It was getting harder and harder to make a living at on line Poker as the United States Government was continuing to crack down on the poker sites. Being a pot grower seemed like easy money.

Margarite and I had some friends that lived in Seattle, Curt and Lisa Leo. We had not seen them
in many years so we arranged to have dinner together. It was great to catch up. One interesting thing was "Z" could not decided if he wanted a beer or a margarita, so he ordered both. The waiter put the beer right inside the margarita, bottle and all.

Today we would spend some time touring downtown Seattle. "Z" lives in a high rise penthouse. The penthouse overlooks the water on Pikes Place Market.
one side, and the cityscape on the other. He is just a few blocks from

As I continued to ponder my idea of getting into the legal pot trade I remembered that Music Man now lived in Seattle and was involved in the legal pot trade. I had met Music Man while rafting in Hells Canyon.

I gave Music Man a call and we decided to meet at the Chihuly Garden and Glass Museum. Music Man was dating Alyssa and she was apprenticing at the museum.

Before heading over to the museum we had a little competition. "Z" claimed you could not cook a French omelet in a standard pan, you had to use a non-stick pan. Margarite took this as a challenge and the Seattle Omelet Cook Off was born. The winner, you decided?

After the cook off we met Music Man and Alyssa at the Chihuly Garden and Glass museum. While our discussions on the pot business were disappointing, seeing the museum was fantastic.

Music Man explained to me that Washington was going to tax recreational pot so high, that the legal business would lose out o the illegal trade. While this was disappointing I am not giving up on this idea.

Well it is off to my next adventure, Lake Placid Ironman,