Monday, September 28, 2015

Buffalo Bikes Build Better Futures.

You've maybe heard of Buffalo Bikes?  They are made in (and used by) developing countries in Africa, primarily.  I've read a couple of posts about Buffalo, and saw something tonite about their utility and clean design.  What I did not realize is that these babies cost $150/each, last forever, likely "pay for themselves" in increased productivity in short order.  I borrowed a couple of images from the Buffalo site, and encourage any velo fan to learn more about the good work done by this non-profit.

This field is decidedly not in Africa, and the Giant Cypress posing amid the stalks ain't the Buffalo admired above. Corn pickers have begun their run through the rows; only sweat I'm breaking comes from the 10-mile ride on a gorgeous near-Fall day here in Minnesota. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Float Plane Buzzes Lake Minnetonka, Spectators along Lake Street in Wayzata are Spellbound.

Some hotshot pilot brought his float plane around the Wayzata side of Lake Minnetonka today.  He buzzed us two or three times before coming in for a landing to the south.  Then up he goes again, before settling down, running the aircraft up on the beach on its pontoons.  The pilot shut down his single engine, stepped out on the left pontoon, and was embraced by a gorgeous blond who had been keeping a weather eye, and raced to greet her flyboy the minute he touched down.

Lake Street in Wayzata is becoming more of the "scene" with every passing season, but we're still pretty mellow and subdued up here in Minnesota.  I can assure readers of Poppy's Velo Ventures, however, that the town tempo picked up quite a bit this afternoon when N125P8 flew in and paid us a call.

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Kayakers Navigate Deception Pass, Washington, while Boat Builders, Tsunami Preparers, and Visitors to Whidbey Island Live with Water Everywhere.

The guys who kayak the treacherous waters of Deception Pass must be having the nautical time of their lives.  When you stand on the bridge, holding on tight, tight, tight to the railing, and look down at the swirling silver eddies 100 feet below, you get some deep respect for Mother Nature and the boaters who test their mettle against the tide.  You also get vertigo in the extreme! 

Hard to say how many people have taken their lives by jumping off the bridge into the chilly maelstrom below.  A small plaque commemorates a young man named Bryan who is "at one with the sea" now. Well wishers continue to bring fresh flowers to honor his memory.

OK.  Now for the boat builders.  My nephew Christian here just finished up his course of study at Northwest School of Wooden Boat Building in Port Townsend. We got the grand tour of keel-up restorations of ocean going sloops, work boats, even mahogany lake craft inboards, throw-back to the Roaring Twenties.  Christian represents a new generation of wooden boat craftsmen, a trade and passion currently in decline never mind how strong the demand for builders.
Christian and Dad Mark check out a molded fiberglass rowing skiff built by students at Northwest.

And finally, the Tsunami warnings.  Folks out there in the San Juans take the threat of earthquake and tsunami seriously.  Helpful signs are posted in strategic low lying places.  So far, residents have not been required to "Go to High Ground or Inland."  Phew.

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Edina, MN Annual Fall Art Show today at Centennial Lakes Park

Volunteers from Edina Children's Protection and Safety Program were on hand to offer helpful hints, raise $$ for program outreach, and to sell raffle tix for a very cool pedal prowl car, circa 1950.

Cucumber restaurant staffers suggest sample fare for event goers, find time to pose for a foto. Pina and I tried the wild rice, veggie and cranberry salad -- yumm enough that we bought a on to take home with us.

Skilled and creative wool artisan Ian stands in front of unique sweater she wove. Exquisite work.  We ended up buying a Christmas stocking from wool and felt, to be hung by the chimney with care, come December 24, 2015.

Young couple from Minneapolis use felt to fabricate children's over the crib mobiles, plus key fobs and coasters (both of which we purchased). Nice work, nice artisans.

Any number of these creatures were set up to attract buyers and, likely, scare little kids.  Not sure why the lei festoons the neck of the biggest yeti. Quite a sight, though.

Monday, September 7, 2015

Langley, Washington Farmers' Market - Luscious Berries on Whidbey Island.

The sun was out and gentle breezes blew as my sister and I went sightseeing on Whidbey Island, WA last week.   There was plenty of visitor activity and we took full advantage of it.  At the mid-day Farmer's Market on main street in Langley, we saw, tasted and bought about the most sumptuous berries in my experience.  Sis made up a little goody berry bag for the flight back home from SEA to MSP. I was looking forward to the airborne snack, but these berries were so tender, sweet and luscious that they'd turned to mush, leaving my face, hands and shirt stained berry-blue.