Sunday, June 19, 2011

Back in Lubbock, where it was 106 F today (or more)

What a busy week it has been! I meant to write this update on Wednesday, right after returning from Costa Rica, but I just never found the time to do so. But I really don't want to not say a few more things about the remainder of my time in CR, so here we go.

The crater lake of Irazu
Instead of flying home on Monday, right after the race, I stayed for an extra day. Andres and I went on a great sightseeing trip to the top of Irazu volcano, just about 30 kilometers from where I had stayed. The drive up to the national park provides amazing vistas of the surrounding countryside, especially the city of Cartago. Unfortunately, this time of the year the top of Irazu is mostly cloud covered; on a rare clear day it is possible to see from this 3,432 meter (11,260 feet) tall mountain both the Pacific and the Caribbean. No such luck for us—we were lucky to actually see the crater.
The color is really that turquoise
Most of the time we were in clouds, and only occasionally did things open up for some spectacular views of the crater and the surrounding slopes with all their wild colors. Things were cold and misty, and Andres and I didn't traipse around for too long.

At the crater overlook
Just outside of the small warming hut/coffee shop at the top, we saw this white-nosed coati feeding on tourists' picnic leftovers. I think the coati is related to raccoons, and not only do they live in Central America but in extreme south Texas, too. I had never seen one.
White-nosed coati
After our excursion to the volcano, Andres treated me to lunch in a road-side eatery and then drove me to my hotel in San Jose. There I hooked up in the evening with Nelly and her husband, Rafael, for a nice dinner that was preceded by a huge pitcher of beer that they made me drink all by myself! Nothing like Imperial on draft, and apparently it was not possible to just get a mug. Oh well.

Real friends order huge pitchers for their buddies!

Nelly and Rafael
On Tuesday I flew back to Lubbock, where record-breaking temperatures have been making life miserable. On Thursday, we set a new record with 108 F for the day. Add to that the infernal wind, and it is truly miserable. Today we rode our usual 55-mile beer route, and we damn near didn't make it—the weather service at 3 p.m. listed the temp at 106 F and the wind at a steady 27 mph from the WSW, gusting to 37 mph. We limped in around that time, going west at less than 10 mph. Ouch!

Last night I had invited friends over for a little backyard dinner party, and about a dozen or so folks showed up. I had prepped some pork ribs, and thanks to the Kamado they came out absolutely perfect. I had also prepared another batch of chimichurri sauce for some fine mini steaks. Everyone had brought a great dish, and it was an absolutely wonderful evening with my friends. I had really had the urge to host such a gathering, and I think that everyone had a great time. Here are a few pics from last night:
Sandra and Martha with Randy in the back

Sirloin steaklets, Argentine style with chimichurri

The smörgåsbord with Martha and Liz and the Kamado and the dead lawn
And now it is Sunday night, I'll fix some of last night's left-overs, and then I'll sit down and read for an hour or two, something that I rarely get to do. It'll be another busy week, with the culmination point the Ironman 70.3 Buffalo Springs next weekend. Most likely I'll take a break from the blog for a few days, unless I can report that the expected "cold-front" midweek drops the temperature into the 80s instead of the mid-90s.



  1. That kamado cost more than your car!

  2. Nah, we bought the cars new, back in 1985 and in 1991. Now it might cost more than the vehicles...

    Pretty, isn't it? I love to cook on it.