How I spent my extra hour

This last weekend I was visiting Austin, TX and it just so happened to be the same weekend we adjust the clocks back to standard time. With the “extra” hour I decided to try Stand Up Paddling (SUP). Relatively an unknown sport in Iowa, it’s quite popular in larger cities, especially those with bodies of water used for recreation. Austin is one of those places and I rented a board for an hour (my extra hour) from the Rowing Dock. I was expecting a balancing challenge, but really it was fairly easy. Maybe the boards come in different size widths? The water was mostly calm and I bet waves would add excitement. Overall, I thought it was pretty fun and would definitely do it again.

Stand Up Paddling in Austin

A Day at Zion National Park

Zion National Park

Last weekend, Michelle and I had a chance to go to Zion Park during a road trip out west. Unfortunately, our free-time was limited and we only had one day to take it all in. Below is what we saw…although pictures do not come close to the real thing.

I really want to go back for at least a week or two…maybe longer.

The Watchman Trail


Kayenta Trail – Michelle


Angel’s Landing Trail – John


The Virgin River at Riverside Walk

“Real Life” in Asheville


We had our first official “Real Life” gathering in Asheville, NC. Real Life is a work retreat for our company or a chance for my internet coworkers to actually collaborate face to face. We spent a week in Asheville, rented a house in the mountains, worked during the day, hit up every downtown coffee shop, hiked some trails, ate at local cafes and took in a beautiful waterfall.

Some images from the trip…



and a video of Peter riding down a water fall…


Johnson City

This past week, I got to visit Johnson City, TN. Some highlights (besides seeing family) were Eastern Tennessee State University, Scratch Brick Oven Pizza, homemade moonshine Pumpkin Ale and mountain views.

Some of those views are below of the ETSU Campus…where I worked for the day.

ETSU Campus

ETSU Campus

ETSU Campus

On my last day, I got up early to venture over to Roan Mountain. The plan was to drive 8 miles up to the top, Carver’s Gap, and catch a stunning view of the sunrise. The Appalachian Trail crosses Carver’s Gap which was an added bonus. Halfway up, the fog was thickening and I knew it was going to be too dense. I made it to the top, but all views were a lost cause, I could only see about 15 feet ahead! Oh well, it’ll be an excuse to come back and hike it instead.

Craver's Gap AT Trail

AT Trail Roan Mountain

AT Trail Roan Mountain

Note: Thanks Katie and Jake!

What to bring on RAGBRAI – updated


I first posted the checklist two years ago on my inaugural RAGBRAI. I did the camping version, which required much more planning and packing. This year’s group got hotels in most overnights, so here is the simplified version.

Biking Gear:

  • Bike
  • Helmet
  • 2 – Water Bottles
  • Repair Kit
  • Front and Rear Lights
  • Bike Lock


  • Bike Sandals
  • 2 – Pairs of Biking Shorts
  • 3- Jerseys
  • Bandana 0r Bike hat
  • Casual Sandals
  • 2 – Pair of Casual Shorts
  • 2 – T-shirts
  • 1 – Long Sleeve Shirt


  • Toothbrush
  • Tooth Paste
  • Deodorant
  • Anti Chafing Lotion


  • 16 – Packets of Premixed Gatorade Endurance
  • 8 – Clif Bars


  • ID
  • Credit Card
  • $100 in cash
  • Official Rider and Bike Bands

I got it all to fit in my backpack with room to spare! Now, just the riding part…