Sunday, January 9, 2011

I Am Forever the Optimist

Heather has been wanting to photograph a portion of the Riverlands Migratory  Bird Sanctuary. She wanted to get picture of it frozen. Since it was going to get up to 24F on Saturday it seemed a perfect day to head to the beach.

But, what she was really interested in was an area that has been flooded and only the stumps of trees are left.

This area is very near the Confluence of the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers. As we were leaving we saw two American Bald Eagles standing on the ice in the river. I'm afraid they turned out to be no more than black specks since neither Heather nor I have the equipment to capture such photos.
There were photographers with tripods and lens as long as my arm working at getting the perfect image. In the background is the Clark Bridge. I'm told it was the subject of a Nova episode on PBS called The Super Bridge.

Here's a better picture of the twin towers of the Bridge. The Bridge connects Highway 367 to Alton, Illinois.
Having gone to the beach on Saturday what could be better than on nice ride on Sunday.

It was 16F when I left the house. I had a twelve mile ride to get to Kirkwood and my customary Sunday morning bagels. Eventually, I made my way down to the buildings I've been watching be rehabbed. I didn't take any pictures of the bagels (or the oatmeal raisin cookie that we won't mention), but I did get some photos of the buildings.

Even from this distance it is obvious the work on the roof of the first building is nearly complete.

When last I took photos the white soffit area was bare wood and not all the tiles were in place.

And the dumpster has returned. I'm suspecting there is a lot of work going on inside, but is hidden.
All told I rode a little over 50 miles today. Eventually, I had to remove a layer as the temperatures flirted with 30F. I wasn't expecting it to warm up so much. I ended up riding in just my Arctiva snowmobile pants, my winter riding coat, and a Columbia Titanium microfleece pullover. The layer I removed was a Champion Puff outer layer jacket.

The forecast for tomorrow is snow. We may get up to four inches of the white stuff between Monday and Tuesday. So, I wanted to get out today. I, also, lubricated the chain, which I'm happy to report is still holding tension.

Finally, a closing treat. Heather and I found this peacock ornament on our walk New Year's Day. I'd hope it was a omen of good things to come in 2011 . . .

and, it may still be. Although it does seem we here in the USA are off to a rocky start with the shooting in Arizona, but I am forever the optimist.

~Circle Blue, Heather and Billie.


  1. God it looks cold over shoud come down nder , bloody hot a the moment!

  2. Hey, good to see some other biker out there braving the cold. I love the pictures from the frozen beach. Stay warm and keep on rollin'.

  3. Great pictures. The blue sky and white ice combination really pops. It may be chilly but you have beautiful sunshine which makes for awesome pictures.

  4. Looks a bit like one of our beaches here in Vancouver, called Centenial Park, not all of it but some areas of the beach look similar...As Trobairitz said, you captured some awesome pictures here. Well done.
    I did go out on a Scooter ride tonight and it was chilly but mangeable and our weather on the West Coast is mild compared to yours. I still don't know where you get the courage to fight the elements out there in your neck of the woods, even if you layer up...cold is cold. Cheers and keep on riding.

  5. Nice pics from the wildlife sanctuary. Icy cold, but at least there's some sunshine!

  6. Raftnn,
    It is cold now, but it won't be long and it will be way plenty hot. This is an area of extremes, but thankfully not cold for long stretches like in places North. Both +100F and single-digit F temperature have there challenges and both can be hard on machines.

    Thanks for stopping by and stay cool. I take great comfort in knowing you are toasty :)

  7. Sonja,
    It is a delight to have you visit my blog. I love yours!

    Actually, I like riding in the cold weather. Even I find that a little strange, but it is true.

    I really appreciate you taking time to comment. Watch out for the frosty. Be safe.

  8. Dear Keith:

    You've got me beat. I am very impressed that you are out riding around at temps of 16┬║(F). I'd be delighted to try it (with all this heated crap I've got for my K75) but the salt and sand on the roads has me temporarily grounded.

    The bridge has me fascinated. Any chance yopu'll do a ride focusing on this soon? By the way, do you know the original purpose of the first rehabbed house (the red one).

    Fondrest regards,
    Jak * reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  9. Hi Keith! Love the pictures from the sanctuary. I like looking at the stumps, we have a few lakes around here that are the same, cut off at the water line, that I absolutely hate kayaking in/around/over. Too many Friday the 13th movies as a kid.

    I can't believe I have more snow than you do?!?!

    :) - Lori

  10. Ms. Trobairitz,
    The sky was very clear last weekend. And, we are far enough south that there is heat transfer even now in January. That said, it was still cold.

    Today, it is not clear. Today it is snowing. I suspect we will wake to 3 to 5 inches of the white stuff.

    Thanks for dropping by and making a comment.

  11. Baron,
    You are right cold is cold. I have the gear for riding in this type of cold and that makes a big difference.

    Thanks for commenting.

  12. Bluekat,
    I'm glad you liked the pictures. It may be a couple of days before we see the sun again. And, I think it is to be like single-digit cold after the snow stops. Oh well, it won't be long and I'll be complaining about it being hot.

  13. Jack,
    I'm glad they use very little sand here, just lots of chemicals which is another problem.

    I think the Clark Bridge is very nicely done. I'm sure there were engineering reasons to go with the type of bridge it is, but what I like about it is that it is unique.

    About the buildings: I have no idea what the original use of the building was. I'm thinking it was a store. Nor do I have a clue as to the goal in rehabbing them. I do know that they used actual tile for the roof of the first building. Not cheap. I waiting to see what is going to happen.

    It is good to hear from you. Thanks for your support.

  14. Lori,
    Maybe this is Narnia and the White Witch is turning it all into winter, even Atlanta, you think?

    Thanks for stopping by.

  15. If it's Narnia then Aslan will be there soon!

    The header photo really brightens up the whole blog site. I see you are making warm memories out of icy conditions.

  16. Irondad,
    I think I was making a comment on your blog while you were commenting on mine. Hmmm, I suspect that means absolutely nothing but it tickles me.

    I'm on the lookout for Aslan. It is white here today -- 3 or 4 inches of snow on the ground.

    I'm always pleased when you comment. I don't know if you remember telling me to go ahead and buy a camera? It was in response to a comment I made on one of your posts. I was sharing how I was never much into taking pictures, but since I started riding I seeing things differently. It took me awhile to get the camera but I did. And, then came the blog. Thanks for the nudge.

    Ride safe,

  17. Nice shot of the stumps coming up through the ice. And the I really like the way cable stay bridges look. To me it looks almost like springtime. Very sunny, open water and positive temperatures!


  18. Keith:

    I really like the header photo too. It makes me want to step onto the ice and see how far I can go. We don't have many places where there are only tree stumps sticking out, except for Carpenter Lake which they flooded the valley to generate electric power. It is along a 160 km gravel road on the way to Lillooet and is probably impassable right now due to snow.

    I know Heather is the photographer in the family, so it was good to follow her suggestion

    Wet Coast Scootin