Riding my bicycle across the Great Divide Mountain Bike Route
Where’s Francis? Follow along daily on my map: https://share.garmin.com/FrancisDavis (ask me for password)
Oh man, what a weekend! The semester at Hawken ended last Friday, and the student body gratefully recieved a four day weekend. But don't worry, school's not out yet. Hawken has a somewhat special schedule, we have "intensives" twice a year. Basically just one class for three weeks, all day long - I have mixed feelings about it. But back to the weekend: adventure was calling. I started out on Saturday going "off-roading" with one of my Dad's childhool pals, Dave. He has spent the last several years modifying a Jeep Wrangler to fit his off-roading needs.
As a budding car enthusiast, I could not pass up the opportunity to visit our local trails. I am super excited to be getting my temporary driving permits in just a month and a half from now. Of course my mom is more than a little nervous - it's her nature and I can't fault her for it. Sometimes I like to stir the fire a little bit, just to keep her on her toes. She always says, "you definitely need to have a manual for your first car." To which I respond, "of course". She responds, "you have much better control of the car, and it is much better in the snow." I jest, "yah yah yah, but that's not the real reason. I'm just excited to be doing 'featuring the engine' every morning on my way to school and doing burn-outs in the driveway". Of course she ripostes with fire in her voice and malace in her eyes, "YOU'RE MISSING THE POINT!". I just grin as we continue on our way to school
Back to the off-roading: I was eager to take the first available opportunity I could to drive the Jeep. I'm trying to get as much car experience as I can before I get my temps. The only issue is that it was a manual. But fret not, I did not encounter too many issues. In fact, I would say that it was a relatively easy learning curve. Understanding the general concept certainly helped! Furthermore I think that a fairly empty space with not a lot to hit / not a lot that would damage the car is a good place to learn indeed! In fact, here's a video of me hill-climbing with the Jeep, not 1/2 bad!
On Sunday I went to work at the butcher shop, and in the evening my Dad and I departed for Fayetteville, WV, my longterm summer haunt for the past two years as well as this summer. I hadn't been climbing outside nor to Fayetteville for nearly a year, and I was practically jittery with excitement. As we approached the campground, a five minute drive from downtown Fayetteville, I suddenly felt the urge to see downtown Fayetteville. Yes, it was 10:00 and everything was dark, but by gosh, I wanted to see it. My Dad didn't understand, and I'm not sure that I do either. I felt complete in that moment. Fayetteville has treated me so well, and I've been so happy to have the distinct privilegeto call it my home for the past couple of summers. I am unbelievably excited to return this summer; but for now it's back to school! P.S. below are some climbing pics, enjoy!
Tuesdays with Grandma
As some of you know, I spend every Tuesday afternoon / Wednesday morning with my grandma in Hunting Valley. We have an arrangement: she picks me up from school, I help make dinner, she makes breakfast, and we hang out! I must say that I do thoroughly enjoy this time that I do spend with her. I consider myself to be so lucky to have her around. She is such a positive force in my life, sometimes it is overhwhelming. She has always been there for me; and I try to be there for her. I am so fortunate that I have the opportunity to spend time with her frequently. In fact as I'm writing this I'm sitting with her by the fire! Some people I know seldom see their relatives with such frequency, if at all. I am lucky indeed! Thought of the day: Deep relationships are undervalued.
ohh what a time it has been! I have not updated the blog since the end of summer. You could say to me, "sheesh"! Over the past few months, several mini-adventures have been had, in addition to maintaining the regular school schedule. From the end of summer, I dived into the rigors of the Hawken School. What was more of a challenge was adventuring during the school session. I started out the year with a job opportunity of sorts. The proprietors of shops and venues on the arts district "Waterloo" that is near to my house recieved grant opportunities. Cindy, the owner of Beachland Ballroom, decided to use her grant to purchase two pedi-cab like contraptions. I call them "rickshaws". I was approached about driving one of these rickshaws, and I agreed.
What a blast! I will be continuing as a rickshaw driver in the spring as well. Along the vein of work, I have recently started dishwashing / butchering / learning at Ohio City Provisions, one of Cleveland's first all local butcher shops. All of the meat comes from a farm in Wilmot, Ohio, a town that I had the privilege of biking through on my way back from Columbus. It is an excellent learning opportunity for me to increase my knife skills, and learn a bit about butchering from some of Cleveland's top chefs. My friend Matt and I labored on the "estate", as we call it (I.E. Grandma's house), woodsplitting, and driving the lawnmower. One of my New Year's resolutions is to be more dedicated to updating the blog. Let's see how it goes.