Archive for October, 2006

Getting Ready…

Tuesday, October 31st, 2006

We’re getting closer & closer to being ready for the trip! Last night we went to REI to pick up the final important items. A few odds & ends are all we need now. Here’s a picture of our dining room. Looks like something exploded. We don’t really try to walk through here anymore, we take the long way around to reach the kitchen.

We also went on our first bad(ish) weather bike ride yesterday. 40 degrees and really high winds. I guess it doesn’t sound that bad, but it wasn’t particularly pleasant. Jamie almost got blown off his bike in an especially windy corridor downtown – it was his first ride with the rear panniers and they seem to catch the wind quite nicely! The best part is that the panniers were really lightly loaded. This is going to be hilarious once we’re truly fully loaded.

Total time: 1 hour.
Mileage: I dont even want to post it.

Here’s a picture of us with our bikes in Myrtle Edwards Park – we are not going to be sexy at all on this trip – this is merely a tame preview

Keep on Truckin’

Sunday, October 29th, 2006

I got my Surly Long Haul Trucker this week! Adam and Peter at Counterbalance Bicycles built it up for me and did a great job. The bike is a 60cm, steel frame and fork made of 100% Surly 4130 cro-moly steel. I gave some general guidelines to Adam and he built the bike up to be as simple and reliable as possible for our trip. The wheels are hand-built with Mavic’s heavy duty A719 rims and Shimano Deore XT hubs. The tires are Panaracer T-Servs, which are a little different than the Panaracer Pasela TGs that Sarah has on her bike. We’ve heard varying opinions from the touring community on tires. Some people swear by the Schwalbe Marathons or the Continental Top Touring tires. Those tires seem to be preferred by people who value puncture resistance over comfort. The Panaracers are supposed to be very comfortable tires that also have decent puncture resistance. We are going to ride them for a while before we had overseas to see if they are going to suit our needs. The drivetrain is XT in the rear with Sugino cranks up front and I got a silver Chris King headset for some sex appeal. Adam also put on the Surly Nice Rack on the rear for me. I was originally going to get a Tubus rack, but the Surly rack is amazingly overbuilt and the silver looks cool on my bike. I put on the Brooks Flyer Saddle (Ouch!), SKS Fenders, ESGE kickstand, Jandd Handlebar & Frame Bags, and Ortlieb Bike-Packer Plus rear panniers that we got as wedding gifts (Thanks everyone!), so after I get the front rack and panniers I will be ready to go! I am going to start commuting on the bike to get used to it and make any needed adjustments before we leave. Right now, I’ve got a decent drop between my saddle and my bars and I’m pretty sure I’m going to need to raise my bars up. The total cost for the bike so far is $1764.96 which brings the total for the trip up to a whopping $6602.94.

Dear Kitties, we miss you

Saturday, October 28th, 2006

Last we heard, Robo was living out of a small crate in the Welle family closet.

Robo, we miss you!  

Barbie is living with the Hansens in Wilmington, North Carolina.  We wish she would go on a hunger strike, but last we heard she is trying to trick people into feeding her at least two times a day.

Barbie, we miss you too!  





More Pre & Post Wedding Pictures

Friday, October 27th, 2006

Don’t worry, soon we’ll have the actual trip to write about.  But for now…more wedding pictures!

Mom buying orange flowers in Pike’s Marketmom & flowers:                              

Joint Bachelor & Bachlorette Party.  We weren’t allowed to take cameras with us for the true highlight of the night, so this is all you get to see! Welle Family Shot: Welles                         Welles                          

Ercks are busy modeling and striking poses when some blond kid runs into the picture.  And there he is again – why is he trying to lick us? erck m                  

john tongue

 Sarah and her dear brother John sarah & john       

Posted by popular demand: Sarah’s new sisters! Everyone knows she’s always wanted some…no offense James & John new sisters                      

Could this be a tear?! jamie crying                      

James hugging his sister Molly:jamie hugging sisters                          

Sarah hugging Mom: sarah hugging mom                                

Checking out the new ring: ring inspection


Wednesday, October 25th, 2006

James & I got married this Saturday – it is official!  Our family and almost-family friends flew into Seattle for the wedding, in Magnolia Park, followed by dinner & cake at Flying Fish.  The weather was perfect, everything went off without a hitch, and we all had a great time. Here are some pictures, and more are on their way.  Unfortunately our photographer fell off his bike & broke his arm yesterday (sound familiar?!), so his photos should be ready sometime next week. Magnolia Park, getting ready for the ceremony: beautiful day                           Magnolia Park                    

Setting up the aisle with white pumpkins: Set Up Aisle                            

James & Brian, setting up flowers:James & Brian flowers                          

Erck family, pre-ceremony. Red coat to keep the dress a surprise! Erck Family                    

Sarah & Dad, walking down the aisle: Sarah & Dad                                      

Wedding Party: Wedding Party                    

Champagne Toast: Toast                       Toast 2                                

James being welcomed to the family: Welcome                                            

Beautiful Bridesmaids: Bridesmaids                       Bridesmaid Bouqet                            

Sarah & James Welle! Sarah & James                                    

Cutting the Cake.  Sarah matches her cake!Cutting Cake

Marathon Photo Update

Monday, October 16th, 2006

Marathon update for your entertainment: Finish Line Photos!

John Erck, 4:29. When asked what he was thinking at the moment this photo was taken: “You’d have to put a bullet in my brain to stop this train.”

John at finish linejohn finish line 2

James Erck, 4:35. Looking very comfortable. Or is that a little pain I spy in his eye? Possibly looking forward to his 2nd cigarette of the day and a big bag of Cheetos.
james finish line

Sarah Erck, 4:40. Totally delirious.
sarah finish line sarah finish line 2

Sarah’s last day at Microsoft!

Friday, October 13th, 2006

Today is my last day at Microsoft. It doesn’t quite seem real yet…

Now I’m free to spend all my time taking care of trip preparations. Liquidation officially begins next week, so if you’re in Seattle and you want a couch, TV, dresser, kitchen table, and more, just let me know!

Update: Brown couch and kitchen table are sold – thank you Ethan Chin and Jim Ray! I still have a blue full size futon, big TV, red TV stand, blue dresser, Queen bed frame, Queen mattress, 2 bedside tables, coffee table, 2 bookshelves, and digital piano for sale.  Drop me a line if you want to make a deal!

Twin Cities Marathon!

Wednesday, October 4th, 2006

We made it! James, John, and I have completed the first official Erck family marathon – and we had a lot of fun running it!

The weather on the day of the race was perfect – sunny and clear, temp in the 60s at the starting line and into the 80s at the finish. We met at Dad’s apartment at 7:30am where James had his first cigarette of the day. John & his major case of bedhead looked around sleepily and said things like: What’s a race number? Does anyone have any chapstick? Where’s the starting line? They had obviously just rolled out of bed whereas I had gotten up 2 hours earlier to eat & digest breakfast, stretch, drink water, etc. I suppose that makes me a typical oldest child… Here’s a picture of us at the beginning of the day.

The actual race itself was lots of fun up to mile 20. We all stuck together, chatted, laughed, and had a grand old time running our 10 minute miles. Right around 20 I started to feel like crap. This is where a series of long slow inclines began. This is also where the perfect weather transformed into a nasty hot beating sun. I felt like even more crap. At mile 22 I needed to slow down, so James stuck with me and John took off to finish the last 4 miles at his own pace. At mile 23 I could not believe I had 3.2 entire miles left to run. We walked a little extra through the water stop, then decided we each had to start running again at our own crippled pace in order to make it to the end. James needed to go a little faster than we’d been going, I needed to go a little slower. I felt like I was in a trance, running in slow-mo through jello. At mile 26 I saw Jamie and Dad cheering for me, but I did not feel like sparing the energy to acknowledge them.

And then I finished! We all found each other, took many celebratory pictures, and went home to sleep and eat for the rest of the day. Final times were: John 4:29, James 4:35, and Sarah 4:40.