Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A New Day and Thanksgiving in Retrospect

The snow from the weekend snowstorm is mostly melted so I felt very comfortable that the roads and bike path would be free of ice and frozen snow. The commute to my new job at the Flagstaff Airport is only about an 8 minute bike ride from our front door. While I enjoyed the 30 minute ride into downtown, the new shorter distance allows me to sleep in a bit later. Who wouldn't appreciate a bit longer snooze time?

When starting a new job, a common worry is what to wear. Mine, of course, is what to wear in the cold and on the bike. Inspired by Trish and Dottie from Let's Go Ride a Bike, I vowed I would master biking in skirts but worried about warmth. This summer Decker Outdoor gave me some Teva Montecito boots to try out. I loved them and knew they would be a central part of my fall and winter wardrobe. As I posted previously, they are stylish and perfect for Flagstaff's often rougher terrain. They are also ideal for pedaling and look great with casual skirts and tights. This morning I pulled out a simple denim skirt I found recently at target, a Columbia mock turtle neck cardigan, and black ribbed tights from JCrew (the latter two picked up at the outlets in Anthem outside Phoenix. I put on my black, quilted, down vest from Eddie Bauer for just the right amount of warmth and pedaled up to the airport using the urban trail. I was pleased to find that my feet stayed perfectly warm during the ride, although my hands unfortunately were freezing despite my fur-lined leather mittens. I guess I'll have to break down and pick up some insulated ski mittens.

The Flagstaff Airport doesn't have any bike racks, although the airport director mentioned to me that several people who work there bike in and that he is interested in getting a rack. Given Flagstaff's budget dilemma, no different than those of most cities across the country, a bike rack will likely be a low priority but the sentiment so in the meantime I'm grateful to be allowed to lock it in the employee parking area to a sign pole close to the building. Here is my Expedition with a few private planes sitting under "shade" hangers next to the terminal.

I had a great second day on the job. I got to tour the airport facilities, including the runway, hanger areas, and the public safety areas. I had no idea so much was out there. I also got to attend a meeting for the selection of public art to be displayed at the airport, all of it by local artists.

The 5 p.m. temperatures were considerably more comfortable than in the morning when I couldn't bear to remove my mittens to take some pictures of my morning ride. Here is a not very good shot taken on the way home from the bike lane on Pulliam. Since it snowed over the weekend the San Francisco Peaks are snow-capped (a bit). No worries by the end of December, I am sure they will be respectably snow covered and the Ponderosa Pines will be thoroughly coated, whipped-creme-like.

Tomorrow, another pair of boots and another skirt.

Focusing on the Positive on Thanksgiving Day
On our nation's day of giving thanks, it really is best to focus on the positive. No matter how often the oven shuts off, no matter how long the turkey takes to cook, no matter how frustrating it is to have to throw out a ginger crust that just won't bake, it's much preferable to enjoy the wonderful aromas and flavors filling your kitchen and your mouth. A great tasting turkey is just as satisfying at 7:30 as it is at 4:30. An apple tart minus the crust is called an apple crisp.

This was our fourth Thanksgiving together and the third in which we used the holiday menu from Seasonal Southwest Cooking by Barbara Poo Fenzl. Every recipe is a winner.

Given the extended preparation time this year and the associated problems, it was a good thing we didn't have any dinner guests. Plus we had enough food left for left overs. In this case, Chef Bob prepared comfort food for the upcoming week, turkey tettrazini.
Jade enjoying her post Thanksgiving dinner nap.


MamaVee said...

I'm envious of an 8 minute commute! Not that I work regularily- but I would love such a nice commute! when you can- post picks of the trail and how you go. the idea of biking to the airport is amazing to me. I don't know if I could do so here. I'm sure somebody could but I nearly fainted driving there once.

Filigree said...

You have snow! I am so looking forward to getting some snow here in Boston, though I have no idea how I will cope with cycling under those conditions. Congratulations on the new job; hope it is a satisfying one.

And I agree about focusing on the positive on Thanksgiving; wish those whom we were visiting this year were of the same mindset. I think next year we will emulate your lovely "just the two of us" fest.

She Rides a Bike said...

The commute to the airport is so simple and unlike any airport route I've ever ridden. On one side of the 3/4 mile road is forest and the other a pretty wide strip of land that has pines and detention basins that freeze over in the winter - people come and skate on them. Coming home from the airport (gentle downhill coasting most of the way) I have a lovely view of the mountains. Except for the FedEx building at the corner of Pulliam and JW Powell there isn't any of the usual industrial stuff (I really think a small business hotel and restaurant would have been a better choice for that corner).

I am liking the new job. I can't wait to visit the air traffic control tower.

Emma J said...

Those boots! I love them and I love your attitude toward malfunctioning ovens. Your dinner sounds (and looks) like it was just what Thanksgiving should be.

Have you tried cashmere woolen gloves? I've found they keep my hands beautifully warm and they're easy to tuck in a pocket. (also somewhat prettier than ski gloves?)

Dottie said...

The view of the mountains over the fir (?) trees is amazing! So beautiful.

Your warm-weather outfit looks both perfectly functional and chic. I've started slipping on wool leggings over my tights for the ride and so far I'm staying warm. I might have to check out some Teva boots. I need more boots with some sort of insulated lining inside.

She Rides a Bike said...

EmmaJ: I have not tried cashmere wool gloves but anything made of cashmere sounds like something I would like. I hunt for some in the post holiday sales.

Dottie: While in Mountain Village, CO I found myself not adequately layered and purchased a pair of leggings by Hot Chillys! Soft but substantial I was easily able to slip my pants on over them. I happily slapped down $60, wore them out of the store, and felt warm and snug for our entire trip.

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