March 27, 2016

Spring gardening.

We have an amazing garden of I dare say. When we moved here there was grass and one tree. Now, it is our sanctuary. Today's spring project was putting planter boxed on the fence so we can move the strawberries there and free up the planter they're currently in. I love this shit. Gardening is maaaaaybe my most frequently engaged in activity.

This summer we have talked about getting a composted cage set up for a decent project. Oh and getting stone down around the swing too. That'll be fun...

October 30, 2015

I'm back, anyone listening?

I think I'll start posting here again.  It has been too long and it was really nice having a record of life to look back on.  Speaking of life, its been one helluva ride the last 4+ years.  I'll tell you all about it sometime.  More drama than you can shake a stick at, more adventures than Lewis and Clark, and the photos, oh the photos!!  It wouldn't surprise me if no one is listening, but that's alright. :)

Kayaking the San Juans

Climbing Three Finger Jack

Chillin in Tahoe

Zion NP slot canyons

Zion slot canyons

Zion slot canyons

June 13, 2011

The PPP, Summer Trips, and Holy Crap, I am a wedding officiant!

Two weeks ago I competed in my first solo race (aside from some early highschool swimming).  Some of you know it well; the Pole Pedal Paddle in Bend.  Its a multi sport race that starts at the top of Mt Bachelor and finishes in downtown Bend.  I knew a few other people racing it in various teams, but in my solo male category my only real (friendly) competitor was Kalin.  I think there were about 30-40 others in that division, with a total of over 3000 competitors total in the race!  We both (mostly) trained seperately for the race around Corvallis, but did do a few training paddles together on the river before hand.  During these padddles I realized that Kalin was a stronger paddler than I, and thus, I would have to work on getting stronger there.

The race legs are as follows:
downhill slalom ski/snowboard
8k skate ski/xc ski
22 mile bike
5 mile run
~1 mile river paddle out and back
1/2 mile sprint finish

Kalin was out of the gate first, as I slowly put my snowboard on, but I caught him mid way through the skate ski (got too excited and wrecked trying to pass him the first time) and was able to slowly pass the competition on the bike into town.  I think we both had similar times on the bike leg, but I know I lost several precious moments in the clusterfuck of spectators and support crew at the bike-run transition.  The run was an out and back, and once I rounded the half way point, I realized Kalin had made up a ton of time on me during the run.  We both came into the run-paddle transition a couple seconds apart, and in a terribly uncompetitive moment helped carry both boats to the water together.  That is when I knew he would win.  As stated, I was aware he was a stronger paddler, and as we worked our way up nad down the river, I watched him ever so slowly inch away from me.  I ended up finishing 29 seconds behind him, with a total time of 2:30:14; 10th place in the age group I think.  Regardless of the competition, I was veeeery pleased with my time.  I was really hoping just to get under 2:45, but had no clue really where I would be.  Training pays off; who knew!  Now I am going to focus on mountain biking and climbing for the rest of the summer!

As far as trips for the summer go, I have some really good adventures planned out.  Just got tickets to Kona, Hawaii for a week, and also got reservations on the West Coast Trail in Pacific Rim National Park, BC!  Soooo excited for that one.  It is a very adventurous coastal trail that should take about a week to complete.  Kona should be nice too; it has been about 15 years since I've been to the Robart's family house and I am really excited to revisit it and the rest of the area.  The bossman grumbled a bit about the amount of vacation I am taking during summer, but ya know, thats the best time for vacation, and its just what I need.  :)  I am also really excited that my dad has taken up mountain biking at the ripe old age of 62, and will be coming up this summer to tour the trails around Oregon for a few days with me!

Yesterday some friends and I summited Mt Shasta by way of Casaval Ridge.  We had attempted it 2 years ago but had to do an easier variation on the route because we weren't prepared for the steepness it offered, but this attempt we came prepared and had a really pleasant trip.  I was able to actually get some sleep the night before at our high camp, and was also able to get some turns on my splitboard as we descended an easier face (though best and largest portion of the descent was too icy for me to board down.  It was depressing to have to slowly walk down, board unused, the face that I had been salivating over for several years.  That aside, the climb was really fun.  There was an ominous helicopter circling overhead periodically through the day though; there were several rescues on the mountain that day.  Very sobering.  Pictures soon!

Oh, wow, I had to edit this too, because I just found out that after posting the first time, I am going to be a wedding officiant for some close friends soon!  Can't tell who yet (wouldnt want to spoil the surprise) but if you are a freind from Corvallis in the first half of the decade, you probably know them...  :)

March 10, 2011

Haceta Head Lighthouse

Col and I spent a weekend on the coast recently.  This was our first experience with a formal B&B and didn't quite know what to expect, but we gave it a try on the recommendation from some friends.  We stayed 2 nights in the historic lighthouse keepers' house (on the right in the photo above).  I must say, I was seriously impressed :)  the house was in great shape for being well over 100 years old, and had a ton of neat historical stuff from back in the day.
The breakfast was an amazing 7 courses, with crab cakes, awesome local fare, berries, home baked bread; basically just awesome.  Each plate was pretty small, but after 7 of them you area really full.
What to do the rest of the day?  There was a good trail network there (its national forest for several miles in either direction) which allowed us to go for a nice little 6-ish mile hike through the Spruce forest and down to the beach Saturday.  The woods there are really interesting and varied due to the steep terrain and extreme winds.  The headlands have some severely stunted and windblown spruce, and 50 ft away there might be old growth 6 ft across in a sheltered gully.  I also decided that I want some coastal evergreen huckleberry for my yard.  It has a really neat look when it gets big.

The place is just a mile or so from Sea Lion Caves, but after finding out it is 12$ to see the little buggers, we passed.  Instead we decided to bring kayaks next time so we can paddle over to the mouth of the cave.  Much better that way.

We attended the tour of the lighthouse, and I must say, lighthouses are really neat.  Finding out how they were used, and what went into maintaining them is really impressive.  Factoid: every lighthouse has its own visual signal, a combo of flashes per minute and color of flashes told mariners where they were along the coastline.  The handiwork that went into creation of the glass prisms used to focus the light also blew my mind!

We wrapped up the evening with a sunset and champagne on the lawn next to the lighthouse.  I really recommend this to any of you who are looking for a mellow weekend away from home.

February 17, 2011

eug-corv paddle

Kalin and I along with a slew of others attended the KLCC Eugene Beer fest last weekend, and it was awesome!  Aside from buying a few to many tickets and having to really be diligent about consuming the beer I prepurchased, I had a great time.  The beer was really freakin good, and there was a cider there that blew my mind too (Crispin).  Kalin and I did some "urban camping" in Eugene that night and then put our kayaks on the Willamette Saturday morning, intending to beat Forrest's paddling time established the summer before.  We put in at Skinners Butte, intending on running the few rapids in Eugene, before hitting the flatwater.  Kalin immediately took a tough line that was really shallow near a bridge and flipped, but I slid up with a perfect T rescue as he supported himself partially on some shallow rocks.  After that, it was smooth sailing (litterally).  We intentionally timed our trip to a strong southerly wind that day and CRUISED the river with a 25mph wind at our backs for a significant portion of the paddle.  Unfortunately the 2 short paddles into the wind we had to do, produced a sprained wrist (overgripping?) on my arm.  Grrrrr.   Sooo once again, I am out of commission for a little while.  Oh well, it'll give me more time to run.  I am up to one or two 4-5 mile runs a week now (massive for me) and have started a little of the cross training for the other legs for the PPP. 
OH!  I also go to go XC skiing in Yosemite for my moms birthday weekend a week or two ago.  It was a quick trip but I managed to figure out the basics behind skate skiing.  It is exhausting, but very fast.  On that trip, I also did a dusk run up the Yosemite Falls Trail to escape the hotel room and ended up rescuing (kinda) an old-timer on the trail who got caught by dark without a headlamp and was very dehydrated.  I slowly walked out with him and got all sortsa stories.  Apparently he worked in the valley for years in the 60s and pretty much knew all our heroes first hand.  I mentioned some names he seemed to have nearly forgotten about too (got some wide grins)!  He also participated in a number of rescues.  He cashed in some of his karma points, and I gained some that night. :)

Sorry, no pictures this time.

January 20, 2011

Rebuilding

Well, I am off to an active start to the new year.  I deem my finger to be officially healed so I've begun climbing regularly again.  I also got the hairbrained idea to give this whole PPP thing a try.  I helped support Greg and Forrest last year in the race, and it looked like a damn bit of fun, plus, I think I can beat their times, though I'm probably a bit far off on Lou, Jaz, Jake, and Keith's times.  I have heard the key is getting good at skate skiing, so I am looking forward to trying that out for a few upcoming weekends (any tips?). And I have been running regularly.  That sentence, hath perhaps never been uttered by these lips.  I don't really run, and have never had a reason to (not really a "racer").  This training thing is weird.  It is nice to have a run buddy though; Colleen is always willing (even after a 14 mile run she came and did 3 more with me!)  Let the training injuries begin!

I've had a tough time getting photos to upload and display in blogger recently.  Last month I was going to do a photo/description only post, but gave up after a few attempts at figuring out the uploader problem.  Anyone else have that problem?

The garage bouldering cave has been collecting dust for the last year, but after a few successful climbing parties in there recently, I think we'll be able to (hopefully) keep the Tuesday night bouldering sessions going.  I feel like I am at one of the lowest climbing strength/endurance levels I've been in a very long time, (maybe in the last 7-8 years?) and it feels good to be rebuilding that.

 Since I posted last, I went to NorCal for work for most of November.  This waterfall was near where we were working for a while, so I had to sneak off and check it out.  The minor falls are from a spring that dumps out between the lava bands.  the larger ones are actually spring fed as well from a few miles away.  Burney Falls was called the eighth wonder by Teddy Rosevelt.  There's a lot of pictures of the falls from this exact view on google, but none got the fall colors this well :)  We got 90% of our project done down there but got snowed out for the last 1500 ac or so of it.  I was happy to be headed home.

 Col and I also went to explore Oregon's newest state park, Beaver Creek SP.  It has kayak only accessible trails for half the year (main access trail turns into a marsh in winter) and lots of good wildlife. From hwy 101 you hop in the slough at a boat ramp then paddle up stream for several miles.  We paddled at dusk and got to view beaver, muskrat, all sorts of waterfowl, jumping salmon; pretty much all the classic coastal species.



 Thats about all.  Its winter and we've been doing a lot of hibernating :)

September 19, 2010

Mt Adams

I had to make a delivery for work near Mt. Adams the other day, so I figured while I was up there, I'd climb the bloody thing!  I skipped taking a weekend several days before, so I figured I had earned it.  I made a late delivery, then got to the trailhead around 1:00 am.  Since I was already sleep deprived going into the adventure, I opted to at least sleep for an hour before heading up the trail.  Finally got started by 3am.  The first few miles were easy enough, but as the trail went above treeline and into the rocks and pumice, the trail became very difficult to discern.  I probably lost 20 minutes getting off trail and having to find it again, but I could faintly see the snowfields of the south ridge so I just kept going up and eventually would locate the trail.  The morning glow started when I hit Lunch Counter (~9,000 ft) and from there it was straight up snowfields to the summit.  I managed to hit the false summit of Piker's Peak in about an hour and then had a nice walk across the plateau and up the final hill to top out. 
For a summit meal, I had some smoked salmon from a coworker, and a good ole PBR.  I managed to have the summit all to my self too which was a first.  It was really nice to be able to travel at my own pace the whole time too.  It took just over 6 hrs to get to the top, and on the way out, about 3 hours, for a total car-to-car time of 8:50.  Not bad if I do say so my self!  And there's something to be said for alpine starts too; I topped out in crystal clear weather, and by the time the other parties coming up the mountain hit the top, it clouded up and was probably fairly miserable.  Incedentally, someone actually died the next morning up there after getting lost in a whiteout and sliding into some steep, rocky terrain.  That makes 2 deaths within 24 hrs on 2 consecutive mountains I have climbed in the last 6 months.  Freaky. 

Sam and I got 10 gal of "kick-in-the-pants" 90 minute Imperial IPA going yesterday too.  We made it with A LOT of my homegrown hops.  One is a dark red IPA, and the other is a more traditional IPA.  I'll certainly let you know what it ends up tasting like...  Here's the hop harvest from this year:

August 22, 2010

Anaphylaxis

I just found out the hard way I have a negative reaction to getting stung!  I was biking and as soon as I stopped to move a log that had fallen in the trail I got mobbed.  I think there was a yellow jacket nest near by or maybe under the log, and boy did I piss them off!  I got 4 or 5 stings (scalp, chest, and both legs).  This makes 8 stings in 2 months, with the reaction from each sting being progressively worse.  I kinda knew that 4 stings all at once would be a bad thing, so we went straight to the hospital. 
In the 20 minutes it took to drive there, my ear canals started swelling up badly, then my face (which went quite numb after a while), then a slight throat swelling, but luckily that never progressed much further.  By the time we were at the hospital I had full body hives/rash that itched like I had been rolling naked in a bark pile.  I didn't have to get epi-penned, but got a SERIOUS dose of steroids and benadryl to help stop the swelling.  I did get an epi-pen for the future which is good, but I am not excited about AT ALL!  Now I have one more thing I have to remember to carry everywhere, grrr...        Stupid bees.

August 09, 2010

Life on the road

At first it was a novel thing; bouncing from hotel to hotel, getting room service (hah!), generally just living the high life, with work paying the bills.  Then you realize that all you do on the road is eat a fattening american dinner with alcoholic coworkers, listen to their epic wife stories which are completely blown out of proportion, and drink a few beers until you can go to sleep with feet running all over on the floor above you in the hotel.  It really actually kinda sucks.  In an ideal life away from home, I'd be seeing the sights at each new town I visited, walking the mainstreet, checking out the nearest waterfront trails, generally just not being bored out of my mind in a hotel room looking at the same websites every hour to see if anything new was put up.
REALITY:
Most of the towns I visit are logging era towns that have already seen their heyday and now are trying to crawl back out of the depths of economic meltdown.  The mainstreet isnt worth visiting because the Walmart opened down the street and all the mainstreet shops are out of business, the waterfront trails are where you go to score more meth, and people are generally morbidly obese and unfriendly unless they are hotel staff being paid to be friendly to you.  On the rare occasion I do get to visit a nice place like Chico CA (last month) I am generally too tired to do anything because I got up at 5am and drove around for 10-14 hrs (strangely exhausting) in a pickup on shitty dirt roads to look at clearcuts (not exactly the pristine forest I would like to be visiting). 
Don't get me wrong, I enjoy the problem solving and constant newness of the work I do; there's never a dull moment when planning a new project.  Its just that these projects generally mean being away from Colleen, home, cats, my garden, climbing, and all the wonderful friends I have.  Hotels are neat at first, but when you look at a hotel room and see "home" for the next 4-7 days, it is a little depressing.  I don't know how long I can keep it up.  I mean, I have missed more Tuesdays at Bombs Away because of weeks away in the last three years than I missed in all of the 6 years before that combined.  What kind of life is this?!?

Time to pass the fuck out to toilets draining down pipes in walls 12" from my head and several children running back and forth somewhere nearby (if it wasn't so socially unacceptable I might consider playing tag with them; it sounds like fun!).  I cant wait to be home.  1 week.

July 29, 2010

The goings on in California...

I just got back from a whirlwind 2 week CA trip.  I went down initially for vacation, and after Yosemite got boring, I went to work for a few days in Northern California to evaluate a project completed last year.  As strange as it may seem, this was my first visit to Yosemite.  What an amazing place!!  This trip was all about long day hiking with family and friends, but I am going back reeeeal soon to climb on some of that beautiful granite. 
My mom, little bro Fritz, Brenna (Fritz's ladyfriend), and I departed tuesday and got into the valley right at sunset, which was an awesome start to the trip.  Coming around the corner and seeing the sun setting on Half Dome for the first time was surreal.  We set up shop in Ranger Phaedra's back yard on Glacier Point and enjoyed a bright moonlit night looking down at the Valley.


In the morning we decided to drive the valley and then hike to the top of Vernal and Nevada Falls.  The Mist Trail up to the falls is exactly that, and on a hot day that spray is invigorating!  It was beautiful at the falls, but I tell ya, I couldn't take the insane number of people and the paved trail.  I do have to give props to the CCC trailbuilders back in the day; they moved a LOT of granite for the miles of granite block staircase.  They knew their shit.

Nevada Fall w/ the backside of Half Dome in the background
Day two we parked at McGurk Meadows trailhead and hiked 7 or so miles to Phaedra's cabin, then drove back to the falls.  McGurk Meadow was one of the best displays of Indian Paintbrush I have ever seen.  The photos speak to that.  Past the meadow, we hiked out to Taft Point (on the rim across and slightly up valley from El Cap).  The view there was the down valley equivalent of Glacier Point.  Mom had some serious fear of heights at this overlook (she was fine at the waterfall cliffs though), and it was impressive watching her try to overcome her vertigo (quite entertaining at times too!).  Also, at Taft Point I was tested by the powers that be: a family walked 3 chiwawas right out to the cliff edge 5 ft from me, and I managed to control the urge to kick them into space.  I don't know how I managed, but I did.  Fritz and I finished the hike with a fun scramble up  the back of Sentinel Dome near Phaedra's cabin.
Fritz jumping The Fissures
Fritz scrambling up Sentinel Dome
Day three was a great time because PHAEDRA CAME ALONG!  We all hiked 6 miles to an alpine lake and went swimming in the sun at 9,000 ft.  It was really great seeing Phaedra, it has been quite a while.  Bonus Points for whoever can tell me what the orange stuff is in the photo! (***answer at bottom of page).

 After the fun was over in Yos, I had to get back to work to evaluate a project we did for a forest landowner.  The sites were spread out between Tahoe, Susanville, and Shasta, so I checked the Tahoe sites since I was already in the area.  With a half day to spare, I hiked up to Horesetail Falls on Pyramid Cr. in the Desolation Wilderness.  I was surprised how little elevation gain there was in the trail, so I decided to trail run as much of it as I could.  It was really fun leaping from boulder to boulder and hunting for trail on the granite slabs, and I only took one header into the manzanita .  I need to trail run more often. 
video
The last 3 days have been spent visiting with a number of foresters to look at the (mostly) successful clearcut and fire rehab treatments from last fall.  We learned a lot from this, and have some tweaks for a similar project this fall.  We stayed one night in Chico, and I was able to meet up with cousin Hunter for a beer at Sierra Nevada Brewery, where she works!  I was also able to meet up with Alyssa in Sacramento for dinner one night.  We took some scandalous phone photos and texted them to Colleen.  It was awesome.

There is a lot more to tell, and many more photos but I am tired, and just wanted to update everyone on what is going on!  I can tell you the whole story over a pint at the bar if you want!



















*** Dodder