Sunday, December 17, 2006

X-Country skiing at Teacup

An AMAZING Sunday in Oregon. One week before Christmas and new powder made for a picture perfect day Cross-Country skiing. Ryan tried out his new skis and Jacki went off trail and we couldn't stop smiling! Days like this make you glad to live in Oregon.

I can't put the labels on the pictures they way I want to, so here's your guide to them:
Pic 4-7 are the result of Jacki telling me, "I have a plan, and I think it involves me falling." She executed her plan perfectly and managed to not end up in the creek! I think this is what they mean by "ass end over teacup"

Pics 8-10. Jacki is oh so kindly going to just move the trees out of the way for the picture.
Turns out they don't move that easily, so instead she dangles from them, but keeps them out of the way. If you look closely in pic 10, there are arrows on the trees on either side of Ryan. One tells him go left, one tells him, go right. He's very perplexed. It is very hard to notice these arrows with Jacki dangling from the trees though.

We wrap it up with pictures in front of Hood on a gorgeous day.

We had no idea that about 30 minutes after those photos were taken they would find the snow cave of the missing climbers and the sad ending.

I jumped off something THIS BIG!

You go this way, I'll go that way

December Birthday Party!

Three birthdays within a week (or about a week) seems like a reason to celebrate. Coop, Jim and Jacki let us celebrate with them with Christmas cookies and quiches. And presents.

Tanya, Don showing us some Peace, Lisa, Jim looking for food (?), and Steve pondering Don's hippie beatnik statement.

Birthday girl with the special birthday hat opening a present

Birthday Girl Jacki, Sherpa with the special hat, and Jenny

Jacki's special present as decorated by Coop

Tanya throwing caution to the wind and showing off her dairy filled treats

Sunday, December 3, 2006

Cutting the Christmas Tree

Gifford Pinchot National Forest
1.5 hours

Time to get the Christmas Tree!
Steve and I and the dogs loaded up the van after the Patriots beat the Lions-so, it's a late start.
Stop in Stevenson for the $5.00 permit.
After driving up HWY 30 a while, we find a place to pull over opposite a side road. Snowshoe up the side road. And up. And up. And up. Snow is alternately deep and rock hard ice. Find a few trees that might work. It's getting dark. We decide to go up just a little more, and there it is. The tree! It's not too tall, it's not too wide, it's got decent foliage. So, we cut it down-see the pics. below.
Steve concocts a system to drag it down behind him, and we truck back down the mountain. Just in time-it's getting pretty dark. But, there's a full moon out-or nearly full, casting some light on our path. We leave the tree at the side of the road along with some extra branches that we can decorate with later. Go get the car to pick up the tree. Not enough straps to tie it to the car. So, it goes IN the van. The van now has that pine tree fresh scent without having to tie one of those little things to the rearview mirror.
The dogs were good sports about it. Ellie shared the backseat with the tree and Seasha was forced to the front for her sleep on the way home. We should have gotten a picture of that.
Once it's decorated, we'll get sme of those pics. up here too.

The Perfect Tree- Steve starts cutting.

The Saw is magically suspended while Seasha watches.

How about here for a cut?

Ellie isn't impressed.

T-I-M-B-E-R... Seasha will catch it.


Sunday, November 26, 2006

First Snowshoe of the season

Koshko Snowpark to ???? to Snowfoot Trail to Oldman Pass and back to Koshko
3.5 hours
Me, Pete, Jacki, Jessi, Ted, Laura
Ellie, Seasha, Blaze, Bodhi,Yzerman

Enough snow has piled up over Thanksgiving week that the we could start our snowshoe season in November. Three cars headed out and by Cascade Locks there was snow on the ground. More snow as we headed up. Parking lot full of snow in Stabler. Went to buy a sno-park pass there, couldn't. I guess the county wanted the stores to buy the passes up front and then turn around and sell them and they didn't like that plan, so no one in the county bought them. So, don't try to buy a sno-park pass in Skamania county.
I guess becasue of the low snow level, they hadn't had a chance to plow 30 up to Oldman pass. there were ruts, but you definitely needed 4WD and high clearance-lots of snow-very exciting.
Finally get to Koshko and have the whole place to ourself. Not even a car at Oldman either. Get dressed and adventure out the way we normally go. Deep snow abounds and that makes us happy-especially for the first snowshoe of the season in Washington. (lower elevation).
Then it's snowing, which is great. But it keeps snowing and is turning into a heavier, wetter snow. And after it keeps up, before long, we're all pretty wet. We're still happy to be out snowshoeing though.
After a while on the trail, we kind of realize we aren't exactly where we thought we are. Following the trail, we come out on HWY 30. Checking a map in another snowpark, we figure out which direction we need to go, and then see another trail. After a while of checking it out, we find a better map that tells us exactly where we are-at the Snowfoot Trail. Sign says 1.6 miles to Oldman Pass. We figure a little over a mile will get us to Koshko. So, we trudge out. The snow is now heavy and breaking trail takes a lot of work, so, we're taking turns breaking trail until the person in the lead can hardly pick up their leg anymore. Trying to keep three of us in front of Ellie and Yzerman to pack down the snow, So we keep walking, and before long it's 45 minutes and we still haven't gotten a mile. and we keep walking, and nothing looks familiar. We're starting to wonder if we should turn around, or head to the right or keep going. We're wet, tired, the snow is heavy, it's getting darker and Jessi still has to work tonight.
After a brief conference, Pete decides it looks familiar, we're going to keep going, the trail is cutting to the right which is where the road is. So, we keep going and lo and behold, a sign. Road. But, it's Oldman Pass. Somehow we missed the Koshko trail, but, we're back at civilization and we can get back to our car!! Yeah! So, we take the road back to Koshko-a quick .5 mile, no need for snowshoes. Great need to stop and grab the dogs every time a car passes though. Now that we're not working as hard, it's getting cold. Get back, load the dogs in the cars and start them because it's so cold. Try to have a tailgate, but, we're just too cold. Shovel in some puppy chow, huckleberry muffins, cheese, crackers, hot chocolate and red wine. But, it's too cold to slice cheese, and it's really hard to eat with gloves on. So, after a very brief tailgate, we pack snacks for the car, sit in our respective warm cars to finish our snacks, warm up and head out. At this point, my hands are so cold, that I can't actually go anywhere because I can't grab the steering wheel. Puppies are curled up and crashed out. Much easier drive down because the rain has melted all the lower elevation snow.
Now, on to pizza night.

Laura running away as Bodhi attacks Jacki

Seasha, Ellie, Yzerman

Pete, Ted, Blaze, Yzerman, Bodhi, Jessi, Jacki

Babies! Thanksgiving!

Thanksgiving in San Francisco gave us a chance to see the new addition to the family-Baby Sam! Steve's sister's baby.
After a quick flight down on Thursday morning, we soent the day passing the baby around and then sat down to a delicious dinner. Topped it off with a nice 10 hour drive home on Friday.
Did it rain in California? No. Did it rain within 5 miles of crossing the border back into Oregon? Yes. Coincidence? I think not. We decided that's how they decided where to put the border between CA and OR. Where the rain started.
Some pictures:

Holding Baby Sam

Sam-10 Days Old-his first Thanksgiving

Sharon and Sam

Outside Sharon & Denis' in Petaluma
Denis, Sam & Sharon, Miriam, Johnathon, Alan, me, Steve & Ellie

Sunday, November 19, 2006

Fall 2003

Ellie looking down into Zig Zag Canyon
First snow of the season, 2003

Kings Mountain

King's Mountain
Tillamook State Forest
2.5 hours
2.7 mi. each way

A completely awful day for a hike. Pouring rain, dark, dreary, Oregon day. But, I needed a hike, the dogs needed a hike, and Tiffany was so excited I couldn't let her down.
But, at 9 this morning, 5 intrepid adventurers met at the Home Depot Parking lot in Beaverton for our hike. Karla and Tiffany, I put Pete in with Jessi and Devil DogBodhi (Jim's name for it, not mine) and Seasha, Ellie and I in the truck.
Out HWY 26, down HWY 6, with the rain getting harder and harder the closer we got to the coast range. Oh well. In for a penny, in for a pound. Find the trailhead and embark. Wow. The hike is a good steep climb in the pouring rain. The closer we get to the top, the windier it gets. As the trees thin and you can get a view, you can just see the wind and rain blowing sideways. Pete, Tiff and I persevere the last 1/4 mile (approx.) to summit and sign in the Mazamas summit book. The top of the hike totally felt like those weather reporters as a hurricane approaches-coats flapping in the wind, rain coming sideways, hardly able to stand up. But, what goes up must come down. It was a steep hike up, and down in the rain-not much fun. Plus, we weren't as exerting ourselves as much, so, it was starting to get cold. Tiff had to run to stay warm. And I was hating life becuase it was downhill. After a brief moment of not sure we're on the right trail, we manage to get back to the car and to our feast. It's not a hike without a spread of food afterwards. Pumpkin bread, spinach dip, wasabi nuts. (Tiff swears by them)

By the time we're home, I'm freezing. A hot shower never felt so good. Even decide to build the first fire of the fall. And then-Pizza night. YUM! A perfect end to the day. then starting a blog.
Of course I brought the camera and the batteries were out, so no pictures of the hike yet. I'll post some when I get some.

And-good bye to Steve-making the trek to San Francisco for Thanksgiving and to see Sharon's new baby! I'll join him Thursday.

The only reason I have a blog

Of course anyone who knows me knows that I have a lot to say, but, I never felt the need to post it for the world. I'd rather just tell you. But, with all these digital pictures from all of the fun things I do with friends, I needed a better way to share them. Thanks Zan for the heads-up on the easy to make blog. And thanks Deb for telling Zan about it. Now, if we only get high speed internet, life will be great! So-hopefully I will actually use this and post pictures and stuff, not just create it and there it sits in cyberspace, emptily. Just like the website I tried to create.....