Sunday, November 18, 2007

Almost Thanksgving

Forest Park
Springville Trail
Jim, Lisa, Tanya. Scout, Lucy, Me

Pouring rain. 1.5 hours. Wet, wet, wet. And, it rained too. It was a GREAT day!
Springville to Ride Trail.
Topped it off with nice blazing fire. Must be November. Too bad it wasn't snowing in the Mountains enough to be snowshoeing. Hopefully soon.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Veteran's Day Weekend

What a weekend! Seasha was happy and tired if nothing else!
Saturday started with an AWESOME hike in Forest Park with Jacki, Amber and Amber's friend Cheryl, plus Blaze and Seasha for entertainment. Since several people are off of running duty right now, we walked instead. It was great! Left from Springville and 53rd at about 8:45, after saying hello to Susan and the ultrarunner crew. We were all very happy that the rain had stopped earlier in the morning, and actually left us wanting sunglasses a few times. After almost 2 hours, we returned to the car, slightly muddier than we had left. And, at the same time as the ultra crew. They might have put in 14.9 miles, but, we still had the same amount of time on our feet!!!

Sunday started with a nice long walk up to Wilshire Park and back with Seasha. Timed to return at about 9:45 and watch the Veteran's day parade on Sandy. Seasha kept me warm, but, was none too happy when the crowd of 100+ motorcycles, mostly Harley's with LOUD PIPES, revved their engines in front of us. I wasn't loving it either, but, had to spend the time calming the poor dog instead. After that, it got much better. Marching bands and Girl Scout troops are much less scary! Topped off the morning with a bath (for the dog) and pictures with Santa for "Santa Paws", a benefit for the Oregon Humane Society. So now, the dog's already pretty cooked after three mornings in a row of about 2 hours of exercise, plus, having me around keeps her awake.

It's never enough though!! Monday-Veteran's Day. Time for a hike! Load up Tanya, Lisa, Steve, me, Scout, Seasha and Lucy and head to Larch Mountain-paved trail/road. (Of course, I forgot the camera) Now we've got some Oregon weather. Bundled in rain gear, head to toe, and glad the wind has mostly stopped. Hike for about 1.5 hours, then return to the car for the gimps in the group. Decide we're wet enough and cold enough to call it a day. Sip hot chocolate, cheese and crackers and cookies on the ride home! Home by 1:30! What a day. Top off the day with the first fire in the wood stove of the season. Ahhhh-winter!

So, Seasha had a pretty good weekend. The dog barely moved Sunday or Monday afternoon. And that-is how a dog's life should be.

If the return to real weather wasn't enough, this weekend also involved quiche, the richest chocolate chip cookies and way too decadent fudgy peanut butter pie. Topped off tonight with Ricotta Gnocchi. It's all about the food and the exercise for me!!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

First snowshoe of the year!!!!

October (Yes, October) 21
White River
Tanya, Jim, Lisa, Me, Lucy, Scout

Tanya and Scout
Jim , Lisa and Lucy (x2)

Taking advantage of a 10 inch dump of snow in the Mts. yesterday, we headed up for a nice early season snowshoe.
Showed up at Jim and Lisa's plenty aftern our arranged meeting time of 9:00. Which wasn't a problem because Jim and Lisa weren't there! Within a few minutes of me getting there, they show up, surprised to see us. Turns out T and I both thought the other one were going to call them. Oops!
Works out okay, get them geared up and into the Subaru.
After discussion of where to go, settle on Ramona Falls, which Jim really wants. The closer we get, the more skeptical I am that there will be snow there. So, we revise and decide to head up the Mt. further. Plenty of snow by Govt. Camp, so, T suggest White River.

Get there, gear up and head out. Within a few minutes, several of us realize we are overdressed for this gorgeous day, and Lisa is regretting not having sunglasses! Scout's first day in the snow. She loves it!! She loves everything. Snowshoe in, up the hill a ways. Drop Lisa off at the top. She's blind from the sun on the snow, and forgot her hip and knee brace. We wander on a little more up the hill. Scout seems to be getting a little tired. Head back to pick up Lisa and scamper down the hill. Highlight-Jim running down the hill, exciting Lucy and Scout. Lucy tears off after him and we let Scout go too. Her little legs can really move down that hill!! Catch her at the bottom-aided by the fact that she really can't get out of the track without being buried!
Overall, the snow was pretty wet and heavy, but the day was gorgeous, warm and mostly sunny. Besides, it doesn't get much better than snowshoeing in October!! Could we be skiing by Thanksgiving? Losing Scout in the powder by Veteran's Day?
So far, the weather forecast looks too nice for that, but, I'm not complaining!!

Jamie's new job

Not really a sporting event, but blog-worthy anyway.
Friday, October 19
Jamie, Nicole, Faas, Jim, Lisa, Don, Tanya, Steve, me.
Seasha, Kaia, Zephyr

On the menu-
Cabernet braised roast served over gorgonzola polenta. Yum.
T brought a yummy spinach salad and Green beans.
Pumpkin spice cake with cream cheese frosting for dessert.

Food was out late (surprise?!) Worked too long and didn't use the ribs that the recipe called for. Oh well! It was still good and everyone was pleased and chatty.

Topped it off with much celebration. Jamie's new job, Lisa passing her test, the impending pumpkin announcement.
A good time was had by all! It's always great to get to see Jamie.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Green Lakes

October 14, 2007
Green Lakes, near South Sister
Distance:? (4 hours worth)
Who: Jacki, Pete, Rayn, Ryan's Mom Jo, Me and Blaze!

So excited this worked out! After popping down to Bend on Saturday to head out to Carolyn and Jim's fall party, and staying up WAY TOO late past my bedtime, I blearily headed down to Sun River to hook up with the crew that had been staying in the FABULOUS house in La Pine that Jacki rented.

So, we pile into cars and head up the nice new road between Sun River and Mt. Bachelor. It's exciting to see snow on the Mountain-fall is here and winter is knocking at it's door!

After missing the trailhead, (Rayn loves to do that), we head out on the hike! It's chilly. It was 36 degrees when I woke up, and it's been between 31 and 40 depending where we're at. Frost on the ground in places even. Brrr... The hike is great! The first part is all through the woods with a river that has waterfalls in several places right next to the trail. Before long, we get out of the woods and then the views get even MORE amazing! Make it up to the top of the hill and see the first lake. Very pretty. Decide we think we can hike around the lakes, so, we set off on trail. Encounter several places with snow (how cool!!), and then the second lake. Keep going and begin to question whether or not there actually IS a path around them all. Jacki goes ahead to scout it out and call to us all to come check it out! It's the mythical THIRD LAKE! Jo says she's read there were three lakes in the guidebook and with all of her hiking around there had never seen it. So, we stop for a delicious bite of snacks by the THIRD LAKE! After enjoying some food and good views, we head back the way we came. It's a little chilly after stopping, and there's abreeze coming off of the second lake, but, after a while it warms right back up and is really a marvelous day!
We're surprised at the number of hikers we see on our way down. Definitely a popular hike on what could be the last nice day for a while. Could be the last day to hike here until spring if the snow flies. Who can blame anyone for being out. It's so amazing!

What's better than a gorgeous hike on a stunning fall day in central oregon with friends? Topping it all off with burgers and beer! So, we head in to Cascade Lakes Brewing for some DELICIOUS burgers. Then, I have to ride off into the sunset to call it a weekend. (stopping only at Cibelli's to pick up pizza for Steve.)

Adidias Throwback run

September 13, 2007

Fit Right NW through Northwest Portland

5 miles?

Thanks to Jacki for putting together another fun reason to run! And get dressed up this time! The premise was to dress up in your best "throwback" running outfit. There were going to be prizes at the end for the best outfit.

Well, pretty much these three were the only ones "outfitted":

But, we had a good run. THere weren't very many people there, so everyone got a prize at the end. Jacki got a CUTE bag and I got a 6 pack of beer. Not bad for free.

(of course being the friend I am, and taking pity on Jim and Gary trying to tarp their roof in the rain, I brought it over to them. Awww....)

Labor Day Hike

Location: Larch Mountain
Date: September 3
Who: me, Steve, Jim, Lisa, Tanya, Molly, Seasha and Lucy

Yes it's October. Yes Labor Day was in September. But, at least I'm getting around to it.

A right nice Labor day, and who doesn't enjoy an extra Monday off every once in a while? Well, besides Steve because then he has to share his day off with the world. At least he gets to see me!

A mellow hike, at least it was the first half. Turns out that was a lot of gentle downhill that we then had to come back up. A wide path, lots of room for dogs to be dogs.

Bonus! Huckleberries. It seemed like we would have been too low for them, but nope! Picked a few to snack on here and there. After taking a path to the right, we stumbled upon an area with LOTS of huckleberries there for the taking. Ended up with may 4 cups worth total? Enough for some huckleberry muffins to share with everyone one of these days. Glad we ended up there, the huckleberry hike this year never materialized!

Bonus scenery on the hike. After wandering around, we found a trail that eventually hooks up with Angel's Rest (or maybe it was Deveil's Rest). Either way, it put us to a nice overlookign view of the Gorge. Ahhhh....
Topped it all off with some oatmeal-chocolate chip cookies at the end.
And, Gartner's brats for dinner that night. Yum.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Trip to the Midwest

August found us on a plane to go back to my homeland.
After landing late Tuesday night/Wed. morning, we hop in the rental car and head for Six Flags Great America! I hadn't gotten there since college, and with how much Steve loves roller coasters, this was a "must stop".
Knowing that the week we were there was the first week they cut their hours down to close at 7:00, we were hopeful it was because the crowds started to thin out as kids went back to school.
We were right! From the minute we got there, we pretty much walked on to almost every roller coaster we wanted to get on. By 11:30 we had ridden all of the major roller coasters already, so, we went around for another lap on all of our favorites and picking up some of the non coaster rides. In the end, we almost all of them twice and Raging Bull three times!With no lines, we wrapped up our day early and left after 5:00.
Having some time to kill until my parents could get to Chicago to pick us up, we went in search of food. Not finding anything good off the freeway, we take the exit for O'hare and end up driving towards Des Plaines. After finally getting out of hotel/chain food territory, we find a pub. Perfect! Beer and burgers to top off our day! The place is packed! Turns out it's $1.00 domestic pint night-no wonder it's packed! Out back, we see a sand volleyball court and what we thought was horseshoes. Turns out it's the latest thing sweeping the midwest-bean bag toss! Really! Stay tuned for more on that. After having a couple of pints, by accident, (we ordered another water and the waitress brought us more beer. Oh well!), some burgers and pizza nuggets (yum), we're on our way to drop off the car, meet my parents and head back towards Madison. On the drive back-we get our first thunderstorm. Hooray!
Thursday-wake up SICK! Pretty much sick all day. We won't count it. Did eat some good Wisconsin bratwursts though. Yum!
Friday-get a start in the afternoon to head down to central Illinois to see the relatives. Plan to stop on the way and get a little hike in at Starved Rock State Park. Well, there had been a lot of rain in the midwest the few weeks before we were there. Our first indication of trouble is that the first entrance to the park is closed and everyone is sent to the other entrance. Once we get there, we take a little hike, and make our way to the lower parking lot. Hmm... turns out there's a little water there.

Should have taken out the trash before the flood!

Up to the roof of the picnic shelter>

All of the trails we planned to take were under water, leaving only one hike up to "Starved Rock". Gives us a great view of all of the flooding of the Illinois River.
Then, after a picnic lunch, we head down to Charleston to find a room for the night.
In the morning, head out to Grandma and Grandpa's new (to me) house for a visit. Joining us there was my Aunt Jane, Uncle Pat and their kids.

Mom, Jane and Grandma//Jane, cousin Jenna and her bf Rory

Jane, Mom, Grandma, Grandpa

Steve and Lovee

After enjoying a delicious lunch, letting Grandma and Jane watch the wedding video, all too soon it was time to start the 5 1/2 hour drive home.
There is a LOT of corn in central Illinois. and some soybean fields as well. I don't think Steve had ever seen so much corn. The rest stop captured it well:

Even though we'd spent hours in the car, we took a side trip on the way home to swing by Monroe to see my High School friend, Heidi and her family. I
It was a very brief visit because it was such a long day already. But, I got to meet Ms. Kortney and see how big Kyle had gotten! (Only the pic of Kortney came out)

After recovering from the drive, we spent Sunday making pizza and visiting with Josh, Dawn and my nieces and nephew. Unfortunately, between pizza making and window installing in the shop, I never managed to capture any photos.

Monday was supposed to be a day at Noah's Ark water park, but. after waking up to thunderstorms that continued all morning, that got scratch and instead, we headed down to New Glarus for a brewery tour. After purchasing some samples to take home and taste, and touring the town, we headed back to Cottage Grove.

Already, it was Tuesday and time to head back to Oregon. After rounding up some last minute Wisconsin delicacies like cheese curds, we headed out for the airport. A blessedly uneventful flight home and we were back in Portland! Seasha was VERY happy to have us home!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

Portland Challenge-for the challenged

5th annual Portland Challenge
August 19, 2007
Jacki, Pete, Ryan, Malea, Coop, Bryan, Amber, Heather

This event met our wacky guidelines. Start at bar. Go to river. Get across river. Shower in fountain. Go back to bar and party. And, the bar was the Slammer! Doesn't get much better than that. Excpet we wanted to kick it up a notch, by starting at Mt. Tabor and ending at Council Crest. Details were worked out, everything was ready to go. Until it rained. Not wanting to swim the Willamette with CSO (yum... Sewage), we went with hastily drafted Plan B. Everything but the swim (and the bar).

So the motley crew starts our at Mt. Tabor. After eventually finding Pete, we're off.

First stop-giant Salmon. Since we're running down Salmon St. we may as well have an ode to a Salmon!

We've made it to the river. We thought we would all hang out with former mayor Vera Katz for a while. Some of us refined:Some people jumped her into their gang.

And of course, on a long run, you've got to stop and refill your water bottle sometime. However, we tried to warn Malea against drinking out of this "special" fountain.
After all of that, we finally reached our destination, Council Crest. Oh, there were some porta -potty stops along the way, but, we spared you those and instead, the view from the top!
Some kind folks were generous enough to take a picture of the Portland Challenged, now much sweatier and smellier than a few hours previous.

And of course, what could be more challenging than finding our way back to Mt. Tabor (harder than it should have been!) and finding a place to enjoy some drinks outside at Dingo's Taco Bar.
While enjoying tasty libations, Ryan tried to convince the server to marry him, but as it turned out, I had a much better chance of marrying her than he did. Maybe next time Ryan!
Special thanks to Jacki for organizing this and to Bryan's awesome Inspector Gadget-esque camera for the photos along the way!

a little absence

I promised myself I wouldn't be that person again. The one who starts a blog and doesn't keep up with it. What can I say, dial up at home and the computer in the basement not working for me. But now, I have so much to share. I hardly know where to start. So, here go several rapid fire entries to catch up!
Hopefully, I can make Picasa work for me so I don't have to keep embedding all these photos directly intot he blog and take up so much room...