Wednesday, April 30, 2008

These guys are my newest heroes. They took two years and backpacked from the equator to Tierra del Fuego *in the mountains* along foot and horse trails used by the local farmers and inhabitants. Incredible. I want to be them when I grow up!
Good lord, I haven't posted in a while. Lots of new things happening here in Portland:

-My cousin Jenna and her family are moving to Portland/Vancouver later this year.

-The Mazamas BCEP program just wrapped up, so I can get bak to my regular climbing, hiking, etc. I met some really good folks in BCEP this year and hope to see them on a climb later this summer.

-Last weekend was the last hike with the BCEP class. It included a mini climb out on Indian Point. I'll post pictures later, but I want to say that the view and the drop-off (or exposure) on Indian Point is phenomenal!

-Bojangles got into a dogfight with another dog last night at the dog park. He's fine; he lost a dew claw and he's looking for revenge, but he's fine.

-I returned my upteenth pair of boots to REI last night. The quest for the perfect pair (for me) continues. Last weekend drove home the point about using the right footwear for the activity. More on that later. For now, I'm switching up to backpacking boots and hope to have less painful hikes for the rest of the summer.

-Devon is about to get Crossfit Instructor certified. She (and I) are very excited that a workout program has turned into a fun and rewarding activity that involves more than just exercise.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Watched The Mist last night. Enjoyed it a lot. Most Stephen King adaptations lose the creepiness or the suspense. This movie retained both. If you don't like horror flicks or creepy-crawlies, stay away.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Long day yesterday. Dev joined me and my Mazamas BCEP class (or more properly, the class which I'm assisting) for our 14 mile hike to Larch Mountain. I haven't done that mileage on a hike in a year, and it was Dev's first time for such a long hike. And she came out better than me (for one thing, her boots worked better than mine!) I'm not in the picture because I had to help one of the students back down when his knee went funny on him. Dev is hiding in the middle front row of the picture in the pink baseball cap and pink jacket. Even with 4 miles of snow cover the hike had a great pace and incredible weather. A good day!

Saturday, April 12, 2008

Sometimes the adventure is in the backyard...

Friday, April 11, 2008

I started riding home in the sunlight, and the first day I've been on my bike without a jacket or long sleeves in months. People were out everywhere. Lingering. Spontaneous parties grew in front of cafes and bookstores. I saw at least fifty bikes at a corner bar at Williams and Skidmore. A crowd milled about in front of "In Other Words." A girl bent to grab the frisbee from the flower planter while her bearded boyfriend watched from across the yard. An older woman inclined her head in response to my greeting while finishing a drag from her cigarette as she strolled down the sidewalk. I saw families set up with lawn chairs at the old rose garden on Ainsworth. Suddenly I'm riding in the day's last gleam. I don't take off my sunglasses; I greedily take every drop of gold coming from the west. The warm air sleeves my arms. It's the first day of spring.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Nice review of anew Intellectual Design propoganda film starring Ben Stein: Expelled

And another here.

Favorite quote from first review:
You certainly won't hear anyone question why Expelled and the rest of the ID crowd pick on evolutionary biology for its materialism when every other field of modern science is equally so. Albert Einstein failed to devise a unified field theory despite decades of work, and hordes of physicists since have done no better -- why doesn't someone slap an ID explanation on that so we can call it a day?

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

Such a good birthday weekend. Dev and I took Friday off from work. Dev and Sue and I went to Smith Rock in central Oregon for some rock climbing. Sue led up lots of pitches so that Dev and I could climb. Dev hopped on some 5.7 routes and did extraordinarily well for her fifth ever climbing trip. The weather didn't cooperate with our plans very well; an hour after we to to the crag, rain and snow pelt down or about 20 minutes. We looked out west towards the Phoenix wall and saw snow and rain being blown into our side of the crag by a huge wind. The precipitation stopped, but the wind stayed around. The rain and snow hadn't lasted long enough to soak any gear or make the rock unsafe. So we kept climbing and had a great time, if a slightly chilly one.
While climbing the Peanut we met a climber named Harrison out of the Bay Area in California who was in Smith Rock for his "annual pilgrimage." We chatted and climbed. He raced up the 5.10a to my right on lead while I climbed a 5.9 on top rope. After several minutes of chatting and another move a little further down the wall, we lit out from the park to find sleeping quarters. Given the 26 degree temps projected for the night, we opted for a cheap motel in Redmond. $60 for 3 people and 2 dogs. Not a bad deal especially since the hotel was well maintained and reasonably clean.
The next morning saw us at the crag by 8 am. We hot-footed it out of the parking lot. Many groups of climbers were prepping their packs and organizing their gear in the parking lot. Since we had pre-packed out bags at the hotel room, we could jump the line and get down to the crag. We got on some popular routes pretty early on. Sue led up Cinnamon Slab and set the rope. Then we made Dev climb second. She raced up the 5.6 route with very little difficulty. We moved over to the Bunny Face area and started playing on the routes. A few minutes later Harrison and his crew showed up. We had a great time chatting with him and his friends and climbing. The weather stayed nice and we climbed to about 3 pm before we headed home. The last route (More Sandy than Kevin) stymied Sue for a while at the fourth bolt. We got a hand from climbers on a neighboring route to move the quickdraw from bolt 3 to bolt 4. Sue flashed up the route to finish it and the said I had to climb it and clean it.



I hung on the rope about 5 times while climbing the route. Shredded my fingertips. Climbed harder than I have ever climbed. And I managed to top out.



After that monster route, we lit out for home. Got back to Portland about 7 and prepared for the next day; which I will talk about in my next post.

Monday, April 07, 2008

See the fancy wrapping job Dev did for my birthday present. Pretty cool.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

The day before a long weekend. Hmm. Anticipation. I go to Smith Rock to climb for two days in celebration of my birthday.