oregon adventures

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Boston Trip

In September of 2012 my daughter and I flew to Boston for a week. We got there and rented a Ford Escape and checked into the Doubletree Suites on the Charles River. The next day my daughter met up with a friend, so I took off to Concord New Hampshire and toured the capitol building there. Then I set out for Montpelier Vermont. Toured the Vermont capitol building which was almost identical to the New Hampshire capitol. By then I was starving, so I found a healthy sandwich shop downtown and had lunch. Then changed clothes in a bathroom and went for a 3 mile run through the town of Montpelier on a bike path- cool town. Changed back into regular clothes and headed for Mt Mansfield the highpoint of Vermont. Had to pay $27 to drive the summit road and then hike 2 miles to the top. Could see Lake Champlain and New York in one direction and Canada and Montreal in another direction. Another state highpoint checked off.
On the way back to the highway I stopped at Ben & Jerry's to see it. Then the long drive back to Boston. At Concord, I got off the highway and found a cool restaurant that was almost closed, but the cute waitress said stay as long as I want and they had great food. Back to Boston late that night. The next day I drove to Providence Rhode Island and toured the capitol building. Then I drove to the brder on Hwy. 101 and hiked .25 miles to the Rhode Island state highpoint which is a rock in a forest. I then drove across the border into Connecticut and changed into running clothes in a church parking lot then ran back into Rhode Island and back into Connecticut for 3 miles in both states, 6 total- check and check. Changed back and drove to Hartford. It was raining and windy by then. I toured the very ornate castle-like capitol (picture).
Afterwards I went to Mark Twain's house, but you have to take a tour and it was an hour wait, so I drove back to Boston in a windy downpour. Met my daughter in downtown Boston and we ate lobster at a tent-like place called the Barking Crab with a beautiful view of downtown Boston and the Charles river. The next day my daughter and I were going to drive up to Mt Washington, the New Hampshire highpoint. However, I woke up to strange sounds and no lights. Stepped outside the room to firemen and smoke. Threw some clothes on, grabbed my wallet and phone and evacuated. Walked over to a Whole Foods and had breakfast and waited. Several hours later the fire trucks left and we could get the car out of the garage. It was too late for Mt Washington, so we drove to Plymouth and saw the Mayflower and Plymouth Rock. Then drove all the way out to the end of Cape Cod to the beach. Then ate Lobster at a cool restaurant in Provincetown. Then back to the hotel which still didn't have any power so they put us up downtown at the Sheraton. The next day we drove to the western part of Massachusetts to Mt Greylock the state highpoint. A road goes to the top, but we stopped at the Appalacian Trail crossing and hiked the AT to the top. Drove the scenic way back to Boston and when we got close I saw a sign for Old Mill restaurant, so we stopped and got a window seat overlooking a waterfall in an old grist mill place that was very cool and had great food. The next day we took the subway to Boston Commons and toured the capitol. Then we walked the freedom trail and toured the old city hall (top picture) and toured old north church and Paul Revere's house (bottom picture). Back to the hotel and after dinner we walked over to Fenway Park and watched Baltimore beat the Red Sox. Walked back to the hotel and saw tons of people out walking. The next day I woke up early and ran around downtown Boston. Then checked out of the hotel and drove to Walden's Pond. Walked around the lake and saw a replica of his cabin. Then to the airport and back home. For the trip, 5 capitols, 4 new states run in, and 3 state highpoints.

Monday, February 03, 2014

Ice Lake Backpack

I took the week before Labor day weekend off in 2012 and rented a Ford Fusion to save wear and tear on my Jeep. Drove over to Bend and spent the night at the Hilton Garden. The next day I went to breakfast at Chow- very good. Then I drove up to the back of the Three Sisters wilderness to Three Creek Lake and climbed Tam McArthur Rim, 5 m 1200 ft. Made it back to the car just before dusk and drove into the town of Sisters and had dinner, then drove home. A couple of days later my daughter and I set out for the Wallowa Lake area. We ate dinner at an expensive, but nice restaurant in Joseph. Then spent the night in a motel on the far side of Wallowa Lake. (picture)
The next morning at 6AM we drove less than a mile to the end of the road and the trailhead. Set out with the backpacks and it was cold as heck and the straps hurt until a couple miles in I figured out how to cinch the straps properly. After 3 miles we had to cross the West Fork Wallowa River. The bridge was out and signs warned that emergency crews couldn't get to you quickly if you proceeded. We crossed on a log that was pretty scary. The next 4.5 miles we climbed 2300 feet through beautiful country to Ice Lake (top picture). Set up camp and by then it was hot out, then set out for the far side of the lake to climb the Matterhorn. It was a 2000 foot climb in a mile and a half. I got to about 9200 feet and it was too steep for me and I stopped. My daughter went on up to the 9826 foot summit and came back and we made it back to camp just as it got dark. (bottom picture is looking down on Ice Lake from where I stopped) My daughter boiled water for dinner and I pumped the filter to fill our water bottles. The next morning we packed up and zoomed down. It was surprisingly easy. At the log bridge, I fell over getting on the log which freaked me out, so I waded across the river instead of using the log. Had wet feet all the way back to the car from there. It was early lunch time when we got back, so we had huge burgers in Joseph and then took the long scenic drive home- Baker City to Prairie City and highway 26 back.

Monday, January 20, 2014

Ashland Shakespeare Festival

Back in August 2012, I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland for the first time since I moved to Oregon in 1992. I've read alot of books about the civil rights movement and they were putting on a play about LBJ and MLK and the passage of the civil rights act. My Jeep is getting old, so I rented a Chevy Impala SS with a sunroof and spoiler. Stopped in the quaint town of Oakland Oregon for lunch on the way down. Then at Glendale I got off the highway and drove 30+ miles of paved forest road to the Mt Bolivar trailhead. Climbed Mt Bolivar which is the Coos county highpoint and in the Wild Rouge wilderness. After that I made it to Medford and golfed 9 holes at Bear Creek as it got dark, then spent the night at the Hampton in Medford. The next day I golfed 9 holes at Cedar Links in Medford and then drove to Ashland and checked into the McCall House B & B. Beautiful place with a huge bay window in the room. Then I drove south to the Soda Peaks wilderness trailhead and hiked 6.6 miles with 1300 ft gain to the Soda Peak lookout and Little Pilot Rock. Back to the B & B to wash up and walk one block to downtown Ashland for dinner and then to the Elizabethan stage to see "As You Like It". I had a first row balcony seat which was perfect. I could watch the play and watch the stars come out above the stage since it's an open air theatre. Great show and experience!
Next day I golfed 9 holes at Oak Knoll in Ashland (picture). Then I drove to Mt Ashland and climbed to the summit which is the highest mt in Oregon west of I-5 (top picture is the summit). Then later walked up to the Agnus Bowmer theatre to see the civil rights play "All The Way". I had a third row front seat and could see the actor's expressions. It was an incredible play and very moving. The next day I golfed 9 holes at Stewart Meadows and then drove home.

Sunday, December 29, 2013

Mid-West Trip

Shortly after the Ocean Shores Half-Iron last July, I flew back to the mid-west for a family reunion and some capitols. My daughter, son, and I all flew into Cinncinati and got a Ford Fusion rental and stayed at a Hilton in downtown Cinncinati. The next morning I got up before the kids and ran from the hotel over a blue bridge into Kentucky and did 3 miles in Kentucky and then back over a pedestrian bridge and past Great American Ballpark on Pete Rose Way and back to the hotel. It was 90+ degrees already and I was wiped out. Checked out and headed for Frankfort to see the capitol building. First we stopped in downtown Frankfort to eat lunch at Rick's White Light Diner which has been featured on Diners, Drive-ins, and Dives and other travel shows. Good food and he (Rick) was very entertaining. Then to the capitol building, it was 104 degrees by then. Beautiful building and we toured everything we could and then headed for Ohio. Took back roads and crossed the Ohio river at Maysville and back roads to Columbus where we checked into the Doubletree downtown on the river. They upgraded us to a top floor 2-story suite- it was very nice! The next morning I got up and ran the river path in Columbus. Then we toured the capitol building and it had a really nice gift shop. We were going to go to the Ohio art museum, but black clouds were rolling in, so we sat in the nice huge suite and watched the storm. That night we drove to a suburb and had dinner with my ex-sister in law and her husband. The next day we drove to Michigan. On the way I saw we were passing the Ohio state highpoint, so we stopped and I got my 2nd state highpoint (Oregon's Mt Hood is the other). Then spent 3 days in Michigan visiting family and eating tons of food. Then we drove down to Indianapolis and stayed at the Embassy Suites downtown. Met up with Susan and toured the capitol (picture is inside by the rotunda). Then visited with her and her sister and went to dinner with them at an Italian place downtown. The next morning I got up and ran the river path downtown. Then drove down to Cinncinati and flew home.

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Ocean Shores Half Iron

July of last year, I did the Ocean Shores Half-Ironman. Rode up in the Headhunters van. Pretty drive and we stopped in Aberdeen for coffee and then ate as soon as we got to Ocean Shores. Checked into the Polynesian hotel on the beach, sort of. It was actually a 1/4 mile hike through brush and sand dunes to the beach. When we did the training weekend a few months before we stayed at the Polynesian also. This time I got a 2-room suite for the race. Went to packet pick-up and then Tom and I drove the bike course because he hadn't been at the training weekend. There were deer everywhere on the course and by the hotel. For the race, the swim was in a small lake on the peninsula that was dark and had small stuff floating in it. I started out and the group ahead of me zoomed and I thought I was in last by myself. I kept telling myself- "go faster". When I got out and ran up to the bike, I saw several Headhunters come in after me. I had been at the front of the secondary pack. Got on the bike and my lack of training and conditioning that year hit me. The Headhunters I beat on the swim all zoomed past me saying, "come on Jeff". On the second loop I started speeding up to try and catch Terri who was a couple hundred yards ahead. A car passed me real close even though there were 4 lanes and an empty road. So I looked down to make sure I had enough room on the edge of the road and I heard a crash. Looked up to see Terri on the road The car had buzzed her and frightened her so much she crashed. Ocean Shores is definitely red-neck country. I helped Terri up and yelled at a car on the opposite side to stop and it turned out to be Renee's husband and he took Terri to the hospital. After that I rode slow and safe to the end. The run was road and a couple of miles each way on the beach itself. The sand was hard down by the water so we ran down there. Going on and off the beach you had to run through the deep soft sand which was interesting. Met up with a girl on the run who was from Anacortes and had lost 60 lbs training for this race. She was fun to run with and talk to.
After the race and back to the the hotel, we had a Headhunter bbq and bonfire on the beach. That was really fun, but as it got dark we realized you needed a flashlight to hike back to the hotel. A large group walking as close as possible to the one person with a light. The next day four od us stayed and went to the Ocean Shores museum. Walked out on a rock jetty by the ocean also. Then I walked over by the race start and golfed 9 holes at the Ocean Shores golf course. The next day drove home.

Saturday, February 02, 2013

OKC Memorial Half Marathon

Last year at the end of April I flew to Dallas Texas and rented a car and spent the night by the airport at an Embassy Suites. The next morning, I checked out and headed to Arlington were I had lived in 1981 when my ex was pregnant with my son and we were waiting for my Air Force school to start. I visited my Dad's old house where we had stayed for awhile and then the apartment building we moved to later and the Church's Chicken I had worked at. Then off to Oklahoma City. Got bored with the interstate, so I took a side road and when I got hungry stopped at a busy little town diner. Walked in and almost fell over from the disgusting smoke. Didn't know there was anywhere in the country you could still smoke in a resturant- it was revolting. I ran outside to the patio and the girl served me out there by myself. Made it to OKC and checked into the historic Skiverin hotel downtown. Picked up my race packet and saw people going to the arena for the Thunder versus Dallas playoff game. The next morning I got ready to run and walked over to the start line which was at the OKC memorial. It was just before sunup and the chairs were lit and it was one of the most powerful sights I'd ever seen the way the memorial looked in the dawn. Wish I'd had my camera. We lined up and had silence for 160+ seconds, one for each person killed. Then we started and it was fairly flat. Ran back through downtown and then through the cool resturant district and then past the state capitol building and then out past a Jimmy's Egg breakfast place and some nice houses. I went nice and slow and even while looking around. Finished downtown at 2hours 15minutes and got some drinks and bananas and headed back to the hotel.
Had a giant pancake breakfast that I couldn't finish and then went and toured the state capitol and the toured a really cool cowboy art museum. After that I got ready and met my step-sister Jodie at Cattlemen's steak house. It was an incredible place. Had the presidential t-bone and some lamb fries and a great visit. The next morning I checked out and went to Jimmy's Egg and had breakfast there, it was pretty good. Made it to Dallas and checked into the Doubletree inn just outside downtown. Went into downtown and visited the Sixth Floor museum in the book depository where Oswald shot Kennedy. Very powerful museum with good displays. Outside people were selling conspiracy literature, I passed on that. Walked around Daly Plaza and the grassy knoll. Back at the hotel I had a room almost on the top floor and was tired, so I sat on the deck and watched the Dallas skyline. The next morning, I ran the Katy trail in downtown Dallas for 3 miles. Very cool trail, but the people were really unfriendly, I said hi to everyone I passed and they would be startled or not look at me at all. Then the flight home. Really
liked the race and LOVED the memorial. I bought a painting for $75 they had in the gift shop of the chairs at first light.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Big Climb in Seattle

Back in March I went to Seattle to do the Big Climb where you climb the tallest building- the Columbia Center. Started out from Portland and stopped at the Washington state capitol building and toured it. Also took the exit for the Tacoma Narrows bridge and drove over that and ate lunch in Gig Harbor. Checked into the Doubletree Arctic hotel in downtown Seattle. Very nice hotel, where I had a corner room.
The next day I went to packet pickup over by Green Lake. Afterwards I went to Discovery park and did a 5 mile hike around the park with views of the Olympic Mountains. Then found Queen Anne park and took a picture of downtown with Mt Rainer in the background. Then stopped at the Olympic Sculpture park.
Sunday morning I went down by the water to the waterfront path and did a 9.6 mile run. Started out thinking maybe 7 or so, but saw a cool bridge so did some extra over that and so on until I had 9.6. Then back to the hotel for a shower and then across the street to the big climb. Got in line and started walking up the stairs. 69 floors later I was at the top. Got a picture of the Smith Tower and after I was done with the big climb, I walked over to the Smith Tower and rode the elevator to top and got a picture of the Columbia Center. Walked around downtown some and spent one more night in the hotel. The next day I went to Seattle University library and copied some pictures of a distant relative for my Dad. Then back to Portland in time for swingshift.

Van Lake Half & Shamrock 15K

Back in January I ran the Vancouver Lake Half Marathon. Rode in the Headhunters team van to the race. It was raining pretty good, and cold. I wore two hats, one to cover the ears and one with a bill for the rain. Started out with the group and fell back and then Tonia fell back and we ran together with me telling stories the whole way. Finished in 2:18 for a 10:33 pace. Went to The Rock pizza place afterwards and had a Claifornia Dreaming pizza. In early March, did the Shamrock 15K downtown. Rode in the Headhunter van downtown. Started out with the group and started running with Tiffini and we pulled ahead of the group until the Terwelliger hill. Then we slowed down to run with the group. About that time a guy rode up on a bike offering VooDoo doughnuts. Coach Denise actually took one and ate it, after that she took off like a bolt. I stayed and ran with Tiffini. We got to about 7 miles and I fell back and then thought about and pushed it to rejoin with her. By this time Renee had joined so the three of us ran until about a half mile out and they sprinted in and I just cruised in for a 1:33 for a 10:03 pace. Afterwards we tried to go to the Industrial Cafe but it was jammed as was other places. Finally ended up at Joe Brown diner in Vancouver for pancakes and omelets. In Febuary, I went to Warner Robins AFB Georgia for a conference. Ran 9 miles around the base one afternoon. Tried to go swimming at the base pool another night, but it was full with a water aerobics class. Just one run for the whole week as a workout. The last day we went to Atlanta to catch the flight home and before the flight went to the Jimmy Carter center to see his museum and then to Mary Mac's for lunch- fantastic food.