Sunday, October 19, 2008

Last Minute Smith Trip

With a bit of a last minute persuading and I was on board with heading over for a short weekend of climbing at Smith Rock. It turned out to be great weather and we didn't even have to sleep in the cold. Jodie was able to sweet talk her boss into letting us crash at his house in Madras.

We started out climbing at the Phoenix Wall, were I promptly got my butt kicked. Greg managed to get in a couple of good climbs while at the Phoenix Wall. Jodie wasn't feeling well, so she sat on the sidelines as Greg climbed and I attempted to climb.

When the front side started getting crowded we made our way to the back side over Asterisk Pass.

Jodie, climbing down the back side of Asterisk Pass

We found a few easier climbs on the back side that did not completely kick my butt. Finishing off the day, but not the route. We climbed "Spiderman". Greg was ready to climb the two pitch route, but I was quickly running low on stamina and Jodie still was not feeling up to par. Greg climbed up the first pitch setting up a top belay. I started up behind Greg, making only half way up the pitch before running out of steam. I kinda felt bad to bail on Greg in the middle of the climb. Next time, maybe I'll be in better shape and be able to climb like I was in the spring.

Me climbing "Spiderman"

We headed back, making our way over Asterisk Pass again.

Jodie, climbing back up and over Asterisk Pass.

I was a little disappointed with my climbing abilities this trip, but what can you expect when I haven't been climbing in months. Otherwise it was a good time! Thanks again to Greg for being a great rope gun!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Mom's B-day Weekend Adventure (Part 2)

(Click here for Part 1)

....We (I) got up a little late (about 9am). The sun was already heating up my tent. Mom had actually been up for quite some time (5:30am or something crazy like that). She was kind enough to let me sleep. After making some breakfast we got packed up and headed out.

Making breakfast. (I'm still not quite awake yet)

Packing up to move on down the trail.

On the trail back to the car.

After retuning to the car we repacked our packs for another 3.5 mile hike into Sisters Mirror Lake. Driving a few miles down the road the the trail head, where we began the next leg of our adventure.

View Larger Map

The hike into Sisters Mirror Lake was pretty smooth easy going, other than already being worn out from the previous day's summit and already putting in 3 miles to hike out earlier in the morning. When we reached the lake we all just dropped our packs and laid down to rest, before setting up camp.

Jodie napping in the grass.

Sisters Mirror Lake

As the mosquitoes began to get thick, we quickly set up camp and took an afternoon nap while hiding from the pesky mosquitoes. We later fought off the mosquitoes while making and eating dinner.

The next morning the mosquitoes weren't any better. We got breakfast going and worked on getting the morning dew dried off the tents.

Mmmm, Breakfast

The morning dew as we as we got ready to head head back.

The plan was to meet up with my brother (Brian) and his girlfriend (Jen) for lunch in Sunriver when we got back. That plan didn't quit work out. Brian got stuck working a wild fire out of Sisters and couldn't meet us. We went to Sunriver anyway, meeting Jen and enjoying some tasty pizza without him.

It was a good weekend, with some fun challenges. I think both mom and Jodie had a good time as well. Even if it was a long, brutal, and challenging weekend. Good times!!!

Mom's B-day Weekend Adventure (Part 1)

Mom wanted to have an adventure and do something challenging for her birthday. So a few months back mom asked if I would want to take her and Jodie (my little sister) up the South Sister. Of course I said "Sure, it'll be fun!"

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Mom didn't want to try to the 12 mile, 4850ft elevation gain trip in one day. I don't blame her, I've done it. Not much fun. After looking over the maps, I proposed the idea of going up the Green Lakes Trail and over to Moraine Lake (about 3 miles). Setting up a quick camp and a quick bit to eat before continuing up the mountain (about 9 miles for the day). This still makes for a long brutal day, but the hike in even though a mile and a half longer is much easier with a mild elevation gain. By setting up a camp prior to making the assault on the summit allows you to drop off any unnecessary gear and weight. This plan left us with an easy 3 mile hike out the next morning. This plan left us with an extra day. The extra time got mom thinking it would be fun to hike in to Sisters Mirror Lake (just down the road). This was a hike mom and dad had done with some of their friends, 32+ years earlier (before I was a twinkle in their eyes). This was another 3.5 miles in, making a 6.5 mile day (not to bad).

The trip began Thursday, mom came up to my place and we got her set up with some of my extra gear. Jodie came over as soon as she got off from work. We loaded up and headed over the pass. With leaving so late in the day we got ourselves a hotel room in Bend for the night. We planed to get an early start the next morning.

Fall Creek

Arriving at the trail head slightly latter than we planed, due to an almost non existent continental breakfast and no ice maker at the hotel we had to make a stop at the store prior to the trail head. Setting foot on the trail around 8:30am, we followed the Green Lake trail along Fall Creek about 2 miles before pulling off the Green Lakes trail and making our way over to Moraine Lake. This is where we set up our camp.

Camping just above Moraine Lake

We finished setting up our tents and prepared for our push up the mountain. Being an hour behind my original schedule, I felt we were still doing alright. We made out way around Moraine Lake and up on the ridge above. Moving right along, I thought we would reach the summit around 3:30pm (4 hours). The remaining climb to the summit was about 3 more miles with an elevation gain of around 3800ft.

A little trail side color.

Here we go, The fun is about to begin.

I think Mom is wondering what she got herself into. I'm thinking we are running short on time.

Around the 9000ft mark things started to really began to slow down. The oxygen begins to get a little thinner and fatigue starts to set in. It was nearing 4pm and we still had a ways to go. I didn't want to push Mom passed what she was physically capable of and yet I wanted her to accomplish what she had set out to do as well. in the back of my mind I still needed to get them back down the mountain hopefully be for dark. My absolute turn around time was 5:30pm this would give us three hours to get back to camp just as it begins to get dark.

Mom made it! Congratulations! Happy Birthday!

We reached the summit at around 5pm (just in time). We enjoyed a quick snack and took in the wonderful views for a few minuets before starting our decent. The decent was much faster and easier, as it usually is.

Enjoying the last good view of things from about 9000ft.

Jodie and Mom enjoying a break, happy to be on their way down the mountain.

As we neared camp (the last mile), the sun began slipping behind the hills.

Broken Top in the evening sun.

Some old gnarly trees along the way.

We arrived back at camp just be for dark. After a quick dinner we all promptly made our way to bed. It had been a very long 11.5 hour day on the trail, and we were all exhausted and soon fast asleep.

To be continued.... (click here for Part 2)

Thursday, August 14, 2008

MG User Con Denver, CO (Buisness Trip)

We didn't have a lot of free time to play during this trip, but it was still a good time. I was in Denver for the MG User Conference. Three days of learning about new enhancements in the MG products and how to better use their products that we have now. It was also a good chance to network with other MG users and learn from their experiences as well. We came home with some good info. this was by far one of the better MG Conferences that I have attended.

Our fight was to leave at 7am, this meant I had to get up at 3:30am (I'm not a morning person). Inevitably I was running late in order to arrive the recommended two hours early at the airport. This didn't make much difference, as I was through security in 20 minutes and then found out our fight was delayed an hour.

We arrived with just enough time to check in and grab a quick lunch before our first sessions started. That night after the sessions got out we walked down to 16th St Mall to look for some dinner. The 16th St Mall is about 1 mile stretch closed to car traffic. Pedestrians, the shuttle bus and horse drawn carriages is the only traffic on 16th st. After dinner at the Hard Rock Cafe, the ladies thought a ride on one of the horse drawn carriages would be fun. So they flagged one down and we took it for a quick tour around down town Denver and then back to the hotel.

Like I said I did not have much time to go explore the city or any where else during this trip. But I did manage to squeeze in a quick walk down to the state capital and passed the Denver Mint and around the Art Museum between a couple of sessions.

Here is a map of where I walked. You can click, pan, and zoom on the points for more info.

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Tuesday was another full day of workshops and sessions, but I had about an hour of of time to kill mid morning. So I thought I would see if I could walk down to the Colorado State Capital and the Denver Mint before my next session. The blue line you see on the map above was my walk.

Colorado State Capital Building

Opposite the Capital is the Denver City and County Building

Between the two was the "Greek Theater"

Beyond the "Greek Theater" was the Denver Art Museum (funky looking building)

I also walked around the Denver Mint but failed to get any pictures for two reasons. One, it wasn't as impressive or cool as I thought it might be, and second they were doing construction on the front of the building and it was covered in scaffolding.

Latter that evening most of the 200+ attendees of the MG User Con went to the Colorado Rockies Baseball game against the Arizona Diamondbacks (Diamondbacks won 4-2). We where sitting along the first base line. There where two foul balls were caught within 10 seats of me, that was pretty cool (would have been even cooler if I caught one!). The weather during the game got a little crazy. It was about 75F at the game, about the 5th inning a small thunder storm blew in lighting up the sky with webs of lightning. It was pretty cool to see. Then we began to feel a few rain drops, nothing that a true Oregonian couldn't deal with. As the drops continued to fall the stands began to empty until it was just the die hard fans and a couple of us Oregonians. Next the rain started coming down as LARGE slushy snow drops (keep in mind it was still about 75F). I still held strong as the game didn't get called due to the weather, and it soon cleared up and we were dry again a half hour later any way.

Before the rain and snow

During the rain and snow

After the crazy thunder storm. Notice how the stands cleared out.

Look at the fans hiding under their wussy umbrellas.

Wednesday was all work and no play, workshops and sessions all day and then make a dash for the airport. It was 11:30 pm when I finally got home.

All in all it was a good trip. I got some good info, a few ideas for the future, and got to ask people form other companies how the system was working for them. I was also fun getting a chance to visit a new city and state.

Thursday, August 7, 2008


I've been playing around on the slackline in my back yard off and on for the last couple of months, and I think I'm finally starting to get the hang of it. I still have a lot to learn, but I'm feeling pretty good about how far I've come on the slackline.

Here is a quick clip of me screwing around on the slackline last night.

Well thats about all that's new. I was just feeling a little cocky and had to share my accomplishment. Hopefully I'll have some real adventures to share again soon.

until next time, have fun and be safe.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Solo hike to Rooster Rock

So I haven't had a chance to get out and enjoy things as much as I would like over the last few months. I had the day off and I wasn't able to get some other things done around the house, so I decided that I needed to get away from things and go for a little hike.

I set out around noon, heading for Rooster Rock. It is a nice hike, and not to far away. I was also hoping to maybe catch the meadow with all the flowers in bloom. I reached the trail head about 1pm. Strapping on my day pack, I began my assault up the trail.

About 100ft up the trail I noticed some PVC pipe half buried across the trail. This was kind of strange?? Coming out of the one end was a length of RG59 coaxial cable that lead to a large PVC capsule. I took a couple of pictures and thought I would check it out further on my return.

What ever it is the pipe crossing the trail needed to be oriented in a particular way. Notice the writing on the pipe "Point dot up". I'm curious what this is and/or what is being monitored.

Moving on up the trail, the coral root was lining the trail. Though it was not as thick as last year. I think this might have something to do with the late melting snow pack this year.


This trip I decided to take a little detour and check out Rooster Rock in more detail. I made a short little bushwhack to the (very loose) bolder field at the base of the rock. I found Rooster Rock to have a different look and texture than some of the other rock in the area. For instance the rock across the ridge at Table Rock is tall vertical basalt, and even the rocks just a few hundred feet away at the top of the meadow is just large blocky rocks with little texture. Rooster Rock is a relatively narrow blade of rock that jets into the air, but yet most of the contours are horizontal and pocked with small wells.


I soon made my way back to the trail and continued to the meadow. I found that I was a few days late for catching things in the prime of its bloom, but the flowers were still in bloom and for the most part spectacular.




On my way back I walked right passed what was completely out in the open and in plain site. Remember that PVC something or other from the start of my hike. While I was hiking some one had come through and camouflaged what ever it was. Rather than dig it up and still not know what I was looking at I just left it alone and headed for home.

It was nice to get out and enjoy an afternoon on the trail. Hopefully I can make some more time to get out and enjoy the outdoors before the summer comes to an end.