Sunday, June 03, 2018

I have successfully moved my blog to Wordpress

Update your bookmarks, and join me over here in Wordpress-land, where the interface is much slicker, and there's a 100% less chance of Google getting tired of hosting blogs and killing this whole thing (I mean seriously, they haven't updated the interface in years, do they even know they still have it)...

https://stefrobrts.wordpress.com/


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Thursday, May 24, 2018

Airstream Rally in Maryhill, WA


Last weekend we got our trailer out for the first trip of the year, and joined the Oregon Airstream Club at a rally in Maryhill, WA. This was the first time we had been out with the club since rejoining last year and going to the Eclipse Rally. We had been in the club when we first bought the trailer, which was 15 years ago, but they had been a bit stodgy for our tastes back then, and we only stayed in it a few years.

So we were not sure what this rally was going to be like. We showed up on Friday evening, since I couldn't leave until after work on Friday. I suppose I could have taken the day off, but I had already scheduled the following Friday off for Memorial weekend, and I didn't want to lose too many PTO days. So we rolled in just as it was getting dark, and were greeted by friendly folks who immediately invited us down to dinner, and we got to meet a bunch of other campers as they all fussed over getting us some food (they were just about all ready to turn in for the night!).



We are on the left end. Our trailer was the smallest and oldest by far :)



So, there were about 15 trailers, and we did not know any of the people there for a change! We have been camping with our regular group for so long, that was really different, but everyone was really friendly and welcoming. We got a few tours the next day, and gave everyone who was interested a peek in our wee little trailer.

One fun thing we do on AirForums sometime is post 'the view from my front door'. Not so spectacular this weekend!




The view out the other side was much nicer.




It got pretty hot on Saturday, so I'm glad we didn't have the dogs with us. After breakfast with our new friends, everyone headed off in various directions. We went to the Maryhill Museum. Along the way I stopped to snap a few photos of the windmills.




I know they aren't natural, but I think they are pretty cool.






The scenery here is so different from home, just two hours away. Not everyone knows that WA and OR are split in two by the cascade mountain range. The West side is damp and green and treed, the East side is dry and brown and full of spectacular plateaus. Out here it feel like the sky goes on forever!




After the museum we came back and relaxed, read a book, took a nap, and just really enjoyed having no chores or errands or responsibilities. I finally finished reading Travels With Charlie, which Michelle gave me for my birthday a couple years ago! We need to camp more! Dave just rested because he had pulled his back moving the kayak last week.

For the Saturday evening potluck I made a cheesy cauliflower dish, since our low carb diet isn't approving or the old Potato Dish we always made for potlucks. The cauliflower dish actually turned out really nice. The hosts made tri-tips and there was plenty of food! We had a great time visiting with more folks we hadn't had a chance to chat with yet.

After dinner everyone pulled up a chair around the big firepit and we had a nice campfire, and someone got an ice breaker going by asking folks to tell something interesting about themselves, and folks had a lot of really good stories. Of course Dave could say he had been an extra on TV shows. I passed, I couldn't think of anything too interesting to say.

The next morning we all had a relaxed breakfast and packed up to head back home. We had one more stop on our way out of town.




Stonehenge! This is a WWI memorial built by the same guy who built the Maryhill Museum.




A beautiful view from between the stones. Mt Hood in the distance, hidden in the clouds.

So that was our little adventure. Good to get the trailer out for a little test run. Last year we missed Trout Lake because of a broken water main, but everything is running fine again now. And it's our 15 year anniversary with the trailer, so I hope this is a good year with lots of camping coming up this summer. Sometimes it seems like the trailer is more trouble than it is worth, but times like this are just so much more relaxing than a hotel trip has ever been, it feels very worth while.


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Saturday, May 12, 2018

First kayak outing of the year


Yesterday we got the kayak out for the first trip of the year.




It was a little windy, and so we paddled over to one of the little islands and parked in the reeds on the sheltered side and I played with my new sliding bobber rig and a jig, casting it out and watching the wind slowly drift it back towards us. It was very peaceful and relaxing. Dave was fine until his phone ran out of charge!





We headed back but stopped to fish a couple logs along the way, and I cast out between the logs, but I forgot I had put lighter line on the rod (first trip out since I did that), and I WAY overcast, and sent it flying into the bushes! So we paddled over there and with much wiggling got lucky and recovered the entire rig intact!

This was also the first time having the kayak on top of the new Flex. The rack easily transferred onto the new Flex, and the only problem we had was putting the kayak up on top, and it wouldn't go for some reason. We puzzled over why the hullivators refused to fold then realized we were too far forward and the 'yak was hitting the roof of the house! So we backed up a couple feet and everything went back to normal. Oops!



Lacamas Lake is so pretty. I don't know if there's many fish to catch in it, but it's fun to go out there and hang out either way.




Wednesday, February 21, 2018

Possum!

Sake and Sitka were visiting a couple weeks ago when I heard the dogs going absolutely nuts in the backyard. I ran out to see what the big deal was, and there was a giant Possum crossing the waterpark!





He was HUGE!


And in true possum fashion, he decided the best thing to do was freeze. Which allowed the dogs to go nuts even longer than if he had just continued across the field.


I finally called the dogs inside, and then he continued his slow meander to go hide in the clump of trees at the North end of the field.


Mighty was just glad the dogs were harassing someone other than her for a change.


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Snow Day

I don't post as often when I'm working. I'm just not getting out and taking pictures so much. But yesterday was a snow day, so I snapped a few pics of the dogs out hanging around in the backyard.


Barclay was chillin out on the patio couch.




Our greek statue ladies are under the patio now so they don't get the blanket of snow like they used to, but they might last longer. The concrete fountain one of them sat on has pretty much crumbled from the weather.



Navi was out exploring, eating grass and digging for grubs. Lately they have both been very distracted by whatever the heck it is they are eating out of the grass. Sherry sais Sake and Sitka are the same.

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Sunday, November 12, 2017

Visiting Fort Rock


I'm catching up blogging on a few adventures from this summer, now that the rainy season has come. In April we decided to take our new Dodge Challenger for a little road trip, and headed east to something I have had on my to-do list for a long time, but never quite got around to - Fort Rock, Oregon.

We drove out over Mt Hood, and onto the dry side of the state. It is amazing how different the East side of Oregon is from the damp, green West side.



We had not visited Fort Rock because it is not really near anything else we've wanted to visit. The land around it is very flat, and then this big rock half-circle raises up on the horizon. 



Story clouds made for some dramatic lighting.



Fort Rock museum had some historic buildings that had been saved from around the area and relocated to the museum.



Although the museum's General Store faced Fort Rock, I thought it made a more dramatic piece to put them together.


Driving out to the Rock, we started to get a real feeling for how HUGE it was.


We parked in the little parking lot at the base and hiked up into it. (Dave included for scale)



There were lots of neat rock formations up inside the Fort.



And some man-made formations.


I've been told this whole area was a vast inland sea eons ago, which is why the rocks have this water-worn look to them.


From the back wall of the Fort, we could look across the formation and out onto the plains.



Everything is so big and vast, and the living things here seem to have quite a struggle on their hands. We found lots of rabbit carcasses among the sagebrush.


It feels like you could just walk forever and not run into anything.



In these days when it seems like everybody is out for themselves, it does my heart good to read about farmer/conservationists who loved the land enough to set it aside and preserve it for future generations to enjoy. Thank you, Long family.


After Fort Rock we headed for Hole in the Ground, another nearby geographic oddity. I grabbed a bag of chips we had bought at the beginning of our journey and discovered they had blown up like a balloon, almost to bursting! That's beacuse we had bought them at sea level, and brought them up into the high desert, and the difference in air pressure caused them to expand. Crazy science!


We drove through this singed pine forest.


Then we arrived at Hole In The Ground, A HUGE depression. I believe it was volcanic. In Oregon and Washington, when someone asks if a geographic feature is volcanic, the answer is almost always Yes.


Our beautiful new Challenger made the trip effortlessly. What a nice, comfortable, modern car! I hope we enjoy many more road trips in it.


Saturday, October 21, 2017

Another Duchovny concert, this time in Canada!

A few months ago I heard David Duchovny would be doing a concert in Vancouver BC, and on a whim I bought the tickets and said 'whatever happens, I am going to this, and we'll just see who is going with me as we get closer.' Dave was expecting to be in a play that would actually be going on that weekend, and Michele thought she might be in it too, and so Sherry said she would go if I needed a partner for this escapade. I'd go by myself if I had to. Glad I didn't have to though, turned out the venue was sketch as hell. We'll get back to that. 

It turned out Dave didn't get cast in the play he thought he would, and Michele was an understudy, so we went ahead and planned our trip. Right before the trip she got moved from understudy to actually being IN the play, but she had already told them she needed that weekend off, so they had HER understudy cover those days. Our little adventure was still on!

 Michele thought it would be fun to rent a room instead of staying in a big hotel, so after much discussion we all agreed on a little 2 bed, 1 bath flat downstairs in a 1920s house in Kitsilano. It was walking distance to stuff. Parking wasn't terrible (we found a spot on the black every time). It was a cute little place. Upstairs we could hear the landlords family walking, talking, playing piano, their little dog's nails tapping on the wood floor and yipping. It was fine though. I liked it. It felt a lot more personal than just being in a hotel. 



We had a lot of fabulous food while we were there, starting with a place right down the street called the Oakwood that did a menu with small plates to share. The food was amazing! The poutine with glazed brisket - drool! We waddled out of there and then took a nice long walk to Safeway for some snacks.

Can't go to Vancouver without visiting the Aquarium. Lots of cool displays.


After the Aquarium we headed to English Bay Beach, and I found a restaurant with a view on Google, so that's where we were headed. The XF Season 11 trailer had just come out the week before, and it showed a scene of Mulder next to some crazy laughing statues.

Found 'em!

Saturday night was the concert. We drove by ahead of time to check it out and it looked super sketchy. Lots of homeless people around. The parking looked iffy - since we have the Flex with the giant kayak rack on top, it couldn't go in a parking garage. Dave found street parking a few blocks away. He dropped us off since there was already a line forming, and Michele and I got a place in line while he parked the beast.

We had to stand in line for a bit, but the other folks in line were friendly and chatty, and everyone was pretty chill. Folks kept walking by with dogs, and since I missed our dogs, we kept pointing them out. At one point Dave pointed out someone had a little corgi-esque dog with a fluffy tail, but I was short and couldn't see it from where I was. Eventually they opened the doors and we all went in.

The venue didn't have seats, just big open areas for standing, dancing, and a few tables around the edges which were pretty much taken. I wanted to stand up by the stage, so I staked out a spot and made like a rock - nothing would move me from my spot - close to the stage, and the exit door - just in case. I'm not fond of crowds, but I had Michele next to me and Dave behind me, and the rest of the floor just filled in until they were packed like sardines. I have never been in a concert like that! Michele proved to be a master at chatting up people, and ended up talking to some folks next to her about the wildfires in Santa Rosa (where she is from), because they were from the Bay Area too - small world!

Finally the show started about a half hour late. DD seemed tired, not nearly as energetic as the last concert. Seemed like he hit a lot of sour notes too, maybe his voice wasn't up to it, or he just wasn't feeling it. After a while he started to loosen up and it got better. I liked the songs he sang off the new album. And he played guitar this time, which was cool.









There was a group of girls behind us who were absolutely plastered by the time it started and were super obnoxious, falling over, dropping their bottles, squeeling randomly, waving a lighter around (for god's sake, use a phone like everyone else before you set someone on fire!), shouting stuff out. Finally a stage hand came over and asked them to chill. At the end of the show our friend Michelle went over to thank him for doing that, and he said no problem, and said 'oh, here, you might like this' and handed her the setlist off the keyboard station. So she gave me that, and when we got home I hung it on the wall next to Mulder :)



It was a fun concert, and I wish I could have brought my camera because the pics would have been so much better, we were way closer than the cell phone pictures make it look.

The next morning we were talking about the concert, and I pulled up Twitter to show Michele a picture of Duchovny's dog, Brick, and Dave says 'Hey, that's the corgi-esque dog I saw while we were in line!' What?! You got to see Brick and I didn't?!

The next day we went up to the Bloedel Conservatory, which is full of exotic birds and plants. Very cool.


All the beautiful birds! I can't wait to make art out of some of these.



But Dave got tired of chasing birds and looking at plants. Poor Dave.




Then I think we took a long, meandering trip over to the north shore of Vancouver and drove until we got hungry, driving through little touristy towns that were hopping on Sunday afternoon. We had lunch at a random spot in a strip mall next to a grocery store, and the food was amazing! I don't know how we got so lucky every stop.

We continued back, doing a loop around what used to be the XF studio, not sure if they are still filming there, and then back over the bridge and around Stanley park, stopping to take pictures of the city at sunset.



You'll just have to trust me that this pic looks amazing blown up. The blog just can't handle it.


The next day we swung through Steveston on our way home, and like everything it has grown a lot from the sleepy little beach town we found on our honeymoon. We also stopped in Bellingham to see this cool old sailing ship Michele had gone on a tour/crewed on. Then we pretty much hotfooted it home, because Dave had a rehearsal to get to. It was a fun weekend, I'm so glad Michele was able to join us, and ultimately even if the concert wasn't the greatest concert ever (super hard to beat the last one), it gave us an excuse to wander around Vancouver all weekend, and that was pretty awesome.



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