Monday, August 29, 2005

I got off work at 11:00am Friday after going in at 8:00am to get ready for Roseburg. Basically I had to pack my bag, find the tent, etc. Max got to my house around noon and then we went shopping at Fred Meyers. We wanted to buy food so we wouldn't eat Shirley's, the former caregiver to my grandma. Now she just lives in the house and looks over it while my grandma is in Portland at the care facility. After buying some hot dogs, sandwich stuff, lettuce for salad and some candy, we were off down I-5 towards good ole' Roseburg.

We took the Sutherlin exit, bought some milk at a mini-mart, and then headed towards Garden Valley road. I hadn't been since last summer, but I seemingly remembered every bend in the road on the 10 minute journey from the freeway to the farm.

Shirley wasn't there when we arrived, but thankfully my mom gave us a key so we got in okay. After unpacking, we headed towards the lagoon to swim. We also brought along an inflatable raft and tried to fill it up, but unfortunately one of the air nozzles was messed up and therefore we couldn't really use it. So we gave up on that, and went to the diving rock instead.

You have to cross the lagoon (a little bay or inlet) to the other side, in which you find the normal Umpqua, just starting to pick up speed for the rapids ahead. It's not very fast though, easily crossed to the other side, which is protected from the current by large slabs of rock stacked vertical. Anyways, we found this one rock which is really high, and the water is practically right below, far deep enough to be safe. So we launched off that a couple of times, then headed back, swam a little in the lagoon, and called it a night once the sun fell below Woodruff Mountain.

For dinner that night I made Penne Alfredo, which is your typical Afredo sauce, except on penne pasta. Many people think the dish is always called "Fettuccine Alfredo," but Fettuccine simply denotes the pasta (often used for this dish), while Alfredo denotes the type of sauce. Anywho, it was good and Shirley enjoyed it too.

We then decided to sleep on the porch for the night (one, to avoid using linens so Shirley didn't have to do wash, and two, because the upstairs was hella hot). The view of the stars was spectacular, and we went a good hour or so on the roof just gazing up at them. There is hardly any light pollution over there, so the sky was amazing to look at. Reminded me of houseboating on Lake Shasta, during which time we spent every night just starting at the sky. A couple shooting stars and satelittes kept us occupied while looking.

The next morning we woke up early, very cold. It had dewed on our sleeping bags, faces, pillows, everything. So we crawled inside and fell asleep on the beds for another four hours or so. We then went downstairs, ate some bagels we bought, and headed down to the river.

There we found our normal campsite overrun with grass. The grass had been creeping up the area for years, we always had ample sand space though. Well, in the two year absense of Max and I, the place had almost completely grown over. Only a little corner let someone know the place was once sandy and soft. Anyways, we got a shovel and a rake and started clearing. Under the grass it was still sandy, as a majority of that area is, so we had to dig up the chuncks of grass and then rake them out. We worked for two hard hours or so to clear a space we found exceptable for camping. We basically turned the clock back in that area three years, so yay.

We then had to spiff the place up as usual, so Max found big old logs to lay around the perimeter of the site. It made it look really nice and seperated the sandy oasis from the grassy area. We then put up a "fence" of sticks, every half foot or so. This is mainly for looks, and to further distinguish the area as our camp site. I then had the idea of putting a rock against each stick to make it look even better, so we did that. We then made a staircase, leading to a "gate" (basically a hole in the fence with a stick across it). Max lined the staircase with two sticks to better distinguish it, and viola, there you go. A sexy campsite from nothing in no more than three hours.

The rest of the day we spent swimming and hanging out at the river. Around six we headed up for dinner, which was Caesar salad made from scratch. I threw the dressing together as usual, and it turned out really, really yummy. After inhaling that and becoming garlic breathing dragons, we headed back down to the river and our campsite. We built a fire and spent the rest of the night just hanging out and again admiring the stars.

We woke up the next morning refreshed and energized, not waking up due to severe coldness. So that was nice. We headed up to the house, ate breakfast, and then decided to try and fix the raft again. Well, our idea didn't work, air still leaked out, but we were kinda far downriver after deciding to bail. So we had to walk along the rocky shoreline with no shoes lugging a big, heavy inflatable raft. After awhile, I said "fuck it" and decided to just get wet and swim it back to the lagoon (we were in street clothes). So after that, it was about time for lunch. We had sandwiches and soup, then headed back down the river.

It was hot that day, probably got to about 95 degrees, so the water felt great. We explored the other side of the river, finding a pond with lots of little cute, chubby tadpoles. I hoped they became frogs before their water source dried out. Anywho, once we were done with that we floated down river back to our normal swimming site. We then decided to play our little game, which consists of trying to hit a little island near the other size of the river with rocks. It's a lot harder than it looks, and after at least twenty minutes or so, Max finally hit it. Mind you, we had probably chucked about eighty rocks by then. Anyways, after hitting it and celebrating, my very next throw also found the target. So it was a bam-bam type of play.

We then cooked hot dogs over the fire for dinner, three each, and ate some Hot Tamales and pretzels. Good campin' food I'm telling you. Another night spent by the fire, just hanging out. Enjoying the roar of the rapids and the great night sky. Both of us were exhausted and we went to bed at about 10 (didn't really have a clock, just a guess) which was the earliest for me in months.

The next morning we woke up and went golfing at Stewart Park Golf Course. It's the local municipal and pretty charming. The course design is interesting, as well as the clientelle. Anyways, I was able to win by 5 shots, after being tied with 2 to play. Max had a little breakdown at the end that aided in that happening. After him kicking my ass the last two times, it was nice to play well again.

After golf, we headed back, ate lunch, and then went to take down the campsite. After a sad farewell, back up to the house where we packed up and then said goodbye to Shirley. We rolled out around 3:30 in the afternoon, stopped for gas in Cottage Grove, and we home at exactly 6:05 (which I called right after leaving the gas station... "we're going to get home at 6:05").

In conclusion, it was really fun. I was glad to get back, as we had missed the last two summers. I had been, but Max wasn't able to go, so it was good to get the tradition going again. Thus ends the longest blog entry ever.

Friday, August 26, 2005

I'm off to Roseburg until late Monday night, so ta-ta until then. I'll try to take some pictures and will do a write-up of course when I get back.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Back in Feburary when we booked a week in Lake Chelan, I didn't even know where it was. Well, it's in Eastern Washington and a six hour drive. Six hours that was completely worth it. It was one of the better vacations I've taken in recent years.

We arrived about 40 minutes before Kenny's family, during which time I took the first swim in the lake. It was the clearest natural body of water I've ever seen, and the perfect temperature. It ranged between 71-74 degrees, which was perfect to cool you down but not be too chilly.

We really didn't do anything the whole week... sure we went on a few cocktail cruises, went tubing, but most of the time was spent lounging around on the swim deck, swimming, eating, etc. Normal vacation stuff. The house had a deck that extended into the water (see pictures) so you sit on that and then dive right in. It was nice. The dock also had a diving board, and I took some time lapse pictures of people going off which are included in the pictures.

On Thursday we woke up at 7am to go to Stehekin, a city at the very end of the northern side of the lake. It is only acessible by water plane or boat, so it was very remote. It was a choppy ride up, the wind was blowing and everything, but we arrived. They are known for their bakery, which is 1.7 miles from the public dock, so we started to walk there. Then a woman offered us a ride their in her old pickup, so that was nice. After eating a scone, it was a short hike back to the boat.

Later that day we rented a JetSki, and rode that around. So that was fun. Hmmm, what else? Not much I don't think. Oh yeah. They had an HDTV and I watched ESPN in HD. So that was nice. Anywho, here are the pictures which are in a 58MB zip:

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Not much to report... okay one thing, but I'll save that until the end. I was sorting through my old ClarisWorks files last night when I stumbled upon a vocab assignment from sophomore year. Observe:

SACR- holy
My friend Kevin freaks out if you do or say anything sacrilegious.
sacred- of great importance, holy

A lot of the sentences I made up were really odd. Most try to relate football to totally unrelated vocabulary. Can you relate "manacle" to football? I can.

I'm going to Lake Chelan this Saturday till next Saturday with Kenny's family. Should be a rip-roarin' good time. Hopefully someone else has the balls to actually intertube over the speed of 5mph this time. The six hour drive is going to suck... will bring my laptop and hopefully the battery will last long enough to get me throught most of it.

Friday, August 05, 2005

Guess I'll throw a little update at you:

Wisdom Teeth:
All is well. The incisions in my gum have healed up and they are back to normal. The only thing now is my face is still a little puffy/bruised from the procedure. It should go away in a day or two and I'll be back to normal. I have a follow-up appointment with the doctor tomorrow.

Everything is going fine. The days are dragging on, but I'm dealing with it. We had a big audit today so I had to vacuum all around our "cage" but that wasn't too bad. I'm just counting the wire... we had a party for Kevin on Wednesday. It was a going away surprise luncheon. We got free food. That is always a good thing.

I went bowling and shot the following scores... 124, 110, 172. That's right. One hundred, seventy frickin' two. I think I only had two open frames... about three strikes, the rest spares. I was knocking down 8-9 pins on the first bowl constantly, and then for some reason I was able to convert many of the spares. So yay for me! I won some money off that game, so that is always a good thing.

Other Stuff:
The last couple of days I've been working pretty hard on my annual Beaver football video. I make a video every year with highlights from last year/previous years games... the OSU message boards always enjoy it and now call me "video guy" most the time. Pinnacle Studio has been acting up a little, but thank goodness for the freeware app "AudioDub," which is able to convert the files to a more manageable video and extract the audio to .wav files.