PDX Pics Quickie Post

I've just started a couple week housesitting stint down here in Portland, and if the first few days are any indication, it is going to be a great time. I've greatly enjoyed Portland in the past and I look forward to getting to know it even better this time around. Included are a few of the interesting things I've seen around*. Click on each picture to get the mini-story.

Sunday June 21 2009File under: Portland, misc

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Best Swimmin Hole in the County

Summer weather has started early and in full force. For those BdW readers from the Northwest, I know you know. Beautiful summer weather serves to make this place more spectacular than ever and you can't help but notice. For those of you not from the Northwest, just imagine: not too hot, but hot enough and green everywhere you look.

With the just hot enough days of late, I've been hitting up my new favorite swimming spot frequently. I think anyone who has ever swam at the quarry will agree, it is hands down the best swimming spot in the county—cliffs for jumping, clear water, and, best of all, no chumps because it is on private land*. Throw in some good friends, inner tubes and a canoe, and the sense of possibility and inspiration that comes from the land and the project and you've got an afternoon that can't be beat. Oh, and if you're lucky, you might just come away with a dozen fresh* eggs.
Sunday June 14 2009File under: misc

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Salmonberries

Walking around in the woods recently, I was treated to a pleasant surprise: salmonberry season is in full swing and I happened upon a great patch. "What are salmonberries?" you ask. Similar to a raspberry in color and fruit structure, salmonberries are a sometimes slightly bitter wild-growing berry of the west coast. Every couple of years around this time, I usually seem to stumbled upon one or two berries, not quite remembering which of the lesser known edible but not awesome berries they are, but have a munch anyway. This time around, however, we found so many and engorged ourselves so much that I doubt I will be unsure in the future*.

While the taste of the berries wasn't awesome* (I like my berries with a lot of flavor and sweet), there is just something about a wild growing fruit that always gets me. It is one of the reasons I am so fond of blackberries (even though they are horribly invasive and can tear up a short-pants wearing leg in no time). I guess it reminds me of what it would have been like before agriculture, grocery stores, and imported Chilean fruit became standard. You just go out for a hike, happen upon some berries, eat them right off the bush, and then head back to your wigwam to blog about it.
Tuesday June 9 2009File under: misc, food

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Cross-Blog Babysitting Adventure

You often hear horror stories about babysitting gone wrong. "I lost the baby", "The kid #2ed all over the house", or "You're supposed to feed kids!?!?". I offer this as a counterpoint to all those horror stories.

Last night, I had the honor of watching the IHJ kids* and let me tell you, they were super stars. No crying, they ate all their brussel sprouts, they went to bed right on time with no whining, and Calvin even changed his own diaper*. That left plenty of time for such valuable play lessons as "How to throw a frisbee" and "Let's touch the sharp thing".

Not only did I have a great time and was super happy to begin to return the many favors the IHJ crew has shown me, but the experience was good mind-brain fodder at a particularly apt time. Yeah, I might even consider a career change* if I thought all kids were as good at being babysat as Jonah and Calvin.
Monday May 11 2009File under: Anacortes, misc

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Elwha Camping Adventure

Close on the heels of the start of sleeping outside season comes the beginning of camping season. This year's season started with 2 nights at the Elwha Campground in beautiful Olympic National Park. Despite rain and a lost pocket knife*, I'm calling the adventure a success. Being out on new trails, around big trees, and surrounded by unknown wildlife sounds was a much needed change of pace.

One of the highlights was finally making it up to the much storied Olympic Hot Springs. An easy 2.5-mile hike took us to 7 or so shallow, steamy pools. The unoccupied ones were a little grubby for my liking, so I made due with just soaking my feet. Next time, however, I hope to come back in the true off-season and be able to get in the good ones. Shooting for just a couple weeks earlier in the year would not only clear out the other soakers, but would also probably have more than the trace of snow that was around this time. Soaking in natural hot springs with snow and gorgeous nature all around you - yeah, sign me up. Next year.
Monday May 4 2009File under: misc

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More Minor Media Mentions

Forgive me if it seems self-centered to post such little things like a minor picture in a small-press magazine. This blog, while mostly for the purpose of keeping ya'll informed (and hopefully a little entertained), is also my virtual scrap book, something that I will look back on when I am 90 and say "those were the good old days"*.

Anyway, a picture of me made it to the Klipsun magazine, a WWU publication. A big thanks to team Weddle for spotting it and delivering it. To see non-scanned, original photos as well as read the text of the article, check it out on here on their website.

Besides a misspelling of my name, I can't really complain. There is just something neat about seeing yourself in print, I think. Maybe if this small-press media luck continues to rise, I might just make it to the NY Times someday.
Wednesday April 15 2009File under: misc

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Minor Media Coverage

They say there is no such thing as bad press, right? Well, I would argue the same about minor press "coverage". A friend brought me a copy of the latest North Cascades Challenger, the North Cascades National Park Visitor's Guide for 2008-2009 (online here although it seems to be an older copy as I couldn't find the same picture). Lo and behold, who is that on page 3? This picture must have been taken 3 years ago at least. Probably more. I haven't been up that way in ages.

Anyway, it is always a pleasant surprise when something like this happens. And since a blog is analogous to a scrap book*, I thought I would "paste" the clipping here.
Wednesday February 18 2009File under: misc

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A Full Social Calendar

I've been housesitting up in Bellingham for just over 2 weeks now (this stint), and I'm having a blast. Perhaps it is coming from a smaller town where there is less going on, or perhaps it is because I'm starting to get to know the social scene of the town better, but I'm feeling like the most social guy in the world. My dance card is full of activites*.
     + Monday: Juggle club at the Cirque Lab
     + Tuesday: Trivia at Uisce*
     + Wednesday: Trivia at the Longhorn Saloon in Edison
     + Thursday: Something always seems to come up on Thursdays.
     + Friday: Winter League ultimate frisbee with Bellingham Ultimate.
In between all the planned activities, the weather has been so good that I've been out hiking in the woods almost daily. With such a full social schedule, I haven't had time to do all the time-killing activities I had planned (knitting, a jigsaw puzzle, intense nerd-out computer time, watch lots and lots of T.V. on the beautiful flat screen they have here, etc.). But I can't really complain. I'm feeling more busy (in a good way) than I have in years. After all, I can rest when I'm dead*.
Tuesday January 27 2009File under: misc

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Sunny Days In Bellingham

Truly sunny days here in the Great Northwest are few and far between during the winter months. On the one hand, it can make life a bit dreary. On the other, however, it gives a person wonderful motivation to get out and enjoy the sun on the rare occasions that it is there. This past weekend (and so far today), the sun has been going all out to expose the beautiful vistas and invite all to come and play. And play I did.

The above picture was taken off a still unknown trail* off Cleator/Hiline Rd. The road is washed out, so it made for quite a long walk, but wonderful, as there were no people around. Plus, the view we ended up with was great. (Here's a close up of the Olympics which kind of got lost in the panorama.) The day before, I finally made it down to Clayton Beach, which has been on my todo list for quite some time. We got a little lost, but there was still plenty to see.

Yep, sunny winter days are true jewels in the Northwest. Now if you'll excuse me, I'm headed back outside.
Monday January 19 2009File under: misc

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D.C. Jump


[on a brief layover in DC, I stopped in to check out the new Capitol Visitor Center]

Friday December 12 2008File under: travel, misc

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