Archive for the ‘Travel’ Category

Go! Go! Go!

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 31 July 2012, 19:42

I made Julie stop for this tribute to Pudge. Hi dad!

Pushing it fair, ovah the Monstah.

If you don’t get the historical reference, don’t despair — you’re in for a treat. Go watch the drama. There’s a lot of goose-bump inducing setup, but basically: Red Sox v. Reds, 1975 World Series on the line, Game 6, tied in the bottom of the 12th inning. If you’re impatient, you can fast-forward to 1:10 and watch the rest.


No question about it

Posted by jonesey on Sunday, 11 December 2011, 6:13

“Louis liked Boston the minute he saw it from the sky.” – E.B. White, The Trumpet of the Swan, chapter 14.

OK, not exactly what the author intended, but it's pretty nice this way too.

21st Century Schizoid Phone

Posted by jonesey on Saturday, 10 December 2011, 6:22

2000!  2000!  TWO! THOUSAND!

Wait, what?

Still a phone booth, just not in the way the 20th century intended.




Note to pedants (I know all you pedants will read this far): I know 2000 is not in the 21st century. As an infamous man said about his bad decision in the year 2000: Get over it.

Five hot things

Posted by jonesey on Thursday, 8 December 2011, 5:54

San Diego. April 2011.

I worked on a grant application in my hotel room for 12 hours that day.

My creative wife. This project took her no time at all. She is amazing.

No, not the little girl, you sick puppy. *Behind* the little girl!

Thank you, Mr. Lawyer.


Using our senses

Posted by jonesey on Monday, 21 November 2011, 6:03

[This is the first of many posts that I have accumulated in a giant pile of things to post. They will be events and photos from the past, sometimes from many years ago, that I just didn't get around to posting. I'll try to date all of them. Most of them are things that one of the kids said. We write these things down on a piece of paper that lives on the refrigerator door. Consider this a visit to our kitchen.]

6 May 2010. Sylvan, age 4 1/2: “We’re going to Mars. If we smell a bad smell, it might be Martians.”

Clothes? We don't need clothes to go to Mars.

Hell freezes over

Posted by jonesey on Sunday, 20 November 2011, 17:05

“I’ll never have a cell phone” slowly turned into “Well, unless I could get an iPhone. Those things are pretty nice” and then into “I’m going on this long trip by myself. I should probably get a cell phone. You can’t find a pay phone anymore, for one thing.”

A long-lost Best Buy $10 gift card from a friend turned into a Wire-style burner phone, then a little trip to tip-land turned that into this:

Julie joins the 21st century. And not a moment too soon.

Thought for a Thursday: Small Adventures Are Still Adventures

Posted by julie on Thursday, 13 October 2011, 19:12

This afternoon, with no preparation (in my household, that means with no snacks), Elena and I drove to the Dover Firehouse and parked, then walked up the sidewalk to the official Stone Church trailhead nearby.

This was translated from the original Korean at a sign-making facility in Greece. The cavern was killed by Mohawks? Who really knows how a comma should be used?

We walked down the new stone stairs to the freshly-mown path, lined by deciduous trees planted in just the past couple of years. Tufts of milkweed seeds sat in bright white clusters atop the dead, waist-high flowers and grasses. I took only a few, stuffing them into the memory card pocket of my camera case, the only thing I carried. When we walked through the older trees—certainly there and huge when I was a kid, over 30 years ago—peepers called from somewhere in the canopy above us.

My little rubber boot sprite

Elena and I walked upstream, chatting about what this trail was like 30 years ago, muddy boots, and where Daddy and I got married (legally, right here, it turns out). She powered on, not once asking me to carry her. It’s a short hike, maybe a mile round-trip; and we took it slowly, looking around. She posed for photos, asked about the downed tree that had been cut into rounds, and said, “Ooh, that’s pretty” when the stream steepened and turned to whitewater. She was surprised when I told her that the Stone Church is a cave. When we got there, I pointed out some names etched into the stone, one from 1860. It turns out 151 years is a bit too much for a 3-year-old to grasp.

Stone Church October 2011

One of my favorite places, and so easily shareable. I tend to turn outings into BIG EVENTS. Sometimes, it’s good to remember that all you need to do is step out the door. Would it be nice to have some peanuts in your pocket to stave off the grumpies? Sure. But, really, it doesn’t take much. We were back in the car in an hour, and we certainly hadn’t hurried.

Labor Day Weekend – Summer’s Not Over Yet

Posted by julie on Monday, 5 September 2011, 23:44

Mt. Bachelor from Sparks Lake on the Cascade Lakes Highway

The hottest week of the summer is approaching – and Sylvan will be in Kindergarten. We camped this past weekend, for only the second time this summer, at Cultus Lake on the Cascade Lakes Highway. Whew, that highway is just full of beautiful campgrounds with great views of the Three Sisters and Bachelor. We pulled in at 4 p.m. on the Friday before Labor Day, and we got the last campsite at Cultus Lake. I’m sure we could have found other camping at one of more than a dozen other campgrounds, though. I love Oregon; have I mentioned that?

Photo by Walter Hurst (have to rely on friends' cameras for photos of yourself)

Searching for the unfindable Edison Ice Cave among the lava and ponderosa pines. Both kids hiked 2 1/2 miles with nary a complaint. This one stopped at nearly every ant hill and walked along at least half a dozen log balance beams ("trampolines").

Free DQ cone! The Sheriff rewarded my helmet-wearing bicyclists with coupons for sugar!

Oops, lost my bottom!


Some Things to Do Before I Go

Posted by julie on Sunday, 17 April 2011, 1:17

I’m in no rush, because I plan to last a century, but I might as well get started. My ongoing “bucket list” has some overlap with the Top Ten Natural Places I Want to Visit. In brainstorming order, my undoubtedly incomplete list:

  1. Learn to surf (someplace warm, without sharks)
  2. Learn to play at least a dozen songs on the guitar and participate in a campfire sing-along
  3. Learn to skateboard (maybe from my daughter or son)
  4. Visit Machu Picchu
  5. Get a nice digital SLR and be proud of my photographs again Accomplished with a Sony Nex5, August 2011. No one paid me anything to say, “Get this camera. You won’t regret it.”
  6. Publish some of my writing in a real magazine
  7. Dance with Ghanaians in Ghana
  8. Make a video that is good enough to give away
  9. See elephants and lions where they live
  10. Spend more than two weeks enjoying/relaxing in Bali (or someplace equally buoyant, warm, and surrounded by ocean)
  11. Climb to the highest point in each of the 50 states (continental 48?): Gannett Peak in WY, Mt. Washington in NH, Mt. Marcy in NY down; that leaves 47! (Oh, gosh, does this really mean I have to go back to Florida?) November 2011 update: Frissell in CT, Graylock in MA, Ebright Azimuth in DE, Jerimoth Hill in RI (This one doesn’t really count, since I only made it to the highway near the high point, which is a couple of feet higher and a few hundred feet from the road. We arrived at 4:45, and it closes at 4.). June 2013: Hood in Oregon. August 2014: Mansfield in Vermont.
  12. Visit each of the 50 states: only Michigan, North Dakota, Oklahoma, and Nebraska left
  13. Become a better listener
  14. Live in the Dolomites for at least a school year
  15. Hike the Continental Divide Trail
  16. Live near the beach and spend each morning walking with the waves
  17. Climb in Yosemite
  18. Finish a quilt
  19. Catch fireflies with my grandchildren (or someone else’s grandchildren)
  20. Learn another language well enough to have a conversation on the phone
  21. Hike the 52-mile Torres del Paine circuit in Patagonia
  22. Go on an epic bike trip, maybe in Sweden
  23. Lead a multi-pitch, maybe the Beckey route on Liberty Bell
  24. Visit Rocky Mountain National Park. August 2014: The cousins reunion was just outside RMNP this August, so we hiked there nearly every day. I’ll have to go back to climb Longs Peak, though. Anyone interested?
  25. Backpack in the Brooks Range
  26. Run a marathon in under 4 hours November 2011 update: I’m signed up for the Eugene Marathon in April. This is the one!; April 2012 update: 3:58:46 at April 30, 2012 Eugene Marathon
  27. Read Moby-Dick
  28. Take my kids to a drive-in, maybe at the Spud in Driggs. August 2014: Mom and I took the kids to see Popeye, in honor of Robin Williams, at the new and decidedly awesome drive-in in Amenia, just blocks from where I went to elementary school (my kids particularly liked how the bathrooms were designated with a moustache and some pouty lips). We also passed three(!) working drive-ins on the drive back from Washington last week—one somewhere north of Coupeville on Whidbey Island, one south of Port Townsend, and one northwest of Olympia. So many possibilities…
  29. Introduce my children to drinking milk through a Tim Tam (I learned it with red wine, but that’s a few years down the road)
  30. Teach my nephew something naughty but benign
  31. Climb Mount Kilimanjaro
  32. Go horsepacking
  33. Visit Walden Pond
  34. Ride a rollercoaster with my children and eventually with my grandchildren (my Gram set a high standard)
  35. Go on a women’s only yoga/canyoneering retreat (or meditation/surfing, or some equally active and calm combo)
  36. Write every day for a year
  37. Draw every day for a year
  38. Take my children to see a meteor shower in Arizona, Montana, Kiribati, or someplace equally dark. Lie in the road and see 60 or more shooting stars in an hour.
  39. Go to the top of the Rifle Tower (okay, Eiffel, but Sylvan said this the other day and it made me smile)
  40. Climb to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  41. Take a Valium and take my kids to Disney Land. No Valium required. I couldn’t believe how much fun I had, and, at 6 and 9, the kids were really great ages to both take in the magic and appreciate the thrill rides. After Space Mountain, Elena said, “Let’s go again!” When it’s not even 9 a.m., and there’s not much of a line, we could say, “Why not?” Halloween 2014.
  42. Take my Mom and daughter to a fancy tea somewhere
  43. Sell my silkscreened stuff
  44. Learn to play chess from Sylvan April 2012 update: Sylvan’s taught me how to play, and he reminds me every time we play of how each piece can move. We are currently similarly matched; he will be beating me in just a few months.
  45. Sing karaoke in front of people (this one scares me more than any other, I think)

I’m a bit distressed by the amount of fossil fuel that the travel on my list would consume. I have considered biking to the base of the highest points in each of the 50 states, then hiking…


A Few Things I’ve Already Done That Would Be On My Bucket List Otherwise

  1. Hot air ballooned (a stroke of absolute genius on my Mom’s part; this was the world’s best high school graduation present)
  2. SCUBA dived at the Great Barrier Reef
  3. Swum with dolphins in New Zealand
  4. Become a NOLS instructor
  5. Danced in a semi-professional company
  6. Studied abroad
  7. Fallen in love, more than once (More than once wasn’t on my list, but those people have made my life richer.)
  8. Run into a grizzly. Or two. (This wasn’t on my list either, but I’m glad it happened.)
  9. Run a marathon. Or three. Four actually, as of April 2012.
  10. Ridden in a helicopter. Or two.
  11. Been to a concert at Carnegie Hall
  12. Been on TV (a few times)
  13. Climbed at least 10 of Oregon’s volcanoes: South Sister, Bachelor, McLoughlin, Bailey, Cowhorn, Diamond Peak, Washington, Maiden Peak, Lava Butte, Mt. Scott November 2011 update: Thielsen. Summer 2012: Three-Fingered Jack, Broken Top. Summer 2013: Hood, Black Crater, Little Belknap.

Appreciating My Preschoolers

Posted by julie on Monday, 7 February 2011, 21:38

I wrote these first few paragraphs a week and a half ago, and I intended to follow them up with an account of our trip to the beach, farther below. My words seem prescient and bittersweet, given the sad events at the coast this weekend and my last blog entry.

27 January 2010

Dear Sylvan and Elena,

The truth is that I wish I realized, every single moment of every single day, how fleeting this is, how you’re going to grow up and be teenagers tomorrow. But I’ve never been patient, and I feel like parenting preschoolers is all about boundless patience.

But today I appreciated you both. And I have some joyous images in my mind that will remain with me when you’re 13. We headed up to Salem so I could pick up a craigslist find from a seller in Keizer. You guys and I went to A.C. Gilbert’s Discovery Village to make a day of it. What a super place! It consists of three old Victorian houses, painted brightly and filled to bursting with exciting, well-considered kid rooms.

Snapshots I’ll remember: Elena disappearing into the black void of the slide below me, completely fearless. Sylvan in a scarlet macaw costume two sizes too small, a costume you returned to when I said we had 15 more minutes before our drive home.

Tonight, when Sonya arrived to babysit, she said to you, Elena: “Are you my bug?” You replied,  “You my bud.” G’s are challenging.

The craigslist find, in place in our bathroom. Not a project, and under $100. And look at the bonus cutest cat in the world!

7 February

When the kids and I got into the car in Eugene last Thursday, it was 38°F and partly cloudy. An hour and a half later, at the beach, it was 55°F and sunny. We packed a backpack of sand toys, snacks, and warm clothes, and we set off for the boardwalk trail through the dunes. The highlight of the day for both kids was pooping in the dunes; I do what I can to provide authentic experiences. We spun, ran, skittered from the waves, threw wet sand at a tree stump, ate, played horseshoes, drew letters in the sand, turned cartwheels, got our clothes wet and sandy, patted nice dogs, walked pretty far (Sylvan on his own, with zero whining. Yay!), collected shells and driftwood, and even relaxed for 3½ minutes (Oh, that was just me.).

Then, the angels fell asleep in the backseat while I listened to a podcast on the way home (Have you ever noticed that every sleeping child is an angel?).

On the boardwalk trail. I love her look; I feel like she rarely looks to him for reassurance, but maybe she's just good at pretending.

Ah, dune running. I remember the first time I did it: on Cape Cod with Aunt Sheila and Mom.

I definitely wanted to take this home for our backyard. I considered rolling it. Far. I think it was the same age when it was cut down that I am now. Look at the little people footprints in the sand.

See ya, Mom. We're going in!

Run away, run away!

Okay, am I supposed to throw this wet sand in your eyes or call it poop?

Sand dance

See my sand?