Archive for the ‘Chris’ Category

Birthday Ride (only a week late)

Posted by julie on Friday, 13 June 2014, 12:20

Doesn’t he look like he’s adjusting the camera and getting ready to show you how awesome the place is where he is? He’s right.

Kids’ lunches packed? Check. Air in bike tires? Tire patch kit? Sport chews that are really candy with salt in them? Check, check, check. Kids’ swimsuits in their backpacks? Check. Phone numbers in cell phones for YMCA (where both kids will be by 1 p.m.) and kind friend who agreed to shuttle boy-child to YMCA? Yupper. Caramel latte for the mom who’s given up caffeine? Do you have to ask?

And we were on the road by 9 a.m.! Date birthday! Life is so good.

Aided by my caffeinated caramel latte, I chatted for the entire drive up the McKenzie River, my patient husband nodding and agreeing and even offering opinions every now and then. We started the bicycle part of our adventure at White Branch Youth Camp, site of many near-misses while snow tubing with fellow grad students in the late 90s. I have no idea how we survived that CCC-era ski slope converted to a tubing hill. So steep and fast and icy! White Branch is about four miles, and nearly 1200 vertical feet (at 2440 feet), below where I’ve started this bike ride up to McKenzie Pass on the old McKenzie Highway before. So help me.


While those first 1200 feet and four miles were rough, after I relocated my (daughter’s) backpack from my back to my handlebars and lay stretching on the asphalt, my journey improved dramatically. From Alder Springs Campground—where the second snow gate was still closed, thus ensuring a car-free journey to the Pass—the road hairpins through tunnels of Douglas fir, hazelnut, western hemlock, and sword ferns, climbing 1100 feet in the next five miles. We had run into my friend and sometimes adventuring partner, Suzanne, and her friend, Bruce, who’d started a few miles below where we started. Powered by catching up, Suzanne and I forgot about the hills. Once we reached the top of the switchbacks, the last seven miles, which climb 700 feet to the Pass, felt like a cruise. The road opens up into long, open straightaways punctuated by small climbs past meadows, vernal pools, and trees getting progressively shorter.

Then, there’s the lava, flows from Belknap and Little Belknap Craters that created the strange and lumpy landscape of McKenzie Pass. We passed lava tubes and nunataks—islands of forest the lava flowed around. In the last couple of miles before the Pass, views open up to North and Middle Sisters, just 6 miles southeast of the highway.

Around the corner, we reached Dee Wright Observatory, which is really a fairy castle constructed of lava. That meant we were at the Pass and I could eat more “sport chews” and stretch my back again. There was a rotating cast of perhaps 15 cyclists at the Pass while we were there, including three preschoolers and a Kindergartner whose strong dads had pulled them up the hill. I’m so soft.


After some ground squirrel photos and a divine cheese plate (well, gnawing on a hunk of cheese and taking bites of crackers tastes like a divine cheese plate when you’ve earned your lunch), we re-helmeted up for the ride down. Downhill! While my mortality weighed on me as I squeezed my brakes around the first few turns, I eased into it, and pretty soon 30 mph (more?) felt thrilling rather than terrifying. One or two of Chris’s spokes broke on the ride down, and Suzanne’s brake pads were shot, so the two of them limped back down while I was able to completely appreciate the wind whistling in my helmet. I reached the car first, but my dear husband suggested I keep riding, that he’d eventually pick me up. Our relative speeds were so similar that he didn’t catch me. I stopped because I reached Highway 126 and didn’t want to ride with more and faster traffic.


Chris drove home until he said, “I’m tired. Wanna drive?” He was snoring in the passenger seat before I started the car.

Passing along dad’s cultural history

Posted by jonesey on Tuesday, 11 March 2014, 5:23
Her favorite one is about Kevin McHale.

Her favorite one is an ancient tale, circa 1987, about Kevin McHale playing for months with a broken foot and leading the team to the Eastern Conference title.

Communicating with our Congresscritters (or: A picture is worth a thousand howls)

Posted by jonesey on Thursday, 26 December 2013, 19:32

A couple of weeks ago, Julie and I went to the Cascadia Wildlands Project‘s annual big party and auction. All the hip(pie) nature lovers were there, and we ended up with a huge, beautiful photograph of old-growth trees in Oregon’s Elliott State Forest.

There was another kind of photography happening at the auction as well. A professional photographer was taking photographs to send to our Congresscritters and various other folks in D.C. who are laboring under the benighted impression that removing wolves from the Endangered Species List is a good idea because there are a few dozen of them around and everybody loves them (right?). CWP even had little whiteboards we could hold up with pre-fab messages about how cool and valuable wolves are. You can see some of the photos here (PDF, scroll through a few pages to get the idea).

Those of you who know me know that I like to make my own signs (someday I’ll dig up and scan a photo of me protesting at the Wall Street Journal in the early ’90s with a handmade painted sign depicting a generic conifer with the word GOOD under it) rather than run with the pack. I only had a few seconds, though, so this is the best I could do:

Photo of a wolf and a fox

Truth in advertising

“This … is it.” or: A post-mid-life birthday present for Dad

Posted by jonesey on Wednesday, 24 April 2013, 17:31

This is how I remember it, anyway.

Once upon a time, when my father was chronologically younger than I am now (but more mature than I am now, since he inflicted offspring, a mortgage, and a lawnmower on himself at a much younger age), he decided to check the mid-life crisis box.

Sports car? No, he had already owned a 1972 BMW 2002 (named Fritz, of course), picked up from the factory in Germany. No mere sports car was going to top that.

Trophy wife? He already had one of those, and still does.

No, my dad has always been a rational, reasonable, sensible person, even in a crisis. He went out and got one of these:

Dad has always liked a little go in his cars, so when it was station wagon time (gotta have something that can hold two kids and a bunch of trash and recycling on the way to the town dump, after all), he bought a brand new 1986 Volvo 740 Turbo wagon. That thing could GO, and it didn’t complain at all when you really pushed it. I once took it up to 90 (sorry, Dad) just for kicks while merging onto the empty D.C. Beltway late one night. I think the RPMs cracked 3500 when I did that, but they might not have. The car sure didn’t mind one bit.

I looked for the ad above for years. I finally found it a few months ago. In the meantime, I found it that Ferrari really did make a station wagon. And it was ugly. Take a look:

The last link above has the best explanation of the hideously not-as-atractive-as-it-should-be Ferrari station wagons that were built for a couple of Really Rich People. They look like a toned-down Ferrari front end mixed with a Subaru back end, resulting in an early-1990s Saturn or Honda wagon ambiance. Definitely not a Ferrari look. I’m sure they drive nicely, but blech.

And here’s a reward for those of you who read all the way to the end. Well done.

Celebrating 30 Years of the Volvo Turbo 1981 – 2011

Happy birthday, DYD.

Self-portrait with vacuum load tap changer

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 8 March 2013, 12:21

Same geek, different toys.

Helping Daddy Run Too Far

Posted by julie on Monday, 20 August 2012, 0:04

Chris ran the Waldo 100K yesterday. It was more than 100K; you’ll have to ask him about it.

The kids and I supported him, but only a little. We really just wanted to get out of town and go swimming in a beautiful mountain lake. We succeeded.

We thought we might have missed Chris when we got to Charlton Lake, after some road construction and VERY slow trucks. Made it, though, with time to spare. I almost missed this photo, though.

Mostly cloudy, drizzly, with brightly-colored children

The Outdoor Program was out of rental kayaks and stand-up paddleboards on Friday, since the weather has been so utterly delectable. So, on a whim, I bought an inflatable kayak at REI. I hope it lives up to its great start. The kids and I took it to the island in the background, both kids inside and me pushing from behind.

By the time we'd found the Shadow Bay swim area on Waldo Lake and inflated the kayak, it was 80 degrees and sunny, perfect for boating or swimming in remarkably clear and cold water. This beach is great, because the water reached my chest only after I'd walked out 150 feet. Perfect for new paddlers.

Found this little amphibian swimming near shore

Had plenty of time at the finish line to ask repeatedly to ride the gondola, drink lemonade, eat veggie burgers, drink hot chocolate, and only watch about 15 runners come in (in 3 1/2 hours; 100Ks aren't really spectator sports)

"Who wears the pants in this relationship?" Or, perhaps, "How does he wear the pants?"

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.


Families on bikes!

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 13 July 2012, 6:37

The Sightline Institute’s Daily Score blog posts thoughtful research about transportation, land use, economics, climate change and other environmental topics, with a focus on the Pacific Northwest.

Today’s post is about transportation. And cute kids. You may recognize a couple of them.

How to know if you did too many puzzle books as a kid

Posted by jonesey on Friday, 2 March 2012, 6:42

I walk by this apartment house on my way to and from work. I suspect that most people, when they see it, think “Go Ducks” or “hey, only six more months until football season.”

Not me. Because I am, and always have been, a giant nerd. A giant nerd who spent way too much time with puzzle books and secret codes and Frank and Joe Hardy (and their portly chum, Chet Morton, who was a big quipper, if I recall correctly).

Every time I see this display, I can’t help but think “F, of course.”


I fly my nerdy kid flag proudly….

Freaky? Me?

Posted by julie on Wednesday, 29 February 2012, 2:17