Archive for January, 2010

The Columbia River Gorge

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

We took a drive towards Portland to visit the waterfalls along the Columbia River Gorge. We haven’t hiked in the area for about 25 years, but that’s not even a second in geological time! This winter season ensured that the falls would be dramatic with the recent snow melt.

Murals

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

The Dalles downtown is decorated with murals depicting the long history of the area. We enjoyed a walking tour to view them as well as other interesting sites.

The Dalles

Tuesday, January 12th, 2010

We have spent 2 weeks in The Dalles, Oregon, on the banks of the mighty Columbia River, house- and pet-sitting for friends. I’ve gotten inquiries as to the origin and meaning of the name “The Dalles” and finally looked it up. “The name of the city comes from the French word dalle (meaning either “sluice” or “flagstone” and referring to the columnar basalt rocks carved by the river), what the French-Canadian employees of the North West Company called the now-inundated rapids of the Columbia River between the present-day city and Celilo Falls.” as per Wikipedia. We enjoyed hiking into and around town and along the Lewis and Clark River Trail that meanders from downtown along the river to the excellent Discovery Center Museum.

The Year (Dec. ’09)

Friday, January 8th, 2010

The month of the winter solstice. The dark and cold descended on us. Thankfully we were house-sitting and enjoying a warm gas stove. Mavrik had his friend Seiko to play with in the snow and we enjoyed our first full winter in Bend in 12 years!

The Year (Nov. ’09)

Monday, January 4th, 2010

We started winding down the year in November, preparing the property for it’s winter rest. Since we aren’t leaving the area for most of the winter we have 2 rigs to winterize. Usually we pull the Bigfoot camper out and take it on the road for the winter, leaving the Terry Trailer under the carport. We needed another carport, one to cover each rig, so we bought another one. The weather held long enough for us to get it up and get the Bigfoot safe under it.

We took a break and went to The Dalles to visit friends. Robert got some fishing in and we enjoyed a great Jeff Dunham show for Robert’s birthday.

The Year (Oct. ’09)

Monday, January 4th, 2010

October brought cooler weather and beautiful fall colors, perfect time to think about the coming winter.

Preserving the bounty of the summer comes to mind. We acted on our thoughts and smoked the trout Robert had been catching  all summer and stocking up in the freezer, as well as salmon (which we bought at the store since it was pretty inexpensive!).

Around here you also think about what kind of transportation is necessary for the snow and ice that can occur in Central Oregon (just about anytime of the year!). The latter was weighing on our minds since we decided to stick around for the majority of the winter to house- and pet-sit for friends. So Robert did lots of research and he found a great 2002 Jeep Grand Cherokee for us, which we took possession of in mid-October.

Saying Goodbye (Sept. ’09)

Monday, January 4th, 2010

Friends and Family gathered to say goodbye to our friend Nic who passed away this month (September). He was a great friend to us and an accomplished fisherman, and we regret not having known him long enough to learn from him. He is missed and there is another hole in the fabric of our close knit community of friends.

The Year (Sept. ’09)

Monday, January 4th, 2010

September brought continued fine weather. Nice enough that we went out camping several more times in our ‘summer house’, the 1974 Terry Trailer we bought last year. We explored around the Little Cultus Lake area, including a long, winding, bumpy drive on the dirt track through the woods to Taylor and Irish Lakes.

We also found a great spot at Canyon Creek campground near Camp Sherman. We took long walks along the Metolius river to Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. Watching the fast flowing ,clear, cold water of the Metolius river is mesmerizing.

The Year (late Aug. ’09)

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

For the ‘end of the summer’ adventure we traveled to The Steens Mountain in southeast Oregon to camp with friends and tour the geographic and historical wonders of the area. We had a great campsite at Page Springs BLM campground and a guided tour with a 3rd generation rancher in the area, Jenkins Historical Tours. It was a fabulous finish to a great summer with beautiful sunny, warm weather, hiking, sightseeing, fishing and great food.

Unfortunately on the way back to Bend our friends Winnebago blew the transmission. We limped into Burns and were able to get towed back to Bend. Luckily we could ride in the RV as it was towed and had a relaxing, and even fun, trip home!

The Year (early Aug. ’09)

Sunday, January 3rd, 2010

In August we built this vinyl fence for a nearby neighbor. We had to dig 45 holes about 3 feet deep each with a huge, heavy mechanical auger. Thank goodness it was in the only soil in the development that isn’t full of volcanic rock outcroppings! Just our luck though, it was during the hottest spell of the year, in the 100 degree range! We’re very proud of how straight and true it is!

After all the work, Robert took time off to complete the second Corner to Corner tour with Mark. See August 2009 archives for the details of the adventure.