Sunday, September 29, 2019

No Marathons

Well big surprise, it looks like I'm not going to get in any marathons this year. Getting old sucks. Since my first marathon in 2009, I've done at least one each year except for the injury-ridden 2017. Grad school takes up a shitload of time, and since I fell off of my roof back in June I really didn't have time to train much for these. The 2019 marathons were supposed to include the Boring Marathon in Boring, Oregon and the Dirt Circuit 12 hour just north of Knoxville, Tennessee. Not even trying to run anything local this year with all of the grad school and woodworking stuff going on, just knock out the fly-to and drive-to states and keep studying. I have logged a grand total of 18 miles in July, August, and September in training.

I still made the trip to Oregon anyway with Ella and my Mom so I'll picture dump about that. Still bailed on the Tennessee trip though. We flew to Oregon on a thursday, and the flight got in about 1 pm so we decided to do downtown then. Luckily, we found a Duck Store so I could get Kelley her hoodie and it was pretty easy to walk around downtown. We hit Voodoo doughnuts too, and Powell's City of Books. Downtown was actually pretty dirty and there was lots of homeless people, it was by far the least impressive part of the trip. We did get to have dinner with Amy Cissell that night at a wonderful brewery. Meeting her finally was amazing, we've been friends for over a decade.

Friday we went hiking east of Portland, saw all of the massive waterfalls and even went across the Columbia river to Washington State, just to say we were there. Went to the packet pickup anyway, I've paid for 2 registrations for this same race, I was getting the t-shirt anyway. Saturday we went to the coast. Oswald West state park was really cool, hiked past a mountain stream that leads to a cool cove beach, it was Ella's first time seeing the pacific ocean. Cannon Beach was the next town up, that was really fun. I would love to get a week there with friends. Then we finished the coast trip at Seaside, but it was just as tacky as Myrtle Beach. Very disappointing. The drive to the coast was a big surprise, we had to get through some serious mountains with beautiful forest.

Sunday was supposed to be race day, but it was supposed to rain. My choice became to walk for 7 hours in the rain or go to the zoo. If it wasn't supposed to rain all day I would have walked the marathon, but the weather and my already tired feet made the decision for me. After the zoo we drove through the suburbs some and found more ice cream. Portland is a really cool place if you can avoid downtown. It was in the high 90's the whole time in Raleigh, but temps were barely above 70* the whole time in the PNW. And it didn't feel like there was any humidity. So comfortable! We flew back on Monday and that was all.

Ella's first flight!

In the Phoenix airport. That is some serious sunshine

the grand canyon from the plane - first time I've seen it

The Duck Store!

I love U of Oregon football so this place was a dream

Voodoo Doughnuts!

Powell's City of Books!


Friday, looking over the Columbia River

That's a big tree!

And that's a 200 foot waterfall!

Ella is king of the rock

another quite large waterfall

Multnomah Falls is 620 feet of pure amazement

We hiked up to the bridge in the first Multnomah falls picture

Ready to throw Ella into the falls
Columbia river from the Washington side of that bridge

The Boring Brewery! Packet pickup for the marathon included a free beer

Ella's first time seeing the pacific ocean - it's back there

Now that's a big tree!

Oswald West State Park hike to the beach

All of our feet in the pacific ocean

It's a screw & brew!They put a beer garden inside of a hardware store in Cannon Beach. amazing

Ella in this tidal pool

I was the only guy on the beach without a shirt on

Mom got in the tidal pool too

Ice cream. yes.

Seaside. I think these people were all drunk.

Ella did not want to leave Seaside

At the zoo, she got into an eagle's nest

I got to pet a cougar (it's behind glass)

She rode a horse

and I got eaten by a lion

Then she got a german pancake as big as her head

flying home past Mount Hood
This really was a fantastic trip, even if I was bummed about not running the marathon. I wanted to meet friends, see the waterfalls, hike some trails, see the big trees, and hang at the coast. I got to see the cool side of the pacific northwest.

Wednesday, September 4, 2019

First day of School

Semi-wordless Wednesday post

First day of 7th and 9th grade. I cannot believe we have one in high school already

Daddy is terrified
The neatest thing about school might be Ella's notebook. She printed a sticker of our old dog taking a shit in the yard and put it on the front. This kid's humor - wow

I got a haircut recently, it was the first one in quite a while. Think this was the longest my hair has gotten since college. It looked pretty good but was driving me crazy in my face all the time.

I went to see Beck in concert with Spoon and Cage the Elephant with my swim buddy Tom. Great show!

Finally, I finished building a live edge pine slab table and a hanging daybed for the front porch. These were both great woodworking projects. The porch is finally done, and this is what I had in mind when I wanted to start building it:

Rock on. We made it through another summer. My SAD was pretty rough this year, it was a hot one in NC. But fall is almost here, I'm taking a few weeks off from grad school, we're going to Oregon soon, and I will eventually actually run again.