Mounties

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Ramblings

Not really.

Alex on Misty, Donna on Chex (full name Premium Chex), and Chris on J.B.

Alex on Misty, Donna on Chex (full name Premium Chex), and Chris on J.B.

The young master fords the creek.

The young master fords the creek.

Wrapping Up

Posted: July 20, 2014 in Ramblings

On Thursday we went ziplining on a course around the lodge and the lodge’s golf course. I hadn’t realized how tame of an activity this really is, and so forbore to take my camera in case of damage or loss. So we have no pictures at all from that.

Friday we came home.

As promised, rafting photos for you.

We approach the rapids.  (Alex on the front of the raft.)

We approach the rapids. (Alex on the front of the raft.)

We enter the rapids!  (Alex's legs sticking up at the front.)

We enter the rapids! (Alex’s legs sticking up at the front.)

After it was all over.

After it was all over.

More to come. I need to get my disc drive working again.

A Down Day

Posted: July 16, 2014 in Ramblings

We’re all still aching from all this outdoorsman activity, so today we went into Portland. First we stopped at a yarn store called Twisted, which I’d heard of, but have never shopped at (not even online). Bought some yarn there, of course. And then we went to the Portland Fluevog store, which is absolutely gorgeous compared with the 2-car garage that is the Seattle store. I tried on a bunch of stuff and bought the Baroque Lorrain in black from the sale rack. Been looking at that one for a long time.

After this, we met Chris’ friend Wilky at the Deschutes Brewpub, just a few blocks away, and had a leisurely, entertaining meal (so leisurely that our waiter was beginning to give us dirty looks for hogging a table). We tipped him generously and left. On the way back we stopped at an outlet mall to get Chris some socks, because I’d forgotten to pack them for him, and then came back to the hotel. Since tomorrow is our last full day here, I’m doing a little prep work, though not actually packing yet.

Alex in the Fluevog store.

Alex in the Fluevog store.

Chris in the Fluevog store.

Chris in the Fluevog store.

Chris at Deschutes.  This was before he had any beer!

Chris at Deschutes. This was before he had any beer!

Since we didn’t have a CD reader for the horseback riding photos, we figured, might as well buy a not-instantly-usable CD of our whitewater rafting trip today!

We did go whitewater rafting with Zoller’s Outdoor Odysseys (zooraft.com), and had a fantastic time! I personally am so much more at home on the water than I was in the hot dry area where we rode the horses. A raft is a little harder to steer but at least it doesn’t try to bite the rear of the raft in front of it, or kick when it’s angered! Plus the river was beautiful. Alex fell out of the raft almost immediately, but our heroic guide Shane grabbed him and hauled him into the raft right away. Alex bore this with cheer and managed to not fall out of the raft for the rest of the trip (nor did Chris or I).

When we got to a set of rapids called “Rattlesnake,” Shane said people could sit on the front of the raft and ride the rapids, so…guess who did it? Chris and I were flat-out amazed.

Alex also took the opportunity to stop the raft and leap into the water from a ca. 20-foot high rock. Again we were amazed!

But we ended the tour with good cheer and just a few minor aches. To cheer us, we went to the Full Sail brewpub in Hood River and had lunch before taking their brewery tour. Here are the only (phone) photos I have for you at this moment.

Alex (in "Staff" shirt and neon shorts) during the brew tour.  Blurry because I was walking and snapping the pic, and the phone camera is no good at that.

Alex (in “Staff” shirt and neon shorts) during the brew tour. Blurry because I was walking and snapping the pic, and the phone camera is no good at that.

8,000 cases of Full Sail beer ready to be shipped out.  We were on a balcony in the room above this.

8,000 cases of Full Sail beer ready to be shipped out. We were on a balcony in the room above this.

I apologize to Gran-Gran for not having the kind of photos she likes to see. Perhaps tomorrow, as we’re going to Portland and will have the real camera with us.

This morning’s expedition was a (horseback) trail riding adventure in nearby White Salmon, WA. We packed up a backpack with the essentials (water, sunscreen, wallets and cameras) and headed out.

The company did not want us to carry the backpack, but there were individual pouches by each saddle that would accommodate water, and they offered a CD with “35-50 photos” taken by our guide, for purchase. Well, we decided to buy the CD and stow everything in the car except the water bottles and the car keys. Voila, off we went.

Alex was fervent in his delight in this activity. He spent the whole ride chatting with the young guide, talking about how he wanted to do this more often, and so on. She took pics of all three of us enjoying the ride, and we pretty much had a great time until the last 20 minutes when we all realized how butt-sore and cranky we were getting.

But we made it safely back to the stables, fed our horses each a carrot, and picked up our CD, thinking to share some of these pictures with you today.

Of course you realize the problem. We don’t have a CD drive with us. And since we didn’t take our own camera on the ride, we don’t have any Pick-generated photos for you. When we get home, I’ll upload some, but there is nothing to show you now.

Afterwards? A soak in the hotel’s hot tub, lunch, and now 6 hours of down time while the muscles regroup…

Exploring the Area

Posted: July 13, 2014 in Ramblings

Deciding on a leisurely day of local exploration, we began with breakfast in Stevenson before heading eastward towards Portland. Our plan was to go “part of the way” towards Portland, cross a bridge to the Oregon side, and drive back to Hood River, where one of Chris’ favorite breweries (Full Sail) has a pub. For lunch. And then come back to the hotel and swim/blog/relax. (Nobody slept well last night.)

On the way we saw signs for the visitor center at North Bonneville Dam, so we stopped in, spent a long time learning about fish ladders and the history of salmon fishing in the Columbia River. We did, however, miss the 10AM tour of the dam and did not want to sit around for 2.5 hours until the next tour, so we left.

This is the dam from a distance.

This is the dam from a distance.

We found a little nature walk along part of the Lewis & Clark trail, so we walked it (less than half a mile for the whole walk), and took a few pics which didn’t turn out well enough to share with you.

Then we got going towards Portland again, searching for a bridge where we could cross.

Did you guess what happened? No bridges until we got to Portland, over an hour later! Well, we stopped at a Best Buy because Alex had forgotten his DS charger, and stopped at a Starbucks, and then headed to Hood River and Full Sail. Our plan of having lunch there went by the wayside; we got there around 3, and had a very late lunch just as the World Cup final ended. Then we did come back here to rest/blog/swim.

Tomorrow: horseback riding. Haven’t done that since I was 9 years old; Chris not since he was 12, and Alex, not ever. We’ll see how it goes.

Vaa-a-a-CATION!

Posted: July 13, 2014 in Ramblings

Well, we are all happy to be on vacation, even Alex, who is currently asleep. Not much to report from the first day, except that we got some camera workout for my HX50V, which is now the vacation camera of choice, due to its zoom.

Mount Rainier in the distance.

Mount Rainier in the distance.

Mount Rainier at 30x zoom (this is the full optical zoom on this camera).

Mount Rainier at 30x zoom (this is the full optical zoom on this camera).

Mount St. Helens, no zoom.

Mount St. Helens, no zoom.

Mount St. Helens at 30x zoom.

Mount St. Helens at 30x zoom.

Mount St. Helens at 60x zoom (this is the "Clear Image Zoom" on, but the digital zoom still off).

Mount St. Helens at 60x zoom (this is the “Clear Image Zoom” on, but the digital zoom still off).

Mount St. Helens at 120x zoom (with Clear Image Zoom and digital zoom both on at max).

Mount St. Helens at 120x zoom (with Clear Image Zoom and digital zoom both on at max).