Friday, November 20, 2009

Our March to the Sea.

So we were all really sleepy after swimming, so we naturally made the pregnant lady drive home. I did wake up at some point long enough to discover my waterlogged phone in the pocket of my swim trunks.
Later that evening, having removed my call phone battery and left it to dry, Betsy and I went to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland to see Much Ado About Nothing. We went early to eat our box lunches while watching the Green Show, which happened to be a local belly dancing troupe. I was pretty excited when we got there because they had a doumbek sitting on stage and I was expecting some nice live drumming, but alas, they danced to prerecorded music.
The production of Much Ado About Nothing was pretty awesome. It was very cleverly set in postwar Italy. How did they come up with that? Here is a picture I found on the internet:
Let me take this opportunity to point out how disturbing the results of a google image search for "Oregon Shakespeare Festival Much Ado About Nothing" were for yours truly.

The next day Betsy and I hit the long and windy, er, winding road for the coast. It is very difficult to carry on conversations on Oregon Highways due to the fact that trucks there can haul a maximum of not 85500, but 105500 lbs. This makes for a lot of really cool truck-trailer configurations that you just don't see back in Kansas. Anyways one truck particularly caught my eye first for its multiple axle configuration, then for its white letter tires, and finally, as we pulled ahead I saw this in my rear view mirror (representative photo):
An International LoneStar! Awesome.

We stopped in Grant's Pass for some Pizza and a cell phone charger for my miracle phone which turned right on that morning. Then it was over the mountains, through the redwoods, to Brookings Oregon.
We stayed at this little Bed and Breakfast which we picked despite the fact that it shares its name with a song in the musical Sweeny Todd.

This is why we picked it:

Here is a view of the B&B from the beach:

And some shots of the beach itself:

Apparently the ocean has weeds too, and me without my Roundup:

Another shot of the B&B from the beach:

The ocean made us happy.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Lake of the Woods.

So we decided to go to a lake. Jeanette gave us a list of every lake in southern Oregon from which to choose from. Having never been to any of them, it was very easy to decide on the Lake of the Woods. It's chief draw was that it was a naturally occurring lake. We don't have that kind of lake where we come from.

Carol was there, taking a break from her hectic schedule of large animal maintenance massage:

We had some lunch.

After which Jonathan became suddenly and inexplicably filthy.
Then we played in the lake. It was just like any lake in Kansas, if you don't count the sparkling clear waters, snow capped peaks on the horizon or the hundred foot tall trees growing at the waters edge.

It was really fun to take my waterproof camera to the lake. It was so nice to be able to wade into the lake without worrying about getting a fragile and expensive piece of electronica wet. Not that I am the type of person who would go swimming for an hour in a lake with, say, a Motorola V3a RAZR cell phone in his pocket. That would be foolish indeed.

Oregon or Bust.

So we decided to go to Oregon to celebrate our tenth (10th) wedding anniversary. We had a couple of flight vouchers, and I always like to give Anna a chance to spend time with Jonathan. We started out our journey by driving to Denver. We were just going to hit I-70 at Oakley and go on over, but shortly before we hit Scott City we came upon the world's largest object being transported on Highway 83... at 35 MPH. I never got a good view of the object, as it was surrounded by pilot cars and such, but it literally took up three lanes of traffic. As Highway 83 only has 2 lanes, and after I thought about the fact that there is nowhere for such an object to pull over between Scott and Oakley, we changed course and took 96 west. Tom, our personal navigator, did not think this was a good idea at all, but I overruled him.

Here is a picture of Anna and I riding on the shuttle bus at the Denver Airport. We only found out later that driving Denver Airport shuttle buses is a favorite occupation of alleged terrorists. I think there is probably about 10 minutes between when this picture was taken and when we realized we had left Anna's booster seat in the car.
We got to Portland super late, and rode another shuttle to our hotel. We rode with a family of surfers (and their surfboards) who had just come back from two weeks in Hawaii, where they had attended two (2) weddings. They were from Bend, which seemed like an odd choice to me.
The next day we took the light rail downtown so we could check our bags in with Amtrak. Once at Union Station we ate at the restaurant there:

After lunch we went to an ice cream shop that the friendly Amtrak man told us about and then across the street to this cool splash park.
Betsy had pity on Anna and let her take of her dress and really have fun.
And then a fellow parent had pity on us and gave us the brand new pair of panties which she had been carrying around in her purse for a month in the hope that her own daughter would stop wearing diapers. Meanwhile, I talked on the phone.

Then we got on the train to Eugene. Anna and Betsy spent their time reading and stuff.
But outside the window it was harvest time, so I had plenty to see.
Like wheat harvest.

And edible bean harvest.
Anna got a lot of homework done.
After we got to Eugene, we took a taxi to the airport to rent a car. We were supposed to rent a car in downtown Eugene, but they didn't have any cars there, despite our three month old reservation. And the guy at the airport didn't even know about the Seinfeld episode about car rental reservations:

After we got our itty-bitty Kia, we drove to Target, where they just so happened to have booster seats on clearance.
Then we drove from Eugene to Medford, and I decided that three (3) hours of Oregon driving is equal to approximately seven (7) hours of Kansas driving in terms of fatigue. There were cars everywhere and we had to climb hills and come down hills and the road had this really annoying habit of curving every half mile. Ridiculous.

Sunday, November 01, 2009

Random Interim Photos

This is what happens when you don't look at the weather forecast before you go home for the night.

This is What happens when you get in a hurry while driving through corn fields.

First load out of the new bins.

And some spectacular weather photography.