Eula Ridge, May 27, 2017

This is a bit out of date, but I have pictures and video, so why not share?

Eula Ridge is only maybe 30 minutes outside of Eugene (although it took us more like 45 minutes since we went past it the first time – it’s not well-marked).  It’s all wooded, nice and shady.

There’s a little parking area at the bottom, right off the road, and there was a truck and a school bus parked there when we arrived.  The bus driver warned us that they had just dropped about 35 mountain bikers off at the top (I can only assume there’s a road that goes up since a bus did NOT take the trail we were on), and they were going to be making their way down, and we should be careful.

John and I started up the trail worried that a pack of mountain bikers would mow us down.  We spent the entire hike scouting for good spots to hop off to the side.  There were a few kind of narrow scary parts, but mostly there was plenty of room for us to get out of the way.  They came through pretty spread out, one at a time, not at the breakneck speed I was picturing.

It was a really nice afternoon.  Some website said it’s three miles to the top, but there aren’t any spectacular views, and we had…something…that night (I don’t remember what – it was nearly a month ago), so we turned around at two miles up.  I took video to commemorate it.

And of course I tried to get a selfie of us.

We are not good at the selfie thing.

I will leave you with the soothing sounds of a babbling brook for meditation.

I want to do more hiking before we leave Oregon.

I’m going to jump all the jumps

After I recovered from my fall yesterday, back on Tigger, back in charge, right back into cantering, it was time to jump.  We did this thing I’ve never heard of* called gymnastic jumping.  It’s lining up a bunch of jumps together, and it’s meant to help me focus on my jumping form.  There are probably other reasons for it, too, but that’s the one Wendy told me about.  So she set up the jumps in two long lines.  The first time, there were only two jumps, one stride in between.  Horse goes over the first jump, takes one stride, goes over the second, and then we come back around and do it again.  Then she added a third, another stride away, then a fourth.  The fifth jump was four or five strides past the fourth.  That’s the top row in the sophisticated diagram below.

Not to scale, duh.

All of that went pretty smoothly, 1-foot jumps, way fun.  We took turns running through it, Daisy and Dobby first, then me and Tigger.  There was one incident…Wendy set me and Tigger up to go through that set of jumps after Daisy and Dobby, but Tigger could still see Dobby at the far end, and since we’ve already learned that Tigger wants to be near Dobby all the time, you can probably imagine the speed at which we barreled through that set.  It was exhilarating and scary and fun and TOO FAST FOR ME, especially since it happened maybe 10 minutes after I fell off.  We adjusted so that Dobby was well out of eyesight before Tigger lined up for the jumps for the rest of the lesson.  That helped.

Oh, and then Daisy, wunderkind, jumped that set on Dobby with her arms held straight out from her sides.  Like she was flying.  It was AMAZING.

I did not try that.

Then we switched to the second line of jumps (the bottom line in that diagram), and in addition to setting up the jumps in a close row, Wendy raised two of them to 2’3″.  TWO OF THEM (the ones with the double x).  I’ve jumped that high twice only, in one lesson weeks ago, and it was a single jump.  Like before Christmas, so months ago, really.  It was SO COOL.  Exhilarating again, but in a less scary way.  I can’t wait to do more of that.

So, yeah. My lesson was exciting.  I’m curious to find out how afraid I’ll be of getting back on Tigger next week.  Right now I feel okay, but when I’m standing in front of him, knowing how he gets, knowing that I can fall off, will I be scared?

*It’s safe to say that nearly everything I’m learning is a thing I’ve never heard of.  Even if I’ve heard of it (dressage, for example), I probably don’t really know what it means or what it is, and I certainly don’t know how to do it.

Women’s March

Over 7,000 people marched in Eugene today, me and John and Christina included, in solidarity with people all over the country and the world. There was chanting (“This is what democracy looks like” and “My body, my choice, her body, her choice” and others), a drumline, lots of signs, and a ton of rain.  Supposedly there were speakers, too, but we didn’t see or hear any of them.  Just a lot of friendly people walking together, bumping into each other and apologizing constantly.  No violence, no threats, no crime. (Okay, the newspaper said there was one graffiti incident.)

I don’t have anything profound to say here, not least because it would be in violation of my mission statement.  I’m just glad we went.

My future as a hobo. Almost.

It snowed most of today and then sleeted the rest of the day.  John and I did NOT go to the grocery store yesterday (which should surprise no one who knows us), so we had to venture out for dinner.  We got all bundled up (temps were in the high 20s) and headed for downtown and the nearest food, but we got stalled at the train tracks by the SLOWEST TRAIN EVER.

Aaaaannnnndddd then it stopped, right where it was. That building on the other side is where we were trying to go. So close! We waited. Waited some more. Waited a little longer. Watched a guy in a sweatshirt with no coat swing himself over the linkage between two cars. Meanwhile, the train hadn’t budged. We could see the end of it maybe 100 yards away to the left, so we eventually gave up waiting and followed the train to its end (no caboose!) and crossed behind it.

Then we had sushi because who doesn’t deserve sushi after contemplating climbing over a train?

Perspective shift

I should stop being annoyed by my constant time zone confusion and treat it like an adventure.  Friday morning at 9am (local), I looked at the forecast and saw that rain was predicted for 12:30.  “Oh, no,” I said.  “I want to run, but it might rain on me while I’m out there.  That sucks.”  THEN I remembered that no, even though my laptop says it’s noon, and everyone I work with is heading out to lunch, and I’ve been working for long enough that it feels like midday, the 12:30 forecast for rain is three and a half hours in my future, not half an hour.  I’ve been to noon already, I’ve seen the rain coming, but now I’m back to 9am and I have plenty of time to run.

I AM A TIME TRAVELER.

Owning it

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The other night, John and I went to Will and Christina’s house (new house – they live in Eugene now YAY!) for a friendly game of DUN DUN DUN….Dungeons and Dragons.  Yes, we are great big grown-up nerds, and we had a really good time.  John DM’d it, and Christina did her best to save our butts.

I chipped in by buying themed wine.  We drank this one, and I will be buying it again.  Good stuff.

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We didn’t get to this one, but it looks promising.  I’ll let you know.

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You know, I just took a closer look at the actual bottle, and there’s a picture of a squid on it.  That makes it decidedly less appetizing.  I’ll take the hit, though.  I’ll do that for you.

Crater Lake is SO freakin’ BLUE

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I usually get annoyed when I skip a day on the ol’ blog here, but I can’t be mad about skipping yesterday.  I didn’t plan to skip – I thought I’d be back home in time to get it done – but it was late because we were out having adventures and doing fun things and taking LOTS of pictures.  I can forgive myself for that.

None of the pictures you’re about to see have been edited, mostly because I don’t really know how to do that, and I’m too lazy to bother with it.  The signs all over Crater Lake National Park say that the water is so blue because it’s all rain and snowmelt and because it’s the deepest freshwater lake in the country. It was incredible.  I didn’t want to look away.  Of course, I did look away because who would believe we were there if we didn’t take pictures?  I love being a tourist.

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I can’t help but like this one, even though we could be ANYwhere since you can’t really see the lake.

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It was hard to leave, even after our hike.  Oh yes – we hiked.  In our infinite wisdom, we chose one of the strenuous hikes, meant to take 2-3 hours and gain over 1000 feet in elevation.  In our defense, there were only two hiking trails within walking distance of where we parked, and the other one was easy and seemed to follow the road we’d just driven down.  BOR-ing.

If you squint, you can see the Crater Lake Lodge in the upper center part of this picture, which is where we started.  I think we were about halfway when I took this one.

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The temperature was in the 70s, and we were working hard, so we were plenty warm, but there was SNOW on the ground.  Not everywhere, certainly, but we had to climb through a slippery melting snowbank to get to the top.  That was the scariest part.  Well, coming back down through the snowbank was the scariest part.

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We did reach the top, though.  Here we are on Garfield Peak, 8000 feet above sea level.  I don’t know how many feet we were above lake level.

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And here’s another terrible selfie (it was really bright out, okay?).

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I think I might have to make that one my profile picture for ALL of my accounts.

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John wants to run down this meadow.  I’m willing to bet it’s steeper than it looks.

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I think I took this next one on the way back down.

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Here we are, tired and happy and soon to be very hungry.

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We left about 6pm (we got there around after noon, close to 1, I think), but it’s 2 and a half hours away, so it was nearly 9 before we got back to Cottage Grove, and after 9 before we ate.  Almost midnight when we got home, still had to shower (covered in sweat and sunscreen – totally gross), and we’re only a little bit sore today.  Our gym has a hot tub.  We may be heading there this afternoon.