New skill

I’m toying with video editing for the first time in my life.  My first practice project was to edit clips out of half a dozen minute-long videos of a squirrel being super-weird in my backyard and string them all together into one two-minute video.  I think it was successful.  It needs a soundtrack, maybe, like Yakety Sax.  That’s a project for some other afternoon.

And because you so patiently watched that video for me, you get a bonus video of the squirrel eating a stick like it’s corn on the cob.

Feels like a dream

Let me tell you the story of our hike last Saturday.  “Story”, since it’s not like anything eventful happened.  Mostly I want an excuse to show you pictures.  Oh, that reminds me – I want to preface all these pictures with something.  Every picture and video posted here was taken by me on my phone’s camera.  I have the resolution cranked all the way up, and for the still photos, I have HDR turned on.  I don’t edit my photos, and I don’t use filters.  (This is not a vanity or ego thing – I don’t have the patience or desire to spend that much time on my pictures.)

Anyway, I wanted a hike with waterfalls, but I didn’t want to drive all the way across the state to see the famous ones, like Multnomah Falls (two and a half hours away) or Klamath Falls (three hours away).  Luckily for us, the Mackenzie River has a trail called the Waterfalls Loop Trail, and it starts less than 90 away from us.

We started at the Carmen Reservoir.  The day was perfect.

The river was so clear it looked it looked chlorinated, and the water was so cold that the air on the banks felt like air conditioning.  Everything smelled fresh and clean and clear and that reminds me of something I forgot to mention about our redwoods hike.  That national park smelled SO GOOD.  Margaret, wonder that she is, explained that the park has a lot of bay trees, and surprise surprise, they smell like bay leaves, and it was so freakin’ pleasant (and I am so glad we had Margaret to tell us that because otherwise I would not have been able to explain why it smelled so good).  This forest did not smell like bay leaves, but it smelled like fresh, clean air, and it was so nice.

The path was clear and well-maintained (and by the waterfalls, it had big log railings that reminded John of Busch Gardens in Williamsburg), and the forest was beautiful.

And then we rounded the corner and saw the first of two waterfalls.  (I think it was Koosah Falls.)

It was loud, of course, but I could have watched it for hours.

Speaking of well-maintained trails, I’m always tickled to find stairs in the woods.  These were on the way up the river, past the first waterfall to the second (and the top of the loop).

So then we came to the second waterfall.  Look at all that green!  I can’t get over how nearly neon it was.

Then of course we asked someone to take our picture.  Not great, but whatever.

So we climbed to the top of that waterfall and kept following the trail, but when it was time loop back, we weren’t ready.  There was another path that was supposed to lead to Clear Lake (never heard of it, but it sounded promising), so we figured we’d follow that for a little bit.

It led us here.  We weren’t impressed.

We were going to turn back, but another hiker came by and pointed out that the trail continued on the other side of the road.  That was awfully nice of her because that’s how we found the Lake of Shining Waters Clear Lake.

It had a cool bridge going across the river.

We walked a little and turned around pretty quickly, but when we got back to the bridge, it had been overrun by tweens from sleepaway camp.  There were at least 20 of them, daring each other to jump off the bridge, their camp counselors egging them on.  I got video.

After that, we headed back to the waterfalls loop to go down the other side.  We found where the trolls live.

And then as we got to the top of that upper waterfall, we climbed down from the actual trail to get closer to the water and I found my new favorite spot in the whole world.

That’s where the water plunges down, that horizontal line of frothy water with trees above it (beyond it).  My toes were an inch from the waterline on the bank.

I crouched down under a tree to get the water rushing over rocks inches away.

Shifting my focus upstream, look at how clear it is and then how cold it looks.

And then there was this spot, where I could sit up against a tree with the water rushing by below and the dropoff 30 feet ahead.

We stopped here for a while.

And, well, John was hot, so he tested the temperature.

We did eventually head back down the trail, and we found ALL the rainbows at the first waterfall.

This next picture is why I mentioned all that stuff about not editing and not using filters.  I have done nothing to this picture to make it look like this.

It’s my favorite.  Occasionally I get lucky.  And that day, I was very happy to be on that trail.

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.

Even a stopped clock…

Had a lesson today, and something felt weird as we went over the first jump in a course.  I dropped my right rein right before we went over, let it dangle and reached for Tigger’s mane (to hold on), and then gathered the reins up in time to go over the second jump.  The rest of the course was great, and as I finished it, Wendy asked me why I muttered “that was terrible” right after the first jump.  I told her it was because I dropped the rein, but Wendy said I did exactly the right thing.  Something didn’t feel right, but we were committed to the jump, so rather than pulling tight on Tigger, I trusted him to take us over.  According to Wendy, I have the instincts of a great rider.  According to me, it was a total accident.  (It was a total accident – I’m pretty sure I fumbled the reins.)  But now that I know, I’ll try to do it on purpose next time.  Next time something is weird, I mean, not next time I ride.  But I think you knew that.

So then Wendy showed me this video, and I don’t feel as bad about it.

Of course, I only had one low jump to deal with, and I did NOT take it with my arms out to the side like that.


I heard Chris Isaak’s “Wicked Game” on the radio today.  I’ve always liked the song (video at the end, if you need it), but since that one Friends episode, I can’t help but laugh when he does his signature vocal move.

I like the way she laughs at him.

Also, I’m totally jealous of his eyebrow raise. I can’t do that.

Here’s the song.  If you’re familiar with it, you know what I’m talking about.  If you’re not, he does it on the chorus, first time at 0:52 in the video.


Some songs that make me both happy and sad lately.

Sorry – I don’t usually bother watching videos on other blogs.  I prefer to read, but sometimes I can’t word.  I won’t be offended if you don’t watch/listen to these.  Like I’ll know anyway.  🙂

Don, the world is so full of a number of things

Twice in two days I found myself wracking my brain to place a reference, and I was seriously starting to doubt my brain.  Thankfully, I was able to place both references (I actually got the first reference while I was worrying about the second), but it was a little worrisome.  The first one was an “ooh-wee-ooh-ooh” from an Arkells song that was tickling my brain.  It tickled John’s, too, so I wasn’t imagining it, and then Thursday, I managed to connect it to The Eagles, which I may have shouted across the hall, and John connected the last dot to “New York Minute”.

That was one solved, but the other one took another 24 hours.  I could hear someone saying, and getting steadily louder while doing it, something like “No, definitely not.  Decidedly not!” and then smaller, “Uh uh,” but I couldn’t figure out where that came from or exactly how it went.  Was it a cartoon?  An old movie?  I was confident it was something from growing up, so if anyone could help me, Mindy could.  I texted her, but I didn’t have enough information, and she didn’t get it.  So that bugged me for an entire day, and then Friday morning, while I was making coffee, I got a glimpse of a hat and a piano and DING DING DING!  It’s from Singin’ In The Rain, in the intro to “Make ‘Em Laugh”, and I was SO RELIEVED.

I’m not losing my mind yet.

I’m almost transparent

It was warm enough to run in shorts today, so I took the chance of blinding people as the sun reflected off my whiter-than-white legs.  I didn’t have to worry; the sun didn’t stay out for long.  There went my opportunity to get some color.  And then it started to rain.  I passed a woman walking her dog right when it started to rain in earnest.  I gave her a “who’da thunk?” shrug as I went by, and she said, “Oh, we knew this was coming.”  She’s right.  It’s spring in the Pacific Northwest.

“Curse your sudden but inevitable betrayal!”

Since the band isn’t rehearsing tonight, I’ve decided to skip yoga (which is happening all too often), order Thai food, and hang out with John.

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?

Actors and accents and quirks and other fascinating things I’m not going to write about

I am fascinated by actors and accents, probably because I am terrible at both.  Like, really really bad. So, since I can’t think straight while the band practices in the basement, I’m going to cheat and give you videos about those fascinating things that I find fascinating (because they are fascinating and how many times can I use the word fascinating before you become fascinated by how I’ve managed to spell fascinating correctly every single time I’ve typed it?).  Yes, the videos are kind of long, but really – they’re fascinating.

I just don’t get why

I was only disappointed by one thing at Disney World – we missed the Main Street Electrical Parade.  They don’t do it every night anymore (and they didn’t do it the nights we were at the Magic Kingdom), and they’re moving it to only Disneyland after October 9th this year (thank you, Brian, for breaking the news to us).  There’s a Fantasyland parade they do every day at 3pm, but it’s not the same.  First of all, it’s at 3pm.  Second of all, it’s mostly princesses and not much else (from what I remember, anyway).  I mean, I liked it, and the mechanical Maleficent-as-dragon is pretty darn cool, but nothing can replace the Main Street Electrical Parade.

Oh no!  I just looked it up, and it’s only going to Disneyland for a “limited-time encore engagement.”  What the hell, Disney?  You can’t retire that parade!  Maybe there’s a petition I can sign.

It didn’t rain ALL the time

Earlier in our Epcot day, we had actual sunshine and clear skies (well, by midday it was clear – it went downhill from there). We got to the park mid-morning and headed straight to fake France for coffee and croissants.


After breakfast we went back to the front of the park (the fake-future part) to see Spaceship Earth and The Land and The Sea, where we found these guys.

Then we went back to the World Showcase and got rained on.

Taking advantage of the rain

I mentioned the rain the day we went to Epcot, right?  Well, I forgot I had proof on video. While everyone with any sense was hiding out under every structure with a roof in the park, one duck took the opportunity to scout for food.

We were hoping for a break in the rain so I could make a dash for the nearest bathroom. Over the course of our four days in Disney parks, I got very familiar with the bathrooms. Surprisingly, the one in fake Canada was the worst. Fake Morocco’s was great.


Yesterday was the coolest day.  We went to the next to last day of the US Track and Field Olympic Trials at Hayward Field (home of Prefontaine and Bill Bowerman), and it was INCREDIBLE.  It’s highly unlikely we’ll ever watch the actual Olympic Games in person, but yesterday, we got to watch the best track and field athletes in the US compete for a spot on the US Olympic team – those were actual Olympians, and it was unbelievable to watch.  I mean, I’m saying this even about sports I don’t care about and know nothing about, like the high jump and the javelin throw.  Those were neat to see (and the woman who won the javelin throw has the best name – Maggie Malone), but we were really there for the running events.  Us and everyone else, really.  The place was packed by the time the men’s 5000m final started.  Watching an Olympic (near-Olympic 5K) is NOTHING like watching a neighborhood 5K.  There were 16 men competing, and since we didn’t know anything about any of them, we decided to cheer for the oldest guy, Bernard Lagat, who is 41 years old and holds the American record at this distance.  I got video of them coming around during the first lap.

I forgot to mention that we had AMAZING SEATS.  We were right in the center of the long straight stretch of the track, on the starting line side (behind them – we could see butts in the air at the start), IN THE FIFTH ROW.  We were on the wrong side for the finish, but we could see plenty.

My plan was to get that video (accomplished), then conserve my battery (I was down to 13%) and get another short video as they came around for the final lap.  That first lap was relatively slow, and I wanted to be able to contrast that to the effort they’d be putting in on the final lap.  On a track, a 5K is 12 and a half laps long, so I had plenty of time to watch a few laps and then get ready to record again.  The race was crazy exciting.  Two guys were out front at first, but they tired out and didn’t end up staying in front.  Then there were another two in front (way out front), and then, right at the end, everyone else started catching up.  The guy we were cheering for, Lagat, was in the middle of the pack the whole time…right up until that last half-lap, when he SURGED AHEAD AND WON.  The 41-year-old won the race.  It was incredible, and I was screaming my head off and then his face crumpled in happy tears and so did I.  I was highly susceptible to those athletes’ emotions yesterday.  So was the lady next to me.

Anyway, I’d have video of that last lap (or at the least the part right in front of us, like in the earlier video – I had every intention of cheering, not recording, as they headed to the finish), but my phone chose the moment I pressed the record button to crap out on me and tell me my camera crashed.  SO ANNOYED.  This is the last disappointment I’ll take from you, phone.

You can watch official video of that last lap (like I just did) here.  If you pause the video at 41 seconds and squint, I think you can see John (grey jacket and his hat) and a blur that might be me, 5th row.  Or I might be imagining it.  But we’re there!

It was so cool.  Honestly, seeing this in person was one of my top five reasons for moving to Eugene.  Tomorrow I’ll post some of the pictures I took.