Sunday, July 25, 2010


Ahhh, Sunday morning again! My favorite time of the week. I am sitting here, icing my aching legs and drinking my 2 large cups of coffee searching the internet for quotes about Oregon. Here is one that is relevant to where I'm at....

Before the Cascade Mountains give way to the high desert along the south-central edge of the state, they leave parts of their green, wet selves scattered across the borderlands. Forests and dunes, lakes and playas, grasslands and sagebrush stand almost near enough to nuzzle each other. The result is a mingling of open spaces and timbered slopes, of freshwater lakes and alkali flats in a world straddling such vastly different geological and historical eras that only a strong imagination can reconcile the contrasts.-Mark Highberger ("South Central Oregon" in An Explorer's Guide to Oregon)

Its hard for me to put in to words how completely fascinated I am with this region of the country. The Pacific North West. Northern California and Oregon specifically. I have spent enough time here to know that it will be hard for me to ever stay away. Last time I left here, I was away for about a year and a half and I thought about it everyday.

Early this morning I ran the Klamath Lakes trail on the outskirts of Klamath Falls. I completely lost it when I got to the top of a mountain and alone I could look in any direction and see something beautiful. In one direction I had a stunning view of Mt. Shasta, in another I had a gorgeous view across Klamath Lake of the South rim of Crater lake (the 2000' deep lake is the deepest lake in America.) In another I could see the Snowy peak of Mt. Mcloughlin and in another I could see Klamath falls far below.

I consider Minneapolis a very beautiful place to run also, but it is different. I think Minneapolis possibly has the most beautiful urban running routes in America. I can't get enough of the downtown lights reflecting off the frozen lakes at night. Often times, even though I live only 3 miles away from the bustling downtown of a major American city, I will see deer and occasionally Bald Eagles adding to the overall experience. Still there just isn't that sense of discovery and overwhelming emotion that the Northwest has on me.

Its very conflicting to me. Minneapolis is such a nice and stable place to live. But I don't think I will ever be completely happy there. Rebecca thinks that she ultimately sees owning a small boutique hotel and living back in Michigan. Traverse City or possibly the Frankfort area.
I don't know. The Pacific Northwest has gotten in to my blood. I don't know if it will ever go away.

Here is a song that I am really in to right now, I had it on repeat while I was on my run this morning. Its by Minneapolis area singer Bon Iver.

Sunday, July 18, 2010


Maybe I'm not really meant to be a blogger, it seems like I'm not really good at sticking to my schedule of posting every Sunday.

So not a heck of a lot has been going on, we are still preparing for construction. I think we are actually getting pretty close.

Since no one has seen me in quite a while, here is what I'm looking like these days. LOL. Pretty much like a desert rat in my opinion.

This is the view that I see most of the time. Just my shadow as I stare at the ground while I either march across the desert, or climb a mountain.

I've been doing a lot of river and stream crossing too. This is the best way, but it only works for the smaller streams. Most of them you just have to take your boots off and wade across. Some of them are really deep and cold. We have actually gotten chest deep in freezing water a few times. I live for stuff like that!!

I do have one or two good stories from the last couple of weeks. Last week I was climbing up a rock face and my guys were a couple hundred feet behind me when all of a sudden the all started screaming hysterically. JACK!! COUUGGAAARRR!!! WATCH OUT!!! Yeah, I almost got eaten by a Mountain Lion. And then I almost had a heart attack and fell to my death. Anyways, I was almost near the top when the guys spotted a huge cougar slinking along the top of the ridge towards me, maybe 20 yards away. All the screaming sent the cat scrambling for its life, but it was definitely a scary moment for me. I can think of a lot worse ways to die I suppose.

Here is an abandoned gold mine that we came across. I love stuff like this. We probably spent an hour looking around. Its hard to say when this place was last occupied. Late 1800's maybe?

Here is baby Mule deer crossing the road with a nice view of Mt. Shasta in the background. If you click on the picture, Mt. Shasta will stand out a little better. Mt. Shasta is somewhere over 14,000' in elevation at the top and I believe has more vertical gain than any other Mountain in the lower 48. I think the base of the Mountain is at something like 3000' so if you climb from the bottom, its around an 11,000' climb. A lady died while climbing it last week.

Here is a nice picture of some of the terrain that the pipeline will cross. It comes up off the desert floor you can see in the distance and makes its way up and over this and many other mountain ranges.

Look for another post from me in the next couple of days. I can do better than one post every month!