Barrel to Keg

We had another great weekend out in the Oregon summer sunshine.  Saturday we joined a team of seven intrepid (or more likely slightly insane) runners and ran 69 miles across the Oregon Coast Range from the Harris Bridge winery in Philomath to the Rogue Brewery in Newport.


The race is called the Barrel to Keg relay and it is a fundraiser for a local charity, the Community Services Consortium.  They started about 115 teams of runners and walkers, which ranged in size from 1 person to 7 people, in waves between 5am (solo runners) and 9am.  The course is organized into 14 legs that varied in length from about 4 miles to 7 miles.  In theory, they start the slower teams earlier, so everyone ends up at the finish around the same time.  Somehow, we ended up in the second to last wave…  which left a lot of people for us to catch up to.

We had so much fun, that this is the only picture I got all day.  I swear we posed for a picture with the barrel and the keg, but it somehow didn’t make it to my phone.  This was before the start… that is why we all look so happy and clean!  Ed was not in the picture because he did double duty and filled our volunteer spot early on the course, then ran a leg later in the race.


Despite being the person who actually got to assign legs to people on our team, I somehow managed to assign myself to 11 miles with almost 900 ft of climbing.  Clearly I did not take a good look at what I was getting myself into.  Bret ran almost 10 miles too!  It was a HOT, sunny day so the race was quite a challenge.  We went through a lot of water and quite a bit of PBR (energy drink of champions).  Two people on our team ran the longest distance they had ever run in a day… so a lot of accomplishments were accrued.  We finished in about 10.5 hours!

The next day, we were a little sore.  Oval had a lot more energy to burn than any of us, so we took her to the Willamette to run around with her friend Maia.  Her swimming is coming along nicely (she is the big splash right in front of me).  She was even swimming out to fetch balls all on her own!


Needless to say, we all slept pretty well last night.

Decemberists and Garden Update

We had a really nice weekend this past week where we started off by going to see the Decemberists which is one of our favorite bands.

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On Saturday we found a campsite at the base of Mt Hood and hung out in Hood River where there happened to be a kite boarding charity event going on where they were kite boarding for 6 hours straight (in teams).  It was pretty fun watching them and we went for a photo op with oval with mixed results.  We had dinner at probably our favorite brewery in Oregon, Double Mountain Brewery!  Their pizza might have been better than the pizza in Italy…

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The garden has been going pretty good.  Starting to reap the benefits of mostly Emily’s hard work!

Volunteer sunflower
Poblano pepper
Anaheim pepper
Tabasco pepper
Fava beans
Sugar snap peas

Mom’s Visit

My Mom and Rich came to visit over the 4th of July weekend.  We had an action packed fun weekend.  To start off, we toured the college and went to a Corvallis Knights baseball game.   The game started at 7:15 and there was a fireworks show billed after the game and we came ready.  The game went into extra inning and we were still psyched!  Around the 14th inning we got weary, and left after the 15th inning around midnight!  It turns out the game lasted 17 innings and we heard the fireworks go off as we were going to sleep.  A little bummed we missed the end of the game but had a really good time anyway.


We went to a pretty cool antique store in Albany and then went up to Portland to go to Powell’s books and to see Grandma Bosma and Aunt Sharon.  We had a very nice lunch at Grandma’s.  Thanks Grandma!

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Next, we went to the coast and had a very nice day on the beach in Waldport, and got to see a bit of the coastline.  We stopped at the Devil’s Churn and also got to eat at our favorite seafood place on the coast, Luna Sea.

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It was a very nice visit and we all had a great time!

Willie Nelson and Oval’s First Backpacking Trip

Bret took a couple days off and we started the festivities by heading to Bend, Or to see Willie Nelson and Allison Krause with our friends, Chris and Kara.  We had a bit of a delay getting to the concert (we might have lost track of time getting dinner at a nearby pub), but we caught the end of Allison Krause and Willie’s whole set.  The place was packed and it was a gorgeous night.  SO much fun.  Although I may have regretted sharing our neighbors “hot” wine when we started hiking the next morning.

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The next morning we took our leave of Bend and drove to the west side of the Cascades to the Whitewater trailed and hiked up to Jefferson Park.  We had though we would be escaping some of the heat that has landed in Oregon for the last few weeks by heading into the mountains, but it was 91° at the trailhead! It was about 5.5 miles of steady climbing in.  Oval tried out her backpack, but she seemed to be struggling a little in the heat, so I set her free about a mile in.  she perked up at mile 4 when we hit a nice shaded stream and she was able to run around in the water and rehydrate.

For the last half of the hike, we were treated to great views of Mt. Jefferson.  Mt. Jefferson, originally called Seekseekqua by Native Americans, is the second highest mountain in Oregon at 10,497 ft.  The cone of Mt. Jefferson rises about 1 mile from the surrounding terrain (including Jefferson Park) making it very difficult to access.



We camped at Russell lake and had the place pretty much to ourselves the first night.  Well, us and about 10,000 mosquitoes.  We handled the mosquitoes with grace and took a nice walk around the lake.  They don’t seem to bother you when you are moving.  At camp, Oval did pretty well… although we didn’t trust her not to run away to someone else’s camp, so she was on the long leash most of the time.  The second picture is across Russell Lake looking back at our camp site (which is hidden in the trees).

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Oval has the camping thing down.

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The first night, we had some stormy, threatening weather.  But it never amounted to much more than some thunder in the distance, some wind, and a few drops of rain.

On our second day, we hiked around Jefferson Park.  Jefferson Park is this really unique area with lakes and alpine meadows at the base of Mt Jefferson’s cone.  The wildflowers were in full flower power too, so it was pretty spectacular.


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The mosquitoes were again in full force that evening, but we escaped them by teaching Oval how to swim the lake.  She was a little hesitant until we gave her a little push, then she was swimming circles around Bret and I!  so much fun and so many laughs.  Later we went for an evening hike and were treated to more spectacular views.

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That night was clear and warm so we had beautiful view of a moonlit peak from our tent.


The next morning we tried to beat the mosquitoes out of bed and pack up camp.  It was much cooler, so Oval was in charge of her own pack again.

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She did great on the way out… the pack slows her down a notch and makes it easier to keep up with her.  The way down was a lot more pleasant with cooler temps.  We even had a few drops of rain right at the end.


We made it home in time to water the garden and sleep real well.

I am always a little behind, so I will leave our fabulous July 4th weekend with Bret’s mom and stepdad for another post!