Monday, December 1, 2008

Turkey by the Bay

This year we gave our thanks in Coos Bay, Oregon with both Bauer and Caldera clans. It was a massive gathering of friends, family and seafood, and it ended much too quickly. Many thanks to our hosts!

First, and most importantly, we must introduce the little guy - Camden Everett Caldera! We got to experience Em and Keith's new baby boy in all his two-week newness. Behold...

Support his head!Carl summed it up: he's the best baby in the world.

The Caldera's house is just a block away from the beach, so we hit the bay the first afternoon in search of clams. Carl, Tory and Heidi, going after a biggun.
Go Dwayne! Real men don't break for photos...We came home with our permit limit of clams that we later cleaned (Melody removed the shells), sliced and enjoyed. There's just something about catching your own dinner...

Ping-pong was also a pervasive theme of the weekend. We were ruthless.

Up early our second day, we hunter-gatherers hit the bay in a rowboat and canoe for a long morning of crabbing.

Paul and Carl hauling the rowboat to the water
Gracie, passively mauling a vicious crab
Enjoying the morning's bounty on shore
Who knew 30 crabs could feed so many for so long? No seriously, ALL of us...ALL weekend.

Coos Bay view at sunset. Gorgeous.
We'd love to make this a more frequent tradition, if allowed. It was fun getting out to the coast and sharing the holiday with everyone!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Into the woods

In a fit of restless spontaneity we snuck away mid-week and hit the Peak-to-Peak highway to catch glimpses of this year's Autumn sights. Along the road we hit the jackpot with a magnificent grove of yellow and orange aspens. Behold...
Unencumbered by crowds, we lingered lazily in the forest and savored our momentary freedom from daily life.A day for the books.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Summer Flashback: Snowboarding Mt. Toll

Back in late June, my friend Scott Knappmiller and I did a backcountry boarding trip up Mt. Toll in the Indian Peaks wilderness. In the picture below, Mt. Toll is the peak back in the bowl to the left. Elevation, 12,978 ft.
The first 3-4 miles were in the trees and mostly a bushwhack. The trail faded fast, but our noses led us in the right direction. We hit tree line, then avoided crossing snowbridges over meltwater as best we could. Huffing and puffing, we didn't take out the cameras until we approached the base of the main run. Here we are on the ascent, the summit to the upper right.
A picture from the slope, back toward the parking lot at Brainard Lake.Summitted!
The Knappster, shreddin' on the main slope of Toll. This part was pretty good steep, I'll let you measure it against the horizon on your monitor. C'mon, you must have a protractor somewhere!
Nice turn! Nice backdrop.
I got to be the movie star this trip. Thanks for taking the vid, Scottie K.

Scott at the base of the main run. Don't worry though, plenty more slope to carve.
Run's over now. We were able to board right down to the shores of Blue Lake.
Speedy trip from the upper parking lot to the car by way of some knobbies.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Summer fly by

Good grief. Is summer over already?

We've had a fun three months of entertaining friends and family and have squeezed in a few quick trips of our own. Since we lag at getting posts up we're gonna cover all the events in brief now!

1. Visit from Mom and Pops Bauer!
What a treat this was! They were gracious not to complain about their cramped living quarters in our apartment and it was a trip of both business and pleasure...some house hunting, finance discussion and plenty of exploring and outdoor time.

Urban kayaking in the new boat. (Another sweeeeet garage sale find by the Bauers.)
Setting out for Chasm Lake, beneath Long' s Peak
Logging some miles above 10,000 feet to ready Mom for her Peru trip
Fuschia pinecones, a first for me
A steep, slippery, (scary) snow field kept us from reaching the lake, but we got close!

2. Olufs' Santa Barbara Wedding
As someone who is perpetually looking forward to the next trip to California's central coastline, I was ecstatic that Tom and Olga invited us to their wedding. The whole thing was gorgeous, with a bluff-top ceremony overlooking the Pacific and an outdoor reception in town. Congrats to the happy couple!
While in the southland we also had a brief visit with the Conrad fam, packed with a trip to the beach, a Galaxy soccer game and plenty of pool time...

3. Carl Goes North
After the wedding C flew up to Gig Harbor for a week to trim trees, ride bikes, swim in the lake and eat some good ol' home cookin'. C here, Dad and I whipped out the monster ladder for this job. The branches of this maple were hanging down over the end of the driveway. Much to the animadversion of Mom, who thought they made a nice blind for some of Dad's "treasures," we made the following dent in the canopy.
The next three pictures are from the John Wayne Trail up near Snoqualmie Pass. The trail is an old railroad grade so it makes for some lazy pedalling. There were two highlights to this trip, the first being our McGyver-like patchjob of a bike tube blowout 10 miles into the trip. With the vulcanizing fluid dried up and gone from the patchkit, we ended up having to melt the patch to the tube with a cigarette lighter, then place a soft glasses case just inside the worn-through tire (the cause of the flat). Ten miles of walking a bike would have been hell, so it was a do or die situation. Anyway, it worked, so we pressed on. Here's one of the many bridge crossings on the way...Here we are at the beginning of the Snoqualmie Tunnel, the second highlight of the trip. The tunnel is 2 miles long and pitch black. We brought flashlights which only helped halfway through when our eyes finally adjusted. Until then, it was a lot of almost crashing into the walls.Fun trip. Thanks mom and pop.

4. Mystics in Sedona
A big thanks to Grandma and Grandpa Blum who once again invited the gang out to their time share at Los Abrigados in Sedona, AZ. Red rock country never fails to awe and humble us lowly hikers. Just beautiful.
At the saddle, Cathedral Rock hike

5. Bear Peak Night Hike
Bear Peak is one of the peaks above the Flatirons.
Can you see the lovely city lights of Boulder behind us? We can too!It rained on the way down.Let the powder days begin!

As an addendum to the kayaking section, my friend Adam Light and I taught ourselves how to eskimo roll this week at a friend's swimming pool. Maybe I'll get some pics or a vid up here if the weather cooperates this weekend. Later!