Saturday, August 28, 2010

Hood to Coast Relay

The excitement was in the air, you could feel it among the groups of people clumped together waiting for their runner to come in or warming up and stripping off their sweats to be ready for the baton to be passed to them. Some huddled in blankets as it was still early in the morning and they had just finished their first leg of the 197 mile run, affectionately known as ‘The Mother of All Relays’. 10-08-27-08-56-08H 10-08-27-08-38-34H

This group of runners doesn’t take itself too seriously. It’s an Oregon thing. You can train for months and work your heart out running, but it’s gotta be fun. Workmates and groups of 12 people from any association submit an entry form and estimate their running time to complete the 197 miles from the timberline of Mt. Hood to the Pacific Ocean at Seaside. The start times are staggered every 15 minutes over 12 hours at Timberline, with the elite Nike runners and other professionals beginning at 7PM Friday night, !2 hours after the first groups began. 10-08-27-08-45-29H

Emily with our friend Ginny at the start of Leg 4

Some legs are 3.5 miles and some are 7.2 miles: the individual teams place their order. If the first 6 runners are in one van, the other 6 are in a second van and they leapfrog through the day and night only going to the stops where they have runners coming in, thereby giving them a leisurely 4 or 5 hour respite to stretch out in--or sleep-- before they run again.10-08-27-08-45-50HBefore her run, Em and me

Our daughter’s team, Team Biohazard from the Oregon State Police Crime Labs, started Friday morning. I went out to wave them off at Emily’s first leg, ~7.2 from Rhododendron to Brightwood. All along the highway there were runners on the shoulder, some wearing antennae, some in grass skirts, some with angel wings. The vans likewise were decorated with team spirit and honked and cheered and waved as they passed each other on the highway. 10-08-27-09-59-23H 5 0f the 12 Team Biohazard

10-08-27-10-05-09HCrime scene tape festooned their van…and dead bodies…

At the exchange points, orange tape cordoned off the official change point and team members crowded around to see the handoff or where their runner might be coming down the road. Onlookers such as myself were in the way but excused for their cameras.

10-08-27-09-57-55H The Handoff

Last night we took our exchange students out to Scapoose (an hour West of Portland) to see the beginning and end of Leg 16 at 8:30 – 9 PM. It was amazing to start seeing a stream of runners along the highway after the St John’s Bridge, each one trucking along individually doing their best to keep the group thing going. Some were huffing and puffing and looked worn out, others seemed to still be bouncing on their toes. They were all wearing reflectors and blinking lights at this point, and some of the vans were decorated with Christmas lights.

From start to finish to hugs

The race was going to continue on through the night, in the wee hours on the back roads of Jewell and Mist to an afternoon finish at Seaside on Saturday. I wish I could have been at the nighttime rendezvous points, too, but the flesh is weak…

10-08-27-19-41-54H 10-08-27-19-21-02H 10-08-27-19-27-38H Our Chinese exchange student John met up with the China Team who had come from Nike in China for the race. They and he were so happy to meet countrymen! Can you imagine running for 25-30 hours after being cramped in a plane seat for 15 hours? Amazing.

My friend’s daughter has a doctor in Chicago who came out to run in the race. Hopefully the daughter won’t have her baby while the doctor is out here playing around!

So, even though there’s some incomprehension about people indulging in group self-torture, they come from Chicago to China to do it.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

How (Some of) the Other Half Live

A few weeks ago I went with my dad on a tour of historic homes in Portland.  When I say “historic” I understand that, to my friends in the UK or Tunisia (Carthage), our history is laughable because we are only 150 years old here as a settlement.  But hey, we had architects, too.  They just haven’t stood the test of time as long as some of yours have.  

The tour was open for 6 hours and included only 6 homes, an easy overview, you might say.  But Dad and I only got through 4 of the homes and lunch, which won’t surprise those of you who have shopped at IKEA with me (my first trip there took 9 hours and included 2 meals in the cafeteria).  I have a friend who has sworn off going with me to the “Street of Dreams” home tours because she has leg spasms afterwards.  Just saying, I like to notice the details. 

The show was organized by an architectural historical society so was designed to highlight the work of different architects.  I’ll quit talking now and show some pictures.10-07-31-09-15-46H


This home, called the “Wells-Guthrie House” after its first two owners, was built in 1912 and enlarged in 1922.  The architect was Ellis Lawrence who established the school of architecture at the U of Oregon.  This house evidences the Arts and Crafts period (which I love!)  It has many gables and multi-paned casement windows.

The two pictures above are of the “Art Room,” part of the addition that was made in 1922 by the second owner using the original architect. The walls are faux masonry, The arched beams are beautiful mahogany and the light fixtures are original.  This room has a fireplace and a leaded glass art window.



This immense living room also holds a piano and a fireplace.  The details everywhere which the current owner has collected and arranged are perfect for the period of the house.  The brass vases and artwork are charming!

10-07-31-09-13-02H  This bright little sunroom between the back hall and the yard is like stepping into a magazine photo.


In one of the upstairs bedrooms, above.

10-07-31-09-19-34H 10-07-31-09-21-52H  Wallpapers are reproductions of Craftsman designer William Morris papers, published by Bradley.

  10-07-31-09-34-12H   The stairwell turret.

I am sorry not to have taken photos of the kitchen which is restored to period perfection, only better.  Her refrigerator and stove came from France and are professional but look like the turn of the century.  I wanted to snap pictures but the owner of the house was there talking to people and I was too embarrassed at gawking.  So lovely.  And the breakfast room…oh my.  She likes plates, too.  A kindred spirit.

I will show you the other 3 homes another day.  But I’d better hurry up because I already am forgetting things and my life is packed with new things since this outing. 

This home happens to be for sale if you are interested and have $1,249,000. available. It has 6,000 square feet of charm, but then you need the furnishings and a housekeeper, too.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Camping in Central Oregon

We left on a Sunday and came back on a Sunday. We left in a flurry of activity and somewhat disorganized and came home to a flurry of activity and housekeeping chaos. But in between, a week of smelling wood smoke in camp fires and roasting hot dogs and having open-ended conversations with our friends and card games that picked up the next morning after breakfast… That’s why we go camping. Even though it is a lot of work –from getting the sites reserved to planning the meals to setting up camp—when else do we actually set up a hammock and relax in it? What other week in the year can DH read 3 books in a row? For me, though, camping is always getting just ‘right’ when we have to pack up and go home.

Here are some pictures from our camping trip at Pelton Park on the Deschutes River in Central Oregon:


In the early morning the lake was mirror-still, but soon after 8 AM the wind brought motion, and then the boats created wakes.10-08-04-07-05-35R Our first tent site was unfortunately on a slope… 10-08-02-09-40-43H

I loved this red canoe 10-08-02-09-40-53H 10-08-02-09-41-16H 10-08-02-09-43-03H The fish cleaning station, not that we needed it but I thought it was kind of cute, like a dollhouse only stinkier.


Emily and Amanda enjoying a siesta. 10-08-06-09-08-16H

Between rounds of Hand-and-Foot with friends Rick and Ginny and their son Jerod. 10-08-06-18-46-28H Later on, ‘Smores for dessert.

10-08-06-19-54-10H Guy talk10-08-05-10-48-53H 10-08-06-11-11-28H 10-08-06-13-46-25R Huck Finn and friends heading to the river (Brett, Nichole, Amanda) (and Shelby, my granddog)10-08-05-07-15-33H 10-08-05-07-28-00H Swimming hole in the early morning. The land across the water is Indian reservation land.



An evening boat ride, no mosquitoes but no fish, either

10-08-06-19-54-19H Girl talk10-08-07-18-48-38H

Leaving the high plateau of central Oregon, the dry and HOT climate, we head home to the land of evergreen forests and mountain passes in the Willamette Valley. We go around Mt Hood.


One more camping trip this summer, at the Oregon Coast. I am determined to be organized and free-to-be fun-loving from the moment we get there! No wasted leisure moments.

Sunday, August 15, 2010