Jamison wanted to longboard again today, or was it me? Maybe it was both of us. Regardless, I wanted to try my downhill board and see if that made me a little faster. My Kegels are already on that board. I need something to be able to keep up with Jamison. So, off we went!
Suzi and Melissa didn’t want to shuttle us today, so we took a couple of cars.
Last time I’d ridden this board, it had felt a little squirrelly on my at speed. And no, the Banks-Vernonia Trail isn’t that fast, but with a consistent tuck, Jamison’s phone said we got almost to 25 mph.
It felt solid. Jamison and I have already checked our calendars for the next Wednesday we can both hit Mt. Tabor.
Suzi and Melissa walked the pups while they waited for us. We ended up skating Tophill to Buxton twice. In between runs, we walked the Buxton Trestle, Melissa walked the dog through the creek, and we found some blackberries. Mmm… :-)
It’s not as bad as it sounds. This summer, we cleaned house.1 I got rid of a road bike that I haven’t used in decades. I no longer want to wear spandex and have distracted drivers speed by me too close on two-lane country roads. I also got rid of Sage, a bike I commuted to work twelve months of the year2 and probably rode more than 6,000 miles. The number of components Sage needed to be serviced and/or replaced to get back to proper running order exceeded her value. So I donated her to a local bike center that repairs and sells donated bikes. I hope she finds a nice, new home. She deserves it.
This last weekend, Suzi, Jamison, and I rode a new section of bike path in the Gorge between Wyeth State Park and Starvation Creek Park. As that’s my new normal for biking, I figured I needed a bike to match. And I still need to post pictures from the ride/day. ↩
Less than a third of its price new for as-new condition. Seems good to me. YMMV. ↩
Still trying the name on for size, but it seems appropriate. I’m open to other suggestions. ;-) ↩
And a new bell. Well, it’s new to him. Used to be on Sage. Perfect! Tonight he’ll get Sage’s mirror and I’ll be ordering a rack. Ah… :-) ↩
Five bikes on the car and we’re ready for fun. We have arrived at Sunriver for our summer family vacation of 2019.
Warning: This is a long post with lots of pictures.1 Enjoy! ;-)
Unlike some of our earlier visits to Sunriver, we have no biking mileage goals. Our goals are relaxation, fun, and family time. Ashley and Kevin will be here only for the weekends and Jamison only for the final weekend. We’re saving our kayaking until then.
We rent the same place as last year.2 It’s on the north side of the community. That means it’s farther from the village and main pool.3 Although it’s a bikeable distance to the village, I doubt we’ll bike there for a bag of coffee or some chapstick. For that, we’ll likely go to the north store. It’s also quieter here and our neighbors are largely owners. Which means, I’ll be able to watch people aerate, thatch, rake, and mow their lawns on my vacation. Sweet!
In the morning after breakfast, we drive to the village with the pups, get some drinks,4 and walk to the lodge. We’ll discover this trip that we walk a lot more instead of biking as we don’t have any way to transport the dogs while biking.5 And we don’t want to leave the dogs cooped up all day. Even so, we’ll do a fair amount of biking. Today, we bike to Lava Lands, a place I’ve biked to before. Why I remember this as a level ride, I don’t know. Lava Lands is a cinder cone in the midst of a shield volcano. It makes sense that the ground rises as we get closer. The rise isn’t steep, just persistent. Next time, we’ll reserve this ride until later in the week.
Ashley rented an e-bike for the weekend. Wow! It’s magical! As a plus, it looks like a regular bike. She has no problems with the incline. :-)
Heather’s friend Kristin is with us this first weekend. She asks whether we’ve been to Sparks Lake. Why, no, we haven’t. At her suggestion, we load the dogs into cars and head to the lake. Mousse and Gilligan have such a good time, they’re nearly frantic playing fetch and swimming in the water. As the sun nears the horizon, Kristin leads us on a walk to where we have a great view of South Sister and Broken Top on the far side of the lake. Beautiful!
The hot tub calls my name…
We walk the dogs then ride our bikes to the Lodge for brunch. Mmm…
Kevin and Ashley aren’t staying the whole time, reserving their vacation time for later. We say good-bye to them. Kristin leaves as well.
A nice quiet day. Isn’t that what vacations are for?
Sparks Lake was so much fun that Suzi, Heather, Melissa, and I decide to go back with Gilligan. On the way back, we stop at Todd Lake, too. Gilligan approves!
In the evening, I finish reading The Fifth Witness6 I bought in the village a couple of days prior. Or maybe it’s after midnight…
Today, we decide it’s a good day to bike. We bike to the lodge for brunch, then bike all the river loops. Suzi makes our reservations for kayaking. This is gonna be fun! We’re so looking forward to kayaking! Melissa gets a snowcone. I should’ve got one, too. I’ll remember that for next time.
In the evening, we take a quick bike ride to the footbridge to see the sunset. There are definite advantages to this place.
Yet another day at Sparks Lake! Mmm… This time, we meet Grandma Penny, a sweet old doggie whose owner is pretty nice, too. We relax and go to the Village Bar and Grill, watching the guy play keyboards and guitar and work to get audience participation. Getting four couples up for a twist dance contest is impressive.7
This is another good day to ride. We bike the east side to the village. It has more hills but we power through. Then through the south side and all the river loops. Essentially, we bike the perimeter.
In the evening, Suzi and I head to Bend for a little shopping and to pick Jamison up at the airport. Let’s see how much Sunriver we can get in during the short time he’s here.
Ashley and Kevin return, too. :-)
Everyone is here! Today is the day we have been waiting for. Today, we kayak.
The route we kayak is on the Deschutes River from LaPine State Park to S. Century Drive by Big River Campground. Allegedly, this can be done in about 2.5 hours. Being founding members of the dry-paddle drifting kayakers, we take nearly 4 hours.
In the evening, we bike to the footbridge at the end of the day and take family pictures. Ashley ignores the “No Jumping” sign to take a jump shot. ;-)
We finish the day with a trip to the Village for Goodies. It’s probably not a trip to Sunriver without ordering and waiting for a milkshake.
It’s our last day. We know we want to go for a bike ride today and yet we need to check out in the morning. Last night, we packed as much as we could to prepare.
We bike to the Nature Center. Sunriver’s new swan family are on the island when we arrive, then swim toward the eastern shore. Then we bike back and finish getting everything loaded back into our cars.
We drive to the village and have lunch at El Caporal. Gilligan had such a soulful face. She knows we’re packed to go and doesn’t want to. Can’t we just stay a little longer? :-(
Suzi finds a sweatshirt, Jamison finds some T-shirts, and I find a coffee mug.8 One more smoothie and we’re on our way home.
Credits: Although I took most of these pictures, some of the best I borrowed with permission. Thanks to Ashley for the pictures of the doggies swimming in Sparks Lakes on the first Saturday and to Heather for the picture of Gilligan rolling in the meadow by Todd Lake on Tuesday. Major Kudos to Jamison for finding a bunch of typoes and bringing them to my attention. ↩
It would appear that I posted no pictures from last year. As I have some, I’ll need to fix this. Done! ↩
Which we end up not even visiting. For that matter, we don’t go to the north pool either, but we biked by it daily. ↩
Yeah, that’s a daily thing. Probably the last time I mention it. ↩
I try to convince Heather to get a bike trailer for dogs and practice with Gilligan. I’m not sure I succeed. ↩
The Fifth Witness is written by Michael Connelly, the same author of The Lincoln Lawyer that I read some years back. Although I enjoyed the book, I was disappointed spoiler alert that both books share a similar plot twist at their ends. ↩
I’d have to take up drinking to do that, and even then… ↩
If only I needed a coffee mug. Yet, it makes me happy. :-) ↩
We were a little farther from the baseball action this year, actually beyond the outfield instead of along the third base line. That resulted in being even closer to the fireworks. It seemed like they were directly overhead.
I was back to having only my cell phone to take pictures. It’s not what you want for fireworks, but they remind me of the fun we had, so mission accomplished.
I love me a good parade and Hillsboro has a great one!
It’s my one day of the year I feel comfortable taking strangers’ pictures. After all, they literally paid to be in public, wearing what they’re wearing, doing what they’re doing. And most don’t seem to mind. Hopefully none of those I posted. I’m not going to post a picture of someone that puts them in an unflattering light. Many of these shots are of people who saw what I was doing and waved and/or smiled in response. One actually told me to take her picture (and then it didn’t turn out well, so I didn’t post it).
I know some of these are not as sharp as they could be. If this was my full-time gig, I’d certainly have a different camera. Or, I’d actually have a camera rather than borrowing.1 This exercise certainly informs what camera would be a better fit for me.
Once again, I got to shake Ron Wyden’s hand. Turns out, he’s in one of the pictures, too.
I have some recommendations for you:
Go to Hillsboro’s Fourth of July parade. It’s just a bunch of fun.
Take a camera with a longish lens. The camera I was using is an APS-C with an 18-135mm. I found myself using both extremes of the range, though it’s telling that I didn’t end up posting anything at the short/wide end. Maybe a 70-210 on a full frame camera would work.
Sit on the curb. The kids know where it’s at. You’ll get a better, unobstructed view – and more candy!
Find a place closer to the beginning of the parade. You’ll get more candy and those in the parade are still full of energy and having fun. We find a spot on Second, between Grant and Bagley Park.
I hope you had a great Fourth!
Thanks, Ashley! You know how much being able to borrow your camera made this day for me. :-) ↩
Suzi and I took a quick trip to Hood River. As we neared, we discovered our main reason for going wasn’t going to happen. It was time to improvise.
We found a cool, little taqueria for lunch and then drove to Parkdale. On the way back to Hood River, we saw a sign for Lavender Valley. What could that be? Sure enough, a lavender farm. Fun!
After returning to Hood River, we watch the kite sailers zip around on their hydrofoil-borne craft. It’s wild! Certainly nothing like the Hobie 14 I used to sail. These things are faster and are likely transportable in commercial air travel.