Summertime mowing

One of my summertime joys is mowing my backyard. As optimizing processes is what I do, I’ve figured out the proper order for mowing. Actually, depending on the season and thus soil moisture saturation, final desired pattern, existing lawn length, bag vs. mulch, etc., I’ve figured out the various preferred orders for mowing my backyard.

With today’s mowing, near the end of the growing season,1With the summer equinox in late September, this is no longer summertime mowing, but fall mowing. mulching seemed right. As the lawn was nine days long, a double pass with side discharge the first pass was going to be necessary. And as the soil was not too dry or wet, I didn’t need to worry about the Oregon wetness that can make the left side too muddy for multiple passes.

A podcast through sound-canceling headphones made the time fly amidst the blades. And 5,522 steps later, the lawn was mowed and the mower cleaned and put away.

Gilligan reckoned it the perfect time for toss.2As humans call the game “fetch” it only makes sense that dogs would call it “toss.” Smart doggie!

Family Vacation — 2020

This last week we had our yearly summer family vacation. This entry is as much diary as pictures.


After an atypical last work day before vacation day, we packed up and headed off to our family summer vacation. A couple of the kids had left earlier in the day, taking a kayak and a dog. We were left to transport the food and five bikes. With Jamison packing the car, everything we needed to take fit, but just barely. We arrived late in the evening at the same place we’ve stayed the last two years.


Once again, I enjoyed my early morning walks with Gilligan. It’s a nice way to start the day for both of us. We walked together every day except the final day. Some days, we repeated our walk shortly after returning, joining Ashley and Mousse on their walk.

Later in the day, we visited Crater Lake. I was the only one in the family who’d been there before,1Well, that’s not exactly correct. Jamison had been to Crater Lake about a month before. and yet, I have no memories of the lake itself. To be fair, it was a long time ago. My family wasn’t believing the two stories I told about my previous visit until brother Bob confirmed them via text. Maybe they still don’t believe…

We drove to the east rim and watched the sun set. Mmm…


On Sunday, most of us kayaked from La Pine State Park to Big River Campground. Allegedly, this can be paddled in a couple of hours. We prefer to float as members of the dry paddle club, nearly doubling the time.


Sparks Lake was on the itinerary for for Monday. We played fetch with the dogs. We kayaked and Heather SUP’d. I read a John Grisham novel.

Somehow I took no pictures of this scenic lake.


On Tuesday, Heather, Jamison and I went for a short bike ride to the bridge that ended up going to the village and up the east side. Nice!

Later, we all hiked the obsidian flow near East Lake.


On Wednesday, we biked and took our traditional family photo on the bridge. This might have been the day I did a puzzle.

As you can tell, our days are packed with activities. ;-)


Thursday, we hiked around Todd Lake. It was overcast and misting.


Friday, Suzi and I biked to the bridge. We returned to Sparks Lake for sunset. Ashley and Kevin rejoined the group.


More bike riding, this time, to Benham Falls.

Late in the day, Ashley, Kevin, and Jamison decided to kayak from Harper’s Bridge to below the Sunriver bridge. They could take out on the other side, accessible through forest roads.

Unfortunately, the forest road was blocked by a closed gate and it was getting dark. Could a transfer happen on the other side of the bridge? Suzi’s text has the answer.


One last bike ride to the bridge, a trip to the village for a cool drink, and it was time to head home.

Photo ride

After work, my bike was calling my name. As it was too late for caffeine, I headed off to my friends: the wheat field and the power pole.

One of the advantages of touring around on a bike is how easy it is to jump off and take a couple of pictures.

For once, the wind seemed to be at my back most of the time, well, except for one section. No worries. I geared down and enjoyed the scenery. After all, my bike isn’t built for speed, but comfort. With its upright seating, it’s more of an “enjoy the scenery” sort of ride.

I hope you’re enjoying your summer evenings, too!


This past long weekend, Jamison and I longboarded the Banks to Vernonia trail three days in a row.

On the first day, we parked one car at the Buxton trailhead and headed up to Tophill. As Jamison drove, I checked the map and noticed a road heading north from the Buxton trailhead tracking east of Highway 47, behind LL “Stub” Stewart State Park. Maybe it could be another fun way to get between our ride’s terminal points. As we passed the road’s north end, we saw gravel and wondered where the transition from paved to gravel was.

On the second day, we decided to try the road and discovered the pavement-gravel line is immediately north of the Buxton trailhead; the whole route is gravel! Along the way after a very short backtrack, we discovered a field of wildflowers we knew Suzi would enjoy.

On the third day, we brought Suzi, Melissa, and Gilligan with us. And stopped.