Family Vacation — 2020

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

Friday

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.

Saturday

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…

Sunday

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.

Monday

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.

Tuesday

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.

Wednesday

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

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

Friday

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

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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

My favorite photos of 2019

Every year, I post my favorite photos. Some years, I’ve been able to cut it down to my top ten, but not this year. For that matter, I couldn’t limit myself to fewer than eleven photos from Cannon Beach… :-D

Many years, I’ve also posted my top nine from Instagram, but again, not this year, as I posted fewer than nine on Instagram during 2019.

These picture all make my happy. I could imagine printing all of them and hanging them on my walls.

I hope at least one makes you happy, too!

Sunriver family vacation — 2019

Friday

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.1Credits: 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. 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.

Saturday

We rent the same place as last year.2It would appear that I posted no pictures from last year. As I have some, I’ll need to fix this. Done! It’s on the north side of the community. That means it’s farther from the village and main pool.3Which we end up not even visiting. For that matter, we don’t go to the north pool either, but we biked by it daily. 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. This 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,4Yeah, that’s a daily thing. Probably the last time I mention it. 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.5I try to convince Heather to get a bike trailer for dogs and practice with Gilligan. I’m not sure I succeed. 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…

Sunday

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.

Monday

A nice quiet day. Isn’t that what vacations are for?

Tuesday

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 Witness6The 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 bought in the village a couple of days prior. Or maybe it’s after midnight…

Wednesday

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.

Thursday

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.7I’d have to take up drinking to do that, and even then?

Friday

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. :-)

Saturday

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.

Sunday

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 is 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.8If only I needed a coffee mug. Yet, it makes me happy. c[_] :-) One more smoothie and we’re on our way home.

Sunriver Family Vacation — 2018

I’m posting this more than a year late.1And backdating it as though I posted it on time. ;-) Not sure why I didn’t earlier, but I have my theories…

Both Kevin and I got sick this vacation, resulting in a fair amount of downtime. It was still relaxing. I just didn’t end up with many pictures.

Kevin even missed our kayaking float. :-(

And it probably explains why half my pictures are the family sitting on the couches. That’s where I was.

Jamison and I both brought our guitars and worked our way through a couple of Youtube tutorials. Bossa Nova, anyone?

Summer Camping Trip

This last weekend, we went camping in central Oregon, a little south of Bend and Sunriver, but close enough to both to visit. Jamison and I took the opportunity to visit The Longboard Store near the Old Mill District in Bend. We also rented bikes and kayaks in Sunriver and a pontoon boat at East Lake.

An advantage of renting is being able to try something different. I chose an Electra Townie balloon 3i. This bike is less efficient than the city bike I got for Fathers’ Day a couple of years ago: only three speeds and the pedals are way out front. But wow, is it a lot of fun on relatively slow and flat rides! Can you ever have too many bikes? ;-)

East Lake ended up being an exciting place to boat, maybe a little too exciting. After leaving the dock, we watched fish on the depth finder while we made our lunch. Then we motored around and explored deeper parts of the lake. Soon, Jamison announced that he heard thunder. I didn’t. A few minutes later, he repeated his announcement. I still didn’t. South of the lake, we could see sheets of rain. So we started heading back where we had started from. Soon, we saw rain in between us and our destination. Checking out the rain to the south of us, we saw a huge lightning strike on the mountain followed shortly by thunder. Okay, I heard that one. Not wanting to be the tallest point on the lake for long, we headed back to the dock. We grabbed most of our stuff and then sat in our cars, watching the rain on the lake.

Once again, we celebrated Heather’s birthday away from home — happy birthday, Heather!

Sunriver Family Vacation 2013

We spent another week-long vacation at Sunriver this summer.

While we were there, we enjoyed the 4th Annual Sunriver Art Faire. Some of the artists included (the ones I liked especially):

  • Steven Provence Pottery. I bought one of his vases a couple of years ago as a Sunriver souvenir.
  • Janet Biles. We loved her watercolors and couldn’t leave without a few.
  • Blue Spruce Pottery. I got this year’s souvenir here — a cool pot to plant in.
  • Cameron Kaseberg. Cool art is done using a “solvent transfer” technique. Fun details in each work.
  • Boise Art Glass. Some really cool glass balls that looked “longer” than they are.
  • Elemental Images. Some nice photographic details of leaves printed on an aluminum substrate that makes it look like glass. Really cool!

We also watched Annie Bany sing while the hail fell and we hid under the trees. We bought her CD and had her sign it so we’ll be able to say, “We heard her in Sunriver before she was famous.” :-)

Like last year, we set a goal of riding 100 miles over the week. Unlike last year, we blew that goal away. Here are my miles:

DayDay’s MilesCumulative Miles
Sunday77
Monday2128
Tuesday5078
Wednesday23101
Thursday21122
Friday28150
Saturday38188
Sunday12200

We all had a relaxing time. We’re looking forward to our next visit.

Vacation Biking Recap 2012

Once again, I recorded my cycle computer’s vacation data before heading off to work:

Actual Time Moving13:33 hours
Distance118.05 miles
Average Speed8.7 miles per hour
Maximum Speed23.0 miles per hour

The average and maximum speeds were very close to last year’s data, with the distance and time much improved.

This will be a good month of cycling for me. How is your cycling going?

Sunriver Summer Vacation 2012, Day 7

Our final day of vacation, like all last vacation days, was a little sad. Because we had to be out of the house by 11 and we’d already reached our biking distance goal, we didn’t ride this morning. Instead, we packed up, cleaned up, loaded up, and then took pictures.

We walked through the village, visiting Bellatazza Caffe, the book store, and the toy store. We even got lessons on playing the didgeridoo at the fair trade store.

We walked to the Sunriver Lodge and took one last picture of Mt. Bachelor, and took our last rides down the tubing hill.

Still not quite ready to return to reality, on the way home we stopped in Bend and ate at Pastini’s and checked out the kayaks at REI. Once again, we saw our cousins from Southern California. Guys, Oregon is small and we will find you. ;-)

With no excuse to postpone it any longer, we made the long drive home.

Waiting for us were happy pets and thriving hanging baskets. Thanks, Courtney, for taking care of everything while we were gone.


Photo credits: Ashley Logan took the first four photos. Thanks, Ashley!

Sunriver Summer Vacation 2012, Day 6

Yesterday, I complained I didn’t take enough pictures and promised to make up for it. Today, I think I overdid it. These are just a few of the pictures (and I may yet pare them down).

We started the day with bicycling (as usual). Suzi and Melissa joined the 100-mile club in our morning ride. Ashley, who joined us on Monday, still had a few miles to go. Jamison and I went on a second morning ride with Ashley, this time tackling the hill to Fort Rock Park to finish off her miles. Oh, the sweet, sweet ride back down the hill and into the wind — it felt so good! :-)

After lunch, we headed into the village to start our kayak ride. They delivered us and our kayaks to Lapine State Park and sent us off. Three hours later, they picked us up where S. Century Drive crosses the Deschutes. We had so much fun! What a great way to spend the day.

No one felt like cooking or cleaning, so we returned to the village to eat. As we finished, Slick Side Down was just starting to play. We listened for a few minutes and then walked to the lodge.

We watched the sunset, then returned to Goody’s for our final ice cream and to watch Slick Side Down complete their set. Jamison and I “had” to get one of their CDs before we left.

It’s so hard to believe that our vacation is almost over. Fortunately, we have so many good memories. We’re looking forward to our next chance to visit.