Sunday, January 27, 2008

Snow in the Valley

We've had a cold week in Oregon. It started cold and clear, but by Thursday we got some rain and snow in the valley. Corvallis schools were closed on Friday, so Avery got to spend the morning at work with Jasmine. They close the schools here anytime we get an inch of snow or a bit of ice - it wasn't exactly a blizzard, but I'm sure the kids were happy.

This morning (Sunday) it snowed again. We got a couple inches on our yard - enough to do a bit of sledding and build a snowman in the front yard. Actually it was a snow-girl, according to Avery. Her name is "Angel".
I was up early today for my usual Sunday morning weekly long run. Chris, Tim and Chris's dog joined me for most of it. As we got higher in the hills, the snow got pretty deep, with a good 6" on McCulloch peak - the high point in MacDonald Forest. The snow made for a pretty memorable run. It sure beats running in the rain. I ended up doing about 26.8 miles, if my foot-pod is to be believed. It's usually not very accurate on trails, and who knows how it reacts to snow; but given the conditions, I'm willing to count every last yard.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Christmas in the Desert

We're back from two terrific weeks in the Sonoran Desert of Arizona. Life was good there, to say the least. We stayed mostly at my parents house in Gold Canyon, just a few hundred yards from the edge of the Tonto national forest and Supersition Mountains. My sister her husband Louis, and their two boys were there as well. Alex is almost 5 (just a few months younger than Avery) and Max (aka "Nacho") celebrated his third birthday during our stay.

While in Az we swam. A lot! And we hiked to see some ancient Hohoakim heiroglyphs, swam, visited a cave, swam, drank expensive and wonderful Spanish wines (courtesy of my excellent brother-in-law Louis), swam, hiked some more, did lots of cooking, swam, ate perogies (a family x-mas tradition), swam, drank more Spanish wine, checked out meseums and art galleries and zoos and arboretums, found scorpions under rocks, found Indian pottery in the desert, took the kids rock climbing, and swam. Jasmine painted a lot. I ran a lot. Avery swam a LOT. Occasionally Jasmine and I even ran together. We also got to go on some nice dates, while my parents babysat Avery.

We managed to stay up until darn near 10:30 on New Year's eve.

My buddy Vic, whose wandering the earth for a year and living in his van stopped by for a day, living a few hours in luxury by the pool, then joining Louis and I for a nice hike up to the summit Superstition Mountain. And we got to see a tarantula. The kids seemed really impressed by Vic's new lifestyle. Not only does he wander the earth, but he gets to sleep in his van, in a bed that folds out right in the back. The kids thought that was super cool. I think, though, that they were even more impressed by the fact that Vic rarely, if ever, takes a bath or shower. He's living the dream.

BTW, If you're ever in Tempe, get yourself a hot date and a designated driver (or be smart like me and marry someone who's both) and check out "The Big Bang" dueling piano bar/nightclub. You won't be disappointed.

We've now returned to our home in Oregon. It feels right. It's raining.

Happy New Year!