Thursday, June 8, 2017

Rachel Visiting

My longtime friend Rachel from my years at Bowdoin visited Emily and I this week before a conference was attending at Skamania Lodge.  We picked her up from the airport on Tuesday night and had a wonderful evening catching up with her in our backyard over dinner.  She seems to have a wonderful job on the Hawaiian island of Lanai and we were deleted to be invited to visit them whenever we’d like.  While chatting a big fat raccoon ran along the top of our fence delighting Rachel who doesn’t get to see mainland wildlife often and perking the interest of Leo who watched it intently

Monday, May 29, 2017

Leo's Washington Coast Trip

For the long Memorial Day weekend Emily and I decided to take Leo on a road trip.  This is a tough time of year as the snow is too deep for any serious mountain backpacking and anything else we could have decided up on we wouldn’t have been able to bring Leo.  So, on a whim we headed north towards Bellingham, WA with the intention of driving down through Whidbey Island and then around the Olympic Peninsula which Emily hadn’t seen yet.  We had no concrete places to sleep and no clear itinerary yet it turned out to be a blast!

Thursday, May 25, 2017

Yakima River Camping & Wind Farm

This week I was invited by BD Aerial to join them on a wind turbine inspection at a wind farm just outside of Elllensburg in Washington.  It was a long drive so we decided to leave on Wednesday evening and drive as far as we could to camp before the Thursday acquisition.  

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Hood River to Rowena Crest

With Emily on the coast for girls weekend Eric and I decided to go for a bike ride in the Columbia Gorge.  The plan was to ride from Hood River along the Mark Hatfield trail (Mosier Twin Tunnels) through Rowena Crest to the Dalles.  The only problem was that we had heard about a rock slide below Rowena Crest viewpoint that might stop us.

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Newton Clark Headwall - WyEast Face - Mt. Hood Ski Descent

At 4am on Tuesday I headed up to Mount Hood to meet my buddy Mike D. for our 2nd attempt at skiing the Newton Clark Headwall on Mount Hood, listed as one of the 50 classic ski descents of North America.  Last year we had been turned around by high winds but this year the weather looked perfect and having lost nearly 30 pounds since January I was ready to give it a go.  Read  on…

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Owyhee Canyonlands River Rafting - Wild & Scenic Life

What started off as a random decision to go see our friends Adam and Susan Elliott kick off a 2 year rafting journey at Base Camp Brewing in Portland turned into a 7 day adventure that we will never forget.  65 miles of rafting over 6 days through what is known as the Grand Canyon of Oregon.  We saw a lot of wildlife including antelope, raptors of all varieties, and a great horned owl.  Jason V was kind enough to let us take his 15’ raft and I guided the entire trip with Ryan and Emily on the boat.  We ate well, drank well, and saw some of the most beautiful scenery this state has to offer.  Read on for the story and more photos.

Sunday, April 16, 2017

Easter 2017

This year we had a pretty low key easter up in Portland.  When we didn’t hear of anything going on in Corvallis Emily and I decided to invite about 30 people to our place.  But, because it was a little last moment and most had plans we ended up with just Jason, Jen and Alder coming up to visit us for Zombie Jesus Day.  Scott and Danielle stopped by for a bit on Easter to snack on dinner with us as well on their back back from family in Seattle.  Jen and Emily died eggs, Alder sat on Leo’s head a few times and I enjoyed a lot of ham.  Nuff said :)

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Sandy River Delta Park

Today we took Leo for a walk at Sandy River Delta Park.  This park is at the mouth of the Sandy River where it enters the Columbia River.  This spring was particularly wet in the Northwest so the Columbia was pretty high and much of the park was flooded.  This didn’t deter us from having a great time taking Leo for a walk.  In a few places we had to literally crawl across wooden fencing above the water to get by.  Leo of course had fun just wading through the water to the other side.  I took my 900mm lens along for some bird photography and came home with some great shots. 

Saturday, April 1, 2017

Rowena Crest and Tom McCall Viewpoint

Today I had wanted to drive out to the Tom McCall Viewpoint just west of The Dalles in the Columbia Gorge for some spring wildflower viewing.  Because of this winter all the blooms are about 3 weeks behind when they were last year and you need to drive east to find the sun for them to be up already.  We also wanted to get Leo on a hike and I wanted to get some more aerial footage and flying practice.  

Saturday, March 25, 2017

Anna's Birthday Party

Tonight Emily and I walked over to Anderson’s house where Nate and John also live for a birthday party for our friend Anna Li!  It was a cheese and wine party and of course when we showed up Nate was dressed, well, like Nate and Anna was wearing a birthday crown made for her.  Porter and Rebecca were there and Tom also showed up.  It was nice to catch up with Erin and later in the night Brian S. showed up with Thomas as well.  It was a fun little party but I definitely regretted mixing stouts and hard cider 22’s later that evening!  Leo had a great time too as everyone love’s Leo at parties!

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Chenoweth Cliffs

This weekend Emily and I took a break from the Portland rain and drove out to hike the Chenoweth Cliffs behind The Dalles, OR.  I brought the Mavic Pro along to capture the cliff face for 3D model testing.  Emily and Leo were very patient with me while I flew.  Eventually, the winds picked up and became too much for my little drone to handle so we packed it up and headed down the short quarter mile trail to the car.  On the way out we were treated to a few eagles and hawks soaring by us.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Spring Skiing at Meadows

This year Emily, Holm, Eric, Lauren, and I all bought the $150 spring pass to Meadows on Mount Hood.  With snow predicted to last well into May it was an easy choice and will be easy to make up.  Sunny spring skiing and parking lot bbq’s are definitely the way do to it in Oregon.  Chris Holm would agree.

Sunday, February 5, 2017

Super bowl Comeback

This weekend Emily and I were supposed to be skiing powder at Anthony Lakes Resort with Chris and Paris but mother nature had other plans.  We ended up driving nearly 9 straight hours to Pendleton, OR and back on roads of sheer ice only to be turned around because I-84 was closed over a mountain pass.  Ice was caking on the windshield so fast we had to sweat it out with the truck heater on high to melt it.  Kissed the steering wheel when we got home!  Love my truck.

The upside to that horrid night was that we got to watch the Super Bowl at our place on Sunday night with friends and it turned out to be one of the greatest comebacks in Super Bowl history for our New England Patriots who came back from a 28-3 hole in the fourth quarter to tie the game and then clinch it in the first ever overtime breaking 24 Super Bowl records in the process.   Although I think Brady is a complete idiot as a person he is certainly the greatest quarter back of all time at this point.  Go Pats!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Maiden Peak

With Eric back from New Zealand after his grand adventure we decided to join up with Ian, Chris, Kalin and Rob for another Maiden Peak Hut adventure.  We also invited along Eric’s friend Lauren whom he had done the John Muir Trail with back in 2012.  She was awesome and we all had a wonderful time with perfect snow conditions.  Read on.

Saturday, January 28, 2017

Ecola State Park & Neahkahnie Mountain

This Saturday Emily and I headed to the coast with Leo for a hike and to do some filming and flying practice with the Mavic Pro.  The rain held off and I got some great footage over Canon Beach from Ecola State Park as well as some wonderful orbiting shots from the top of Neahkahnie Mountain.  Read on.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Daddy Daughter Dance 2017

This weekend I flew to Fort Wayne, IN to surprise my daughter Ellie for her School Daddy-Daughter Dance.  Weeks ago she had told me over text she had something to ask me but then she never worked up the courage to actually do it, probably thinking I wouldn’t be able to come.  Unbeknownst her, Nicolette and I had been planning my visit for a few weeks and she had no idea.  Read on…

Monday, January 16, 2017

Oak Island with Leo

Having felt incredibly guilty for not bringing Leo up to Mt. Hood on Saturday we made it a priority to get him out into the snow on Sunday, heading out to the Oak Island Trails on nearby Sauvie Island.  I grabbed my tele lens and Mavic to get some shots of the wildlife as well as the island covered in snow to practice flying.  Read on.

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Glade and Alpine Trail Ski on Mount Hood

Emily and I had a great day up on Mt. Hood skinning up the Glade Trail and down the Alpine Trail between Government Camp and Timberline Lodge.  We left Leo home because we thought it would be too much for him but it was a mistake as the weather was great and he would have made it just fine.  Emily and I didn’t buy season passes this year which was unfortunate as it was an epic winter on Mt. Hood and ‘Govy’ was buried!  It was a beautiful, sunny day and we were able to skin up in t-shirts.  I got some great aerial shots of the mountain and skiers on the slopes of Timberline as well as some shots tracking Emily as she skied down before I was out of batteries.  Great day!

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Snowpacalypse 2017

This past September marked 10 years I have been living in Oregon and never have I seen so much snow fall in the valley before.  I stuck a ruler on our table outback and it measured just under a foot of snow overnight!  What a great time to have a hot tub!  Read on…

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Holm Wedding

This weekend Emily and I headed down to Corvallis for the much anticipated wedding of Chris Holm (Best Man in my wedding) and Paris Edwards.  The plan was to stay with Jason and Jenn on Friday night after their dinner for out of town gets as well as after their wedding Saturday night.  I brought all my camera gear down but left my drone at home as the weather looked too sketchy to fly… man was that an understatement.  Read on…

Saturday, December 31, 2016

Holidays 2016 with the Riggotts

This year Emily and I headed home for Christmas to spend time with her family and my mom.  We were on top of Kilimanjaro on Christmas last year so it was only fair to spend this year with family again, especially since I hadn’t met my new nephew Landon Riggott yet, and after Keith’s rough surgery recovery it was more appropriate than ever this year to be with family rather than a world apart.  Despite some hectic last minute travel alterations and me getting a cold near the end of the trip we had a really great, relaxing time just hanging out with family for over a week and playing with our nieces and nephews.  Read on:

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Ski Bowl Powder Day

Emily and I had our first day out for the resort ski season.  I had done some backcountry skiing with Ian earlier in the week but this was our first resort day.  We nearly didn’t get up to go but after some decision making we opted to drag ourselves out of our warm bed, leave Leo at home and make the drive up to Hood in the truck to check it out.  We were certainly glad we did as it turned out to be the best powder day for us in probably 3 years of crappy winters.  

Friday, December 9, 2016


I’m not sure what is going on this year but Oregon is getting dumped on with snow.  Since mid November we’ve had an amazing year so far and this week the snow actually lowered down to the valley and Portland.  We got about 2 inches of snow on the ground and of course all the news outlets began calling it snowpacalypse!  Ha!  If only everyone had grown up on the East Coast driving threw blizzards they’d realize how sill it was.  Unfortunately, there are a lot of bad drivers out here and when combined with the fact that Oregon doesn’t salt the roads it ended up creating a 4 hour drive home for Emily who only works 20 minutes away now!  She left work at 5pm and didn’t get home till after 9pm!

The day after it snowed beautifully over the city the snow turned to freezing rain.  Emily somehow still drove to work but by the time Leo and I got up the whole neighborhood had turned into a skating rink!  I took him out for a walk and was able to run and slide down the entire icy sidewalk.  Our driveway was a sheet of ice except for where the Prius had been and our new backyard was completely covered in icicles!  Leo even had a hard time walking down the sidewalk on his morning walk.  Thankfully, a few days later everything was melted and back to normal but for those few days the whole city came to a stand still!

Wednesday, December 7, 2016

Tom Dick and Harry Peak Windy Ski

On Wednesday of this week Ian Roth and I headed up to Mirror Lake to do some backcountry skiing.  It had been snowing a ton in the mountains and he had a new split board he wanted to get some turns on.  The only reason I agreed during the middle of the week was that the weather looked clear and I thought I could get some wintery drone footage for my website.  Unfortunately, it was far to windy to fly but we had a great day in the woods regardless and got a few deep powder turns in.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Forest Park with Leo & Escape the Room

Today Emily and I headed to Forest Park in Portland for a hike with Leo.  It was super short at just a couple miles but was enough to put a big smile on Mr. Lee.  In the evening we met up with Chris Harmon, Ian and Colleen and Sesha at Gastro Mania for a truly amazing Greek dinner before heading over to Escapism Portland to try to “escape a room” in 60 minutes.  Our room was a difficult one called the Wizard’s Lair and despite our best efforts we only made it about 50% through all the puzzles before we ran out of time.  One of the actors who played a hunchback apprentice showed us all the puzzles we hadn’t gotten to yet and said we actually did fairly well for the first time.  

It was an absolute blast and Emily and I look forward to trying to escape a different room with friends in the future.  Apparently, it is becoming really popular.  I also can’t wait to head back to Gastro Mania for another Chef’s special!  After the room we all came back to our place for a few more drinks and hot tub before calling it a night.  Ian and Colleen ended up staying over with us for the night.