Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Lost Coast Trail - California

This trip had been on my Bucket List for a very long time and I was super happy that Josh, Alina and their dog Baya were able to go on it with us.  At the last minute, after reading that it was extremely hard for dogs, we had left Leo with Tom and not taken him along.  We quickly found out when we started hiking that it was the right choice.  This trip was 3 days of bliss along the remote King Wilderness Northern California Coastline that was well worth the 8-9 hour drive to do.  Read on to see the pics and read of our journey.  Video at the end as well.

Sunday, June 26, 2016

North Santiam Rafting with Alder

It had been forever since we had seen our Corvallis friends so this weekend we drove down to Corvallis to hang out.  Scott and Colin were in Florida for Riegl training and visiting Kevin and Alexa but Danielle invited the whole gang over to her place on Friday night were Emily and I crashed in the spare bedroom off the garage.  Fausti, Pete, Tim, Mischa, Cathy, Carrie, BD, Jason and Jen all came over to say hi and catch up.  It was the first time I'd seen Fausti since we left QSI a year ago.  No hard feelings at all between us.  

It wasn't a late night and Danielle had to travel on Saturday so Jen, Jason, Emily and I headed out rafting with their new adorable puppy Alder along with Leo on the North Santiam.  Jason had borrowed a life preserver for Alder and he looked adorable in it.  Leo of course was now well used to rafting with us.  I guided the raft down the very easy section of the river from Mill City to Mahema.  It was a super easy float and we stopped at a gravel bar for lunch and snacks with the dogs.  That night we grilled up some food at their place and hung out before heading back to Danielle's for the night.  On Sunday we headed back to Portland.  

Sunday, June 19, 2016

Hamilton Mountain

This weekend Chris and Paris swung through our neck of the woods Friday night and we went for a hike up Hamilton Mountain with Leo on Saturday.  This was our 3rd trip up the mountain but it is always enjoyable for the great views of the Gorge and the cool geology of the mountain itself on the Washington side of the river.  Leo is getting older and took some encouragement to get all the way to the top but he made it just fine.  

It was great to connect with Chris and Paris and things seem to be going well for them in Moscow, ID where they now live, although it does seem like they are interested in getting back to Oregon and familiar friends at some point once Paris is done with her program there.  

Monday, June 13, 2016

IRWA Conference in Nashville

I was home for literally 12 hours before I was on another flight for work, this time headed to Nashville, TN for the International Right of Way conference with fellow co-workers Corinna, and Gary from Texas, Tennessee Tommy, and Matt from Michigan.  It was my first time meeting everyone and they all turned out to be amazing people.    Read on...

Friday, June 10, 2016

Pulse Vapor Training

This week I headed to Golden, CO with Josh and Rob for our Pulse Vapor 55 flight training with Juniper Unmanned.  Cardno finally came through with the purchase order as we were flying out of Portland.  The Vapor is one of the top commercial drone platforms in the US and is capable of carrying a large sensor payload such as the Riegl VUX-1UAS that we also purchased with it.  I tried to connect with Roger, Catherine, and Cherie but they were all busy with other plans and we couldn't find time to get together.

The training for Rob was pretty easy as he is a pilot already and knew most of the aeronautical information that was being taught to us but it was all new to Josh and I.  Our Juniper Unmanned trainers were Steve and Miguel whom we had met in Arizona previously with Tim.  Both were new to Juniper but one of the founders of the company, Tyler popped his head in now and again to check on things and was the lead instructor for when we conducted actual flights and proficiency testing.  

It was a great trip and I look forward to learning more about being a pilot as I was recently told I will be the 2nd pilot on our team.  I've been told that I will actually be put through real pilot training but I'm not getting my hopes up about that.  The three of us ate very well and got to spend some quality time with our Juniper friends and even got to visit with Jon from Pulse who lives nearby.  The Vapor 55 and 35 that we flew for testing was a training unit.  I enjoyed flying but I think I'll be a bit more nervous when it is our actual $300k bird with a LiDAR sensor attached to it!

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

Christom and St. Innocent Wineries Bike Ride & Sandra’s 40th

The original plan this weekend was to go for a road ride on Saturday and then climb Mt. St. Helens for Mothers Day on Sunday.  Unfortunately, the weather had other plans for us.  Instead, we were fortunate to get a call from our friend Nicole from Shedd, OR who was interested in coming up for a visit Friday night.  That led to us connecting with Chris, Marissa and Colleen who we rarely get to see.  Read on..

Thursday, May 5, 2016

10 Years Together

It’s hard to believe that it has been a full 10 years since the first night I met my wife at the City Tavern in Saratoga Springs, NY.  We were introduced to each other by Mike Lamanto who I had met through John Hughes, whom I had become good friends with through the Jones family.  Ahhh connections.  7 years and a wonderful dog later, on the other side of the continent we married each other and a year later we have a house together.  It’s been quite the ride.  We celebrated with a wonderful dinner window-side at the Portland City Grill but I thought I’d take the time here to list off some of the highlights of our past 10 years together.

Convincing Emily to move out west and a great Cross Country Trip together doing so
Emily’s support while I got my Masters Degree, tore my ACL and lost my father
Our engagement trip to Hawaii where we got engaged on top the largest volcano in the world and sailed off the Napali coast of Kauai and swam chest-to-chest with 2,000 lb manta rays.

Our amazing vineyard wedding with family and friends and Mt. Hood in the distance.
Our many backpacking, rafting, biking, and ski mountaineering adventures throughout the Cascade Volcanoes and peaks of the Pacific Northwest and countless nights under the stars.

Trekking, kayaking, and visiting penguins in the Patagonia region of Argentina and Chile on our honeymoon.
Rafting, Zip-lining and exploring the forests, rivers, and wildlife of Costa Rica on our honeymoon.

Giving our beloved Leo a home whom has become the centerpiece of our lives together and the love of all our family and friends.
Purchasing our first home and redesigning it as a social location for our friends, and even a convenient office as I switched jobs.

And most recently, our amazing trip to Tanzania where we summited Kilimanjaro, our first “7 summit” and had numerous close encounters with wildlife as well as cultural experiences we will never forget.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Pea Gravel Ridge Mt. Hood

This weekend Mike D, Andy, his buddy Sam and I planned to ski the Wy’East Face of Mount Hood.  By mid-week the weather was looking perfect for an early Sunday morning ascent and corn skiing at 10,000 feet but the mountain weather had other plans when we woke up.  Instead of the Wy’East we had a wonderful day skiing corn off the east shoulder of Pea Gravel Ridge and even got to skin up the entire length of the ridge to just underneath the Newton Clark Glacier.  Read on…

Sunday, April 24, 2016

Latourell Falls with Leo

This weekend Emily and I had planned on heading up to the Tilly Jane hut on Mt. Hood but after actually getting packed up and driving a bit towards it we hit a giant rainstorm in the gorge and decided to bail.  There was no wood at cabin this time of year, everything was soaked, the trail would be a bog of mud and snow and I would have been hiking in my plastic ski mountaineering boots... and Leo if soaked would have been cold and stolen my sleeping bag so we decided to bail and head back to the house.  

But, we did decide to get leo out of the truck for a short walk around Latourell Falls which we hadn't been back to since our engagement photos in 2013.  He enjoyed himself on the short loop hike and I got some HDR shots of the falls and historic highway bridge along with some macro shots of flowers and a really cool looking snail that we helped across the trail.  Other than this short outing it was a pretty quiet weekend for the two of us after our work trips the week before.

Friday, April 22, 2016

Phoenix Work Trip

I just got back from another business trip to Phoenix.  As usual I can't talk publicly about who we did work for or even the partners or platforms we used... which were cutting edge, expensive and freaking amazing!  What I can briefly talk about is the cool Kildeer bird we saw protecting it's eggs in the back lot of the Scottsdale Cardno Office, the great people I worked with and the great views I had from our job site, both of mountains and cool critters!

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Epic Party Bike Helmet Rage & Wauna Viewpoint Hike with Leo

With Emily gone this weekend to Waldport for a girls weekend on the coast I decided to get Leo out of the house for a bit.  Leo’s getting a little creaky with age so instead of an epic 3,000 ft climb in the gorge we stuck to a couple hundred feet over 4 miles up the Wauna Viewpoint off of the Eagle Creek trailhead for some views over the Bonneville Dam and the Gorge.  Read on…

Thursday, April 14, 2016

Heiroglyphics Concert

Just a quick note that Emily and I had a wonderful time going to see Heiroglyphics with Conrad at the Wonder Ballroom tonight!  Bad Habitat opened for them and were also amazing.  It was great to see Deltron there (although he was high as hell) and Pep Love was great on stage.  Their performance was short, under an hour, with no encore, but it was worth it for sure at the small venue.  We had some bbq dinner at the People's Pig before heading over.  Sad note of the night was hearing that Phife Dawg from the iconic Tribe Called Quest had passed away.  RIP Phife.  

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Meadows this Spring

This year Emily and I were able to get 4 weekends in at Meadows Ski Resort.  First with Ian where I got stuck in a tree well taking a safety break in the woods with him.  Then a couple times by ourselves where I relived my youth hitting the terrain park with a bunch of mute 360's and the half pipe where I can still boost out above the rim, although all of this was much less graceful than it was five years ago.

Our most recent day was with Eric when we met up with Porter and some others after only about 3 runs on very wet, sticky snow for a bbq in one of the parking lots.  It was a short day skiing but a good time meeting good people at the BBQ, one of which, Peter, is a guide on Denali and had some good beta for me.  A great connection.  Not much skiing for us this year with Africa in the middle but at least the mountains got more snow this year than the last 2 combined!  

Sunday, March 27, 2016

5th Annual Bar Crawl & Easter 2016

Just days after our yard remodel was finished and our hot tub was installed and heated up Jen and Jason came up for an early Easter dinner/birthday dinner for Eric on Saturday night before we went out for the annual bar crawl.  It was a great weekend of friends, drinking, and enjoying for the first time our new backyard!  Read on…

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Our New Outdoor Living Space

I late January Emily and I had taken a Saturday to go check out the home and yard show at the Veterans Memorial Coliseum.  We had done so with the idea of getting some initial research done on landscape companies that might re-do our yard this late summer/fall when we had saved enough money for the work.  Read on....