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....

Sunday, March 13, 2016

Shore Acres

This weekend Emily was visiting family on the East Coast after one of her now monthly work trips to Atlanta.  I was invited by Jason to come down to Corvallis for the night and head to Shore Acres Park on Sunday just south of Coos Bay for a photoshoot of some enormous waves that would be hitting the coast from a storm system offshore.  Read on…

Sunday, February 7, 2016

Super Bowl 2016

This year Emily and I once again hosted the SuperBowl.  Mike and Jess didn't make it down for the game and there wasn't much interest from anyone in the area because nobody we knew were actual fans of the Ravens or the Broncos, but it was the 50th Super Bowl so there had to be good commercials... And a good game of football is always worthy of a gathering.

The game also served as a great way to bring old QSI friends and our colleagues back together.  Baqar, Ryan, Brian, and Matt all came over as well as Jason, Lindsay, Nate, Anna, Josh, Misty, Conrad, Tom, Andrea and Eric so it was a good showing.  There were some decent commercials but the highlight was seeing everyone's favorite Patton Manning win the close game with a late touchdown that gave him the win for likely the final game of his career.  Ryan had made spicy pork soft tacos and there was lots of other good food and drinks.  Good times to end the pigskin season.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Indian Point Loop

Today Emily and I decided to get Leo out for a hike.  We had skied the weekend before with Ian at Meadows ($80) so we didn't want to spend the money again for ski tickets.  Instead we picked a nice 8 mile loop in the Columbia Gorge that we hadn't hiked yet knowing that we might encounter snow but risking it anyway.  Read on...

Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Phoenix Work Trip

I'm not going to go into too much details about this business trip because it involves clients I should not be talking about in a public blog.  But... I will say that it was an amazing trip.  We got to demo our UAS platforms for clients and got a lot of positive interests from some big industrial companies in the southwest from it.  

Friday, January 15, 2016


Emily and I returned home from Africa to something very unpleasant... Rats.  Yup.  I vaguely remember possibly hearing some noises under us in the crawl space before we left but not having any time to do anything I put it in the back of my head.... Poor choice.  Rats and/or mice had eaten half our box of ramen noodle packages in the garage and had clearly chewed their way into our vent system on our lower floor.  After literally seeing little paws sticking up through the vent grades of our AC system in the floor I decided it was time to call pest control.

Turns out they entered our crawl space through a fist size hole left in one of the vent holes along the side of the house... The same one that the TV installer had ran cables through and not re-sealed... Grrrr.. Better get a good deal on a tv after that...  Well, we ended up catching two rats in traps and turns out the ramen was from mice.  $600 in exterminator costs and $1000 in air duct repair later our house is now sealed up like a fortress and all our air ducts have been replaced and vents cleaned... $800 per rat... Annoyed...

Thursday, January 7, 2016

Zanzibar to Seattle. 52 Hours of Travel

Our trip home was quite the journey.  Instead of flying directly back to KJO from Zanzibar we instead had to go through the Tanzanian capital of Dar Es Salaam where we had a 3 hour layover.  Then we had a 2 hour layover in KJO before departing back through Ethiopia, then through Dublin to Dulles and finally back to Seattle!  

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Sailing the Indian Ocean off Zanzibar

We were picked up this morning at 8am from the resort with a new driver and after almost a full 2 hours of driving we arrived at a boat launch into Menai Bay Conservation Area just south of Stone Town in the off the small town of Fumba.  Interestingly, our driver had to “pay off” some officials that stopped us along the way (apparently, this corruption is quite common).  This area was known for it’s turquoise waters and abundant marine life.