Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Matt Visiting

past weekend my best buddy Matt Jones flew from his new digs in Virginia to visit me
in Oregon for the first time... finally! :) He flew into PDX Thursday night at around 11:30 and of course the airline had lost his bag of gear for hiking and biking... typical. I had to work all day so by the time I got to pick him up I was pretty tired. We chatted the whole way back to Corvallis trying to catch up on years being at opposite ends of the country. I was happy to hear that he and Sarah are enjoying Virginia far more than they did the Bronx. When we got back to our apartment Emily was of course sleeping so we made up the pull-out couch and hit the sack.

Friday Matt and I hung out around town, skating to various places such as the waterfront and through the OSU campus. We called the airlines in the morning and they told Matt that his bag had gone to Portland, ME instead... not a good sign. So, we decided to go downtown and look for a rental bike for
Sunday and hiking boots for our hike on Saturday. We found out Peak stopped renting bikes in September so I had to call a place down the road from Mt. Bachelor which
thankfully did still rent. In the afternoon Matt and I took a drive up Mary’s Peak and then hiked to the summit. We could see many of the volcanos but not Rainier as it was a bit too hazy. Matt took a ton of photos and we headed back down the mountain to buy some food for dinner with Emily. We went to Winco and picked up camping food and some salmon, oysters for shooters, and wine for the evening. Thankfully, the airline called Matt and was able to drive his bag to him by 7pm! Matt and I cooked up a great dinner and after watching Emily play her soccer game and grabbing some beer at the bar above we came back to the apartment and watched Transformers before I noticed Matt had passed out on the couch.

On Saturday
we got up early to drive up to Mt. Washington
with Aaron Hartz and Nate Meehan. We had a beautiful drive through valley early in the morning with beautiful fog lit up by the morning sun. For a full trip report GO HERE. After the hike Matt and I drove frantically up McKenzie Pass to the Dee Wright Observatory to get a final glimpse of the sunset over the beautiful lava fields. It was great to be able to see Mt. Washington which we had just been on at dusk. The outline of it’s near vertical faces was amazing. Matt and I drove back to Sisters to wait for Emily, Chris and Tiffany who had to wait until Tiff got out of work before heading up to meet us for biking on Sunday. Matt and I grabbed some Pizza and then using my iPhone
figured out where to camp for the evening. We picked up some wood from Ray’s groceries then headed to Cold Springs Campground just outside of town. Matt and I found a great
site and set up our tents and got the fire going just in time for the three of them to show up and drink some beers with us by the fire. Kya was with them and she was so cute digging up holes all around the campsite. I had set up my bivy for Matt to use but when he got into it he actually couldn’t fit! He instantly got claustrophobic!! haha.

On Sunday we all got up around 8am and headed towards Sisters for some baked yum yums from the
great bakery in town... where some fat tourist woman gave me and ugly look when she saw my dirty feet... whatever! We then headed towards Bend to pick up our rental bikes at Pine Mountain Sports when they opened at 10. Emily picked up nice front suspension bike and Matt picked up a full suspension 26er to try. We then headed to the trailhead at the end of Phils Trail to drop off Chris’ car and drive to the Tumalo Mountain
Trailhead to start our ride. On the way up the road we could see snow on the side of the road and I was hoping that we would avoid it on the trail. At first we didn’t see any snow but after descending onto the north face of a ridge we found ourselves biking over about 2 inches of snow and ice on the trail. Matt and Chris bombed ahead down the road because they
are insane bikers while I remained in the back of the group to keep an eye on Emily. Every once in a while the trail had bridges over logs, skinny plank rides and other obstacles to bike over. All of us have been mountain biking since about 10 years old, but this was literally Emily’s 3rd time on a mountain bike. To my shock Emily charged up every obstacle and over every bridge over the logs and negotiated the snow and ice like an expert. I remained slightly ahead of
her down the trail to give her space and was blown away at how well she was doing. Tiffany and I both took diggers on the trail but were able to laugh off both.
Eventually we found our way out of the snow and ice and on to some fantastic single track through the forest where we came upon a group of trail workers stocking a cabin with chopped wood for the winter. Even further down the road we came across the beautiful Swede Ridge Cabin overlooking Broken Top to the North. This cabin too was stocked with Wood. Chris, Aaron, Tiff, Emily and I will definitely need to do some backcountry skiing into this cabin sometime this winter. The end of our ride was down the woops and banked corners of Phil’s trail which as always was amazing. Matt was truly lovin’ it. We all tackled
the double up tabletops with caution except Matt and Chris who were straight out bombing it. Chris cleared a couple then tried to go for a big one, caught his back tired and bounced off a tree sending him into the brush. Thankfully he was just fine. I had forgotten how much fun that lower part of the trail was!

When we got to the trailhead Matt, Tiffany and Emily took off with the rental bikes to return them early (they were only charged a half day :) and drop off Matt to drive my truck back from the
Tumalo Trailhead. Chris and I hung out with Kya drinking beer and talking about our future plans for a trip to Utah this winter and Chris fixing my bike once
again for me :) A week earlier he had spent several hours putting new cables, cogs, bottom bracket and crankset on my Kona so it would actually work... Thanks bud. Matt and Emily had smelled BBQ when they returned the bikes to the shop so we all went back to the area and found, literally the best BBQ restaurant in Bend, OR called “Baldy’s”. We all ate a ridiculous amount of BBQ before Emily, Matt and I headed back over Santiam Pass to Corvallis, leaving Chris and Tiff behind to bike the next day. When we got back to Corvallis we all showered, watched the movie Steep and passed out after the tiring weekend.

On Monday Matt
and I slept in for a while, and then headed to Newport so Matt could check out the Pacific.
We first drove down to the Old Waterfront for some clam chowder at Moe’s (which I still don’t think is that good). We also went down to the docks to check out the myriad of Northern Sea Lions hanging out on the docks and barking like crazy at each other. I love watching the seals. They are so cute, yet so friggin’ dangerous if you get close to them. Some of them just barked at each other constantly while others literally passed out on each other on the docks. We then drove down
to Agate beach to take a walk out onto the sand. I walked out onto the rocks to take a piss and unfortunately got trapped when a set of big
waves came in that I wasn’t expecting. Matt of course thought this was hilarious. We even got to see some surfers and a kiteboarder ripping it up in the waves before taking off back to Corvallis for the night.

On Tuesday Matt and I headed to Silver Falls. I knew Matt would love the temperate rainforest of Oregon’s largest State Park along with the 10 waterfalls on the Trail
of Ten Falls that we went on. Although it was late in the season, it had rained the week before so there was a little bit more water cascading over the falls then there was when Emily’s parents came at the end of dry August. We took our time walking around the falls and Matt really enjoyed getting some great fish-eye shots with his amazing digital SLR. I always love going to Silver Falls and Matt has got to be the 5th person I’ve taken there that have visited us in Oregon! We made our way quickly through the park and had fun walking back through the enormous old growth doug fir forest where I was able to show off my knowledge of Northwest plant species... :) We then took off for Portland and ate dinner (Matt’s treat) at Olive Garden before heading down the Columbia Gorge. Matt’s flight was at 6pm so I knew we didn’t have too much
time. I quickly drove down the Historic Columbia Gorge Highway to Chanticleer Point and then to Crown point for amazing views East down the gorge. When I say it was windy, I mean it... It was so strong I could lean out over the brick wall at Chanticleer Point and it could hold me
up. At Crown Point we saw a plastic bottle spinning around in the wind like the plastic bag in American Beauty. We then drove down from the rim of the gorge to the waterfalls below stopping quickly at a couple of the smaller ones and then for about 10 minutes at Multnomah Falls where we both snapped some photos of the falls nearing dusk. I quickly drove us back down I-84 to the airport and got him there about an hour before his flight... just in time. It
sucked to see my buddy go but I know he had a truly fantastic time and hopefully will come back again for some epic mountain biking again!

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