Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Years Powder!

On New Years Eve Emily, Chris, Kya and I drove up to Ski Bowl for some fresh snow after the driest December in Oregon’s history.  We were able to ski all day with Kya left in her puffy coat in the car.  We got a late start so we skied till 5pm when they turned the lights on at the “largest night ski area in America”.   It was great to have a full day at a resort nearly a year after I blew my ACL last early January.  My knee was definitely weaker than it was before the injury but I was still able to ski for a good amount of time.  I’m not sure if it will ever be as strong as it was but right now I at least I can still ski and take smaller drops.  

When we got back to Corvallis we had time to shower, change and get a quick bite to eat before picking up Chris again and heading to Mike and Jessica’s for a New Years Party.  We brought a couple beers we had left over from our typical Wednesday night movie night at our place but thankfully we were greeted to jello shots, mixed drinks and more booze than we could handle.  I played a quick game of beer pong with Mike who killed me and then retired to inside to continue to mingle with everyone and watch Emily challenge Chris to a game of darts.  

Around 11pm Scott, Danielle, Emily and I headed over to BD and Carrie’s who were also having a party where most of our other friends were.  BD had just finished his brand new beautiful bar and was happily mixing drinks for everyone.  When we arrived he mixed me up a delicious bourbon and ginger in a pint glass.  We stuck around their place until the ball dropped and 2012 began.  Apparently we now only have 11 months to live until the world ends according to Nastrodamus.  It was then that I went up stairs to the bathroom and found a very old photo of Brian taped to an aerosol can that I got some funny video of but will spare him by not posting it here!  

After pounding one more pint of bourbon and ginger the four of us took off again for Jess and Mike’s to finish up the night.  By the time we got to their place I was hammered and decided to jump into their hot tub in my boxers, flashing poor Danielle in the process.  Scott and a few others joined me in the hot tub as well.  From that point on I’m a little fuzzy on when we went home but I know I was certainly feeling the night the next day.  Happy 2012!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

Christmas 2011

This Christmas Emily and I decided we could not afford to head home for the holiday.  We were planning a surprise trip to Disney for her brother Chris and the rest of the family in late January so it just didn’t make sense to spend another $1500 to fly us both home for Christmas when we would see them all so soon anyway.  We had also just seen my mom for a full weekend at Jeff & Allie’s wedding in November.  
On Christmas Eve we went over to Loomis & Amy Jo’s for a Christmas Eve dinner of salmon, ham and spectacular dishes that everyone brought.  It was just Danielle, Scott, Emily and I, Loomis and Amy Jo and their friends Neil and her husband Dan.  We stuffed ourselves with food and then continued to be fed booze from Amy Jo for the rest of the night as we played catch phrase in the living room and then other drinking games.  It was a nice evening among friends.
On Christmas Day Emily and I simply had a very quiet day at home.  I felt really bad that I didn’t have anything to give her on Christmas Day because the Dynafit bindings I had planned to get her were unavailable anywhere.  She got me a very expensive hi-zoom Nikon Lens for our DSLR which I had been dreaming of for months and would come in handy on our upcoming trips to Disney and then Hawaii later in the spring.  We were able to skype with her parents and the rest of the family and took two shots of the remaining Wild Turkey American Honey with the rest of her family on the screen.  I then facetime chatted with my mom and Ellie who didn’t really seem to be in the mood to chat.  Apparently she had actually gotten tired of the number of gifts she got for Christmas!  
It was a relaxing day of just the two of us, but work over the holidays with everyone home with family was terrible for me and I hope that Emily and I will never have miss a Christmas with family again.

Friday, December 23, 2011

Shellburg & Stassel Falls

With Emily and I having friday off of work for the holiday we decided to get out of town for an outdoor activity.  Skiing was not going to happen as the mountains had been getting rain and the resorts were barely open with almost no skiable terrain in the backcountry of the passes either.  Kevin and Alexa had taken off for home for the holiday so we were dogsitting Andromeda who we decided needed a good long walk.  We decided on trying a waterfall hike we hadn’t been on before near Silver Falls called Shellburg & Stassel Falls.  It was a short loop of a few miles with two big waterfalls to check out.  

We had slept in late after the week of work so had a late start out of town but were able to get to the trailhead by about 3pm.  The easy hike started off down a closed farm road with cattle everywhere.  There were cattle gates on the road but no fences so we let Dromi get a close up view of the large critters to check them out.  After about 30 seconds though she seemed to be as bored with them as they were about her.  

After turning off the road we headed to beautiful Shellburg Falls where there was a viewing area for photos.  There was a very cool tunnel of moss covered tree limbs leading down to a small viewing area of the falls.  I had the nice camera with me so I took my time photographing the falls with various settings while Emily and Dromi patiently waited along the trail behind the falls.  

From there we headed up a few flights of stairs to above the falls and on to a campsite area at the end of the closed road we had come in on.  Apparently this was closed for the season.  We then followed the EveryTrail Guide written by the guy in Eugene back down the road in a loop to the short side trail to Stassel Falls.  By this time  the sun was setting so we didn’t stay long at the top of Stassel Falls which we couldn’t see very well through the trees anyway.  It would be cool to go back some day and look up at the falls after hiking into the bottom of the falls but we were out of time on this occasion.  

We hiked back out the farm road in the dark past a beautiful setting sun in the distance, only pausing to take some photos of the confused cows with a bright flash to stir them up.  On the way out we passed a guy in a truck pulled off the main road clearly smoking a joint.  As we passed him we apparently startled him which gave me a good laugh.  Only in Oregon... :)  Great hike and beautiful waterfalls.  

Saturday, December 17, 2011

Colin's Christmas Party 2011

Once again this year Colin and Amanda were gracious enough to host a Christmas Party for everyone.  There was the usual Watershed Crew at the party as well as Tim & Lindsay and we brought Holm along.  Colin had bought a massive turkey and everyone contributed a dish or two of snacks.  As typical, Colin supplied a full table full of assorted booze for everyone as well.  There were games in the garage and I set to mixing drinks for a bunch of people.  I’m not sure where but Danielle and Carrie also got a hold of some fake mustaches.  Perhaps they were out of the gift stocking that Colin allowed everyone to pick from.  In the garage there was the usual ring toss tournament and I made poor Scooter a nasty shot to drink after he lost (I felt bad about it later but he drank it like a pro).  

This year I managed to make the entire night without passing out thankfully.  Amanda was in and out of the party throughout the night (probably to check we weren’t destroying the house :).  We all appreciated her willingness to have everyone over just weeks before her surgery.  By the end of the night everyone was pretty lit but we were able to get a ride home from Alexa who had taken it easy thankfully.  I’m not sure who won the drunk card for the night but with Emily feeling a little sick we took off pretty quickly and felt bad we didn’t help clean up at all.  All in a all, it was a really fun party as usual and we all can’t wait till next year when Amanda may be feeling better to hang out with us a bit more.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Jason's Birthday Beach Weekend

Emily and I just got back from a fantastic weekend on the Northern Oregon coast where we celebrated (early) Jason's 33rd birthday (this coming Thursday) at a luxurious beach house in Seaside belonging to the family of one of the girls Jen TA's for at OSU.  Jessica, Mike, Jen, Jason, Scott, Danielle, Emily and I all had a blast the whole weekend.  Two hours after getting to the house on Friday we had polished off nearly two bottles of bourbon and by the time the weekend was over we definitely didn't care to see alcohol again for a while.  To feel like we accomplished something other than just killing our livers we also went on a spectacular hike up Saddle Mountain, the highest in the northern coastal range, on Saturday and on Sunday on the way home Jen, Jason, Emily and I went on a crazy beautiful hike along the coast at Ecola State Park at sunset, just north of beautiful Cannon Beach.  To read more about all the shinanigans and see some amazing photos of coastal Oregon click the link to READ MORE.