Sunday, June 30, 2013

This Is How You Bachelor Party

For my bachelor party I grabbed 5 of my groomsmen and Eric and headed to Whistler, BC for some epic mountain biking, drinking, and debauchery.  We polished off more alcohol than I thought possible and one of us returned with a shattered bone in need of surgery.  The details of our night of clubbing in the village will remain in Whistler, but if you'd like to read about the rest of the weekend and who got injured click the title and read on and make sure to watch the video at the end.....

Saturday, June 22, 2013

Moon Point, Larrison Rock & Mary's Peak Bike Weekend

This weekend Emily and I travelled down to Corvallis to hang out with Chris whom we hadn't seen for a long time to do some biking and get some help rebuilding my Kona as my useable commuter bike.  Click the title to read on....

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thorns vs. Seattle Reign

Once again Emily scored us her bosses season tickets for a thorns game.  This time they were facing the Seattle Reign who thankfully were in last place in the league as were missing Alex Morgan and several others to the Women’s National Team Game that was in Massachusetts the day before.  The women played well though and were able to defeat the Reign 2-0 after a slow start in the first half.  

Emily and I then headed over to Anna Li’s for a BBQ in her backyard where we fed her sick Mr. Hugo lots of sausages and meat.  Erin, Ryan, and Eric also showed up and we chatted about the Tough Mudder the day before.  We weren’t able to stay long as we needed to get to Cinetopia for Superman at 7pm which turned out to be an eye seizure of a movie but amazing.

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tough Mudder 2013

This weekend Chris, Eric and I headed out to Fossil, OR to the Wilson Family Ranch Retreat to run our first Tough Mudder event.  Emily had wanted to go but we couldn’t find anyone to watch Leo last moment when we found out dogs weren’t allowed.  It also cost $40 for spectators so it saved us some cash.  Luckily Emily got her Prius back from repairs on Thursday which allowed Eric and I to take it Friday night for the long drive out to Lake Billychinook where Holm and the others were camping for the night.

To be honest, Eric, Chris and I were all pretty pissed about how much the mudder cost and how they promised it would be 2 hours from Portland and it ended up being 3 hours and all the way out to the Painted Hills!  Then we learned there was a $5 bag drop fee, a $10 fee for parking, and $40 for spectators.  We pretty much felt like they were milking us for all we had and all of us responded as such when we got a survey after the event.  So, we pretty much bitched and complained the whole way out on Friday night when Eric dropped his car off for Emily and we headed out with the Prius. 

We made it to the campsite before Holm and were luckily allowed to park and get setup before them by a nice park official.  Holm’s roommate Eric and his friends David, Laurie (Dr. J), and Danielle were already there and we introduced ourselves.  Eric and I had barely been able to look at the course map before leaving and pretty much had no idea what to expect.  Contrary to us the others seemed to have done their research into the obstacles and had been training for it.  They even rented a rental truck for the drive and the weekend.  

When Holm showed up we got caught up each others lives over a few beers as I hadn’t seen him for a long time.  He handed out our team shirts which were yellow and had brown chicken and a brown cow on the front... “Brown Chicken Brown Cow...”  Mine had Danger written on the back as usual, Chris was “Mr. Furious” for reasons from the past I won’t get into here.  Eric had Kurt Schilling on the back as a joke which was hilarious because he hate’s the guy and the Red Sox... hehe.  We all ended up hitting our tents and cars for sleep around 11:30. 

In the morning we made it out of camp with Chris climbing in the Prius with us as he, Eric and I all had a start time of 12:30 while the others were 11:30 and left earlier.  The three of us stopped at the Black Bear Diner in Madras where I ordered a huge breakfast of 3 eggs, ham, bacon, sausage, home  fries and two pancakes to the amusement of Eric and Holm who thought I was nuts to eat that before the 10 mile long event.... Nonsense!  

We made it to the event after even more driving by around 11:30 and met up with the rest of our team who decided to wait until our start time so we could all run together and help each other out over the obstacles.  We were given numbers and were told to write the numbers on our arms and foreheads for the photographers on the course.  We threw in towels and a change of clothes in my bag and headed for the starting line past vendor tents and people flipping huge tires for free Dos Equis beers which was the official beer sponsor.  

The event started with all of us having to clear a 7 foot wall on the way to the starting line.  At the starting line an MC told us all about what to expect and that this wasn’t a race, but instead a life changing event... He warned us all about the difficulties ahead and that if we had a heart condition not to run through the electroshock therapy obstacles.  He also told people that had trouble getting over the wall that it may be too tough for them... After the warnings he got us all pretty pumped up with some chants and a little Harlem Shake before unleashing us onto the 10 mile hilly course.

Right from the start the first obstacle we encountered was crawling through mud under barbed wired just above our heads.  This instantly got us filthy and instantly got us pumped up about the rest of the obstacles.  It was about 75-80 degrees and blue skies so we quickly found ourselves getting hot and the mud helped a lot.  By the time we got up the hill to the “Arctic Enema”, a cargo container filled with water and 50,000 lbs of ice we were ready to jump in it and I threw a front flip into it hoping not to get yelled at.  Too bad Danielle who was watching didn’t get that on film.. :)

Once out of the cold water and running again Eric, Holm and I all agreed that despite the cost and drive this race was definitely going to be worth it, at least once.  I’m not going to go into detail about all the 19 obstacles that we encountered along the way but suffice to say they were amazing.  Some were super challenging such as the “mud mile” where we had to scale mounds of mud over and over helping each other and anyone around us over them and vice versa.  The electric eal and the last obstacle, “Electroshock Therapy” shocked us with 10,000 volts distributed across hundreds of small wires dangling down onto us.  Eric got hit twice in the face on the way out knocking him straight to the mud below.  He also overcame his fear of claustrophobia making it through some ground tunnels and his weak stomach running throw mud and cow shit dry heaving along the way.  Colleen overcame her fear of jumping from a high platform into water as well.

I was proud of my performance on the course as well forcing myself to try every obstacle at their most difficult part, going over the apex of every mud mound and hurling myself up and over logs suspended in the air without assistance.  I even was able to make it up the greased quarter pipe at the end called “Everest” without any assistance.  The most difficult part of the whole course was the cattle tramped uneven ground which I was surprised not to see causing more rolled ankles.   

At the end of the race we all were given a free dos equis beer which I of course pounded and circled back for another one before joining the others for a group photo at the end.  There were hoses provided for showers after and people were encouraged to donate their used shoes to the Wounded Warrior project which was the charity behind the whole Tough Mudder series.  We also were given the prized Tough Mudder orange headband and a poly-pro t-shirt.  I’m not sure the race was as tough as they promote it to be but we also did take our time as a team finishing the 10 miles of obstacles just over 3.5 hours.  David ran with a go pro the whole time and it will be great to see his footage when he can get it to us.

The others took off pretty quick but Eric, Holm and I ended up having a couple beers in the sun at the back of the Prius before taking off for the drive home through Madras where we had left Holm’s car.  Holm had to clean himself up and then go to a wedding reception that night while Eric and I thankfully just had the long drive home over Hood where we got back to Salmon Creek around 9:30pm.  None of us got any major injuries although all of us ended up super dirty and a bit bruised.  I’m not sure if I’ll run it again, but if Emily decides she is interested I’ll definitely be at the base of the mud pits boosting her up and over them. :)

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Emily's 30th Birthday Float and BBQ in Corvallis

This weekend Emily and I headed down to Corvallis on Saturday for a BBQ at Danielle and Scotts with all our Corvallis friends to once again celebrate Emily’s upcoming 30th birthday.  Alexa and Kevin had suggested a float down the Willamette River with their paddle boards so all of us scrambled to find boats for an early afternoon float.  Emily and I had to pick up over 200 boxes from a co-worker at a Burger King beforehand so we weren’t able to make it to the launch at Michael’s Landing until about 1:45-2pm which left us with a late start on the river.

Mischa showed up with his new raft, Jason and Jen with their canoe, and Danielle and Scott in their canoe.  Kevin and Alexa of course had their paddle boards.  Thankfully, Jason had thought enough to bring a couple extra life jackets for Emily and I.  We didn’t need them but legally we had to have them with us.  At first I jumped on Mischa’s new raft with him but it quickly became apparent the Leo wanted his dad in the same canoe as him so I traded with Danielle.  This worked out great as I’m sure Mischa wanted Danny more than I and Leo calmed down immediately as soon as I got in with him which meant less rocking of the canoe.  

We had a very sunny float down the river over the next 3 hours with a few pee stops for Leo along the way.  When Alexa took off her shirt you could really see her baby bump progressing.  They still don’t know if it will be a boy or a girl but they seem to referring to the baby more as “him” than her, which is odd considering Alexa comes from a long line of girls in her family.  We also saw a lot of wildlife including several Great Blue Herons, many Osprey and even a juvenile Bald Eagle which Kevin unconvincingly told us was some sort of hawk.  At the takeout in Albany I got a ride back with Alexa to pick up Mischa’s car for him while he collapsed his boat and we all took off for home to get ready for the BBQ.

The BBQ was a lot of fun with a pretty good showing of all our friends.  Jason, Jenn, Danielle, Scott, Amanda, Ruby and Colin, Mischa, Amy Jo, Loomis, Kevin & Alexa, BD, several of Danielle’s friends from work and Lee who is one of Jason’s groomsmen.  I stuffed myself eating a ton of food and drinking the remainder of a rum/oj/pineapple mix Emily had made, continuously diluting it to make sure Emily stayed up for the night at her own party.  Loomis taught us all how to play a new game involving knocking blocks over with a stick and we unfortunately saw the Beavers lose their first game in the World Series of baseball play offs.  Emily crashed around midnight but I, Loomis, Amy Jo, Kevin, Scott and Colin lasted several games of Asshole and then the start of a game of Kings until I began to fall asleep in on the couch and Scott irish-exited.

In the morning we weren’t in as bad of shape as the house which everyone helped to clean up as they could.  I needed to sleep in a little big longer than the others though as I was exhausted.  We managed to get things under control enough to meet Sarah and Adam for brunch at Les Caves, a new brewery and restaurant in Corvallis that everyone is raving about and has 5 stars on Yelp.  It was delicious and we really liked the place.  It was great to see Adam and Sarah again after such a long time as well.  They said they hadn’t seen Holm in a long time either.  After brunch we headed back to Ridgefield for the afternoon for some more wedding planning as usual and grocery shopping.

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Thorns vs. Kansas City

Once again Emily’s boss was kind enough to give Emily and I his season ticket seats at a Thorns game.  This time it was against Kansas City and I had brought my long lens for some up close pics of the action, especially my soccer crush Alex Morgan, who arguably may be the best women’s soccer player in the country at the moment.   

I had gone to the dentist for a “deep cleaning” after 8 years of absence at 3pm where they numbed both sides of my mouth with over 12 shots of anesthetic before beginning.  The appointment took 2 full hours and left me completely numb to the point that I thought I was drooling at work.  I couldn’t respond to anyone at work and I was super bummed that I was going to mute at the game and possibly not even able to eat some food cart dinner before the game.  Thankfully, the drugs wore off about half an hour before the 7:30pm game allowing me to eat (and taste) some great Hawaiian Grill food before heading up to the stadium.

The game turned out to be a really high scoring one with the Thorns just hanging on with a 4-3 lead at the end.  We took a commanding lead in the first half but then Kansas City rallied back in the second.  Alex Morgan got two of our goals and I was hoping for a hat trick from her again like she did in the US vs. Ireland Game we went to in December but it was not to be.  Unlike the last game Emily and I watched in the same seats she was playing angry, and physical.  She got taken out quite a few times and was triple to octet (is that a word?) guarded the entire match.  Perhaps the extra coverage pissed her off because at one point when falling she actually grabbed the other girl and flung her to the ground next to her.... and got a well deserved yellow card for it.  

The Thorns barely hung on in the last minutes despite a couple shots on goal by Kansas City for the win.  Emily and I didn’t stick around for the team as they walked around the field after.  

Sunday, June 2, 2013

Siouxon Creek Attempted Ride

On Friday night Emily and I went out for drinks with friends at Vendetta and the Florida Room to celebrate Emily’s 30th birthday a week early with Portland friends who wouldn’t be around the weekend before her birthday.  Al, Slaughter, Jason, Arley, Katie, Eric, Matt and his lady, Conrad and Elise, and Ryan all showed up to show Emily a good time.  We finished the night at the Florida Room playing pool in the back before crashing at Eric’s for the night.  This left us a bit sore on Saturday so we just spent the day getting wedding stuff done and wrapping up our ceremony to send to Sandy.

On Sunday I was itching to get out of the house so I looked up a fun easy trail just out of Cougar Washington called Siouxon Creek, packed up my bike and headed out for some fast mountain biking with Emily staying home to work on the wedding more.  I ended up taking the trailhead at higher elevation and having an amazing descent for about a mile down to the creek level.  Unfortunately, I knew I would have to climb back up this whole section as the ride was an out and back.  After about 3 miles I found myself passing what was clearly the main trailhead and started to see many more people on the trail, most walking dogs.  I also saw some amazing campgrounds that would be fun to bring Leo to in the fall when it’s less busy there.  

I was having a great time and the trail was super fast and smooth with easy rolling ups and downs and few roots.  The scenery along the river was amazing as well.  I got a little over a mile from the main trailhead and got a flat on my back tire on a fast descent over some rocks.... and I had forgotten to bring a tube... yeah, I’m an idiot.  So, I had to walk back to the main trailhead and hopefully bum a ride with some hikers.   Boy did I choose the wrong car.  I ended up getting a ride with a family in a big SUV that had just lost a big golden retriever who had gone over a waterfall while swimming above it deep into the creek where it couldn’t be carried out.... Everyone was pretty sad and I felt like and idiot in a car of mourning dog lovers!  The only upside is that one of their smaller dogs (that apparently barks and nips at strangers) was oddly sitting on my lap and staring me in the face as I rubbed its cheeks.  The whole family was amazed that the dog was not only apparently loving me but also curled up on my lap... It didn’t take long to get back to my truck where I then drove back down the road to grab my bike and head home.  It was my favorite trail since Larrison Rock in Oakridge and I’ll definitely be back... with a couple spare tubes.