Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Sierra Nevadas of California

Markos writes: Sept 25 The Sugar Pine has huge pine cones. The sap feels like sugar on your hands. They are pokey and they have seeds. They are 11 - 20 inches long. Is that big or not? An oak tree has one inch acorns on it. They look like they have a hat on. White Spruce have one and one-half inch pine cones. They are very tiny. They are very easy to squish.

Sampson's journal: Sept. 24 Remote Control Airplanes at Sierra Hot Springs
Today we went to the airstrip and made pancakes. While we were making pancakes a truck drove up and two guys with remote control airplanes got out. Their names were Nick and Tom. They built a yellow airplane and a red airplane. The yellow one was a stunt plane and it did flips and glides and lots of tricks. The red one did the same but it was a little bit different. Once the yellow one did a glide land and it landed on its nose and broke the nose and propeller.

Tarn talks: Sept 24 There are lots of birthdays in this year. Remember when I swam back and forth at that other pool. I swam at Sierra Hot Springs too. I had a life jacket before and at Sierra Hot Springs I had a noodle. I was going so fast backwards. Then I swam all by myself.

Tarn turned five years old Sept. 23. For his birthday celebration we went to Sierra Hot Springs...a few days after. On his special day we made it into Quincy for a huge pancake breakfast out after tenting at the county fairgrounds with hundreds of firefighters. They had gathered from all around to fight a fire in a neighbouring area.

another Tanya poem as per Al's request...

It's Monday.
Warm Fall Breezes rock
Continuous waves to the shore.
A tree-lined edge lies below jutting rock mountain tops,
Gravel screes fill the space in between.

We're holding on to the last days of warmth at
high elevations.

Old playful logs, worn with time and waves
Bobble in the shallows.
The remnants of huge stumps act as harbors to these boats.

It's just us on this pebble beach, 'cepting a young man and his dog
Perhaps a traveler too, with the day to his choice
He too sees the sun sparkles
Hears the windy pines
Knows his own voice.

and one more...not sure how soon we'll be back on the blog

3 poles, netting
A floor and a fly.
A place of comfort
For star gazing the vast, broad sky.

Inside I have things that I need
A water bottle, a jar of bag balm
Chapstick, journal, book and sleeping sheet.
An open down sleeping bag over us two
A headlamp, a toque for over my hairdo.

When the road is desolate
The days hot and dry
Water scarce and maps untelling
of the days that before us lie...

My tent is a constant
I can handle what is before
For at night I'll rejuvinate
Upon its thin floor.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Lava Beds National Monument

Markos' journal, Sept 17 - I will write about what I see. I see a bush. On the bush there are yellow flowers and lots of green little leaves. It has a skinny brown stem. I am writing about a bush. It is fun.

Sampson writes, Sept 17 - Today we biked to Lava Beds National Monument. At the lava caves we went in the visitor center and watched a video about the lava caves and the Modoc Indians. After that we went to the desk and rented some flashlights. Later we went to Mushpot Cave, an underground cave with a paved trail and lights. It also had some signs and buttons. After that we walked down the trail to the upper end of Sentinel Cave, it had no lights and a rocky trail. A little ways into it we all held hands and turned off our lights because we wanted to see how dark it was. When we were out we walked back and gave our lights back. Later we biked to the campground.

Tarn's thoughts...Sept 18- "Finding Snail Shells" I found snail shells in Eagle Lake. The ones in the water are alive and the ones out of the water were not alive. Some are big some are small. They are all white.

Ben's Freezer Fudge recipe...l

nut meats (fresh pecans from California, go in season and buy a big bag)
shredded coconut
cocoa (good stuff)
honey (more excellent, incredible stuff)

Combine in a food processor, shape in balls and freeze overnight

Tanya's realizations
Concerns about the modern world? There have been only good people we've met, crazy amazing parents, keepers of the earth and real people.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Crater Lake National Park

We did it. We climbed two full days to reach the brink of the deep crater that holds Crater Lake. We followed the roaring Umpqua River, enjoying old growth forests and numerous picnic spots by misty waterfalls. Pumice and scoria rock lined the forest floor. Sampson, Markos and Tarn enjoyed comparing pine cone sizes (what is the record for the world's largest pine cone?) and floated airy pumice rocks down the river. Now that we're down the volcano and have circuited Upper Klamath Lake we've got our eyes pealed for water and field birds. We've spotted grebes, pelicans, ducks, cormorants, red-tailed hawks, ibis and bald eagles, (to name the ones we know.)

Markos writes: Sept. 7 I am happy. I went for a dip today. Dad is making dinner today. I am doing my journal.

Sampson describes his Crater Lake experience: Sept. 9 Today we climbed up Mt. Mazama - Crater Lake and went to the visitor center. At the visitor center we listened to someone talk about Mt. Mazama-Crater Lake. I learned that Crater Lake was dormant but Wizard Island, an island that looks like a wizard hat in Crater Lake, is extinct. In the olden days some gold hunters went looking for gold on Mt. Mazama but didn't find any but saw a beautiful picture for a life time. One thing that was different was that there were no streams or rivers coming out of the crater and that almost no one touched it. It had really blue water.

Tarn's words: Sept 10 There are boats that go to Wizard Island. There are cliffs too. Wizard Island is on the side of Crater Lake. Before Crater Lake it was all lava and the top wasn't all broken off. The water is so deep and there are fish in it.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

Rick's 42nd Birthday and Off the 101

Menu for Rick's 42nd Birthday Dinner - Lincoln City, OR

Cedar Plank Chinook Salmon specially marinated and grilled by Dave Martin
Oven Roasted Rosemary Garlic Potatoes
Mango Salad with Cilantro, Red Onions, Garlic, fresh Jalapenos, Black Pepper and Lime
Grilled Garden Vegies
Brownies served with fresh Strawberries

from Markos, a peach-coloured sea star
from Sampson, a Chinese Checker game
from Tarn, a colored sea lion picture
from Tanya, a giant artichoke

Two days off, our last weekend of tide pools, sea life and sand.

Good-bye to Hwy 101, the multitude of bikers we met and camped with, the skinny bridges without shoulders, the coastal views and the huge tree/lush forest coolness juxtaposed to the brown hot clear-cuts.

Florence, OR - afternoon off for Rick to rebuild Tanya's rear wheel, a faulty rim had split in numerous places
Sawyer Rapids RV park - Rick discovers the remaining three rims have cracks, three hours later and through extensive use of Rick's problem solving techniques a plan evolves. The result: we are back on the road with all rebuilt wheels the next day. How? Joe comes to the rescue and picks up/delivers three new re-built wheels thanks to coordination with Co-motion Chuck and Pete, and Dave the wheel builder (HUGE thanks Dave!!!) How did it happen that of all places in the trip so far, we happen at this time to be closest to Eugene, where the bikes were manufactured???

Upcoming Events: Climbing back over the Cascades, up to Crater Lake and on through the Lava Beds of Northern California.