Saturday, February 19, 2011

First Dance

Stella got all prettied up for her first dance tonight. She and her Dad have a date to the Daddy/Daughter Dance at the Southwest Community Center. They joined her two best friends and their dads for a masquerade ball and other fun. I can't believe how much Stella's growing up. She looked lovely tonight and so did her friends. All beautiful, wonderful girls. The dads all looked handsome and proud - and they rode off together in style! 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Another Gorge hike in Winter - Tanner Creek Trail to Dublin Lake

I went on another 12 mile hike in the Gorge today, with Randy, who is a hike leader for Portland Hiking Group.  It's been great to connect up with this group!  It was just the two of us today, and we decided to scout out this hike, which neither of us have been on before, to see if it would make a good overnight trip later in the Summer.  After grabbing a yummy early-morning breakfast at Fat City Cafe here in my Multnomah Village neighborhood, we headed on down the road to a trailhead just above the Bonneville Dam.  We started out on a old Forest Service Road and then climbed...and climbed...and climbed.  This was definitely a challenging hike for me and the best workout I've had in a while.  A few more like this, and I will be ready for anything, I tell you!

I didn't take as many pictures as I usually do, in part because I was working hard, and didn't want my heavy camera around my neck or hanging off my shoulder, which is what would be required to have it at the ready.  The other reason is that this was one of those hikes with landscapes I couldn't quite capture well without a tripod, which I did not bring.  I did capture an amazing landslide early on, and and a few other shots along the way. 

We made it to where the trail heads down to Dublin Lake, but decided not to climb down, because it was very steep and covered with hard packed snow.  It would have been hairy going down, and grueling (for me) coming back.  My legs had had enough!

As tough, physically, as it was for me, I had a really lovely day.  Randy is upbeat, funny and a great hiking partner, and it was gorgeous out for nearly all of our hike.  We did feel the effects of a storm that rolled in, when heavy winds roared through the trees we walked through while still pretty high up in the Mark O. Hatfield Wilderness area.  It was very loud and the trees swayed like crazy.  And when the wind wasn't too loud, we could hear some of the trees creak and groan.  It was eerie, but pretty neat, too.

I took a fall on the way back down the trail, which was a doozy and I don't think I've ever done that out hiking.  I tripped, but couldn't catch myself with my other foot as I usually do, because it also got hooked up, so I went flying!  I landed a pretty good ways away from where I actually fell,and broke my fall with my elbow, which smarted pretty good.  Thankfully, Randy had motrin which really helped with the stiffness and pain I started feeling further down the trail.  I tore the right knee of my Smart Wool leggings a little, but somehow have no mark and no soreness in that knee.  I am lucky I didn't incur any serious injuries.  My elbow hurt, but is feeling fine now.  The main pain I really felt as I landed, was from the serious charlie horse which seized up my left calf muscles.  I must have stiffened trying to catch myself and triggered that spasm.  It HURT!  But I stretched it out, and got up and hiked the rest of the way down without too much problem. 

I was ever so happy to reach the truck and sit in the comfy bucket seats.  I felt great after all that excercise and was ready to relax!  We stopped at the McMenamins near Mall 205, because Edgefield was packed out and had 0 parking available.  I enjoyed my glass of Black Rabbit Red wine and my Captain Neon Burger quite well tonight!!

Here are a few pictures from the day:

The mud and rockslide.

More mud and rockslide...

Randy and the slide - can't remember what we were laughing about...

Check out this crazy trench left behind from the slide!

Some moss-covered rocks, who clearly haven't been rolling down the mountain lately.  :)

Some falls along the way.

And yet more falls!

I haven't done these falls justice.  They were so pretty!

View with Powerlines

Randy in the open area where the trees were removed for the powerlines coming up from the dam.

Baby Hemlocks

These were some of the trees which got whipped about pretty well by the wind, as we walked through. 

Again, by the place cleared for the powerlines.

Monday, February 7, 2011


I've been very content these days, and it if weren't so late, I'd likely try to capture my feelings about it more poetically. For now I just feel the need to mark the realization that I've just been comfortable in my skin for weeks on end, it seems.  Work has been both demanding and rewarding, and there have been some ups and downs at home..  I'm not as fit as I'd like to be, though I've enjoyed working on fixing that. There are areas of my home which I'd really like to better organized, even as I create lovely spaces in others parts of the house.  I 've been stepping outside of some of my norms by hiking with new people, and also remembering to take more time alone at other times.  Life has not really changed dramatically, but there have been splashes of real change and also tiresome old problems that crop up still, but despite the sometimes chaotic flow of life around me, both good and bad, I'm finding that, at my core, I am still and quiet and peaceful. 

I like this sense of quietude at the center of me.   I am calm and observant and unworried.  It's been there before, that nugget of calm at my core, but it seems it's growing and affecting more of my life every day.  I see it in how I handle setbacks, and how I react to good tidings and postive excitement, too.  I can smile inwardly and enjoy things without worrying what will be next.  I am relaxed and confident in my dealings with people, and I don't give anything or anyone over much thought, except to engage things and people in the current moment.  I like being present and centered like this.  I find I make new friends and enjoy old ones very easily when I'm like this - even more so than usual. I feel no nervous self-consciousness.  I'm just me, here and now, and I'm finding that people truly like talking to me and I enjoy them as well.  And it's all very natural and comfortable.  It has made work a very relaxed endeavor, even as I strive to stay focused and make more calls.

The more I try to explain what feels so right, the less I feel I have adequately done so.  But that's okay.  I know what I mean and I am not anxious about it.   I will go to sleep tonight with a contended, grateful heart, very much at peace with the world.