Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Time flies!

Oh man.  It's been FAR too long.  
I'm a little embarassed to say that I still have Thanksgiving photos to post. 
Sheesh.  What a slacker.

We spent Thanksgiving with the Allens on the Oregon Coast. 
Great food, wonderful time with family, and the roaring ocean.
Does it get any better?
On the beach
(with my hubby)
(and my new boots!)

My Mom, Dad, Uncle Dave, and Aunt Cynthia. 
No one's having any fun.  Not at all.  

The cozy beach house!  

So, now that those are out of the way, I can get to photos from the current month!  
My Dad planned a trip to Whistler a few months ago, and invited a few of his friends.  A week before he planned to leave, his buddies bailed. 
 When Dad invited Cody and I to come, and we jumped on the offer. What a treat. 

Oh yeah. Hello, Whistler. 

This was Cody's first time riding Whistler. 
I think he liked it.  

The pro.  He burned out our legs with ease.  

It was a lovely ski trip, punctuated by fabulous meals, dips in the hot tub, 10 inches of fresh powder,
 and quality time spent with my two favorite men.    

We got home from Whistler, turned right back around, and headed to Vancouver with the rest of the family.  

Vancouver is a big and bustling city- The Los Angeles of Canada.
It was fun to spend a couple days in such an urbane setting.  

On our first evening in town, my parents surprised us with tickets to go see a play.  The local theatre on Granville Island was showing a production of "It's a Wonderful Life."  We had such a lovely time-  The play was fantastic; great acting and such a meaningful story.  I left with tears in my eyes. 

We met this dapper little fellow while out doing some Christmas shopping.  

What city slickers!  
The lovely Allen ladies, laden with goodies after a day of shopping. 

Vancouver at Twilight.  

We stayed in the swank Club Intrawest rooms , which occupy the top three floors of the Sheraton Wall Center in downtown Vancouver.  The building is new, and is an oblong shape, kind of like a football.  The gently curving hallways and floor-to-ceiling windows provide an air of sophistication and glamour.  Not to mention a killer view of the city.  

The above photo was taken from the dock where Cody and I caught the water bus over to Granville Island, to see the market.  The water bus is a cute little bathtub of a boat that crosses the small inlet of water that splits Vancouver.

Isn't it just darling?  
(And you can bet your christmas socks that Cody and I were scoping out the Marina too! Hmm..  Summer in Vancouver?)  

Christmas photos to come soon!  
I promise I won't let another two months go by!  

Hope you all are living your dreams!  

Sunday, November 7, 2010

It's about time!

Hello and happy autumn to one and all!  The blog has been quiet this month....  But our lives here on Bainbridge have been rather busy.   I've got a job working at Bainbridge Bakers,  a bakery and cafe that is within strolling distance from our slip.  I make fancy espresso drinks and sell pastries.  You want a dopio macchiato, you say?  Or a double shot in the dark?  Or just a plain' ol' latte?  You come see me.

Autumn in all her glory on land, and on the sea.  
We've been having a fantastic fall season here in the Pacific Northwest!  

Cody has been working with Dave Sutter, the gentleman who sold us our boat, (who we've been calling Gesena, by the way.)  Recently, however, Dave, who has been restoring a sailboat, and doing minor roofing projects, has had a lull in work.  So, after a week of waiting, Cody called up Vertical Solutions, and is currently en route to a wall building job in Telluride, Colorado.  He'll be back in time for Turkey day.  (Well,  that's the plan.  He BETTER be back for turkey day.)     

Cody at the helm.  What a peaceful and beautiful pastime.  

We've been sailing the paint of little Gesena.  Every chance we get, we're hoisting our sails and exploring the Puget Sound around Bainbridge.  Winter is coming, and soon, so we're trying to snag every last minute of the warmish fall weather and winds before it all goes grey in a month or so.  

Our home row in the Marina.  Sometimes, when I'm walking the dock back to the boat after a run, all I want to do is jump into that placid water and float on my back down the rows of boats.  Doesn't it just look inviting?  (Okay, I know, not really.  But if you're all hot and sweaty, it looks pretty refreshing!) 

We take turns at the helm and adjusting the sails.  Hopefully, with enough practice, we'll get to the point where we can both single-hand her.  

Look at that lovely sail trim!  
The main sail and the jib in perfect harmony in our favorite point of sail- the close haul.  

Our back yard.
The Seattle skyline to the left, Blakely Rock to the right, and just on the right edge of the frame, in the background, you can see the silhouette of a ferry boat on it's way to Bremerton.  

Friday, September 10, 2010

Yarr. We be salty.

For those of you who haven't yet heard the news, Cody and I have purchased a little floating home!  She's an Ericson Sailboat, 27 feet long, and currently in slip D19 in the Winslow Wharf Marina, in Eagle Harbor, Bainbridge Island.  Right here

Come on aboard!  

The outside.  Cute little thing!  

Galley is sea speak for kitchen.  It's pretty basic, but comfortable!  We've got a real ice-box, and I'm not trying to sound quaint!  We keep our milk and cheese and such in a box, along with a big ol' block of ice.  A block usually lasts us about 5 days.   We've got a 2 burner hot plate for a stove, which plugs into the shore power here at the marina.  The sink is a foot pumper and only has cold water.  A little rustic, I suppose, but it suits us just fine!  

Now, we're looking forward, on the port side of the boat.  (Left side, for all you landlocked folks.)  The v berth is where we sleep, and it's shaped like a v!  Our feet go toward the bow, in the little narrow point of the v.  It's quite cozy!  We've also got a CD player, a space heater, and some cute hand-made curtains.  And at the top of the photo, you can just see the corner of the forward hatch, which lets in a lot of light, and fresh air when it's nice out.  The head (bathroom) is on the other side of that doorknob.  

We're still looking forward, but on the starboard side now.  The table folds out to a nice big size, but we usually just leave it folded.  I don't mind brushing elbows over eggs in the mornin'.  The kerosene lamp is functional, but it doesn't smell very good.  We usually just use the electric lights.  How modern!  

Yep.  That's about all there is to say about that.  

Looking aft, opposite the galley.  The quarter berth, which is actually about the size of a twin bed, is stuffed full of sails.  The boat came with eight different sails, which is a ton for a 27 foot boat.  We've got 2 mainsails, a spinnaker, a drifter, a 95% jib, a 130% jib, a 155% jib, and some others that I don't know the names of.  It seems like overkill, but it's actually great for us.  We've got sails for every possible weather condition, and can play around with different jibs while we learn to sail. 

And no, we're not experienced sailors or anything.  We're learning as we go!  The guy who sold us the boat, Dave,  is a great guy and an accomplished sailor.  He took us out last weekend in some heavy conditions that would have been too much for us to handle by ourselves.  We both learned a ton. I think he'll prove to be a great teacher and endless source of sailing information.  And Cody works for him- working on another boat and other carpentry projects...  

Cody has been tirelessly working on the boat.  He's so excited to be on the water, and just wants our little lady to shine.  I helped him sand the teak handrails that had gone grey.  We've also rebedded the traveller, the pulpit, and forward stanchions.  Cody's been up to his elbows in wires, trying to get some of the instruments working...  Not a lot of success yet, but we're still working on it.  

Ooh, shiny.  Freshly oiled handrails.   

Our neighbors.  They're mostly a quiet bunch.  
(Don't the maroon ones look like Animal from the muppets?)
We've seen otters hunting in the marina,  and blue herons stand on the ends of the docks like lookouts.  It's a beautiful place to live, the Marina.  

The best part of owning a sailboat!  We've been trying to get out every chance we get!   

The spectacular Mt. Ranier.
(which is actually taller than any peak in Wyoming.  It's 14,411 feet begin at sea level.  just sayin'.)  

Ta ta for now!  
I'm off to live the dream!  

Monday, August 30, 2010

Squamish in the Summer

Squamish.  The land of enchanted forests, waterfalls, giant granite boulders and endless cracked faces...
The sea to sky country.  

Part of the magic of Squamish, in my humble opinion, is that you can't climb there all year long.  There is a small window of fine weather, where the rock is dry and the skies are blue (mostly) in July and August.  (Maybe September, if you're lucky.)  So, we like to climb there when we can.    

This year, we brought some friends along.  Chris Jones flew in from Salt Lake City to join us, and Tim Long flew all the way from Denver, to Spokane, to Reno, to Timbuktu, and finally to Seattle to come along.   They played our travel guitar in the backseat the whole way there.  Over the Hills and Far Away by Led Zepplin is now permanently stuck in my head.   But it's better than Smells like Teen Spirit!  (which Cody is learning!)  

The climbing in Squamish is fantastic, and you can practice just about any kind of climbing there.  The Smoke Bluffs have single pitch traditional climbing- which is what I'm doing here.   A sweet .11a finger crack, near the Neat and Cool area.  

Climbing isn't the only thing in season this time of year in Squamish.  We had fresh blackberries with our oatmeal every morning.  Tim talked us into a 10 kilo bag of oatmeal during our first stop in the grocery store.  10 kilos is a LOT of oatmeal.  But the four of us managed to get through it somehow.  I think Tim  was eating at least 3 or 4 cups of the stuff every day-  to prove that we could finish it in 11 days!    

Here's Tim crushing the crux pitch on the Squamish Buttress.  We started at the base of the Stawamus Chief and finished at the very top!  It took all day, but it's nice to get some air under your feet every now and then.   Most of the pitches were moderate, but this final pitch was a real challenge for all of us at  thin 5.10b.  

On the hike down from the top of the Chief, we stopped to cool off in the creek.  After a day of jamming toes into cracks and standing sideways on ankles, the cold, clear water was bliss.  Almost as good as the burgers we treated ourselves to for dinner that night.  

Now, the base of the Chief, ( the granite monolith of Squamish) is surrounded with boulders- chunks of rock that have been discarded from the main feature over the course of it's formation.  The boulders are another main attraction to Squamish.  They lie in a dense forest, so on hot days, they're shady and cool, and if it starts to drizzle, they're protected by the canopy for a little while.  Here, Tim works on Worm World Cave (V9).  

Chris Jones on his first V10, Salad Shooter. 

Cody sending the classic Viper (V5).  Viper, like all Squamish classic boulder problems, is an arete- a mostly featureless corner feature.  Viper is vertical, but there's Baba Hari Dass (V7) that is slightly more angled, and Easy in an Easy Chair (V4) that's horizantal.  So, if you plan on going bouldering in Squamish, bring your sloper mitts, and some pinch strength!!

The psyche level near the end of the trip.   Chris and Tim loved Canada's selection of Ruffles, in exotic flavors like All Seasoned, Dill Pickle, Ketchup, and Bacon and Sour Cream.  

It was a great trip, eh?  

Monday, July 26, 2010

Devil's Tower

It's just a two for one kind of day around here.... I already posted about life in Lingle, but I just have to post about our weekend in Devil's Tower!  
Our buddy Tim drove up from Laramie to join us for the weekend.  We headed out on Friday evening and arrived after dark.   

We awoke the next morning to the tower looming above our campsite, it's splitter pillars calling our names.

After a short hike on the tourist-friendly paved trail, we ventured up to the base of the tower itself.  
Looks pretty impressive close up, doesn't it?

Kelby leading the classic and mile-long Assembly Line (5.9) pitch.  The columns of the tower make for some of the longest and most sustained pitches I have ever climbed. 

A couple of goobers on the belay!

Team Harris-Long-Scott on the Summit! All the tourists asked us what it was like up there- well, it was just a big grassy hill, covered in ants.  Not so glamourous.  But we signed the summit register, took some photos, ate some granola bars, and rapped down.  It was a hot day, and once we were back on the ground, we headed straight for the river.  

  The boys, cooling off and admiring the tower. 

After our swim, we were playing hearts at our campsite, and a friendly park ranger came by and told us about the evening program going on that night. A man named Buffalo Bill Boycott was going to be playing music and telling stories, and to quote the ranger, "It's just going to be a lot of fun." 

We headed out to have dinner, which ended up as a bust.  The KOA campsite had a diner that served buffalo burgers in the shape a buffalo.  Not so good.   

But Buffalo Bill, he was good.  He played the banjo, guitar, mandolin and fiddle.  He told jokes and bits of cowboy poetry.  He did Native American sign language storytelling, and told us history of the wild west.  It was a great show!  We went to bed exhausted and happy.  

The next morning, we climbed a bit more- attempted the classic El Matador (5.10d), and then headed over to the slightly easier but still classic Soler (5.9) and Walt Bailey (5.9).  We were battered and tired at the end of the day, but another river swim, and a real burger for dinner worked wonders.   

What a dreamy weekend!  

Life in Lingle

Cody and I are currently in Lingle, Wyoming, with the Greenwald family. Our good friend Kelby Scott spends his summers working on his sister and brother-in-law's farm.  He invited us to come work with him for a week or so, and he and Cody have been hard at it all week!    

The Greenwalds grow corn and alfalfa, and also run a feedlot of about 2000 cattle.  This is a photo of the freshly swathed alfalfa field outside of the house.  Kaylee swathed it herself!  She even let me do a row-  I managed to drive the swather in a nice straight line.  After swathing, the hay is baled and fed to the cattle.  

Did you know alfalfa has purple flowers?  I didn't either!

Acres and acres of corn!  The Greenwalds use "round-up ready" corn, so they can use round-up to kill the weeds, but not the corn.  The corn is almost 7 feet tall, and will grow to 10 feet when they harvest.  The feed almost all the corn to the cattle come harvest time-  They keep some of it to eat themselves!   

Kaylee and Makenna raise goats for their 4-H club.  This is Peaches, a nigerian dwarf goat.  Currently, she's about as wide as she is tall,  and is expected to have her babies sometime this month! 

After milking the goats, we funnel it into clean beer bottles and feed it to the kids.  The Alpine goats give   about 2 gallons a day!  We made some fudge from goat milk, and attempted to make cheese, but the recipe didn't work out...  We'll try again this week! 

Some hungry kiddos!  These guys drink 2-3 bottles of milk every morning and night.  They've grown so much in the past week!  

There are lots of baby animals around.  These barn kittens will handle the mouse population when they get a bit bigger!  

Sweet Emma-  one of the family Welsh Corgi's.  

One of the many beautiful spots around the farm!