Thursday, July 30, 2009

Weekly Wednesday #3

Instead of driving to Seattle and sitting in 100-degree weather to watch the Mariners last week, we decided to spend our Wednesday at the cool coast.

Eryn, Mom and I drove to the Tillamook Forest Center on Highway 6 for a look and a hike. We climbed the fire lookout, posed with Smokey Bear and watched the film about the Tillamook Burn and the replanting effort (my grandfather helped plant those little Douglas firs in the '50s!).
Across the way is the Wilson River Trail, a 20-mile path along the river. We took a left and headed toward Wilson Falls. We stopped at Cedar Creek for a cooldown.
After a while later, we decided it was too hot to keep going. So we turned around and looked for a perfect swimming hole. We found it - a little hot tub right on the shore!
After changing from our soggy sneakers, we drove into Tillamook for sandwiches at the Blue Moon Cafe.
My grandparents were spending the week at their home at Oceanside, so we drove out for a quick hello before getting the all-important ice cream at the Tillamook Cheese Factory. It was cool, cloudy and misty - a perfect way to cool off!


Post-climb burrito buffet

Eryn took some pictures of the burrito/dessert buffet that was waiting for us at the trail head after we climbed Mount St. Helens last weekend. Eryn, Mom, Kari, Donna and Cash all helped prepare the spread. It was SO good! Take a peek:

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mount St. Helens 7/25/09

Time for our annual trek to the top of Mount St. Helens -- this year with 18 climbers and four hikers/support folks!

Because of expected heat, we hit the trail earlier than first planned. We got our group picture and were heading out by 6:15 a.m.

From Mount St. Helens

The first 2 miles were nice in the shady woods, though we could tell it was going to be a hot day. We emerged from the forest and climbed up onto the rocky ridge. But once on top, we were able to hike up the west edge of the ridge, keeping us in the shade much longer.

We finally emerged from the boulders and started the slog up the scree field. Imagine a massive, mile-long sand dune.

After about 4.5 hours, the group I was with reached the summit! WOOHOO!

That was my fifth MSH summit and Brad's sixth!

The weather was nice, so Brad and I hung out at the top until everyone made it. Here they come...

The trip down took a turn for the worse when Mike sprained his ankle in the boulder field. Brad and Tim helped him limp down to the flat trail.

My mom, aunt, sister and Cash had a burrito bar waiting at the base camp when we each arrived. Best burritos ever! Oh, and Brad's mom sent a variety of homemade cookies - YUM!!!!!!

Overall, it was a terrific day! We're already planning next year's trip :)

Click below to see more pictures from our climb:

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ingalls Peak 7/17/09

Ingalls Peak (North peak in middle)

Last Friday I climbed the South Ridge of North Ingalls Peak in the Mount Stuart range with the Mazamas. Kim and I drove up Thursday afternoon to camp near the trailhead where we met Hugh and Greg. I had never met any of them before, so it was nice having this opportunity to get acquainted before climbing the next day.

We were on the trail shortly after 5 a.m. Friday. The approach trail to Ingalls Pass was very nice. Upon arrival at the pass we were greeted by a heard of mountain goats and swarms of mosquitoes.

I’d never been this close to the mountain goats before. I wouldn’t say they were aggressive, but they definitely weren’t shy. They seemed to show no intention of yielding the trail and would follow us when we tried to go around. If we got too close they would let us know by making snorting and grunting sounds and pawing at the ground. This modest display of aggression would not have been quite as intimidating without the sharp horns on their heads.

We tried to give them as much space as possible, but they lingered in hopes one of us would stop to take a leak.

These goats crave salt and will get it any way they can, sucking on pack straps or lapping up urine. They reminded me a bit of the shape-shifting salt vampire from that old Star Trek episode.

It’s recommended that people pee on the rocks instead of on the dirt or on plants when in goat territory. This prevents the goats from tearing up the ground and plants.

Hugh attempted to become pee brothers with the goats but I don’t think the ceremony was complete, as Hugh never managed to drink any goat pee.

Salty yellow beverages

From the pass we proceeded across rock and snow fields to the base of the South Face.
The South Face

The slab that forms the South Face is a nice solid piece of rock with easy climbing and good cracks for protection. We climbed the route as two teams of two. I got to lead all three pitches on the second rope with Greg and had a blast! The sky was crystal clear, so we had great views of the surrounding peaks. 3 pitches up and 3 rappels down.

From the pass we proceeded across rock and snow fields to the base of the South Face.
Ingalls Lake

Looking down from top of pitch 2


Rappelling off the top

By climbing early on a Friday we managed to avoid the crowds for which this popular route is known. The first other climbers we saw were just gearing up at the base of the climb as we made our last rappel. Having the route to ourselves made me glad we climbed on a weekday.

The hike out was hot and the drive home long, but it was definitely worthwhile. I’m already scoping out peaks for another visit to this beautiful mountain range next summer.

Mount Stuart

Gear notes:

Required 2 ropes to rap the 2nd pitch
Used ~9 draws

Every anchor had bolts, slings, rap-rings
Used a #3 Camalot, but could have done without it

Wished I’d left the large hexes at home and brought cams in the .5-.75 Camalot range instead

Tri-cams took some fiddling to set properly in the smooth slippery cracks

Driving back to Portland through Yakima (~4 hrs) was faster than driving up through Olympia (~6 hrs)

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Chocolate Zucchini Cake

I had some zucchini that needed eaten (surprise, surprise!) and I needed something to take to tonight's Garden Party at the farm. A quick search of the Internet turned up this recipe for Chocolate Zucchini Cake from Simply Recipes. What the heck, I'll try it. I don't like chocolate cake, so I wasn't too impressed. But others said it was really good, so I guess it's a keeper.

  • 2 1/2 cups regular all-purpose flour, unsifted
  • 1/2 cup cocoa
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup soft butter
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 2 teaspoons grated orange peel
  • 2 cups coarsely shredded zucchini
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (I left these out, just didn't feel like chopping nuts)
  • Glaze (directions follow)

Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Combine the flour, cocoa, baking powder, soda, salt, and cinnamon; set aside.

With a mixer, beat together the butter and the sugar until they are smoothly blended. Add the eggs to the butter and sugar mixture one at a time, beating well after each addition. With a spoon, stir in the vanilla, orange peel, and zucchini.

Alternately stir the dry ingredients and the milk into the zucchini mixture, including the nuts with the last addition.

Pour the batter into a greased and flour-dusted 10-inch tube pan or bundt pan. Bake in the oven for about 50 minutes (test at 45 minutes!) or until a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool in pan 15 minutes; turn out on wire rack to cool thoroughly.

Drizzle glaze over cake.

Glaze: Mix together 2 cups powdered sugar, 3 Tablespoons milk, and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Beat until smooth.

Cut in thin slices to serve. Makes 10-12 servings.

I don't have a tube or bundt pan, so I just used a large French white casserole dish. It worked, but a bundt would have been much prettier.

-Liz :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Adventures in mass transit

Scheduling conflicts caused a delay in this year's Weekly Wednesday. But we finally went this week for our first outing of the summer: an adventure in mass transit.

We walked to a nearby TriMet bus stop and boarded the 76. At Tigard Transit Center we transferred to WES and rode to Beaverton Transit Center. Then it was on to the MAX Red Line to IKEA at PDX.

It was our first time on WES - that's a nice ride!

Mom was shopping for couches at IKEA, but we had to take a break for a $.99 breakfast.

We hopped back on MAX and headed downtown for the Portland Farmers Market.

But we got distracted when we saw a concert in the park and made an impromptu stop for some noontime tunes near Lloyd Center.

We eventually made it to the market and bought fresh berries, cherries, pesto, cheese and veggies. I was too busy shopping and munching to snap a photo of our bounty.

Then it was back on MAX for the return trip to Beaverton. But since WES doesn't start again until 4, we killed time with this:

We also hit a thrift shop where Eryn scored cute pants and a top!

After eating and shopping, we rode the entire WES line to Wilsonville, where we hopped a SMART bus to Brad's work.

In all, we rode on eight different vehicles of mass transit, including buses, trains and light rail, and on two different transit systems.

Looking forward to next week's outing!

Monday, July 13, 2009

Tillamook Head, July 9

My family gathered this week for a camping adventure at Fort Stevens State Park on the Oregon Coast, a wonderful spot we've been visiting since I was a child. On Thursday, most of us drove south to Ecola State Park for a hike.

Eryn, Dad, Vicki and I went north from Indian Beach on the Clatsop Loop Trail to a lookout over the Tillamook Head Lighthouse. After some photos and Pringles, we explored an old concrete bunker and a hiker camp. We then continued north to another lookout before turning around and returning to Indian Beach on the west side of the Clatsop Loop.
Fourteen educational markers dot the loop, teaching us new things about the coast, the natives and the forest. The eastern section is a wide old road surrounded by trees. The western section is overgrown in spots but offers some good views of the coastline.
At the surfer beach, we met up with Mom and Kari, who had started at Ecola Point and hiked north to Indian Beach. We walked together back to Ecola Point.

Ma, Pa, Kayla and Jessie geocached around Fort Stevens while we hiked. After, we all met at Mo's in Cannon Beach for chowder and other assorted seafood treats before returning to our campsites.


Rain makes me smile

I love rain and clouds. I'm so happy for a break from the hot sun. YAY!

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Vintage Vinyl

December 1982. I remember like it was yesterday. I was 6, Eryn was 4. We lived in Sherwood, on the corner of Lincoln and Willamette. For some reason, we decided to reveal what we got each other for Christmas. We were in the middle bedroom. I think it had green shag carpet. I had purchased for her a rainbow-colored belt -- you know, the really cool kind with the double D-ring buckle. She got me this:
I loved that album! I no longer have a turntable, but when I heard about Michael Jackson's death, I called mom to locate my record. Thankfully she knew exactly where it was, safe and sound.

After watching today's memorial service with Eryn and me, my dad dug out his prized MJ album, too:
Michael Jackson was a genius. And his music and style shaped my generation. He shared his remarkable talent and made the world a better place. For that, I am grateful. I will never forget.

-Liz :)