Weekend Jaunt

Wy’east (Mt Hood) White River/Glacier; frist stop on the drive from Bend to Hood River


Dinner at Pfriem in Hood River.
Dinner at pFriem in Hood River.


Evening hike into Gifford-Pinchot National Forest (Mt St Helens)




Sun’s setting, probably need to find somewhere to camp


Mt St Helens, eastern slope


Cooler weather rolls in finally. A good heatwave sat over home for a week prior to this. Ahhh.


Grabbed a back corner camping spot. Invited a pair of cyclists to share shortly after the small FS camp filled up.


Up and on the road early, driving up towards Rainier.


Mt Ranier


Mid-Afternoon I rolled into Camlann Village, east of Seattle. It’s an authentic medieval living history village with a working farm, restaurant, venue etc. http://www.camlann.org/


Pottery Wheel




Planing boards. All the buildings, furniture and…well, everything…is handmade using traditional peasanty methods.
A big chunk of bread, a goblet of mead, and a bowl of pottage. Who’d of thought peasant slop could be made so well, kuddos! Very tasty.




Around 2PM I hit the road again, deciding to head towards the coast. A few stops around Seattle and some quick 15min hikes in the Olympia/coastal range.


Spent the night at Ft Stevens State Park, right on the beach at Astoria, Ore.


You can drive on many public beaches in Oregon. I had a rental car…so you know, why not. Turns out donuts and sweet stunts are a tad dull with AWD.

I’ve got a lot more photos, expect a followup post!


I’ve generally avoided politics on this blog; a good idea if the peace is to be kept.


My interests in politics skews more towards the past and future – rather than day-to-day soundbytes, breaking election coverage, moneyball statistics, and 24/7 ‘newz’… Instead, I enjoy examining the historical aspects of politics, which like history or fiction have uncanny and reliably predictable themes, the same stories retelling with different actors. In this way, politics can be appreciated, predicted, and enjoyed for what it is, as well as providing a curious glimpse into humankind at a higher level.


So where was, I? Elections? So yep, Barack won – I’d say he earned it. It’s not an easy job and he’s done well enough, dealing with a lot more shit than most Presidents. I have serious concerns about drones, domestic privacy, education, PAC’s, and myriad other issues, but as I mentioned above, I won’t get into politics on this blog. That’s my election synopsis for now, Political Science BA and all 🙂

…RAAAAAAAAAWR! Mr and Mrs Presidentasaurus 2012 !


I’m also incredibly busy with work currently, specifically clients in the Sandy…and now nor’easter… ravaged post-apocalyptic wastelands back East (NJ and surrounds). I’ll try to keep the posts coming, there’s always adventures to be had 😀




So I have a fairly interesting history of ‘second vehicles’. But before I dwell deeper on that, know that our current ride is a ’11 Honda Fit, a zippy little fuel-efficient commuter which the wife drives regularly.

Over the past few years, I’ve had an assorted fleet of second vehicles, starting with the Suzuki Samurai, a little jeep-esque SUV, rugged, 5-speed and really fun. I explored a lot of Oregon in that thing, heck – we even hauled a trailer with it to Burning Man! It was reliable, and it even sold for more than what I paid for! Looking back, it was the sort of vehicle that I regret selling, but the $3500 was much needed elsewhere (getting married!).


The second vehicle was the thoroughly lackluster Dodge Raider. It was dirt cheap, only $500, and had engine troubles, including leaks and bad compression. I’ll be honest…it sucked. I had it for just over a month before unloading it on craigslist for what I paid for. It was the black sheep – for sure.


Number three was my trusty ’78 Toyota pickup. Had the ‘Yoda’ for about a year and the fellow I sold it to was lucky, because this vehicle will likely be running long after our shiny ’11 Fit grows old and falls apart. While it was only 2WD, it handled anything well – from trails to snow. It was a good ride, got great mileage with its little 4cyl engine, and even had a sound system. Little pickups like this are great…if you don’t mind having to help people move and haul stuff 😀 Sadly, we sold it when we moved to Omaha.


That brings us to number four, my new ride. I preset the…well…we haven’t thought of a good name for it yet, but it’s a beasty GMC. An ’87 Jimmy to be precise, with a bit of a lift and beautifully maintained. It won’t win any fuel-efficiency awards, but perfect for exploring off-road (for, uh guidebook research), hopping around town,  getting us through the winter safely and the zombie apocalypse.


Mythgard Institute

At last, I can get my PHD in Tolkien. I knew something like this would finally come around 😉


It’s developed and managed by Professor Cory Olsen, of the Tolkien Professor fame. I might sit in to audit a class or two next semester, see how it works and what the quality is (and if it’s actually valid a legitimate graduate level credit). Thoughts?