we love the northwest!

July 26, 2009 at 1:01 am | Posted in adventures, portland, Schmoo Schmoo | 3 Comments

by sandra.

with the temperature getting hotter everyday, frank and i wanted to get out of our stuffy house to somewhere cooler. today we headed to the gorge where’s it’s quite shady. first we visited bridal veil falls using a secret shortcut that we discovered. we had visited here before with the pup but this time he was much braver. he enjoyed splashing in the water and even went down the stairs (in army crawl position!)

my boys

we planned on hitting up some of the other waterfalls in the gorge but they were too crowded. we decided to visit the bonneville fish hatchery and i’m so glad we did. It was such a treat — large grassy areas for the pup to play, fish to watch, and a nice breeze blowing. we plan on returning another day to have a picnic and hike a nearby trail.

for lunch we headed across the river to stevenson, washington, to visit walking man brewery. we hadn’t been there before so frank was excited. the restuarant had a nice shaded patio area which i appreciated.

all in all it was a great day. frank, the pup, and i all had a lot of fun. it was a great reminder of how lucky we are to live in the northwest.

Frank and Sandra’s Bulgarian Honeymoon (full playlist)

March 27, 2009 at 3:15 pm | Posted in adventures, bulgaria | Leave a comment

Here’s the full playlist on YouTube of our 15 minute video, “Frank and Sandra’s Bulgarian Honeymoon.”

Frank and Sandra’s Bulgarian Honeymoon

March 24, 2009 at 3:27 pm | Posted in adventures, bulgaria | Leave a comment

Frank and Sandra’s Bulgarian Honeymoon

Chapter 1: Introduction

Stay tuned for more chapters to be posted over the next several days.

A brief tour through Jefferson State

September 30, 2008 at 2:14 am | Posted in adventures | Leave a comment

Mt. Shasta Sunset

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jefferson_State

By Frank

I drove 1000 miles this weekend. I didn’t really mean to, but I forgot how big Oregon and Northern California are. I planned on 640 miles round-trip to what I consider my hometown (Tulelake, California). My family moved there from Kansas in 1986 after my grandparents died. It’s 5 miles south of the Oregon, and the nearest “big” town is Klamath Falls, Oregon. Tulelake is in the south east end of the Klamath Basin. The actual Tule Lake used to be over 100,000 acres, but the feds drained/diverted it, and it’s now only 13,000 acres; the exposed lake bed was converted to farms that currently produce potatoes, onions, alfalfa, barley, and horseradish at 4,000 feet in elevation. With only about 10 inches of rain a year, the area is considered high desert. There are not many trees around the area. Mostly juniper trees and sagebrush in the hills. If you were on a Jeep trail in the nearby mountains, you’d think you were in a wild west movie, what with the tumble weeds and rocks and desert.

But near the Klamath Basin is Crater Lake, which gets about 533 inches of snow a year on average. When I started in June of 1999, there was still 10 feet on the ground. Not much snow this September, which is normal. Early October, the snow will return. Summer is short there. Sandra and I only drove through the park and stopped for lunch at the Rim Village. Total tourists. But it was worth it to be among the 500 year old Red Fir trees, which are unbelievably magnificent.

We also took a tour of Northern California from the Modoc Plateau to Mt. Shasta. The Modoc Plateau is in Modoc County , which is California’s northeast corner. It is more than twice the area of Rhode Island with only 10,000 people. EMPTY. Mostly desert, but some nice forests of ponderosa pines. We stopped at Burney Falls, which Teddy Roosevelt called the “Eighth Wonder of the World”. It’s a very special place.

We stopped at some other waterfalls south of Mt. Shasta. Then we drove past the 8,000 foot level of the 14,162 feet high volcano. The landscape is otherworldly up there.

Then it was a long 80 mile drive from Mt. Shasta’s south side back north to the Oregon border. We watched the sun set on the mountain and drove through sage, ponderosas, grass valleys, and marshes on the way back to Tulelake.

All in all, it was a good weekend. Great friends. Great place. It reminded me how big the State of Jefferson is and how much of it I still need to explore.

Check out our photos from the trip

relishing summer.

August 18, 2008 at 8:11 pm | Posted in adventures, family update | 2 Comments

by sandra.

frank and i recently returned from a camping trip with my family. we spent three days and two nights at the clear lake campground in the national forest surrounding mt. hood. although the campground was full of loud noises and your usual annoyances we had a good time. my favorite feature of the campground was that it was located right on the lake. we were lucky enough to see two beautiful sunsets reflecting on the lake and enjoy an afternoon floating in water tubes (thanks mom!)

our first day was spent rafting down the deschutes river near maupin, oregon. my family has rafted about half a dozen times now and has enjoyed our time every occasion. this is in part because of river drifters (our trusty guides) and also because my family is awesome. this was frank’s first time white water rafting so we were excited to share this experience with him. although he was feeling calm and confident by the time we left the river, the pictures of almost flipping the boat and ending up in the “rume of doom” may deter him from joining us again. 🙂

to see our pictures go here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/nerdsinlove/sets/72157606864264993/

the second day frank and i headed up to timberline to explore the lodge and go for a hike. we were pleased to discover that the magic mile lift was running and we were able to take it to the top. we did just that and enjoyed a picnic with a view of the top of mt. hood and the nature beyond. then we hiked down across snow and past fields of wildflowers. if you’re ever looking for a good place to take out of town visitors, timberline is recommended!

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