Monday, September 28, 2009

Cove Palisades

We have found a new half-way spot between here and Tri-Cities to camp. We stayed at Cove Palisades State Park on our way up on Thursday and then back last night. I regret that we had so little time camping.

The park is situated on Lake Billy Chinook, a reservoir at the confluence of the Crooked River and the Deschutes.

Thursday night we spent down at the bottom of the canyon, in the Deschutes campground. It is the end of the season and the campground was nearly empty.

This is the view at sunset behind our campsite.
No cell phone reception.  No internet.  Lots of quiet and desert air.
We will be back.

Monday, September 21, 2009

The Rogue Valley Burns

It's hot: 95 F and expected to hit over 100. It's dry. It's windy. Perfect conditions for a fire. Or multiple fires.
The morning started out with a fire south of Ashland at the south end of the valley. At the last report it was around 50 acres and had burned one house.
But we were looking out our office window and saw this one start.

There is/was a power substation up there and we know that the power is out at some of the employee's houses as everyone is calling home to check.  The unofficial word is that three or four houses have burned.
Often when there are multiple fires set this time of year it turns out to be the work of an arsonist.  You can tell from the skies that there were no lightning strikes.
The above pictures were made around 3 p.m.   Here's an update from around 4:20.

The wind is picking up and the fire has jumped a good distance to the north.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Changes . . .

A change of seasons . . .
Though the leaves are falling mostly from drought this time of year.

 We haven't yet had our first frost, though some mornings have been down in the 40's.

  Yesterday's project: two tuns of pellets bought and stacked in the garage. Yes, that would be 100 forty lb bags. One ton for each of us. Yes, my arms and back are still sore.

Today's project was another change. My 2+ year old laptop decided that it no longer wanted to be able to get on to the wireless network. Its wired port had failed sometime back. It is under warranty, but was going back to Dell on a lease return in just a couple of months anyway. Let's just say that the buyout on the lease made it not a good deal.

Left: old laptop. Right: new netbook. Not shown: new fancy desktop in "my room" (which doubles as guest bedroom). The netbook will be the take-with e-mail and web machine. The desktop will be for the fancy editing.

The netbook has a built-in webcam and microphone. It can take a picture of me and Alice working at the computer.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

A Stroll in Eugene

Last Friday in Eugene was one of those perfect end-of-summer/early-fall days. We had an 8 a.m. ring time which left us ample time to relax and restore. After some nap and/or computer time (that would be me), Louise, Kim, and I took the dogs for a walk up the path along the millrace. 

 Louise knew this spot existed: an urban garden run by UO students.  I find myself increasingly envious of those with the time and especially the water to be able to have such opulent, luxurious garden spots.    Our water at home has levels of boron which are toxic to many plants except, alas, Himalayan blackberries.  We are limited by quantity as well as quality.

 An entire area devoted to peppers.

 Sunflower with bee.

I could live in Eugene, or any place from Eugene north to the Washington border.  I do still reserve the right to be a desert snowbird in the dark and cold winter months.

For the foodies among the readers: I was able to introduce Louise and Kim to a couple of places they hadn't been to before.  On my recommended list are the Glenwood Cafe on Willamette and Taco Loco on 7th.  We also ate at the campus Glenwood: the food was great but the menu is smaller, and at Mazzi's - long a Eugene fixture.   And we ate not once, but twice at Mekala's, the Thai restaurant conveniently located next to the motel.  How can you beat a Thai place which also boasts a list of single-malt scotches.? And at which I had what was absolutely the best desert to date: the Coconut Island.  A scoop of homemade coconut icecream on a bed of steaming hot sweet sticky rice.

Then again, maybe it's better for the diet that we don't live in Eugene.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Sometimes I like it Here

Like when we enjoyed the pretty sunset Wednesday evening.
But then . . . it's supposed to be 103 today.