Saturday, June 18, 2011

'Zuki 'xplorin'

‘Zuki Exploring

Several months ago Chris decided that he was ready to be done dirt biking, and ready to sell his AWD Rally Bug and move on to something else. I was surprised that he was ready to sell the Rally Bug because he loved that car so much.

We had fun racing it, but honestly, it had turned into a hanger queen. We haven’t raced in years and have no plans to race anytime in the near future. The car was great, but he had gotten his fun out of it and was ready to move on. He wanted something more suited to our lifestyle now and here in Southern Oregon. He decided on a Suzuki Samurai 4x4.

We have had fun heading out and running around in it. It has a very short wheel base, so it is kind of fun to drive around. He put some new gearing in it so that now that thing will climb darn near anything without too much effort. We have a little off road area not far from the house where we run out to every so often for a half hour of fun.

Today we decided to go on a longer trip and headed up into the hills to the west of Medford and Jacksonville. This is an area with a lot of dirt bike, ATV, cycling and hiking trails, along with miles and miles of forest service roads. We stuck to the roads and just went exploring.

First stop was this lookout point. The flat “hills” in the distance are the Table Rocks, which we have hiked and I have posted about in the past.

As you can see we were pretty overcast and cool today, but the clouds were really high. They broke up by late afternoon and we warmed up a bit and had some sun.

From the lookout point we headed off on another spur road, and then another, and then another. We came across an active logging operation, freshly cut trees everywhere. We came across an older clear-cut on a very steep hillside. We found an old road that was overgrown by grass and bushes. Chris found a spot to do a few doughnuts, too.

For it being a nice summer day we saw NO other dirt bikes, off road trucks, or even ATV’s. We saw two enduro bikes and riders, one little pickup and two parked cars. That was it. We were out there in the hills in a very popular area for over 2 hours! Crazy! This is one of the reasons we like living down here though. No crowds!

When we came down out of the hills we weren’t exactly sure where we were going to pop out at. We certainly wouldn’t be coming down the same was we came in, as we had traversed over several ridgelines. We popped out very far north of where we started. We started out in Jacksonville and ended up in Gold Hill, all through the foothills.

We had a great day, lovely picnic lunch and enjoyed ourselves. Chris found one road that would make a good rally road, and even though we weren’t in the rally car, Chris put the ‘zuki through its paces out there.

The only downside to the whole trip was at the lookout point there was a ton of garbage, beer cans and miscellaneous other junk. I really wanted to clean it up but we didn’t have anything to transport it all in. We decided the next time we head out we are going to bring a garbage bag with us so that we can help clean up after the lazy morons who ruin the beauty for the rest of us. In fact, I think I’ll go put a garbage bag in the lockbox right now.

Hope you all had a great Saturday, too! Feel free to comment with your own Saturday Adventure!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Holy Radish!

Holy Radish Batman!

After my post earlier we went out to the garden and decided to check on our second batch of radishes. They were ready! Look at these gorgeous babies!

Oh yah... looks like we will be having radish salad and some mexican food, and dipping them in hummus!

Yay for garden bounty!

2011 Garden

Well I thought I’d update you all on our garden!

Gardening has been a lot of trial and error. Last year several of the things we planted just wouldn’t grow…like beets. We also had spotty luck with carrots. Some things that did grow got attacked by bugs, like cabbage and brussel sprouts.

Some of it was our own fault for getting too excited and planting early. Our pepper and tomatoes just never really made a comeback from the late frost we got.

Other things did great! Our peas, beans, potatoes and cucumbers all gave us lots of bounty.

This year we added a couple extra boxes, changed a few things around and *patiently* waited to plant most things until mid-late May. We did plant peas, radishes and beets early (thought we would try again with the beets). Our weather was very wet and colder than normal through, well really, just about the beginning of June. Our peas are pathetic, just barely producing. The beets, again, totally no go. The first round of radishes only about half of them actually produced a radish of any size. I planted lettuce seeds and they pretty much have done nothing.

At this point I am glad there is a grocery store nearby and that someone else somewhere in this world has better luck growing things than I do!

In the last month we have planted many starts and seeds of a variety of things. We also tried to grow our own starts of some pepper varieties and some basil. This also was not one would call a success.

At any rate, we have at least *some* promising growth happening out there. The corn, potatoes, tomatoes and the zucchini all look good, healthy, bushy and green. Other things seem to be struggling a bit, but we are fertilizing, trying to deter the bugs and slugs and generally giving positive encouragement to everything.

We also have some new additions to our yard this year. Our cherry tree never fruited last year….but this year we have these:

We also bought 3 blueberry plants, and they are looking pretty good:

No picture, but our lemon is about double or triple its original size.

And to make things look prettier, Chris planted these for me:

Here is hoping that with continued encouragement, heat, fertilizer, and water that our garden perks up and we have a good season.

I can hardly wait to eat my first tomato sandwich!!

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Mt Shasta

Mt. Shasta

When the opportunity came for Chris and I to move from Portland, Oregon to Medford, Oregon one of the reasons we decided to accept the job transfer was our love of adventure and exploring. Southern Oregon and Northern California would be an entirely new world to explore. Chris and I were both raised in the Pacific Northwest, he in Olympia, Washington and I in Vancouver, Washington. We had spent our youth and early married years exploring Washington and Northern and Central Oregon, even into parts of Idaho. The Pacific Northwest is a beautiful place, and no we have not explored every little inch, but we have been many places. Maybe future blog posts will discuss old adventures around Oregon, Washington and Idaho. This post is about NEW adventures.

For Spring Break Chris and I decided to head south to visit Mt. Shasta. We had driven by a few times, but never been there. Chris wanted to do some snowboarding and I wanted to relax after a particularly grueling Winter Term where I took 20 credits, not to mention I was still recovering from the emotional ordeal with mom’s Fall hospitalization. I wanted some peace, quiet, and a massage. :-)

We made arrangements to stay in Mt. Shasta City at the Mt. Shasta Resort and golf course. We arrived Friday afternoon and got settled in a cool, newly refurbished mountain cabin. Oh, and it was snowing. It had been snowing for about 24 hours according to the locals. There was probably about a foot of snow on the ground. Chris was excited! Fresh powder on the slopes for the next day!

We went to dinner at the golf course restaurant. Truly, the best dinner out we have had in this area since we moved here. I was still doing my spring cleanse, so decided on a mushroom barley soup, grilled salmon, veggies and rice pilaf. It was SO delicious. The mushroom barley soup was amazing, made with real mushrooms and packed with flavor. The salmon and veggies were not soaked in butter, but truly just grilled and steamed. I don’t remember what Chris got…probably prime rib…but I do know that his dinner was delicious as well. We were both very impressed. We had a lovely view of the golf course, freshly covered in untouched snow.

We stayed up late watching movies and talking. It snowed all night.

The next morning Chris hit the slopes and I headed to the spa at the resort for an hour long facial AND an hour long massage. Without a doubt the best facial I have ever had and the massage was pretty amazing, too. I walked out of there a couple hours later feeling like a big pile of mush…in a good way. It was still snowing. In fact, the road has been plowed before I went for my massage, and after two hours there was already over 2 inches of fresh snow on the road. It was really coming down.

Chris ended up coming back early from the Mountain. The conditions up there were very poor, due to the snow storm. Windy, cold, and so much heavy wet snow that when he would fall down he would be up to his chest in snow and then have to somehow dig/climb out of snow that didn’t have any pack to it. He was exhausted after only a few runs. He came back to the cabin to recharge. Basically the rest of the day was spent relaxing with each other, talking, watching cooking shows and we went for a the snow. It was still snowing.

It snowed all night.

Sunday morning we decided to head back home early. It was still snowing. Getting out of Mt. Shasta city proved to be interesting as several people who shouldn’t have been were out trying to drive around in the two feet of snow that had fallen. The maintenance crews were focusing on main streets and I5, not side streets.

We headed back home and as we got farther North the snow dissipated and it became dry and sunny. The people heading south were not so lucky. Chains were required. This is the line of trucks and vehicles that were either stopped to chain up, or were parked waiting for the roads to clear.

Our trip to Mt. Shasta was great. An adventure in ways we weren’t expecting. I look forward to heading back there for another special weekend trip, maybe in the summer.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hello again...again...

Oh, I have been so bad about being here!

I wanted a blog for a long time before I started this and then I finally set it up, I don't use it as often as I should.

I felt like I didn't have anything to say. I felt like my boring little life didn't hold enough interesting tidbits.

However, after doing a little soul searching and brainstorming the other day I realized I have an entire LIST of things that I could, and want to, talk about!

I am not making any promises about how often, how much, or content, or even if the timeline will be in order of events as they happened. What I am saying is that I have set "blogging" as a goal for myself for this summer. I want to spend more time on this project that I wanted for so long.

Thanks for being here. I always love feedback and comments. I hope as I continue this project that you, too, will find something valuable here.

Just for fun here is a recent picture of Chris and I that I really love! It captures the essence of "us" in so many ways.