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The cat came in and woke me up this morning, apparently not realizing it was Saturday. It was ok, though. We got up and did morning chores, laundry, etc.

We turned the radio on and listened to rock and roll as we worked. We almost always have music playing, unless Malida has the tv on. We have a Sonos music system that allows us to stream music throughout the house. I love it.

We drove out to the rural sushi place for lunch and sat outside to take in the nice day. The food was as good the second time around as it was the first time. We decided we would go there for dinner one day, as they have delicious-sounding dinner menu.

gyoza

Gyoza--little dumplings of wonderfulness.

After lunch we came home and napped for a while. I dreamed about not being able to fall asleep. It wasn't until I woke up that I realized that I had been asleep.

After the nap I went into the office to take a look at our finances in anticipation of having to pay tuition next week. I received a pretty nice retroactive pay adjustment thanks to a stable state budget. It was a one-time deal, but it helped pay the bills. The theme for the rest of the year is "don't spend a lot of money".

I made some pork chops for dinner that were pretty yummy. Unfortunately I didn't make anything else, so I served oyster crackers as a side dish. After I ate I realized I had some baby bok choy I could have made. Tomorrow!

In the evening I listened to music with my friends for a while. After that was done, I went out for a walk. It was just after sunset, and it had cooled down to about 72 degrees. Lovely walking weather. I was only going to walk in the neighborhood, but I ended up walking to the park and around the path. It was dark by the time I got home.

noisy sunset

There are a lot of things I like about the iPhone camera, but they really do not handle low light situations very well. My previous iPhone did much better in low light.
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Today was back to work day. I can't believe how fast the summer break went by. Even though I drifted through the first month, I managed to get a lot accomplished, and was able to relax, so it's all good.

My main goal this morning was to get there early enough to snag one of the 5 parking spots that are up against our portables, which we have renamed the "Allied Health Trailer Village". I got there just after 6:30 and claimed my space. It was sweet.

I walked across the street and a half block to my favorite coffee place in the area, Espresso Metro. It first opened when I was in nursing school there. I spent a lot of downtime there when I was a photography student. Now it is almost across the street!

metro

I walked back to the cubicle farm, and there was only one other person there, so it was quiet for a while. Eventually everyone showed up. There are 14 or 15 of us crammed into a relatively small space, and it got really loud quickly. One of my team members, after sitting there for about 15 minutes, told me she would be working from home a lot this semester.

The entire faculty met for convocation in the auditorium. We got to meet our new college president, who sounds like a great guy. The rest of the day was division and department meetings. The big message was that we need to get students through programs and graduated faster, and ensure we are graduating them into jobs. Our awesome director noted that for the past year, we have had a 100% pass rate, and a greater than 70% hire rate into a job they were trained for in the program. We are #1 in the state of California. Whoo Ya!

One of my favorite friends from afar sent me a surprise package last week. It was a box of flamingo bandaids! I love them, and put them in my Hello Kitty box so they can serve as my first aid kit at work.

bandaids

I am ready for the semester!
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Someone asked me what happened after I was busted for possession of hashish in the military 40 years ago. So here's what happened. I was 20 years old at the time, and a long way from home.

I was working nights in labor and delivery, and we had some mandatory thing after work. While we were in the middle of it, the first sergeant came over and asked me to accompany him across the street to our barracks. We walked up to the third floor where my room was, and some of my buddies were sitting on the floor in the hall, being watched by an MP with a police dog. I was invited to join them.

Meanwhile in the rooms, another police dog, Argo, was sniffing around looking for hashish. He was a good dog, and he found it. Interestingly, they guy who sold it to me and my buddies, sold us 5 chunks, each about the size of a thumb. The MPs knew how many chunks they were looking for, and which rooms to look in. We had been ratted out by the guy who sold it to us, who had likely been ratted out himself. By the time the day was done, he had been moved out and we never heard from him again.

They found 4 of the 5 chunks. One of my other friends, whose room was at the end of the hall, overslept and missed the meeting. He walked out of his room and saw all the commotion, said, "Must be a party", and returned to his room. He immediately opened his window and tossed his chunk on the roof. They eventually found it, but couldn't tie it to him.

We got taken down to the base jail and sat there for a while, and then our first sergeant came and took us home. He didn't say much, but he didn't have to.

What happened back then was that they gave you a chance to rehabilitate yourself. It involved lots of peeing in cups, going to rehab classes, non-judicial punishment, and whatever else they thought of.

Shortly after this all transpired, I went to talk with the first sergeant. He was a good guy. I told him I would do whatever it took to not get kicked out of the military. He told me what I would need to do, and I did it.

I went to all the classes and made all the meetings. I peed clean. I stayed out of trouble. I accepted my punishment, which was a temporary drop in rank and pay for 6 months. I also had to translate the dorm fuse box into English from German, and dig a ditch for a hedge the 1st Sgt. wanted to plant.

Everyone else that was caught that day got kicked out.

I learned a lot from the experience. I learned to face trouble on my own for the first time in my life. I learned that I could survive bad things happening to me, which would continue to help me down the line. I learned that I was a survivor.

I finished my tour of duty in Germany and was transferred to a base in the US. A few years later I received an honorable discharge. And a good conduct medal!

I'll never forget that 1st Sgt. who was willing to give me a chance to redeem myself. Glen Jackson. He retired somewhere in Germany.

One of the most encouraging things about reading my two friends' obituaries was that they were able to redeem themselves as well, and bring some love to the world. I am sorry we weren't able to celebrate that together, and that's what made me cry about all this as I wrote it.
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I keep in touch with a couple of friends from my military days on Facebook. We were all stationed together in Germany, and were a pretty tight bunch. I did a google search the other day for another one of our friends, and was surprised and saddened to find his obituary from a few years ago. He was my dorm-mate in Germany.

His name was Mike Conley. He was an x-ray tech. He left the Air Force early after we all got busted for hashish. I lost track of him completely. When I was in Portland Maine 14 years ago, I found him in the phone book and tried calling him a few times, but no answer.

His obituary noted that after the Air Force, he became a letter carrier like his father. Eventually he became a caregiver for an in-home support services company. He became ill and went into hospice care. Before he died, he "sent his love to everyone he had ever known in his life. Everyone!" That made me cry. He was 56.

Conley

Mike smoking a bowl. Only picture I have of him.

I sent the obituary to my friends this morning, and we talked about him for a bit on the chat page. I wondered what became of one of our other friends, and googled him. Sadly enough, I found his obituary as well.

Kevin Belcher. I met him the first day of technical school in Wichita Falls Texas. He was my bunk-mate. The first thing I remember about him was that he took off his shoe and showed me his baby toe that didn't have a bone, because it got caught in a lawn mower when he was a kid. He wiggled it back and forth with glee. He was bigger than life, and always a character.

We got stationed together in Germany, and our first afternoon there went into town and had some pizza. They don't slice pizza in Europe--you have to eat it with a fork and knife. Kevin, undeterred, rolled it up into a big tube and dug in. He too got caught up in the hashish bust and got discharged early. I tried to find him over the years, but he was elusive, up until I found his obituary this morning. He died last year at the age of 59.

belcher

Kevin, standing next to me, holding the Trout Fishing in America bumper sticker.

My friends and I talked some more for a while and decided we needed to get together some time in the coming year.
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I set the alarm to get up at 7 today, and woke up promptly at 9:30 to the plaintive meowing of the cats who feared I would sleep forever and not feed them. I tried to ignore them, but Chocko dug a call into my thumb in an attempt to pull me out of bed. It worked, actually.

After 9 years in the US, and about 5 as a citizen, Malida finally received a summons for jury duty next week. She hates driving downtown, so we decided to do a test run today so she could see where she is going. She did fine, although there is all sorts of road closures around the courthouse, so the navigator is fairly useless. We parked in the jury parking lot (using next week's parking pass) and I took her inside to show her where the jury room was.

She could have probably gotten out of it, because I don't think her English skills are really ready for a courtroom setting, but she wanted to see what it was all about. Good for her! I am one of those people who take jury duty seriously.

After the courthouse, she drove across town to our favorite Japanese restaurant. She loves their sashimi. I've been going there since the late 1980s. I used to take dates there when I was single. My first wife and I had our third date there.

sunomono salad

Sunomono salad. My favorite.

After lunch we went to Costco for a very specific list of things to buy. The first three things in the cart were not on the list. Anyway, we eventually managed to get what we needed and got out of there.

As I was writing this, the internet radio station I listen to started playing Machine Gun by Jimi Hendrix. I first heard it in 1976, while I was in the Air Force at corpsman school in Wichita Falls Texas. It was a hot summer night, and I was at a party at the home of one of my instructors. The beer was flowing. He put this record on the turntable and turned it way up. I was mesmerized. I don't remember anything else about that night, but I remember hearing this song for the first time.
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As I suspected, the hard part about going in to work (and the hospital) today was getting dressed for it. I have spent the summer in shorts and these very comfortable cotton shirts. I felt constrained by long pants and a long shirt. And I had to shave. lol. I miss wearing scrubs.

I got to the office and hooked up my new speakers. I was the only one there, so I cranked them up and they sounded good. I tried the headphone jack and it works great. I'm set.

I headed over to the hospital about 10:30. The first pleasant surprise was that my favorite little fountain in between the main buildings is now an Ingress portal. It's mis-named to another hospital, but it will be my little favorite work portal.

I went upstairs and said hi to the managers I could find. They seemed happy to have students back. I saw a few former students who ran up and gave me hugs. The newer ones seem to be struggling a bit, so I spent some time talking with them and reassuring them that it will get better with time. They just kind of get thrown out there without a lot of support.

It's kind of interesting. When I am their teacher, the generally dread seeing me coming down the hall toward them. Not every student, but quite a few of them. But once they are working as nurses and see me coming, it is as if I am a safe harbor in the storm.

I used to like looking out the windows along the long hallway to oncology, but they have covered them with some opaque flowers. Boo.

flower thing

I went back to the office after the hospital and talked with my boss for a while. It is going to be an interesting semester. Our department has a lot going on.

I emailed my students and asked for some information about what they want to do in nursing. It helps me to figure out where to put them, and where to push them. I used the new student management site, which allows me to do all sorts of things with my group--send them messages, set up a chat room, post information, etc. I like it.

I came home and took a nap, and then went out and played ingress for a while and took a walk in a different park. It has a convenient 1 mile path around the perimeter that I walked a couple of cycles. It feels good to be back in a regular walking routine again. I have to keep it up when the semester starts, or I'm doomed.

My sister, who never emails me, emailed me a link to a youtube of an old Journey song, and asked if I remembered it. I did. I still have the album (their first), and saw them perform back before they had even released that album, opening for Blue Oyster Cult in San Francisco. Journey actually released three albums before Steve Perry joined them and they headed in another direction. Their first few albums were pretty much jam band, as both the guitarist and keyboard player/vocalist came out of Santana.
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The weather has been just about perfect since we returned from Oregon a week ago. It has settled in to the high 80s-low 90s, which is comfortable for this time in the summer. I look forward to the fall when they drop a little more. I do not care for any more 100+degree days--just throwing that out there.

We walked along the creek trail this morning. There were, as usual for such a nice day, lots of people out walking and riding bikes. All the dogs we passed had smiles on their faces. I mentioned to one woman that she had a happy looking dog, and as I smiled down at him, he growled at me.

fire

We were disappointed to see that there had been a couple of grass fires while we were gone, including one around my favorite tree. Neither of the fire areas we saw looked like they could have started naturally. That tree has been there for a while, so hopefully it can recover.

wildflower

Some type of wildflower I have never seen before. There were lots of them along the trail. Kind of offset the burnt areas.

While we were up north, I impulse bought a bag of french burnt peanuts. My vague idea was to put them in a candy dish on my desk at work. I remember going somewhere when I was a kid and there was a candy dish on the desk with french burnt peanuts. It might have been my mom's boss, Elmer. Anyway, Malida opened them yesterday and tried them, and came to tell me there was something wrong with them. What was wrong was that they tasted like french burnt peanuts, and not what she expected.

I need to go in to the hospital tomorrow to set up my rotations for the upcoming semester, and find out what has changed since I have been gone. It will be the first time all summer that I have worn a regular shirt and pants, not to mention a lab coat. It would be a lot easier if I could wear my short pants and lobster shirt.

Here it comes.
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Well, it is Saturday, so less pressure to get up and about. I woke up early, but fell back asleep and had a very interesting and complex dream about something. I got up at 8 and made coffee and gave the cats their treats.

I wanted to go out and walk before it got too warm, so I did. Malida was still worn out from her 17-hour shift yesterday, so she relaxed. I walked a couple of miles in the park, and did some ingress stuff for a friend who was throwing a field. His field was eventually eclipsed by a blue field that stretched from Nevada to Hawaii. Wow!

We went out for noodles after I got home, and then did some shopping. I had an idea to make some hamburgers from freshly ground meat, and so bought the necessary ingredients.

I spent the afternoon reading and putting together a couple of music sets to play for my friends in Second Life. One of my friends complained that my sets are depressing, which they probably are, as I love minor key songs. So I promised him a happy set, full of upbeat rock and roll. I played it this evening, and then followed it with my usual downbeat set.

I ground the pork and beef for my hamburgers, seasoned the meat, and then grilled it up. It was delicious.

I spent the late evening talking with a friend from New Zealand. I mentioned to her that my picture for the day was a squash from the garden, and so it is.

zucchini
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Malida had to leave for work at 3:45 this morning, and she has to work until 9 tonight. I don't know how she does it. She said goodbye before she left, and I rolled over and went back to sleep, but got up at 6 with a plan in mind.

Today was kind of my last day of summer vacation before things start up again next week, so I decided to go out and explore. I had an idea of where I wanted to go--up around the Sonora Pass, which is one of the routes over the Sierras. My original plan was to take one pass over, and another pass back, but I ended up stopping and seeing a bunch of things along the way and ran out of time.

I drove through a bunch of little towns and took some dirt roads out to a few remote lakes and rivers. It was pretty cool. The car got really dusty, after I just had it washed yesterday, but I ran it through the gas station car wash and it is as good as new.

I ended up at the Donnells reservoir overlook. It has always been one of my favorite places. I came up here a lot when I was a nursing student just to sit and think.

donnells

After walking around for a bit, I headed back down to the heat of the central valley.

I would have had more pictures, but I dinged my good lens and it seems to be jammed, though the glass is fine. My back-up lens has some sort of connection problem, so I was out of luck other than my trusty iPhone. I'm gonna have to get them fixed. They are my workhorses.

It was a good day, and I'm glad I got out to see stuff. I feel ready to go back now.
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I've had a lot of success the past week in getting to bed at a reasonable hour (11 pm) and getting up at a reasonable hour (7 am). It's easier when I am traveling, because I'm usually worn out from sightseeing, so I just carried it over into when we got home.

In two weeks I will have to start getting up at 4:45 to be able to get to the hospital by 6. I have to park in the offsite lot now, and it is a 15 minute shuttle ride, so that means I have to get up 15 minutes earlier. I always think of having to get up that early during the semester as the end of the world, but really, it is only 10 weeks, and then the students start their preceptorships.

Anyway, I got up this morning and took my car in for routine servicing. We don't live too far from the auto mall--a few miles. The service guy asked if I wanted to get the shuttle back home. I thought about getting the shuttle to the park where I like to walk, but decide I might as well just walk around the auto mall instead. So I did.

At the edge of the mall is a coffee place, and I stopped in for a double espresso. After that I crossed the street and walked along the creek trail that follows the other creek in our town. There was no water, but there is a nice bike bridge that crosses the freeway to my side of town.

call me

I totally would have, but there was no number. And I promised to take Malida to Korea BBQ.

I'm done

I saw this in a vacant parking lot and pictured someone saying, "I'm done!" and storming off after throwing their tie to the ground. I used to have to wear ties every day, and I hated it.

I took Malida to lunch at the Korea BBQ place at her request. It was delicious as usual. After lunch I worked on work stuff for a while.

Someone asked me to give a talk next week to a group of community college nursing teachers. The topic is the student management system the hospital imposed upon us last semester. I hate it. So I agreed to talk about it. It is part of an interesting all-day seminar that is being held at the place where I used to work. It will be good to see people I haven't seen in a while, and connect with some other community college teachers.
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I went out walking before I went into the office this morning. There was no rush to get there, and I thought I should walk before it got too warm. I ended up getting to the office just before 11 am, and spent about 3 hours working on the new semester stuff. I sent out an email to the incoming students with some of the stuff they will need before the semester starts. I signed it "Prof. Mylastname".

professor

I think I look like a professor in this image, maybe an unshaven one. I have kind of resisted the "professor" label until fairly recently. But I guess that's what I am.

volunteer

A volunteer on my walk today. It looks nothing like a professor, but resembles a sunflower.
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I went into work again, and was surprised to find one of my cubicle-mates there, unpacking her desk and such. She usually doesn't come in until about a day before the start of the semester, but I guess she wanted to get set up.

She spent most of the morning humming and tapping on the desk surface, to two separate tunes. I decided I need to bring my noise cancelling headphones in and make use of them.

I got most of the interesting stuff done, and now all that's left is tedious stuff. It's the stuff I always put off until the semester starts, and then I always wish I had done it earlier, because it becomes no less tedious when I put it off, and then I have all sorts of other stuff to do as well.

I thought about doing some stuff to my cubicle, particularly putting up a big picture on one of the walls. You can get these pictures with a window frame around them to make it seem like there is a window, but I want to use one of my own pictures.

I looked through my photo files and found some that might be suitable. I have about 4TB of photo files, so there are a lot to choose from. There is a place that turns them into some sort of poster thing that sticks to the wall. It's kind of pricey, though, so I want to make sure I have the right picture.

snakes

This isn't one of the pictures I am considering, but one I came across while perusing. It is from Chiang Mai from a few years ago. I don't remember the context, but you see this kind of stuff all over the place in Thailand.

I was saddened to hear about Glen Campbell, but relieved that he no longer has to suffer with Alzheimers.
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I got up fairly early and went out walking before I went into work. It was a lovely morning with a nice breeze.

I was the only one in the office so I put some music on and dug into the stuff I need to do before the semester starts. I got a lot done. The learning management webpage is all ready to go, and the first quiz is loaded. I made a list of the rest of the stuff I need to do this week, and it doesn't look too overwhelming. I should be able to get it all done and be able to take the first few days of next week off before we have to be back officially on Thursday.

I got a new parking pass for my car. I lost the old one when my windshield cracked, and they had to replace it. Now I'm legal again.

I finished work at about 3, and came home and had a nice nap. I didn't really get any naps while I was on vacation. It was quiet and peaceful.

I put out the catnip-filled cat toys for the cats. Mook played around with the carrot for a while until Chocko came over to inspect.

carrot

After Chocko sniffed the carrot, she sniffed Mook and had this look like, "You've been drinking again, haven't you?"

took guilty

Mook looks so guilty.
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Home at last after 1600 miles on the road over 8 days. It feels good to be home, but I miss having the window open and feeling the sea breeze blowing in. The cats seemed kind of upset at first, but now they are their usual loving selves. Their food dish was almost empty, so that might explain it.

We started out the morning in Dunsmuir. We had planned to eat breakfast at a place in town, but when we walked down there, it was infested with hipsters drinking craft beers at 9 am, so we moved on.

Railroad resort

We ended up having breakfast at an interesting railroad park place where there are a bunch of cabooses turned into rooms, and a dining car where there is food. It was buffet style and pretty good. Seems like it would be an interesting place to stay.

peach on a rock

A peach on a rock in town, just across the street from where we once found two free champagne flutes.

The drive home was uneventful. We stopped along the way to buy some olives in the town of Corning. We got home mid-afternoon and unpacked and cleaned up.

I guess I have to go in to work tomorrow, but not too early.

plane
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bob the dog

One more from Bandon before we left coast and headed inland to highway 5 and home, eventually. We were sorry to leave, but ready to get home and get on with our lives. A week is just about enough.

We stopped for lunch at some little diner that was run by a woman with a big voice. She shouted everything. The only other customer beside us was an old farmer type who looked to be about 80, eating breakfast. Every time she yelled something he would look out the window. When she came to take his plate, she shouted "Get er done there?"

"Aye, got her done," he replied softly.

The woman was nice as pie, and the food was great.

lil suzies

On the way out I stopped to take a picture of the place. Malida asked me why I was taking a picture. "I don't want to forget this place," I told her.

"You'll never forget it,"she shouted.

We stopped for the night in the town of Dunsmuir, on the Sacramento River, at an old cottage style motel on the old highway. We walked into town for dinner at the only Thai place in town, Sengthon's Blue Sky Room. It's another interesting place. Run by an old white guy, who loves jazz, and plays vinyl albums on a turntable behind the bar. The woman who served us, told us she was also the cook. It seems to be just the two of them. They were too busy for me to ask about the story of the place, but I am sure it has a story. The menu is mostly Lao style food. It was good.

blue sky room

We walked back to our room, about a mile down the old highway. It was kind of hot and humid, but it felt good to be out walking after a day of driving.

horse chestnuts
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We decided to stick around town and explore locally today. We walked down to the old town and had some freshly caught crab at Tony's Crab Shack. It was delicious. We walked along the waterfront and watched people fishing.

foggy fishing

We found a nice espresso place and had some espresso. Later, we found a bakery and had some cranberry bars. We thought about how the cranberry bars would have gone well with the espresso.

bike art

Some bike art. They are all over town.

coquille lighthouse

We drove over to the lighthouse across the cove. This is one of my favorite lighthouses on the Oregon coast. It is known as the Coquille Lighthouse, sitting at the mouth of the Coquille river.

fog boy

It wasn't too cold--maybe about the mid 60s.

seagulls

Malida was looking at the seagulls, and said it reminded her of that book--Genital Livingston Seagull. I don't think I read it.

We head toward home tomorrow. We will stay the night in Dunsmuir on the Sacramento River.
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It was a good day. The temperatures dropped overnight and I had a good sleep, other than dreaming I shot some guy with a bright red handgun. He deserved it, as I recall.

We headed down the coast toward Bandon. We stopped at any places along the way to walk on a beach or see something interesting. We had lunch at Malida's favorite Oregon Coast sushi place.

bridge

The bridge that leads to the trail to Fogarty Creek beach. It was a fairly secluded spot for a bit. We walked along the shore for a while and picked up a couple of interesting rocks. Lots of people showed up just as we were leaving. The temperature was in the mid 70s, and the beach was very inviting.

Malida fords the creek

Malida jumps over the creek. Do you think she made it?

Later, we found a spot that looked down on a little cove. we got out and looked around for a bit and took some pictures.

spot

A few people were standing a ways off from us, and I noticed they were watching the water intently. I wandered over close to them and looked down. I saw something!

"What was that?" I asked them.

"There's a whale down there!" they replied.

And there was!

whale spout

We saw a few more whales down the road a bit. Someone told us they are gray whales.

We meandered down the coast and arrived in Bandon at about 5:30. We rested, then went down into the old town to walk around and eat. We will be here for two days, and then head toward home.
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We checked out of our motel this morning and stopped at the Safeway for apples and ice. We headed up to the Astoria Column, which is a monument on top of a hill overlooking the mouth of the Columbia River.

astoria column

The tower was built in 1926, and is so many feet high. I first climbed the 164 steps to the top when I was 10 years old. 50 years later I climbed them again, though a little slower. My consolation was that there were two Canadian guys who were slower than I was.

Normally the view from the top is either obscured by fog or is spectacular. Today it was super hazy, apparently the result of the fires up in British Columbia and the heat.

view from the top

You can (sort of) see the bridge to the top left that crosses the Columbia into Washington State. It was hot, but there was a nice breeze up there.

airplane

The gift shop down below sells these balsa wood airplanes for $1 each. We bought a couple and took them up with us. Throwing them off the top of the tower is probably one of the coolest things about being up there. Whenever anyone throws, everyone up on the tower critiques the flight. There are some air currents that tend to push the planes into a slow spiral down to the grass below, where someone generally comes along and picks it up and brings it up to toss.

Mine sailed way far beyond the grass, then circled around for a while, and landed right next to the gift shop. Everyone agreed it was a good flight. When we got down, we picked up a couple of planes for souvenirs.

Most of the rest of the day was spent driving down the coast in mostly bumper to bumper traffic as the temperature rose. In one inland area, it was 103. The views were shitty because of the haze. We got to our hotel, which is right across the street from the beach, at about 4:30. We walked over to the beach and enjoyed that for a few hours, then went to eat.

the beach after sunset

The beach after sunset. Tomorrow we head to Bandon for our last two days on the Oregon coast.
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This motel has a nice view, but crappy internet.

japanese garden

After we checked out of our Portland hotel, we headed up tot the Japanese gardens. It was a warm morning, and Portland is about to get hit with a heat wave. The gardens were lovely. After that we had lunch in a nice Thai place where we could sit outdoors.

After lunch we headed to Astoria, the next stop on our trip. We got here in the mid afternoon and sat outside for a while. The motel sits on a hill, and has a spectacular view of the Columbia River.

In the evening, we headed out to Fort Stevens State Park to watch the sunset. The beach is home to the shipwreck Peter Iredale. Peter Iredale, the ship builder, was a distant relative of mine.

Peter Iredale

You can't tell from the picture, but there were all sorts of people out on the beach enjoying the evening.

malida

Malida watches the sunset.

Tomorrow we head down the coast.
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Our original plan was to go up to the Japanese Gardens, and then head out to a river town. Malida saw a picture in a magazine of wildflowers on the slopes of Mt. hood, though, and said "I want go there". So we did.

Mt. Hood, or Government Town, which is the town below Mt. Hood, is a little more than an hour out of Portland. It's a nice drive, and most of it is not on a freeway, but on a gently winding road through some small towns.

coffee

We stopped for coffee at a little place outside the town of Boring. It was pretty exciting. The coffee was good.

We got to Mt. Hood at about 11 am, and hiked around for a while. The most surprising thing is that people were skiing on the slopes, on the last day of July. I talked to a guy in the gift shop, and he told me that on a good year, they can ski from November until late August or early September. It is the longest ski season in North America. "That's why I'm here," he added.

Mt. Hood

It was just like the picture Malida had seen There were all sorts of wildflowers everywhere. More than I had seen in years and years. Malida was ecstatic--she has always wanted to see lots of wildflowers. There were a number of plain air painters working under the shade of a tree.

We had a delicious lunch in the Timberline Lodge, and lingered there over a cup of coffee. Out the window we could see Mt Jefferson, which is another volcano in the Cascade range.

Mt. Jefferson

Mt Jefferson

After we ate we headed down the hill. Malida saw a nice creek, so we stopped to take a look.

Still creek

Still Creek in the afternoon. It was a lovely spot. I had brought along my neutral density filters and hoped to use them, and this was the spot.

Our last spot was a lake down below with a nice view of the mountain. We got pictures, but I'll save them for a day I have nothing.

After we got back, we rested for a while, then went downstairs to the patio/restaurant to meet our friends for dinner. It was great to see them, and dinner lasted about 5 1/2 hours--we closed the place down.

Today we head to Astoria, just ahead of the big heat wave that is descending here.

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