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So.  This last Saturday I drove to Crescent Lake, a pretty spot about 70 miles or so almost due north of Crater Lake.  I was to meet Sang and Grrlpup there at 3pm.  Various mis-calculations on my part meant that I didn't arrive until around 3:35pm and I was fretting somewhat, given that it seems to me one of my principal duties is to be where I say I'll be  - on time.  I need not have worried.  When I got there there was no sign of them but about ten minutes after my arrival at Whitefish Horse Camp, our proposed meeting spot, along came our intrepid pair.

It had been our intention to have two days of car camping but by Saturday afternoon the weather was cold damp and miserable and S and G made the decision - very speedily and without dissent - that we should find a nearby motel in which to spend the night and to consider our plans for Sunday night when we had a better idea of how the weather was looking.  Fortunately a very nice motel was no more than about 10 minutes away so in no time the girls were ab le to leap into a hot shower and relax on a soft bed.  When Sunday came around they decided that we should remain at the motel, do laundry, watch tv and hang out.  That was fine with me!  That evening Sang and I adjourned to a local saloon (Manley's) where we had a drink and watched some baseball and talked to the locals.  Then it was back to the motel for what we intended to be an early night.  Unfortunately, sang couldn't sleep and took a long bath.  I went to fetch her at 1:20am and se finally got to bed and to sleep.

On Monday there was the usual p[acking of packs and discussion f itinerary, routes, etc.  we finally left the motel around 1pm.  I took them to the trailhead and left them to begin their final week on the trail.  They were in good spirits though I believe neither of them will be sorry when I go to pick them up on Saturday of this week and bring them back to Portland.

That's it, really.  Not much to report because very little happened.  There are piccies of course but you will see that they are very much like the pictures from previous weeks.  I'll try to post them tomorrow.
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I have been very busy since my return from seeing the girls and am under certain time constraints but here is the short version of the weekend.  Their decision to shorten their hiking day was a wise one and physically they were not as bushed as when I saw them last week.  Obviously they are learning as they go along and one of the things that has become apparent is that the next time they undertake a venture like this they will do without a weekly visit from LeB.  It isn't that they are not perfectly happy to see me or that they don't appreciate fresh laundry and meals and such.  It is that there is a definite stress associated with having a two day break in the hiking routine.  Actually it is more than two days because there is the anticipation before the weekend and then there is the time it takes to get back into the 'zen' of it after I have left.  That having been said we have been having a really good time together.

I met them at Fish Lake - about 30 miles east of Medford in stunning countryside.They had spent the day hiking over lava beds about which they were exuberantly enthusiastic.  We drove into Klamath Falls and found a motel with a laundromat and great shower.  Pizza was ordered and beer drunk.  I had taken Grllpup's laptop with me and Sang lay on the bed and read my previous reports on LJ aloud to Grrlpup.  They seemed to both enjoy my accounts.  Then an early night.  On Sunday, coffee was followed by a trip to a hardware store for Sang to pick up material to make a rain tarp in case they were to meet inclement weather.  Letting Sang loose in a hardware store is a bit like giving me free rein in a guitar shop.  This particular store was there to cater to local ranches and had lots of stuff you wouldn't find in a city hardware establishment.  At one point Sang turned to me and said "Oooooo.  This gives me goose-bumps!"

Then it was time to return to Fish Lake and set up camp for the night.  I had prepared a very good three-cheese mac and cheese which we had with roast chicken.  The mac and cheese got a bit dried out in being heated over the fire but that didn't seem to diminish appetites.  After dinner we wnadered down to the lake where I had previously watched an osprey and we enjoyed a spectacular sunset before we again had an early night with Sang and Grrlpup in their hammocks and me in the tent where I was very cosy and slept like a log. The following morning I made fresh peach pancakes and bacon and eggs.  Unfortunately yellow-jackets made eating outside a miserable chore and Sang and Grrlpup finally sat in the car to have their breakfast.

Breaking camp and making room in the car for all of us and the equipment, including their packs, took about three hours but finally we got on the road and headed north to Crater Lake where we played tourist for a while.  The grls had to make a detour from their planned route because of forest fires and at about 6pm I dropped them where the PCT crosses Rt 138. and I bid them a cheery farewell.  They were to hike just a couple of miles before making camp for the night.

I arrived back in Portland having driven a total of 750 miles and was ready for a good night's rest.

They are in excellent spirits and all-in-all this is proving to be a wonderful experience for them both.  This coming weekend we meet at Crescent Lake, a spot about 75 miles east of Eugene for two nights of car camping.  I shall be taking Louie with me this time.  He hates the trip but will be delighted to be reunited with Sang and Grrlpup.

Further reports as events warrant.  A picture link will be posted shortly.
leboyfriend: (Default)
I am returned from another weekend with Sang and Grrlpup.  I'll post a report tomorrow.  Promise.  They are fine :)


Sep. 10th, 2008 10:33 am
leboyfriend: (Default)
Okay, gang, here is the link for the pictures taken last weekend. Let me know if you have any trouble seeing them.

leboyfriend: (Default)
On Saturday at o-dark-thirty I set off from Portland and headed south to Keene Reservoir, a beautiful spot about seventeen miles east of Ashland, where it had been arranged that I would meet our intrepid hikers.  They were waiting at the pre-arranged meeting place - and had been there for three hours.  Fortunately they were in a shady spot and relatively comfortable though obviously please when their ride/food/cold beer finally showed.  Let the record show that I was not late for the meeting - they were earllier than they had expected.  Thier pleasure was enhanced when I gave them the news that I had found accommodation at a rustic motel less than a mile from where I picked them up.  Originally it had been planned that we would drive back to Medford where we stayed last weekend but I had consulted the Internets and discovered the Green Springs Inn.

When we all arrived at Green Springs and checked in it transpired that the room I had booked had not been serviced.  The house-keeping guy had apparently failed to show up that day.  "Probably gone fishing.." I offered, hoping to convey a light and cheery demeanour.  "I hope he ain't in gaol again!" came the chef's voice from the kitchen.  I was handed the key to another, more expensive room, and asked to accept it as an alternative.  That would have been fine save that it was still occupied!  Further embarrassment all around and finally Sang, Grrlpup and I were installed in what was the only room available - a huge and very nice one sporting a huge bed, a roll-away in addition, a gas-log fire in case the evening became chilly...and a big-ass jacuzzi!  And all for the price of the room I had initially booked.  Yaay!

A very welcome hot shower and/or hot tub was taken by all and then we ate dinner in the Inn restaurant which was adequate without being outstanding.  On Sunday morning we ate breakfast, again at the Inn and it was really very good.  At around 1 pm sang and I left Grrlpup and Louie on the PCT while Sang and I set off to a nearby campground where Sang set up camp while I went in search of laundry facilities and a grocery store.  No luck on either count.  I returned to find that Sang had set up camp in a way any hiker, scout-leader or indeed sherpa would have been proud. The campground itself was really quite excellent; flat ground to put a tent, trees from which hammocks could easily be hung, running water, flush lavatories and hot showers, a fire pit and picnic table.  And situated right on Lake Hyatt.

Grrlpup and Louie showed up in camp around 4pm and after eating some of the curried rice/shrimp casserole I had brought with me we all set off for a nearby marina where a laundromat was to be found.  While we did laundry Sang managed to find some transmission fluid to put in the car and that stopped the frightening grinding sound that had suddenly become a major worry.

That night I made a great campfire and grilled some New York steaks which we ate with potato salad and green salad, followed by apple crisp.  Yummy!  We finally retired, Sang and Grrlpup to their respective hammocks and me to my tent.  I was well looked-after with a good mattress, sheet and sleeping bags.  I slept like a log.  Sang had a more disturbed night but I will leave her to tell you about that.  

Yesterday morning I once more made a camp fire and when we finally all gathered I made corned beef hash - one of the girls' favourite dishes.  I had prepared it in advance so all I had to do was brown it in a skillet and poach some eggs.  I went to a nearby resort cafe and bought a liter of good coffee to go with it and we breakfasted quite handsomely.  After breakfast Sang took me to the lake side from whence one could have a magnificent view of Mount McLoughlin.  Later we went to a nearby 'beach' area where the girls swam while Louie paddled and I observed.  After lunch a good deal of time was spent in breaking camp and re-packing and at around 3pm I left them, taking Louie with me of course, to begin our long driver home.

So much for a chronological account.  What of Sang and Grrlpup themselves?  They are happy but were more than just tired.  They said they had tried to do too much last week and spent a good part of the weekend re-casting their itinerary to reflect less mileage each day.  Sang said she ached from top to toe, had blisters on her feet and chaffing from her pack harness.  Grrlpup also had chaffing problems.  They are in good spirits but anxious to hike within themselves in order to enjoy the experience more and not have to default to what we have termed the F*** This S*** Programme which falls somewhere between vastly curtailing their hike and abandoning it all together.  I am confident that the new itinerary will accomplish its aims and that when I see them next Saturday at Lake of The Woods they will be in much better shape, both physically and in terms of their morale.  It is wonderfully apparent that they are engaged in this adventure as a pair and that they don't just happen to be hiking together.  When one of them needs help or support or encouragment the other immediately provides it.  It is inspiring and uplifting to see.

Well, that's it for now.  I shall report further when I return next week.

leboyfriend: (Default)
I returned from southern Oregon and my weekend with Sang and Grrlpup last night. I have a good deal to report but won't get around to posting until later today - perhaps even this evening. In the meantime rest assured that they are fine and happy. There are pictures! :)


Sep. 5th, 2008 08:31 pm
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Nearly done! Food prepared and items ready to be packed into the car.

[livejournal.com profile] evannicholls was kind enough to take me to Costco this afternoon where I bought a leg of lamb to roast on the Weber. This will be a big - and I hope welcome - surprise. Thank you Evan :)
leboyfriend: (Default)
I leave early tomorrow morning to meet up with our intrepid hikers. :)

I heard from them this morning. They are happy but aching in every place it is possible to ache and in some where it isn't. Sang had yet another shopping list for me which included her book on knot-tying, a roll of duct tape (essential to any venture I should have thought) and a box of Pepto Bismol (I didn't ask!). They continue to be enjoying themselves but apparently over-estimated how far they would want to hike each day. So, we are meeting about 6 miles short of where we had planned.

I am taking lots of wonderful food and cold beer.

My full report will be posted on Tuesday
leboyfriend: (Default)
This link will take you to pictures.


I just had a call from Sang and Grrlpup. They are sore from the trek but very, very happy! They have given me more chores. They obviously want me to be too busy to get into any trouble while they are away. Hah!
leboyfriend: (Default)
Monday dawned bright and sunny and, for [livejournal.com profile] sang  and [livejournal.com profile] grrlpup , early.  I grunted them a relatively civil “Good morning” at o-dark-thirty and then rolled over and went back to sleep content that they had lots of stuff to get ready and I didn’t need to be concerned with any of it.  When I finally awoke they were nowhere to be seen but I correctly surmised that they were sitting by the motel pool and I repaired there taking Louie with me.  The entire rest of the morning was taken up with much packing and re-packing of backpacks and Leboyfriend lopping many an inch of Grrlpup’s hair.  I did this reluctantly and not terribly well but she was adamant that she wanted a short bob and that there really wasn’t anything to cutting it.  I suspect that had I pressed the matter she would have assured me that everything she had ever heard about haircuts is that they are ‘plug and play’.  I think Sang’s attitude must be catching.

So, while I ponced around doing my Vidal Sassoon thing, Sang took the opportunity to get out her soldering kit (we all carry one of those, right?) and made a solar panel with which to recharge her camera battery.  Seriously.  She did.  And it worked.  Sometimes I wonder what they are doing with a guy like me whose reaction to disaster (a corked bottle of claret, say) is to go immediately to the top of the chain of command and by the application of stick and carrot have things put right by someone else.  I am a most fortunate man.  And I try never to forget it.

Finally we checked out of the motel and after another heart breakfast set off for their departure point – over Mt Ashland and down to the California/Oregon border.  Travelling directions had been secured by Grrlpup from someone on a PCT message board.  Whoever he may be he needs to be struck forcibly behind the right ear with a  weighty blunt instrument.  He sent us by what transpired to be a very rough forest service road which was full of potholes and took hours of nerve-wracking driving by Sang.  She did an excellent job but we arrived at our destination stressed and tired.  I took a different route back and it took no time at all on proper roads with yellow lines down the middle.  Grrrr!

Once at the top, the three of us and Louie walked a short distance along the PCT to the border so Sang and Grrlpup could sign the register and pose for a photo-op.  Then it was time for them to put on their packs and set off, leaving a somewhat emotional LeB to wave as they disappeared out of sight.

The delay of a day in their departure means that their itinerary had to be adjusted slightly but I shall be driving south next Saturday morning and bringing them supplies and good cheer.  I can’t wait!  When I return next Monday I shall report on their health, happiness and progress.  If you should wish to send them a message, email it to me and I will print it and take it with me.  In the mean time I am house-sitting, looking after a despondent Louie and taking care of a bunch of stuff they didn’t get around to doing before they left – returning library books, that kind of thing.  And, yes, I’ll be missing them.

I'll post photos as soon as possible and will post the link here.

leboyfriend: (Default)
“Chapter Thirteen.  Castles in the Sky”.
Now you all know I am sure just how much I love to have Sang read aloud to me.  She has a real talent for it and some of my very favourite moments are when she and Grrlpup and I are curled up together on the couch and she gives us another chapter of whatever the book du jour may be.  Currently it is Little Women and she makes even that seem a joy  - though the first half of it would in England attract the phrase ‘a load of bollocks!’  What I have never envisioned is that Sang would take out that novel and read it to Grrlpup and I in the dark and by the light of a climber’s headlamp while we all sat in their broken-down Toyota somewhere on I5 waiting for a towtruck to appear.

We had left Portland headed South at around 4:40pm on Saturday intending to spend the night at a Motel in Medford before I was to take them to the start of their hike at the Oregon/California border on Sunday at around noon.  It didn't quite work out thus.  Somewhat south of Roseburg it became apparent that we were having electrical problems.  In due course the lights were so dim as to be of no use and then the engine quit.  We coasted to a stop on an exit ramp and then rolled down to a driveway where we could wait in safety.  Triple-A were called and a towtruck summonsed.  We were only a few pages into said Chapter 13 (you remember – the bit where Lori plays voyeur watching the girls in the woods and then when he is discovered they all play a silly game?) when a large truck bearing the name ‘Caveman Towing’ appeared. 

The driver of said truck was named  Mike and even a cursory glance at him would have told you that he had been carefully selected for this job by Central Casting.  He was built like a brick shithouse and grunted a lot. However he was most efficient and agreed to tow us to our motel in Medford where we were to spend the night.  That this was about 60 miles away bothered him not a whit.  Sang, Grrlpup and I climbed into the truck leaving a very unhappy and stressed Louie sitting on the back seat of the Toyota which by now had been ratcheted up to an angle much like that of the Titanic before it sank taking Leonardo di Caprio with it.

The following morning after a reasonable night's sleep and a hearty breakfast Sang tracked own an open auto parts store that had a suitable alternator a mere twenty or so miles away and of course would be delighted to go fetch it (Whaaaaa….?).  Sang said she had her toolbox in the back of the Toyota and was perfectly prepared to swap out the dud alternator for the shiny new one.  While admitting she had never actually done this before she remarked “Everything I have heard about them is that they are pretty much plug and play…”  I nodded in dumb agreement, confident in her abilities but awed by her chutzpah.  Well. The alternator was fetched and within two hours Sang had that beast up and running once more.  And this, folks, is where you rise to your feet and join me in a standing ‘O’ for that amazing woman.  Further applause should be reserved for what would be referred to in a magic act as “her lovely assistant Grrlpup” who says she didn’t actually do much but who throughout the entire process was cool, calm and a paragon of a helpmate and partner.  Grrlpup's not doing much sometimes amounts to her providing an atmosphere of serene sanity while all around is chaos.  It is much appreciated.

The rest of the day was pent walking around Medford and doing hike-y stuff before we went for Mexican food and I delighted in buying Sang a margarita and watched her get tipsy.

The following day wsa what Grrlpup referred to as Race Day and I’ll write about that after I have had dinner.  So, come back, y’all hear?
leboyfriend: (Default)
I returned late last night from taking Sang and Grrlpup to the beginning of their Great Adventure! I have lots to tell you but will not have time to post properly until later today - perhaps even this evening. But post I will and there are piccies. :)
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I am here to ask for a little help and support. For the last three months or so I have been writing a weekly blog for the Portland Opera. They asked me to do this at a time when I was employed there. My job came to a screeching halt but they asked if I would continue with the blog and I agreed. I really quite enjoy doing it and although I have no pretensions either to being a writer or to expertise in opera I still manage to trot out about a thousand words per week. One of the pleasures for me is that I have seemingly no constraints on what I write about or how I express myself. I do not write reviews of Portland Opera productions; I made them well aware of the difference between a blog and a corporate newsletter. I write trivia, gossip and occasionally some personal anecdote. I try to ensure there is some opera connection – however tenuous it may be.

So, here’s what I am asking. Would you kindly go to the blog page, read this week’s entry (it should be up by Monday afternoon) and perhaps have a glance at one or two of the back entries. Then let me know what you think and make any and all suggestions which you think might improve the finished product. Also let me know if there is any subject you think it would be interesting for me to address. I really would be most grateful!

I have waited until now to post this announcement and request because I wanted to make sure before doing so that I was confident enough in what I am doing to be assured the blog would continue.

Here’s the link: http://www.portlandopera.org/blog/operaman

I am cross-posting this to any community I think may help me.

Thank you!
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Most of my entries in this journal are for the viewing of friends only. Should you wish to read what is here please feel free to leave a comment to this post and I will add you as a friend. Thank you!
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