Friday, July 24, 2009

A berry nice day for a ride

I've been wanting to pick some blueberries for a few weeks, but haven't been able to get out. After making pancakes this morning for me and Mariah WITHOUT blueberries, I made it a point to get some today.

We thought that it would be pretty fun to hop on our bikes and ride out of town to the blueberry fields and pick some. I grabbed a couple of small Rubbermaid containers and put them in my rack bag. I also grabbed my Vortex and we headed out for a short (leisurely) ride. The fields were only about 2.85 miles away and we talked to the owner. He showed us some good rows to pick and told us about the different varieties he had available. Since we were on bikes, we only wanted a small amount and had 2-pounds in short order. We paid our whopping $2.25, loaded up and headed to Bryant Park. There we relaxed in the shade, played with the Vortex and watched some playing disc golf. Bryant Park is one of the nicest parks in Albany. Great places for a picnic. I showed Mariah where we were last night for the River Rhythms concert (just across the Calapooia River). After playing at the park, we headed towards home to enjoy a frosty Otter Pop.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Thursday Fun with Friends

Today I commuted to my job at LBCC and took a MTB ride with some friends to Teloh Park nearby during lunch. We had a great time and it appears that they want to make this a regular Thursday lunchtime activity.

I mapped the approximate route out on because I didn't have my GPSr on my bike, but I'm pretty sure my mileage is close to what we did today. I was planning on finding several new Geocaches in the park, but when I turned it on, I noticed that all of the waypoints that were loaded were the Geocaches from Lincoln City! Fortunately I was able to find "Muddy Trails" which is a cache I tried to get a FTF on, but the cache wasn't placed prior to it being published. I knew where to look even without the GPSr.

Here is a map of the ride that we took over lunch. This was a great time and fun to connect with co-workers like this.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Biking & Geocaching - What could be finer?

After work today, I thought that I should get some fresh air and decided to go for a nice ride along Riverside Drive to Orleans. I checked for caches along my route, grabbed my GPSr and an apple and headed out the door. I was a little concerned about the heat, but there was a nice breeze to keep the temperature down. I made good time until I reached the first stopping point (Twin Oaks Cemetery) where I stopped to admire the view, and to search out a Geocache that had two recent DNF's logged. Since it was on my way to Orleans, I decided to stop. I found the location, but the cache was missing.

I drank some water and chatted with Sweet for a bit, and then mounted my wonderful new (old) Specialized MTB that my Uncle gave to me. I've been enjoying riding this bike and have slowly been removing items off of my old MTB's and adding them to my new bike.

I continued down Riverside Drive for another .65 miles to the Orleans cemetery and began to search for the Geocache (Dead Man's Curve) that I was pretty certain was still in place. Before long, I was signing the log. As I prepared for the ride home, I decided to try out Mariah's MP3 player that I had loaded with a Podcacher podcast. I figured that the run time would be just the right length for my ride home. I cruised home and enjoyed catching up on the podcast.

Below you will see my route. As I'm an avid le tour de France watcher, I've come across this new site ( which is advertised on Versus (the television channel). One can ride their bike (or even walk/run) and upload routes and training information to the site. During the TDF, if you upload a route, you are entered into a drawing for some great prizes.

What makes the process so easy is using a GPSr to upload your track file to the site. With a Garmin GPSr, one can connect directly to the site with a built-in conduit. Unfortunately with my Magellan, I have to use the Magellan MapSend software to pull the track file off the GPSr, and then use GPSvisualizer to convert the proprietary TRK Magellan file to a universal GPX file the the site can use. It only takes a few moments, but it is still a pain.

All in all, it was a great way to get out and enjoy the beautiful weather, and to partake in two of my favorite activities.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

What a way to end the day

7-11 = Free Slurpee! Mariah and I made a late night run to see if we could snag a couple and now we are enjoying them. Something cool on a hot day.

Ride to Lexington Park

Mariah and I wanted to get out today and go for a short ride. We met some friends and played H-O-R-S-E and soccer at the park and had a fun bike ride to boot. Below is a map of our route.

Friday, July 10, 2009

Monday, July 6, 2009

Easy spin around town

Saturday, March 7, 2009

My favorite soda

I just tried this new soda and it is the best! Black Cherry is my favorite. It can be pretty hard to come by as there is only one place that offers it. If you get a chance, try some, and also the diet. Doesn't even taste like diet soda.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Basketball Season has arrived

Yesterday was the first day for my daughter's basketball season. A lot of the rules have changed since 3rd grade Boys & Girls Club basketball. She now plays on an all-girl team, the rims have moved to 9-feet, and they are calling a lot more fouls (thank goodness).

Not to be a "homer", but I think she is one of the best players on her team...if not the best! She plays great defense by blocking shots, pressing the ball handler, and is a rebounding studette. She also managed to score 80% of the points. Right now she is nursing a parquet burn after diving for a loose ball, and asking me what else she can do to help her team. I think she if feeling a little frustrated as a lot of her teammates come to practice late; if at all.

On another note, my New Year's resolution is to blog more in 2009 than I did last year. With so much computer interaction, I find it difficult to set aside time for blogging. Since I don't keep a journal or a diary, this will have to suffice. I admit it is fun to read back through the earlier blog postings and re-live my experiences.

As well as keeping up my 12 of 12 picture project, I plan to find at least one Geocache each month in 2009. It seems like a daunting prospect of taking 12 pictures, for 12 consecutive months, on the 12th day of the month, while blogging each month and keeping the Geocaching streak alive.

Wish me well in my endevours.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

'Ketchup' with the Oregon State Fair

The Big Tomato was calling us today to visit the Oregon State Fair in Salem. Earlier I had taken some of Mariah's quilted items to be entered in the fair, and today was the day to see how she did.

But first, a little "history" on my angst of purchasing State Fair tickets. The OSF website says that "advance*" tickets are $8.00 for an Adult and $10.00 at the gate. Yesterday I went to Safeway to purchase an advance ticket for today; however, they stopped selling tickets before the first day of the fair. I guess "advance*" doesn't mean the same thing to everyone! Pass the Ketchup, please.

After a night of plotting my revenge on The Big Tomato, the morning came with a new sense of calmness. I awoke refreshed and ready to enjoy the day. The trip to the fairgrounds went smoothly and we arrived about 30-minutes before the gates opened. Good thing, as today was free Big Tomato t-shirt day for the first 150 people. We managed to thwart another "attack" from one of TBT's evil hench-woman when she said, "All of the shirts are the same size." They weren't...and we picked through them and each of us got the correct sizes. No thanks to TBT's evil doings!

Once making it through the throngs of people at the gate, we navigated our way to where Mariah's quilts were on display. We were surprised and thrilled with the results.

Mariah's "Kansas Star" wall hanging that took Best in Show at the Benton County Fair won Second Place at the Oregon State Fair. Her "Valentine Heart" wall hanging and "Busted Buster wall hanging each won First Place in their respective classes. And finally her quilted pillow case won a Second Place award. Not too shabby for a 9-year old competing in classes ranging up to 17 year olds.

We spent the rest of the day seeing exhibits, listening to Brandon Cash (the son of Johnny Cash), eating, and tons of walking. I think everyone enjoyed the day. Although you never feel like you got to see and do everything you wanted. We learned some tips and tricks for next year. I think we'll return. My parents hadn't been to the State Fair in many years, and I think they enjoyed themselves.

Next year maybe there will be Watermelon instead of Tomato(e)! Do you want fries with that?

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

A fun way to start the day

Last night I saw two new Geocaches pop up near my home coordinates. Unfortunately, they are located in a "sketchy" part of town, known for the homeless camps. Sweet and I had previously cleared out all of the existing Geocaches, but now there are two new one's calling my name..."Dude", "Dude"...

After e-mailing back and forth with a.k.a radar last night about the "campground" in this park, I vowed to go find these caches. I awoke with a mission and gathered my gear, dusted off my mountain bike, and headed to the caches.

As I approached Waverly Boulevard, I decided to take the "scenic" bike route under the street and around Waverly Lake. Passing previously found Geocache hiding locations, I pedaled and thought of my earlier adventures. On the northern side of Waverly Lake, I crossed Salem Avenue and continued along the bike path. This lessor known path that connects Salem Avenue and Waverly Drive NE, is a fun jaunt that passes under some train tracks and past blackberry bushes-yum.

As I arrived at the parking lot at Simpson Park, I noticed a truck sitting there. "Oh, great! Someone is already out there findting them." I continued down the hill into the park and noticed yet another vehicle parked. This one had a young woman in the driver's seat and her dog was barking. "What is going on?" I continued on as I knew this area well, and headed to the first cache, East of Bowman. You can read my logs on the cache pages. After logging that cache, I headed off to find the next one further down the trail. Just for Kicks was a kick. I had a great time finding this one as well.

I chatted with a.k.a. radar after logging these two caches, and we discussed setting up a CITO event for this park. On the surface, the park looks clean and safe. Upon further investigation; however, there are a lot of homeless people that live in Simpson Park. Although I am empathetic to their situation, ignoring it will not improve it, or make it go away. Time for SWAG to work with the City of Albany to help improve the look and safety of this greenway.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

ABC Challenge Weekend-Saturday 6/22/2008

Since Sweet was in Idaho all week and Pablo Mac was otherwise "obligated", I took it upon myself to find some Geocaches on my own. I've never been into Geocaching by myself, but what else was a Dude to do...sit around the house and watch TV? I think NOT!

I had made plans earlier with my Dad to meet in Corvallis on Saturday to try out some kayaks at Michael's Landing. Peak Sports was offering free demonstrations for people to come down and try them out. I had never paddled a kayak before, but they looked like fun and my Mom & Dad have been considering buying some. Hey, it's free and something to do! Before we went out, my Dad and I shared some pizza and some sodas overlooking the Willamette River. Then it was down to the boat launch.
I tried out two different kayaks and was amazed at how easy they are to paddle. The current on the Willamette was quite fast at this time of year, but it was quite easy to stay even on the river, or even move upstream. The kayak in this picture is a fairly inexpensive one (≈ $800). It is much heavier, less maneuverable, harder to make way, but more stable. Not too bad for a weekend warrior, but I wouldn't want to take a long trek with it.

The other kayak I tried out was longer and sleeker, and more expensive (≈ $2300). This kayak was a "performance model" kayak with carbon fiber paddles and an aramid bottom-half hull. This kayak was much more maneuverable than the one shown here, but much less stable. In fact, as I was returning to shore, I made a rookie mistake and turned the kayak sideways in the current and then paddled on the upstream side. This threw my balance off just enough that I ended up wet...up to my neck. I did manage to swim the kayak to shore, and the water-craft representatives were very impressed with my ability to rescue the kayak "so they didn't even have to get wet". I got a little embarassed, and a high-five from the rep! Fortunately I wore a swimming suit and water sandels. Unfortunately, I forgot my towel and an extra shirt!

I wrung my shirt out and headed back to the car with my Dad. We talked for a bit while I dried out. Then he said goodbye and I was left not wanting to go home yet. I just finished a nice cool swim, and had a lot of energy. Time to pull out my trusty GPSr. Wow! There is a Geocache a couple of hundred feet from the car. I decided to walk down there and grab it. Hey, why not...I'm too wet to sit in my car and drive home. I found the cache pretty quickly and then I got the Geocaching bug. I headed back to the car, changed my shoes, and starting walking into downtown Corvallis. I searched for "Welcome to Corvallis", but was unable to find it (as it turned out-it had been Muggled). I then continued south and found another ASoUC cache, DNFed another, an ended my walk with an amazingly lucky find. The coordinates took me to an obvious hiding location, but there was no cache to be found. As I was heading back to the car, I looked to my left and there it was...more than 100' away from the posted coordinates. I thought that was a great way to end my Saturday. I headed home to log my finds.

Tomorrow is another day.

Sunday, June 15, 2008

How to have a "Guy's Night Out"

Step 1: Ditch all women
Step 2: Jump in a Jeep
Step 3: Explore the wilderness
Step 4: Go geocaching
Step 5: Buy some beer
Setp 6: Watch a movie and eat popcorn for dinner

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Japanese Glass Fishing Floats From Alaska

It was a tough choice between going to Lincoln City, and swimming in the South Santiam River to play with Odder, but we decided to stick with our original RSVP and go to the Oregon coast. As it turned out, the weather was beautiful, but very windy; and we had a great time.

My parents met me (Dude), Sweet, and cuteTpie at the Lincoln City Community Center for some good ol' fashioned Geocaching Games. Bostonmangum hosted another fun event which draws scores of geocachers from around Oregon. He always puts on a great event and is very gracious. This days events included a variety of event-only caching games including "Find the Nano", "Find Ground Zero", "The Multi/Puzzle to Find Ground Zero", "Create a Star, Smiley Face, or Object" with your GPSr track feature, and finally "Complete the Quest" task which was similar to a letterbox in which you use clues, rather than a GPSr to locate a final location.

We all had a blast completing the games and comparing the three different GPSr's that we had brought. My Dad finally began using his Garmin iQue M5 for more than just a paperweight. A few days prior to the event, I learned how to upload a GPX file with 500 geocaches to his iQue. One of the caches was the event, and I set him up with turn-by-turn routing to the event. It all seemed to work okay as they ended up parking next to us at the event.

After completing the games, Ivan had a drawing for prizes and passed out authentic Japanese glass fishing floats. These were not the "art-glass" types of floats you'd see in a gallery, but were gathered along the beaches of Alaska. We each picked out a float as a reminder of our day. During the prize drawing, Sweet's number was called and she chose a camping headlamp. cuteTpie and I won mini-kites.

After the event, we all enjoyed a yummy picnic lunch my Mom (mummu3) had prepared. My Dad and I went on a self-guided tour of the Community Center and we were both impressed with the facility. It was nice to see how the community has supported a facility like this.

After lunch, Sweet & Mummu3 wanted to do a "quick" shopping trip at the Factory Outlet Center; and then it was off to the beach. I used my double-top secret way to the Taft Waterfront and we all found parking close by.
I think it is safe to say that we all had a great time flying our new kites, playing in the sand and water. We did work up quite a hunger and ended up walking down the beach to Mo's. After dinner, we bid farewell to my parents. Now it was time for some serious geocaching! We were able to find 7 caches, plus the event, and posted a DNF. The day was just too beautiful and we would have liked to have stayed a little longer. As it turned out, we didn't leave Lincoln City until about 10:30pm and finally arrived back in Albany at midnight.

What a fantastic day and a fun way to spend Father's Day Saturday.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

And now for something completely different...

How to tell when a Catholic is driving too fast.

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Kolly Wobbels #7 Tranquility Geocache Account

STF in 2008. We decided to make a side trip to Nevada after attending the GeoWoodstock 6 event yesterday. It looks like we brought the Oregon weather with us, as we've had rain and sun down in the valley.
Of course, at 7200' above sea level, that rain turns into SNOW! We were determined to find this cache the Dude/Sweet way (increasing the cache D/T level by at least ½-star each). We were in tennis shoes and shorts, but did bring light coats with us.

With snow on the ground, and not stopping to find a trail, we just followed the "GoTo" cache route from the I-80 Summit cache, picking our way amongst the rocks, snow melting streams and snow fields. Dude picked up a fallen log and added it in the middle of two other logs, in order to fjord one snow-melt stream; and helped Sweet across the stream feeding the lake.

As we neared the cache location, the snow started falling harder. Dude yelled out, “Only 140 more feet to the cache!” Just then, the batteries died. Being a former Boy Scout, of course Dude was prepared and swapped batteries for some new one’s in the driving snow storm. Dude/Sweet waited for the GPSr to acquire the satellites. What else could go wrong? Finally with enough satellites acquired, we could hike onward to the cache.

Dude approached the cache from one side and Sweet from the other. Sweet managed to find the cache first, safe, secure, and dry. As we huddled beneath a tree, Dude signed the log sheet and tried to protect it from getting wet from the snowstorm. As Dude replaced the cache, he stared out into the near white-out conditions, and then to Sweet, wet, cold, and shivering and remarked, “Good thing we have a GPSr to find our way out. You know, this is near to where the Donner Party was. I’d hate to have to eat you to survive!” A calm sense of “tranquility” befell them both.

Just then, Dude thought, hey my cell phone! Hey great! It works. He called his good friend Pablo Mac back in Lebanon, OR…voice mail! Dude said to Sweet, “Nice, I guess Pablo won’t be saving us today. We’ll have to hike out.” From the cache’s vantage point, we were able to pick an “easier” way down. We used our GPSr back-track feature, as well as our footprints in the snow to make it back to our Geo-mobile. As stated in earlier logs, there is no Geocoin in the cache. We managed to CITO out some trash on the way down.

This cache, and the I-80 Summit will be added to our list of most favorite and memorable!



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

39 Forever!

The countdown has begun to the dreaded four-oh! I've been an emotional wreck as the day approaches, and now on the eve of my birthday, I just feel worn out. All of my friends are asking me "What do you want to do for your birthday?" I can't even respond. I just don't feel like celebrating another birthday.

I'd rather be climbing a mountain or para-sailing than going out for drinks. I guess the ultimate experience would be to travel somewhere and recapture the lost youth. Well, it won't happen on a Wednesday...maybe this weekend I can risk life and limb in order to feel young again...even if it kills me!

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Dude Embarrasses Sweet Yet Again!

Well, after seeing that several cachers were able to locate GC152ZE today, we went back this evening. Both Dude & 2cute4u spotted the cache from 6' away!

We missed this cache last night for one of two reasons...and I'm not telling what those reasons were. Anyway, we signed the log and replaced the cache like we found it.

Thanks for the fun time...last night (singing Kumbaya around the camp fire), and tonight with the quick find and playing "Not It" running around the picnic tables waiting for other cachers to arrive. No cachers did, but Dude (always ready to embarrass himself) yelled out "GOOD LUCK!" to someone in the area...only to find out he was not a cacher, but was on his way to the Porta-Potty! Nice.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dr. Junior Stumps Us All

Tonight's the night for a FTF attempt. After I finished watching the Seahawks put the "beat down" on the Chargers, I checked my e-mail and noticed that a new cache had just popped up only 1.5 miles away. GC152ZE What makes Oregon Green?

I immediately called Sweet to see if she and 2cute4u (name to be changed in the future) wanted to try for it. Sweet's enthusiasm is always a blessing as she urged me to get things ready. We high-tailed it down to the park and were nervous as we drove up and noticed a familiar geo-mobile parked there! What in the world is DP4C doing in this neck of the woods? She yelled out, "it's over here guys". We joined in the hunt. After searching for about 5-minutes, a red Jeep pulls up. "I bet that's a geocacher!" Dude exclaimed. It sure was...Doylefish came to help us out.

So, there we are. All five of us looking around the park with flashlights for a micro 1-1/2 difficulty rated cache...FOR AN HOUR! No luck. Something is definitely amiss. Update to follow.