Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Hi all...before we leave the land of wifi, I wanted to do a big picture upload of our first week on the road.  For those of you who know about my low frustration tolerance and lack of computer savvy, please give me big ups for persevering.  
 When you wonder what we're doing, or where we are, here's the picture.  We try to limit this to about a 3 hour drive, every couple of days. And yes, as much as I can, I drive.  I have, what we call, control issues.

Our first stop was in Eugene, and Chris and Sally Bell took us in, even though they'd just moved in and were having their house painted.  Ever flexible friends!  Please note the steepness of their driveway, not accurately captured in this picture.  The neighbors enjoyed watching Gary and I navigate, so lovingly to each other, backwards up this driveway.  He did recommend that they grab a beer and pull out some lawn chairs, as it took a while.  And he did it!
We picnicked (how do you spell that?) on the U of Oregon campus with dear friend and Katie's college roommate, Kaarin Knudson, her hubs Patrick and lovely sprite Elizabeth, who at 3 1/2 liked to tell the boys exactly what they were doing right and wrong.  Luckily, the Pearlz boyz are used to bossy ladies.

Bobby Branch, this one's for you!

Next stop was the Willow-Witt Ranch, outside of Ashland.  Luckily, right before launching, I'd read of this place in the Portland Monthly magazine.  This picture is dark, but we tent camped here for three nights, and attended plays in the evening in Ashland at the Oregon Shakespearean Festival.
 Here's our campsite during the day.  Not bad.  The goat herding dogs of the Ranch took us in and guarded us by night, as they'd decided the boys were part of their pack.
Here's the drive to and from the plays.  

Luckily John P. broke Desi in to Midsummer Night's Dream last year at SAS, so that's what we saw at the open air Elizabethan Theatre, which was phenomenal.  This night, however, we saw Robin Hood, in which Marion was the heroine to beat all.

Here's the view of the stage

And, back to the ranch.  Why leave, when you have buddies like this to play with?

These puppies were born 5 weeks earlier, and were the sweetest puffballs you've ever seen.  Daily puppy trips for Emmett were a must.
We also loved the pigs!  Stefan Fisher, the bacon and pork chops were TO DIE FOR.  

Here's Emmy helping Jake out with the chores

Emmy and Gary are exhibiting how to use the goat milking apparatus.  

 Everyone should visit this farm.  Everyone, kids or no.  The owners and staff are so friendly, Des followed the farmhands around, peppering them with questions.  We ate from their frozen meat and veggies, which were fabulous.  We woke up each day excited to see what was happening on the farm.  Can't wait to come back in January and see how it looks in the snow!

Emm and the pack goats.  Gar and I were skiddish (they follow you around!), but Emmy jumped over the fence and made friends. 

Gary was proud of his pork chop and peaches on the griddle.  They were, as Emmett is keen to say, amazeballs.

 Next was Crater Lake, where Gar and I went for our honeymoon, 14 years ago.  Still a little bit pretty.  Emmy quotes: "I've seen a lot of things, but never anything quite like this," and "I didn't know you could say beautiful this many times a day!  My mouth is tired from saying beautiful."
We're waiting for our boat ride; Emm, as always, prepared. 

Devil's Backbone in Crater Lake

We took the kids on three hikes in one day: breakfast, lunch and dinner.  This is the ranger-led sunset hike up the Watchman Trail. Get ready!

Wizard Island from Watchman's Tower

Still crazy after 14 years

Note the Watchmen: it says .7 miles, not 7 miles!

End of the sunset
Next stop, Bend.  We stayed with Susanna, Pat, Andrew and Reid Abrahamson.  Susanna and Gary used to teach together at Beaverton High, which has seemed to churn out a lot of amazing people.  Susanna has had the good fortune of befriending many Gervaisians, Steve Saalfeld from UPS and Heather Melcher from Bend days.  She gave us the full Bend experience!

We spent a couple of hours looking at frogs and playing in the water at Todd Lake.

Emm and the frogs.  So tiny!

We capped it off at 10 Barrel Brewing.  I would recommend the Sparkle Party!  Don't let the name fool you (or do....)

Up next this week, the Fossil BedsPendleton Roundup, and Wallowa Lake!