Thursday, October 26, 2006

What's up with leora?

People have been complaining that they've not seen much of anything since the climbs way back in May. Since then, I've tried to summit several different mountains (Hood, a couple more times, Mt. Rainier, Mt. Jefferson), summited several (Adams a couple of times - I HAD to get on the summit of SOMETHING, and Adams is easy if doing the south side, which is what I did, St. Helens, Old Snowy, Ives, and Gilbert in the Goat Rocks Wilderness area), and took the Advanced Ice climbing class that the local mountaineering group, the Mazamas, offers.

So, now, it's time for VACATION!!! Yeah! 3 weeks in Turkey, with my high school era buddy, Ed (of previous trips, like Spain and Morocco, China, Peru and Chile, and Belize and Guatamala). I leave this Saturday. Our plan is to spend most of the time in the eastern (pretty) part in the mountains, on the Black Sea, near Lake Van, and over in Cappadoccia, where I'm looking forward to seeing what I call "the valley of the dildos" - which, if you can't figure out what it looks like, I'm sure that I'll have pictures that will make it really clear, when I return! Oh, yeah, we'll spend a couple of days in Istanbul. As usual, Ed has done all of the planning for what we'll be doing. . . On the way back, I get to spend a day in Frankfurt, Germany, (so that I can catch the non-stop from Frankfurt to Portland) and get to catch up with Addy, who, by luck or goodwill, will be town that weekend. I'll be back in Portland on November 19th, and back at work for the short Thanskgiving week on the 20th. And, no, I haven't been cut, yet (people hearing the news about Intel's layoffs keep asking me), but there's always a possibility, as cuts have been promised by Otellini all the way through mid-2007.

A couple of comments on the ice climbing: as relayed by our instructor, after doing vertical ice - almost anything on snow seems a cinch! I'm still not sure how I feel about vertical ice. Vertical feels like about 10 or 20 degrees overhanging to me. I wasn't doing so well scaling those crevasse walls, but if there was the slightest incline (80 rather than 90 degrees, say), it felt great, except, of course, that my calves didn't feel so great, as one has to have one's heals lower than one's toes, and to me, that is NOT a comfortable position. I hope to have some pictures of the ice climbing, eventually.

So, for those who like pictures, here are two favorites from this summer. One, by a friend, Jae, leader of our Rainier climb, while he was waiting for us down below him to get ourselves in order at about 12,000ft (~3650meters):

You should be able to click on the picture and see my cute little yellow tent in the middle of the picture. That is Adams in the distance. And between this, Rainier, and Adams, there is Goat Rocks Wilderness, that the same guy, Jae, led several climbs a couple months later, that I joined.

There was one scene that I just HAD to have in a picture to send to you all, but, wouldn't you know it, no camera was to be had at the time. So, what to do? I dragged someone else back there a couple of weeks, later, and I got my shot:

Goat Lake is nestled in the mountains on the left, and that's Mt. Rainier in the distance on the right, framed by the closer range just so perfectly.

After getting to the top of Old Snowy (a shorty at about 7900ft (~2400meters)), I had a photo taken with the same Goat Lake and Rainier in the background, but from that angle, it just didn't seem as spectacular to me, but I'll put it here, anyway, lest people complain that I'm not in the picture!

Ok - it's late, and I have a ton of stuff to do to get ready to head out! (US folks, don't forget to VOTE!!!)


My private zoo

In April, the elk visited me several times, but sharp pictures with meaningful profiles were hard to get, and so I was happy to get this one:
A doe and her fawn visted in late July:
They first caught my attention when I saw something running away from the house, near my bedroom door. I went to see if I could see what had run by, and was treated to the fawn running in cirles in my backyard - round and round and round, and then kicking his back legs in the air. I managed to get a video of it, but couldn't upload it to the blog site (I think that the site only allows pictures, not videos).

A week later, there was another pair - the fawn looks different to me:

Alas, I saw just a deer in my yard about a couple of weeks ago, a couple of nights in a row (she seemed to like turning my motion-sensitive light on) with no sign of a fawn. . . It may be the same doe, or not - I couldn't tell in the dark, even with the garage light shining on her.