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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Presidents Day in Bend

Me and Jessica were planning on going camping for President's Day weekend, but we had a bad week of storms and the weekend didn't look any better. So we decided to run away to Bend, OR.

It just happened to be the weekend of their Winterfest. So we got to go see the Saturday night festivities which included a great fire dancing troupe, along with some New Orleans Jazz, and a snowboarding rail park.

The fire dancing was pretty impressive. There was a guy with a flaming bull whip who would wrap it around himself. Then there were two guys who had a flaming sword fight. Then two guys got on stilts and were twirling bo-staffs. There was also the typical poi pots and flaming hula hoops. Behind them was this organ looking thing that would shoot off series of patterns, some in time with the music. I was hoping it was really an organ. In the end they were all out dancing and doing their thing, it was a great show.

The entire event was outside and I couldn't believe that the band could play with the temperature in the teens. The first band was real young and called Trombone Shorty, I would highly recommend going if you see they are coming. At one point in the second show they had a sousaphone freeze up, so they had a "jazz odyssey" and the lead singer knew the exact quote from Spinal Tap.

Sunday we got up and went snow shoeing in the mountains behind Bend. Unlike Bend, there was plenty in the mountains. It was fun to be able to get out and enjoy the snow. We had a nice four mile hike out to a hut and back. From the hut we could see the city of Bend below, but I think I most enjoyed the trees.

Monday we shopped around town, found a bookstore had some lunch and then left for the six hour drive back. We drove through a heavy snow storm at night, and that was trippy. It made you feel dizzy and like you had vertigo.

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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Lake Tahoe LNT

After getting back from Denver, Jessica was leading a Leave No Trace course in Tahoe. I met up with them and we did a little snowshoeing. We were staying at the Clair Tappaan Lodge run by the Sierra Club. It was a great location and they had amazing food. It's not luxurious, but the community is a lot of fun.

It was a fun group and the north facing slope still had soft deep powder.

The top had a great view of the valley below.

We had some fun on the way down.

Behind the lodge they have a pretty perfect sledding hill.

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Sunday, February 1, 2009


Last week I had a training in Denver, which wasn't that exciting. I learned some neat things about using images to do monitoring. I'll post more about that after working on projects myself. My last night there, I did get to meet up with an old college friend, Jennifer, for dinner. We had a great time, but no pictures.

On my flight home from Denver to Reno I had a window seat and no one in the middle. The way it should be. It was a clear day so I took pictures almost the whole way home. I really like taking pictures from the air of things I've seen on the ground. It's a neat perspective. Here are a few, but click on the map and you can see

I think this is the flaming gorge, it's right above Dinosaur National Park

Here is North Salt Lake City. The mountains look so small from above.

These are mines in central Nevada. The first one is still active, and in the front is the leach pad where they pour cyanide on the rocks and get the gold, and in the background is the pit where they get the rocks.

So this is actually a picture of Winnemucca. It is the spot just to the left at the end of the mountain range. It's a town of about 8,000 and I call home.

This is the famous Black Rock Playa. The big flat spot is where Burning Man is going to happen in about seven months. The big mountain on the close side is called Trego, and on the far side the lighter mountains are the Calicos. In the picture on the right you can see the black rock on the right that the playa is named for.

And finally into Reno where the only tall buildings there are hotels from the casinos.

Check out the map for all the pictures across the mountains. Overhead is a pretty neat view.

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