Sunday, August 29, 2010

The longest relay race in the world......

On Friday I had the adventure of a lifetime, where I joined a team of ladies to be a part of the LONGEST RELAY RACE IN THE WORLD!!!

Most of the members of our team "Two Sole Survivors and their Arch Supports"
(unfortunately we were so busy and on the go, I only took 1 photo during our adventure, which was of the finish line.)  I am in the back row, 3rd from the right.

The relay race is held every year and there are two versions....the running race is called Hood to Coast.  The team I was with was a race walking team and that relay is called Portland to Coast.

How our adventure transpired --

The team consists of 12 members.  Each member is responsible for completing 2 legs of the race.  6 members are in Van #1, and 6 members are in Van #2 (I was in Van #2).

For our team, Van #1's start time was 4am, and the starting line was at OMSI in downtown Portland on the waterfront.  The six ladies on that team each had 1 leg that they completed, in which they walked from Portland to St. Helens.

Our Van #2, then met them at 10:30am, where the last member of the team was finishing her leg, and our first member met her at the exchange point.  Their team member slapped a wrist band onto our walker and she was off to walk, while Van #1's members drove to our next exchange point which was near Mist/Clatskanie, Oregon, where they laid down a tarp and slept in a field until our arrival.

My first leg was #23, which was an easy 4.2 mile leg, on a paved road.  Then the fun begins..."road kill".  Part of the fun of the relay is to keep a tally of your roadkill while walking, and post the score on the windows of your vehicle.  "Road kill" is defined as one walker, passing another walker along the route.  I did a 14.5 minute mile on that leg and had 3 road kill!!  Woo Hoo!!!

The highlights from that leg ---  aside from the decorated vans, and the walkers who were in costume.....  The Indian (???) woman in a trailer along the route playing some kind of mystical chimed music while dancing in a native gown with a tambourine, and the guy yelling from the bushes (note you can be disqualified from the race for peeing in the bushes) "Can you see me????" as I walked past.  (Note my response...No, but I can hear you!!!)

Our van finished our legs for the day at 8:30pm, at which point Van #1's walkers had to begin racing again (wearing head lamps, reflective vests, and blinking safety lights on front and back).  Luckily for our team, one of our members has a gorgeous cabin on a private lake in Clatskanie so we were able to drive there, eat dinner, shower and at 9:30 lie down to rest until 12:40am, when we had to drive to Astoria, OR where we would meet up with Van #1 who finished their race at 2:30am!!!

Van #2's members were done with the relay, and left to one of the member's beach house in Seaside (where the race would end) to get some much needed rest, while our first member got on the road.  

At around 4am, we had an interesting sight.  We were getting ready for our 3rd member to race around 4am when we see a truck park on the side of the road, and two men dressed in camouflage get out of the vehicle and from the bed of the pick ups pull out a couple of mountain bikes.  First thought was...ummmm.....really???? 4am, in camouflage, on bikes, this can't be good.  They then strapped crossbows to the front of their bikes.  Curiosity got the best of us -- (surely this wasn't a new game for road kill during the relay right???) to find out NO --- it is the first day of Elk Season!!  Not sure how they planned to drag the elk back to their vehicle with their little bikes...but hey...keeping it weird...that's how Portlanders like it.

My last leg was leg #35 which I was quite nervous about.  First because I had been on vacation the last few weeks, and hadn't done any training for the event.  Second, because this leg was marked as DIFFICULT, 7.72 miles, on a non access road (meaning I wouldn't have ANY van support for water, etc.)  The leg ended up being super hills, just off and on gravel...and I ended up meeting a FABULOUS woman that kept a great steady walking pace and we walked the last 6 miles together chatting up a storm and completed our leg averaging a 12.5 minute mile!!!!  Favorites from that race... seeing an owl swoop down from a tree into the field and pick up a rodent and carry it back to the tree.  Watching a costumed disco diva with a hand held music device dance her way toward the exchange singing "Freedom!!!  Freedom!!!" and seeing the first woman runner from Hood to Coast run by (which means that running team had made up the 80 mile difference and were now ahead of the walkers!!!  Runners start their race at Timberline Lodge on Mt. Hood!!) and hearing out my walking companions upcoming trip to Paris, Venice and Munich!!!

My only photo from the trip, while waiting for our team to be called is of the finish line!!!!  All 12 members walk together across the finish line as the last member of the team completes their leg, right onto the beach in Seaside!!!  They announced that 90,000 people would walk across the beach that day!!

Friends, TeePees and Warm Springs, not necessarily in that order.....

With summer almost over and the season of nonstop sports and school commitments approaching we left town Wednesday for a quick overnight trip to Kahneeta!!!

The view of Mt. Hood on our way to Kahneeta.  Due to thunderstorms the previous week, there were several fires on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation that were only 30% contained...thus the haze/smoke in the photo!

Warm Springs Indian Reservation....out in the middle of nowhere.....on the way to can see the smoke in the air.

Tons of horses roam free on the reservation

Our home for the evening!!  TeePee Village!!!  

Note....when staying in the TeePee, you need an air mattress, because the only thing in the TeePees are #1 A cement floor  #2  A picnic table bolted to the floor  #3 an empty toolbox also bolted to the floor (I'm assuming this is a TeePee's version of a safe) and #4 a fire pit in the center.

For future travelers to the Kahneeta....It is highly recommended that you PLACE IN YOUR VEHICLE ALL air mattresses for your family  AND an air pump for those said mattresses.  The reason I'm telling you this is because #1, after you leave the town of Sandy...there are A) No Department Stores B) No Cell service to call friends and ask them the favor of delivering your forgotten items.

The positives from our trip to Kahneeta -- #1 we realized we had forgotten the air pump PRIOR to losing cell service and we were able to call our friends that were joining us for the Kahneeta adventure to bring their air pump.  #2  We were only 20 minutes past Sandy when we realized we not only forgot to bring the pump, but 2 of our 4 queen air mattresses, SO backtracking to Bi-Mart which opens at 9am wasn't a big deal.  The added bonus...the 2 air mattresses we bought were on SALE and each came with a battery operated air pump!!  #3 Bi-Mart also carried the Catsup, Paper Plates and Football that we also forgot to pack :)

Our funniest story of the trip ----  We stopped for gas along the way.  In Oregon you are not allowed to pump your own is against the law.  Therefore, you must wait in your car for an attendant to come and pump you gas.  Matt asked for $50, the attendant put the nozzle in, at about $47, he comes to the driver's side window and says "I'm going to go and get some coffee, so when the pump clicks off, go ahead and put the nozzle away".  20 seconds later, as he was entering the convenience store, the pump had finished.  We concluded that the man must have had a LONG HARD night as he forgot to put in his lower teeth.

This was the view from our lounge chair and our hangout for 2 days!!!  The pool is heated by the warm springs and kept at 91 degrees!!  

I love our family!!!!

The snack shack....where we were frequent customers 

Sarah jumping in!!  She LOVES the water, just like her Daddy!

Tori posing for the camera as she jumps into the pool

This is how Ryan attracts all the LADIES (SEXY HAIR)

Ryan doing the "Apple Dive"

The feet in the air belong to Tori after she SHOT out of the tube.

For future travelers who choose to add the water slide adventure to your trip this is what we learned this time around ---

  1. The tube is will eventually end so don't be for the light....when you see the light it is time to plug your nose and stop screaming (it is best to slam into the pool at a high rate of speed with your mouth closed to prevent choking on a gallon of water).
  2. Sitting in the tube is don't go very fast
  3. To go semi - fast, become a pencil.  This means lie flat on your back, with your legs crossed at the ankles, toes pointed, and  your arms crossed across your chest.  This will help you pick up speed and shoot halfway to the safety rope
  4. For the fastest slide .... Assume pencil position as noted above PLUS arch your back so only your sholders and hind end (aka rear, tush, buttocks) touch the slide.  This will enable you to either shoot directly into the pool and with toes pointed shoot under the safety rope coming out somewhere near the middle of the pool, OR as in Tori's case, don't point your toes and you can do the fancy feet in the air landing.
Tyler coming down the slide

RED full moon on Wednesday night (due to the smoke from the fires)

The girls hanging by the Campfire

Our friend Christine searching for the perfect sticks for smores

Smores Sticks for 14 kids please!!!  Notice the Flashlight in Matt's mouth as he uses his handy dandy Leatherman saw!!!  

The girls roasting marshmellows

The boys hanging by the fire and roasting marshmellows

Thursday afternoon, leaving Kahneeta -- great trip, with great friends.....Kumbaya

Tyler's 10th Birthday

Tyler is officially 10 years old (as of August 24th.... I'm a little behind on blogging)!!!!

How did he choose to celebrate his birthday?  Well.....  First he chose what he wanted for breakfast....

His Choice ----   7-11 Breakfast burritos
(My response...  "WHAT??????????" His response...  "Yeah, one morning I went with Dad to 7-11 when we were going somewhere and they have breakfast burritos and they are REALLY good")

So, Tyler and I headed to 7-11, where they had 4 "breakfast burritos"  (ewwwwww) under the hot lamps, rolling away on the hot dog rollers (because they weren't any larger than a hot dog) and we got a BARGAIN when we purchased the 4 burritos for $4, and he ate every single one of them with a HUGE smile on his face!!!

Next stop....was a trip to the store so he could buy the latest and greatest Video Game of all time "Lego Harry Potter" and to get the Chocolate Caramel Ice Cream cake!!!!

While I went to run a few errands, we received the call that his lunch choice was Domino's Pizza.   Luckily he agreed to go with a Costco Pepperoni instead!!!

He spent the afternoon playing the coolest game ever and then put in his dinner request.  El Chilito's Mexican to go with a Horchata (our new favorite drink of choice...  Note to Starbucks...please put this on your menu...Thank you in advance)

Stay tuned in September when he takes his birthday trip to Legoland!!!
(For those of you that follow our blog, but haven't actually met our family, we have a family tradition.  When our children turn 10 years old, they get to choose any place in the USA to spend 4 days with their dad (he works long hours, and we don't get a lot of time with him during the week).  Their gift from us is time alone with their dad to make memories and enjoy a vacation of their choice!!

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Headed home.......

Well, I have to admit that I shed some tears because it was time to go.  Matt called it PMS, I called it "You should buy me a vacation home in Sunriver".   Needless to say, it was a fabulous week, filled with a lot of fun times and I definitely wasn't ready for it to end.

Tyler in the driveway collecting pine cones.  He was so thrilled to find this net with a handle.  When I explained that was a fishing net for large fish, apparently he had an "Ah Ha" moment.....

In which he once again invented a game, not regularly seen in the suburbs.....  The rules, One guy (probably the axe murderer) stands in the driveway while the sibling drives past as fast as he can on his bike trying not to get caught with the net.....  Ryan passed....

Unfortunately Tori....well.....she does better when avoiding the flying rubber axe.....

Mt. Washington on her way home 

Hoo Doo Ski Area

Three Fingered Jack

Sign on the side of building letting us know we are almost home.....

Thanks for enjoying our vacation photos!!!

Vacation Day #7

Friday was our last full day of vacation, so we decided to take my sister-in-law's advice and swing by Powell's Sweet Shoppe in Bend to be sure and start our day off right!!!  Thanks for the suggestion Pam!!!

A case full of chocolate sweets!!!

Sarah's first selection!!!

Vintage candies......

Gotta love the Abba Zaba!!!  I bought one for the kids to try!!!

We thought maybe this would silence her on the way home, but it wouldn't fit in her mouth!!!

We made another stop at Smith Rock State Park.  This time there were NO clouds and incoming thunderstorms!!  Absolutely beautiful!!!!  I'd love to go and hike here one day!!!

Same photo from a different angle.  I can't decide if I like the photo better with, or without the tree on the left.  If you have an opinion, leave a comment below!

Matt, Tori and Sarah trying to catch a lizard that was sunning on the rock.  No luck....they are speedy little reptiles....

Our GPS unit had the Rock O' the Range covered bridge as a site to see.  Well, here's the photo, of the newly refurbished bridge, that our bus won't fit under.  Our bus is 7' 9" (4 " too tall to cross the bridge), so we did a drive by shooting (photo shoot that is).

Our next stop was Tumalo Falls!  Absolutely one of my favorites!!!

Our family at Tumalo Falls (where is that bossy lady when we needed her???  Rock ledge was too low for the auto shoot to see the falls...If you don't know what I'm talking about, see our earlier post on vacation day #3)

We hiked to the top of Tumalo Falls and this is the view looking straight down.

The creek/stream further up above Tumalo Falls

Then it was back to Sunriver resort where we found 2 does and 4 fawns feeding on a condo lawn near Fort Rock Park.  Ryan and I were able to walk right up near them.

I think our local elementary school should get one of these!!!  

Tyler did a little gliding.....

Brandon and Ryan playing tether ball

Matt and Ryley playing tether ball (note here...there is something to be said for the advantage of height while playing this game)

Then it was back to the cabin where Matt and I had our last dinner on the adults only patio

We prepared for our last evening sugar high.....(aka death by dessert)

Matt spent some time reading in the most comfortable lounge chair....

Brandon did what he does best.....

Sarah took her last bubbly tub in the jacuzzi tub

.....and then it was off to bed!!!!!