Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Corn blowin' in the Popo Agie

Last weekend was great. It was Death March 11...for some people. This group of 4 guys started doing an annual guys-only hiking/camping trip back in 1998 (when I was graduating high school). (John, John, Jeff, and were the original 4, I think). The group of people involved seems to vary from year to year (obviously. see also: I was invited.), but the nature of the weekend has not. It's just a group of guys, out in the woods. Pretty basic.

So Friday we headed out. Jarrod picked me up at 7:00 to head up to Wyoming. Jarrod, Curtis, Jeff, and I rode up together, planning to meet the rest of the bunch in Landers, WY at noon. After meeting up, eating, buying fishing licenses, etc. we headed up to the trailhead at about 2. That's when we met the Snot Road of Doom, a.k.a. the 6-mile road up to the trailhead. Apparently they're getting ready to pave the currently-dirt road, because the road was entirely stripped down to perfectly-flattened dirt. The parking lot full of heavy duty road-making equipment was a clue as well. See, it had rained the night before. A lot. For a long time. The old-timers we later met said it snowed in the higher elevations from 3 am to 3 pm. So the road was a muddy, slippery disaster. We aborted 1 climb after 1/4 mile, due to a Honda Odyssey not quite being up to the challenge. We returned to the base parking lot, consolidated into 2 4WDs, and headed back up. An hour later (for a 6-mile jaunt remember), after seeing several cars with panicked drivers heading down ("I don't know where the 4WD button is and I can't call my husband because it's a new car and he'll kill me!"), we made it to the trailhead. We saddled (strapped?) up and headed up the trail at 4:00.

By 9:15 we had hiked almost 6 miles with all of our gear. The trail was muddy and we were muddy and we were sore and we were tired and the sun was down and we were hiking by flashlight through marshes of questionable density-of-ground. At 9:30 we finally found a spot to camp. Tents were pitched, crackers eaten, bed achieved.

we awoke to frost and fog. We had a big breakfast (people really do use those half-dozen egg containers they sell at REI! Who knew?) and by the time we were done cleaning up (11:00 AM) the clouds had broken, the sun was out, and warmth was seeping in. We spent the day doing...whatever. Really. It's not often you get to just do...whatever without worrying about if you should be doing something or cleaning something or cooking something or saying something or being somewhere else. There were no expectations and it was great. I spent the day mostly hiking up a ridge on the opposite side of the valley from our camp with various groups of guys. The evening was cooking and hanging out, then sleep.

Sunday we basically got up and left. The sun was out, the day was great, and the downhill dry trek took 3.5 hours, compared to the 5.5 for the long slog in.

Of course this is the short version of the weekend. There are other stories, but I wanted to get something down before I let it slip too far out of my head. It was a really good time and I'm glad I got to go. Hopefully I'll be included next year too!

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The tragic demise of moles

I currently have 4 dermatologist-inflicted holes in my body. I had some moles, went to the doctor, lost some moles. It's such a non-event, for a surgical procedure. "OK, I think I'll take off...that one...that one...hmmm...not that one...that one if you want..." It's a strange experience. She took the 2 I wanted her to, the ones that have actually noticeably changed in the last year, plus 2 more that looked at her funny. Terribly exciting, I know.

In other news, Fri-Sun is my 1st weekend out in the woods with a bunch of guys since Boy Scouts all those years ago. Jarrod invited me along with him and some of his friends for a camping trip in Wyoming. It should be a good time. The impending trip has already given me an excuse to buy new hiking boots and a new frame pack (which are SO MUCH CHEAPER than when I was 14!!) Now I just have to see if I can get out the door at 6 am Friday. Damn mornings.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Things on the tubes

I thought I'd update my links over there on the right to include some things on this series of tubes that make me laugh. Links over there---->
(graphjam and totallylookslike are new additions)

In other news, our carpet has taken a beating lately. First K2 decided to open a vial of unidentified red powder in the basement* and it got on the carpet. Using my crack cleaning skillz, I grabbed the #2 vacuum that lives in the basement and tried to vacuum the spot. High speed brushes + unidentified substance = more mess that K2 had made in the first place. So I pulled out the attachments and tried to use those to clean up the mess, forgetting that the brushes were still spinning, leaving another red stripe a foot away from the giant blotch created by the spreading of K2's initial 3" wide spill. In the end #2 vacuum is pretty much ruined and the carpet had 2 giant patches of stain.

Then last night K1 was sick. Some sort of stomach bug that caused the contents of his stomach to rush for the nearest exit repeatedly over the space of 10 hours or so. This was also not good for the carpet. So a Rug Doctor was rented today and lots of cleaning done by Steph, who stayed home w/ K1. Neither happening has been totally eradicated from the carpet of our home, so I guess they will become a permanent (until the carpet is replaced at least) record of mishaps. That's what makes a home a home though, right?

*note to self and other parents...if your child receives any presents which include learning activities with potential messes hidden inside, make sure you complete these ASAP!! Otherwise you're asking for trouble. At least I was.

Friday, August 1, 2008

TGIF- Bird Flu edition

Well the bird flu vaccine trial has been enrolled as planned. Good times. Busy times, but good. Up next is the insomnia trial that has been pending for awhile now. Late August is the new projected start (pushed back from next week, which was revised from mid-July, which was the declaration when late June didn't happen.) We'll see when that really happens. In the meantime I have a bit of breathing space to catch up on the big weight loss trial and close out 4 other studies in the next 2 weeks. Really breathing space is overrated.

In other news, Obi continues to assimilate. We've had a few some point he decided that his pooping places were either out in the backyard or in the basement, so the kid-gate the previous homeowner's left here went back up so he can't get to the basement unsupervised. I've lost a pair of shorts and a pair of PJ pants, and a Darth Vader mask was destroyed (don't tell K1. He doesn't know yet!). That's just stuff though. He's a really great doggy and wants to be's a constant PET ME PLEASE!!! sort of wanting to be loved. We've been out for walks or visits to the dog park almost daily since we got him and he loves to get out and see the world. He also started refusing to go in his crate after only a few days, so now he has the run of the house during the day and does really well with that. He hasn't destroyed a single thing while home alone during the day...that's only happened at night when we're sleeping. He's come a long way in the last month!