Saturday, July 14, 2007

Best warning sign ever

When I was uploading pictures of signs that we took, this one popped up.

It's good enough to share.

Tech stuff for the slacker: Best warning sign ever

i have bumped into this guy's stuff before, just ignore the stupid comments that sometimes get added.

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Friday, July 13, 2007

The Sneaker Tree

Screaming through the high desert in Oregon we found a sneaker tree

(probably the first one in full-bloom that we had ever seen)

The Sneaker Tree

The Sneaker Tree: Set

The Sneaker Tree: Slide Show

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Dunes in Oregon

Testing the testosterone. fun fun fun

WW's Phone

Now the dunes in oregon are HUGE. We thought the dunes at the great lakes were pretty great but these things are really HUGE. I mean it. HUGE.

Here is a satellite view.

On the east coast the dunes are usually fenced off, they are fragile, bird nests, and all that other stuff. Out here the dunes are huge and you can do anything you want to them because they repair themselves every day. The wind just blows in more sand. This whole area is very ATV oriented. I pulled over for the siren of a rescue vehicle and a truck pulling a trailer with six rescue ATV's. This is not a sight I would usually see in Antrim.

They have rental places everywhere. They send you on your way and call the ambulance when necessary. Beth was a wee bit nervous about going out there.

I chose a place that seemed to be the safest. We watched a little safety movie, had an explanation of which dunes were safe today, strapped in and went out.

It was awesome. You could drive down this long sand road to the beach a few miles away. Zoom down the beach and back, scream around and then drive back and drive up and over dunes that are taller than you can imagine. The dune next to you is probably over a quarter of a mile away. Up down up down this way that way drive back to the beach etc etc.

I was thrilled. Beth put up with it.

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A vague explanation of why...

Explanation of why I love dunebuggies. Ok, just some vague rambling with no definitive reason...


I have ALWAYS wanted to drive a dunebuggy. I remember the first time I saw the little filmclip of the Meyers Dunebuggy I wanted one. I had a 59 VW that a neighbor had chopped up. They removed the body and then cut it in half right in front of the back seat. This was a convertible so it created a nice little back-of-a-VW-couch kind of thing that could be lifted by three or four skinny teenagers.
The entire front end of the body was missing. I assume that the front end was what the neighbors were after when they chopped it up. It had a drivers seat, the entire chassis with an engine, no dashboard, hood, doors, or anything else. When you sat in the drivers seat the steering wheel rested in your lap. If we were going to give “the girls” rides we would load the back-seat-body combo over the engine and we had a chariot.
If we were going to the sandpits or just driving in the corral or fields, we would take off the back half and ave a lean mean bouncing machine. Without the weight or stiffness of a body and only a very skinny boy driving it, the chassis of a VW is VERY flexible. When you hit a bump it was like driving a bronco caterpillar. The only thing to hold on to was the steering wheel and that was only connected to a flexible piece of rubber that would allow you to assume a sitting, standing, or flying position while driving. Nobody EVER let go of that wheel, if they had, it probably could have been a little dangerous, but we hadn't thought that all the way through and this VW was the wacky part of my fleet of woods-rods.
I still have this image in my head of seeing a silouette of “Happy” (that was his name) going over the top edge of the sandpit and being able to balance on top of the steering wheel while it was vertical and the car wasn't. I don't know if we looked as silly and crazy when we were driving it, but I suspect we were. The gas pedal of the 50's vdubs wasn't a pedal but was a roller wheel. On a springy seat, with a steering wheel mounted on your lap, a frame that flexed like a trampoline, and custom no-resistance shock absorbers, accelleration was vrooooom, the frame flexed up, you sunk back in the seat, your foot lifted off the gas, the engine dropped to idle, the frame flexed with the center almost hitting the ground, the skinny kid lurches forward, the foot squishes the gas, the engine goes vroooom and the cycle is repeated. A bucking caterpillar. Amazing to watch. If you didn't want to do this, you had to be very gentle on the gas.
I loved that car. I sold or gave it to Hap, Chris, and Willy.

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A nice little place in our price range.

Its the covered deck that really pulls the whole thing together

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Here are some puppies we met...

Click HERE for more puppies.
(or as always, click on the title of this post)

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From the big trees to the land of shaved mountains

We are now in Oregon. There is quite a difference from National/State/County protected forests of northern California to the lumber farming SouthWest corner of Oregon.

All of the roads have a thin hedge of beautiful trees that give you a nice forested feeling, but when you get a peek through a bare patch you can see that the hills are clearcut for as far as you can see. It feels like a holleywood set. The hills look like New Hampshire looked in 1907.
I suspect that "farming" is not quite the term that I should be using here. There doesn't seem to be ANY reforestation being done. Just cut and run. There are spots where you can see just how tall the trees used to be because they don't actually clearcut, they leave behind the diseased or damaged trees or ones that are just too thin to make good lumber. These tall reminders of what "used to be" tower above the scrub that blankets the hills after a number of years.
Oregon seems to be a beautiful state, but the clearcutting takes some getting used to. It is similar to passing by the strip-mines in other states. There is a product to be sold, there are people to buy the product, and there isn't a lot of incentive for a company to reuse the same resources like there is with a farmer that has to use the same fields year after year. The trees will grow back, but there are no signs of planned forestry here like you see in other parts of the country. They just move on to a new area.

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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

While we are visiting the Mad Norwegians...

We have been VERY offline for a while. There is an internet connection at this very moment.
We will be finding a spot this afternoon with internet (we hope).
I have taken more than 1500 photos since my last post so I will have to do some sorting.
I also just found out that my last post didn't make it out to the public yet.
I am going to send this now before I am disconnected again.

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Comment from Jenny

Beth and Warren are camping right now and pretty much off-line, thus the slow down of postings. Leslie got in contact with Beth today. Will post the latest chapters in their adventure once I connect with them!

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Fern Valley

Fern Valley is right on the coast of California. It is a small gorge with xx varieties of ferns. It is a wonderful place to scurry around in.

There are MANY more pictures of this little spot that I will add later.

Fern Valley: The Set
Fern Valley: Slide Show

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Monday, July 9, 2007

Comment from Betsy

rxczgiz You are making us jealous for all the great adventures that you are experiencing. Small planes, but lots of photos of old cars at the July 4th Parade. Up Country was great and you both were there in spirit .. . .. we could feel it!

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