Upheld

This photo has become a tradition for this blog on each Christmas Eve since 2010. This ornament is appropriate, as it was spied that year hanging in a vendor’s booth at the Christmas Market in Vienna, Austria.

I do believe I missed last year, but we were busy traveling the world. Goddess and I spent the first half of this year continuing those travels, spending time with friends and family all over the world.  We’ve settled down for a spell to see how that suits us.

Know that our wish for you is to have a peaceful end of the calendar year adhering to whatever practices bring you comfort and joy.

Hopefully you will find a bit of relaxation in there too.

Christmas Eve Globe Lights Ornament by Bill Anders Photography

Autumn Tree Line

Boardman Tree Farm, Morrow County, Oregon

A fantastic tree farm full of beautiful Pacific Albus, easily accessible off of the highway, which also makes it very popular for photographers, regardless of the season.

Unfortunately, it was recently sold and is already being turned into plots for potatoes, like the field in the foreground.

So if you are in the Pacific Northwest and want to catch a glimpse of its beauty, you better hurry.  The news reports state that it will take years to clear the trees, as each plot will be allowed to grow to commercial viability.  But once they are gone, they are gone.

Concert View

It has been more than a bit crazy here lately, hence the infrequent posts.  We certainly did not need any distractions.

So we got one and took advantage of it.

Over the last weekend, we put 1,800 miles on the car making a quick run down to California to visit a dear friend, spend the weekend watching bands, back to Ashland to quickly take care of some unfinished business after leaving there in June, saw a few friends there (but not enough), then beat feet back home.

Although it was long hours in the car once again, it was a trip good for the soul.  Not only was it two solid days of auditory overload, but fantastic scenery and great friends.  Plus, I was finally able to collect the rest of my memory cards that had been in safekeeping since April.  Perhaps I can get to the pictures that I took from last October through April and post a few here.

So what is with the title?  It is the typical concert view anymore.  At the first flash of light, the first beat of the drum, the first strum of a guitar, all of the damned phones go up.  I can’t see squat and I’m 6-feet tall.  My poor Goddess, who is nowhere near 6-feet tall, just gives up.

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And before someone cracks wise about me taking this picture with my phone, there wasn’t anyone behind me other than the guys at the sound boards.  And they were on a platform about 3 feet off the ground.

But other than that, we had a great weekend.  Hopefully you did too and that you are about to enjoy another.

My Sunshine

A throwback to last April, watching the showers, hoping for some lightning or other exciting action.

Which may not have been smart, since we were on the highest point for several miles around.

But that’s what we do.

She’s looking at the last bit of last winter’s snow on Mount Ashland.  They’ve already received their first snowfall.  Here’s hoping that they have another great year.  They really need it.

Pilot Cumulus

A flashback to a day last spring.

Goddess and I were sitting with a friend on a bluff overlooking the Rogue Valley in southern Oregon, watching the rain showers roll past.

There are five climbers silhouetted on the summit of Pilot Rock that are only visible in the original image.  Discovering them made me smile, thinking of another day a couple of years ago where we made that same climb with friends.

Final Stretch

It has been a crazy week since we’ve moved out of the house. But it has all been good.

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In a nutshell, we tied up a few loose ends in Oregon and headed south. 

We spent the weekend with our resupply goddess getting a late delivery of food put together;

We drove south through California’s central valley.  We were planning on taking a couple of days to get to San Diego, but got word that there were just a handful of spaces left at our planned auto storage facility that were first-come, first-served, so we pushed hard to get there and get our spot.  We did;

Then it was last-minute chores of sending out resupply boxes and getting everything ready. But since San Diego is my old stomping grounds as a teenager and Jennifer has never been here, there was food to be enjoyed and places to see.

We will catch a breather before we hit the trail.

I hope.

Packing

The packing continues.

We got the entire house packed, cleaned and handed over the other day. We wanted to spend yesterday napping, but there is still plenty to do.

It doesn’t help that, thanks to a shipping snafu, that we are still waiting on delivery of about 120 meals worth of dehydrated vegetables and protein.

Here’s our hotel room right now. I suspect the housekeeping staff is shaking their heads every time they walk past the open door.

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It’s a last minute sanity check, as we have realized that some important items are now somewhere in the storage unit. No show-stoppers, but things we will need to find (not likely right now) or replace.

Once this is done, on to the last minute packing of meals as tracking tells us that the food shipment is in town as of yesterday, but apparently too far from the mailbox to pick up.

The adventure begins and continues.

Whale Shark

Our home for the summer received a quality control shakedown after being created this week.

Gen Shimizu, the genius behind Yama Mountain Gear, posted a pic and asked if it looked like a shark.

It does.  A Whale Shark.

Does anyone else see a shark? #yamamountaingear #swiftlinetent

A post shared by YAMA Mountain Gear (@yamamountaingear) on

At 36.5oz actual weight, I’ll barely notice it in my pack.  But we will both enjoy this Yama Mountain Gear Swiftline 2-person tent on those wet and windy nights.

 

Jammin’

Wow, has it really been two weeks since the last post?

In the immortal words of Bob Marley, we’re jammin’.

We spent a week in Kansas experiencing what we’ve been missing here – winter.  A nice bout of snowfall and single-digit temperatures, made all the more enjoyable by spending the time with very dear friends.

Plus, they gave me the opportunity to shoot “baby bump” pictures for them as they’re just a couple of weeks from having their first child.  I’ve never had experience and it was nothing short of amazing.

Once we got back, we had to hit the slopes.  It’s late-spring conditions here, with the nights on the mountain not getting below freezing.  So we had a day of pushing slush and skipping rocks, but it was a great time.

Then a full weekend of trail-related activities.

Friday night had us at a local screening of a movie called “Only the Essential“, a documentary of a couple of hikers on their thru-hike of the PCT back in 2013.  It was a heck of a lot of fun to see the spots through someone else’s vision.

The best part was the Q&A session afterwards, when an audience member asked the producers what the most eye-opening moment was for them during the hike.  Colin Arisman responded, relaying the moment when he realized that he truly was house-less.   The look on Goddess’ face was priceless.

That part is really sinking in.

The rest of the weekend was trail work with the Siskiyou Mountain Club, building rock steps, build drains, clearing brush, clearing fallen trees and rehabilitating old, faded trail tread.

Misery WhipTaking a break.

Bean Meadow SunriseWatching sunrise on a morning when people were fretting over whether their clock was telling them the right time or not.  Sunrise is sunrise.

Boccard Point ViewView from Boccard Point in the Soda Mountain Wilderness.  That’s Pilot Rock to the left, Mount Ashland in the distance, just right of frame center.

We worked the majority of the trail from Pilot Rock to this viewpoint, skipping just a couple of miles of deadfall trees because it was late Saturday afternoon and we needed to set up camp before sunset.

Those will be taken care of next weekend.

 

PCT – Trail Maintenance

In case you weren’t out traveling earlier this month and missed getting a copy of USA Today slid under your room door, there was an interesting article on the state of the National Forest Trail system, which is pretty dismal.

Here’s the article.

One thing you’ll notice in the article is the increasing reliance on volunteers to maintain the trails.

We’re eager volunteers.  Personally, I enjoy the excuse to get out into the wilderness and do some work.  The crew members are great and everyone’s excited to be there to work.

Plus, for me it’s a chance to see new areas and scout out where I’d like to return to shoot photos.  Like this one.

For me, it’s a win-win.

As much as we’d like for the work to get done on its own, just through the love and dedication of the volunteers, it can’t.  For many of the volunteers, they sure wish it could, but it can’t.

So please consider donating to the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA), the non-profit organization responsible for the trail-work coordination and execution, as well as the protection of the trail corridor.

The PCTA is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, meaning that your donation may be tax deductible on your taxes next year (sorry, if you were looking for an angle on the forms you’re doing now, that ship sailed two months ago).

We are 1/4th of the way to our goal!  Would you please help maintain the trail that Jennifer and I will be walking this year?  Your help will ensure that the trail is available for hikers in the future too.

Please click on the picture of Jennifer and Skinny on the PCT below to lend a hand.

Thank you,

Bill & Jennifer Anders

Jen n Skinny Deadfall