Saturday, July 21, 2012

Prelude to the anniversary hut-to-hut mountain bike trip around Mount Hood

Yes, yes, I know. The Grand Canyon trip is a fast fading memory and I still don't have all the posts up.  Meanwhile, life goes on and there is more fun to be had, and so I want to post some pictures from our most recent great adventure.

This past week, to celebrate six great years of marriage, Drew and I joined our friends Jim and Shelly (married 22 years) and Meghan and Travis (married some amount longer than us and so we are still the newly weds) on a four-day mountain bike ride around Mount Hood in Oregon.

We started off the fun by driving 12 hours all in one day to Bend, Oregon.  We left the driveway at 5:31 AM. Seriously.  That does not usually happen when Lucy is involved unless there is serious fun to be had.

We broke up the drive by stopping in Boise to see my cousin Donna and her fabulous garden.

In true North Dakota style, she had fresh baked cookies and lemonade and a Granda-Minni-worthy garden tour.  We were also pleased to meet her daughter Pam and grandson Bryton.

But back in the car, we motored on, finally reaching the great Northwet.

It rained. I was a little worried about our upcoming all-day-out-in-the-wilderness adventure, but Drew assured me it would pass. 

We met up with Jim and Shelly and strolled downtown Bend to find a street festival/art fair.   We enjoyed some Deschutes Brewery deliciousness
 While listening to a really great band out of nearby Redmond called Necktie Killers.

There were some interesting people enjoying the show.

This woman had a chest that made us wonder.

Some hippie chic on a sweet bike.

 The dreds on this guy were to the ground. He had to be over 55 years old. 

This is Grungeville after all.

We enjoyed a light supper at the Deschutes Brewery pub house before a late night dip in the crowded and disappointingly-indoor hot tub at the Shilo Inn before turning in to our huge suites (lodging was hard to come by in Bend on this particular weekend, for some reason).

On Sunday, our actual anniversary, we had a bit of a time finding the bike shop and eventually the trail head for the trail system west of Bend, but once we did, we headed out with Jim and Shelly on a nice 22 mile ride on ultra flowey singletrack.

 Shelly and Jim.



 Practicing my photography skills while biking.

 Trees grow big in Oregon.

 Open pine forest trails.
 Jim and Drew.

      Six years today!

After our ride, we cooled off in the Deschutes River with about a thousand other inner tubers, and then had a nice lunch at Pastini Pastaria along the river. An idyllic setting for lunch, as the weather was absolutely fabulous. The locally brewed beer added to the ambiance!

 Us on the patio for lunch. 

Tubers and geese on the Deschutes River with Three Sisters peaks in the background. Bend has a Very Nice setting!

After our late lunch, we were off to Gresham, a suburb of Portland, to relax and stay the night with our friends Sandy and Bobby.  (Jim and Shelly continued on to Cascade Locks to meet up with Trav and Meg.)

Sandy and Bobby are some of the most gracious hosts we know. They welcomed us into their home on a Sunday night with only about a week's notice like we were royalty having planned the trip for months.  Sandy and Bobby have a house that is as cute as a button, but much, much larger to contain them and their four gray and white cats!

We had a fabulous summer dinner (complete with cheese curds!) and were able to catch up on everything that has happened since we saw them last at their wedding.  It was really nice to be able to sleep in a comfortable home with friends before we started our back-country adventure. 

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