Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Memorial Day Weekend

My parents came to visit for memorial day weekend and to celebrate our anniversaries together. Ours was May 27th, and theirs was the 31st.

They brought us our wedding cake top. My mom did a fantastic job of preserving it, so it actually tastes really good! It may not look as nice as it did a year ago, but it sure is worth eating!

Getting ready to dig in.

Reminiscent of our wedding day.

On Monday, Mark and I had the privelege of joining our good friend Keith Drury as he crossed from Illinois into Missouri a few hours south of us. He is currently walking the Trail of Death - the route that was taken during the removal of the Potowatami Indians [from Indiana to Kansas]. To read more of his research and journey, click here.

Jess and Coach sharing their love of rootbeer.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Oregon::Washington Recap

Our view of Mt. Hood from the airplane. Sweet huh? Our biggest goal in heading out to Oregon [besides celebrating our anniversary] was to climb Hood. Our intended route is on the side you can't see from this picture :).

View of Mt. Hood from Timberline Lodge, where the route begins.

Mt. Hood has year-round skiiing and was wet snow, but so fun...and I thought my snowboarding season was over!

Mark at the top of the Palmer Glacier with our climbing route in the background.

Yep, that's me on a snowboard!

Mark headed up toward Illumination Rock and the Hogsback.

Our crampons that kept us firmly planted in the crunchy early-morning snow.

Jess headed up Mt. Hood.
Mark at the summit! We made it to the summit around 10am...we only stuck around for a few minutes to take some pictures b/c the snow was getting really soft. We didn't want to get pegged with any falling rock or ice on the way down!

Jess' summit pic. You can kind of see Adams and Ranier off in the distance.

Jess by the bergschrund on the way back down. A snowboarder had fallen through a few weeks back...luckily he only fell about 15 ft. It is now a gaping hole due to overly warm temps, forcing climbers to go around, instead of over.

On the Hogsback, the ridge that you ascend toward the summit. You can see the bergschrund behind us.

Looking down the Hogsback.

Mark glissading [sliding down on your butt] down Hood. We got to glissade a good chunk of our way down, which saved a ton of energy, let alone was tons of fun!

Timberline about 6,000 ft. on Mt. Hood. We stayed here our first night in was built during the depression to create jobs for people...all the furniture was hand-made, and even the clothe was hand woven! It is also the starting place for the southside climb route up Mt. Hood.

The Columbia River Gorge is the border between most of Washington and Oregon. It is extremely beautiful, and a haven for windsurfing!

As we were driving on the road toward Mt. Adams, we saw a sign that said simply, "Big Tree" with an arrow pointing us in the right direction. We decided to check it out, and found this, well, big tree.

Jess on Mt. Adams looking off at Mt. St. Helens in the distance. We wanted to climb MSH, but due to some volcanic activity, it's been closed for climbing in the past few years.

Mark nearing "The Lunch Counter" on Mt. Adams, a flatter spot at about 9,200 ft. on the mountain that is below the false summit...a great place to camp! Adams is a great climb, but long. We were able to snowshoe the whole way, but it took us a good 10 hours! It's not as steep as it looks in this picture.

Our home sweet home at the lunch counter on Mt. Adams. It was a bit windy, but those that have come before us built up some rock walls to protect you from the gusts. We never made it to the summit of Adams b/c we woke up in a cloud that turned into snow as we waited in hopes that it would clear. Instead of risk getting caught in what could have turned into thunderstorm clouds, we decided to head back down the mountain.

We carried this 4-season tent [read: heavy] on our climb...the coziness and shelter from the wind made it worth it.

We hadn't planned on white water rafting, but we were driving down from the Mt. Adams wilderness and kept passing rafting places. We stopped to ask, and squeezed in a run for the following afternoon. It was a fun run with class 3 and 4 rapids.

On our way back to the Portland airport, our last stop was at Multnomah Falls. It was so beautiful and has this sweet bridge over it!

We had a fantastic time, and miss the mountains already!

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Oregon or Bust!

It's finally here! Tuesday we head to Oregon to celebrate our one year anniversary! We are pumped to have vacation, and especially to be able to have it in the mountains. I'll make sure to post an update and some pics when we return!