Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Neophyte blogger alert!

Eric here, guest blogging. This is my first blog ever. Actually that's not true, some of you may remember my short-lived webpage back when Wyatt was first born. I guess you could have called it blogging, but back then I thought blogs and iPods were the same thing. I only figured that one out recently.

Anyway, Wyatt and I escaped the womenfolk and headed to Willamette National Forest southeast of Eugene to camp, bicycle the Aufderheide Scenic Drive, and fish the North Fork of the Middle Fork of the Willamette River.

We drove down Saturday morning after watching the last Tour de France stage. By the way, despite my general disdain for all things not American, I am convinced that the Tour de France is the single most impressive and compelling sporting event in the world (followed by World Series, US Open, Daytona 500). It is probably the only way Catrina is going to get me to leave the Homeland (North America north of Mexico).

We set up camp and then took off on a 30-mile bicycle ride up the Aufderheide Scenic Drive, which is really nothing but a paved forest road. Passed by lots of old growth, a ton of speedy motorcycles, and a few sunning garter snakes. The first half was mostly uphill, which just means that when you turn around you get to "go faster" as Wyatt puts it. We came upon this neat area called the Constitution Grove. Thanks to a big fire that went through the area, all the trees date back to about 1787 (for those of you like Catrina who did not pay attention in school, that is when the Constitution was signed). Every tree is named after one of the signers.

After returning to camp (3 1/2 hours later), we quickly transitioned to fly fishing mode and hit the river. There were lots of little rainbows, easy to catch on elk hair caddis and little yellow sallys. Nothing bigger than maybe 8 inches though. In retrospect I probably should not have fished so far upstream. Regardless, Wyatt was on my back and got an up close view. He likes to pet the fish. We fished nearly until dark, then walked back to camp.

The camping was great. We were able to find a secluded site off the forest road, all to ourselves. There was some bear scat around, if that excites you. It was near a good fishing hole. I forgot to bring a lantern or flashlight - which makes for a scared little boy when the truck lights go off - but his eyes adapted quickly. We star-gazed for a moment and then he was out. He slept well and even tried to sleep in the next morning, but that of course is forbidden on camping/fishing trips.

The morning fishing was more of a scouting trip to find some good holes fast, without any luck. Nevertheless, it sure was fun to spend some time with the boy. We drove back in time to catch most of the Brickyard 400. Now how many blogs do you think reference the Tour de France, old growth forests, fly fishing, and NASCAR all within 24 hours?

Blogger Alex and Ashley had this to say:

Wow, I learned history, new words, and sports! Sounds like the boys had a really great trip!

July 30, 2008 at 9:23 AM 

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My Wine Personality:
For the most part I’m a chardonnay, as I consider myself to exhibit a somewhat sunny and mellow disposition (most of the time), but because I find a tremendous amount of joy out of showering my two kids with hugs and kisses, I also possess the subtle sweetness often found in a riesling. But don’t be fooled. I love a great outdoor adventure and am willing to try anything once. This occasional display of boldness is thought to match that of a cabernet, whereas my appreciation for nature suggests that I have an earthy component to my personality—very characteristic of a merlot. (more)


“Wine rejoices the heart of man and joy is the mother of all virtues.”
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe, 1771