Today K and I made our yearly Christmas trip into Chicago. We usually go to several places on our Christmas trip day, but this time we ended up just staying at the Lincoln Park Zoo all day. We looked at the animals, had several different talks with zoo staff about various animals, ate some lunch, then strolled around the place a couple more times after the zoo lights came on. We had meant to park at the zoo, take a bus downtown and check out the Bean, the Macy’s windows, some other sites we usually see at Christmas time, then get back to the zoo in the evening to see the zoo lights, but it didn’t happen that way. At one point we just looked at each other and both kind of said we were having a great time, a very relaxing time, just wandering around, no rush, nice and mellow. It was awesome. While we were there we also decided to put our money where our mouths are and donate a bit to the conservation and research programs the zoo participates in. Kindness through conservation.
I just realized I never published this post. I’m going to, even after the fact. More a record for us than a post for the masses, but fun stuff either way.
Facts From Trip 2016
Movies watched in trailer: Suspect, Clear and Present Danger, Reservoir Dogs, Paycheck, Fifth Element, Red Planet
Woodchucks in Miller Riverview campground, Iowa
Severe weather first night with lightning, thunder, heavy rain that took a big tree down in our campground.
Pelicans, woodpeckers, chipmunk, golden eagle in MT, buffalo, cows, horses, bunnies, cranes in ND lakes, rubber boa that Riley stepped on at fisherman’s bend, Osprey carrying fish at Minto-brown park
Thunderstorms in ND
Stressful events: thunderstorm in Iowa, Weston nearly fainting from heat, realize running with propane on could cause fire when entering gas station: no longer running on propane, tam burns fingers on bbq lid in ND, tam drives trailer over curb in ND, biting flies in Makoshika State Park MT, Karen dropping 10 pound weight on foot and Tam trying to get ice pack from Walmart ending up buying another whole first aid kit, Tam hurt back helping disabled man getting bike out of his van and got terrible sciatica, Karen tripped over some lids and fell down in Mom’s dining room, bees and dust at Allen Springs though it was nothing eating inside the trailer couldn’t solve, Weston getting a hold of the stick at Fishermen’s bend we thought might have hooks and such on it though we finally got it away from him, using the bite gloves and pulling up on his head so he had to drop it to find the stick had a huge piece of sausage on it.
Playlist with 1194 songs means never having to hear the same song twice on the 8 day trek out, or for most of the entire trip.
Saw worlds largest Sandhill crane in Steele, ND
Saw Salem Sue, worlds largest Holstein, in New Salem, ND
Saw Golden Eagle fly right over our heads in Beavertail Hill State Park, Montana
4 Barn Owls at Mom’s place
Killdeer bird nest on ground at Mom’s
Visits with: Kyra, Syd, Susie, Joan, Coni, Kris, Stan and Connie, Stacia, Liz, Josh, Linda, Parker siblings, Kate & Terri, Vicki & Kathleen, Sandy, Heather, Kristen & Nechelle, Maggie, Steph & Phil, and of course Mom and Kev.
Rode MAX into Portland and went to Little Big Burger and Ruby Jewel and Saturday Market.
Went down the rapids at Fishermens Bend a couple of times and rafted with Karen, Kev tipped over, but made it down safely.
Explored some great hiking trails at Fishermen’s Bend with Mom and the dogs. What a great walking/hiking park that is.
Spent time building a rock wall in the Santiam River at Fishermen’s Bend with Phil and Steph, their kids, Mom and Karen. Just because. We were working on putting together a new swimming area. Fun was had by all even though we weren’t able to completely finish it. Maybe someone else will and by the time we go back next summer it will be a great spot to spend the day floating around and swimming.
Used our new hammock and loved it.
Floyd and Opal, camp hosts at Fishermen’s Bend, were awesome.
Went to see an outdoor documentary movie about Lewis and Clark at the Fishermen’s Bend Campground one night with the gang. It was totally enjoyable. Even when we were totally freaked out as some animal loudly knocked into a metal garbage can very near to us.
Tubed, rafted, with the POD at the Metolius. So so cold. Everyone frozen (except Karen and I who were in a raft) by the end. The Metolius, though fun, is our rafting/floating nemesis.
Camped with the POD at Allen Springs. No better group of people out there to spend time with. We love those ladies.
Fly fished on the Metolius for the first time in years. A total joy, even though I didn’t catch anything, other than maybe the bug to fly fish more often.
Put up directional signs made on paper plates, which none of them saw, along the road to Allen Springs Campground for the POD because we had no phone service at the campground.
The many laughs and hugs and smiles we got as we spent time with so many people we love.
A very fast 6 day trip back to Illinois, driving faster, all the way up to 65, than we ever had pulling the trailer so we could make it back for the Sweet Corn Festival with the kids.
We’re already starting to do tentative planning for next year’s adventure. Life is very very good.
We’ve taken our usual sojourn some 2300 miles from Illinois to Oregon this summer. We do this every year, as you probably know if you’ve been following the blog for some time.
This year our schedule has let us be more relaxed, more able to just enjoy hanging out at the farm and spending time with my mom and my bro.
I’ve seen friends and other family, and hope to see more before we go. We have some things planned, not many, and are looking forward to doing those thing, to seeing those people.
All that aside, the weather this summer in Oregon has been fantastic. It’s been everything we always hope it will be. Most times it doesn’t disappoint, though last year it ended up being hotter here for much of the time we were here than it was in Illinois during that same time. Go figure. We leave to get away from the heat and humidity (OK, also to spend time with friends and family) and it didn’t deliver last year. This year though, it’s been spectacular. Pretty much the best weather we could hope for.
The journey so far hasn’t been without incident. A couple of stressful moments with Weston (he does tend to get himself into trouble now and then) and a bit of a back issue for me, but seriously, it’s been splendid so far.
Oregon my Oregon, I do love you so.
Live, travel, adventure, bless, and don’t be sorry. –Jack Kerouac