It was a beautiful sunrise this morning, and Sue and I got our for our usual Friday morning walk.
We were above the clouds here at the Three Cats Ranch, but I was heading down into the valley where you can see there was a layer of fog. Not to worry, because it was sunny in the valley too by the time I got there.
We always have to consider the past week's weather when we decide to walk the Fanno Creek Trail. The creek regularly overflows its banks and floods the trail during our rainy Portland winters. It's been chilly, but sunny, for most of the week, and so we ran into no problems. Still, you can see that the creek is high. I've indicated in the image below where the creek usually runs. You can see that it has created a whole new tributary for itself for the time being.
So the image above shows the east side of the trail. Turning around 180 degrees, you can see the west side. There is a high water sign and it's easy to see that the water has extended far out to the other side at some point in the recent past. When it flows like that, the trail is impassable.
As we walked along, I spotted a great blue heron fly across the trail ahead of us. When we reached that point, we could see him. He was suspicious and eyed us closely, trying to stay hidden in the brambles.
Eventually, he moved out from behind the sticks where I could get a better view of him, even if it did turn out to be a little blurry. They are very large, magnificent birds, and it's always a treat to see one up close.
Near the turn-around point on our walk, we pass through this public park. We marveled that this massive oak tree had fallen and managed to miss all of the playground equipment.
No doubt, it's a casualty of the recent spell of ice, snow, and high winds.
When we finished our walk, I drove over to the Einstein Bros. bagel shop near where we park and picked up a couple of flavors of schmears. I failed to have any on hand when I made bagels recently, which is practically a crime. It probably falls somewhere on the misdemeanor spectrum, wouldn't you think?
Anyway...it's a good reason to make some more. There will be plenty of bread-baking this week. Today I'll get a basic sourdough started, and that will be ready for baking tomorrow. Also, on Sunday, I'll start the two-day process for some loaves of brioche. I want to have those ready for when I meet up with Matthew and Valerie on Tuesday. Matthew tells me that Valerie loves brioche. Since my recipe makes three loaves, I'll keep one for us (and it will get turned into French toast). I'll give one to Matthew and Valerie, and I'll pass the third one along to Erik and Mae. And then next week some time, I'll give another try to the bagels and see if I can improve on my first go-round. How can I go wrong with the schmears?
Finally today I've collected almost all of the maps and tourbooks for the Canadian provinces and the lower 48 states. We may or may not head up into Canada when we make our trip this fall. Either way, we're prepared.
If you're dying to know what a box of tourbooks and maps for all of North America looks like, then here you go.
They're all there except for maps of the states of Virginia and Florida. I've requested them three times now, and for some reason those two states keep getting left out of the shipments. Maybe this time, since my request was a little less friendly this time around. Also missing...Alaska. Nothing personal, Alaska, but you won't be on the itinerary for this trip.
Also on the "be prepared" list are these "eclipse shades" for the complete solar eclipse we'll be able to see here in Oregon in August of this year.
Mike and I moved to Oregon in October of 1978 and in February of 1980, we were treated to an opportunity to see our first complete solar eclipse. Only, in February in Portland, don't count on clear skies. We were terribly disappointed when the eclipse was impossible to see because of complete cloud cover on that day. Some intrepid folks drove out to Goldendale, Washington, where it was visible. Mike and I were both new on our jobs and we couldn't afford to take the time off.
Just to rub salt in the wound, we experienced total darkness well after sunrise as the eclipse reached totality, and so there was no doubt we were missing the spectacle. At the time, it felt as if we'd missed the opportunity of a lifetime. We felt no better when we learned that our next opportunity to see one wouldn't be until 2017, which seemed impossibly far away. Would we even be living in Oregon in 2017? Would we even be alive??? And now...here we are, these many years later. Certainly a whole lot of water has crossed under that bridge. We won't miss it this time around, and just to be sure, we ordered our "shades" early. Won't we be the coolest people in eastern Oregon? And you can bet we will *be* in eastern Oregon where the skies are sure to be clear.
So the only other news I have to report is that we got word today that our new truck has finally, finally, finally arrived at the dealership. We'll take possession of it tomorrow. Today we're emptying all of our sh*t out of our truck camper because it's been sold. The new owner will pick it up tomorrow. With our new truck here, we can take possession of the larger camper we purchased recently, and so we'll be more than set for that solar eclipse this summer. Excitement abounds today.