Monday, June 23, 2008

Miss Me?

I doubt it, but I thought I'd update you a bit anyway.

Two Mondays ago (9th of June) I finished moving out of my apartment. The next day I drove to my mom's house in Lansing, Michigan. The next day I flew to Portland, Oregon, where I rented a car and drove down to Eugene, Oregon, to spend a week with my friend Rob from undergrad days. Luckily I know somebody awesome who works for Southwest Airlines, so I was able to fly free (thanks again Susan). I was surprised by the ample leg room on the flights, so that was nice. My stop-overs (once on the way out, once on the way back) in Chicago (Midway) were both bumpy, but we made it. On my way out, the girl that set next to me had never flown before, so she was none too happy with the rocky landing. It was entertaining (of course, I was nervous myself).

Rob's easily the best Dr. Mario player I've ever met. I learned while I was away that there's a Wii version which allows for world rankings. I'm sure he's got high hopes for that, and I hope he doesn't let it impact too heavily his graduate school career. It also means I'm even more excited about the wii. I also got to see some Portal played, and it was about as awesome as I'd expected. I'm still trying to find the best way for me to get it (Linux version?), or even just a knock-off.

Rob and I hung out around Eugene for a while, and I got to meet several of his colleagues in the math department. The University of Oregon campus is pretty, and Eugene seemed like a nice town. Rob holds it in higher esteem, as his own Shangri-La. We climbed both Buttes in Eugene, and I went on a run with one of his friends that involved some trails near Spencer's Butte (the larger of the two, on the south side of the city). On a running note, Eugene is 'Track Town USA' and host to this summer's Olympic Track and Field Trials. Last time I visited with Rob we watched 'Without Limits', about the runner Steve Prefontaine, which I recommend. This time we watched (among other things) Wildboyz seasons 3 and 4 - fantastic stuff. I also learned that the county directly north of Eugene is the 'Grass Seed Capitol of the World', and was annoyingly reminded that I've got some allergies.

After a few days in Eugene, we headed out for a road trip. We drove out to the coast, and then straight up the pacific coast highway. If you're headed out that way, you can avoid the Sea Lion Caves, but all the other stops are probably worth it (all the ones we stopped at were). We stayed the night in Astoria, in the upper-left corner or Oregon, and the next day drove pretty much straight across to Mt. St. Helens. Sadly it was still early in the season, and the trail I convinced Rob to do was closed. We did the Hummocks trail, which was ok, and stopped by Coldwater Lake after visiting the Johnston Ridge Observatory. After Mt. St. Helens we headed back to Eugene.

The next day we woke up and headed out to Crater Lake with Rob's friend Pisa (sp? Pysa?) from Thailand. It was a bit of a drive, but entirely worth it. We drove in via a counter-clockwise route from the upper-right corner, and out straight west. Both routes were beautiful. Of course, the lake itself was also stunning. Again we were a bit early in the season, so the Rim Road was mostly closed. We walked a few miles along it though, and got nice views of the lake. We also saw a black bear, a deer, and a fox, though no elk (I wanted to see one the whole week).

The next day (I'm up to Wednesday the 18th, if you are curious) I flew back to Detroit, where my friend Pete from high school, along with his fiancee Barbara, picked me up and drove me back to their place in Ann Arbor. Pete's pretty much been my idol since high school, and visiting with him is always great. I've only met Barbara twice, but she's very nice, and they seem happy together, so I'm happy for them. Thursday morning Pete took me for a run, and then we visited downtown Ann Arbor (Borders and the outdoor store Bivouac and another little book store whose name I have forgotten) for a little while before returning to his place to watch the Germany/Portugal Euro Cup quarterfinal game. I haven't watched any soccer since the World Cup two summers ago, so this was fun, and I'm now looking forward to catching the last few games. After the game he drove me to mom's place in Lansing and headed home after dinner.

Friday was a pretty uneventful day at home, watching some movies and relaxing. Saturday morning I helped mom a little with a yard sale. In the evening we went to the Lansing Lugnuts baseball game. That was fun, and the fireworks afterwards were nice. Sunday I woke up and headed straight 'home' to Charlottesville. Of course, I'm between apartments right now, and staying at a friends place, hence the quotes around home. If you're planning a similar drive, between Charlottesville and Michigan or so, I recommend this route over Google's default suggestion, because it's not much different length/time-wise, but is much cheaper with regards to tolls ($2.50 versus something up around $18, if I recall correctly). Plus the bit through western Virginia and West Virginia is pretty.

I wish I had some pictures to show you of Oregon. Sadly my battery is out, and in all the moving and traveling I seem to have misplaced my charger. So you might not get any pictures until after I move into my apartment in July. Sorry. You can probably find better ones online of all the places I was anyway.

So there you go, you're all caught up. Lucky you.

[Ok, I've got a question for you about this post. Were the wikipedia links worthwhile? Are there words I should have linked (even if not to wikipedia)? I always wonder how many things to link, since you can find the same pages quickly enough if you are interested.]


Richard said...

Stumbling across your blog, I noticed you didn't have many comments. Maybe you and your readers have an un-agreed-upon rule about not leaving comments. If that's the case I apologize for breaking this rule. However, since I think everyone should be able to appreciate Portal, might I suggest Wine for Linux.

sumidiot said...

Nope, no rule here about not leaving comments. Just few readers, and even fewer things worth commenting on.

I'd been wondering if Wine would be a good way to go for Portal. With your suggestion, I'm more likely to look into it more. Thanks.