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Wanderings of Wanderers

Two explorers. Two families. One, big world.

Last Build Date: Tue, 06 Mar 2018 22:08:09 +0000


Spring is Here!

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:52:00 +0000

June 2016

Bend paddle fest in 2016 was quite the success for Tumalo Creek.  Josh, as usual was in charge of the rentals that went out.  Simulataneously, Josh spent the time observing his new rental candidates.  Paddle fest is the perfect trial to see how the kiddos do.  I had the day off so I stopped by to say hi to everyone before heading out to mom and dad's to see their new Gator :)

Tent city at the park

Mom showing me how it's done and giving me a tour of the recently tilled property.  Mom is a natural at farming...and driving the Gator!

Look at that view!

Getting to spend time with mom and dad as they navigate the farming life is amazing.  I know I am so lucky to get to watch them grow as individuals and as a couple.  They inspire Josh and I to keep reaching for our dreams <3 p="">
Having fun on the Gator

Central Oregon sunsets are the BEST

Weekend Kiting at Rufus

Tue, 24 Jan 2017 05:41:00 +0000

Rufus, Oregon
May 2016

After an absolutely epic raft trip down the Owyhee River, Josh and I decided to make Rufus our next planned trip for May.  We took advantage of more great weather and busted up to the gorge for a weekend at the gravel pit all to ourselves.  Winds were pretty gusty the entire time.

We didn't get many pictures but I do want to point out that this was Nami's first kiting trip she went with us on.  She wasn't fazed at all by the kites and in fact, seemed pretty interested!  While we kited, we leashed her to our launch shrub because she could be protected from the wind and we wanted her to get some time with us close to the kites.  Besides, there wasn't a sole around.  She did great!

Just getting started...Nami looking on

 We asked for a "pistol" and we got one :)

Enjoying the blowdryer winds <3 p="">
Get ready for more photo dumps!   I have some serious catching up to do for 2016!

Owyhee River Adventure

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 04:46:00 +0000

April 2016This year was very unusual for the Owyhee River.  It ran for much longer than usual and we managed to snag a quick trip down the river just before it dropped out for the season.  AND we had decent weather the whole time. :)  I got 5 days off from work and off we went with Debbie in tow for her first time down the Owyhee to celebrate her 40th year rafting anniversary! Pretty special.  I have sooo many photos from this trip so I've done my best to pick my favorites. 80+ degrees at the put in! The motley crewOur river family coming in to the first canyon on the OwyheeOur first night's campsite called "First Camp"...seriously?  This deserves a better name!Happy campersOne tuckered out NamiBeautiful evening at campTrying out Nami's glow tagGetting our first gander at Bull's Eye Rapid-which incidentally was not that fun.  Nami's face says it all.A very shallow stretchSoaking up the sunHappy to be alive after Bulls Eye!We arrived at night 2's camp early afternoon and had no competition for the site.  Directly across the river was a natural spring coming out of the canyon wall. Guide books say it is safe to drink so we decided to fill one of our 5 gallon jugs which was nearly empty already!  It wasn't all that hot out but it was SO dry.  We even got a nice shower in the springs since they were roughly 75 degrees!Nami tuckered out againEnjoying the viewDay 3 put us past one of the main attractions on the river.  This sandstone structure was incredible and this photos doesn't do it any justice.  Suffice it to say that we were all blown away by the beauty...Rounding the bend toward our campsite on day 3- DriftwoodDriftwood site was a pretty tiny spot that most people just visited for lunch.  There were only a couple campspots for tents.  Around 4:30, the wind and rain arrived and we had to retreat to our tent for dinner.  Thankfully it passed over as quickly as it had arrived and we got to enjoy the sunset from the river bank.Day 4- the sun came out again and we got to pass through the Owyhee canyon with some of the most pristine desert beauty I have ever seen.  Now we know to plan the trip to camp in the canyon next time!  We came up on Whistling Bird first off which was pretty intimidating.  It has a very shallow entry with a pull off the right wall to avoid a rock that peeled off the wall creating a sieve.  Josh styled it as usual but it sure deserved its class IV rating.Just before the wind arrived-Heading down the canyonEnjoying some flatwater after Montgomery RapidDoes it get any better?!Battling the wind- it was so strong that if Josh didn't row, he barely made any progress downstream. Nami taking a ride on my kayakComing up on day 4's campsite.  We were coming up on the end of the campsites on the river before the takeout and we were getting skunked. Each site we tried for was taken.  Just as we were losing hope of getting a site that night, we rounded one of the most gorgeous bends in the river and found the BEST SITE ON THE RIVER.  Holy smokes. This site blew my mind. How on Earth did we luck out and get it?!  I'll let the photos speak for themselves but we could have stayed there forever....Camping in our own private piece of heavenThe kitchen for the nightHappy DebbieTired but so happyPaddling outI finally got to get behind the oars and it felt so good :)Getting to the top of the gorge.  What a climb out.  If that road was wet at all, we would have had to leave the trailer.  I could definitely see some occasions where you would have to sit tight completely and wait for things to dry out.  Wow.  Steep pull.  Good thing we have an awesome Landcruiser! This trip was once in a lifetime and I feel so blessed that we made it.  Maybe next year we will get back there and have another amazing trip with the whole fam! :)[...]

House Work

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 03:58:00 +0000

March 2016We got our home cleaned up, pictures hung up, and things organized.  I tried to take a couple pictures to show the hard work....Dining RoomOfficeHere is the corgs sitting on her perch- she definitely learned this from Nala cat.   One of the first upgrades to our home was putting gravel down around the perimeter of the house.  The builders put mulch down which didn't last long.  We really are in a wind corridor so it mostly ended up in our neighbors' yard.It took us all day to lay the gravel but it was so worth it.  We lucked out with warm weather too so it felt a little easier...Murphey's Law is cruel.  Sure enough, after laying the gravel and landscaping with Rhododendrons, lavender and other plants, it puked snow.  Our poor rhododendrons and maple trees were shocked from the snow. Typical Bend weather! "They" say that you aren't really safe to plant until after Memorial Day weekend.  Either way, when you plant in central Oregon, you are gambling a bit. :PLook at that snow![...]

Summer Lake Hot Springs

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 03:46:00 +0000

March 2016In early March, Josh's mom invited us out to Summer Lake hot springs to soak.  We only could come out for the day but we didn't want to miss out on the opportunity!  We took off early in the morning and got to soak twice - once in the private bath and once in the barn.  I had never been to Summer Lake hot springs but really enjoyed the feel.  Can't wait to get back out there!Fog on the drive outCannonball in the barn!The barnPost-soak: we were pretty relaxedEnjoying the warm waters in the private bath. Did you catch that view?!  Stunning.Hopefully we can all get back to the springs this fall. That would be divine in the cold weather [...]

Sessions at the Playpark

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 03:39:00 +0000

March/April 2016Our playpark is finally up and running here in Bend and we have been thoroughly enjoying all it has to offer.  Right now, the best feature is the surfer wave (3rd feature from the bottom).  You can't do a whole lot more than front surf or roundhouse but it's still a kick in the pants :)I hope everyone notices that everytime we hit the park, it snowed. EVERY. TIME. This is between clouds.....All pooped out after a session :)[...]

Rogue River Anniversary Trip

Sun, 03 Jul 2016 03:05:00 +0000

February 2016This year, I put in for 2 weeks off. Let me say that again...TWO WEEKS OFF! We had originally planned on going to kiteboard in Baja but when our little Nami came into our lives, we decided that we should do the right thing and make sure she got the attention and training she needed.  Because of when the trip fell, going to Baja would have meant leaving her after a little less than 2 months.  We didn't feel good about that so we opted for a vacation locally.  The weather had been good just prior to our trip but as our trip arrived, the weather turned south everywhere.  Cold, rainy, and snowy.  Despite this, we bucked up and headed to Galice for a trip down the Rogue River.  Nami is in a river-lovin' family so we took her with us for her maiden voyage.  Nami trying on her new lifevest.  She isn't so sure about it here.We headed South with the trailer in towWe arrived at Enis Rapid gravel pit around 3 in the afternoon and set up a temporary camp. We decided we would launch here to give us some extra river time.  The flow was so high since it was winter, we knew our time on the river would be short if we didn't put in higher up. Nami quickly discovered sand.  She had never been around sand before so this was entirely new and foreign to her.  She immediately commenced with digging to China.All that digging made a worn out puppy. With it being down in the to the 20's and 30's at night, we snuggled up in my sleeping bag to keep her warm enough.  I never expected her to sleep so well and be so comfortable with this.  The unknown was that she wasn't quite potty trained to go outside. We weren't sure how she would do with the tent camping and needing to potty so much but she potty trained herself over this trip! Go figure! She held her pee and poop until about 4 am each night when we would get up and let her out.  No accidents! AND ever since this trip, Nami has slept on the bed and under the sheets with us.  She even shares my pillow....spoiled.Josh is such a good rower.  His kayaking experience and cool head during tough situations makes him (in my opinion), one of the best rowers I have ever met. I might be a little biased but he has earned my respect!  Here he is rowing down toward Graves Creek:Nami had some adjusting to do. This was her first time in the raft, the first time on a river, and the first time without potty pads! She was a rockstar. Once she realized that her place was in the front of the raft, she stayed put and enjoyed it.  We got her trained up after about 2 days to come sit next to me and not move for rapids when I used the command, "hold on".  Smart pup.Nami is very much interested in what we are doing and her preference is for us to be right next to each other.  It seems to bother her and stress her out if we are far apart so us sitting in different spaces on the raft made for lots of jumping back and forth to check on us.  Her herding instinct is strong.  For a short while, she decided to sit next to Josh and supervise....We had our pick of campsites because (obviously) no one else was floating the river. In fact, we didn't see a single person on the entire river....expect for the fisherman that appeared suddenly on day 2 and walked through camp.  Who does that?!  Sooo strange.Doe Creek Campsite:Miss Nami continued to play in the sand until Josh made a fire....Hot fire and a tasty dinner....Good morning world! Our digs on the river....pretty plush but oh so nice with the cold temps.By the second day, Nami was feeling pretty comfortable.  We made it through Wildcat and Black bar with no issues at all.  She decided the cooler was HER spot.When she did get cold, we had a fleece scarf all ready for herDay 2 and 3 were spent at Horseshoe Bend campsite.  Normally you never get this site in the spring, summe[...]

Snow Time

Sun, 29 May 2016 19:38:00 +0000

Like I said. I'm WAY behind on posting.  What can I say? I've been super busy and I was probably a bit burned out on blogging.  BUT I love having an online journal so forward...march!  This winter Josh and I got snow park passes so we could go cross country ski here for FREE! Woop!  It's nothing like Anchorage's trail systems but it was still so nice to get out.  AND it's pretty close to town.  There were a lot of people out which was suprising but once we got off on the challenging "black diamond" trails, the people magically disappeared.  Wonder why? We couldn't help but notice we are still acutely aware of the fact that moose exist in the wilderness. Granted there are none here in central oregon but we are still expecting to see one jump out on the trail after us.  Anchorage XC gave us a little PTSD for sure.Nami was still too young and didn't have all of her vaccinations yet so she had so stay home. It was so hard to not bring her but there are a lot of dogs out at the XC area and we just didn't want to stress about any exposure for her.  Since I have no fun shots of her skiing, here is a picture of her classic sploot. Gotta love that sploot.Even though it's bloody cold out, it's boating season. Don't ever forget that.  Riverhouse runs in the dead of winter when all the canals are turned off so the local boaters flock to the run like moths to a lamp.  On this particular occasion, Josh and I celebrated our 4 year wedding anniversary and our 9 year anniversary of being together.  I'm pretty damn lucky.Not a bad view at allBecause I can, here is more Nami cuteness...and Josh of course I've been getting on the mat more frequently too. Some days after work it's so stinkin' hard to motivate but every time I do, I always feel much better.  Since we didn't buy Mt. Bachelor season passes this year, we definitely missed out on all the powder.  On one particular occasion, Josh suggested that we ski Hoodoo since I have never been and it's much cheaper that Bachelor.  The night skiing was pretty fun!How can I forget, we also discovered that we have a frisbee golf course just up the street from us!  Not even a mile away and it's rad.  Man, we both were not the best "frolfers" to start but we are improving. Onward with more posts! Stay tuned![...]

Catching Up

Thu, 26 May 2016 18:09:00 +0000

I have lots of catching up to do.  This past 8 months have been a whirlwind of new challenges, big changes, and life events I never expected.  Even the tough stuff, I wouldn't change for a minute.  Without the tough things, the good things wouldn't seem so....good. I'm going to do my best to get caught up on a LOT of posts so stick with me on this.  I will try to get some nice writing in here but let's be honest, I might just default to photo essays. Below, is a omage to Nami-Tsu. She has been such a perfect addition to our family.  We do not plan on having any hairless children so our Nami and Nala are perfect.  Couldn't ask for better kids :) ...Nami at about 4 months oldHow can I possibly leave for work when I get this look?!And then this happened.  This was a bit awkward....Hiking out at Smith Rock, OregonNami and I out hiking at Smith Rock.  This was so much fun but we could barely walk for 5 minutes at a time before Nami was swarmed by onlookers who yelled "it's a corgi!".  Great socialization for sure but the hike took FOREVER.  That's what happens when you have a cute corgi hiking partner.We took Nami out for some frisbee golf and she LOVED it These two are peas in a pod Ok one down....a BUNCH more posts to go.  Hang tight. I'll be right back :)-Tina[...]


Sat, 05 Mar 2016 03:21:00 +0000

This is a very late post but better late than never!  On December 26th, Josh and I made the long trek to Rogue River Valley to pick up our 4th family member: a corgi puppy!  It was the day after Christmas and despite having been hit with a snowstorm the day before, we had a very narrow window before the next storm. So, with that in mind, we took off for a looooooong drive.  It was so icy so we went very slow.  All in all we did about 9 hours of driving.  Once we got our little one, we kept talking about names for her. She is quite the pistol and eventually we settled on the name Nami after 'Tsunami'. When she is in trouble, we call her Nami-Tsu. The name absolutely fits her-she is fearless.  I'll let the photos do the talking.....enjoy!Early morning on the road- VERY icyFinally the sun came out down near Klamath FallsJosh at the helm- such a good driverSO MUCH SNOWAnd now the moment we had been waiting for...our new puppy!  We have talked for quite some time about when to get a dog and how we wanted to do it.  Finally the pieces came together and here she is! Nami!Her name is Nami and she is a pistol! She is a permbroke welsh corgi and she is a McKeown/Russell through and through :)Nami's box of goodies that arrived for Christmas- carefully put together by familyOur New Year baby!A quick little video: allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />This couch is probably 6 inches off the floor and she easily slides under it!Fuzz butt meeting the familyAnother short vid allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />She looooves her Dino!Nala and Nami are now good buddiesAnd of course we have the famous corgi sploot! She loves her snugglesA new yoga buddyMore photos coming soon! :)[...]

Winter Solstice

Fri, 29 Jan 2016 18:31:00 +0000

With winter here, we are entering in to the hibernation period of the McKeown's . This is somewhat of a recovery/training season for us.  In the summer, we play hard from April through October so having a few months of "recovery" feels great.  But don't start to think that we aren't busy!  HA! We have worked on the garage, gotten fully moved in to our new home, celebrated the holidays, gotten a PUPPY, and been hitting the gym hard in preparation for spring 2016.  Here are a few of the photos from this winter so far- One of the things we have worked on is organizing the garage....both cars are in the garage! BOOM!Then the snow arrived!  Good thing we got the cars pulled in to the garage!  Just barely made it before the first big snowstorm of the season.Bend got 16 inches in under 24 hours.  Bob Shaw only forcasted 2 inches.  HAHAHAHA! It's all a great big guess right?!  That's the Prius entombed in the parking lot at BMCStill snowing!Shoveling for the third time in a day...The morning after the first snow storm- beautiful!  THere was so much snow that ODOT was only able to plow half of our street.A few days later, the snow is still around and slowly melting offThanksgiving was only a few days after the storm so everyone got to enjoy a super cozy and snowy Thanksgiving :).  Enjoying board games out at Debbies! Josh beat me everytime.  Too bad we didn't play chess or checkers. I might have stood a chance!Just look at that hot tub...oh was amazing Josh on Turkey dutyThanksgiving #2 at the Russells-  We sure missed Kim and Nick but we know it was the right decision for them to stay in Hood River. The roads were the worst I've seen them in years!  Enjoying the warmth up on the ButteTurkey success!Getting goofy before chowing down!Josh and I started decorating just before Thanksgiving. I know.  Blasphemy! We have ALWAYS waited until the day after Thanksgiving to hang the lights but this year, we wanted to enjoy the Christmas season for a little while longer :)- this is our living roomAll decorated for our first Christmas in our new home!Josh's ornament this year - because someone I know looooves New York City SubsDecorating the Christmas tree out at mom and dads :)Success!Mom getting seriousMy ornament for this year- a little birdiePrepping for Christmas out at the Russell RanchAnd Christmas finally arrived....with Kim and Nick! HOORAY!  They of course brought the Stella dog :)Now the family is all here!Mom cutting the hamAbout to get serious with the giftsThis Christmas was amazing. It was so nice to get to spend the day with family...especially out at the Russell Ranch! :)  The day after Christmas, we took the only good weather window we have had in weeks to go pick up our new fur baby....prepare yourself for a new level of cuteness!  Next post to include puppy pictures!!! :)[...]

Steens Road Trip

Fri, 20 Nov 2015 05:15:00 +0000

It has been 4 years since I've been out to the Steens mountains in Eastern Oregon.  I put in for time off this fall in hopes that perhaps we could make a Steens trip happen if the weather would hold out.  Guess what?  It did!  The plan was to drive out with bikes, kiteboards, swimsuits, and Bocci ball so we would be ready for anything.  The Landcruiser was loaded up and off we went on our 4 hour drive off in to the desert.  We had pretty much anything we would need- including recovery equipment for the LC.Lucky kitty to get us there in one piece:  Lucky kitty was picked out by yours truly in Tokyo ,Japan with mom.  So far, kitty has brought good luck!Made it!  Josh stumbling around a bit after bumping down the road for so long.  What a spot!Home base got all set up and we wasted no time in relaxingNot a soundBiking out on the playaSunsetDoesn't that look inviting?! It was so inviting that we soon had uninvited visitors...drunk visitors.Happy camper!On the first evening, we were visited by a one-armed drunk man that presented himself as " a local".  He was drunk out of his marbles and offering to be a guide for us if we wanted to explore the area.  We politely declined and soon after, some of his "friends" showed up in a truck to push him back home.  He announced that his truck wasn't running properly and that he was stuck.  His friends turned out to be quite friendly. One of them was the owner of the hot springs and after a brief conversation the two trucks took off across the playa.  One pushing the other.  To say we were unsettled would be correct.  I have never had an interaction like this before out on the Alvord Desert but I guess times change?  We did text mom and dad to let them know and we both definitely wished that they were parked right next to us.  :)  Thankfully, no more folks came by to bother us and we enjoyed a peaceful evening.  That is, until I got all excited and riled up about a "siting".  (Full disclosure: I totally believe there are things out there that we will never understand.) We were sitting in our camp chairs enjoying our meal when I got up to look East.  As I was looking at the horizon line, there was a bright orange/red light that looked to be several hundred feet above the crater rim.  At first I thought it was a cell tower but then a second light appeared and they both quickly disappeared as they moved South.   They moved to fast to be an airplane, there was NO noise, and they completely disappeared.  Soooo strange.  Sightings happen all the time over the Alvord.  Makes ya wonder.....The next day the wind never showed so Josh and I headed to Fields Station for their famous shakes.   Josh has never had their shakes so obviously, it had to happen. Let me tell you, they have the best shakes in Oregon.  Josh ate the WHOLE THING and I was only able to do about 60% of mine.  We both felt pretty sick afterwards but it was totally worth it!Josh post-shake...he was very happy :)Me in the midst of scarfing it downWe headed back to the desert where we waited for the Daf to arrive.  It was lumbering down the road at a pretty good clip and as it crested the hill, dad let the horn rip.  Daf is such a rad vehicle and it has been one of the best additions to the Russell family.  Mom and dad had a great drive over the Steens and we promptly set up shop before cooking a badass burger dinner.  Mmmmmmmm :)Dad taking in the sceneryAs the temperature dropped off, we quickly retreated to the warmth of the "box":Burgers in the DAF!  Mom cooking up a mean meal :)Dad working on world peace as usual :) XOXOOX allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowf[...]

Tumalo Creek Company Trip

Sun, 15 Nov 2015 22:32:00 +0000

October 2015:This October, Tumalo Creek's company trip was on the Lower Deschutes.  Typically, it's on the Rogue but the water levels dropped off so quickly this year that it wasn't really an option (atleast, if we wanted to take rafts).  The crew launched on a Friday and since I had to work, Josh suggested that we meet the group on the river on Saturday afternoon for an overnighter.  Normally I can't make the company trips due to my work schedule so this was nice to actually make it.  We drove down to the river in the absolute puking rain that hit earlier in the week.  It poured and as we got to the put-in, the rain stopped.  River karma!  We were shocked to also find that the boat launch was packed with fishermen and other companies taking their annual raft trips.  The fishermen said the fishing was very good right now and I think they were right.  I saw more 12''+ fish jump in front of my kayak than I have ever seen on the Deschutes.  Thankfully they were taking their time moving down the river so we got a pretty nice spot to camp out.  Fall colors on the Deschutes...the sun even came out!  Clouds burned off and gave way to a beautiful evening:Josh and I paddled non-stop but it didn't feel rushed. The river level was pretty high so we floated at about 6 miles/hour.One of the few fun surf spots on the upper section.  Stuck in the bushes while Josh tries to surf! Josh getting a bit tired and nervous that we might not catch the crew before dark.   Almost there!We put on the river around 11:00 am and paddled 25 miles down to just above Buckskin Mary where we connected with the crew. They were sitting on the rafts having arrived at camp about 30 minutes earlier.  As soon as we got changed and warmed out, Geoff broke out Cards Against Humanity which neither Josh or I had ever played.  Turned out to be the most hilarious, offensive card game I have ever played. Ohhh my.  The camp site was sweet and I didn't even know it was there.  I think I've floated past it dozens of times but never realized it was such a big site....Tired but happyGeoff always does a good campfire which was pretty nice to have with the chilly, wet weatherDas Tent The next morning, the crew was up and rolling at 7 am making hot coffee and fresh granola with fruit.  YUM.  Although, Im not gonna lie, I was craving something hot!Cruising down Drew paving the wayEven though the lower deschutes isn't as remote as the Rogue River, it sure has some beautiful sceneryGeoff and WilsonJosh and JohnAnd a little video for relaxation: allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />We really enjoyed getting to be river rats with the best kayak business around.  Tumalo Creek is kicking butt and the crew was fun as usual. [...]

Date Trip

Sun, 15 Nov 2015 18:22:00 +0000

September 2015:It had been months since our last visit to Floras Lake.  It's a bit of a drive so you really need 4 days to make it all worth it.  It's a 5 hour drive from Bend to get to the campground and from there, you walk a half mile to the launch spot.  5 hour drive! WOOO!!! Little car, big tent Lawnmower Lager? Don't mind if I do! It was pretty much an amped up PBR for those of you that are wondering.  Being that it was a Floras trip, I thought I would treat myself to some tasty brew :) NO WIND. Nada. Skunked on day 1 and 2! I guess there's a first time for everything! allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />This get's me every time.  Nothing but a small sand dune between the lake and ocean.  THIS is why the wind is amaze balls here....With all the time we had waiting for wind, we spent more time talking about the one thing we have wanted to do for years.  Add a family member- The four -legged kind.  Don't worry, no two legged critters for us (we will be Auntie and Uncle to Paisley Poo and that's just fine for us)!  Years ago when Pepper passed away, it felt like there was a hole left behind that we couldn't quite fill.  I grew up with Pepper and couldn't believe just how important she was to all of us.  She came with us on almost every boating trip and even when she was 14, she hiked with me down to the Little White River for some photos.  She was one tough dog. We wanted to get a dog for years but due to our travel and lack of predictable home, we didn't make the jump.  Josh and I decided that we would only seriously consider getting a dog if we were to establish a home base.  It didn't seem right to get a dog and not have enough space for it.  On top of that, we didn't want to get a dog and not be able to give it the life it deserves.  Now, we are in the space to do that AND even with our travels throughout the year (national and international) we will be able to make it all work. Josh and I have both wanted to add a Corgi to our family after Pepper passed away.  We thought long and hard about getting another Aussie but decided that a.) they have SO much energy it didn't seem fair to have one if we didn't have sheep and property and b.) we wanted to remember Pepper and respect her.  I worried that I would feel like I was "replacing" her.  So, no Aussie.  Besides, Stella fills the Aussie void.  :)The Corgi's have one of the best personalities and tempreaments of any dog we have met.  They are a nice blend of feisty, bold, friendly, and smart.  Our frequent adventures will be perfect for our furry friend to come with and Josh can bring him/her to the kayak shop with him.  AWESOME!  Hello shop dog!  Our top names so far are: Indie, Bear, Dory, Moose, Nori, and Murph.  It depends on its personality and if we get a boy or girl.  We will just have to wait and see!Feast your eyes on these cuties.  This is one of the last litters from our gal- these stinkers are 8 weeks old. Our puppy is due any time now! Turns out the wind never arrived on day two but we couldn't stop talking about our furry friend anyways.  The day's sunset capped things of beautifully: Day 3- The wind arrived! I had to ride my 4 by the end of the day!  SO good.  I wasn't quite up to busting out a Back Roll on the 4 meter as it meant impending crash of the kite since it's SO much faster[...]

High Desert Kiting

Sun, 15 Nov 2015 17:32:00 +0000

September 2015Josh and I officially have a "home base".  We toyed with various renditions of "home" and how we can still travel like we do but have a place for all of our equipment. Now we have a home base in Bend which has always been what Josh and I have called home.   I can't believe it.  I have moved 8 times in the last 10 years so the idea that I don't have to move until I am ready is pretty strange...and AWESOME!  Don't get me wrong, I love moving and switching it up but at this point in my life, having a "base" feels just perfect.  :)We are settling in and getting the place fixed up (stay tuned for jaw dropping pictures of the garage in all its glory) and the house is all winterized. The view from our bedroom looking SE- See Mt. Bachelor on the bottom right horizon?Since our checkbook is on fire (great image dad), Josh and I are saving up for blinds. Until then, we got temporary non-adhesive window coverings for the bathroom and front door. These suckers were not easy to apply even though the video made it look like a walk in the park.  LIES! It took a bit of cursing but we got it :) Here is Josh making it work:Don't let all this housework give you the wrong idea...we are still getting out to play!  Our strategy is to work on house stuff and organize when the weather stinks and go play when it rocks.  So, on one particularly nice day with light wind, we headed to our local pond that is now what we lovingly call, "the Kiddie Pool".  It's pretty tiny but plenty of room for kiting!  Especially since we don't have to worry about any fishermen etc.  You DO have to dodge the tree stumps that are visible and those that are slowly floating toward the surface.Desert paradise:I have to admit. I didn't think I would appreciate the wetsuit on this occasion but that water was damn cold.  I doubt it was over 45 degrees (throwback to Alaska when the water was a constant 34-45 degrees all year round).Yep. We launched the kite off the landcruiser. WOO HOO!Me out on the 13 meter.  Sometimes, when the wind is super lite, I feel pretty luck to weigh 100 pounds.  :) Just me, myself, and I out on the lake... allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />I officially have my Back Rolls dialed so I had to practice :)  There is nothing better then getting a lofty backroll and landing it. AhhhhhhhMore Back Rolls :) allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Without a doubt, this is my favorite place to kite.  Long live Bend![...]


Fri, 13 Nov 2015 05:34:00 +0000

For my birthday, my last in my 20's, I not only got to spend a fantastic day with my family, but I got to enjoy our brand spankin' new whitewater park that just opened in Bend! It's like they KNEW I had asked for it :P.  The park was pretty sweet and I can't wait to get out again.  The features will definitely be better at high water but hey, no complaints. I still got to enjoy a solid surf sesh where a debris-ridden bridge used to be. SO COOL. It's been a long time coming for the community. Sweet to see if finally happen! Here are some picks from the day-  thanks mom and dad for the incredible gift of ever single blog post I have ever done, all printed up and placed in binders. WOW! I will keep up the hard work! :) Thank you!!!! The Russell's causin' trouble :) ....when are we NOT?!Mum and IDinner out at Noi with the hubsterMum and dad about to enjoy some seriously spicy curry...did I mention Josh got a 4 out of 5 for spice? That burned out of both ends.Debbie joined us for dinner too. Woo hoo!Since Josh had to work today, he came home and suprised me with a lovely bunch of flowers he picked :) Sooo sweet :)And now, a couple photos I got of the park- More to come![...]

South Sister Summit

Sat, 31 Oct 2015 18:15:00 +0000

Right after we moved in to our new home in September, we had planned to leave town with family for a lower deschutes rafting trip.  Well, life happened and due to a family death and the overall stress of the move, Josh and I were completely tapped.  So, we took a raincheck (thank you mom and dad for being so forgiving and understanding!) and spent 4 days recovering at home.  On our final day of our weekend, Josh proposed that we climb South Sister since he had never climbed it! Turned out to be a beautiful day! Here's the evidence:At the top of Devils Hill- this is where Josh realized how much of a climb it was going to beSTOKEDMore than halfway up, looking down at the crevasesThe last leg-it used to be the hardest but with rock shifting around due to heavy use, it seems quite a bit easier than it used to be.Almost there!Can't compete with that view!It was way chillier than Josh expected- 40 degrees up top and WINDYTuckered out! I wish I had not sat down.  It made it so much tougher to get back up!Napoleon dehydrated ice cream for the summit celebration snackGoing down- lots and lots of cinders allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Blue PoolTuckered out but happyAfter we made it back home, we promptly elevated our legs and sipped some EmergenC.  We were soooo sore.  I felt this hike for days! Until next time. More posts to come soon! :)-The Dynamic Duo[...]

Smiley Riley and the Badlands

Sun, 04 Oct 2015 17:09:00 +0000

Several weeks ago I took myself out for a solo hike. Well it wasn't quite solo...I picked up Miss Riley to bring her along for some exercise and boy was I glad I did.  Late afternoon in the Oregon Badlands allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />I drove out to hike the Badlands East of Bend and there was no one out there.  Not a huge suprise because of the heat.  I really needed to get some hiking in this fall and sometimes, you just gotta go on your own.  It was hotter than hot and the thermometer on the car was up to 97 degrees.  Holy smokes.  About a mile and a half in to the hike, Riley started acting pretty strange.  She kept sitting down in the trail and staring at me.  Then when I would try to keep hiking, she would jump up on me blocking me from going further.  This went on for about 10 minutes before I decided that perhaps Riley smelled something and I should be concerned.  Maybe there was a cougar she smelled?  Cougars frequent the Badlands and I would be a tasty snack!  In the end, If I didn't listen, I was asking for trouble.  Fortunately, I was able to be smart about it and head back.  Thanks Riley for lookin' out for me! :) Riley giving me lots of love once I decided to turn around :)This is hard to see but the distant hills had the most beautiful purple color to them...If you are interested in hiking the Badlands.  Obviously (and this was probably a no brainer) hiking in the morning is best.  It sure cooks out there and the shade is scarce.  So.  Be safe!  Hike smart! And bring your furry friends for extra protection from the wildlife! :)[...]

Home Base

Sun, 04 Oct 2015 05:26:00 +0000

WE HAVE MOVED!  It's official.  I still can't believe it.  For those who know us well, you know that we have been extremely hesitant to even consider buying a home for the reasons that I won't enumerate here. BUT with rising rent costs across the nation and the two of us finding that we didn't want to call anywhere else 'home'; we decided it was worth considering.  Let's back up a bit...A little background is necessary to fully appreciate the gravity of this development:1.  Josh has been in an apartment/condo since 2007.  I have been in an apartment since 2008.  Each apartment was quite nice in its own way but the neighbors and odd smells (remember the fish smell at my first apartment?!) at times made them less challenging.  That's not to say we didn't enjoy them!  We sure did.  They made living in the places we did, possible.  Alaska was definitely too expensive to live in anything BUT an apartment.  So for that, I sure am grateful!  BUT, when your neighbor is playing techno music at 2AM, that's tough on your patience.... *Fun Fact: Josh and I have moved 7 times in the last 5 years. 2.  Rent costs have risen to the point that a mortgage is actually CHEAPER.  Yes, the obligation to pay off the mortgage is huge but good luck finding a home for rent in Bend for under $1400/month (without utilities).  Single bedroom apartments are now running $900-1100/month! Just. So. Wrong.  3.  Josh and I are location independent BUT we do like to have a home base.  We have considered our options for quite some time now....what would work in the long term with our lifestyle?  What would allow us to continue to travel frequently like we do (weekend adventures +annual international trips)?  We weren't sure and we tried lots of ideas on for size: a.  A trailer....make that a Tiny Home....on a piece of property.  Perhaps in Bend?  But that came with quite a few problems that may seem obvious to most of you.  There were also many "not so obvious" issues with it that we ran into along the way. b. A shipping container home...this ended up being EXPENSIVE once property was included.c. A yurt- this was actually quite appealing to us.d.  Apartments forever and ever...e. Storage Unit- All we really need is a big garage.  Storage unit for the win!4. Mom and dad moved in to Bend!!!!  WOO HOO!  With both families in the same town, it made Bend pretty darn AWESOME.  How lucky are we?!  (PRETTY DANG LUCKY). So.  Knowing all the above, you can see how us deciding to FINALLY consider purchasing a home is a big deal.  With our lease end date continuing to come closer, Josh and I worked hard to assess the remaining options.  In the end , after much research on everyone's part on land use laws, we scrapped our storage unit idea in addition to the other options we had and started to look at home prices here in town with rentals not being the wisest option.  Prices were going up quickly and mortgage rates were as well.  We involved our financial advisor in discussing the options and in the end, realized now was the time to go for a home before we got priced out.  We selected a realtor and went on the hunt.  Our requirements?  1. BIG GARAGE (3 car minimum)2.  2-3 bedrooms (for resale value)3. preferably a yard (for the Corgi).4. a home built in the last 5 years ideally(to hopefully mean fewer initial repairs)Total time spent house hunting? 4 days. 4 days!&nb[...]

McKenzie Birthday Trip

Thu, 01 Oct 2015 20:34:00 +0000

This year, dad has stopped aging.  He is actually going backwards.  I'm not sure of the exact number he has settled on but I like his decision to just stop aging.  In the words of the wise Indiana Jones: "It's not the years babe, it's the miles."  Welp, he's got lots of miles...and they are GOOD miles. :)  For this year's celebration we headed to the McKenzie River for some cataraft practice on the infamous Mom's Pie's section .  Mom and dad have now hard shell kayaked it, duckied it, and officially rafted it! Woop!The cat was by far the most fun because it made the run more challenging...especially in the low water.  I won't point fingers , but I think I hit the most rocks out of everyone while rowing!The view off the back deck:Dad working on a tasty snack:Getting all loaded up for a day trip down the river:Making sure all the straps are tight:Josh getting the Tangerine ready:Chiquita Banana!!!Dad- don't work so hard. Gosh.Can you beat the view?Dad behind the oars and killing it!Mom and me commandeering the front seat After a day on the river, we were pretty stinkin' hungry!  Josh and I did lots of pre-trip cooking and brought over goods for black bean veggie burgers (patties made from scratch of course), quinoa edamame salad, cucumber hummus, and spicy thai salad.  We ate it ALL.Cooking up a storm:Thumbs up for a fully vegan dinner!Full tummies and tired muscles is the best feelingThe next day, we all slept in and had lots of coffee to get the day started.  We were sore but it felt soooo good.  Josh made a killer breakfast to get us fueled up for another day on the rio-Tired but happyCoffee in one hand, hubster in the otherGetting ready to unload Chiquita Banana for round 2:Two Peas in a PodTaking a moment to plan shuttle allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' /> allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' /> allowFullScreen='true' webkitallowfullscreen='true' mozallowfullscreen='true' width='320' height='266' src='' class='b-hbp-video b-uploaded' FRAMEBORDER='0' />Our second day of rowing we had mom and dad split the rapids.  Dad rowed one of the hardest ones called Screamer and mom rowed a technically challenging one called Eagle Rock.  They did GREAT!I'm excited for what the rest of the year will bring.  So far 2015 has been an amazing ride![...]

Hot and Smoky Bend Summer

Tue, 18 Aug 2015 03:07:00 +0000

This summer has been rad.  RAD.  To start things off, I won the women's division of the meadowcamp race and beat half the men's category.   Not bad considering I didn't really train.  Next year, it's on.  It will be fun to push a bit harder and actually race with a better boat...we'll see how that goes :)We've been catching some amazing sunsets while running high water Meadowcamps :)  Nothing quite like paddling after work and getting to see this ... see belowI have my first show going on NOW at Kickstand Coffee and Kitchen in Hood River showcasing my watercolors of the Pac Northwest.  Scary to finally show my work but jazzed at the feedback so far....just sold my first piece of the show!  I'm just thrilled to have my art hung up.  Next stop- hopefully MCMC where more art will potentially hang on the walls.My favorite piece of the bunch- Big BrotherAnd a crowd favorite- Mt. Hood and the White RiverAll hung up and able to finally relax- I took 9 pieces up but couldn't get them all in the photo...More Meadowcamps- Josh enjoying another evening run!And how can we forget the best kiting I've ever had in Oregon up on Wickiup Lake in Central Oregon.  You just can't beat it!  Perfect blowdrier conditions up there and no crowds.  I even learned by back roll!!! WOOP WOOP! Goal for the summer accomplished :)  Dad and I are learning to play the Thalos Principle- All I can say is there are tough puzzles, floating balls of doom, and an omnipotent voice that consoles you for not being able to figure out the challenge.  "My child, go on to another puzzle." Oh boy.I've also been super busy at work.  But I finally get to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE what I do.  I am so proud of the good that can be done in wound care.  And it's interesting to boot.  Everyday is different and I love the challenges.   This CWON thing was definitely worth the effort!!!! :DAnd one of the biggest surprises yet- we are buying a house!!! Yep. The rent has officially reached "ridiculous" numbers here in Bend (along with the rest of the nation)n and there is no end in sight.  We can own a home for much less than we can rent.  Besides- we found a 4 car garage and THAT is worth seriously thinking about....we are in the process of closing as we speak.  That garage you are looking at by the way is deceiving- it's a 2.5 wide and 2.5 deep.  BAM! That's how we roll!And we have been playing hard with mom and dad! Dad's smile below is evidence of the fun...check out the next blog for more pics :)More photos to come of the other adventures we've been's been a heck of a ride![...]

Floras Lake Quiet Time

Mon, 13 Jul 2015 02:31:00 +0000

A couple weeks ago we managed to snag a sweet 3 day, 3 night stint at one of our favorite places to kite- FLORAS!  We got to learn on our surfboards, enjoyed a light wind day and a high wind day, and hiked to Blacklock Cliffs.  Spectacular.  Hope you enjoy the photos....we had a blast!!! Josh about to go out....Sparkles for the summer! The view never gets oldRodeo'n on the 4 meter!Josh tackin' back across the butterI'm always at peace at the oceanJosh all tuckered outThe Caterpillar tent in all its gloryKites everywhere!The view back toward the lakeSunset hike to get away from screaming children....turns out the beach was the spot to beAgates Galore!Hiking out to Blacklock CliffsDon't look down...I approve of this fungusHey look! Cliffs!!!Tired but happyHiking through the campground[...]

Desert Rafting

Mon, 13 Jul 2015 02:12:00 +0000

This June we were blessed to get out on the Lower Deschutes for the second trip with our families.  It turned out to be another one for the books.  :) Super chill, great weather, and the rowing was superb.  There were some rattle snakes out and about but we thankfully had very brief and uneventful encounters. Mom and dad did a stellar job and rowed the entire river minus the put-in rapid and Whitehorse! WOO HOO! They are learning so fast.  I'm so proud :) Campsite #1: it was hot but such a nice spot....Deep in conversationThe chef's hard at work!Getting seriousShade tarp! We perseveared and managed to have shade all afternoon.  Thanks for bringing a great tarp dad!Mom and dad's new tent....did I mention it has a GARAGE?!?! AWESOME!Debbie!Rowin...rowin...rowin down the river....We are so happy :) Mom and me- this is the lifeJosh playin' around...he's a pro at that you know....Mr. Rower himself! He styled the Whitehorse runout rapids and even nailed Buckskin Mary.  I'm amazed and soooo proud.  We are already make plans to get them on the MF Salmon next summer.  So thankful for this opportunity.  Your's truly behind the oars!And the madre getting more time in the seat.  NICE WORK mom!Campsite #2: one of our favorites on the lower deschutesTasty burrito dinnerThe view the next morning...ahhhhhhSoakin' up the viewJosh staying cool!NiceeeeMr. BoaterGo mom and dad!!!Debbie workin' hard.  Life is rough.[...]

Happy Hamstrings!

Fri, 26 Jun 2015 04:12:00 +0000

Tracking my progress with a couple of my favorite positions-

Compass Pose

SUP Everyone!

Fri, 26 Jun 2015 04:11:00 +0000

Two weeks ago, we headed up to Wickiup Reservoir for potential kiting.  The wind, however, did not want to be accomodating.  We were hopeful but it wasn't forecasted for much activity and in the end , we only had about 3 mph of wind.  As our backup, we brought two SUP boards to goof off :) Glad we did!!!  We explored future launch spots via SUPS and are now more excited than ever for this summers kiting :)Waiting for wind.....Waiting didn't last long- we promptly grabbed the boards and went to play :) We found that the lake level was MUCH lower this June vs last June.  Whitey getting some sun....don't worry.  I was fully lubed up with lots of sunscreen! We've had so many patients with undiagnosed Melanomas that I am only getting short stints without my sun shirt on.  This was one of em'. On a completely different side note- JOSH HAS A BEARD!  I guess he has insta shade?  I thought he would have done this in Alaska where it was bloody cold but I guess summer in Central Oregon means beard time?  Forget about "No Shave November".  Bring on "No Groom June" . He is officially my mountain man. Just sayin'. BAHAHAHAHAJosh on a missionI will be posting more photos very soon of our Lower Deschutes Trip and Floras Lake Vacay ....Stay tuned.  [...]