Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Return to 90° South

The last time I left Antarctica, I always thought I would return. But as fortune would have it, life took its turns and years passed. Now, however, all this has changed as I recently signed a contract for the 2011-2012 summer season at the South Pole. I leave at the end of October with bittersweet feelings in my heart. I'm excited to once again be on an adventure to the end of the Earth but also sad as I'll need to tear up some roots that have grown over the years in Portland, my absolute favorite city in the world. Regardless, this should be an epic season as it is the 100 year anniversary of human exploration at the Pole.

The Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station

January 1, 2008 (I think)

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Doe Bay Full Moon Music Festival

'Utopia' is the word that comes to mind when I think of the Doe Bay music festival I attended last weekend on Orcas Island in the San Juans. This 3 day event was set in an idyllic, beautiful setting (as the pictures below will attest) where music could be found at almost any place at any time. People were friendly, shared a common interest in finding the joy in life and had a feel for community (my blanket left accidentally behind was easily found the next day). Bands were mostly local and you would find musicians joining the crowds, easily transitioning between fan and artist. This was most evident when following a rousing game of volleyball, one of our opponents grabbed a guitar and started a music set mere feet away from court. In fact, this festival was so good and special to me that I almost don't want to write this blog in fear of more people knowing about it (it sold out in 3 minutes this year!). Doe Bay, I will see you in 2012! Much love!

A camp for 9
(photo courtesy of Liz)

Our first view of Otter Cove

Checking water temps at the was cold!

View of Doe Bay Cafe and area from across the water

While walking, we randomly came upon this cool little band called Pickwick giving an acoustic set

It was a full moon festival
We sat for a while to take in the view and just so happened to see porpoises

Heather watching her new favorite musician, Bryan John Applebee, at the main stage

This accompanied us the whole weekend

Not an uncommon sight

My new favorite musician, Matt Bishop of Hey Marseilles, performing in the cafe

Also not an uncommon sight

The whole gang at Otter Cove
(photo courtesy of Stapes)

Our skilled volleyball opponent and even more skilled guitar player
Elk & Boar
(photo courtesy of Stapes)

Lemolo giving an unscheduled midnight set in the yoga studio

This equals '1' and is a night I'll not soon forget as I rolled the dice with band members and friends alike
(photo courtesy of Josh)

The Doe Bay Cafe with a cloud-ridden full moon

Unfortunately, it was time to go
And it took all of us to deflate this air mattress that had a stuck valve
(photo courtesy of Stapes)

Monday, August 1, 2011

First Ever Mt. Adams Summit!

Mt. Adams, located in Washington state and a little over 30 miles from Mt. St. Helens, is a beautiful and huge volcano in the Cascade Range sitting at 12,276'. It was also my conquest for the weekend. On Saturday, 4 of my friends and I set out on an adventure that would take us all to the top of this majestic beauty and have us back in Portland by late Sunday night.

Josh, myself, C-lin, Heather and Liz starting out Saturday morning at the trailhead at 5,600' (pre-sun burns, wind burns and sore muscles and joints)

Me with Mt. Hood, my first love, in the background

An awesome view of Mt. St. Helens as we start to get above timberline

If we were ever to start a band, this would be our album cover
(randomly perfect picture courtesy of some dude on the trail)

Josh snapping pics and gathering material for his new blog, "Climbing with Women"

Josh and Heather setting up our tent after making it to our Saturday destination, Lunch Counter at 9,200'

Wildflowers graced our steps at Lunch Counter

Succulents not in a terrarium

Sunset and St. Helens

An early morning start of 5 a.m. on Sunday gave us this awesome view of the partial pyramid shadow of Mt. Adams

The first peek of sun for the morning

Liz still smiling her awesome smile as her and Heather make their way up to the false summit in some relentless wind

I had the opportunity to see my shadow in a rare Brocken Spectre, a magical and emotional moment on the mountainside

We finally made it to the cloud enveloped and very windy summit of Mt. Adams after 5 hours of climbing!

After glissading down most of the mountain in an hour, we chilled out and ate a refreshing meal back at camp

Heather after a post-summit nap in our cozy tent

Packing up and heading out. Thank you Mt. Adams for hosting us for the night and giving us an awesome climb!