Monthly Archives: March 2008

Snowshoe to Ghost Ridge viewpoint

The end of March is near, and the snowshoe conditions at Mt Hood are still very nice. This week, our snowshoe adventure took us back to Barlow Pass, and the Pacific Crest Trail, in search of the viewpoint on Ghost Ridge.
A few weeks ago we made our first attempt at finding the viewpoint through the brush, since there seems to be no markings to help you find your way there. we were unsuccessful, but Honey was undaunted, and unwilling to accept our slight navigational failure, we set out again in search of the view.  We tend to plan all our snowshoe outings around a view or significant destination.  So, off we went down the Pacific Crest Trail for a bit.  Just before the trail starts to dip down, we veered off the the west and paralleled the trail, off its course by a few hundred feet.  There is no markings, but we stayed away from the steep dropoffs of the ridge, in search for higher ground, and eventually we found what we were looking for.

Off Pacific Crest Trail, towards Ghost Ridge

Here, the terrain tilts dramatically up for a hundred feet or so.  Its a steep climb made a little more difficult by the thick layers of fresh powder, but we made it to the top, and in the clearing we had a 180 degree view of Highway 26 to the west, including Mt. Hood, all the way to south of Barlow Butte.  The skies were blue and sunny and the winds relatively calm. Perfect spot for lunch.

Mt Hood from Ghost Ridge Viewpoint

It seemed reasonable that we could find a more gentle slope for our descent if we headed south, over the other side, and then met up with the Pacific Crest Trail a litle farther out.  It that slope is out there, we didn’t find it.  What we did find, was a slope a little steeper and a little longer than the one we climbed.  Not a significantly dangerous descent, unless one falls and twists something, but it was a little slow going getting down nonetheless.

Climbing down to Pacific Crest Trail from Ghost Ridge viewpoint

But we know the general direction of the Pacific Crest Trail, and were confident if we stayed on course and paid attention, we would cross paths with it eventually.   The time spent trekking quietly through the trees, over clean white snow can be a peaceful experience.  Yet, we both agreed we would be a little more at-peace, with a capable GPS system.

Snowshoe through the trees near P.C.T.

Austin Miller wrote “Please Do Not Run Me Over”

A year before the 15 year-old Beaverton boy lost his life while riding his bike, in a collision with a TriMet bus Austin Miller wrote an opinion article on bike safety for his school newspaper titled, “Please Do Not Run Me Over.”

Writing under the pseudonym “Charlie Elsewhere”, the article was published in The Savant, the school newspaper at the Art and Communication Magnet Academy in Beaverton, where Miller was a sophomore.

Below is the article, published with permission from Austin’s family.

Please Do Not Run Me Over
by Charlie Elsewhere, Columnist

It is well known that these days, the roads and parking lots of our public places are growing with numbers of bikers. With wild peddling racers zipping down the road and through intersections, it is apparent that drivers would need to have an increasing awareness for how they turn the wheel.

Long ago, I lived in a place called Vortex Sorrows. In this town, leagues of bikers ruled the streets-hardly a car was there to be found. When the ever growing and popular motorcar came to town, there was an outrage. “Too fast!” said Vortex residents. “And loud and polluting!” it seemed for the drivers of the town there would be no sympathy. And yet, more and more people found an easy escape to the time consuming, expensive and difficult task of biking, which was to buy cars which pollute their environment, loose the aspect of exercise all together and spend over four times as much on gas. I remained constant. I did not succumb to the new, hip trend of car buying. I eyed no sedan dealership, no gas station-only bike galleries and shops. It never occurred to me that I might get more pleasure out of having less money and more weight for the simple exerting exercise of peddling five miles to school and back.

Within a time span of about two weeks, what was once a league of bikers which would join me on my morning route became nothing but me, that strange kid Logan who no one liked to talk to, and a road packed full of red brake lights. Every day, I would hop aboard my bicycle, clip on the helmet and take off toward home, and on my way I would often see red, frustrated faces of the motorcar drivers as they slammed on their brakes and honked their horns. Me? I was smooth sailing, begin the juices flowing and the chemical reactions reacting to push a cloud of good feelings into my mind and body.

And yet soon, even Logan took to the big yellow school bus, and I was left alone. I later petitioned to bring back the art of cycling to Vortex Sorrows-in full. I put up posters, ran for town jr. mayor, and petitioned for new laws restricting the amount of driving that could be engaged in during weekdays. Just when the future of Vortex’s residence began to seem brighter, a revolution happened against me and I was run from the town.

A lot of drivers seem to get frustrated by myself, and other bike loving pedalists. Usually I wouldn’t think so, but attempted hit and runs and getting chased through Mrs. Higden’s Hydrangea garden by an SUV crazed Blackberry loving business man was a slight indication that there may be ridged feelings over the way we ride. Now, to set the record straight, I give no excuses for bikers-or drivers-who brake laws and endanger their and other people’s lives. Anyone who shares the road with me and the rest of us needs to be aware that they are not the only ones, and their lives depend on everybody working together. Unfortunately, in this day and age, I see more drivers whining and complaining about biking behavior than actually trying to do something about it. If I spent all my waking hours crying over every time a driver cut me off, nearly hit me, did hit me, or any other offense, would anything be done about it? No. Talking about how much you hate bikers is not going to solve the fact that they are here-they are here to bike, to bike safely, and they are not going anywhere.

How would we solve this biking problem? Well for starters, why don’t all major roads have bike paths? With an increasing number of adults who choose the healthier way to get there and back again, they too travel on the same roads as any driver would on his or her way to work. Instead of complaining about having to share a road with a biker, why not ban together to get bike paths made standard, so that they can stay out of your way. There are so many things that can be done, and are so obvious it just makes one want to scream. And yet there are some things that have no solution.

Bikers will always be here; as long as it costs less than driving, helps us stay fit and pumps those feel-good chemicals throughout our body, we will remain on the early morning pavement, and that will not change. There is no excuse for a driver who does not pay attention and mind not only other cars but bikes. You cannot control other people’s actions, but you can control your own. Why anyone would rather sit inside a massive metal death trap for their commute is beyond me, but there are those with family, disabilities and other impairing things keeping them from biking. There will never again be a society 100% dedicated to driving or biking. It is like all other integration that had to happen in history-it takes time, patience, and a great deal of compromise.

There will always be hard feelings about this subject-we can only hope that no one will get hurt or loose a loved one due to a lack of responsibility and respect for the road. These are dangerous times, and especially for bikers, our fate lies not only in our hands, but in the hands of the drivers of which we share the road. I am glad for every day I reach the X point unscathed, but besides doing everything I can for myself, I cannot control you, I can only mutter these few words in a hope that it might do good: please do not run me over.

text via

The Yaquina Lighthouse ride is on our calendar.

I got mail from Yaquina Wheels bicycle club, about their upcoming Lighthouse ride.
This is a very nice route and ride. It is on our calender for this year.
The Vine ride in Newberg is usually on the Saturday before, (though they havent updated their site for this year yet) that way we can do a metric century in Newberg on Saturday, then drive out to the coast and do their metric century on Sunday.

“It’s that time of year to start filling out your ride calendars. I’ve attached a ride brochure and you can use the following links to get more information about the club and registration on-line: for club information and an adobe version of the ride brochure. BTW – follow the LAB link on our website to see that we were selected as bike club of the year for Region 6. I accepted the award at the League of American Bicyclists National Bike Summit in D.C. while I was there with other Oregon delegates promoting bicycling programs to our congressmen.
to register online.
Ken Dennis YWBC – Secretary/ Treasurer YLC – Registrar”

We’ll find a nice farm for Rocky ma’m

So, last week Honey heads off to Kentucky to visit her mom. She arrives to find previously undiscovered damage to ceiling tiles in the upstairs, and gives me a call to discuss possible causes and solutions. I am not there to see for myself, but its an old house so, my first guess is that the old tiles have just fallen down. No, Honey insists, something has caused this. It is like there are holes punched in them. Plus, mom has mentioned noises, she suspects are branches on the roof. We finally decide that some animal has found a nice and cozy home, and the critter control guy will be called in the morning. Honey then goes to bed. With the door shut, and a Louisville Slugger by her side. The next day the critter control guy comes, puts a trap on the roof, and we wait. The next morning, there was the little raccoon thrashing around, none too happy to be in a trap instead of curled up in the toasty insulation. So, back comes the critter guy to take Rocky away. Of course, Honey has to ask……What are you going to do with him?
“Oh, we will find a nice little farm for him to play at, don’t you worry.”
(I wonder if this is the same farm, that my dad sent our cats?)
Racoon has busted out ceiling tiles
racoon has punched holes as he runs in the attic

Louisville airport collects bats for Louisville Slugger museum

One of the great things to do while in Louisville is to visit the Louisville Slugger factory and museum. While there, you can get a close up and personal tour to watch the bats being made. Then, at the end of the tour, they give you a small bat of your own as a souvenir. Trouble is, you can’t check those bats through with your carry-on luggage when leaving via the Louisville airport. I am guessing this is the only airport in the country that has such a large display of bats that have been confiscated from travelers who have tried to get the bats through security. I am also guessing that this display is only a small portion of the bats they have actually seized. The rest probably go back to the factory, to be given out to the next set of tourists taking the tour. Isnt that what recycling and re-using our natural resources all about?

Louisville Slugger bats seized at airport