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Just a meandering soul sharing my backyard. Visit my Flickr page too! www.flickr.com/photos/meanderingwa/

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Test Pattern

Having all sorts of no fun with my computer right now.

Whale of a good time, you bet

well it is slow , but we are making progress

Friday, September 23, 2011

Welcome Fall

Now shatter’d shades let me attend,
Reflecting look on their decline,
Where pattering leaves confess their end,
In sighing flutterings hinting mine.

For every leaf, that twirls the breeze,
May useful hints and lessons give;
The falling leaves and fading trees
Will teach and caution us to live

From "Autumn" by John Clare 1821

Sunday, September 11, 2011

Getting Dirty on International Rock Flipping Day

Oh, good gigantic smile o' the brown old earth,
This autumn morning! How he sets his bones
To bask i' the sun, and thrusts out knees and feet
For the ripple to run over in its mirth;
Listening the while, where on the heap of stones
The white breast of the sea-lark twitters sweet.
That is the doctrine, simple, ancient, true;
Such is life's trial, as old earth smiles and knows.
If you loved only what were worth your love,
Love were clear gain, and wholly well for you:
Make the low nature better by your throes!
Give earth yourself, go up for gain above!

  Robert Browning

It is International Rock Flipping Day.


I had a long busy day and finished in my own back yard with a rock in the french drain

I spotted the web before I flipped so was prepared for a spider.

Sure enough a wee little spider, and not much else.

I started the day west of Portland doing the Warrior Dash.

3.5 miles of running through the woods and tackling 10 obstacles.  They usually involved aspects of climbing and rope.

It was great fun and I was really excited because I felt strong and fit.  Sort of surprised myself.

There were all sorts of people present.  Old and young.  Heavy and lean.  Serious and and not so much.  Costumes encouraged.  There were men in kilts and women in all sorts of get-ups.

I had the first flight of the day.  I was happy for that as it was forecasted to be well in the 90's by day end.  It was cool and crisp in the morning so I lucked out.  The course started in the woods and had a lot of climbing of steep hills and running down the other side.

I ran and plodded up hills and started wondering when the first obsticle would come.  Not soon enough for me, this running is boring business.  I knew when we were near as we could hear hysterical laughing ahead.  I got to a pond with water about 4 feet deep.  5 logs floating, you hefted yourself up and belly over.  By the third we realized better when done together so 1-2-3 all together over  1-2-3 next log.  Paddle, regain your feet and hit the next one.  Running in soggy shoes was no issue and I am sure the late in the day people appreciated the cool muddy water.

There were wrecked cars to go up and over.  Elevated platforms to jump from one to the other.  A tower of 2 x 4 to climb up and then a steep pitch to climb down.  My most dreaded obstacle was the wall climb; little tiny slats and a rope.  I was surprised at how easy it was when I tackled it logically. 

The hardest obstacle turned out to be a suspended bridge of rope net which you had to crawl across on hands and feet, like a crab.  After running and being pretty much upright, being in the down position was HARD!  There was then a rope net to climb and a fire pole to slide down.  Another one of those things done for the first time.  Go Firemen!

The volunteers were great and they called out suggestions for doing the obstacle and words of encouragement.

But Ah the last few obstacles, those are the ones we wait for.  I could take pictures of them.

Climb up and down the net.  The top was tricky as it was a bit wide.  But I felt like a pro going up and over these things.

Fire.  Jump the fire for a photo op.

Then comes the dirty fun!!!

Jump, slide sploosh  on in.

That is real barbed wire to go under.  5 strands about 15 feet apart.

Wallow wallow wallow.  I simply put my hands down and pulled myself through the whole obsitcle without standing up.  Unlike the woman above, I think she didn't want to get her long hair dirty.
Out and Up over the down slippy slope.  I went feet first.

Where if you are lucky, a helping hand will greet you.

and on through the finish line for your neck ribbon, bananas and chocolate milk.

Our running times, recorded by electronic chips on our shoes were available.  Even Batman has to wait for his results.

You could stay and have beer and turkey legs to feast on.  There were bands all day and there was even a Warrior Wedding planned.

I finished my run in 4th place for women my age group/ flight time.  THAT is a surprise, about 52 minutes or so.  We got cleaned up (sort of) in a pond on the property and I changed out as much of my muddy clothes as I could.

They await out on the front porch for a trip to the laundry room tomorrow.  My little frog watering can looks happy at the thought of all that mud!!

To see some of the obstacles, videos and to find out about races in your neck of the woods visit here


I am already registered for next years race in North Bend and will certainly return to the Portland venue next year.  It was great fun and well within the reach of anyone with an adventurous spirit and somewhat sound body.  The mind is another issue.  The races fill fast so make your plans now.