Daily Update: What a week!

Before I get started with getting you all caught up with where I’ve been and what I’ve been up to, I’ve had some great fun rewatching the Odyssey rover landing on Mars. No, we don’t have video of the actual landing, but it was so great to watch the video of the NASA team as they followed it through it’s seven minutes of terror while it guided itself to a safe and successful landing. I thought I was going to tear up a little bit. So happy and so proud of this accomplishment by so many people involved. My facebook, twitter, Google+, and newsfeed are all full of news of the landing. It’s such a great moment.

Last week I spent watching the Olympics. Ok, I did a lot more than that and I’ll touch on some highlights, but I did watch several hours of Olympics highlights. I’ll say that I’m a little disappointed with how NBC has been handling it, but there are so many events it’s not possible for one network to cover them all. If I remember correctly last time it was several non-stop channels showing every event and rebroadcasting those events in their entirety. Getting little snippets of the events I’d like to see is frustrating, but I did watch nearly all the swimming and gymnastics. I’ll be watching as much of the Track and Field events as I can. I know NBC will only be showing some and not all so we’ll see what we can get.

So, I’ve been away for some time. It all started on July 26th at 2:30 in the morning when I got up, got showered, and we finished our packing and headed over to the Millican’s house. The goal was to be on the road by 3AM. After several trips out the front door, into the cars, out of the cars, down to McDonald’s for breakfast, back to the Millican’s house, and back again, we were on the road at 6:30AM. Our goal was to miss the LA traffic. Well, we missed the brunt of it.

Our first stop was San Francisco. The Millican has a long time friend there and we stayed there for the night. We got up the next morning and hit the BART into the city with Art as our guide. We rode the cable cars, had clam chowder on the bay, took pictures of the Golden Gate Bridge and Alcatraz, went to Boudin (a local bread place), hit up Ghirardelli (a local chocolate place), rode the cable car back to China Town, ate and shopped, rode the cable car back to the BART, realized we’d only ridden one cable car line, hopped on a cable car going up (we’d bought an all day pass, had to use it, right?) Rode to the top of the hill. Took some more pictures, rode the cable car back down the hill. Yes, I did look down into the ground to see the cable moving along. It was awesome.

We finally got back on the BART and went back to Berkley where we had pizza at Zachery’s. This is a Chicago-style, stuffed pizza. We ordered 3 for the 11 of us there. I only made it through two and a half slices before declaring mercy. We had an entire pie left over for breakfast the next morning.

The next day we were up and on the road by noon to finish our trip up to Oregon. We stopped by Shasta Lake to take some pictures. We stopped and ate lunch. We took our time and got in to the Millican’s mom’s house around 9:30PM. We had tacos, we set up the tent for the youngest of the group, and we were in bed by midnight after watching some Olympics (this was our nightly ritual).

We did a LOT during our trip. To sum it up (I’ll go into detail on one part) it was Eating, shopping, hillbilly rafting (we found a log and floated down the river on it, twice), went to Crater Lake, hillbilly teetertottering (we found a felled tree over another felled tree that was perfectly balanced), river rafted (I’ll go into detail on the first trip in a minute), swam in the river, river rafted, ate lots of UMPQUA! (you may call it ice cream), ate lots of food, visited the ‘Lil Pantry more than once, and all in all had a great time.

So the first river rafting trip was something like this:

The Millican and his wife wound up in one of the tahitis

they rolled it at the end of the rapids in front of a resort

As they swam for shore and their boat, seats, oars, camera, and one shoe floated down the river, a jet boat tour came by

it picked up their boat and oars and took it back up river to them

they spent the rest of the tour in the bigger raft

My Favorite Daughter and my buddy’s younger son fell out at the end of the next rapids

I was behind them, the bigger raft in front of them. They were safe

on the flat part after those rapids, his two daughters were adjusting themselves in their raft and fell out

that was funny

we were running behind schedule so my favorite daughter and my buddy’s younger son (in one boat) his two daughters (in the second boat) and me in the third all took off to get to the end quicker so they’d know we were alright

at the Argo rapids his two daughters went first with no trouble

they went to the left

my favorite daughter and my buddy’s younger son went to the right, I followed

their boat went down and to the left. my favorite daughter’s weight kept the front of their boat from going up

I was sitting WAY in the back of my boat and knew before I even got to the spot they went past what was going to happen

the front of my boat went WAY up and I rolled into the rocks

I kept a hold of my boat and banged off rocks to the left, to the right, hit my hip on a shallow rock. Hit my foot on a deep rock and lost a river shoe

then the rapids calmed down to a riffle and I somehow flipped myself back into the boat

minus seats, oars, and missing one shoe

I did still have my sunglasses through

Then I saw I was only halfway through the rapids


I can do this, right? I don’t need me no oars. BRING IT!

<flip> bang, thud, fumble, gurgle

then I hit the smooth spot and was finally able to swim over to the kids and getting into my boat again

So boating was an adventure. Only the Millican’s older son and my wife were able to keep from falling into the river. They got lucky this time. Next time I may dump them on purpose. We’ll just have to wait and see.

On the trip back we stopped again at Shasta Lake. We were going to go to the Shasta Cave, but fires had a majority of the area evacuated and/or closed down. We did, however, stop off in Lemoore to visit the kids (the niece and nephew are there with their four kids). It was a great time had by all. The little ones didn’t know we were coming and they were confused then ecstatic. We stayed the night at the Navy lodge, got up the next morning, almost went to go see the World’s Tallest Horse, then got back on the road by Noon. We were home by 6 and truly wiped out in the best possible way.

So I spent a good deal of time not writing. You can easily see why. This week will see me record the next two episodes of the Action Pack Podcast so one can drop this week and one on 9/1. This will get the crew back on track. I will also be meeting with Mr. Plested and hopefully Mr. Roche at some time this week. I have a lot of writing and a lot of recording and a lot of catching up to do. I also have pictures of ducks to get.

Speaking of ducks, here’s a little list of the animals we saw while on the river:

Squaw fish




Canadian Geese


Strange red-headed ducks with mohawks

Bald Eagles


Turkey Vultures

Wild Turkeys




I’m sure there were more, but they’re escaping me at the moment. I have much to do. I’d better get at it. It’s good to be back home.

Until Tomorrow!


Posted on August 6, 2012, in Daily Update. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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