Sunday, August 07, 2011

Back from PDX, on to Iron Canyon

Camping! We haven't done it in years. We're going to our favorite spot, Iron Canyon, a PG&E reservoir not too far from Burney Falls. It's out of cell phone range and there's no wifi anywhere around. I've somehow spent a lot of time this past week getting ready to rough it which doesn't seem quite right, but our gear hasn't been out of boxes for so long that I didn't want to leave without making sure batteries are still juicy and everything was clean. We spent $150 at Whole Foods yesterday, so you know it's gonna be luxury camping! One thing I bought there was a "bota box" of wine (four bottles contained in one small package--lots of camping advantage there!) and they even had a picture of a tent printed on the box. I didn't make it to the library in time to check out a Dutch oven cookbook, so I'm going to have to do a little Internet based research before we take off this morning. I'm determined to make the pizza fabulous this time. I'm definitely going to use the parchment paper trick we learned with the bread--great way to get it in and out of the hot oven as well as keep it from sticking.

One of the things I'm most looking forward to on this vacation is not making any decisions or organizing anyone or any activities other than my own. It's been a long and mostly very stressful couple of weeks at work. The convention in Portland went well overall, but there were some difficult aspects, though many of them were related to it being very successful. I had a lot of parties to go to and nice to make and chats to have, which is always rewarding but exhausting for me.

As always, the highlight of my travel is the extracurricular stuff. During the conference, I got away one evening for a very fine dinner at Ned Ludd, a place that operates on one wood fired oven, and then another evening I borrowed a bike from the hotel and rode around the neighborhood. I stopped for a pint at Apex, a very bike-friendly bar. I really appreciate how cycle-centric PDX is--made me want to bike more at home, though Sonoma County is not really set up to accommodate biking the way Portland is. On the last day of our conference, the Sock Summit was getting underway in the other part of the convention center, so I stopped by their expo floor. The amount of booths selling yarn was a bit overwhelming. I did buy a couple of skeins and also took a few moments to work the world's largest sock. I didn't stay for it, but they planned a flash mob as part of their event, which I totally want to steal for our show next year. If the knitters can do it, surely the tech geeks can too.

After the conference, I spent the rest of my time in Portland with Uncle Lloyd and Aunt Jacque, which was great. Cousin Heather came down from Washington for the whole weekend, and we had fun exploring wine country on Saturday. Cousins Michelle with her whole family and Jim came over for dinner and visiting that night. I'm really grateful that they all made the time to see me! Lloyd and Jacque continue to set a high bar for hosting standards. They always make me so comfortable and welcome, and helps me decompress from the event.

One fun thing: I wore a very convincing temporary tattoo for a couple of weeks. The reactions were pretty funny. Many people I knew were surprised and relatively supportive, though comments came almost exclusively from men. I will say, if I ever wanted to pick up on young guys, getting a tattoo is definitely a great way to start a conversation.

OK, we're already running late--time to load up the gear and get off the grid!


At 11:36 AM, August 08, 2011, Blogger Sara said...

Have fun.


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