My birthday weekend! The fourth weekend that I’m in Hood River, Oregon, and the West Coast! — Saturday: Ribs and climbing

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My birthday weekend! The fourth weekend that I’m in Hood River, Oregon, and the West Coast!  — Saturday: Ribs and climbing

Saturday, 11-July-2015

Waking up happens! Then heading for Breakfast!

Yes, it was a capital “B” for Breakfast, since it was pretty large and definitely excellent. We hit up a not-so-small place right by my house that I’d been eyeing since I first started moving… it labeled itself as a pancake house, and I was curious exactly what that meant, in regards to delicious breakfasts…

Turns out – it means that they have excellent pancakes. I know, I know… I should have known. But I don’t like assuming things until I have empirical evidence. And that evidence took the form of three monstrous pancakes covered in bacon and strawberry jam.

That’s right. Bacon pancakes with strawberry jam. And that’s not even counting Brian’s omlette-with-three-pancakes meal.

The car’s already packed, so we roll out to Horsethief Butte, the climbing spot that I’ve been scouting out earlier in the week. And since Brian is around, we don’t need to stick to the short climbs anymore – my trad rack is on my harness and Brian is giving me a belay almost as soon as we get there, and we’re exploring the routes…

ROCK CLIMBING!

  • What I’m calling “the entrance arrete” – 5.9/5.10, trad, Ben leads… partially. I finished up the first section, but after that it got a little too committing for me – so I lowered off, and we walked around to build an anchor. Then proceeded to crush it on top rope.
  • Middle Canyon routes – 5.easy, maybe as high as 5.6? All on trad, with Ben leading. These are fun routes, though no real technical difficulty. A few spicy moves make it fun, and the gear placements are definitely enjoyable. It sort of reminds me of Hammond Pond, back in Boston. The climbs are clean and solid, and there’s a ton of variants that can be done.

We climb ’till a little after noon hits, and then head back toward Hood to start the ribs cooking. We stick to my old-school recipe, and sauce them up before tossing them into the oven.

And now… we wait. But waiting is boring, so we head into town and explore a bit. Checking out the wind surfers and kite boarders, jumping in the water… you know, the usual. Because everywhere has huge populations of kite boarders, right?

The goal of the evening is hosting a dinner party – not a big one, but a small one for myself, Brian, and the folks who’d hosted me at the Airbnb rental when I first came to Hood River. We’d gotten along quite well, and so they’d made me promise to keep in touch as I got settled into town. I figured that a birthday dinner party would be ideal, and an especially good chance to show off my cooking skills!

So… I show off my cooking skillz. Everyone shows up around 7:00, and we relax and eat and chat and have a good time. The drink of the night is a Moscow Mule, which somehow goes super well with Ribs and cornbread and veggies. And Alexandra brings along raspberry tart, which is completely amazing and disappears quite quickly.

The rest of the night is chilling – chatting some more ’till they head out, then Brian and I light a fire out in the pit out back, and sip beers and poke fires ’till we get bored.

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