Category Archives: Parties and social gatherings

Not strictly outdoor adventures, but sometimes parties take place outside! Or near a window! Thus: it counts.

BCEP – Graduation!!!

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Who are the Mazamas, you may ask? And what’s BCEP, you may enquire? Well, let me fill you in dear reader. When I first moved to Oregon, I pretty quickly heard about a mountaineering group in town called The Mazamas.

Similar to the AMC back in Boston, they teach classes and do conservation outreach projects. Over the years, I’d interacted with them tangentially – attending a few classes, volunteering with a few groups, but I’d never been able to actually take a course officially. I’d applied to their Advanced Rock climbing class, but wasn’t accepted for one reason or another.

Now, nearly seven years after first moving to Oregon, I was trying again. This time beginning at the bottom – while you may notice that I’m not quite a beginner when it comes to the outdoors, I was tired. These last few years haven’t been easy, and I was just tired of fighting… the chance to just sit back and meet new people while enjoying a few group hikes was more than worth the price of admission.


Saturday, 30-Apr-2022

I graduated BCEP!

Yup! Flying colors, up in here! I even remembered all the details about rope travel and using pruissics… which I still feel weird doing, since I’m used to kleimheists… Ahh well. It does make sense, even though it’s not quite what I’m used to.

I’m not too sure what to write about here, though I do very much want to commemorate the completion of an amazing course. I had a great time, learned a lot of subtle details and alternative methods, and made quite a few good friends along the way. I got a lot of hiking in, and had a chance to explore the Mazamas Lodge… while also having a glorious weekend playing in the snow!

The day of our test was pretty simple and straightforward, as one would expect. I wouldn’t say that it was a formality, since we absolutely got grilled on details, but it was 100% a celebration at the same time. There was more food than I ever could have expected, of a glorious variety and quality that I’ve come to expect from the chefs in the Snake Dogs.

I can’t wait to continue this adventure!

A flight of New England Fancy – An evening in Boston

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It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Massachusetts… I think it was for Dillon and Liz’s wedding, wasn’t it? That’s sounding right… though I frankly can’t believe that was only six months ago. These last few months have felt like forever, and it was high time that I got back East. The rock was calling, family and friends beckoned, and I hadn’t seen my Grandma in far, far too long…

Sunday, 24-Apr-2022


Ohh man… Okay so bear with me for a moment or two, because I’m gonna tell you a story.

Years ago, I started college in Boston.

Yup. We’re throwing ALLLLLL the way back to 2005, baby!


Anyways, when I started and moved in, I was fortunate enough to find a pretty solid friend group who I began exploring the city with. One of those evenings we decided to go into the North End, and find ourselves an excellent Italian dinner.

As we were wandering around, we came to a small hole in the wall with an older gentleman sitting out front. We’re talking your perfect stereotype of an older Italian grandpa… small, with a cigar, lounging around with a cigar tray and a glass of some kind of bourbon or wine or I don’t know what. We didn’t know yet that hole-in-the-wall places are almost always the best, so we proceeded to walk right on past… until the gentleman called out.

“There’s no room inside. Sorry, all booked”

We looked in… there were one or two patrons, but it was still early in the evening, and the restaurant was far from full.

“I wish we could seat you, but we can’t. Sorry.”

He looked us over… we were stopped, but half-starting to move on past.

“You know what? I like the look of you all. Give me a minute, I’ll talk to the host and see if we can get you a table.”

We looked at each other. We had no idea what to do… We were all fresh-faced Freshmen, and were barely out of our high school cocoons. He came back out.

“I talked to the host, and convinced him to give you a table. Come in! Come in!

That evening, I found the best Chicken Parmesan in the city of Boston. Some people say that, somewhere in the universe, is an ideal version of every object. A perfect chair, the optimal hair tie, and the perfect climbing shoes. I may not have found that single ideal Chicken Parmesan that night, but I haven’t found one better since.

I’ve been back to that restaurant, Cafe Lucia (or Lucia Risorante, I can never quite remember) quite a few times. Work dinner, friend dinners, dates, all of it. It’s never failed to astound, and I’m terrified of the day that something causes them to close their doors.

Thankfully, this visit to Boston saw them still open, and still just as inviting as that evening so many years ago. Dillon and Liz, Daniel and Erin, Clara and Brian, we all met up and enjoyed their amazing fare. We ate, we drank, and we caught up… for which I’m endlessly thankful.

Any time I get sad or lonely out in Oregon, my mind wanders back to that street in the North End… or more accurately, to the smiling faces of friends that I know are always there for me. Even if it’s something as simple as an evening out in the North End to celebrate the end of an amazing week back on the East Coast, visiting friends and family.

A flight of New England Fancy – Visiting Massachusetts in the Spring

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It’s been a while since I’ve been back to Massachusetts… I think it was for Dillon and Liz’s wedding, wasn’t it? That’s sounding right… though I frankly can’t believe that was only six months ago. These last few months have felt like forever, and it was high time that I got back East. The rock was calling, family and friends beckoned, and I hadn’t seen my Grandma in far, far too long…


This… uhh… this post was supposed to go first. So… pretend that it was first?



Friday, 15-May-2022 through Monday, 25-May-2022

It’s been a while since I’ve been back to New England… and now thanks to COVID I have full capability to work remotely… So off I flew to Boston!

The plan was pretty simple:
– Spend Passover with the family in Amherst
– Spend Easter with the family in New York
– Work remotely for the middle of the week
– Go climbing with friends on Friday
– Spend Saturday at a convention that my Mom and Stepdad were running
– Spend Sunday catching up with friends
– Work remotely on Monday, then fly home in the evening


And, if I may say so, it went off without a hitch!

I’ve been working at being slower, this year… not trying to pack in as many little things, and focusing in a bit more on what I’m actively doing at the time. It’s been challenging, especially with constant injuries needing more and more of my time to deal with, but… this week was a chance to really focus in on that plan.

Not being home meant that I didn’t have access to the infinite distractions of my apartment, which definitely aided in zeroing my mind in on a single activity. I wasn’t perfect, of course, but… you know what? I had an amazing time, and felt quite happy by the time the flight home rolled around.