Tag Archives: fires

Hiking to Duffy Lake, Mt. Jefferson wilderness – 06-Sept-2020

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Sunday, 06-Sept-2020

 

Wildfire season has started.

Growing up, I was used to the four traditional seasons – in Winter we had blizzards, Spring had rain and sometimes hurricane remnants, Summer we melted, and in Autumn it was beautiful and perfect.

Out here in Oregon, we sort of have three seasons.  Rainy, Sunny, and on fire.

Right now, we’re on fire.

 

I don’t want to get into the specifics and stressors of said fires, since that’s just unpleasant and not something that I can really affect in any way, so instead I’ll talk about the hike I went on right before the fires hit.  Immediately before, in fact.  Like… very close before.  I started the hike before the fires were really bad… and by the time we got back to the trailhead, the wilderness was closed due to the fires.

The trail in question?  Duffy Lake, out in the Jefferson Wilderness.  Nothing crazy or long, or with huge elevation gain… but a lovely looking trail, and a really great way to get out into the woods.

 

I really enjoyed it, got to meet and pet some horses, and had amazing views of the lake while eating lunch.  At this point the smoke from the nearby fires was pretty minimal, and instead of cloying the smoke just sort of hung above the forest, giving this interestingly misty / ethereal haze to everything.  It was… beautiful, in a way.

03-June-2016, A game of archery tag!

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03-June-2016, A game of archery tag!

Friday, 03-June-2016

 

So my work does this thing where, instead of doing 40 hours every week, we do 80 hours every two weeks – it’s called a 9/80 schedule, and gives us a Friday off every other week by working 9 hour days Monday – Thursday, and then either 8 hours or 0 hours on Fridays.  It’s awesome.  Took me a month or so to get used to it though… that one extra hour each day doesn’t seem like a lot, but you’d be surprised how much I’m used to getting done in that hour, that I had to cut or condense.

Anyways, this Friday was off, and there was a company event planned – Archery Tag!

 

I’d seen the planned events a few times before… “learn to cook with the CEO”, “Bike around the Gorge”, that sort of stuff that I honestly wasn’t super interested in.  But archery tag…

 

I signed up, showed up, and set up a team.  Yep, that’s me.  Team Captain material, up in here.

And then, we played.  And I’m going to be honest here, we played WELL.  I mean, we were one of the two undefeated teams, coming into the finals.  Out of… eight?  Twelve?  I’m not a bookie, I don’t keep track of that stuff.  Basically, we cleaned house, and won all kinds of bragging rights.

But then the finals happened, and we choked.  Or more accurately, they changed the rules, and we didn’t adapt quickly enough.  Rules went from “hit people and targets to get points” to “hit the targets to get points and ignore people”… which we didn’t really adapt to.  Instead, we tried to suppress the people with cover fire while our sharp-shooters hit the targets… instead of everyone basically just barraging the targets with random shots.

I’m not bitter, I swear.

 

But it was fun, and that’s what matters.  And I got BBQ chicken and a cool yellow bandanna out of it, so… win win?

 

After the tag, I finally rented a Standup Paddleboard setup, and coasted around the Colombia for a bit.  It was fun.  I didn’t bring sunscreen though… which was probably a bad decision, since I spent the rest of the weekend in pain, applying as much aloe to myself as I possibly could.

 

Ohh, also there were explosions and fires.  Like… literal.  Boom.  Fwoosh.  “Ahhh everything’s on fire” sort of stuff.

Yeah… I maybe should had led with that?  Two instances, specifically…

First, an unexpected demolition.  As we were playing (not my team, thankfully), there was a roadside demolition – one of those where they blow a cliffside apart, so that it won’t fall down on the roadway unexpectedly.  Not a bad thing… just not what any of us were expecting, especially since there was no warning.  No sirens.  No nothing.  Just… “cracka-cracka-boom“!  And then a dozen or two explosions, and a cliff wasn’t there anymore.

Second, a train fire.  This one was bigger… we’re talking news station big.  What we saw as a small plume of smoke, that slowly got bigger on the horizon, was actually a cargo train that had overturned, spilling twelve tanker cars worth of fuel oil onto the tracks and into the river.  Which, of course, was ignited somehow… causing a fire that didn’t get put out for nearly 36 hours, if I recall correctly.  Kind of made the day strange… since there were tons of gawkers coming by the little patch of grass that we’d claimed for a battleground.  They all wanted pictures of the fire, but we were in the way… so I guess I was in a few pictures?