Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Benternship July 9- DAY 10

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

10 p.m. Claire is here! Enjoyed (Jeff's) volcano tour with guests and learned a lot. Afternoon weather prevented us from getting on the water, lots of storm clouds and thunder.

The obsidian flows at Newberry Crater are very impressive to see. I've been around obisian rock before, but never in this quantity. This is truly something to check out if you ever get to Bend.

Benternship July 8- DAY 9

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

Worked canoe trip with Jeff this morning. Great trip, swimming, fun folks. Then lunch at warehouse cleaning out van. Worked at the office doing ACT! and email confirmations. Dinner at Jack's with roommate and Jeff...good stuff. Tomorrow touring Newberry Crater in the morning with Jeff, then canoe in the afternoon (CTR gets here in the evening).

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Benternship July 6- DAY 7

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

1:00 a.m. No work on 7/4- too festive. Great time at Jeff, Aaron, and Jake's...spent day (July 5) 9:45-5:45 at office. Introduced Dave to color breakouts on Google Calendar- he took to it right away which made me a bit nervous...hope whatever he uses is to his best advantage...wanted to do kayak trip with Joe or Jeremy but didn't seem appropriate at the time. Helped Dave at Costco (and got to talk business)...5k and then dinner with Jack at Deschutes Brewery. Tomorrow work 9-12 then to Tamolich at 12:30-5:00 or so with Dave. Excited to see him guide for the first time...should be an eye-opener.

Overall things seem to be going well, the ball is definitely in my court as to find what's next...

Being the owner of the company, I expected Dave to really know his natural world. The way he conducted himself in the office as an introverted individual was something that I expected to carry on into the outdoors. However, Dave had a wonderful way of engaging his audience ("oh, baby!") and getting them as excited about the outdoors as he is. I was truly honored to be working next to him on this outing as it was a special place for me anyway. The tours that his company does are typically in Central Oregon on the east side of the Cascade crest. Today however, we were on the west slope in the thick and heavy presence of Douglas Fir trees, Oregon Grape and Vine Maples. The McKenzie River roared along adjacent to our trail and I was continually impressed by Dave's understanding of what I consider to be my own backyard. This same trail is the one that my old Boy Scout Troop 318 and I hiked in 2008, just weeks before CTR and I wed.

Benternship July 4- DAY 5

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

2:00 a.m.
Now 2:00 a.m.- Happy I-Day! No a.m. paddle so DB (Database) work 'til lunch...Skeleton Cave Tour at 1:00 (Awesome! 3600' long and 100' below the earth's surface) then quick dinner at Parilla (thanks Megan!) and starlight canoe tour with Jeremy and 10 guests. Too tired to write more.

Jeff was my guide for the afternoon cave tour and he shone the brightest in the cave (some kind of problem with that euphemism but I'm standing by it). The way he engaged his clients (four adults, two children) was really enjoyable to watch. I was impressed with his ability to answer any question that was asked while still managing to keep us all on an efficient and enjoyable tour.

Jeremy (starlight canoe tour guide) was a fantastic storyteller, having worked with youth in the outdoors for years before coming to WT this winter. The group we had were all adults, but no matter; Jeremy wowed us all with the scenery of the Cascade lakes and the enchanting stories he wove to explain the stars that we were seeing that night. I could very easily picture him giving a jaw-dropping presentation to younger folks out on a tour.

Benternship July 3- DAY 4

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

7:00 a.m. Slept ok. Up earlier and very sunny through rain fly. Rained on and off last night. Looking forward to abated dust.

10:45 p.m. Didn't abate much though...did grunt work for Dave- fixed POS (point of sale, not piece of...) machine through BofA merchant services. Four calls at :15 minutes each = one hour! Ran a 5k and went to get new book- Collapse by Jared Diamond. Sampled beer at Silver Moon (video to supplement this) with crappy baked fries with gorganzola cheese. No shower as Jack had offered. He was at a baseball game and never called (found out later that this was b/c he had text messaged me and I don't get texts- bummer!)...stinky tomorrow I guess. Paddle first thing at 8:15 then database with Megan. Sure wish CTR was here.

LOTS OF CUSSING IN THIS VIDEO. I apologize but I'm not G rated when I've had a few beers :)
video

PS- The Snake Bite Porter is what I'm referencing in the video. Here's the webpage with more info.

*And I totally misused the word "acquiesce" in my video...didn't know what it meant until I returned home to make this post!*

Benternship July 2- DAY 3

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

12:20 a.m.
This morning seems so long ago...Dave, James & Jack were all great to meet. Very kind and Jack was very knowledgeable and a good storyteller. Hung out in office for about four hours; left to go run a 5k on the Deschutes River (!), grocery shop, and set up tent. Dinner was sandwiches and chips/salsa. Back to WLT warehouse @ 7:15 for a starlight canoe tour at Sparks Lake (that's three new lakes in two days for those of you keeping track) with Jack. Four gals (two stayed in van because it was too cold/wet for them). All was great 'til we were back at the lot when one of them fell as I helped her out of the van...I literally feel sick about it. Off to bed now- no beer :(

Benternship July 1- DAY 2


This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

8:00 a.m.
Sure miss CTR (Claire); last night was probably too cold for her though, it was 40 degrees at 7:45 this morning when I woke. Off to take some photos...the Dee Wright Observatory for breakfast with a view!

The Dee Wright Observatory is located on the historic McKenzie Pass Highway 242 in Lane/Deschutes County. This viewpoint is a favorite stop for me anytime I'm up that way, with incredible views of 7-10 cascade peaks most days. Here's a website from the USGS with more info.:

http://vulcan.wr.usgs.gov/Volcanoes/Oregon/HighCascades/dee_wright_observatory.html

Benternship June 30- DAY 1

This series documents a very special opportunity I had recently. I was accepted as an intern at a company in Oregon that provides naturalist-based guided tours in many different activities that travelers enjoy. All of the entries are taken directly from my makeshift journal, my camera, and my iPod video camera. Items in bold are not original to the journal, they have been added for clarity or reading enjoyment. You can decide which.

9:00 p.m. It's now about nine or so at night and I just sat down in my camp chair at the edge of Scott Lake. I cannot see the Three Sisters from the shore where I am but it's no matter; I've seen plenty of beauty today as it is.
I stopped in McKenzie Bridge for the requisite Jo-Jos at Harbick's. I was good and only ordered three but the clerk gave me four anyway :) She must have known I would later need the energy.
Made my way onto Hwy. 242 around 4:00 or so and decided to skip Proxy Falls Trail- too busy. I did stop at the Linton Lake TH though and hiked it (about three miles round-trip), taking 100 photos or so along the way. Not a cloud in the sky today and not too much wind either. Beautiful trail though disappointed in the lake itself...too shrubby by the North shore meant no good photos ops. The water clarity rivaled that of Scott Lake though- pure! No snow at all on the trail (now I'm at Scott Lake where there is smoky water from evaporation and frogs are croaking).
Drove through Obsidian TH lot after that (around 7:00 I think) and saw one car...must be snowy up there. Less than five minutes later I arrived at Scott Lake. Decided to park at campsite and get iPod ready- running time. Ran along a VERY snowy trail to Benson Lake (another first lake for the day). Ran/post-holed/walked for about an hour (maybe another three miles).
As soon as I returned to the car at Scott Lake I stripped iPod, shirt, and shoes and went for a swim! The water was very pleasant so I waded out to the middle of the lake for a better view of the Sisters. Then for dinner salad and a 22 (Widmer Hefeweizen tonight- my favorite!). Off to bed soon. So excited for this Benternship!

About me



Here's the quick and dirty on me, "Have you enjoyed the outdoors today?". My name is Andy and I'm in my late-20's. I have a beautiful partner of 4+ years named Claire and we share a home in Oregon's scenic and mild Willamette Valley. We have two yellow labs, Graham (3 years) and Jake (2) and a cat (?), but I forget his name*.


I enjoy the outdoors nearly as much as I enjoy being married and that's something that's obvious once you get to know me. In talking with folks that I meet or know one of the primary things I tend to do is to find out their level of outdoor activity and make that a centerpiece for conversation. This isn't to say that I don't know lots of people who don't enjoy the outdoors as much as I do, but the simple fact that we live on Earth means that we are inherently tied to the natural world. As a general rule, the more people appreciate this fact, the easier it is for me to communicate with them.


The hobbies I engage in are relatively all the same, in that they involve two of life's great pleasures; beer and exercise. Here's my list in particular order:


Beer: camping, playing board games, cooking/baking, SNOB (Supporter of Native Oregon Beer)


Exercise: running (preferably trail), hiking, sport climbing (both indoors and outdoors), backcountry hiking, canoeing, snowshoeing, photography (a stretch for being in the "exercise" category I know)


I understand that diversity is a very important part of our evolution and economy and therefore I am a supporter of just about any (legal) idea or belief that keeps people different or allows the underdog to succeed. Examples of this include the idea that Wal-Mart is not a business that I support if at all possible (simply because it is the largest retailer on the planet and they don't need any of my money) and that racial minorities are far and away more culturally important than many of us realize. The fact that when many of us were born there were 6,000 languages being used on this planet and now there are fewer than half of that remaining indicates to me that our loss of diversity is happening at an alarming rate. See this video for an excellent explanation of this problem by National Geographic Explorer Wade Davis: www.ted.com/talks/wade_davis_on_endangered_cultures.html


This is really just a scattered run-down on how I view myself. My posts will be a much more accurate depiction of who I really am, as the content starts to paint a picture that reflects my own thoughts, beliefs, and opinions. Stay tuned for more!


*The cat is Claire's and I really don't care for him. He's mean to me and he pukes a lot. Enough said.

Welcome to my campsite

I have a lot of things around here, but I try to make sure that over time I only keep the bare necessities.  Carrying around all this stuff from one place to another is tiring, not to mention silly.  Let me introduce you to a few of my favorite things:

I have a Compass, which provides direction in life, let's me know where I am and where I want to go.  I have a nickname for this compass.  It's called faith.

I have a Book.  I know you can't read it, but I'm always happy to do that for you.  I am the only one on this earth who has read the entire thing, and there are parts of it that only make sense to me.  I can tell you about all of my family and my friends by reading it.  My book contains all of my greatest memories and teachings.

I have a Tent which provides me with shelter.  It warms me, and it protects my family and I from the environment when conditions get rough.  My tent is my home.

I also have a pair of Binoculars around here.  I don't use them a lot, but knowing that they're near provides me a great deal of support.  My binoculars are super-awesome as they help me see things that I wouldn't normally be able to see, like all binoculars do, but they also provide clarity and reassurance.  My view is not nearly as fuzzy once I use them, and they always seem to be at my disposal at all the right times.  I simply have to ask for them and whatever I'm looking at instantly becomes clearer.  My binoculars are known by an unusual name also.  I call them my mentor.

Another item in my camp is my Partner.  I rely on her tremendously for unconditional support, whether it be helping me set up the tent, read my compass, or find my binoculars.  I love to read parts of my book to her, and one day she will be able to repeat most of those pages back to me without much effort (we started writing a new book together July 27, 2008).  We share life's joys together; love, beauty, bonding.  Without my partner, all else would diminish in usefulness and my camp no doubt would suffer greatly at her loss.  My partner is my wife.

One question that I ask myself daily while in camp is do I have everything that I need?  I have food, water, and warmth no doubt, but what about the things that are intangible?  Have I forgotten something?  Does one of my items need to be worked on or repaired?  Have I lost track of something?

I know that there are many things in my camp that are superlative, but the things I've shown you here I feel are integral to my success in life.  This balance of ownership and letting go is a large part of who I am, and through this forum you'll no doubt learn more about me than you may have ever wanted to know.  As another camper you no doubt recognize many of the things I've told you are in my camp.  As you go about your daily life you will encounter many of the same items, and you may be surprised to find things that are altogether different than mine.  Let that diversity strengthen our bond with one another, not weaken it.  One question that I want you to think of when you are reading my blog and thinking about me or my travels is the following:

"What does your campsite look like?"