Friday, February 05, 2010

The insider view

I think I should have gone for the exterior titanium bottle-opener attachment option.
This was the view before the carpentry.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

So much for the ski trip..

Well Blain went and broke his leg skiing.

The story goes that we were skiing at Hoodoo Mtn. near Bend, Oregon and the snow was hard packed with a little crusty stuff. He hit a section of washboard-like ridges and most of his parts went right to avoid some trees, but the left leg didn't get the memo and went left. Poor internal communication, we suppose.

Ski patrol was there in a flash, and the paramedics gave him drugs for the ride down to the hospital. More drugs in ER before taking off the boot. Glad to have them. Dicey moves for the X-rays, and then into surgery by 7pm.

Anyway, the breaks were below the knee - in the Tibia and Fibula. Spiraled, so a bit of a mess. They salvaged the goods and put in some titanium hardware, all spiked and shishkababbed back into the proper places.

He won't have to be a peg-legged captain. So far recovery seems as good as can be expected. Looks like 6 weeks before I get to walk on it, and 3 months before mobility. So hopefully up and running for sailing season this spring.

In the ambulance had to tell the paramedic why I was laughing, inappropriately, about the scene in the Twilight Zone Movie where John Lithgow tells Dan Akroyd (his ambulance driver), "Is this Creedence..? I looove Creedence."
We don't know how this is going to affect volunteering for the Olympics. Perhaps they can find Blain a desk job. Short-term plans are to get to Bellingham to recuperate, and take it day by day.

Thank you to everyone for the good wishes. We are surely very lucky to have the families we have, and so many toughtful and wonderful friends as we face an unexpected bump in the road.

Monday, February 01, 2010

Mid Oregon - Sage, fossils, and fire

The snugglers got busted enjoying opposite sides of the hotel comforter.
On the way across Oregon - a really big state - we stopped briefly at John Day Fossil Beds National Monument. A beautifully scenic place with the most diverse assortment of recent prehistoric mammals and plants on earth.

Stuff you've never even heard of - because they are discovering new species constantly. No dinosaurs here, just short faced bears, mastodonts, lava flows and volcanic tufts. When the volcanoes blew, they covered everything in ash that cemented and left amazingly detailed petrofied plant leaves, wood, even extinct avocados. John Day displays fossil nuts! If you can believe it.

Think the Tertiary version of the Burgess Shale. Extinct horses, rhinos, tortoises, elephants, cheetahs, and other wondrous critters we missed by just a few hundred thousand years. They don't have any evidence of alien trophy hunters bagging them all, but we know the truth.... ~~~~~~~~~~~
On to a very meaningful monument in Prineville, Oregon.
In 1994 a small fire (the South Canyon Fire) west of Glenwood Springs, Colorado blew out of control and overran a crew of firefighters called the Prineville Hotshots. Most were local kids working summer jobs, and the town was devastated. Blain was working on an engine crew in Leadville that summer, but took a couple of weeks off to go to Costa Rica. He remembers vividly where he was in the hotel lobby when he heard it on the news station down there. It sounded like the whole state was on fire. Pingree Park burned that year, also.
Walking Chance on his evening empty, they literally stumbled upon this beautiful bronze statue and landscaped monument dedicated to the fallen 14, and to all wildland firefighters of the world.
The most uplifting thing I read was that wildland fire fatalities have dropped over forty percent since the South Canyon Fire. Let's hope it moves closer to 100% some day.

Grand Targhee - king of the hills

Chance conqueror of the parking lot snow berm. Sometimes, on powder days, this is his biggest accomplishment.
We hit Grand Targhee on a bluebird day. Most of the powder was tracked up, but we squeeked in a few mini runs.
This is the first day we've skied the whole day, so we're proud of ourselves. Of course the Tetons were too.
A gorgeous place. Cheaper than Jackson Hole, and we hear from the locals, more interesting.