RAMR3D

Over the past three days I road the RAMROD route, but loaded with camping gear. This route lead us around Mount Rainier starting and ending in Enumclaw and featured tons of great scenery, lovely camping places and some great (readas: horrible) climbs followed by awesome descents.

Day One: Enumclaw to the Nisqually Gate (map)
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Frankly this was the worst day of the trip. After a late departure via car from the city we found ourselves in a cold wet Enumclaw getting on our bikes at about 11am. We wound south then east to end up in outside of Ashford wa at the Big Creek Campground which lies just a couple of miles from the Nisqually gate of MRNP. The miles this day were long, flat, cold and mostly boring. But, our campsite was lovely and the 61 mile ride helped me sleep like a rock.

Day Two: Nisqually Gate to Ohanapecosh via Paradise (map)
On the second day we took off from Big Creek and saw a mother/daughter pair of Elk right away. They would prove to be the only large mammals we saw on the entire trip.

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Shortly after getting on our bikes we entered the park at the Nisqually gate and began an easy climb up to Longmire where the general store would be our last available supply stop for the next 24 hours. I stocked up on chocolate (4 pieces) and beer (3 rainiers) and hung around the ranger station for a while hoping the weather would clear up a bit.

The climb from Longmire to Paradise was long, steep and cold. It wasn’t until just before we reached Paradise that a few bits of blue sky appeared and we could see more than a couple of miles away. All that work was instantly worth it just to be sitting at Paradise knowing i’d gotten up there on my bike.

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We spread out on some steps and set up our camp kitchens to put together some well deserved lunch while confused bus tour types stared at us.

After lunch we began by far the most enjoyable portion of our trip; the long descent from Paradise to Ohanapecosh that covers some stunningly beautiful terrain.

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Early in the descent we popped into this lovely valley and got our first view of the Mountain for this trip, it had up until this point be enshrouded in mist.

This descent would seemingly never end as we flew down through the lovely alpine meadows into the the forest on the Stevens Canyon Rd. This descent is interrupted by a long straight 500′ vertical foot climb, but that climb was all worth it when we came through the gap at the top to witness a gorgeous rainbow over the Ohanapecosh Valley.

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From here the descent got even more exciting as we entered some much tighter switchbacks and brought us down to the Grove of the Patriarchs and the intersection with highway 123. Here we dropped down to the classic Ohanapecosh Campground, set up camp and tried to decide whether we’d attend the ranger’s talk in the campground amphitheater, ahh national parks.

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We spent the evening cooking under the canopy of the old growth forest until the sun set and we went in to the river bed to take in some truly awesome stars.

This was a good day.

Day 3: Ohanapecosh to Enumclaw via Cayuse Pass (map)
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The first two hours of day three were spent climbing 123 up to Cayuse Pass. This climb was long but gentle, particularly when compared to the previous day’s climbs. The sun was out, the scenery was stunning, traffic was sparse and life was good.

The only problem with the climb to Cayuse is that there’s really nothing to see when you get up there. The great scenery is up higher at Chinook Pass, but that’s on the way to Yakima and on this trip we had to head back towards our city.

After Cayuse we started to descend again. This time our freefall was somewhat inhibited by a forceful headwind. We reacted by forming some very fun 25mph pacelines of loaded touring bikes, very fun.

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We refueled at the oddly named Nachez Tavern in Greenwater before continuing the drop in to Enumclaw and encountering our first stop light of the trip at roughly the 155 mile mark.

This was a wildly successful trip and I would recommend it to anyone. The riding outside the park is not nearly as fun as the riding in the park, but you can’t circumnavigate the mountain without it. Conditions were definitely improved by going midweek both on the roads and in the campgrounds.

See all the pictures on Flickr.

Days 2-4: The great purge

My Workspace After

As the result of an unfortunate infestation we’ve been motivated to finally undertake the great purge of stuff that we’ve been discussing for months. This project has been all consuming for two of the last three days, but has had the lovely effect of re-inventing our living and working spaces. It feels like we’ve finally moved in here, almost a year later. (See a before shot)

I’ve spent the bulk of my time sorting through my stuff, paring it down and re-organizing my workspace. Central to the project was breaking down a wonderful old desk and re-using it’s top with some new supports. This creates a much simpler and more accessible space for the computer, which i replaced with a new iMac.

This time lapse shows me pulling out the existing stuff and breaking down the old desk. It ends in tragedy when i realize i got one trestle in the wrong color and had to go back to Ikea.

My space is done now and we’ve made great progress on the rest of the space too. Clearing out stuff and optimizing your space for the way you use it is so invigorating. My new desk is much more inviting:

New Desk

Never fear, I did find some time for leisure by hitting up the Chelan for a greasy american breakfast and a very tasty bloody mary.

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Summer Break Day 1: Mt Si and a Pool Party

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Wednesday was my last day at Zillow.com after 3 years of what I can honestly say were wonderful and constantly educational experiences. I finally decided it was time for different pastures … perhaps greener, perhaps less green but definitely different. I start an exciting new job Sept 1st, but before that i have 33 days off and I intend to make the most of them.

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In the shadow of Rainier

Rainier from Devil's Slide

This last weekend we loaded up the ‘bru and headed east to spend a couple of days in the beautiful country that lies between Mount Rainier and Yakima. The purpose of the trip was to check out some conservation work my parents have been working on as well as the Mighty Tieton project.

Sunset on Rainier

Leaving Seattle at 5:15 had us entering Mount Rainier National Park on highway 410 when the sun was low in the western sky, giving the mountain a glorious glow and casting beautiful shadows. In this light the climb to Cayuse and then Chinook pass was gorgeous, some of the most beautiful country you can see from a car.

Sound Proofin’!

Bar and wall

Yesterday we had a bit of a barn raising with some of the other residents here at Sietch22. The goal was to attempt to limit the amount of sound that passes between our unit and the one next to us (home of Studio Ogalthorpe).

The task at hand was to cut, glue and place some sound dampening tiles on our south wall. The end result is pretty cool looking wall. The acoustics in our unit have definitely changed, not nearly as live and boomy as it was before. We also noticed that the freeway noise is notably decreased (wierd?). We can also still hear the stereo coming through the wall, but hopefully it’s quite a bit quieter.

Here’s a timelapse i took of the process:

And a couple of details:

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Niecefest

The Werners on Haight

On the 13th September Amanda’s sister Margret had a beautiful baby girl named Sula. I finally got to go meet this niece of mine a couple weeks ago in a 48 hour trip to the Bay Area. We did lots of fun stuff: went for a hike, had great Mission burritos, cooked (a couple of times), went to surprisingly delicious vegan raw food and spent some time shopping in the Haight. But mostly it was just fun to get some hang time with some of our Californian relatives and to meet my beautiful new niece.

Margret and Sula go for a hike Amanda jumps while Jeremy checks his email and I document the whole business Amanda stands by a fire hydrant

We always have a great time when we visit Margret and Jeremy and this trip was no exception. We’re blessed to have great siblings in lots of great places.

Raw vegan cake

Merry Christmas!

It’s a little rough around the edges, just like us!    Merry christmas ya’ll!

See last year’s christmas photo.

Mr. July



Mr. July, originally uploaded by jhenryrose.

There’s not a whole lot to say about this beyond … wow. Someone decided to put together a 2010 calendar starting the first week in December. That resulted in a massive photo shoot at our house, mayhem, chaos, boys in their underwear!

Art Brown and Co

Checkout my old buddy Art and some of our other Music School friends as they take on the unusual (these days) feat of being a touring jazz group: http://artbrownmusic.com/

Other than that, nothing much to report. Working to much, playing too little, loving the rain!

The Ghost of Airport Way



The Ghost of Airport Way, originally uploaded by jhenryrose.

We had fun last night making some goulish Halloween themed images. Here’s one for you!

Not having internet at home continues to do wonders for my creative output. I was able to practice bass and piano each for about an hour last night, and go spend an hour taking pictures. I still had time to read for a while before going to bed. Alas, i made no progress in Battlestar Gallactica, but that’s a cost i’m willing to deal with.