Monday, July 30, 2007

The Shack has completely new plumbing, electrical and insulation:

Drywall hanging starts today...

Sunday, July 29, 2007

Yesterday I had a fun time at the Oregon Brewers Festival, maybe too much fun since I didn't get out of bed until almost 1pm this afternoon. I tried several IPAs, my favorite of which was Racer X, a double IPA from the Bear Republic Brewing Company in Healdsburg, CA.

On Friday Don the Hiker and I hiked Eagle Creek out to Punch Bowl Falls in the Columbia Gorge.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Our new "rustic" kitchen and utility room at the end of day 3:

Monday, July 16, 2007

The great kitchen remodel of 2007 is now underway at the Shack. The Neil Kelly crew has been hard at work all day. This is what our kitchen looked like this morning after we cleared out everything we wanted to keep:

This is what it looks like now:

Tomorrow they take out the laundry room and demolish the walls down to the studs...
I just got back last night from Chicago. Kerry and I were there to attend a friend's wedding and decided to make a long weekend out of it. Prior to the wedding we spent a couple of nights at Hotel Burnham, a hip boutique hotel right in downtown Chicago. Friday morning we visited the Art Institute of Chicago and the new Millennium Park. Afterwards we had a long lunch at The Gage restaurant.

That afternoon we fought the crowds on Michigan Avenue (aka the Magnificent Mile) to go to the Hancock Observatory on the 94th floor of the John Hancock Center. We had some pretty amazing views including one of my future penthouses when I become the next Donald Trump. That evening we had a delicious dinner at Fulton's on the River along the newly restored Chicago River waterfront.

Saturday morning we checked out of our hotel and rode the Metra to Woodstock, Illinois about 60 miles northwest of Chicago. The ride took about 90 minutes and we watched suburb after suburb pass by. It wasn't until the last 15 minutes that we finally made it out of the suburbs and into the countryside. Woodstock is small town of about 20,000 and was the location for the movie Groundhog Day. I've seen the movie a couple of times and recognized several of the buildings from the film.

Once off the train we rolled through the historic downtown with our luggage in tow and stopped by the Woodside Public House for lunch. Their pulled pork sandwich is excellent. Afterwards we continued on through the historic town square and checked into the Bundling Board Inn. A quick shower and change of clothes later and we were off to the wedding.

The wedding was about 15 minutes outside of town on a farm. The farmhouse and barn were on top of a small hill with views of the surrounding corn and wheat fields. They had a short, outdoor ceremony and the reception was held inside the barn. It was my first country wedding and we stayed for about 6 hours before catching a ride back to the inn.

Sunday was a LONG trip home - 2 trains, 2 planes and 1 automobile. It took us a total of 12 hours and I have to admit I'm getting a little tired of traveling. After 13 months of my self-imposed sabbatical I think I'll enjoy the rest of the summer as LLC then head back to work this fall...

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

I had a great time on Unicorn Peak with Shawn yesterday. We did the climb in 6 hours car-to-car and had perfect weather with the mountain to ourselves. Here are the photos from what we dubbed a "mini climb".

Monday, July 02, 2007

I've been home for a little over a week from my trip to climb Denali. In the meantime I've made it a crusade to eat at all my favorite restaurants around the neighborhood, regaining 5 of the 10 lbs I lost while on the mountain. I've been trying to get back into my running routine but after 3 weeks in below freezing weather I'm having a hard time adjusting to the heat. Even still I was able to run my Maple-Wildwood loop this past weekend. Keeping busy with projects around the Shack and trying to finish up my Denali trip report. Tomorrow I'm heading to Rainier National Park to climb Unicorn Peak.