First Family Camping Trip

It’s about time!

We had a three day weekend coming up, and I had just bought a dehydrator, and been busy drying up a storm of food, so it made sense to go away for a couple days and eat it all. Makes sense right?

Marin Campfood

It took us nearly a whole day of planing and organizing and finding stuff, before we were able to roll out, but we did it!

Our bikes were big and heavy…..

IMG_5635 BT Nobody Looking

and it took us three hours to go the distance normally covered by bike in 1 1/2. But we got there!

IMG_5730 Tent & Bunny

Having two nights to camp in one spot was really nice, as we could recover from our heavy peddling and enjoy an afternoon at the Oxbow River without worrying about the time.

IMG_5683 Seth Marin River

We even slept in by a kazillion minutes!

IMG_5745 Chelle & Girls Tent

We had a blast and that’s what matters!

IMG_5671 Marin Family Selfie
Marin learning how to take selfies.

The last day, we loaded up and headed out, looking forward (NOT) to the massive hill we had to go up to get out of the river valley. It was so steep that when we went down it, Seth was afraid he would blow a tube from the friction of his brake pads. For those of you who have never ridden a cargo bike fully loaded with children and enough camping gear for 4 people, down a hill, let me tell you it can be very scary as the bikes pick up a tremendous amount of speed! We were safe though, as our bikes made it through like champs.

Anyway, back to that hill! It was big! Something like 600 feet elevation climb in less than a mile. About 50 feet into it Seth and I got off our bikes and pushed them. We had sweat dripping down our backs and arms, palms got slick on the handle bars, and we made wonderful time, getting to the top in 1 hour.  Now, 1 mile per hour is NOT making good time I know, but it was a HUGELY STEEP HILL!!!! At the top we cheered, sweaty high-fived and ate a couple granola bars.

That’s about the end of my story. The rest of the ride home was uneventful except that we made a small detour at the end to enjoy some of Little Big Burger’s fries and lettuce wraps. Seriously, they are amazing and a treat after sweating in the sun for 3 hours!

Return of the Fat Tire

When the Portland Police take a stolen bike report, they don’t give you much optimism as to ever expecting to find it again. That’s just the way it is. Bikes are a big thing in Portland, and just as it is the choice of transportation for many commuters, so is it the premium choice for the homeless community who neither have space under their chosen bridge to park a car, nor do they have the money to put any gas into it.

While Seth was out riding around on Thursday asking people if they had seen a bike with bad-ass tires, one fellow of a shifty character explained it to Seth in a simple way that made a lot of sense. “If you live in a city, you never actually own your bike. You just get to use it for a while before it’s someone else’s turn.”

After talking with and showing a picture of the bicycle to a Parks and Recreation ranger, Seth felt that for his own safety it was time to head. The threats were starting to get forceful and there is no reason to risk your well-being for any type of bike. He continued on home while the ranger got picked up by his partner in a pickup and they headed through the downtown area of Portland. Shortly after crossing the bridge, the ranger spotted a bicycle matching the description and pulled over to ask a few questions of the shifty looking rider. The fellow got off the bike right away, leaned it against a wall and took a step away. It was his brother’s bike he said as he took another step away. With further questioning he just turned on his heel and walked from the scene. 

The funny thing? He was caught with the bike barely 200 feet from where it was stolen!

The rangers confiscated the bike and contacted Seth. Over the phone they asked him to describe the bike, specifically the reflective (Seth puts reflective tape in strange places on all his bikes). He passed the quiz with flying colours and was able to quickly cinch proving he was the owner by producing a key and unlocking the u-lock that was still securing the seat to the frame. 

Then the real questions started! Why are the tires so big? What is the purpose of such a fat tired bike? Where do you get them? etc.

The rangers even got a group picture taken of themselves with Seth and his bad-ass fat tire Surly Pugsley bike. 

Seth was quite the happy camper that day, but it wasn’t over yet. He had ridden his cargo bike to pick up the fat tire on his was in to work, but they were too big and bulky to fit through the narrow staff door, so he had to pull it in through the front doors and move everything one at a time through the store to the back for safe keeping. The morning staff got the whole story at that point, then at the end of the day the evening staff got the story as well as he pulled everything back out of the staff room and back to the front where he strapped the frame and tires of the Surly into the cargo bay of his load pusher. Customers thought it was pretty awesome too, and one asked if he could take a picture of the “Fat Tire in a Cargo Bike” and send it to Bike Snob in NYC. Seth refused, saying it was enough of a day to have gotten his beloved bicycle back after having it stolen, and putting it in his cargo bike was the only way he was able to manage picking it up and getting to and from work all at the same time. He didn’t want to deal with the Bike Snob using it as ammunition against Portland on top of everything else! Fair enough. 

Loss of a Fat Tire

This week has had some ups and down. Seth’s Surly Pugsley Fat Tire bike was stolen on Monday from in front of his work at Mountain Hardwear in downtown Portland.

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As you can see from these pictures, the bike has insanely HUGE tires on it! Bigger than most people have ever seen on a bicycle. In fact, the Surly frame had to be built special for the big tires.

There is a reward for getting the bike back. So far what is known, is that a guy and girl who are known drug addicts were seen dragging it (the wheels were locked to the frame) looking to sell it cheap. Any further information is appreciated. 

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We Forgot Our Anniversary?

A funny thing happened last night, where I got an email from my mom in which she apologized for not having said “Happy Anniversary” the previous day.

I went; “What”?

A look at the calendar revealed that (heaven forbid) I had forgotten my very own first wedding anniversary! I kinda chuckled at that.

Later that night after putting Marinny-roo to bed, as Seth and I were lounging together on the couch, I sidled up to him and asked, “Do you know what happened yesterday?”

“No,” he responded, with a quizzical confused look on his face. “What happened yesterday?”

“We forgot our first anniversary!”

His frown deepened and he tilted his head a little. “Was that yesterday? I knew it was coming up, but I didn’t think it was so close!”

We just looked at each other for a minute, processing the fact that both of us indeed truly had forgotten the uniqueness of the previous day compared to all the other days on the calendar.

“At least we went out for drinks on our anniversary, even if we didn’t know it!” Seth happily volunteered.

“No, that was the night before. Yesterday we rode our bikes down to the rhododendron garden, remember? Drinks was the night before, when Calvin took Marin for that long walk.” I pointed out.

“Oh right. Well, I still had a fun with you yesterday.” He said as he kissed my forehead.

Maybe we don’t have our days straight and figured out. Maybe we don’t always remember to make one particular day more special than the others, but we have fun and enjoy each other’s company each and every day, loving and being loved. Neither of us minded having the other person forget our anniversary, but rather each found it quite funny.

It has been a good year of marriage, full of adventure. Thank you Sether!

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Oaks Bottom

A little down south and up river, is a patch of wilderness in the city. A marsh fills the middle, with all varieties of birds congregating along the edges among the rushes. A paved bike trail skirts along the river side while a gravel and dirt path meanders through the narrow band of forest between marsh and residential yards.

Here’s some pictures we took while walking through the park.

Seth and Marin balancing for a photo
Seth and Marin balancing for a photo
Scratching my head subconciously while concentrating hard on balance
Scratching my head subconsciously while concentrating hard on balance
Marin working on her trapeze skills at an early age
Marin working on her trapeze skills at an early age

At the south end of the park is a ball field with picnic tables and such. It was a good place to let the dog run around, and obviously it turned out to be a good place for Seth to catch a nap.

Chewing on cool metal to sooth the gums while Seth dozes in the sunshine
Chewing on cool metal to sooth the gums while Seth dozes in the sunshine
Making sure the little girl has a good view from her lofty seat
Making sure the little girl has a good view from her lofty seat