Archive for September, 2011

I can’t believe the time is already upon us for me and my friend Janel to depart off to Europe.  It’ll be our first trip to Europe for both of us and I’m sure it’ll be an absolute blast.

A short itinerary: (More details on travel here at TripIt.)

  • Depart Portland at 1:30pm 9/27.
  • Arrive into Europe through Amsterdam at 8:30am 9/28.
  • Depart Amsterdam at 11:30am and arrive into Munich at 1:30pm 9/28.
  • Enjoy the rest of the day getting settled into Munich at my friend Huy’s brother’s place.
  • Thursday morning, 9/29, head over to Oktoberfest early enough to enjoy the festivities and hopefully meet some wonderful people to let us share share table.
  • Spend most all of the day there.
  • Not sure what else Munich holds for us other than seeing some amazing castles and driving on the autobahn.
  • Depart by train to Paris on 10/2.
  • Arrive in Paris and stay with an awesome CouchSurfer.
  • Enjoy all that Paris can offer in just four nights.
  • Depart by plane to Dublin on 10/6.
  • Make it to Guinness for a tour and hopefully make it to Jameson.
  • Go on a south island tour of Ireland from 10/7-10/9.
  • Spend one last night pub crawling around Dublin. 10/9.
  • Depart to Portland on 10/10 at 12:30pm.
  • Get into Portland at 7:20pm.


What a trip it’ll be!  If you have any advice or things for us to see – leave a comment!!!

See you in two weeks!!!

This weekend was pretty awesome.  I accomplished two new adventures: I learned the basics of hang gliding in Corvallis, Oregon by a weird dude wearing cutoff jean shorts.  The next day I competed in the Warrior Dash at Horning’s Hideout in North Plains, Oregon.  Both of these events had there ups and downs (no pun intended).  I ended up doing everything this weekend with a messed up ankle too.  Not sure what I did, but I began icing my ankle on Thursday after it began to hurt and of course ignored the pain and still went running Saturday morning and didn’t stop really until later in the day on Sunday.  Oh well, it’ll grow back!  🙂

Hang Gliding in Corvallis

I bought my adventure getting into hang gliding through Groupon for around $49.  It was a pretty awesome deal to go fly through the air; too good to be true.  Well, my friend Leanne and I shortly found out that it was.

The class was around 3 hours and led by a guy who was wearing cutoff jean shorts (probably handmade); I’ll call him Mr. Cutoffs.

The initial lesson was two hours inside a hot hangar sitting in metal chairs, most of which was him not covering hang gliding itself but the history of aviation and his problem with people in the US.  He shared his disdain for Groupon and shared that we just weren’t committed to this due to our little funds spent.  Doesn’t make a lot of sense when it was his choice to use Groupon and he wouldn’t have any of our money if it wasn’t for Groupon either.  He was rude and continually mocked us; made the joy of hang gliding completely disappear.

After his two hour crappy lesson and his bitch-fest about Groupon and our lack to learn in America, we went and finally put suits and helmets on.  With the way things were going I was surprised to see us going to the hang glider and moving it to the field.  The field was a flat recently mowed grassy area of land near the hangar.  I realized shortly after that the ideal view I had of hang gliding wasn’t going to be happening.

We spent the next 30-45 minutes dealing with Mr. Cutoffs freaking out at us about not continuing to run while trying to get the hang glider up and him calling one of the students “stupid”.  Quite a mess, and definitely ruined my experience of hang gliding.

We finished this “hang gliding” experience by hauling the hang glider back to the hangar and then helped him out by taking the hang glider apart, which took around 30 minutes and gave us more of a chance to listen to him bitch.

Leanne and I left with a ruined experience which was later followed up by an email after his weak “apology”:

Thanks for the apology [Mr. Cutoffs].  I understand your passion – but keep in mind that if you want students to also be interested – sometimes you need to show them some respect.  You made a few of us today probably never want to consider hang gliding due to the way we were treated.  I understand safety measures, becoming a pilot and all, and though it is important, you could have shown that in a way that wasn’t so rough.

I also felt, due to the way you talked about groupons and other deals, that my money isn’t good enough for hang gliding through you.  You made it sound as though we were all cheap and weren’t really putting our all into this.  Well, for most that is right, we weren’t all planning on becoming students, but we were all interested in learning more about hang gliding.  Whether just to experience it or to actually start taking lessons.  You kept talking about people growing, well for most of us, experiencing something different, like hang gliding, is growing.  Not that we need to make it our new hobby.  We wanted to try something new out – that’s really it.

Keep that in mind for your next batch of “groupon” buyers wanting an experience.

I still enjoyed my class today and thank you for the opportunity to try this out.  I myself probably won’t continue due to my other hobbies (flying airplanes for example), however I hope others due.  You really do have quite a strong passion for the subject and I wish you the best with it.

Best regards,


I never got a follow up.  Overall, my experience of what hang gliding could be has changed, however, it is something I might consider doing years down the road with a “good” instructor.


An Amazing Time at Warrior Dash

Unlike the previous day, my Sunday was awesome.  I spent the morning icing my ankle and buying a brace and ibuprofen.  I rested for a while and then took off with my friends Cat, Grant, and Jay over to Horning’s Hideout for Warrior Dash.

We got checked in and took pictures.  We had a bit of time to waste before our 3pm obstacle course so we walked around a tad, made our way to the start, and got in the mass of people ready to run.

I didn’t know how well I would do because of my ankle, but I believe the adrenaline of running got into me because once the start happened, I just took off.  The dash began with a mile run going on flat at the beginning and rising in altitude a couple hundred feet.  This was followed with around ten obstacles spaced apart for the rest of the race.

The running on flat dirt didn’t bother me, the obstacles were all pretty easy (and fun), but the uphill running wasn’t gonna happen.  I ended up walking up most of the uphill areas.  Oh well though, I still did awesome finishing the course in 38 minutes and 55 seconds!  Pretty damn awesome since I had a bummed ankle!

I followed this up by getting my ankle wrapped at the medical tent and limping around with my friends to get clean, get a beer, and then later donate my shoes to the donation pile.

I had a blast with this race, and will definitely do something like it again soon.  However, I’m planning to get my foot the rest it needs in the mean time because I leave to Europe pretty soon and need to make sure I’m ready for it and not in pain!

Labor Day Whitewater Rafting

Just yesterday, I went with my friends Leanne, Gabe, and Huy whitewater rafting with River Drifters on the White Salmon river.  This trip was absolutely amazing.  Our guide, Ricky, was an experience rafter and we were glad to have him leading the way.

We rafted for right around 3 hours where we went over rapids up to class 5!  The class 5 we had the chance to go over was Husum Falls.  This waterfall is roughly ten feet and is quite risky but a ton of fun.  I’m glad our entire crew decided to stick with it and run the waterfall.  On top of going over a waterfall, we jumped off a cliff, we jumped off a bridge, and went through a dozen class 3/4 waterfalls.  Such an awesome experience.

I’m sad to report however that nobody fell out of the boat.  We only came close once even.  So hopefully next time I go rafting, we’ll get one or two to hopefully get knocked out!  Without that happening, just seems kinda mediocre.  Nah – it was amazing!

Below are some pictures that were taken before, during, and after our adventure.

Enjoy – and please leave a comment below!