Sunday, September 17, 2017

Maryhill Windwalk 2017

The last hurrah of our summer was a trip to Maryhill for the WindWalk race.
This event wasn't just a free-ride, but a sponsored race for all gravity sports.

After breaking his collar bone at the free ride in April on this same track, Eric was excited and scared, but determined to ride again.  

In April, we had to contend with strong wind.  No wind this time, just 107 degree heat!

The first day was only practice runs.  

Hannah and I enjoy taking pictures here.  It's a challenge!  The skaters are fast and lighting is constantly changing as you try to pan to get the shot.
Since Eric's very first time at Maryhill, Hannah has worn fairy wings so that her dad could pick her out in the crowd.  Now everyone knows her as @thatskatefairy.

Abbie hiked up with me.


We calculated Eric's speed to be about 40 mph!

Check this guy out... he is EATING!

And this guy is amazing.  He luges behind a skater filming them.  That doesn't sound sooo outrageous, but... he does it every run.  He must do the track two dozen times at least by day's end. 

This particular skater also takes pictures.  He was giving Hannah some tips and pointers.  I know Hannah really appreciated it instead of some who are rather tight-lipped about their settings and such.

The second day was mostly practice runs in the morning, but then in the afternoon were timed qualifying runs.  They had some technical glitches with calculating times so they said only the one run was necessary.  Eric felt really good about that run and wanted to end the day on that note.  All of the skaters who were racing in the Masters (over 40) or Grand Masters (over 50) felt the same way. After all day of skating, their felt like spaghetti.

We headed over to the Maryhill Museum of Art.  I love that a small town is home to some pretty spectacular art.  It didn't hurt that the museum had air conditioning!

Later that night we also went to see the Vietnam Traveling Memorial Wall.

. . . . .

Sometimes the kids take bubbles to blow.  Hannah has gotten some great shots that included a bubbles.

There is a lot of waiting involved.  It reminds me of Disneyland (before Fast Pass days).  Wait in line for an hour for 3 minutes of thrill.

The skaters are taken up the 2 . 3 mile track in a U-Haul truck (usually there are three full trucks). Then they head down in groups of 6-8.

Typically it starts with lugers, then in-line skaters, then longboarders, then gravity bikes and drift trikes.

When they've all made it to the bottom of the hill, they pile into the trucks to do it all over again. In the meantime, we wait too.  And this time... we waited and baked!   one - o - seven!

Hannah was trying to keep her camera in the shade of her hat.

but her camera was getting HOT.  There were moments when I felt like the scene in the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly when he is left out in the hot sun to find his way back.  I mean 107!  (But we do take a water bottle along so there is that.)

But while we wait... we take pictures. 😊

But, it's always worth the wait to get to see Eric do his thang.  He makes it look easy.  

Would you think he was 54?  How about 54 with polymyalgia rheumatica?  He's my hero!

Pardon the blur... he was going so fast!

Our little camp.
We played Uno and Crazy Eights.  We colored.  We ate.  We dripped sweat.  I'm not sure if I mentioned that is was 107? 😉

Sunday was race day.  The Grand Masters (there were seven!) raced early on and then once again later in the day.  The second race was supposed to be earlier, but one guy didn't hear the call for the truck. (he was in his air conditioned car) They had to wait for all the scheduled heats to race down before they would take him up in the U-Haul. (How nice of them to hold the race, but kind of awful for the other Masters who were all suited up and waiting, waiting, waiting.)
Anyway, I decided to stand at the finish line to catch a different vantage point for their second race.
It was crazy.  One guy fell, and then it was domino effect.  

At the previous corner, Eric had been given a yellow flag, so he slowed waaaaaay down.

But, that cost him.  The bummer was the flag wasn't necessary.  The corner watchers were kids from the local high school hired for the weekend.  Great for them, but not for the skaters.  Skaters need to be corner watchers, because they know when flags are necessary, but whatever.  We are very thankful he didn't crash!

We had a great time. Eric was happy with his skating.
Fires from Eastern Washington and also the Portland area made for a very smokey drive home.    

That's a wrap for this year's skating events.

- Carol

Thursday, September 14, 2017

Summer things


Usually this time of year, the trees are turning all sorts of crazy fall colors, but I think the extended hot temperatures here in the PNW have confused nature a bit.  Summer is beginning to fade though, and with that comes back to school and perhaps a more sane and methodical schedule (or one can hope, anyways).

Did you get to see the solar eclipse?  Wow!  That sounds like old news now, but it was a fun thing that happened this summer. 

We made plans with some friends to view it from their home since we have too many tall trees here.

another family joined the fun too.

an eclipse party of sorts

We had 93% eclipse at the peak.  It was a little eery, and everything seemed to have a purple haze about it.

. . . . . 

This summer we had vision therapy appointments for both Hannah and Mary Anne.
One day a week for 12 weeks.  Quite the commitment, but it seems to be paying off. Depth perception, eye teaming, and eye tracking are improving and even hand-eye coordination.  If you ever have a child that you think is just uncoordinated and can't catch a might think about having their eyes checked by a vision therapist (more than just a regular eye exam)

. . . . .

Gardeny stuff...
Our garden did much better this year.  Beginning with starts was a good choice.
We had a great green bean crop going.  We enjoyed fresh green beans for dinner several times... until a goat got into the garden. 😝

We have zucchini (but not too much) and lots of spaghetti squash.  I had hoped that our butternut squash plant would have yielded as the spaghetti squash did, but so far, only flowers.  😕

We still have lots of wood to cut into firewood, but we have LOTS done and that feels good to be prepared for the cold months.

. . . . .

We recently went to Maryhill for a skate race.  I'll blog about that next.

Hoping you are enjoying the last little bitof summer.
- Carol