Tuesday, October 27, 2009

A Couple Of Eightballs

Hung out at Owl Farm from October 7-11 celebrating "port season" and fall colors.

Saw friend Kelly Tjaden (left, with Owsley), who was starting a part-time gig at High Camp, a nearby backcountry outpost adjacent to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness. As Kelly emerged from yet another wilderness excursion, we couldn't miss the opportunity for a "Dirty Face" pizza at Headwaters Inn near Lake Wenatchee.

The Headwaters Inn, a rustic bar located on a flood plain, is a popular watering hole adjacent to Lake Wenatchee State Park, Nason Creek and the Wenatchee River.

Kelly and I shot a couple of games of "stick" while we waited for our pizza. Though not very practiced, both of us are decent at pool. We each won one game when the other scratched on the final shot on the eightball, so we must not be as good as we think.

On Friday, Kelly went back to High Camp for the night while I cut firewood at Owl Farm. We have what amounts to a two-acre woodland -- in various stages of growth and decay -- that includes a variety of conifers, including douglas fir, lodgepole pine, ponderosa pine, western red cedar, western white pine, grand fir (also known as "white fir"), engelmann spruce and western hemlock.

My favorite firewood is lodgepole pine, followed by "doug fir." Both have good BTU values (British Thermal Units, a measurement of energy potential) and lodgepole is exceedingly aromatic.

As you might expect, we have slash piles to burn in the fall, and friends Roger Wallace, Chuck and Jackie Ferguson helped us burn a pile on Saturday while we listened to the UO Ducks play the UCLA Bruins on Saturday, October 10.

Afterward, we went down to our beach at the junction of the Wenatchee and Chiwawa (below) Rivers, followed by a potluck party at Dave Wiley's house across the Wenatchee River from Owl Farm, where we had the opportunity to visit with old friends Roger Ross, John Squadroni and many other local denizens of Plain.

Of course, a fall trip to the Wenatchee Valley is not complete without a stop at Prey's Fruit Barn in Leavenworth for some gravenstein and golden delicious apples on my way back to Oregon.

On Saturday, October 24, Rebecca and I traveled up I-5 to Seattle for the annual Duck-Husky football fracas. We left Eugene at 6:30 a.m. and arrived at the city limits of Seattle at 11 a.m., making pretty good time on an early Saturday morning. However, as soon as we hit Seattle the traffic slowed to a crawl. Good thing we left when we did, because after finding a parking space on the west side of the UW campus and hiking over the hill at Montlake, we arrived at Husky Stadium about two minutes before kick-off.

It was a good day for football, partly cloudy with many bright moments of warm sunshine. Looked to be about 10,000 Duck fans in attendance, a good showing. Trust me, decent weather is typically uncommon for this game in late October. Usually, it's wet and cold, with a stiff wind coming off Lake Washington.

The Huskies took a quick lead with a field goal and led at the end of the first quarter 3-0.

But in the second quarter, a Duck receiver blocked a Husky punt for a UO touchdown, and you could feel the air being sucked out of the stadium.

The collective group of some 57,000 Dawg fans grew quiet, and the rout was on. By halftime, the score was 15-6 with the Ducks on top.

In the third quarter, the Webfoots rattled off 21 straight points and -- for all intents and purposes -- the game was over. Seems like we were high-fiving all around every few minutes in the second half. Final score: Ducks 43, Dawgs 19.

After the game, Rebecca and I had a very pleasant walk through the University of Washington grounds, a beautiful campus with numerous classic buildings, on the way to our parking spot near University Avenue. 'Twas a beautiful fall day in Seattle.

And a great "Rock-tober" in the State of Washington.