Saturday, December 24, 2005
Friday, December 23, 2005
Ah.... Melancholy Bend
From the relative comfort of my new base camp I can look out the window and see Bend's beacon, Pilot Butte. It is still layered with the winter's accumulated snow, though the latest heavy rains have both stabilized and decimated the snow pack. Early winter in Bend has been harsh and cold. Returning home has admittedly dampened the energy I put into recalling my adventures. In addition, I have been having notably less grand adventures since committing myself to reconnecting with family and friends and establishing a base camp of sorts. Some genuinely great times have been had in Bend, but I have yet to capture those moments of film or in prose.
My little sister's garage has been transformed into a livable space. With an incredible amount of help from Michelle, and essential help from my sister Alyson, Scotty, Ally Marshall, Alok, and Harvey we created 130 square feet of warm, comfy space. Ten degree temps were the norm the last few weeks, and I have learned the important role fiberglass insulation plays in all our lives. Many thanks to the Habitat for Humanity Restore who kindly under-priced everything from the window to the carpet. Even more thanks should go to Terry Harvey, who's armchair construction and electrical advising helped me at every turn.
I have moved all of my gear out of dusty cold storage and filed it onto shelves and hooks. I have discovered my penchant for making everything in my life look like an REI. Its not that I have a particular liking for the interior design of the retail gear store. Maybe it's my surrogate shopping trip, since I've never had money for extravagant shopping trips if I set my room up like a store display I'll feel like I'm shopping anew before every trip. Another hypothesis I have is that I like to have my gear out and taunting me – I like the uncomfortably motivating guilty pang that you get when sharing an indoor space with a bunch of outdoor toys.
Its hard to motivate and write for IanOutThere when I'm not out there anymore. Being back in Bend has a fairly sedative effect on me but friendly and motivated Bend Natty's have gotten me out to play in the snow. Cross country skiing has made for some fun days and good exercise. Short cross country ski adventures with the Marshall sisters, Michelle, and also Scotty and Kendra have always been more fun than expected as I struggle to keep up on my skinned up telemark skiis. Chasing the sun for a day at Smith Rock with Michelle was a beautiful climbing day, but we unabashedly escaped as soon as we found ourselves in below freezing shade at 3:30. There's always another ski/snowmobile combo adventure that just happened or is in the works. The last one: I remember getting towed into a big kicker, boogie boarding through excellent snow behind a snowmobile, getting stuck in the powder, and Joey's pyrotechnics.
The sun in trying to break through the moist winter clouds just above the apex of Pilot Butte. The high desert is rebounding from the oppressive cold that seemed to hang around for weeks. And since my car broke down, at least I don't have to drive in the icy traffic jam known as Bend for a couple days. Things are looking up.