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Trip to Coos Bay, Oregon

Last weekend, a work commitment placed Amy in Coos Bay, Oregon on Sunday afternoon. Since it's a decent seven hour drive, we decided to go together and make a weekend of it. Setting off on Friday evening, we stayed in Eugene overnight and continued further south on Saturday.

As we passed through Reedsport, OR we couldn't give up the opportunity to stop by the annual chainsaw carving festival.

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We camped overnight at Sunset Bay, a fine campground located a short walk from the ocean and plenty of opportunities to explore:

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Near Sunset Bay, Oregon

Overall it was a 900 mile round trip, more than seven hours each way for just a weekend, but overall well worth it.

Atop rocks at Sunset Bay

Coos Bay trip on Flickr

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Reading digest for 06/08/09 to 06/15/09

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GTs in Walla Walla

This weekend we headed out to Walla Walla in eastern Washington to celebrate the marriage of some friends. The ceremony and reception were in a great location and the evening suited them perfectly. A great occasion.

Some photos from my Walla Walla trip set on Flickr.

Around Walla Walla: Oakley_20090613_0053

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Civil War reenactment at Fort Walla Walla Oakley_20090613_0069

Walking on water at Sacajawea State Park Oakley_20090612_0123

Alas I didn't take many pictures of the wedding itself as there was too much other fun stuff happening. So here's a picture of me on a tractor instead. Andy's new ride

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It all comes down to communication

An old classic that I can never find this when I'm looking for it. Reposting here for posterity.

Project design and engineering, as applied to building a rope swing:

Project design

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Reading digest for 06/01/09 to 06/08/09

Interesting finds from around the web this week:

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More barefooting

After mentioning the Five Fingers yesterday, Thomas pointed out a fascinating article in the New York Magazine titled "You Walk Wrong: How we're wrecking our feet with every step we take".

Given my earlier concern around joints, this was particularly reassuring:

They had people walk in their walking shoes, then barefoot, and each time measured the stress on their knees. They found, to their surprise, that the impact on the knees was 12 percent less when people walked barefoot than it was when people wore the padded shoes.
As for the feet, they are a tiny bit bruised on the sole but gave no problems while running around the lake today. I am becoming a fan of the barefooting.
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Vibram Five Fingers KSO early review

vibram-fivefingers

The Vibram Five Fingers aren't just a little bit different. They're a lot different. I recently got the KSO ('keep stuff out') model and have been trying them out for hiking and a little running.

Serving the category of 'barefooting sports', they are lightweight (11 oz) and comprise a rubber sole with a fabric top (in the KSO case, covering the foot entirely). Each toe has its own pocket and the sole is flexible allowing independent movement of the toes and shaping of the foot arch. They have a small strap but I don't know that it's needed, the close fit keeps the footwear snug to the feet with a remarkable freedom of movement yet not chaffing.

The idea definitely appealed but I held a few reservations: will they rub against my feet, what happens when they get wet, how will they handle rocky ground, walking on hard surfaces like concrete, smell and maintenance. I've been pleasantly surprised. The fit is ideal, no complaints there, even when wet. Crossing rocky ground is a little interesting, you definitely feel everything although jumping onto small rocks is probably to be avoided. That said, the hike up to Rattlesnake Ledge today was easy and the lighter weight is definitely noticable on climbs. Concrete and other surfaces are a bit less forgiving and I would probably worry about my knees over time. So far, I haven't have enough time to comment on how the hold up over time.

They do look a bit silly. Amy will still walk with me wearing them (bonus) and while passers-by can be heard saying 'look at that guy's shoes', I am hoping they are doing so with envy.

It's still early days but I am enjoying them so far.  The best analogy I can think of so far is the difference between driving a car with manual transmission and an automatic. They require a little more concentration but the reward is in the feeling of more control, better balance and an overwhelming desire to climb things.

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Rattlesnake Lake

Rattlesnake Lake is a place I've heard several times but had never been to. There's free fishing across Washington this weekend and since this lake is only about 45 minutes out of Seattle, it seemed like a great place to spend a few hours.

Despite record high temperature in Seattle earlier this week (I think it broke ninety degrees), today was much more overcast with some heavy rain on the ride up. It was dry when we arrived, but hardly warm enough to be sitting around on the shore with a rod in hand, so we decided to hike up to Rattlesnake Ledge which overlooks the lake.

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It's a fairly easy hike up about 2 miles with several switchbacks and a fairly gentle grade through trees. The trail is well kept and while there were quite a lot of people enjoying it, it wasn't too busy.

Rattlesnake Lake

Rattlesnake Ledge lookout

We'll go back.

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