Sunday, June 27, 2010

Three Days "Off".

We kept pretty busy on our three days between HCSC sessions. We rallied over to Hood River for a big day of R&R that was nonstop action.  JP was patient and polite with me when I dropped in on an old employer that has relocated to Hood River. Once he had taken that stroll down my memory lane I was happy to hit every store in town looking for two things. "AfterSun" cream and a windbreaker/shell. You see JP's winter weight shell is not only getting small but it's heavy. That combination of fit may or may not have contributed to his slight overexposure to the sun and wind of Mount Hood on our last day of the session. Probably the coat combined with an oblivious coach, an incredibly enthusiastic young snowboarder, the awesome Half-pipe, airbag-jump and lap park to result in JP's first seven twenties in the pipe... and a little sunburn. We found some aloe-gator green stuff pretty quick but the jacket was more elusive. While the girls swam and tanned between windsurfers and kite boarders we went up and down main street into every surf, skate, snow and windsports shop in the Columbia River Gorge. The important detail here is that he now has a sweet old school surfer's windbreaker by quicksilver and a less oblivious guardian who has harped on him to put on on his creams and neckies all day long everywhere he goes so this will never happen again. All kidding aside the youngest guy on the trip, JP has handled himself commendably. He wants to send Aloe-Gator the before and after pictures of his tan. He has competently pulled the legs of intense young women three years his senior, facebook-married one of the snowboarding nations toughest catches, kept up with Hunter Wood on his skateboard, hiked repeatedly with sms snowboardings's all-time female box-jump world record holder and not missed a meal or a wink of sleep, so far from home. So cool. Kevin and Donna you have prepared this young man well and he is having a great time.

But I digress. After our shopping romp we ate some great fish tacos with Mikey P and gathered up our women for swimmin.  I took directions from the Kayak-Shed to the legendary punch-bowl falls near the bottom of the west fork of the Hood River a few miles upstream of it's confluence with the east fork to become the main Hood. We found our destination and were not let down. Ice cold twelve foot waterfall into a deep pool. I eased in to check the depth under the launch pad. Sure enough it was cold. We all had a couple of good jumps and climbed back out of the canyon to drive back into Portland to pick up India. We saw a great waterfall draining a cliffside(and complete with its own rainbow) into the Columbia on the way and made PDX on time. India's Boardbag was of course diverted en route but happily United Airlines would deliver it to HCSC at 1 am (and did too.).

So the next morning we picked up the bag and India got her practice legs back. Mike and JP and I ( the boys) had a breakfast at Huck's and then we rendezvoused with the girls for some dryland. Mike went running and kept protective watch over Marian and Meghan who did a core workout and a walk. Makayla, Phoebe, JP and I headed out from the rte 26 on the Mirror lake Trailhead. We cranked out the loop and met Chris Tierney Senior out in the wilderness who happened to coming down from Tom Dick and Harry mtn. Might sound silly and made up but it is true. The girls swam again and the view of Mt Hood was spectacular. We lapped the lake and ran down most of the trail back to the van. Somehow, somewhere in the day we picked up some demo gear from Burton Snowboards, picked up India again and did a massive food shop. Marian and Meghan cooked us Hot-dogs and CT sr. had dropped off a flat of fresh berries.
This morning I picked up Karen at the Airport. New Haven has "little Italy", San Fran has "China Town", Dummerston has "little connecticut" and PDX  was like a "little Stratton Mountain" this morning. Skiers, freestylers, Tony Zazarro, Dylan, Ron Chiodi and company, Scott Horwath's crew...The airport was teeming with familiar faces, incoming sms student athletes and a fresh-back-from-Isreal-with-Dan-Landy, Josh Cohen. Great to see everybody. Karen and I waited for her board bag's slow materialization and went back to Rhododendren. Karen took the day to recover and the rest of the crew and I headed up to MT Hood for some Hiking into the OB. This has gotten far too long so I will be brief, the hike was beautiful and epic and we made an excellent choice when faced with crevasses. We stayed away by riding back down the easy way.  Maybe we will try the other side later in the week. Back to Govy for one more round of Huckleberries milk shakes and home. One more airport run for Kiley and special surprise visitor James Haffner. A great reunion trip back and one long break is over. I can't wait to get back to the grind of training.

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