Tag Archives: Michele

Quick notes on IronMan Coeur d’Alene, mostly pictures.

Swimmer at CdA IronMan

We went, as I mentioned, to Coeur d’Alene to visit Wilma and also cheer friends in the IronMan. It was a perfect (though long) day for one. The water was cold as it always is (56 degrees, I heard from Wilma). It stayed sunny and mostly cool until around 3 or so, when it climbed to 85 degrees. Not much humidity at least.

Brian got some good shots of the “age groupers” getting into the water for the swim. We got up at 4:15 in the morning to head downtown to see this. Can I mention that I am 100% certain that I see 4:15 a.m. much more often from the other side of the night (just about to go to sleep rather than get up)? If the swim start were any less cool, not a chance I’d be able to make it to there.

First in the water are all of the Pro IronMan competitors (I don’t have any pictures of this – I was meeting an IronMan to hold his iPhone and end-of-night stuff). About 45 minutes later, the “Age Groupers” go into the water.

(Brian took all of these pictures as I was not entirely awake. Click on the images to make them larger. I have even larger versions of these on my computer, but I figured you didn’t want to wait for them to load.)

They start out all on the shore, waiting for the gun.
CdA IronMan Age-Groupers

Everyone stands when the national anthem is sung, and it’s so brilliantly early in the morning with the sun shining off the lake. And then the gun goes off and the first few people dive into the water. Chokes me up.
CdA IronMan swimmers

CdA IronMan swimmers

The amount of splashing you see increases:
CdA IronMan swimmers

It looks like a solid mass rather than lots and lots (over 2000) swimmers:
CdA IronMan swimmers

CdA IronMan swimmers

CdA IronMan swimmers

While watching this, you just see this solid mass moving through the water rather than individual swimmers. It seems like suddenly there is some mammoth creature swimming through the lake. Michele tells me that there are some people who want to be in the front when they dive in, and some people hang back so they aren’t in the middle. She tells me that it’s not uncommon to be kicked in the face, and people end up with broken jaws and bruises. Yow. They swim 2.4 miles, which takes about an hour and a half. The kayaks are in the water so the swimmers don’t get outside of the race course, which is marked by the buoys.

This year, most of the pictures we took were of the swim. Last year, we had a million and one pictures of the bike riders, but I was too busy cheering them on this year to snap shots. My hands were swollen for two days due to the amount of clapping! I couldn’t even get my ring off that night.

Other things that happened – our friend Dean was hit by a drunk driver on the bike ride portion of the IronMan. The man was on several drugs and had also been drinking. Despite a helmet that had been cracked in half and severe damage to his bike, Dean finished the last 35 miles of the ride and went on to complete the IronMan! I still think he should get an extra medal for that, I mean, who does that? Who gets into a bike-vs-car drunk-driving collision and then finishes an IronMan? (He’s alright, just bruised).

I got to see most of my friends finish (they all finished, it’s just remarkably hard to spot these athletes, man, it turns out they are quick!). We were out cheering people on and helping until almost 12:30 so it was a crazy long day. Very fun though, and worth doing if you are near one.

In which Dean and Michele come to Portland; we see more of the coast

View from Ecola Park.

View from Ecola Park.

Michele and Dean came for a visit. They were here for a few days and then drove to Coeur d’Alene to watch the Ironman.

Michele and Dean on Hwy 101, north of Cannon Beach.

Michele and Dean on Hwy 101, north of Cannon Beach.

While they were here, we headed to the northern part of the coast to drop them off for a bike ride. We got a late start, so they ended up only riding for a few hours, but they said it was a completely beautiful ride. They went over the passes on Hwy 101! They took the ride that I always say “wow, these are brave and crazy people to climb this mountain on a bike.”

Dean said the only really scary part was going through the tunnel, despite the fact that you can hit a button as you enter it that causes a light to flash and indicate “Bikes in the tunnel” “Bikes in the tunnel!” This is supposed to tell car drivers to go 30 mph, but I’ll be honest and say that this is the first time I noticed that I was supposed to go 30 when the light flashes, so someone might want to make that a little clearer. I wonder if I will ever be a person on a bike who sees a hill and says “Oh neat!” instead of “oh shit!”?

We picked them up just south of Tillamook and drove into Lincoln City just before sunset. We ended up eating at Fathoms and watching the sunset.

Lookign toward Cape Foulweather from our room at Inn at Otter Crest.

Lookign toward Cape Foulweather from our room at Inn at Otter Crest.

We stayed at Inn at Otter Crest again, which was alright. The restaurant is closed now, and it sounds like the hotel is undergoing a change of management. We stayed on the headland side, right up front. Very beautiful, and we had a few colonies of harbor seals in front of us, which were great to watch and listen to the next morning. We also watched the fog roll in and out as we waited for low tide.

Michele tidepooling.

Michele tidepooling.

Wandered down to the Devil’s Punchbowl tidepools, where we saw more hermit crabs than I’ve ever seen in a tidepool, and some spider crabs, and a ton of anemone. No urchins this time, although we did find bits of their tests. Given that urchins are often signs of an unhealthy tidal pool, that was great.

Michele, Brian and Dean inside the Devil's Punchbowl.

Michele, Brian and Dean inside the Devil's Punchbowl.

We wandered into the punchbowl during low tide (I’m so overly cautious about this due a number of people getting trapped there) and then up to Mo’s for some clam chowder, the reward of tidepoolers in Oregon. We saw some whales too – but I didn’t get a good enough look to identify. I’ll say greys, but I think they were smaller than that.

Finished up the day by going to the Oregon Aquarium and watching all the fish. They’ve raised the rates to $15/person, ouch! Maybe buying a membership again makes sense. We’ll see. I told Brian that maybe some marine biology or oceanography classes would be a nice birthday or Christmas present for me. I also think I should go volunteer at the Aquarium, it’d make me pretty happy. We’ll see, I’d have to pay for a hotel or camp, so that will have to wait until I have a job, and if I have a job, I’ll not have too much time to do it.

Then, off to Coeur d’Alene to watch the Ironman – I’ll post some pictures of that later. It was strange to be there without saying hello to Wilma, but fun to wander downtown.

Post weekend typing.

Let’s see, what have I been doing? Laying low mostly, I guess.

Tim came for a short visit – he flew on on Wednesday and flew out on Saturday. It was for an interview, which they rescheduled to a date after that once he was already here. He had a different one though, so maybe that’ll pan out. We took the bus over to Ground Kontrol the first night he was here. One of Brian’s friends was DJing and it was free play night (yay!) so I got to play any game that struck my fancy. It was a great night to be downtown, and we stayed pretty late and had to take a cab home.

Friday night, Brian, Tim and I headed out because I won tickets to Mississippi Studios to see Jonah, Caught in Motion and Tango Alpha Tango. I was stoked because I’ve really wanted to see Tango Alpha Tango, and also wanted to see Mississippi Studios (I had hoped to go the night Thao played there, but we were were too tired from driving back from San Francisco and had to pass).

Started the night at Por Que No for dinner and moved onto Amnesia for a beer or two before the show. Brian’s beer allergy is somewhat back and they don’t have liquor at Amnesia so we moved to Crow Bar. Hadn’t been there yet, and I have to say I really liked it. Brian and I will head back sometime soon.

Mississippi Studios is a great place to see music. It’s recently been renovated, and the lower area is for standing, and there’s an upstairs area that has theater seating and a row of chairs. Kinda reminded me of a more intimate High Noon Saloon. We were there early enough to get the first row upstairs so we sat there. In listening to myspace before the show, I really had though we were going to like Jonah best, but we all really loved Tango Alpha Tango. Brian shushed me at one point because I was talking more than he’d like – he wanted to listen to them. Neat. They are playing at the end of the month and I think I’m going to try to go to it.

Oh! And! I got to try the Grill Cheese bus. On the way home we swung by it and split a grilled cheese. Yum! They were closing for the night and it was only 12:30 so I hope they are doing better than that implies. I still want to go on a night where I am there just for them (but oh, the Bye and Bye’s siren call is hard for me to resist). Still, eating grilled cheese at a picnic table at night rocks, and if it’s raining, they have a bus you can sit in to eat your grilled cheese. Mmmm.

This week I’m doing a bunch of freelance, which I am going to try to get wrapped up before Dean and Michele get here on Friday night. All sorts of things to do then – the coast, and a hike or two, and just loving Portland.

Random unconnected bits

Interesting weekend so far.

I got an email about my father from one of his friends. So someone whom I’ve never met, tracked me down after 30 odd years after my father’s death, to let me know he has stuff for me. He mailed one of my father’s letters to me, which I’m super excited to get and read. He also told me some stories about my father I’ve never heard. He was my father’s flying partner in the Naval Academy.

He’s also going to make a DVD copy of a home movie that includes my dad. It will be first time I will see how my father held himself, and moved, if that makes any sense. I’m nervous about it, and very, very excited about it. I think Brian is just nervous about it (sometimes I take my parents’ deaths pretty hard, and it’s hard to know what will make me blue about them).

The internet is a wild place – turning up second cousins I didn’t know, who sent me whole branches of a family tree that I missed, letters from my great-grandmother and grandfather, my father’s flying partner, old prom dates, and dear friends I’ve lost for years prior.

Not related to that, Brian and I met my former babysitter (meaning someone who used to babysit me when I was six) for dinner and drinks last night. Discovered that we like the same beers, tv shows and have a lot in common. It was very fun, and hopefully we will do it again soon.

Tonight, we are taking it pretty easy (last night was a late night) and just making black bean and squash empanadas for dinner. Not sure what else we are going to do other than that. Maybe a video game, maybe a movie. My cousin had planned to come visit us today, so we’ve left it open, but had to back out due to the flooding in Washington.

Tomorrow we are going to Katie’s installation, which I am quite looking forward to seeing. We are going to follow that up with a show at Doug Fir, one that includes some of the members of the Portland Cello Project, super awesome.

Additionally today it is my friend Michele’s birthday, and I’m hoping she’s having an awesome time of it. And is not working at more than two of her jobs (I swear she’s the most engaged busy person I know – AND she trains for Ironmen competitions.). I’m thinking of her tonight, cheers, Michele!


I’ve been putting off writing in hopes that I’d find my camera cord – I have a bunch of pictures I want to put on this thing, but no way of getting them to my computer. Eventually I’ll figure out which box into which it was packed, along with my cabbie hat and then will post a backlog of things.

Went up to Mt Hood with Michele, Dean, Brian and Jess today. Michele did a run that was about six miles, straight up the mountain in mist and out-and-out rain. Through the snow too. If I ever had any doubts about what a strong person she is, this would clear them. She is definitely determined and fit and strong. Good for her :) Glad I got to be there to see it. Wish it had been a little warmer for her, but she did great either way.

I’ve been completely exhausted from moving / fighting the fever from the scratches I got. I’ve also been going to bed too late and getting up too early, which has made my days more lethargic than I’d like, and made me terribly disorganized (never a good thing socially, and not at all good when unpacking).

I cannot wait for the day that I never had to speak to my ex-landlady again. She is not a good person as far as I can tell, and I am certain she is going to try to pull something with the security deposit. I’m hopeful that she won’t – I took tons of pictures of how nasty and dirty the place was when I moved in (there was rotting chicken in the freezer, and bits of ham and chocolate under the stove, it was soooooo gross. The rugs smelled sooooo bad. Etc.) While I am still jobhunting, I definitely have time to go to court over this, and if we do that, we will go after the money she owes us from removing access to 1/3 of our house this spring. So I’m hopeful she is smart and returns our security deposit. We cleaned for well over 12 hours, including getting a steam cleaner for the carpets, the place shined and smelled good unlike when we moved into it.

However, today she had the gall to ask us if we stole the patio furniture – she said she looked at a listing from when she bought the house and saw them in it. SIGH. Luckily, I know where the listing pictures are, and grabbed them. The patio furniture in it is a completely different shape – it has benches and not chairs, and the table has Xs for legs, rather than four legs like ours. The only thing it shares is a similar color. It’s constantly like this with her. Brian and I bought material to make curtains from Bolt for the lower level (we spent a good amount too) and when we no longer had access to the lower level, I brought them upstairs thinking we could find a way to reuse them. She wasn’t too pleased by that – I can’t imagine why she thought we’d donate our curtains to her. I’m going to make some of them into a pretty skirt for myself and the rest into pillows I think.

So that’s what motivated me to write tonight – I felt like if I didn’t type up the silliness about the patio furniture I would just obsess about it all night which would be no good. So there. Back to other things and hopefully less worrying about stuff.