Cherry Cheesecake Ice Cream Pie

I gotta say this is a fantastic recipe. Probably one of my favorites. And probably Andy’s too.

IMG_1332

It’s not too difficult either just several steps. And you can leave the pie in the freezer for a delicious cold treat at the end (or beginning) of a long day. The recipe used strawberries as a topping but I chose cherries because I have so many. I was going to do 3 different toppings but ran out of energy.

Homemade Condiments

Recently I’ve been making my own condiments. It first started with making my Ranch Dressing. I grabbed one of those packets at the grocery store subbed out the mayo for yogurt and was on my way. The final result was a lighter more delicious salad dressing. Then I moved to a classic Caesar Dressing.

IMG_1321

I made the dressing with the traditional anchovies and yolks. It’s absolutely delicious. I did add 3 cloves of garlic instead of the one. But I love garlic.

Then I moved to mayonnaise. I whisked that concoction for over 12 minutes. The end result looked very close to what the Caesar Dressing looked like. But had a more pronounced lemon flavor instead of the garlic that the Caesar Dressing had. Both were delicious!

IMG_1323

Hamilton Mountain

The guidebook clearly spelled out where the trailhead was but for some reason, I couldn’t find it. I drove in circles and then went up one road and then another before I finally stopped the car and reread the description. I really made the whole thing much more difficult than it needed to be.

Hamilton Mountain is a beautiful hike that has everything you could want: flowers, waterfalls, and gorgeous views. Plus it isn’t that difficult of a hike and fairly close to Portland.

IMG_1267 IMG_1268 IMG_1270 IMG_1273 IMG_1274 IMG_1276 IMG_1277

Car Camping

In January of this year I reserved a camp spot for two nights on Timothy Lake. I was planning on running the first part (or most of it) of the Mt. Hood 50 course on Saturday and running 12-16 miles of the last part of the course on Sunday. However with my scaling back of racing, we still planned on going out there but I wasn’t going to be doing that much running.

We pulled into Pine Point campground several hours before the sunset. The campground was completely full and very noisy. It seemed like we had merely traded one noisy place for another. But we did camp there on Friday night.

IMG_1229

Several people say that this is Beargrass.

IMG_1232

Timothy Lake is very pretty.

On Saturday morning after several hours of Andy fishing and me puttering around, we made the decision to forgo our next night of camping and get the heck out of there. The campground was too noisy and this wasn’t the relaxing experience we both hoped for.

So we set out for Sisters, Oregon where we were confident that we could find another spot. Using a bit of gypsy magic and iPad know-how, our navigator (Andy) guided us down a narrow bumpy round where we eventually found an awesome (and free) spot by a river.

IMG_1233 IMG_1236 IMG_1237 IMG_1238

I finally got an opportunity to use the double hammock we bought in 2014. And it was as wonderful as I imagined it would be. There was only one other couple near us and they were gone most of the time we were there. Andy built a great fire which we roasted marshmallows over for our smores (better than I remember).

IMG_1239 IMG_1250 IMG_1247 IMG_1249

The only drawback was that the spot was very dusty. Both of us were filthy by the time we left as we didn’t bring bathing suits or towels (rivers and lakes in Oregon are freezing as they are fed by melting snow. Not a lot of opportunity for swimming).

Last Day of Moab

On my last day in Moab, my cousin and his wife took me out to the Colorado River. It was absolutely wonderful. It was warm enough outside that the cold river felt great even if it was a bit shocking in the beginning.

My cousin instructed me to push off really hard from the bank (to get in the stronger current of the river). I did not push off hard enough and ended up getting caught in a weird little whirlpool. My cousin and eventually his wife floated down the river while I tried for about 20 minutes or so to get myself out of the whirlpool. Finally I got out and met up with them.

IMG_1199

IMG_1203

So peaceful

Later that evening, we went for a hike on the slick rock which is indeed slick rock.

IMG_1207 IMG_1209 IMG_1211 IMG_1212 IMG_1213 IMG_1215 IMG_1218

I had such a great time in Moab due to the hospitality of my cousin and his wife. And Boston. Love that  little dog.

Moab Adventure Day 3

Having lived in Moab for almost a year and working for the Bureau of Land Management, my cousin was full of great suggestions for my visit. He considered visitor traffic at the national parks and weather to optimize the short amount of time I had to spend in Moab. And I must say, he did a fantastic job!

The first part of Day 3 of my Moab adventure was spent at Arches National Park while the end of the day we visited Canyonlands. Arches was my favorite of the two national parks. We hiked Delicate Arch which was challenging, fun and hot.

IMG_1133

Slick rock all around!

DCIM100GOPRO

So many visitors!

Delicate Arch

Delicate Arch

IMG_1135

Desert Selfie

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

IMG_1137

Sego Lily

Sego Lily – Utah’s State Flower

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

DCIM100GOPRO

While Arches has lots of hiking, Canyonlands is more of a driving and looking experience. It’s absolutely beautiful even if there are so many gnats.

Canyonlands

Canyonlands

DCIM100GOPRO

IMG_1164 IMG_1175

IMG_1189

I don’t like getting too close to the edge.

IMG_1176

IMG_1186

My cousin's wife makes a mean margarita

My cousin’s wife makes a mean margarita

I love this dog.

I love this dog.

Moab Adventure Day 1-2

IMG_1103

Being from Southern New Mexico, the desert has always felt like home. Don’t get me wrong. I love the Pacific Northwest with its drizzly damp weather and ever present greenery but the desert with its beautiful clear blue skies and quiet beauty just feels right.

The last time I was in Utah was about eighteen years ago when I moved from New Mexico to Oregon. I loved Monument Valley with it’s sandstone buttes and Zion even if it was pouring rain the entire time I was there. I’d been wanting to go back and visit for a long time but could never find the time.

Originally Amy was going to come with me but our trip was delayed by a few weeks due to my piriformis. With her trip to Belize, buying a new home, and her relay race in June, the delay meant she couldn’t join me.

So I set off by myself. The first day, I drove almost 13 hours and made it to Salt Lake City where I stayed at a KOA. The campground was great and featured a hot tub/pool, WiFi, showers,etc.

IMG_1097 IMG_1098

I wandered around the Salt Lake area the next day visiting the Great Salt Lake which honestly was a little disappointing.

DCIM100GOPRO

The Great Salt Lake

After that I drove the 3.5 hours to Moab arriving around 3pm.

DCIM100GOPRO

On the road to Moab

After eating, me, my cousin, and his wife all headed out for a beautiful sunset hike.

IMG_1106

IMG_1109

IMG_1130

I have so many photos of this hike. The scenario was so beautiful!

IMG_1128

IMG_1119

The little spec is me!

IMG_1115

It was amazing how the shadows shaped the landscape as the sun began to set. I could have stayed out there all night but would have been ill prepared for it. It was so beautiful. We started hiking back to the car as we had big plans for the next day!