Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Canyonlands - White Rim Trail

In June 2014 we joined Brooke and Darcy to ride the 100-mile White Rim Trail in Canyonlands National Park, with Andy, Reb and Huck driving the support vehicle.  It was stunning to drop (and climb) through millions of years of geology with each descent and climb.  Here are photos of our 4-day adventure.
Darcy and Brooke, who took the key step in getting permits!
Darcy tackled loading the rig.
The adventure begins (l-r): Darcy, Reb, Brooke, Gene, Andy, Meredith, and Huck

Gene and Brooke

Andy, support vehicle extraordinaire.

Here you can really see the white rim feature.

Stunning scenery!  What an amazing world.

Toy Gene in Brooke's hands.

Washer Woman rock formation

The riders: Darcy, Brooke, Gene, Meredith

Reb, before (or maybe after) a run!

The bugs were so bad on 2 of the nights that we ate inside a tent.

Yum.  Nothing like car camping!


Huck, age 4, rode 4 miles of the trail on his Strider.  Pretty awesome.

When he finally got tired, he climbed onto Gene and rode into the lunch break spot like a cape.

Shade, glorious shade.

Meredith in the palm of Gene's hand.

Gene and Darcy

Delicious flavor and scenery.

Reb and Huck, cutie pies.

After photo.  We did it!

We rallied 30 miles before noon on the last day in order to make it over to Slickrock...

Wow, that rock is sticky.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Bob's Red Mill

Love this company.
More function than feng shui,
our bulk supply of whole grains.
Anyone who visits our kitchen remarks on our bulk supply selection of Bob's Red Mill whole grains.  "It's like being in a bulk co op," says our neighbor.  The metal shelving and recycled white buckets provide easy access to our favorites: we eat oatmeal pretty much every day for breakfast (Gene likes dried fruit toppings; I prefer nuts and dried berries), regularly make 5-minute-a-day artisan bread (a shared pursuit and requested for most pot lucks), and often prepare an awesome 13-bean soup (Gene's forté) and lentil soup (my specialty, plus the soups go well with the bread).

To support our whole-grain habit, we head over to Bob's Red Mill Store in Milwaukie located just a few miles down the road from us a couple times a year and pick up some 25-lb bags of supplies. It's a really fun scene, has great products, and is even more fun to support since Bob turned the company over to all of its employees a few years ago.

Last fall, I had been hankering to take a tour of their manufacturing facility (just a mile down the street from their Store with tours offered every weekday), when serendipitously I attended Zenger Farm's annual fundraiser where Bob's Red Mill -- a huge supporter of Zenger Farm -- had offered a VIP tour as part of the auction.  I won the bid and get excited to go behind the scenes at the mill!  To prepare, I read Bob's inspiring book, "People Before Profit" by Ken Koopman, met with Executive Vice President of Sales and Marketing Dennis Gilliam and assembled a party of 9 friends interested in whole grain goodness. Last weekend all the planets aligned and we took our wonderful VIP behind-the-scenes tour.

Thank you so much to Dennis for your time on a rainy Saturday when you could have been paging through the NY Times, to Lori and Julie for behind-the-scenes cuing up, to my friends for joining me on this adventure (thanks Mitch for sharing your photos), and of course to Bob, whom I've met briefly at the store and admire from afar. For anyone interest in the well-being of the planet, be sure to keep your eyes open for OHSU's findings about maternal nutrition and wellness - fascinating stuff.

Dennis invited me to turn the corn sheller, a restored relic from days of old.  Famous hands have touched this piece of equipment so now I've joined the ranks!
This book is how it all began -- Bob's wife, Charlee, got into whole grains and nutrition, then Bob read this book and got inspired to try his hand at milling with his sons.
Meredith Sorensen and Dennis Gilliam connect over an antique quartz millstone.
We donned hair nets and went behind the scenes.
(Oh My Grain)
Friendly staff.
Surrounded by 300,000 square feet of whole grains.
This is one of their many bagging machines with the labels embedded into the film plastic.
Garbanzo bean flour, apparently very good for making crepes. Who knew?
Katie, Alexis, Meredith, Becky, Jonathan, Ethan, baby Amelia, Gusty, Mitch, Nancy, and Gene.
The good times continued to roll at a yummy lunch down the street at the BRM Store.
Parting shot: Looking forward to trying out the Irish Soda Bread mix.

Friday, March 7, 2014

Energy and Vitality

Energy.  That's what I'm noticing the beginning of this year.  Whether it's running through parks looking at the fresh buds pushing out on trees branches, creating collateral about anaerobic digestion and biogas through my work with Harvest Power, or connecting with family and friends in-between work trips, lately I have been keenly aware of the forces of nature pulsing through each of us and our environment.  A few energetic snapshots from January and February of this year…
Running through Tryon Life Park with triad-mates Hanisi and Katie
Tapping into Thug Kitchen's awesome spinach smoothie (thanks to amazing blender from Rachel) in Harvest Power pint glasses.  Yum!
Setting up Harvest's booth at the US Composting Council Conference
The Soren-Wald kiddos finding endless amusement with my luggage.

My mom pushing her ice boat out.

Aunt Sandy

Leigh and Me

It's such a cool landscape to be out on the ice.  This is in the middle of the Navesink River.

An ice boat has a flat bottom and is perched on runner planks with blades.  When the wind is blowing it goes so fast -- it's essentially sailing minus friction.
Yup, that's my mom.

Bill R and my dad rig up his boat.

Paddle Tennis Champion Sandy with Meredith, Alicia, Mark and Basil.  Such a fun, quick game!

Gotta squeeze in a walk on the beach.

Tony and his ball.


Mom's painting of Thomas and Hannah in Argentina.

Snowed in at B'sie's in Connecticut

Snowy feeding 
Boston prank, looked way cuter in real life.

The next generation abounds!  Oscar, Victor, and Anne in Somerville. 
Holy moley Harvest Power was named 50 Most Innovative Companies by Fast Company -- so cool!

Couldn't resist picking this up as a gift for a talented colleague.

Telly-ing with Sally outside of Eugene

A complete night o' fun with a Party Bus, Trampoline World,  and dancing with (clockwise) Gene, Johnny G, Becky B, Katie P, myself and Patty B.