Saturday, June 26, 2010

Rafting and Fishing

Today I did something I have never done before but have always wanted to do....I went rafting! Oregon is full of amazing rivers and lakes but it seems like I have spent little time doing activities on the water. When I heard that my Dad and brother were planning a trip I jumped on the bandwagon. The trip was originally described to me as a leisurely float down the river. We would get up around nine, be on the river by ten and float for a couple hours. As the trip got closer my brother informed me that, no, we would be meeting at Dads at 8 in the morning which meant I needed to be up by 6:30, on a Saturday no less. The thought of such an early morning on the weekend didn't sound so great but I really wanted to float down the river so I didn't back out. I am sure glad I didn't!

The day started out overcast.


We had a great time and although it was a long day I feel great. There are several things I learned about rafting:
1. It is a lot more work that I ever imagined.
2. Everything takes twice as long as I thought it would.
3. Rowing/maneuvering is impossible for me (Brother made me try rowing and I successfully rowed us from one bank to the other in under a minute but moved us no further down the river. He was mad and would not let me try any more).
4. The boat does not just float down the river all by itself. It takes someone skilled to navigate and control it with oars (thanks brother).
5. The Mohawk river is impossibly slow and there are NO rapids.

Good thing brother has muscles.

I was excited about the prospect of catching some fish and I had visions of bbq-ing some delicious fishes upon our return but alas nothing was biting. I have only fished like twice in my life but I didn't find it as hard as I remembered. I really was not into the live bait part though so brother had to get my hook ready for me.

My brother has a river raft and my Dad has a new pontoon boat he was anxious to try out on a river. I really liked his pontoon boat as it seemed like a perfect personal boat to zip around on. He had so many trinkets and gadgets all over it. Here he is taking a picture of me taking a picture of him. :)

See how cool his boat is!

Some spots were shallow which required jumping out and pulling/pushing the boats. Dad was able to do the Flintstones in his boat!

The whole trip was mellow and relaxed until we came to a downed tree blocking the river. Unfortunately there was no navigating through it and we soon realized we would have to carry the boats around the tree. Luckily it was in a spot that had very soft tall grass around it and even though it seemed impossible we carried/pushed the boats and gear around the blockage quickly. If the tree would have been somewhere near the many tall banks it would have been impossible.

The downed tree.

Hauling stuff around.

We made a huge dent in the grass!!!

Good thing it wasn't here!

I had my eyes peeled all day for some wildlife and was nearly giving up on seeing any animals (except for the adorable momma goose that nearly attacked by Dad for getting too close to her babies) when finally we saw a gorgeous deer. There was some debate as to whether this deer was a baby or not. My brother and I thought it was a year old fawn and my Dad insisted it was full grown. None the less she was very pretty.

We had planned to float all the way down to my Dads truck at Armatage park but unfortunately after 5 hours of floating we realized we needed to pull out early otherwise we would be rafting until midnight. Good thing my Mom and step dad were home because they came and drove my brother to his truck so we could get out of there.

We had so much fun that we agreed to take another trip at the beginning of August. Next time we will begin where we pulled out today. Next time we will most likely experience more rapids and actually make it into the McKenzie river. As for the rest of today I am going to hit the hay with my deliciously warm sunburn and wake up in the morning to piles of homework.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Finally Done!

Remember how my pals Sarah and Adam got married last month? Well I had planned to make them something plush because I figured of everyone I know they would appreciate something handmade the most. Sarah has an illustration of a merbear that she drew and I thought it would be fun to make her a merbear couple in plush. I began before the wedding and actually finished the "Adam" merbear before leaving for Maine but after returning I was bombarded with BeBe Baby orders and wasn't able to finish the "Sarah" merbear until this weekend. I just got back from delivering these fellas to Sarah and Adam so now I can share the pictures with the world!

A little bit about these merbears... They are made from fake fur, fleece, upholstery fabric, glass eyes, embroidery floss and wool felt. Their arms and heads are jointed with plastic joints so they can move their heads and arms. The boy merbear has a fleece crown and the girl has a fabric shell bikini top. I made them so that they can hang on the wall. I just realized I forgot to measure them but they are big....probably around 17-19 inches. The girl is a bit smaller than the boy.

One of the coolest features of these guys are their eyes. I had ordered glass eyes before but never this large and when I got them I realized that the backs needed to be painted. If I didn't paint them you could see the fabric through the glass and it didn't look good. I ended up painting the eyes first with a glitter paint and then with a complimentary color over the glitter once it dried. They came out so cool! Now I want to paint other eyes and try out different combinations of colors and techniques.

I don't know if I am going to make any more of these guys but they were totally fun to work on and I really was happy with how they came out. I hope Sarah and Adam enjoy them for a long time. :)