Saturday, November 22, 2014

Southern Oregon road trip, Pt.1: Visits and hikes

It's no secret (depending on the trip, anyway) that we've been flying a lot in the off-season.  While a typical spring or fall Hamilton weekend away can easily snowball into an overseas adventure, some of our summertime family trips happen right here in the U.S.

Earlier this year, Kathy began devising a plan that would involve:
  1. Rivaling my international trip-planning exploits with Kathy's domestic leanings.
  2. Our first ever road trip as the Hamilton Four, now including baby Levi.
  3. Visiting friends anywhere between Eugene and Roseburg.
  4. Using a Groupon for the Wildlife Safari in Winston.  Kathy will be sharing a blog post about the safari and those friend visits in a few days!

In exactly the same way as I plan for those international trips, our friends in southern Oregon were put on notice that we may be passing through.  Everyone who responded with interest to my messages/calls got penciled into our itinerary.  The only difference here in the U.S. was that Kathy handled all of the non-social logistics of the trip this time!  I just came along for the ride.

The drive down south

Working on connecting with friends, and getting started with stamping our McMenamin's "passport" in Eugene during the journey to the Umpqua Valley

Hiking and exploring the Umpqua Valley

The beauty of the Umpqua River

Fly fishing on the Umpqua River

Starting the evening rounds early in Roseburg

Lena's first time in a swimming pool!

Winding down in Roseburg's warmer waters

Kathy's been anxious to share about the following day in Winston, so she'll be our guest blogger for this upcoming week.  I'll start rounding up some safari photos for her in the meantime.

Bonus:  Kathy writing Part 2 will buy me some time to tackle my massive backlog of traveling and outdoor adventure posts!

Coming the week (afterThanksgiving...

Part 2- Kathy shares about the Wildlife Safari!

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Disconnected: A home without internet

For backpackers and travelers like our family (and many of you readers), getting by without internet is something we prepare for. Offline plans and supplies are essential when in the wilderness or overseas without data. We return messages and tweets when we return to civilization. And, as I'm doing right now, I write travelogues and such on my phone and post them to Blogspot later... usually to my other blog.

An unplanned internet outage in the midst of our daily life, however is a different story. Our internet router blew up last week just hours before I was to head out to lead two hikes near Mount Adams.

Last minute details were unfinished and unsent to our hiking group. Plus, there were (and are) time-sensitive ministry reports, student lessons, travel blog drafts, Kathy's post about our Southern Oregon visits, trip reports from previous hikes, and announcements for upcoming hikes (I prefer to post my NW Wilderness events at least half a week in advance) that remain stuck on my laptop.

Even for a First World problem, this is admittedly petty. An inconvenient disruption.

Our phones have data plans, and it's not like I can't bum WiFi from a local coffee shop to upload whatever I need. And though we're not big movie or TV watchers, eliminating the threat of Netflix streaming through our PS3 guarantees more time for playing, praying, and reading together as a family.
(Continued below)

A gratuitous pic of Levi and Lena from this morning:

One of my current reads, "Better Off: Flipping the Switch on Technology" by Eric Brende, is a thoughtful meditation on offline living. Highly recommended. This post is not that.

In fact, I'll sheepishly confess that I remain unrepentant in my embrace of technology. But I see it mainly as a tool to connect with people I care about and get us all outdoors, away from the internet.

And speaking about getting outdoors...