• Make This Year a Great One

    In some ways I don't get New Year's. Why pick only one day out of the year to reflect on the past one and enthusiastically welcome in the next? These seem like valuable thoughts that would be useful most every day. Maybe I think about these things more than your average Earth-dweller. In any case, congratulations on surviving another trip around the sun. It will be 365.24 days before we reach this same position again (but who's counting?). That's enough time to write a book, get pretty good at just about anything, walk or ride your bike a long ways, or just eat way too many chocolates. Whatever you decide to do, as long as you do it with conviction, enthusiasm, and for the right reasons, is worth carrying your head high. Try not to let yourself get hung up on the bad stuff.

    Wheelie on the beach

    Last year had its ups and downs, but it was a pretty solid year for me overall. I like where I am, but I also know I've got a long ways to go. Here's to the next lap, and I hope it can be our best yet.

    Here are a few things I will be working towards:

    • Applying myself fully in school
      • Study during times between classes
      • Find peers to study with
      • Places besides the library
      • Office hours
    • Keeping a productive and healthy routine
      • Sleep optimal amount per night (between 7.5-9.5 hours?)
      • Consistent times for waking, eating, studying, cleaning, etc.
    • Creativity
      • Write a blog post weekly
      • Take photos weekly
    • Decluttering
      • Papers from previous years
      • Boxes at home
    • Connecting with new people
      • Study groups
      • Clubs
    • Training for the next cycling season
      • Make training plan in Jan.
      • Ride for fun every week
    • Limiting frivolous internet usage
    • Replying promptly and keeping in touch with people who matter to me

    If you want to be even more stoked for the future, then read these brief essays by adventure writer and all-around stand-up dude Brendan Leonard :

    Thanks to my dad for the awesome picture

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  • Recap Part Two: Summer

    I've neglected this blog for a few months now, and it seems a shame to ignore everything that's happened in the mean time. This is the second part in a two-part series playing catch-up.

    Rocky licking ducklings

    Coming from the harsh cold of the Midwest, Oregon spring is paradise. It was lovely to be reunited with my family and dogs and to have minimal obligations for several weeks. I spent that time working around the house, riding my bike, and relaxing as much as possible. I needed some time to get away from the intensity of college.

    The cutest picture ever taken

    My lovely sister had just hatched a batch of ducklings. We were having tons of fun playing with them and Rocky, our border collie, in the lawn and I got a few nice pictures of it. No ducklings were harmed in the process.

    Mountain bike leaning on old growth tree

    I also got the opportunity to spend some time in some very special places. Marys Peak, a 4000' mountain in the coast range, is home to my favorite trail and some of the most beautiful forest I have ever experienced. There is no way for pictures to do it justice. There's something very awe inspiring about being out in a relatively undisturbed old-growth forest. It feels like the trees have souls.

    Boone sitting on the edge of a bridge accross the Yaquina River

    Yaquina Falls is a remote, completely unmarked and mostly unkown spot that I had been trying to find for several years. The clues finally came together, and my friend Boone and I made the trek on a quiet Sunday in early June. It took some serious scrambling and bushwacking to make it to the falls. The scale of the falls surpassed any expectation I had. It is a truly magical spot.

    Upper Yaquina Falls

    I took my camera on a shot some video just for fun, but it ended up turning out well enough that I pieced together a short edit of the day. The music is by a friend of mine, the incredible Nevan Doyle.

    Alex and Dalton at the top of Marys Peak

    Alex and Dalton, friends from the Copper Country Cycling Club at Michigan Tech, dropped by for a couple of days on their two-month long mountain biking road trip. We made the trip up to Marys Peak, as well as a few of my other favorite local spots.

    Standing on top of Mt. McLoughlin

    My dad and I climbed Mt. McLoughlin in Southern Oregon. It's become a bit of a tradition for us to climb a new peak each summer.

    Mountain biking at Blackrock

    I put in a solid 1000 miles on my mountain bike, and made it out to some fun trails including these at the Blackrock Mountain Biking Area near Falls City, OR. Hopefully it was some decent prep for the collegiate racing season.

    Canoeing with my mom at Davis Lake

    The family (part of it, anyhow) even managed to get out on camping trip to Davis Lake for some canoeing and relaxation.

    Three Creeks Lake with Cascade peaks in the background

    As the summer was coming to a close, I managed to fit in a spontaneous 3 day backpacking trip in the wilderness east of Broken Top. It was a fantastic trip with great friends. The glacial lake was a nice swimming hole as well. (Photo evidence is coming as soon as I can get ahold of it.)

    The highest point on Tam McArthur Rim

    Broken Top

    The finale of my summer was a week-long canoe camping trip down the Willamette River. That story is more than deserving of its own post, so we'll see if it comes together.

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  • Recap Part One: Spring

    I've neglected this blog for a few months now, and it seems a shame to ignore everything that's happened in the mean time. This is the first part in a two-part series playing catch-up.

    Copper Country Cycling Club member Parker racing in the B's criterium

    In early April, I jumped on the opportunity to make a weekend trip south to Ripon, Wisconsin with some of my cycling clubmates to race road bikes and get away from the snow.

    Myself racing in the D's criterium

    It great to relax for a weekend and catch some sunshine. I somehow managed to come in 3rd in the D's (newbies) criterium, despite being the only person on a steel road bike with downtube shifters.

    Night picture of Bryan on top of mining ruins with the eclipse in the background

    A week or two later, a full lunar eclipse was predicted in the wee hours of the morning. My friend Bryan and I jumped at the chance and lucked out with a quick break in the clouds aligning perfectly with the event.

    The cabin surrounded by snow

    I finally managed to get out to the family cabin, despite the wet snow and my lack of snowshoes. Next year I plan to take advantage of it much more. It was in surprisingly good shape, but will need some sweeping and scrubbing inside. It's a perfect bike ride in the fall, assuming the weather holds.

    Two OVC members climbing over ice covered trees with a rushing spillway in the background

    My friend Helen convinced me to get involved in some OVC outings. A combination of rad people, adventure, and the natural wonders of the yoop coincided in the best way possible. No adventure is complete without the possibility of arrest by federal agents or death by icefall. As always, I wish I had gotten involved sooner.

    Stay tuned for part two.

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