Monday, December 28, 2009


(Julie and I enjoying a ski day at Mt. Hood Meadows.  The views where great and the sun was shining.)

I know that this post is super overdue, but life has been keeping me busy, sadly in mostly the wrong ways.  The big things lately is the fact that somehow I'm still sick:(  I'm really hoping I shake this thing sometime soon as my fitness goals keep getting pushed back.  The other big news is that the Next Adventure Paddlesports shop is again moving to a new location.  The real estate deal fell through on our current place and we are moving one block up the street.  We are closed this week, for 4 days, and moving EVERYTHING in that period of time.  It's going to be a long week!

I did get to go home for Thanksgiving this year and had a really great time catching up with all the family.  Pretty much everyone was there and it was really good to catch up with everyone back home.  Julie had grad school and couldn't make it back east for Thanksgiving, but is back east now for the Christmas/New Years break.  She is really enjoying her family time and is getting a fun little vacation in NY city with the family right now.

Between bouts of being sick, and while being sick, I've gotten out and played a bit.  I've gotten a few days in at the rock climbing gyms, two days of kayaking, one day of snowboarding, and four days of skiing.  The snow has been good up on Mt. Hood and I'm working hard on my skiing skills this year.  I'm excited to get out on my new skis, that I bought with my Christmas money from my parents, as soon as they arrive.

Julie has been really busy as well.  Her BIG job lately has been keeping up with the work and schedule of grad school.  She managed to get through her first semester with straight As!!!  She has been working hard and I'm so proud of her.  She has also been keeping up with her Crossfit twice a week, offseason dragon boating practice, and a few nights at the climbing gym in between everything else:)

Julie and I both want to wish everyone a happy and healthy holiday.  Please do keep in touch.

(I love taking photos from plane windows.  This shot was taken on the way back to PDX from MD after Thanksgiving.)

(The rivers have been low and/or frozen lately, but I did manage one really good day of boating.  This is my friend Luke boofing the waterfall on Hagen Creek.)

(This is the "old," only been in this space for 3 months, paddlesports center.  Expect some shots from the "new" paddlesports center in the next post.)

(Julie showing me her Christmas cheer by surprising me with this cool hand made tree decorated with cool things from around the house and my presents.  The lighting was really cool with candles, headlamps, and bike flashers!)

(I went for a ski trip in my own on Christmas day.  The bluebird skies and amazing views made for a great morning on the slopes.  Jana, a kayaking friend of mine, hosted an amazing dinner party that evening for "strays and orphans".  Overall a fun day, but I did miss the family.)

Friday, November 6, 2009

So Ill & Life Goes On

It's been a crazy time lately.  Basically I've been sick and not doing much in the way of physical activity. Those of you who know me well know that I'm grumpy when I'm not active.  I've also been really busy at work trying to get the new Paddlesports shop up and running.  Things are coming along and every day there are big improvements.  There have been a few shinning moments over the past three weeks and those can be seen in the photos below.  A 3 day trip up to Seattle with Julie for a fun little vacation was the highlight for sure.  We got to see and do a ton of stuff.  The highlight was probably dinner at Serious Pie, a gourmet wood fired pizza place.  This place is so good that it is probably one of my top 3 meals of all time!  Julie enjoyed the Pikes Place Market, good food, and nice hotels.  Julie has been CRAZY busy with grad school and she is wrapping up her first student teaching placement with the middle school english students.  She has also been keeping up with Crossfit and her Dragonboat training.  I think she is also enjoying her bike commute to school, even in the rain:)

I was also interviewed for a podcast by my good friend from DC Jeff Macintyre.  The interview was about the Outdoor Retailer Trade Show back in August and the state of the paddlesports industry.  Check it out at:

(My good Baltimore, Portland transplant, friend Andy Maser organized an event for the movement called River of Action.  I brought a trailer load of boats from Next Adventure for the event and ended up putting them all on the water, leaving me to shoot video and photos.  Julie is the long red boat at the top right of the "5".)

(Julie having fun at the Team Huge, dragonboat, wig party.)

(The PDXKayaker film fest this year was a huge event and something that Next Adventure puts on each year.)

(I ended up MCing the raffle at the end of the movie and distributing a ton of good shwag.)

(Julie hangin' with Punch & Judy at the Kennedy School, a cool cheap theater/bar/hotel/restaurant that was converted from an old public school in PDX.)

(Julie enjoying the fashion of PDX, wearing cute boots, and the fall leaves.  She secretly admits to enjoying the change of seasons, even though she wishes it was warm all the time.)
(Julie outside the Glass Museum in Tacoma, WA enjoying a break in the rainy weather.)

(Julie on in front of the Cistene wall full of Chulley glass sculptures in Tacoma.)

(Julie lounging at the Hotel Max in downtown Seattle, WA.  The hotel featured original works of art in every room and each hallway featured a single photographer, displaying the photos on each room's complete door surface.)

(I enjoyed the Museum of Flight at Boeing Field.  The museum had such cool things as a training replica of the science capsule on the International Space Station, an SR71 Blackbird, and the original Boeing factory (The Red Barn).  We also got to walk through the first jet powered Air Force 1 and the last in service Concord.)

(I'm actually happy in this photo:)  Julie and I went for a bike ride on Vashon Island and had to take the ferry with our bikes.  It was a really hilly beautiful ride in the countryside.  This is also probably your first peak at my new full carbon bike.)

(Julie enjoying a hot tea in her robe at the Pan Pacific Hotel in Seattle.  This place was all class and luxury!)

(Doug and Kurt from Next Adventure put on a great Halloween party.  I went as Abe Lincoln and Julie was looking good in a Masquerade Ball costume.  Our friend Catherine from HI was in town visiting and rocked a disco outfit.)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Work, Work, Surf, Work, Sick, Work, Run, Work, Sick...

There are no excuses for not keeping this up.  Life just seems to get in the way of documenting life.  A Skook video will happen, it just hasn't happened yet.  The big news is that the paddlesports dept, my dept, at Next Adventure has now moved into a separate building and will be run a bit more like a full service kayak specialty shop now, instead of a dept. within an outdoor store.  Between the new shop location, preseason order writing, events, and our big biannual sale I've been in the shop over 60 hrs. every week.  It is an exciting time, but there is a lot to get done and little time to do it.  The last few weeks I've been a bit of a mess as well with one of these flu viruses getting me quite good.  Today is actually day 5 of basically not leaving the apartment.  I'm feeling a touch better and will try to get a few hours in at work this afternoon.  Between work and being sick I haven't had much time to work out or recreate too much.  I've been to the coast a few times surf kayaking, which I'm really getting into, and I ran the Portland Marathon on Oct. 4th.  I managed a 3:50:05, a PR, while being sick.  Julie has also been crazy busy with grad school.  Between her classes and her student teaching she is busy most of the day and then she gets home and starts writing papers and lesson plans into the wee hours of the night.  She actually stays up as late as I do:)  She really enjoys school most days, but the piles of work get old fast and "busy" work is never fun, but always seems to be part of school.

(Next booth at the PDX Dragon Boat Races.)
(Julie's team doing quite well at the PDX race.)

(I taught Ross Island Kayak Tours every Sunday all summer and always seemed to have great students and amazing weather.  This was the last class of the summer with another perfect day.)

(This is a photo of my largest Skagen account at Washington Square Mall.  I've done merchandising for Skagen in HI and OR now and this month put in my resignation.  I just ran out of hours in the day to have a second job right now.)

(This is Cape Kiwanda in Pacific City, OR.  I had a fun little kayak surf session here and will be back sometime for sure.)

(This is the front of the new Next Adventure Paddlesports Center, during our big sale.)

(This is the inside of the shop during the sale, after having the building for only about 5 days!!!)

(We closed down a street outside the shop for our big sale and to help benefit the Surfrider Foundation and Portland Mountain Rescue.)

(I call this shot the "Tools of the Trade".  This is Indian Beach and my normal kayak surf beach.  This day was 9.5ft at 11 sec.)

(This shot gives you some perspective.  That paddler is Joe in a Fluid Element on the inside, smaller, break.  We both surfed the outside break for over an hour with some amazing rides.)

(Indian Beach, looking south, showing a serene this place is even with huge surf.)

(This shot is by:, a photographer that just happened to be out shooting the day I went sea kayak cave hopping with my boss, Deek, and a few amazing local sea kayakers. It was truly an amazing day out on the water and a very cool way to experience the Oregon coast.) 

Hopefully work will settle down for both Julie and I and we will get out and enjoy all that Oregon has to offer.  Ski season is upon us and I'm excited for the snow.  The rain has started to fall as well and the rivers and creeks will be back to paddleable levels soon.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Big (Very Late) Post

I know this post is very late and that a lot has happened since the last entry.  Life has been busy with trips, guests, and the busy time of year at work.  There are big things happening, all good, at Next Adventure and I'm working hard to grow the paddlesports dept. and try to have a good time along the way:)  At the end of July I spent a week in Salt Lake City at the Outdoor Retailer show as a buyer for Next.  I've now been to the show as a prospective distributor, distributor, job seeker, and now a buyer.  A total of 6 shows in 7 years.  The other big trip was a long weekend up in BC with Joe and Julie surfing the famous Skookumchuck Tidal Rapids.  It was a great trip and Joe and I had the wave to ourselves for two days.  I'll let the photos below do the talking about this trip:)  Julie and I have also had a lot of guests in town lately.  First Bobby "The Dogg" Miller came through town, an old paddling friend of mine and a member of the Fluid kayak team.  Then Justin and Sarah came threw for a few nights.  We even had a really fun kite/windsurf session in the Gorge with Justin, Julie, and myself.  Julie flew into Monterey, CA and drove up the coast with her friend Liz, from HI, for the past week.  I got Liz out rock climbing for her first time last night, as Julie was off to the Seattle Dragon Boat races.  Today her team qualified for worlds in Macau in 2010!  Life is busy and Julie and I are both working on our goals in life right now.  Julie is working hard to get her masters in teaching and I'm working hard to find my place in this world and get in shape.  My birthday gift to myself was a road bike.  I got a crazy deal on Ebay on a bike that is way nicer than I need, but really nice to have:)  I've just gotten it all set up and I'm already racking up the mileage and thinking about some endurance cycling events in the near future.
(I still teach a basic intro to kayaking class/tour almost every Sunday.  It is really great getting people out on the water and stoked about kayaking.  I do miss my whitewater teaching days.)
(Myself, Josh (the Confluence Rep.), and Deek (Next Adventure Owner/my boss), in the Confluence Watersports booth at OR.  It was a good show this year with lots of good buys.  Attendance was down, but the people that were there were doing business.)
(Ethan and the new Stohlquist rescue PFD.  I will have one shortly.  Riot also showed up with the new Ninja Surf kayak, another toy that I will have as soon as it is in production.)
(This shot of Mt. Hood was taken with a GoPro Wide Helmet Camera out the window of the plane on the return trip from Salt Lake City.  The skies where so clear you could see everything, including the forest fires in Eastern OR.)
(Bobby "The Dogg" Miller came out for a visit and had an action packed week kayaking and mountain biking.  I caught up with him for a run on the Truss and had a great time E.L.F. (extremely low flow) boating with the Dogg as usual.  Bobby styled the whole run, except Big Brother as seen in this shot.  Two runs and two times upside down in the cave at the bottom.  This is the first time I ever walked Big Brother, after running it more than 20 times, as my back was sore and the water was LOW.)
(Julie with her tutering student.  She is now done with her first semester of grad school and got straight A's!!!  She'll be back in school and starting student teaching in a week.)
(The middle of nowhere tiny little town, no gas station or traffic light, where you access the famous Skookumchuck Tidal Rapids.)
(Julie looking cute as usual.)
(Julie and I hangin' out while Joe surfs the wave as it builds.)
(Julie paddling one of my boats into the wave for me and enjoying all the tidal animals along the way.)
(Julie got these great shots while checking out all the tide pools around the rapids.)
(Julie enjoying a morning tea at the Back Eddy Marina where we camped.  Joe and I hiking into the wave totally loaded down with camera gear.  We left our boats in the woods near the wave each day.)
(Joe surfing the wave in his glass surf boat as the wave begins to form.  He stayed on the wave for about 45 minutes!)
(Joe and I had a blast tandem surfing as often as the wave would allow.)
(Joe filming with his Go Pro Helmet camera while I see how much water I can spray at the camera.)
(Joe got some silly air.  He even almost stuck a few clean initiated C-1 Helix.)
(Joe throwing the almost clean, just a fist, C-1 left air blunt.)
(Joe was carving so hard in his Mega Maurader!)
(Setting up for a big blunt in the Element.  This boat actually releases well for big blunts.)

(I did spend a little time in my Nemesis throwing some nasty air.  I prefer the long carvy rides in the Element all day long though.)
(With the tide racing at over 13 knots it was easy to launch huge ollies down the wave face, even in the Element.)
(Carving in a surf kayak on a fast steep wave is SO much fun!!!)
(Joe taking the "Tour" in the huge waves and whirlpools in the runout of the main surf wave.  I worked hard all weekend and never made the tour, voluntarily or otherwise.)
All photos taken by Julie and myself.  A sweet video from Skook is coming soon.  Stay well and please do keep in touch.  Peace........