June 2020 Part II

Click here or on the photo above for the rest of the pictures

Father’s Day was nice. KrisDi gave me a bottle of whisky (a week early because she has a hard time enduring anticipation), on the day of they made me breakfast in bed with homemade country fried steak, eggs, bacon, and cafe granita (an iced coffee + booze + cream drink). She made a caramel pecan apple cheesecake pie at my request. The kids made cards, including this digital one with two sloths in a canoe under the moonlit night sky sharing a beer with a SIP Fest 2020 logo on the glass. They gave me two bottles of barrel aged maple syrup. Later that day we went to celebrate the same holiday with KrisDi’s dad Les, and had delicious Italian beef sandwiches. A few days later some delayed Heady Topper hot sauces arrived.

Our kids are done with school. They grew a lot (boy, girl). They spent a significant portion of their school year at home, locked away from their friends and a fully school-oriented environment with a designated teacher, instead trapped with grumpy, distracted adults with other obligations. Somehow I feel they still managed to learn stuff (although we’ve definitely had some problems and seen some regression in some areas).

For the three weekdays after school, they participated in an online theater thing with Kettleworks. They both practiced their parts and their singing and dancing and recorded them. It’s kind of amazing how the Aladdin experience clearly helped Chilkat; Chilkoot was pretty early in the learning and adjusting curve. But, it kept them occupied for a few hours during three of our work days. It did, of course, take planning and setup from the parents at an inopportune time, since they each needed to have two devices, snack, water, scripts, craft materials, be signed in and ready at 9 AM.

KrisDi had to dress up and physically go to work to meet a high muckity-muck. She says her colleagues followed imperfect pandemic procedures; everyone wore masks, but most people pulled them down to talk, for example. That was well over two weeks ago and KrisDi hasn’t had any symptoms, so that must have been ok.

Surfing the internet looking for places that are shipping beer due to the pandemic, I discovered Russian River was shipping, but only within California. So I shipped two cases of Pliny the Elder to my brother and told him to keep one as payment for shipping me the other. He labeled it as “artisanal vinegars” and also had his daughter put red footprints all over the box. His shipment to me was supposed to arrive on a Friday, which was fortuitous because I was hoping to take some camping with me the next day.

The UPS guy came to the door at 3:34 PM on Friday with one small package for KrisDi (Ring doorbell video shows this) and walked away. UPS’s website updated to say that they attempted to deliver my package but no one was there to receive it. Total bullshit, we were home all day. It’s a fucking pandemic! I waved at the driver when he was parked outside my house!

UPS customer service is total garbage and has never, ever, ever offered the slightest hint of assistance; nevertheless, KrisDi *ahem* encouraged me to try it. Fruitless, as anticipated. Shortly thereafter, my brother got a call from the driver. Secondhand paraphrase: “Uh, this box has really good beer in it. I mean, like really really good beer. And I don’t want it to go to waste. It can be picked up at <specific UPS location> anytime before 8 PM.”

That location actually closes at 6:00 PM. But the door was unlocked when I got there at 7:15. Even though the box had been opened and closed again, and someone wrote “requires ID, contains alcohol” on the box in marker, they gave me no shit and I was able to cool my case of Pliny overnight and put some in a cooler the next morning.

Which brings me to the next adventure, our extended-family camping trip to Cape Disappointment. We hadn’t been camping with E Dubs or P Dubs since July 2010. Before any of us had kids. Les and D had never been camping before.

On our way to the campsite, we stopped at Buoy Brewing in Astoria for lunch, our first dining out experience since March. I think they were limiting their occupancy to 20 people including staff; they had four standing tables set up (inside — they also had some outdoor seating); bathrooms were limited to one person at a time; plastic shields up in front of the ordering stand; no one allowed at the bar. Generally I felt they did a good job implementing and following reasonable safety measures. Buoy is known for their lagers and I have been mostly interested in IPAs and stouts and sours for the last 15 years or so, but I’ve recently started to pay attention to lagers again, and I really enjoyed theirs.

We were never all in the building at the same time. Once I got done eating, I went out and wandered for a while and took pictures of random flowers and bridges and buildings and stuff. After L&D finished, it was E Dubs’ clan’s turn; etc.

We got two really big sites next to each other. P Dubs and T Dog set up their tent on our site, E Dubs’ clan and L&D set up on the other site. At the end of last season, we noticed significant wear and tear on the bottom of our tent, and ordered a replacement. We used our new tent and let L&D borrow ours (which is ridiculous, because it’s way bigger than necessary for a family of four, let alone a couple). It kind of drizzled off and on that day. We did walk to the beach, planning just to look around, but the kids quickly decided to soak themselves and roll themselves around in the sand in their regular clothes. Luckily this campsite has free showers (actually has the nicest campground bathrooms I’ve seen).

Other than that, mostly we just had campfires and cooked (Kenyan Beef Samosas) and dealt with some light rain (and tried to find places to hang the kids’ soaked, filthy clothes).

The next morning, I woke up early (like I usually do), and wandered around with a camera. I witnessed a raccoon fight up near the top of a tree — I heard weird sounds and when I approached the area in the trees from which it was coming, I saw occasional little paws and a flash of a striped tail. I took a ton of pictures using humongous zoom lens, but it was pretty deep in the trees so I couldn’t get a clear line-of-sight. This is one of the very few pictures I got where you could see anything but blur or leaves.

After that, I walked down to the beach and wandered around. I saw a hawk slowly glide over me and found a view of one of the two nearby lighthouses (called the North Head Lighthouse).

During breakfast (inside out biscuits and gravy), three woodpeckers were looking for bugs near L&D’s campsite. Chilkoot and A Dubs biked around our loop over and over again (the perfect practice for Chilkoot to get to independent competence).

We went for a fairly long hike — about 5 miles round trip. We saw salmonberries and wild cucumbers and cormorants and a turkey vulture, as well as the other lighthouse (this one’s the Cape Disappointment Light).

Chilkoot griped the whole way, and on the way back proclaimed that his legs were broken. Until they found one of those stationary radar speed signs, when he, E Dubs, P Dubs, and D all took turns trying to get the highest speed. Chilkoot beat D, with 7 mph. Amazing he could do that with broken legs, right?

Next up was lunch (Punjabi samosas), and then another visit to the beach (this time we were prepared for water). I was beat from the hike so I didn’t last long on the beach, and went back to hang out at the campsite in my zero gravity chair. When they got cleaned off and dressed, the kids started climbing trees. Chilkoot helped with the fire, dinner was calzones,

I went back to the beach early the next morning. This time, I was pretty surprised to find an otter splashing along in the surf. Chilkat and I climbed some nearby rocks later. Chilkat managed to take decent pictures with the giant camera and the giant lens! Chilkat, I think jealous of the attention Chilkoot had been getting, borrowed Chilkoot’s bike and rode a few laps of her own, and once we got home she took her own bike for a spin.

Overall, it was a good camping trip, I enjoyed myself, we ate and drank well and there really wasn’t much strife.

Random stuff:

  • KrisDi ordered some Spicy Veggie Straws and the kids decided they liked them, despite the spice!
  • During SIP Fest, KrisDi drunkenly ordered some cheese online, which arrived and was delicious.
snaotheus

Posted by snaotheus

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wordsmith

Y’all have such an exciting life compared to mine. My June can be summed up as “did not get smothered in my sleep by blackberries.”

I am impressed both by Chilkat’s photo of you climbing rocks AND you climbing rocks. Got some nice raccoon and otter and so on shots, too. I’m a little surprised they were fighting in trees; I’ve more often seen that on the ground. It’s unpleasant. They have sharp teeth.

And WHY was the Pliny the Elder box open? How did the UPS guy know there was beer inside unless he opened it? Ah, well, at least he was nice enough to call so you could get it. (And thanks for sharing one. It was delicious.)

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