26 January 2010

Life on the 45th Parallel

Um, yeah. I realize I haven't posted in a while, but frankly I just didn't feel like posting. I've been tired, really busy, and honestly a bit down. But I'm doing better now and I've taken a few pictures that I thought I might share.

Portland sits just above the 45th parallel, which is exactly half-way between the North Pole and the Equator. This, of course, makes for lots of darkness in the late fall and early winter, and lots of light in the summer (can't wait!). Following are a few photos from my adventures straddling this imaginary line on the map...

New Year's Eve was a lot of fun ... we went to a huge 80's dance party, and the songs were accompanied by their videos on giant screens around the hall, which mostly I remembered from when MTV actually played music videos.

The capitol of Oregon is Salem, just south of the 45th parallel (what is that, a couple of "minutes" or what?). Anyway, that big gold statue on the top of the tower is, in fact, called "The Gold Man", and although he looks to be a reasonable height, I was informed that he actually stands 6 feet tall - at the knees! That is one big Gold Man.

The main hall of the capitol is decorated with beautiful murals depicting Oregon's history. I think this one is about Lewis & Clark ... I should probably know these things, eh?

We went skiing at a place called Hoodoo in the Cascades southeast of Salem, a couple of weekends after I first visited the capitol. This photo is taken mid-slope, and through the trees you can see Mt. Washington. Several mountains in the Cascades were named after Presidents - Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Adams, Mt. Washington - but we're pretty sure there was never a President named "Rainier" or "Hood".

Here I am, in my Bearcat colors, at the summit of the Hoodoo ski resort. Shortly after this picture was taken, I went down what was called an "easy" hill at approximately 5 mph because one side of it was a giant cliff that went right off the side of the mountain. Uh, no thanks!

It's been starting to get much lighter in the morning and afternoon lately, which is a relief for sure. I can't wait until it's light at 9 o'clock at night!

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