Thursday, July 31, 2008

2008 Lake Almanor Day 6

For the second day in a row, Jack, Morgan and Drew slept until about 9 a.m. While they were sleeping, I went for a run along the Eastern Shore. When I got back, Jack and I took off for the Lake Almanor Recreational Trail. This trail runs for 9.5 miles along the western shore. We ended up riding our bikes a total of 12 miles. From my perspective, this ride was more difficult than Monday; although it is paved, it was a rolling trail with lots of up and downs that were steeper than the Bizz Johnson Trail.

Back at the cabin, Bachman recruited me to play horseshoes against Robby and David. We ended up getting beat two games to one. Uncharacteristically, Bachman was not throwing horseshoes very well. Robby and David went on to beat all of the old dogs, getting more cocky and bold as the day wore on. Robby has claims to the horseshoe championship until next year.

After I lost at horseshoes, I spent some time lounging on the boat dock with Hunter, Debbie, Wallen, Tomasin and Snipes trying to solve the world's problems.

While Jack and Drew played on the waverunners, I made a quick run to Chester. Rather than doing a dinner by myself, I committed to make drinks and hors d'oeuvre while the Bob Wallen's made dinner. I made fuzzy navels using Tomasin's recipe as the before dinner drink and shrimp quesadilla as the hor d'oeuvre.

The dinner ended up being very late. Kyle and Mary Rose made a great pork tenderloin for dinner, but it was after 8:30 p.m. by the time it was done.

Tomasin and I ended up splitting a couple of games of cribbage before I wandered off to get Jack to bed.

Sunset over Lake Almanor


Hunter's Boat


Wednesday, July 30, 2008

2008 Lake Almanor Day 5

After a late night, everyone was very, very slow getting going in the morning. Jack actually slept until almost 9:00 a.m. With the Rich Bar fire only a few miles south of Lake Almanor, the day started out pretty smokey.

Eventually, Tomasin got a boat going. Jack and I went out with out on the Snipes boat with Snipes, Joy, Craig, Keith and Chris. Chris and Keith wakeboarded. Catching up with the Tomasin boat, Craig switched to that boat and wakeskated for five or six very long runs. Only Tomasin, Chris and Bachman were in that boat.

After Craig was done, I switched over to the Tomasin boat and wakeboarded. After figuring out how to get up on the wakeboard for the first time yesterday, I had two longer runs working on getting the feel for the board. I was very satisfied with the progress I have made over the last two days trying to learn to wakeboard. While I wakeboarded, the Snipes took Jack tubing.

By the time we got the boats back to the cabins, it was almost 2 p.m. Bachman was iching to play horseshoes. Bachman and I beat Drew and David two out of three games, but then lost to Tomasin and Hunter.

I took Jack on a long run on the waverunners. With Drew on the other waverunner, we spent some time shadowing the Tomasin boat and working at splashing each other.

The Snipes made fajitas for dinner. After dinner, we celebrated Craig's birthday with cake and ice cream.

Jack and I finished the evening playing a couple of games of cribbage on the picnic tables.

Jack and I playing Cribbage


Bachman and Gail at Plumas Pines


Tuesday, July 29, 2008

2008 Lake Almanor Day 4

Up fairly early, I ran 4.1 miles north along the lake. The Dorado Inn has internet connectivity and I spent an hour finishing up a work project that I had not gotten done last week.

With Tomasin's boat still in the shop, Tomasin and I went out on the Snipes boat with Drew, Jack and Mikey. Drew, Mikey and Tomasin all wakeboarded. One of my goals for his year was to get up on the wakeboard; I have traditionally slalom skied. I successfully got up on the wakeboard for the first time. I made four or five short runs trying to figure out how to control the board with mixed success.

After we got back, Jack, Drew and Morgan all spent some time on the waverunners.

The work on Tomasin's boat was done and he ran down to pick it up. In addition to having to replace the main belt, the shop replaced the C-pump. It had froze and destroyed the belt. I helped Tomasin get this boat back into the water. No week at Lake Almanor would be complete without boat problems.

A group of the kids including Mikey and Jack spent part of the afternoon playing Uno on the picnic tables. Jack and I played one game of cribbage and he beat me badly.

Bachman and Gail showed up. They rode their motorcycles up from the bay area. I do not think that I have seen Gail since Connor's Wedding in 2004.

Running low on supplies, Jack and I made a run to the grocery store in Chester in the late afternoon.

Hunter and Debbie made a late dinner of ham, corn on the cob and salad. There is a large fire in the Feather River Canyon north of Belden. The views of the smoke at sunset and the fire reflecting on the smoke after dark were more than a little disconcerting.

Traditionally, a group of us has gone to Plumas Pines across the lake after dinner one night during the week to play 21 aces. As the older kids have turned 21, the size of the group has grown in recent years. The group totalled 20 people this year! It was a late night. By the time we got everyone back via boats and cars, it was almost 1:00 a.m.

View of the Rich Bar Fire from Lake Almanor


Tomasin on the Wakeboard

Monday, July 28, 2008

2008 Lake Almanor Day 3

Drew and Morgan drove up very late Sunday night and got here about 1 a.m. Monday morning. When I woke up, I had a text message from Morgan saying that she would see us at 2 a.m., but they were no where to be seen. Given our spotty cell phone reception at the cabin, I drove up the road and tried to call both of their phones, but got no answer. Driving back to the Dorado Inn, I walked towards the end of the cabins and was relieved to find their car parked at the end. Drew and Morgan were both sound asleep on the couch in the Tomasin's cabin.

My plan for the day was to take Jack mountain biking on the Bizz Johnson Trail. While Sharon, Janie and Joy took off to run along the trail on the Western Shore of Lake Almanor, Jack and I took off for Susanville. After last year's multiple fiascoes of trying to rent bikes, we brought bikes with us this year. The eastern trailhead is located at old Susanville Depot. Jack and I rode a little over 5 miles up the trail to the two old railroad tunnels. It was a steady climb up the old railroad grade. This section is of the trail winds along the Susan River. The ride back went very fast; it was all downhill. In total, we covered about 10.5 miles.

After a quick lunch and stops at a couple of different waymarks, Jack and I headed back to the Dorado Inn.

Morgan, Drew, Sharon and Janie spent the early afternoon on the boat with the Snipes while we were winding our way back.

The rest of the afternoon was spent playing horseshoes. It has gotten more complicated in recent years. Drew, David, Robbie, Danny, Nathan and Adam are all in the mix in addition to Hunter, Snipes, Wallen, Tomasin and I.

Drew took Jack for a long ride on the waverunners.

Sharon and Janie took off about 4 p.m. and headed back towards Sacramento.

The Tomasins made a great burrito dinner.

The group finished the evening listening to an impromptu concert; Drew played the guitar and sang with Morgan around the picnic table.

Jack and Drew on the Waverunner


Kurt and David playing horseshoes


Mountain Biking on the Bizz Johnson Trail


Sunday, July 27, 2008

2008 Lake Almanor Day 2

Up fairly early, I had a nice run north from the Dorado Inn along the lake. Sharon and Janie's plan for the day was to hike in Lassen Park north of Chester. After they left for the day, Jack and I went down to the dock to try and catch the Tomasin or the Snipes boat heading out. We missed both of them by minutes.

I wandered back up and harrangued Hunter into taking Jack and I out to Tomasin. Catching up to Tomasin near the dam, his boat was dead in the water. The main engine belt had shredded. We spent some time with the Snipes, Hunters and Tomasins floating and swimming in the lake until we started towing the boat back to the dock.

As we were towing the boat back, Chabrier showed up. He took Jack and Mike on board and they ended up tubing with him while we dragged Tomasin's boat back to the dock.

After getting Tomasin's boat out of the water and back on the trailor, we loaded up everyone in the remaining boats and headed to Carol's for lunch. With the closing of the hamburger hut, this is one of the few places on the lake for lunch. With a group of more than 20 people, we had a long leisurely lunch.

On the way back from lunch, we stopped in the middle of the lake, floated and swam some more.

Back at the Dorado Inn, Jack and I took one of the waverunners out for a long run. It was one of those afternoon when the wind is picking up and Jack got a rough ride.

Sharon and Janie got back from their hike. They hiked 6 miles to the top of Mount Harkness and visited the ranger and the outlook station at the top. This is the same hike that they did last year.

We finished the evening with the Wallen making a late dinner of tri-tip, salad and pasta.

The Snipes

Saturday, July 26, 2008

2008 Lake Almanor Day 1

Every year for 21 years I have gone to the Dorado Inn at Lake Almanor for a week.

This year started off a little different. Wallen's dad died in early July. There was a private burial while Jack and I were at Cub Scout Camp. They had a public celebration today in Redding.

Jack and I scrambled to get ready for the week at Almanor and get to Redding in time for the 1 p.m. service. We attended the celebration. Jim did a very nice job talking about his dad. In addition, about a half a dozen other people got up and shared their rememberances. Afterwards, there was a reception in the social hall at the church. One of the sister-in-laws put together a very nice slide show of Dr. Wallen's life.

From there we took off for Lake Almanor. We got to the Dorado Inn about 5:30 p.m. Sharon and Janie wound their way through Chico and got there about 30 minutes after we did. Kurt, Joy, Craig, Keith, a friend of Keith's, Bobby, Debbie, Robbie, Robbie's girl friend, Danny, Loren and Morgan were already there when we showed up.

The Snipes had gotten there about noon and rented a boat. Kurt was lamenting the fact that no one else was there to play with the rest of the afternoon until Bobby showed up just before we did.

We had the traditional first night pizza dinner at the Buffalo Chips in Westwood.

By the time we got back from dinner, Wallen, Jill, Nate, Becky, Bob, Suzette, Jenny and C.J. had rolled in.

I am looking forward to a week on the lake.

Friday, July 25, 2008

Trying to get ready for Almanor 2008

With a busy couple of weeks at work, we have been trying to get organized to take off for a week at the Dorado Inn at Lake Almanor. Every year for the last 21 years, we have spent a week with six families on the lake.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wine Tasting

With Liz back from almost six months in Spain, she and Sharon went wine tasting in Napa. They had a one hour tour at Opus One and stopped at Hall St. Helena, Charles Krug and Robert Sinskey Vineyards.

MacKinnon Apartments

This is another historic building Jack and I wandered by while exploring Juneau.

In 1926, the Alaskan pioneer MacKinnons built the apartment house located at Third and Franklin. It was billed as “Juneau’s first modern apartment house.” It was enlarged during the 1960’s and is presently being remodeled once again. The MacKinnons resided at the MacKinnon Apartments until their deaths.

MacKinnon Apartments
National Register of Historic Places #2000000144
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This historic place is located at 202 6th Street in the city of Juneau in the county of Juneau, Alaska. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 58° 18.113 W 134° 24.481.

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Tuesday, July 22, 2008

California Historical Landmark #687

On my way to meet Tomasin, Connor, Moore and Lindsay in Healdsburg, I made a quick stop in Calistoga.

Napa Valley Railroad Depot, Calistoga
California State Historical Landmark #687

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This landmark is located at 1458 Lincoln Avenue, Calistoga, California. There are 16 other California State Historical Landmarks in Napa County. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 38° 34.792 W 122° 34.697.

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The Napa Valley Railroad depot, now the Southern Pacific depot, was built in 1868. Its roundhouse across Lincoln Avenue is gone. On its first trip, this railroad brought people to Calistoga for the elaborate opening of Brannan's summer resort in October 1868.

Built by Sam Brannan for the Napa Valley Railroad in 1868 one year before the completion of the transcontinental railoard. second oldest remaining railroad station in California. Northern Terminous of the Napa Valley Railroad and its successsors, the Napa Valley branches of the Central Pacific Railroad and the Southern Pacific Railroad.

Monday, July 21, 2008

E. Robert "Bob" Wallen

REDDING - E. Robert "Bob" Wallen, MD of Palo Cedro passed away shortly before midnight on July 30, 2008 at Shasta Regional Medical Center after a long and courageous battle against heart disease. He was surrounded by the family he loved throughout the final days of his journey.

Born in San Francisco on November 19, 1919, Bob arrived at the family home on 18th Avenue by horse-drawn carriage. Always an avid outdoorsman, he spent much of his youth at his uncle's farm in the Suisun Valley near Vacaville. He particularly cherished his time at the family cabin in Whispering Pines in the Cobb Mountain Valley area of Lake County. Bob was active in Boy Scouts and earned his Eagle Scout designation in 1935. He was educated in the Bay Area at Lowell High School (Class of '36), the University of California, Berkeley and the University of San Francisco (Class of '40). After college, Dr. Wallen went east where he attended St. Louis University Medical School, graduating on his 24th birthday with the Class of 1943. He entered the US Army immediately after graduation where he served in the Army Medical Corps in the Pacific Theatre. He was discharged from active duty in 1947 with the rank of Captain. He was very proud of his service and carried a profound respect for his fellow veterans of the period.

While serving two surgical residencies in Los Angeles he met the love of his life, Elizabeth Bird, a recently minted surgical Nurse at St. Vincent's Hospital. The two married on September 22, 1951. They began their family in 1952 with the arrival of the first of six children. Bob had numerous hobbies including: hunting, photography, piano, stamps, model trains and gun collecting. He especially enjoyed recording his own music at home. The family photography albums and musical CDs he made will be cherished by the family for many years to come.

He and Betty opened his private practice together shortly after their wedding. Between 1952 and 1971, Dr. Wallen maintained a surgical practice in Los Angeles while also serving as an instructor in Proctology at USC Medical School. In 1971, the family left the Los Angeles area and moved to Redding where he joined the surgical staff of Shasta General Hospital and subsequently served as surgical staff chief from 1981-1987. Dr. Wallen remained active in the local medical community right up until the time of his death, working as a consultant for both Shasta Community Health Care and the State of California Department of Rehabilitation.

Bob is survived by Betty, his bride of 57 years, and six children: Bob (Paradise, CA), John (Bremerton, WA), Jim (San Franciso, CA), Jean (Reno, NV), Elizabeth (Berkeley, CA) and Bill (Redding, CA). He also leaves 12 grandchildren and countless friends from around the country. Bob will be missed for his ready smile, quick wit and his marvelous ways on the piano.

Private funeral services for the family were held on July 7, 2008 in Whispering Pines, CA with burial at the Glenbrook Cemetery in his beloved Cobb Valley along side his oldest and dearest friend, Don Strickler. A public celebration of Dr. Wallen's life will be held at 1 p.m. on Saturday July 26, 2008 at Our Lady of Mercy Catholic Church Shasta View Drive in Redding with a reception to follow in the Social Hall. The family extends an invitation to all of Bob's friends and colleagues to share their memories and anecdotes at this service.

Published in the Redding Record Searchlight on 7/19/2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Fall Ball

In May, Jack had tried out for a U9 traveling all-star baseball team. He ended up getting an offer to play on the team, but could not because of our June vacation plans.

In early July, I got an e-mail from one of the coaches asking if Jack would be interested in playing on a tournament team during the fall and winter. I had also talked to the Cunningham's in June about Jack and Cole playing on a fall ball team with the assistant coach from u9 team.

Although I still have some mixed emotions, we ended up signing Jack up to play in a late summer and fall baseball league. Last year, Jack played flag football in the fall. Tomasin, Moore and I debated whether Jack should play fall ball or flag football on Friday night.

The first practice was this morning. Although Jack was less than enthusiastic about going, he had a great time. Given that he has not picked up a ball or a bat since early June, I was amazed at how well he did.

Lexus RX400h Day 21

I got 25.6 miles per gallon on the third tank of gas in the Lexus RX400h (374 miles on 14.60 gallons). This included quite a bit of freeway driving on the trip to Healdsburg and back. I am averaging 25.7 miles per gallon since I bought the vehicle.

In the first three tanks of gas, I have saved about $106 compared to our old Explorer. In a 100,000 miles of driving that would translate into $10,600 at current gas prices.

Jack and Morgan

Jack and Morgan, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - Tristan Prettyman

The list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Bocce Ball and Swimming

We spent the afternoon at Tom's house playing bocce ball and swimming in the pool.

Sharon, Jack, Janie and I finished the evening with a light dinner at the Zinfandel Grill.

Playing Bocce Ball

Playing Bocce Ball, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Tomasin, Moore, Connor and Lindsay

When Wallen and I were in Phoenix for Spring Training, Moore mentioned that he was going to be in Northern California for a bike ride in July. Over the last couple of weeks, we coordinated a meet-up in Healdsburg.

I drove over Friday afternoon to John & Zeke's Bar and Grill in downtown Healdsburg. Although Connor was already there, I walked right by him. Tomasin showed up shortly after I got there. Moore, Lindsay and two other friends of Lindsay's eventually showed up.

For dinner, we joined several of the wives and a couple of the kids at the Healdsburg Bar & Grill. I would rate this as one of the worst meals that I have ever had. I had a small pizza that was essentially inedible.

After dinner, we headed back to John & Zeke's and finished the night playing some pool. I ended up crashing at Tomsin's in Windsor.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Lexus RX400h Day 18

I got 26.0 miles per gallon on the second tank of gas in the Lexus RX400h (352 miles on 13.54 gallons). The vehicle is rated at 24 mpg on the highway and 26 in the city. In the first two tanks of gas, I have saved about $70 compared to our old Explorer.

I continue to be very pleased with the vehicle. The built-in bluetooth connectivity to the phone works extremely well. I have stopped using my Jawbone headset in the car and just use the built-in microphone and speakers. The microphone is located above the rearview mirror. With the new California law, this is convenient. Although I am fond of my Garmin Nuvi 660, the built-in GPS works very well. I will have a chance to use it on a short trip this weekend.

The one odd thing is the lack of a range indicator. I am used to driving a vehicle that estimates how many miles are left until the tank is empty. Although the RX400h has a lot of features, this indicator seems to be lacking.

Upper Savage River Cabin No. 30

When we took the Natural History Tour in Denali, one of the stops was Savage Cabin. Built by road crews in 1925-1926, Savage Cabin was actually two cabins built facing each other, connected by a common roof. It was orginally built about a mile soutwest of here and served as a cookhouse for road workers in summer, and as a ranger patrol station in winter.

In 1940, the park separated the two cabins and moved them to a more protected location. The right side was reassembled. The other was eventually used for firewood.

Upper Savage River Cabin No. 30
National Register of Historic Places #1986003205
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This historic place is located near the Savage River at Mile 12.9, north of the park road, Denali National Park & Preserve in the county of Yukon-Koyukuk, Alaska. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 63° 43.128 W 149° 15.660.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2008

2008 Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp

For what I think is the sixth year in a row, Drew is working for two weeks at the Sugarloaf Fine Arts Camp. Kaylen came back from New York for two weeks and is also working at the camp. Morgan will be working there next week as an accompanist. [Picure of Drew, Kaylen and Morgan from New York in May!}.

Who's standing out in summer-league play?

ESPN - Rookie Watch: Who's standing out in summer-league play? - NBA
Jason Thompson, Kings -If he had gone to a big-name college, he'd be a household name already. He has a nice combination of skill sets, body and hustle. It looks like he'll be a 4 for the Kings, but he has some small forward skills, too.

Sean Singletary, Kings - One of the better point guard performances I've seen this summer. He's got speed and handle to get wherever he wants, but unlike most PGs trying to make a statement in the summer, he always looked for a teammate first.

Monday, July 14, 2008


With the heat and the bad air quality the last couple of weeks, I have been running a lot on the treadmill. I watched the last half of Unforgiven in HD on the AppleTV. The American Film Institute ranks Unforgiven as one of the top ten Westerns.

Boulder Creek Redwood Historical Hike

Last Tuesday, I hiked the Boulder Creek Redwood Historical Hike. I had a hard time keeping a GPS lock on my Garmin 201 as we climbed up the east side of Mt. Radin on the way out. Two partial maps of the hike are shown below. The 201 is really not made for packbacking and hiking; I am probably going to look into getting a Garmin Colorado 400t to use when we are hiking.

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

American River Trail Bike Ride

Sharon and Marlene rode 25 miles on the American River Trail on Sunday morning.

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click on the image for a larger version!

Octopus at the Nugget

Octopus at the Nugget, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Boulder Creek Nature Trail Hike

Using data from the Garmin 201, I built the google map, topo map, elevation graph and rotated views in Google Earth of the Boulder Creek Nature Trail Hike that Jack and I did on Monday.

View Larger Map

click on any of the following images for a larger version!

In the right center of the image shown above is Mount Radin. The Redwood Historical Trail Hike that I took on Tuesday runs up the canyon to the left of Mount Radin and over the ridge into the next valley.

Sharon and Jack's Day Out

Sharon took Jack, Eric and Kevin golfing at the Campus Commons Golf Course. Afterwards, She and Jack went to see The Sound of Music at the Music Circus.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Lunch with Larkin and Udell

Larkin, Norma Udell and I met for lunch at the Beach Hut Deli in Folsom. The three of us worked together for farm credit from 1987 to 1998.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Dr. Ernest Wallen

Wallen's Dad died last week. He was buried in a private service in Lake County on Monday, July 7.
Dr. Ernest "Bob" R. Wallen, 88, of Palo Cedro died July 1 at Shasta Regional Medical Center in Redding. Arrangements are pending at Allen & Dahl Funeral Chapel in Palo Cedro.

Published in the Redding Record Searchlight on 7/9/2008.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Boulder Creek Scout Reservation Day 4

Jack and I have rode to camp with Phil and Tim. Phil wanted to get back early to attend a Rotary lunch. As result, I got up about 6:00 a.m. and started to pack up the camp. By about 7:20 a.m., we had everything packed in the truck and started for home.

The boys actually fell back asleep once we got on the road. We had a quick stop for some breakfast and coffee in Livermore and were back in Elk Grove about 10:20 a.m.

A couple of closing observations. I was very pleased with the staff. I am not sure that I have ever been to camp either as a kid or an adult where was the staff was consistently enthusiastic. The schedule was also very full; they kept the boys much busier than last year at Camp Lassen.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Boulder Creek Scout Reservation Day 3

The boys were slow getting up. Jack commented that when he went to sleep on Monday night in the tent I was still up and when he woke up on Tuesday morning I was already up and gone. I bought a backpacking stove (Jetboil) and was getting up in the morning to make coffee and read my book while the camp was still quiet.

After Morning Colors and breakfast, Jack and the rest of the pack headed to their first session which included a short nature walk.

During Evening Colors the previous night, they announced that they were going to have an adult only redwood historical trail hike. Covering three and a half miles, the hike has 18 stations that weave the story of early California logging history. It included how early loggers cut, transported and milled the large redwood trees. The trail traveled by old logging sites, an old mill site, log slides and oxen bridges. I spent most of the morning on this hike. This hike wrapped around Mt. Radin and dropped into another valley behind the main camp. I had hoped to have a GPS plot of this hike, but much of the trail was in a steep, heavily wooded canyon and I was not able to keep a GPS lock on my Garmin 205.

By the time I got back to camp, Jack et al were in a Scoutcraft session. They worked on their map and compass skills. One of the camp staff people running this activity was a girl from the Czech Republic. She spent some time teaching the boys some Czech words and games.

We decided to make our own lunch at camp. The boys built the fire and we barbecued sausages and hotdogs. I also made some baked beans and a couple of ears of corn. Last year, we did this for one of the dinner, but the schedule is so packed this year that we decided to use the food we brought for a lunch instead of a dinner. Based on the feedback that we got from the other packs about lunch, it looks like we made a good decision.

Our activity for the afternoon was the pool. With temperatures approaching 100, the water felt great. The boys spent most of the session working on their aquatics beltloop. At the end, everyone played sharks and minnows.

We headed back to the camp and the pack worked on their skit for the closing campfire for an hour. Afterwards, there was a short free time. Jack and I stopped at the trading post to get his Nature Hike Patch and then headed to the BB-gun range. The range was almost empty and Jack had a great opportunity to shoot some more.

Following Evening Colors and dinner, we all headed to the closing campfire. Each pack did two skits.

The day was not done yet. They offered a star hike after the closing campfire. I took the three older boys and we hiked up to the top of Hermit's Knob with a large group. This was not an easy hike in the dark. The stargazing was not great; we really needed to be there an hour later. By the time I got the boys back to the camp, it was almost 10:30 p.m. Jack crashed hard.

Heading to the Closing Campfire - Boulder Creek Scout Reservation

Heading to the Campfire, originally uploaded by heringermr.

At the Pool - Boulder Creek Scout Reservation


Morning Colors - Boulder Creek Scout Reservation


Monday, July 07, 2008

Boulder Creek Scout Reservation Day 2

Up before 7 a.m., the kids gathered for Morning Colors at 7:45 a.m. After breakfast, the kids started into the program for the day. We have nine boys at camp: Jack and two other boys from his Webelos 2 Den and six boys from the Webelos 1 Den.

Their first program activity for the day was handicrafts. They spent an hour and twenty minutes making bird feeders or bird houses and painting them. Jack enjoyed it and actually said at one point that he wanted to come back during free time.

The next session was BB Guns. Last year was the first time that he had ever had a chance to shoot a BB gun and he loved it. He has been talking about getting a chance to do again for weeks. Oddly, Although Jack is right-handed, he is left-eyed and shoots left handed. He did very well and improved his scores steadily over five targets.

After a fire drill and lunch, we headed to the archery range. At this point, the day was getting pretty hot. Jack and several of the other boys were starting to wilt. As a result, Jack did not enjoy the archery range as much as he did last year. He also struggled with the finger guards that they made the kids wear this year.

Free time was next. Over the course of the day, the staff had been hawking their activities for the free period. Johnny, one of the boys in Jack's den, wanted to do the Nature Hike and convinced Jack and Tim to go with him. Philip and I also tagged along. This was a 2.5 mile hike with 34 different points of interest where the staff stopped and talked about plants. It was a reasonably challenging hike. I will post some maps in the next couple of days. I was very proud of how well the boys did; they hiked without complaint and paid attention with the staff was highlighting the points of interest. The hike took almost an hour and a half.

After Evening Colors and dinner, there was a Competition Night at the main campfire. Selected boys competed in a series of contests for "fabulous prizes," including water balloon tosses, whistling after eating crackers, pie eating, and ice potato.

This was an extremely busy day. By the time, we got the boys cleaned up and down for bed it was after 10:15 p.m. Jack crashed hard.

Philip, Bruce and I made a quick run into the town of Boulder Creek for ice and water.

Nature Trail - Boulder Creek Scout Reservation


Archery - Boulder Creek Scout Reservation


BB Guns - Boulder Creek Scout Reservation

At the range, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Handicrafts - Boulder Creek Scout Reservation


Sunday, July 06, 2008

Boulder Creek Scout Reservation Day 1

Jack and I were scheduled to spent three days at the Camp Pico Blanco Scout Reservation on the coast north on Big Sur. With the fires on the coast, they moved us to the Boulder Creek Scout Reservation near Boulder Creek in the Santa Cruz mountains.

With the budget process in full swing, I agonized about whether or not I could take time away from work. Additionally, Wallen's Dad died last week. The burial is Monday in Lake County and I would really like to attend the service. Given at this is Jack's last year in Cub Scouts, I made a decision on early Sunday to go with him.

Jack and I left Sacramento about 11 a.m. on Sunday with Philip, Tim and one other scout in a caravan with three cars. After a quick stop for lunch, the group got to the camp about 2:30 p.m.

Rather than a lake, this camp has a pool. After getting the tent set up, we took a tour of the camp and everyone including the adults had a swimming test.

The boys spent the some time exploring the area including a nice creek and runs north of the camp site. Unfortunately, this camp does not offer any fishing. Last year, the fishing at Camp Lassen was a huge hit.

After evening colors, everyone headed to dinner. The group includes about 50 or 60 cubs and parents compared to more than 250 at Camp Lassen last year. The dining hall is essentially a receiving line and some tables on a deck covered with a tent.

We finished the evening with a Songfest and Opening Campfire at the Campfire Bowl. The camp staff did a very nice job leading the kids in a number of songs, performing some skits and kicking off the next couple of days.

By the time we got all of the kids back to camp and settled down for the night, it was almost 10:00 p.m.

Campsite at the Boulder Creek Scout Reservation

Andrew Heringer - Racecar

Andrew Heringer - Racecar from Brandon Fraley on Vimeo.

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Sold the Explorer!

Over the last week, we have had our 1998 Ford Explorer listed on Craigslist. It finally sold tonight. The process was a very odd experience. Ask me some time if you are interested in why the whole experience was unusual.

At Bing Maloney

At Bing Maloney, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Starbucks iTunes Pick of the Week - James Hunter

The list of Starbucks iTunes picks of the week is here!

Lexus RX400h Day 7

At the end of the first week, I am very pleased with our Lexus RX400H hybrid. As I told Sharon, if it had not been for her, I would probably have gone for the Highlander Hybrid (just because it was bigger!).

The vehicle is rated at 24 mpg on the highway and 26 in the city. I got 25.5 miles per gallon on the first tank (349 miles and 13.67 gallons). For comparison, between December 16, 2007 and June 26, 2008, I drove the Explorer 10,251 miles and got 16.33 miles per gallon. At $4.469 a gallon, I saved $34.81 on gas in the first week.

Friday, July 04, 2008

2008 Fourth of July Party

Sharon, Jack and I spent at the afternoon and evening at a 4th of July party at Tom's house (Sharon's brother). We swam in the pool, played bocce, barbecued a giant roast and finished the night with fireworks.

4th of July

4th of July pic, originally uploaded by heringermr.

Thursday, July 03, 2008

Lighted Boat Parade and The Magnificent Seven

Sharon and Janie have made it a quasi tradition (5 out of the last 7 years?) to go to the Virgin Sturgeon on July 3rd and watch the lighted boat parade on the Sacramento River.

I did an evening run on the treadmill watching a rental of The Magnificent Seven on the Apple TV. Released in 1960, the cast includes Yul Brunner, Steve McQueen, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Robert Vaughan. I am not sure that I have actually ever seen the movie before...

Last weekend, I watched For a Few Dollars More on the Apple TV while running on the treadmill.

J.M. Davis House

This is another historic building I wandered by while exploring Juneau. The J.M. Davis House on upper 6th Street, was constructed by Frances Brooks Davis, an English painter who came to Juneau in 1891, and J. Montgomery Davis, whom she met and married in 1892. The Davis family built part of 6th Street and upper Seward Street so that horse drawn wagons could reach their properties.

J.M. Davis House
National Register of Historic Places #1982002073
See this location on Yahoo Maps in Flickr
See this location on Google Maps

This historic place is located at 202 6th Street in the city of Juneau in the county of Juneau, Alaska. The GPS coordinates for this location are N 58° 18.193 W 134° 24.662.

You can log your vist to this site at

J.M. Davis House

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

The Sins of the Father

Over the years, I have read some good biographies about the early twentieth century, including Limbergh, Hearst and more recently Alice Roosevelt Longsworth. There is one person who keeps popping up in these books: Joseph P. Kennedy. I have been looking for a biography of him for some time and finally purchased The Sins of the Father. This was one of the books that I read while we were on vacation in Alaska.

While his sons are icons to my generation, Joseph Kennedy also had a remarkable life; he was the first chairman of the SEC, Ambassador to England at the outbreak of War World II and one of the 20 richest people in America in the 1950's.

It is probably the first biography that I have ever read where when I finished I wondered whether or not it was a hatchet job. The book paints a very unflattering picture of him. There is another book by Doris Kearns Goodwin called the Fitzgeralds and the Kennedys that I may read in the future to get another perspective.

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Lexus RX400h Pics

Drew asked about some pics of the new car...

Highlights from the Alaskan Cruise and Land Tour

My top five highlights from the Alaskan Cruise and Land Tour include:
  1. the excursion in Swagway which included: a helicopter ride up the canyon and over the Denver Glacier; a hike along the Swagway River to the terminal moraine of the Laughton Glacier; and, a train ride back into town on the White Horse and Yukon Railway;

  2. cruising back and forth in front of the Margerie Glacier in Glacier Bay National Park listening to it make noises like thunder and cannon shots and watching large chunks of the glacier fall into the bay;

  3. cruising College Fjord up to the Harvard Glacier with bears foraging on the shore and seals lying on chunks of ice in the water;

  4. the bus tour into Denali National Park above the tiaga into the tundra; and,

  5. the train ride from Denali to Talkeena along the edge of Denali National Park with views of Mount McKinley.