Carter saw a side table at the store that she wanted to buy for her room, and I told her we could probably make one for next to nothing. And on top of saving the money, she'd have something her dad made with his own two hands - which someday might be important to her, or something. :) Anyway, here's the start of it. I cut the top today from an old downed log in the backyard, leveled it, sanded it, and put the first coat of polyurethane on it. It still needs several more coats, but it looks nice enough already that I wanted to get a photo out there for everyone to see.
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Carter has decided to join the school band, and wants to learn how to play the trumpet. She just got it at the start of the summer, so she's trying to teach herself the basics before the school year starts. She's improving slightly - she's gone from sounding like a dying baby elephant, to some sort of baby elephant in serious gastrointestinal distress. Progress!
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A friend showed me a project online where somebody made an edge-lit acrylic clock inspired by Nixie tubes. Once I saw it, the seed was essentially embedded in my skull and I knew I was going to have to make one of my own. The acrylic panels were cut on my home-built CNC machine, the LEDs are neopixels driven by an Adafruit Trinket, and the case is walnut.
Carter recently had to do a project for school, to teach the younger grades about pioneer times. She made a board-game-slash-diorama about the cattle drive. She made it all herself - it's actually pretty impressive in person.
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This is just a random collection of things that caught my eye on the trip. Lori loved the "Shark Sighted" sign, and the "trees are greater than buildings" graffiti was pretty cool. But my favorite was seeing the start of Route 20, which goes all the way from Newport, Oregon to Boston, Massachusetts - over three thousand miles away. Now THAT'S a roadtrip!
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Once we got back near Portland we stopped in to see my cousin Vanessa, who lives near there. We got to meet her two kids - her son is four, and her daughter is just 10 months old. Her daughter took a real shine to Carter, as you can see!
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Right off of the highway in the Columbia River Gorge is Multnomah Falls, the highest waterfall in Oregon at 620 feet. The trail up to the bridge isn't currently open to the public, but the view from the bottom was fantastic anyway! Crowded, though!
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Once we reached the river again, we drove along the gorge back to Portland. We were feeling run down by this point and anxious to get home, so we didn't stop much. We originally had several hikes planned for this day of the trip, but a wildfire last year had led to most of those trails being closed and not expected to reopen for at least a few more months. But we did stop once or twice to stretch our legs and soak in the scenery.
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After leaving the Bend area, we took off across the high desert country on our way back to the Columbia River. I expected this part of the drive to be somewhat boring, but it turned out to be just as beautiful as the rest of the trip. I didn't get many pictures, as we were down to a half of a tank of gas and I had no idea where the next town would be - there were several stretches of a half hour or more where I didn't see a single sign of civilization other than the road itself. Next time I'd like to plan to spend a little more time in the area, and get out of the car and explore a little.
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Another stop we made with Karen was Lava Butte - an extinct volcano that you can drive up. From the top the views of the mountains were pretty amazing. I didn't get any great pictures, but trust me - it was impressive.
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