R2R 2012

Saturday June 2 was National Trails Day. As part of the celebration the Foothills Rail-To-Trails Coallition has organized the Rainier To Ruston relay event. 2012 was the 10th anniversary of the race and it was the “Drunken Damsels and Whiskey Warriors” 2nd year! In what turned into a combined effort, Ezra, Jolleen and I put together a team for last years race and wound up having a ton of fun. It didn’t help that we had the most gorgeous weather last year.

Carbon River at the race start

This year, we’d planned on spending the night at my aunt and uncle’s house (last year we ended up staying there as sort of a spur of the moment decision). Uncle Morgan had a campfire going and the team enjoyed a few beers and some good conversation before heading to bed.

Blurred me starting the race

Continue reading “R2R 2012”

Sprocket Says… Vol. 11

Just off US-395 in Washington south of the Tri-Cities

“Where should I sniff first?”

“I wonder where that thing is going to take me next?”

“Oh boy, empty roads and chilling with my people!!!”

“Aaand back to sleep.”

Rock Climbing: Vantage, Washington

Last weekend, I went climbing in Vantage, Washington with Women Climbers Northwest. I haven’t been climbing since I graduated from Oregon State (that was two years ago! I can’t believe it!) so I definitely am not in “climbing shape”: weak fingers, feet not used to being shoved into climbing shoes. It was really fun to get outside on a gloriously beautiful weekend and enjoy the sunshine.

I drove over after work on Friday, driving out of the rain into the sun, stopping in Spokane to buy necessities for the weekend: lunches, breakfast, and a bottle of wine (Firesteed pinot noir!). By the time I got to Moses Lake I was quite hungry—I wasn’t really sure what I was in the mood for but the options were somewhat limited. Just as I considered heading back into the city center for some Subway (which I’ve had plenty of on EMT class nights) I found Woody’s. I was a bit turned off by the idea of $6-8 burgers at a hole in the wall but I was hungry and a shake sounded good. The burger, a bleu cheese burger, was worth every penny of its $6.75. The shake? Softserve based and not so amazing…

After eating my burger and shake over looking the odd pothole that is Moses Lake, I drove the last thirty miles or so to the climbing area. I’d actually driven right past the access road last year when I tasted wine at Cave B cellars on my way home from R2R. It was one of those awesome drives where you immediately drop down out of plain old desert into something fantastic. Continue reading “Rock Climbing: Vantage, Washington”

Wine Tasting: Jones Of Washington

I’ll post more about my weekend playing in the sunshine this week but for right now I’ll just post about wine tasting. Because we don’t need to read too much into that, right?

I found my way to Jones of Washington after I finished climbing yesterday. I wondered into their tasting room tired and dirty. I felt more than a little sheepish about the smell that I’m sure emanated from me but the tasting room employee either couldn’t smell me or was very gracious.

Jones was just awarded Wine Press Northwest’s Winery of the Year award. While I’ve had more outstanding single varietals at a winery, I must say they had a lot of very drinkable wines.

Their tasting room is located in small corner of their production facility. The tasting room employee was friendly and knowledgeable.  Their tasting had quite a few wines (I didn’t grab a copy of their tasting notes unfortunately) and I enjoyed most of them. Stand outs (for me, wine is always subjective), the pinot gris, syrah, petit syrah, and cabernet sauvignon. I came home with a bottle of the pinot gris—the warm weather impressed upon me the need to have a lovely bottle of white in my refrigerator at all times.


Wine Tasting: Preston Premium Wines

On our way back from Oregon we had a little bit of extra time to kill before arriving in Post Falls for class. Forrest asked me what we should do with the time right as we drove by a sign that said “Preston Wines, 3 miles.” Clearly, I knew what we should do with our “extra time.”

Preston Wines was the third winery licensed in Washington back in the 70s and the first in the Tri Cities. I did their complementary tasting of three wines as well as the $5 estate tasting. I wasn’t wildly impressed with any of their wines. In an area acclaimed for its wines, this would not be somewhere I’d recommend (although it’s location right off of US 395 is convenient).

Preston Wines Tasting Room

Their tasting room is set above the winery giving a pretty view of the vineyard and surrounding area. The pourer wasn’t particularly knowledgeable about the process and couldn’t explain to me the differences between their labels (Preston vs. Long Tail Lizard).

Bottom line: Spend the extra 10 minutes to drive to one of the many area wineries in the Tri Cities area.

Airways Brewing Company

My mom and I went wedding dress shopping a couple weeks ago and while we were driving down the road in semi-industrial Kent, Washington when mom said, “Oh look, brewery and tap room.”

I immediately piped up with, “Let’s go!” I don’t really think she was expecting this to be my answer. But why would we pass it up? I mean, really?!

Turns out it was Airways Brewing which I had heard quite lovely things about via the beer blogosphere.

I debated ordering a sampler briefly but just decided to order a pint of Sky Hag, their double IPA. Smelled amazing. Tasted amazing. Certified Honest Pint Purveyor (my mom actually bought Forrest one of their imperial pint glasses).

The owner and all the other customers sitting around the bar were really friendly. It was quite fun to chat with everyone (they were all quite astounded that a girl from Tacoma would choose to move to a town of less than 650 people). Definitely a recommended stop if you happen to be wondering around east of I-5 between Tacoma and Seattle.