Monday, September 30, 2013

5th Annual Parry-Furlo Camping Trip: MONSOON Edition!

I supposed it was bound to happen.

You go camping in late September / early October long enough, you're bound to run into some rain. On the previous 4 trips, only one had light rain the first night. Well... Murphy's Law caught up with us on this trip. The good news is that it shouldn't rain for the next 8 years!

Seriously, it was a monsoon outside! According to Wunderground, it rained 0.42" on Friday, 1.31" on Saturday and then 1.63" on Sunday. Not only that, the wind was pretty intense and so most of the time the rain came in sideways. There was also thunder and lightening Sunday morning.

BUT, we had a yurt.

Which meant we were able to stay dry and still enjoy the weekend. We played games, cooked meals on the stove, puzzled, visited both the Oregon Coast Aquarium & the OSU Hatfield Marine Science Center, and ate at the Rogue Brewery. All in all, it was fun. Check out what we did below.

 Here are some seahorses. They sure are weird!

You can walk in a glass tunnel through the shark tank. It was awesome!

PROOF! Smiles inside the shark tank.

The gang, hiding inside a rock cave attempting to avoid rain. There's actually a really cool outside part to the aquarium with sea lions and otters.

 There's a section where you can touch starfish and other sea creatures.

Jellyfish are weird.

Apparently, these are still in use today for really deep underwater adventures.

Pretty scary!

This is at the Marine Science Center. I feel like I'm watching Pirates of the Caribbean II.

They also have a cool wave machine. You build Lego structures, and then see if they can withstand different sizes of waves.

We also decided to have dinner at the Rogue Brewery since our fire pit was flooded. They had games there too and we played Hedbandz while eating dinner.

Another perk of yurting is that you can borrow puzzles. Jessi and Kellie are great at puzzling!

So that was our trip. See, you can still have fun even if it's raining.

Wednesday, September 18, 2013

A Day Hike At Tumalo Falls

Last weekend I went on a camping trip with a bunch of men from my church called "Man Camp". We stayed at Tumalo State Park in Bend, OR. On one of the days part of the group went for a hike to Tumalo Falls. There are a bunch of waterfalls (duh) within a short hike. If you find yourself in Bend looking for something to do, I recommend a day hike at Tumalo Falls.

This was the view on the way back. The large waterfall is right below me.

If you're still looking for something to do, check out Smith Rock State Park in Terrebonne, OR. The hike is pretty intense - they actually call it Misery Trail - but the view is breath taking. That rock sticking up on the right is called "Monkey Face".

You can also watch people do crazy things like walk across a slack line with a 100 foot drop below them. Yes, they're tied in, but still. It does kind of look like he's running away from the Monkey's mouth.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Benefits of Mowing Lawns

Sometimes owning real estate means you need to mow the lawn. In my case, it's starting to add up to a LOT of lawns. For example, yesterday I mowed 4 sets of lawns (front & back).

In contrast to my childhood, that's a lot of mowing. You see, growing up, my Dad's idea of yard maintenance consisted of 2 steps: Roundup in the spring and Roundup in the fall. Done. No mowing required.

When we bought our first place I was excited to finally do this thing that so many people talk about: mow my own lawn. Since it was a duplex, I got a double dose.

A few properties later, I still enjoy mowing lawns. Sure, takes a lot of work and time - about an hour per lawn, once every other week on average - but I still like it.

It's for a few reasons:

1) It's an opportunity to get exercise. I take a lot of steps and push & pull a lot. It's great for my health. I'm not quite extreme enough to use a push mower (I do live in Oregon after all), but I still get a good workout.

2) I listen to audiobooks while mowing. I got a pair of ear muffs that block out the sound of the motor and I get lost in story. Right now I'm listening to book 2 of The Hunger Games. It's a fantastic use of time. I often switch off between fantasy, biographies and self-help books.

3) At one time I did the research & it's anywhere from $40-$70 per lawn to pay someone else to take care of your lawn. So I'm getting paid to exercise & read! I think about this a lot when I'm hot, sweaty and still have one more set of lawns to go. $200 more dollars to the student loan pot!

4) It's a great excuse to check out the property and check in on tenants. It's let's them know I care about the property AND them.

I know my time is finite and eventually we will own enough properties I won't be able to keep up, but for now I really enjoy it.