#65: Drive for a Gardner Field Trip

This is Lucy’s second year at the Gardner School, and while she’s been on field trips before, we’ve never gone along. Until they planned one that sounded so perfect for us that we couldn’t turn away.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

This particular field trip was three days at the Hancock Field Station, near Fossil, Oregon. We had to drop the kids off there and pick them up, but apart from the teachers and chaperones, all the time in between was for the rest of us grownup drivers to spend together exploring the area. So we drove Lucy and two of her friends the 3½ hours to the camp.

Once we dropped the kids off, we headed out on our own grownup adventures. We had about two hours to drive to get to where we were staying, and on the way were several things we were interested in. The John Day Fossil Beds National Monument has several sites in the area, and we tried to visit as much as we could. We hit the visitor center, hiked the trail with replica fossils, and one of us almost stepped on a snake.

Our next task was to get to where we were staying, which was in Dayville, Oregon (population 150). The campground where most of the parents were staying was lovely, though Becky and I “roughed it” in the inn across the street, with an actual bed and bathroom. The cafe in town is friendly and serves delicious food, and we had a great time there. We even had time for a campfire and snacks before dark.

The next day we set out looking for a bigger hike, and ended up deciding not to ford a river, instead electing to walk the gravel road for a couple of miles. We still got in some good sights and a pleasant walk.

In the afternoon we lounged, then went for dinner in Mitchell, at Tiger Town Brewery, which we cannot recommend highly enough. The beer was great, and their hottest wings were hot enough to satisfy even the bravest among us.

Bellies full, we headed to the Painted Hills at dusk, which is the perfect time to see them. We hiked as many trails as we could before dark, and had a great time. It was super worth it to make it here at sunset.

The next morning was pick-up. We packed up and headed out early, because there was a hike at the Clarno unit we wanted to hit before 10, when the kids would be ready. It was steep, cool, and the boulders on the side of the trail were lousy with fossils.

After that, we met up with the kids and trucked our way home. There may have been a stop at Dairy Queen, I don’t recall exactly.

April Misc Roundup 2018

Lucy attended the neighborhood Easter-egg hunt (with Will!); saw some roller derby and tugged some war; showed me how to play my new ukulele; finished making her bow for her archery apprenticeship; helped a friend celebrate her 8th birthday; and wore rabbit ears to every conceivable occasion.

Becky did a bunch of training hikes; spent a lovely weekend with some lovely ladies at the lovely beach; and attended a Q&A with someone who’s running for office!

I (Ben) took the neighborhood Gardner kids on a bike ride to school; attended a 12-year-old’s nerf-war birthday party; and made breakfasts out of dinner foods.


We did not bring home one of those tiny pugs.


#17: Surprise Date – Planned by Ben

At least once a year, we like to turn our tables. Ordinarily Becky is the planner, and I’m the maker-happener, but for one date every year I perform both roles, and Becky gets to be surprised.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

This year we went to a tiny comedy show in Southeast Portland. We enjoyed drinks and tiny foods at Angel Face (where every cocktail is made on the spot just for you), sat and enjoyed the “Sincerity is Gross” comedy hour at the Slide Inn, and finished the evening off with some bowls of tasty ice cream at Fifty Licks.

I know, I know, nothing too spectacular. But there’s something to be said for some great drinks, quality time, and laughs, and I think Becky would say the same.

#4: Adult Open Choice

Among the treasures we bought at the Gardner Auction were two passes to an evening Gardner likes to call “Adult Open Choice” – essentially a choose-your-own-grownup-adventure with the kids’ teachers.

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

Becky took part in the “Succulents and Sours” activity, while I enjoyed the “Mystery Codes and Moscow Mules.” Since everyone loves a good puzzle, the party eventually filtered into my room, but not before everyone had their own kind of fun.

We had a great time, even though I forgot to take any photos whatsoever. Becky’s activity also provided our home with a nice little centerpiece, while mine only served to prove that none of us parents should be working for the NSA.

#87: Ben – Blacksmith Class

I sometimes get jealous of the awesome things our kids get to do through Trackers. Fortunately, I’m a grownup, and I can sign myself up for classes, too!

This is part of our 100 Things in 2018 challenge. Make sure to click on the photos!

This adventure is in blacksmithing, taken through Trackers PDX. I packed a lunch and a couple liters of water and trucked down to southeast Portland for a day at the forge. This was my first time, so we started with the projects everyone does: hooks, barbecue skewers, a steak flipper, and a bottle opener. No swords (this time).


I really enjoyed spending a day learning a new craft. I’m not sure that I can make this part of my life, but that bottle opener is going to get plenty of use around here.