Simply ordinary observations from an ordinary person - sometimes having to do with health care issues, sometimes not. Topics will change as my attention wanders. Yours probably will too....

Thursday, September 4, 2008


The town where I live has a river running through it. It's not a mighty river or a fast river, but it is moving water. Actually, I think of it as a bi-polar river: placid and mousy most of the time but after a really heavy Pacific storm it turns into a Girls-Gone-Wild tart - rampaging through downtown, going every place it shouldn't and leaving us all with a "what-the-hell was that?" hangover the next day! It was in the placid stage when I first saw it after having moved from beautiful central Oregon. (Home of the Rogue, Umpqua, Willamette, Deschutes,Williamson, Wood, Illinois, & Iriquois rivers, just to name a few.) My Prince Charming and I drove across a bridge and I asked, "What's that ditch?". He was offended of course. That might have been the first clue that the relationship wasn't really sent from heaven... but I won't go there. Yet.

Anyway, the placid river running through downtown provides a nice venue for outdoor concerts, such as the River Festival we just had on Labor Day weekend. Luckily for me, some friends own kayaks and often invite me along when they decide to launch. That's what happened on Labor Day. We put the kayaks in down river and paddled up to the River Festival concert, to have a picnic and listen to the music.

The hardest part of the afternoon was packing the food and wine into the kayaks. Since there were 6 of us, we brought food for at least 12 plus the beverages. After some consultations and rearranging of packs, soft side coolers, and water proof bags, we managed to wedge everything and everyone in without sinking the boats or leaving stuff behind. My paddling skills were a little rusty on the way up - two near misses with power boats (jerks!), an inability to go in a straight line, and complete inability to stop the freakin' kayak before crashing into my friend. But we all made it to the picnic site and unloaded.

Of course we were famished and parched after the 1.5 mile trip and had all the food containers opened within 15 minutes. Could have done it in 10 but the wine came first, as it always should. It was a potluck picnic and pretty average by wine country standards: Zucchini Fritters with Fresh Tomato Confit, Glazed Chicken Tenders, Herb & Garlic Shrimp Skewers, Bacon,Avocado & Turkey Wraps, Cambazola on Crostini, and Artichoke Heart Parmesan Frittata. You know, just stuff you'd normally take along in a kayak. And the wines were: Roederer Anderson Valley (sparkling), Piper Sonoma (sparkling), Raymond Small Lot Sauvignon Blanc, Andretti Napa Valley Chardonnay, Dancing Bull something or other - and maybe one other but I don't quite remember what.

There was also a container of the most awesome cookies I've had in a long time. Those cookies were more powerful than Palin, more eloquent than Obama, more heroic than McCain, more compelling than Joe Biden. They were the Noblest of Desserts - chocolate-chocolate chip espresso oatmeal drops. I will not even admit how many we ate that night but, trust me, it would not have fallen into the "everything in moderation" category.

Neither did the wine consumption, as you can see from the list above. That's where the P.U.I comes in - Paddling Under the Influence! We had 2 drivers. One drank nothing and one drank very little. That left 4 of us who drank quite a bit over the course of three hours, including me. I was a little unsure about climbing into a kayak in the dark and finding my way back to the launch site. But it was fine. The water was smooth as glass, everyone behaved very safely and it was a really cool experience.

And as long as I agree to keep baking, I just might get invited on the next outing.


noble pig said...

Glad you loved the cookies!

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