This rock formation is know as "The Castle".
Friday, April 30th
It was a crazy, busy week at work and on Friday I headed straight to the airport after work. My brother, Tom, met me at the airport in Medford. Tom and I grew up being very close. . .he's only 1 year younger than me. We even took some highschool computer classes together. Although, he obviously was much better at computers than I am. He's a computer forensics scientist now. He helps put bad guys in jail by finding evidence of their crimes on their computers. . .how cool is that? (He took me through the labs where he works, but I'll talk about that more later on). Tom and I were also roommates in college my last year of undergrad and his first year of undergrad. We had sooooooooo much fun, but we both got really, really, really fat. We'd rent videos and eat pizza and nachos almost every night. We'd promise ourselves that the next day we were going to start eating more healthy but it never happened that year. Of course, now days we are both into biking, hiking, swimming and eating a little more healthily.
Saturday, May 1st
What a lovely
morning! I couldn't tell the night before because it was dark when I arrived, but Medford is lovely. Medford lies in a valley surrounding by hills with several creeks and a river running through it. This time of the year everything is green and flowering. However, I was told that later in the summer it gets very hot (100 F or 40 C) and the green turns to brown.
My brother and I went to the fitness center in his apartment complex and I started my 20 mile (5 hour walk). My brother lasted through the first hour with me but then got tired and bored and went back to his apartment. I made it another 2 hours (about 13 miles total) and then I was dying of boredom as well. I decided to stop and finish up the remaining 7 miles the next day. When I stepped off the treadmill, my legs were all confused because the ground wasn't moving anymore and I almost fell over! I was teetering around like I was drunk because my legs weren't working right for half my journey back to my brother's apartment. I think from here on out I'll stick to
walking long distances on solid ground.
After getting cleaned up we went out for a huge homestyle breakfast. I usually don't even eat breakfast, so this was a real treat. . .buttermilk biscuit and everything. Then we hit the grocery store to buy all the stuff for the big BBQ the next day. A bunch of Tom's friends were planning on meeting up to cook up a bunch of steaks, chicken, etc. I call my brother a "meat-a-tarian". . .if he could, he would eat nothing but meat.
Although. . .for a while when we were living together in college, I became a vegetarian and he tried some of the food I prepared and admitted that he liked it. So maybe there's hope for him yet.
In the evening we went out for Mexican food and a guy and a child came up to our table and played guitar music for us. I told the guy that his daughter was very talented and lovely (she seemed to be about 12 years old and had beautiful long, brown hair). He then introduced the 'girl' to us. . .'her' name was Jesus! Oh no!!!!!! No girl EVER
has been named Jesus. . .it was a little boy with long hair! I felt so bad for telling him that he was a pretty little girl that I gave them a HUGE tip for playing music for us. Sigh. . .I told you I am really good at embarrassing myself!
Sunday, May 2nd
I got up and walked my last seven miles on the treadmill. I had jelly legs again, but I was prepared for the unusual sensation this time.
Around noon, Tom and went to meet up with his friends at a Family Funtime Center. Most of his friends are married and have small children. We played some miniature golf (I took some pictures of the course, it was really nice) and then we got to drive small race cars. That was fun!
Afterwards we went to one of his friend's house for a nice BBQ. Their yard was gorgeous! Tons of flowers and trees. Sometimes I miss living in a house and being able to work in my yard, planting flowers and relaxing in the yard. But I don't miss spending every weekend mowing the lawn and pulling weeds. I guess there are
pluses and minuses to everything.
Monday, May 3rd
Today we got to tour the labs Tom works in. They were really interesting. The computer labs we're filled with electronic devices with evidence tags on them. Each scientist specializes in a different type of device. Tom handles the computers, Ryan works on the cell phones, etc. Then Tom took me into the chemistry labs to meet the chemists who analyze samples collected from crime scenes. They were really excited to meet a fellow chemist. . .although the type of chemistry we do is very, very different.
Then I got to see the bugs they use to eat all the flesh off the bodies they recover from a crime scene. They do that so that they can examine the skeletons for evidence. All in all, I had a really great time meeting all the different types of scientists and learning about what they do.
After touring the labs, Tom and I drove up to Crater Lake. Crater Lake is an old volcano that erupted long ago and then the center part collapsed to form a huge hole. Over many hundred of years, the water from the melting snow
filled in the hole to form a beautiful lake. Unfortunately, this time of year there is a lot of snow still up there (it's high in the mountains). The snow was up to the roof tops of some of the buildings (I included some pictures). When we got up there we found out that we weren't able to get onto the road leading to the edge of the lake, but we still had a great time visiting and enjoying the beautiful mountain views. I took a bunch of pictures while Tom was driving.
Tuesday, May 4th
Tom and I had a great visit together, but it was time for me to head home. My flights back to San Diego went smoothly and I was so happy to be back home.
I'll write you more later on. Take care!
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