Monday, February 19, 2007

You Can't Have Too Many Pictures of Shasta

By: David and Marian Cortesi That's a rule: It is not possible to have too many pictures of Mount Shasta. But there were other things to see on this trip to Oregon. Like Mount Lassen, for example. But then Shasta popped up over the horizon and beckoned us North. Arriving in at the Valley River Inn in Eugene, our rooms weren't quite ready. But no matter, there was wi-fi in the lobby so Marian and Peter settled in. Fred Half had set up a group dinner before the OSU game at a great restaurant (Big River) in Corvallis.

Game Time

Gill Coliseum is an old but comfortable and well-run facility. We liked the uniforms of the Beav's cheer-dollies: cute but modest. No jiggly midriffs! Candice was not in uniform--at the start of the game. About half a second after this picture was taken ... ... Jillian was rolling on the floor in pain. Then she was helped from the court. That was a bad, bad moment. Every Stanford fan there felt a cold wet blanket descend on the season. But in a few minutes she was back! Candice is asking, "Are you OK?" Tara's concern and relief were evident.


It was bright and sunny early on our off-day, so we went for a drive. Immediately the Oregon Sunshine closed in. Joan Boothe had suggested Salt Creek Falls. Unfortunately the trail to the falls was paved in packed ice lubricated by rain. Lacking caulked boots, we headed back to Eugene on various side roads and saw a covered bridge ... ... and some wet mossy trees. Streams were foaming down hillsides.The road got quite narrow and covered with snow ... So we returned to Eugene ... ... for a good dinner organized by Don Anderson. Neither we nor Don brought a camera so you have to imagine it.

Game Day

Mac Court is said to be a hostile place to visit... ...mostly due to its old-fashioned, vertical tiers of seats that hang over the floor ... ... and its acoustics, which amplify crowd noise. The Stanford fans were in the corner back of the visiting bench. Jillian had local supporters. These three women wore #33 jerseys. The one in the middle looks a lot like Jillian: a relative? The Oregon mascot is cute & works the crowd a lot. Betty Ann Boeving was one of the alumnae who were honored at half-time. The officials had a lot of trouble with the time-clocks. Brooke took the opportunity to lobby a ref. For the first few minutes of this game it was possible to believe we were in trouble. But things got a lot better.

Driving Home

We headed down I5 through the green of Oregon. A volcano we don't often get a clear view of is Mt. McLaughlin. Then Shasta peeked over the horizon. Refer to rule #1 at the top of the page. Click these pictures for larger versions. When Shasta finally disappeared behind us we stopped at a bird refuge ... ... because we were seeing long skeins of geese crossing the road. These were snow geese ... ... in great numbers. And that was the Oregon trip.

Saturday, February 3, 2007

Beyond Thunderdome

By: David & Marian Cortesi Happy not to be taking any more flights (until the trip to Cleveland!) we drove to Santa Barbara. The coastal hills were illuminated by an N.C. Wyeth sunset glow. A rather dramatic full moon was rising as we came into Santa Barbara. We were running late and couldn't stop to get a decent picture. The Gauchos play in The Campus Events Center, a.k.a. The Thunderdome. The Thunderdome is remarkable for having its roof supported on wood trusses. I don't know of any building with a wider span resting on wood. The floors are wood also, and make fine noise if you stomp your feet , which the crowd of 1448 very enthusiastic supporters did frequently (hence Thunderdome). The UCSB women's teams have a strong record. The men—not so much. Even though Don was there with his camera, we essayed a few action pictures. Here is Brooke blocking a shot, Jane grabbing a rebound, Jillian making a breakaway layup with her left hand, ...and another with her right hand, ...and a jumper. Free pizza! For the loudest fans! This young lady went nuts at this offer. Her efforts were rewarded. After the game, regardless of the outcome, the Gauchos take what is announced as "The High-Five and Appreciation Lap" around the court, exchanging high-fives with their fans. This is a very nice custom, and it would be great if the Cardinal emulated it. Next morning we headed for home the slow way, first east over the Santa Barbara range, and then north along Highway 1. Arriving home after dark, we were pleased to see the Prius had exceeded 50 mpg.