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2004 NCAA Tournament 3rd Round at Portland

17 Nov 2004 - Before I left town, I went to check out the Barton Springs Pool after some heavy rain.  Note that these are pictures of the public swimming pool, which is not normally a raging creek!

Whitewater pouring into the upstream end of the pool.

Water rushing past the lifeguard chairs.

A disconcerted and displaced resident.

19 Nov 2004 - Texas played at Portland with the winner going to the final eight, but Portland won 2-0.  Game report.  My plan for the playoffs was to combine trips to the games with bagging as many of the highpoints of the states that I could.  The first weekend was in Austin, so I did not travel to any highpoints.  I had hoped to at least look at Mount Hood, typically visible from Portland, before that game.  The day was hazy, however, and with the loss, the soccer season was over before I had even SEEN a highpoint.

20 Nov 2004 - I went to check out Mount Hood, the highpoint of the state of Oregon.  Somehow, I didn't expect there to be much snow, but the slopes were completely snow-covered, and open for ski business.  I hiked up the first mile, and 1000 feet uphill, from Timberline Lodge to the Palmer ski-lift building near the Silcox hut.  I am glad I brought my Crocodiles, they certainly came in handy in the foot-deep snow.  Snowboarders were skiing down past me as I hiked upwards.  If I had thought to bring my rain pants, I probably could have glissaded all the way down.  As it was, I had to walk.

View of Mount Hood from near Timberline Lodge.  The ski-lift building that I hiked to is between the trees.

View from the ski-lift building at 7000 feet.

Clouds (and blowing snow) came and went as I walked up and back.

Mount Jefferson from the lower slopes of Mount Hood.

21 Nov 2004 - I drove west to the Pacific coast to check out the famed Oregon coastline.  I followed the Three Capes Scenic Loop, starting at Cape Meares, then heading south to Cape Lookout where a 5 mile round-trip trail led out to the tip of the cape.  Along with the views, I saw a number of seals or sea-lions (I could not tell them apart) which were hanging out near the tip.  Finally I drove further south to Cape Kiwanda.  By the time I made it to Cape Kiwanda, it was almost totally dark, but I did catch a dramatic sight of Haystack Rock offshore, with the last colors of sunset behind it.  Sadly, I did not see any banana slugs on the walk.

Coast just north of Cape Meares.

North of Cape Meares.

Views from Cape Meares.

View from the trail along Cape Lookout.

Seals or Sea Lions near the end of Cape Lookout.

By the end of my walk along Cape Lookout, the sun was down and it was getting dark.

22 Nov 2004 - My flight back to Austin was a little interesting.  The first leg, from Portland to Houston, went quickly, but the airplane was hit by lightning on the way.  Nothing bad seemed to come of it!  The second leg, from Houston to Austin, was less fun.  Normally, this is very short, but thunderstorms kept us on the runway in Houston for two hours before we finally took off.  After I finished the book I was reading, to kill some time, I started trying to work out how high up a balloon can float before it breaks.  As I was working out the equations, the woman next to me asked:  'Are you a mathematician?'.  Trying not to be indignant, I replied:  'NO, I am NOT a mathematician!!'.

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