Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Gone Around the Bend

Weather, road closures and detours were the norm for the first trip of the year for Rick the Recruiter.  Thanks to a Facebook message from Trobairitz letting me know that Hwy 20 was closed at Cascadia due to a land slide I ventured south to Eugene and up Hwy 126.  I was amazed at the level of the river on the way over the Cascades.  Many of the boat landings and rest areas were either under water or close to being under water.  The trip over the mountains were uneventful and I made relatively good time.  It's always nice to escape to the east side of the Cascades where the sun shines 300 days out of the year.

Tedward the Trooper taking a break outside of Sisters

I met up for dinner with friends at the Deschutes Brewery.  Had a very good Ruben Sandwich and tasty half pint of Oregonian Beer.  10.5% alcohol and fruity (hint of Strawberry and 10 different Oregon Hops).

Monday was spent recruiting at Central Oregon Community College, a trip to Prineville to talk high school administrators and community members about Ecampus opportunities and requirements of being an online learner.   The weather started turning bad so I headed out.  The webcams looked really bad on the Santiam Pass so I headed south to Willamette Pass where the roads were clear.  I left Prineville at 6pm and arrived home at 11pm.  A long drive around.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Butterbeer in Hogsmead and a Ride on an ST1300 in Florida

Discovered a lost Blog Post from back in November.

So my final trip of the fall for conferences was to Orlando Florida for the SLOAN - C Annual conference and to Tampa for a workshop on appreciative advising.  Both conferences were great and I came back with several new ideas for work.  While in Florida I took a few opportunities to explore. This year I opted not to visit Disney World.  Last year, I went scuba diving at Epcot's Dive Quest.  This is a great experience where you get to go behind the scenes at EPCOT and scuba dive in the aquarium.

This year a couple colleagues and I went to Universal Orlando to experience the world of Harry Potter, Hogsmead and Hogwarts.

While in Hogsmeade we tried Butterbeer.  If you have not read the books this is a drink that many in the wizarding world drink.  This concoction tastes like butterscotch cream soda with a light marshmellow cream head.

We also went on the three rides in Hogwartz.  The Dragons Challenge is a very fast feet dangling roller coaster race.  The Flight of the Hippogriff is a kids roller coster.  The big ride is Harry Potter and the Forbidden Journey  provides a tour of Hogwarts Castle and a ride on a combo motion simulator movie with live action plots mixed in between.  The ride was well worth the trip.  Also included in Hogsmeade is the Three Broomsticks, Zonko's Joke Shop, Honneydukes Candy Shop, as well as both Dervish and Banges clothing store and Olivanders Wand shop.

In between conferences in Florida I rented an ST1300 for a day and went for a ride.  Not planning too far in advance I rented from Eagle Rider and was fortunate to not rent a Harley.  I had 26 hours on a 24 hour contract. (The advantage of renting on the weekend changing from day light savings time to standard time)  I got an extra hour which of course I used.  My first plan was to ride to both the Atlantic and Gulf coasts but didn't quite make it.  I did however make it out to the Kennedy Space Center.

I made it to the Atlantic Ocean and rode up the coast to Daytona Beach.  Of course being from Oregon and it being November, I thought for sure it would be warm.  Temps were in the upper 60's when I left but by the time I got to Daytona Beach the temps dropped down into the 40's.  My jeans, polar fleece vest and leather jacket were no match for the cold.  I stopped in a tee shirt shop, picked up a hoody and two more tee shirts and with several layers rode back to Orlando.  I also stopped at a mega store for hand warmers for my pockets.  Of course, it's Florida, they don't need any stinking hand warmers.  But since the Florida population is made up of senior citizens, they had plenty of Thermacare Heat Wraps.  Oh, the wonders of the heat wrap. If you have not used one while riding.  I highly recommend it. The last 8 hours of riding the temps started out in the upper 30's and warmed up into the 60's by the time I turned in the motorcycle.  26 hours... 650 miles.  Not too bad!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gearing Up for Travel Season (The Winter Edition)

Every year my job takes me on a tour of the states community colleges to encourage students to consider going to Oregon's Land Grant institution.  Now I could sit here and tell you about the wonders of the Morrill Act and how this guy named John Morrill came up with this idea about giving each state land to create universities for the people.  But you knew that, right.  One of the goals of a land grant institutions is to serve the people of the state. So in that light, I take to the road every winter to "serve the people of the state".  This year I will visit twelve community colleges in four weeks.  From Bend to Roseburg, Coos Bay to Ontario, I will put about 2000 miles on Tedward the Trooper this year.  Along the way I will get to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.  I will be exploring the finer hotels of the state and indulging in the adventures the state has to offer.

Week 1 will be to Bend and Central Oregon Community College, OSU's Cascade Campus and to Prineville and OSU's new Open Campus.

Week one planned route