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Archive for the 'Love' Category

Time to get married

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

Sarah and I are getting married this weekend. It’s hard to believe it’s happening so soon. We got engaged back in February, and at that time it seemed like we had to wait forever to get married. But the time has flown by, and now the wedding is upon us.

It’ll be a small wedding, with close friends and family. I can’t wait for everyone to see how wonderful Sarah is, how happy she makes me, and how much I love her.

Don’t expect any blog posts from me in the next few days; I’ll be busy revelling in what a lucky man I am. I hope everyone has a fun and safe weekend. The next time I post on this blog, I’ll be a married man!

An impromptu day off

Friday, June 13th, 2008

A few weeks ago, Sarah was gone most of the weekend, so Monday I took a day off at the last minute and Sarah and I spent the day together, driving around southern Indiana, taking photos and exploring/hiking. I fell behind in my blogging, so I’m just now writing about it.

The great thing about taking a day off at the last minute is that it feels like playing hooky, without any guilt (well, maybe a little guilt for not giving my boss more notice, but hey, it wasn’t a problem). We started our day off by going to our favorite breakfast establishment, Wee Willie’s (we like the Ellettsville location). Anyway, after that we started heading south with no real destination in mind. Unfortunately I left my Indiana Atlas and Gazetteer at home, so we had to make do with the road atlas. We ultimately decided to drive down to Paoli, a town I had driven through but Sarah had never seen. We stopped in downtown Paoli to take a few photos. There is a pretty quaint square with some big hills in the background.

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Courthouse, downtown Paoli, IN

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Some shops

I did a couple of infrared shots, but quickly decided I didn’t want to haul the tripod around or deal with the cumbersome nature of IR photography.

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Courthouse in infrared

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Infrared shops and hills

So, I put the tripod away and broke out my kit lens, and threw a circular polarizer filter on it. We had fun just walking around the square, seeing what shops were there (actually surprisingly few of interest), and just being together. I was fascinated by many of the buildings’ textures, and several very interesting windows. Many buildings were vacant or businesses closed. A couple of businesses had moved across the square to different stores.

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Siding

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Sherrod (not sure what that was …)

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Windows

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The Music Store

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Railing

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Walters Ye Olde Barber Shoppe

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Peeling paint

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Stairs

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Public Library

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Hills

After going around the square and taking some photos, we went into a “pub” that based on the outside looked like it was going to be pretty nice. It wasn’t dirty or anything, but it wasn’t what we expected. When I asked what they had on tap I got a funny look. Nothing on tap, just bottles. OK! One guy drank Stoli drinks out of a paper cup and a number of people gathered at the bar to watch Maury Povich. We each had a Rolling Rock and left.

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Bar

After our … uh … “urban” expedition, we decided we should do something outdoors and found we weren’t far from Patoka Lake. We drove there and got a map at the front gate, but didn’t realize until it was too late that it didn’t include a map of the hiking trails. Oh well, we figured, we read that one trail was short and decided to give it a shot, even though we were not wearing proper shoes and didn’t have a map. As we prepared to go hiking, we saw an animal from a distance that we think was a fox. Then as we walked along, we saw a couple of lizards sunning themselves. They stuck around long enough for me to put the long lens on my camera.

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Lizard

We took photos of the lizards and some nearby plants before heading down the trail

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Ferns — nice and fractally (yes, I’m sure that is a word)

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Flower

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I’m not sure what this is, but it’s really cool-looking and fuzzy

We debated which way to go once we reached the trail. It was a loop, so we figured we should be able to go either way.

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Sarah hiking

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Hiking

To make a long story short, we must’ve gone the wrong way, I believe at the very beginning, because this trail was not short, and we ended up going “backwards” based on the signs. We hiked for a good hour or an hour and a half in sandals/poor shoes and really got pretty tired. Eventually we found a “short cut” back but it was probably another two miles from there. Sometimes being spontaneous has a price, but it was well worth it even though it was a bit frustrating, and we were not well-prepared this time around.

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Trail

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Light

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Pines

Eventually we got back to the car. It took what seemed like forever to get back. We enjoyed our hike immensely, though, and we’d like to go back again and do more hiking at Patoka Lake. There are also some bike paths there that looked like a lot of fun, a couple of campgrounds, and I am sure some boat rental. It looks like it’d be a fun place to spend a weekend.

We drove back to Bloomington tired, but happy, and glad we were able to spend this time together. I can’t think of a better way to spend a day than wandering through the countryside with my soon-to-be wife.

She said yes!!!

Monday, February 4th, 2008

The weather was gorgeous here all weekend, with mostly sunny skies and highs in the mid-40s. Yesterday, Sarah and I headed down to Jackson-Washington State Forest to do some hiking. We have gone camping there before and wanted to go hiking, but didn’t have time. With some help from my friend Dave, we decided to hike up Mount Baldy, which apparently has been renamed to the more-redundant “Pinnacle Peak.”

This was a difficult hike, but very beautiful.  It started with a long climb up to where an old observation tower used to be. The trails were quite muddy, so traction was poor and we were slipping and sliding much of the time. I felt like we were doing some damage to the trails but it was too late by the time we figured out how muddy everything was. The climbs were pretty steep and difficult, mostly going straight up the side of the hills rather than winding up gradually like many trails do.

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Steep climb

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Sarah

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Sarah and Rob standing where the old observation tower once was

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Support from the old observation tower

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Another observation tower support

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Sarah photographing Rob

There was a pretty good view from the observation tower, as it was on top of a big hill. The view was obscured by trees somewhat but you could still see quite a distance.

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The observation tower’s remains look almost like a cemetery from below

After reaching the old observation tower, the trail goes steeply downhill and follows a valley for a little bit before beginning and even bigger climb up to Mount Baldy. It was quite challenging, and the mud got worse. We ran into two other groups hikers during this portion of the hike, the only other people we would see all afternoon. It was great to have the whole place basically to ourselves.

Eventually, we reached the top of Mount Baldy. True to its name, it had a rocky surface with few plants growing on it — as well as a fantastic view.

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View from Mount Baldy

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Another shot of the view

Before Sarah could catch her breath, I hugged and kissed her for a few minutes, then on bended knee, pulled a ring from my pocket and asked “Sarah … will you marry me?” She had no idea this was coming whatsoever — I could see from the look on her face it took a moment for her to process what was going on and realize what I was asking. She was smiling but crying and hugging me and muttered some things, prompting me to ask, “Is that a yes?” She responded with an emphatic “YES!” My heart very nearly jumped from my chest. I knew this would be a great moment, but it was even better than I had envisioned.

The ring I chose has three round-cut stones, the middle one bigger than the other two. It looks even better on Sarah’s finger than it did by itself. The light was perfect for the occasion, the winter sun low in the sky and casting long, beautiful shadows despite being mid-afternoon, and wrapping everything in a warm glow.

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The ring

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Us

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Does she look happy or what?

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The trees below us

We spent a long time on Mount Baldy talking about everything and enjoying the scenery and each other’s company. It was amazing to have this beautiful land all to ourselves. The dog got to feeling a big neglected, but he got over it. Eventually we headed back. It was a long trip down the side of this huge hill, but it didn’t take as long as it did on the way up. In part our exuberance made it go by faster.

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Sarah and Rob

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Looking into the valley below

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Another great smile

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The trail

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Beautiful light

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Back at the observation tower

We thought about hiking some more on a trail that connects to this one at the observation tower, but it was getting a bit late in the day and we were tired enough already. We’ll just have to go back soon to hike more of these trails.

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Muddy trail
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The road back

Our trip back was excellent. We sure have a lot of new things to discuss now. By the end of the day, my face hurt from smiling so much, my ankles hurt from the hiking, and more importantly, Sarah and I felt closer than ever. A great way to feel after a perfect day.

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