Wednesday, May 21, 2014

D-III Nationals

This year 16 Men's Teams and 16 Women's Teams came to Westerville, Ohio, outside Columbus for the USA Ultimate Division III College Championships.

We were there to root for Carleton's GOP (Gods Of Plastic) and Eclipse.  GOP wound up tied with Claremont for third place - far better than their seeding predicted.  And Eclipse placed second among the women, losing out a tough Finals match against Rice.

I hadn't seen D play Ultimate since high school (three years ago) and it was so amazing to see the level of play.  But what was most fun was the enthusiasm and the camaraderie and the irreverant cheering.


Last year M went to Nationals on her own, but this year I decided to tag along. Partly to celebrate her birthday in person, partly to see D, and partly because I just wanted to go. It was a full weekend - we flew to Columbus on Friday and flew home Sunday evening. We spent time on four 737s (Southwest Airlines), at Midway Field (Chicago), at the hotel (Fairfield), and in restaurants (Max and Erma's and Wendell's).  But we spent most of our time at the Westerville Sports Complex, watching the top Division 3 teams in the country play Ultimate.

We were there to watch Carleton's GOP (Gods of Plastic), with whom D has been playing for three years. I'll add the sports photos to the subsequent post - this is more about the sidelines and the family.

Saturday was cool and saw a series of rain squalls move through, but Sunday was gorgeous.  We hung out on the sidelines with other other parents and with Fruit Pooch - who travels with GOP to most of their tournaments.

Westerville is a suburb north of Columbus.  It probably has more history and character than our weekend allowed us to see, but mainly it looked like a Midwest suburb where character-free malls and business parks and housing divisions have taken over all but a few remaining farms. The sports fields were in the floodplain of Alum Creek - a couple of miles downstream from the Alum Creek Dam which I visited very briefly on Sunday afternoon in an effort to track down the only local beach I knew about (perhaps a later post on the other blog).

Kubota Garden

We're still back on Saturday, April 26th.  I was heading back from Tacoma by lunchtime and somewhat impulsively decided I still had time to swing by Kubota Garden.  This was my first trip back here in a couple of years. The last time was a drizzly summer day a couple of years ago (Kubota Garden: July 2011). Today the sun was out and everything was blooming.

Point Defiance

It was shaping up to be a nice Saturday and I desperately needed to get out. As usual on Saturday mornings, M gets up later and then goes to Jazzercize, so I'm on my own. I dithered for awhile over coffee and eventually decided that the tides were more conducive to a beach walk than to kayaking.

I drove south to Tacoma and parked at Owen Beach (Gravel Beach).  I hiked out to Point Defiance itself - something I'd never done before - and got a good dose of coastal geology (Point Defiance).  This is wonderful stretch of beach and it's a real shame I haven't spent more time exploring the park.

Afterwards I worked my way back along Ruston Way checking out beaches, then filled up with coffee at Treo's in Old Town before hitting I-5 and heading north.


I arrived in Seattle in 1983 and met M shortly after.  My first Seder was in 1984 and we've celebrated at least one every year since then. But I think this was the first time we didn't do it as part of a larger group.

M arranged a very nice two-person event and we alternated our way through the Haggadah. Well, we sort of alternated. After all, I wasn't much help with the Hebrew and the singing!

Mount Si

It's been a very busy spring at work.  That didn't keep me from getting outside a little bit but it sure left me way behind in the blog.

This one goes back to the second weekend of April.  Last year I'd already been up Mount Si twice by this time, but maybe the novelty of that new found masochism wore off or maybe the weather just hasn't been conducive.  Regardless, I needed some exercise and Saturday morning I hiked up through the early morning clouds to find an almost clear sky right around the summit.

I actually contemplated climbing the haystack, which I've never done, and clambered up a ways.  But then I decided I was too old for this kind of thing and the prospect of climbing back down started to spook me, so I turned around and went back and had lunch on the less exposed rocks lower down.  Which by then had begun to get awfully crowded.  Remind me to do this on a weekday sometime!