New Year’s Eve

We managed to pack quite a bit into New Year’s Eve. Jen and James are moving to Oregon in a few weeks and are going to be renting a rather nice house in a place called The Dalles. This is a quaint small town at the end of the old Oregon trail and we paid it a visit so that we could view their new place. It’s a quintessentially American country house, as you can see:

Living in The Dalles

Jen will be working at the local hospital while they look for more permanent accommodation but this house is situated on a nice little plot right next to an orchard with some lovely views over the local countryside. It has three large bedrooms, ample living space and a septic field. Which is nice.

We pottered about in that part of the world for a bit and headed back up the mountain again with the promise of moonshine and snow-mobiling. The weather was just brilliant and clear so the views of the local mountains was spectacular. We’ve had a lot of rain and so it was great to have at least one day where the sun was out. Mount Snowden provided us with a great view of Mount Adams from the driveway of one of the plots on the way up:

Mount Adams

We arrived back at Steve and Miraya’s before it got dark and so I took the opportunity to take a few photos around Steve’s front “yard”. Their house is built in a spectacular 20 acre plot and Steve has bought, and arranged artistically, about 250 vehicles of various levels of serviceability around his garden. He owns a car body shop and these are all an investment for parts and future projects, however they look absolutely wonderful in the snow:

One or two cars in there somewhere

Once I’d finished filling up my memory card in my camera I ventured inside for some beer o’clock activities before heading out for some extreme snow-mobile action! I’d never been on one of these beasts before and Steve happened to have three of the bloody things. He has lots of toys and we got to play with them too, so we headed towards one of his neighbours fields with lots of horsepower and some tubes in an attempt at breaking a few necks.

Backseat driverWe didn’t manage to break anything but we did have a huge amount of fun. Snow-mobiles have to be the most fun you can have with your clothes on! We raced around this field at insane speeds with big smiles on our faces. There was some lovely slopes to get some air-time and some water to make sure that we needed to get dried out once we made it back to the house. Riding along in the tubes is a lot of fun too, although having a tonne of snow shoved repeatedly into your face hurts just a little bit.

I took a few photos of the others racing around although it started getting a bit dark when the tubes got attached to the back. Still, if you ever get a chance to have a go on one of these things then you really must try it out.

So, legs intact we headed back to the house to continue beer-related activities. Thankfully, Steve also has a hot-tub so we were able to bathe our aching limbs in soothing bubbles while reducing the alcohol stockpile. We sat in there for about an hour – it was pure heaven!

Still, we couldn’t sit in there all evening as Steve and Miraya were expecting guests – mostly family – and Steve had acquired some bona-fida moonshine for the event. This was the proper stuff – 190 proof and made out of corn. As the evening progressed Miraya seemed intend on getting me to drink most of it myself, but I successfully fended her off so that my brain didn’t become too mushy before the New Year arrived.

The moonshine actually tasted more smooth than the Tequila I was also tasting. It’s probably because of its purity but it didn’t taste too bad when taken as a shooter with the salt and lemon thing going on too. I wasn’t too pissed when headed out to see some of the neighbours fireworks at around midnight.


The fireworks were fun (and free!) and there was lots of kissing for new year. I think I managed to avoid all the people with ‘taches for that. Fireworks over we headed back to the house for more moonshine and beer.

If I’d have had internet access at the time (rather than blogging about it four days later) I’d have taken this opportunity to wish everyone a very Happy New Year!

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