Man. Just thinkin about how long it’s been since I last saw JK. At least 4 years because Molly was barely born. In that time, my good friend, John Kairis, left the “camera biz”, made the move to Hood River, Oregon, and started a small farm.
What a co-in-kee-dink… we just happened to be heading to Hood River for Memorial Day Weekend! Wound up being a magical and memorable time for all of us… What an amazing experience for all the kids and adults as well 🙂
Right off the bat, I had a PBR in hand and we were feeding chickens and grabbing eggs for next morning’s brekky. He showed us all the fruits and veggies he was growing and we grabbed a fresh mango as a snack. Elderberry, echinacea, you name it, he’s growing it. John cooked us a meal (which was soooo nice after eating out every day) and we ate and talked and drank and man it was nice. The next couple of days were non-stop madness.
Ok, let’s fly the drone. Oops, crashed it in neighbor’s orchard – grab the machete and forge a path to recover said drone. Check.
Ever ride a “One Wheel“? Nope. Let’s go. Round and round the driveway, endless fun. Couldn’t get Molly or Lucy (or myself) off once we got the hang of it. Ronan (John’s 8 year-old) had the One Wheel mastered and the girls just watched him in awe… while Willow (John’s 3 year-old) cruised around on her scoot bike. The fun was never-ending.
Drum set, check. DJ booth with turntables, check. Sitting on the back porch and watching the kiddos run around being kiddos = priceless.
So yeah, even with all the activities at Camp Kairis, we still got the itch that needed scratching. Gotta ride bikes yo. I mean, JK is only a 10 minute drive from Post Canyon… It would be sacrilegious not to get our groove on in one of the OG gravity trail networks in the world. Here’s the plan:
John and I jam up there in the truck and get riding first. By the time we’re finishing the climbing up Seven Streams and Heart Attack Hill, Angela and the kids should be making their way up to Family Man. We descend the goods to Family Man with a fantastic ride already in our legs and spend the rest of the afternoon riding with the Groms. It wound up being even better than that! John watched the kids so Angela and I could go ride together, ALONE. Been so long since we’ve done that. Forever indebted.
Here’s the Strava link to the ride. So nice to not pull out maps or apps and just follow someone with local knowledge. Always the best. Up to the sky we climbed, chatting and catching up on life. Then it was time for manicured flow trail nirvana all the way down to the pump track and skills course where we found the groms session-ing. Lots of progressive jump and bridge line options – so cool to see all the kids gettin’ at it.
Since JK and I were parked at the bottom, and there was still about 4 miles of mad flow to be had, we brought Ronan and Lucy with us on Middle School, Float On, New School, and Kleeway, while Angela took Molly back to the farm. This was Ronan’s and Lucy’s first time on any flow trails this technical. They both killed it!! It was great that they could “push” eachother, and super special daddy time for John and I, helping our kids progress on the perfectly perfect flow trails. Smiles for miles at the bottom, and high fives all around. Still stoked on that as I sit here writing!
Kickstand Coffee for din din. Burgers all around and a Pfriem Pilsner to wash it down. Then some stick races in the babbling brook. Off to “The Hook” to play in the Columbia Gorge and eat some Gelato a Cicci. Back to the crib – jammies on… yes, Molly, we can hang out on the porch and watch the last of the ambient light disappear from the day.
Thank you for your kind heart and hospitality, JK. Your kids, like you, are beautiful and happy and selfless and we were blessed to spend three nights of mayhem with ya!