Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The MAX Challenge: Taking MAX to the Max!

I love TriMet's MAX. I ride it whenever I have the opportunity. I took it to work the past few months before school was out, I take it when we hang out downtown, and I have taken it many times to visit my parents in Beaverton. We live so close to it that it is easily the most advantageous form of transportation available to us.

When riding, I sometimes wonder about whether or not anyone has ever attempted to ride all of the MAX lines at one time. It seems very unlikely. I calculated that it would take more than 6.25 hours to complete this feat...a goal that most Portlanders would shake their head at.

But not me. I will take the MAX to the max.* I will attempt...
The MAX Challenge!

Here is the plan:

It is more complicated than it seems: I can't just ride all of the lines from end to end. I must ride them in a particular way so that I roll over every bit of track that is being used. Naturally, there will be many transfers along the way. So I'll have to bring enough reading material and music to keep me busy. Below is the line/transfer schedule, starting at the station closest to home...

E 148th Ave to Gresham (Blue line; 15 min)
Gresham to PDX Int'l Airport (Blue to Red line, transfer at Gateway TC; 50 min)
PDX Int'l Airport to Hillsboro (Red to Blue line, transfer at Beaverton TC; 1 hr 40 min)
Hillsboro to PSU (transfer from Blue line at Mall/SW 4th Ave to Yellow line at Pioneer Place/SW 5th Ave; 1 hr 10 min)
PSU to Expo Center (Yellow line; 35 min)
Expo Center to Pioneer Place/SW 5th Ave (transfer from Yellow to Blue line at Mall/SW 4th Ave; 30 min)
Mall/SW 4th Ave to Clackamas Town Center (Blue to Green line, transfer at Gateway TC; 45 min)
Clackamas Town Center to E 148th Ave (Green to Blue line, transfer at Gateway TC; 30 min)

Total time: 6 hours, 15 minutes (approximately)

Click to see map details

I'm planning on attempting the MAX Challenge on a weekday. The reason for this is because I don't think my wife would ever go with me and I don't want to waste a precious day away from her over the weekend. If you are crazy enough to go with me during the week, then let me know! I'd love the company!

Stay tuned for a post following the big event!

This video was taken by the big nerd that I am, when the new Type 4 MAX trains were starting test runs a year and a half ago.

*"Take the MAX to the max" quote coined by Weston Ruter, a fellow Gwinn Challenge participant, TriMet enthusiast, and friend.

MAX Challenge Success! 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Adopt Foster Kids

I laughed out loud when I saw these funny commercials ( when watching the Uruguay v. Netherlands game today. But then I realized what an awesome message was embedded inside these simple ads: There are many kids out there that aren't looking for perfection...just a parent.

The narrator at the end of the commercials stated, "You don't have to be perfect to be a perfect parent." And another ad stated, "Because kids in foster care don't need perfection. They need you." That is so true. There are thousands of foster kids in the world who were just unlucky when it comes to family life. Lots of them would love a good family to adopt them, and it would be so beneficial for them as they prepare for adulthood.

Jen and I are planning on taking care of foster kids eventually. We are planning on practicing our parenting skills on two or three kids at first, and then looking into foster care. It all depends on how Jen's pregnancy progresses. We would love to adopt kids for a long time...until we get too old to take care of them!

A friend of mine has a great quote on her facebook page: "If you're going to be against abortion, you had better be willing to adopt some kids." I think that quote is just awesome. So many people in this country are against abortion, and yet, so few actually do something about the group of kids who survived pregnancy and end up in families that don't want them.

Anyway, just some food for thought. Enjoy these funny commercials:

If you can't see the videos, go here and here.

Glenfair Community Garden

We have been keeping busy this summer working on the Glenfair Community Garden across the street from us. We were very excited last year when we started it with the planning committee. This whole process has been very new to me and extremely educational. Now I am faced with another role that is unknown to me: Garden Coordinator. I was elected to be the one who manages the garden, gardeners, paperwork, and upkeep. I am excited about the role and am happy to volunteer my time to do it. However, since I don't really know what I'm getting myself into, I hope that I am not too overwhelmed with the responsibilities. So far, I'm pumped because I'm all organized and ready to sign people up!

If you are in the Glenfair/Glendoveer/148th MAX Stop neighborhood in East Portland and are interested in a FREE garden plot, then have them contact me or visit and fill out an online application.

Here are a few slideshows to show you what we have been working on:

The Fence

Tilling, Digging, Spreading

Breaking Ground