June 30, 2011
I wrapped up a nice weekend in Roseburg last weekend by winning the consolation draw, defeating my good friend and travel partner for Thailand and Canada, Charlie Cutler, in the final. I was put in the back draw after I lost to George Jecminek of Vancouver, Canada in the quarterfinals. For the second straight week I lost to Jon Endrikat and Curt Wheeler in doubles, this time in the semifinals before they went on to win the tournament in consecutive weeks.
Following the completion of the tournament, I took off once again by myself Monday morning and headed down to the Redwoods National Park in Northern California. Driving into the park I couldn’t believe the groves of gargantuan trees, with the tops looming hundreds of feet above me. There were tress with trunks wide enough to drive a car through, in groves that lasted as far as the eye can see. I drove on the famous Howland Hill Road, a windy dirt road only as wide as a single car that wound through a grove of the enormous green giants. Once immersed in the dense forest, life was pulsing all around. The babbling of a distant creek is always present, with birds calling and insect buzzing everywhere.
After driving through the forests, I spent the night at a Motel 6 down by Humboldt State, and headed back up to Oregon the following morning. After stopping in some cool ocean towns I discovered the previous day, I decided to take the 101 N and follow the Oregon Coast back up to central Oregon. The rugged beaches, with rocks jutting out hundreds of feet into the ocean, made for one of the most beautiful coast lines I have ever seen. I was shrouded in fog as I weaved along the cliffs, with forests cascading down to the rough beach below. I stopped in Brookings and Bandon, two small fishing villages that sit on protected areas of the coast, that cater to the wandering tourists and the people that have migrated far west and far north to get as far away from society as they can.
Unfortunately, my solo adventures couldn’t last forever, and I began preparing for this week’s tournament in Eugene, OR. I returned to Roseburg Tuesday night and had a nice hit in the evening. After packing up and exploring a bit of the local wine country, I drove up to Eugene to have a light practice and play in the pro-am event, which are fairly common along this circuit and a lot of fun. It’s a great opportunity to meet the locals who come out and support the tennis all weekend. Today, I hit some serves and did a light gym workout in the morning, and had my first round match in the afternoon, which I won against a recent Portland-area high school graduate.
The rest of the weekend will be a grind, but I’m really looking forward to it. I’m in a great mind set and am really enjoying the competition and being out on the court. I’m in three events this weekend (singles, men’s doubles, and mixed doubles), so I’ll be working hard to maintain my body and make sure it lasts through the whole weekend. Stay tuned for updates from Eugene, and thanks for reading!