Sunday, October 19, 2008

The Patch

Fall is in the air. The leaves are changing colors. So what? What are you supposed to do about it? Answer: go to your local pumpkin patch. That's exactly what we did on Saturday. For the second straight year we went to Craven Farms to pick out the choicest pumpkins straight from the source. We met several current and former ward members including Ginny's bff Riley Maxfield and the Joneses.
Riley and Ginny in a Canoe

Ginny was also pretty stoked about riding in the complementry wheelbarrow.

The pumpkin hype reached levels of hysteria. Little Violet could hardly contain herself when in close proximity to the pumpkins. It was pumpkin-mania! Ginny enjoying the wheel-barrow
In addition to the field of tramlped pumpkin vines, there was also fall and farm related activities such as tractor rides, pumpkin tossing, farm animal petting, a folk band, plus an impressive array of squash and gourds, which was a unfortunately lacking on our favorite, the butternut squash. Ginny made friends with this donkey.

(It's not real). Craven Farms is cool. Happy fall!

Mount Stuart

For our last climb of the year Brandon, Chris, and I climbed Mount Stuart. Before you say "I've never heard of that mountain," let me ask if you have ever driven on I-90? Around Ellensburg have you ever looked to the north and seen this?

Well, if you have, on the left you were unknowingly viewing the second highest non-volcanic peak in Washington, as well as one of the most prominent peaks and the largest block of granite in the lower 48: Mount Stuart. It was a handy 8,000 foot plus elevation gain. Here I am on the approach.
We camped at the base of the mountain and got started a few hours before dawn. Here is the sunrise from high on the mountain (Brandon is hidden in the foreground).

Unfortunately that nice cap of white in the picture of me and the mountain proved to be about an inch of ice on bare rock dusted with snow. So we had to turn back just before the summit. But that was more than made up for by the beautiful surroundings; including these awesome alpine larches, the only evergreen tree that's not (they turn gold in the fall and lose their needles).Wow!