Monday, August 24, 2009

Lakes, Lutherans, and Mountains

So Brandon and I saw the summer was wearing thin and we still were needing to climb a big mountain. With no volcanoes in the picture we decided to go for a remote big boy: Mount Fernow, third highest non-volcanic peak in Washington, lord of the Entiats, at 9249 feet (but who's counting right?). I have to make it sound dramatic because no one's really heard of it. Here's an idea of what we were dealing with:

The trip started with a ride up Lake Chelan on a Ferry. We got off at Lucerne, about 4/5th of the way up the lake and caught the bus to Holden, an mining village turned Lutheran retreat. Being the only Mormons within 50 miles we decided to lay low until we could retrieve our bags and head up the trail. That trail got us to this nice meadow. From there we had to go up and over the saddle you can see in the background.The other side of the saddle is the dramatic headwaters of the Entiat river. We found a soft, flat place to pitch our tent. The view wasn't bad either:

The next morning we set out at 4am and arrived at the summit just after dawn. If you're not in on the secret, the best time to do anything outdoors is at dawn; this was no exception. The views were amazing in the hazy dawn glow. Here's Brandon with the North Cascades beyond.

We had to run back down to be back in Holden to catch the bus at 1pm. There's only one bus a day. The fact that Bri didn't murder me is proof we got back in time.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Gunnar and Camping

On Wednesday the 29th- that really hot day in Seattle- Gunnar my little brother joined us for about a week. He graciously watched my girls and the Maxfield girls so I could go to Ben's defense. It was nice to have some AC if only for an hour. In case you were wondering Ben passed and it was about 103 degrees in Seattle that day. We tried to go out to celebrate for dinner but everyone was at the mall and the surrounding restaurants trying to escape the heat. Oh well.
The next day I took the girls and Gunnar to the museum of flight. Little did we know the Blue Angels were taking off that morning. They took off just a few minutes after we parked, it was pretty cool. Here is a picture of Gunnar and Ginny in front of a Blue Angel inside the museum.
Here is Gunnar as an astronaut!

On Friday we got to go on our roof and watch some Blue Angel magic in the sky. It was pretty cool. Then we got busy packing to go camping two nights with our buddies the Maxfields.

Us girls enjoyed the river, playing games, and napping...

...while the boys did a short & nearby hike up Silver Peak.

Here is our family shot with my Gunnar.
Other fun things were swimming in the river, alley-ooping the girls, and a short nature hike together. At night we enjoyed s'mores and games like Seafarers of Catan and Ticket to Ride.

We had a great time.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Utah Road Trip

My cousin Erika was getting married in Utah. What better excuse to pack up the kids for a road trip? Any Northwestern Mormon knows the drive to Utah well. This was my first time driving from Seattle as opposed to the Tri-Cities. It's a twelve plus hour drive. Our plan was to leave early in the morning to take advantage of the girls being asleep. It took 16 hours counting all the potty breaks and run-around breaks. My sister Miranda mercifully put us up for the duration of our stay in scenic Eagle Mountain. The next morning was the temple ceremony in the brand new Draper Temple with the reception in the evening. Ginny really thought Erika was a real princess, thus the ecstatic look in this picture: Between the Temple and the reception we stopped in to see some of Bri's cousins and her Grandma. Everyone had a great time while I slept off the drive on the couch. This is Bri's cousin Missy with selected grandkids of her uncle Steve.
This is Lauren with her two kids. Katie and Kelly also stopped in.

That evening we were treated to the world's game. That's right Major League Soccer, Real Salt Lake. I've been to a few crazy soccer games in my day, but this was the craziest scoring wise. After being down 2-0 at halftime I was bracing for an embarrassing defeat. Then we came back and scored 4 goals in the second half. To top it off, we blocked a penalty kick. We were overjoyed:Saturday morning we went to visit my high school era pal Keith's family. We got to see their luxurious accommodations in South Provo. Sorry, no pics. A word on heat: it was really hot the whole time. Saturday was actually the coolest day, but it was still plenty warm for a little slip and slide. Ginny was a natural, though she preferred running down instead of sliding. Here she is sliding with a little help from dad.
Phil introduced us to the idea of the slip-and-slide relay. It entailed sliding the length of the slip and slide, getting up and completely submerging in the pool (which ended up giving me some trouble), then racing back to the starting point. It turned out to be a good mix of slap-stick and skill. Bri even got in on the action. Enjoy these clips!

We had a great time. Big thanks to the Lewises for room, board, and entertainment. We had a blast.