Sunday, August 28, 2011

The Girls' Turn...

So this week it was the girls turn to go hiking with Mike. The goal, to conquer Sauk Mountain, which not only they accomplished, but our dog Romeo did too! Kaia started to drag about 1.5 miles into the hike, but was re-energized once they hit snow. 

They peaked at over 5,500 ft., and enjoyed the beautiful wildflowers and scenery along the 4.2 mile trail. The only downside was that they were not the only ones who ventured out that day, as the trail was quite busy. 

Mike has been talking one more hike before the end of the summer, which unfortunately is coming all too quickly.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Next Adventure....

So it didn't take long for the boys to be off on their next adventure. This one was steeper, higher, and longer, and according to Mike, "Not as much fun, because we couldn't slide down it!" There was very little snow, so they had to climb down, as well as up, which in all, took eleven hours.

They did have more company though, as Kellen joined them this trip for most of the trip. Here they are energized and ready to go at the beginning of the hike.

Seems he discovered he was a little out of shape with about a mile to go, so he rested his legs while Mike and Josh finished the trip. Unfortunately there was little shade where they left him, so he got a bit of extra sun, despite having copious amounts of sunscreen on already. That's the downside of being 6200' high!
That red dot Josh is pointing at is Kellen!
Looking down at Kellen (click on photo to be able to see red dot)!
From the top of Mt. Pugh they had a 360 degree view of many peaks in the beautiful Cascades. To the south was Mt. Rainier...
 Looking north at Mt. Baker...

And of course, for me, their "living dangerous" photos...

There's talk of one more trip before the end of the summer. Kellen is determined to peak with Mike this time. I look forward to sharing more of their incredible photos.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


So as I mentioned in my last post, we made a mad dash last week for Sunriver after Josh headed off to church camp. Mike's mom was attending the Sunriver Music Festival for her 25th straight year, and as always, invites family to stop in and join her for a few days at the condo she rents.  Since Josh was gone, and Kellen was working, most of our activities while there focused around our girls. And speaking of girls, Mike was feeling a bit in the minority, since two of our nieces and their cousin were also there at the same time. Sunriver has an ample amount of bike paths, so the girls were really able to hone their skills. Swimming, horseback riding, and a magic show were also on the agenda. Mame purchased the girls these cowgirl hats while they were still giddy, following their ride!

On our way home we made our seemingly annual stop for food at the Whitehursts house, long-time friends from our humble beginnings as Navy friends! As always, we enjoyed great company, and wonderful food! It was a first for us, BBQ pizza. Everyone made their individual pizza, and Donald oh so carefully grilled each one to perfection.  Poor guy had to wait to be the last one to eat.
Preparing the dough to rise

You would think she meant to roll the dough into a heart


 Adding the sauce and toppings before another grilling to melt the cheese

Two proud pizza makers!


Sunday, August 14, 2011

World's Best Parents...

Or so, at least that's how our daughters referred to us after we surprised them with a horseback riding trail ride while we were in Sunriver last week. They did not know where they were going, so I captured their reaction as we pulled up to the stables...
Now that we are back home, I'm not so sure our status is quite so high as "World's Best" all the time, but we do our best:-) More on our trip in a later post...

Sunday, August 7, 2011

50 YEARS!!!

Saturday was a full day of celebration, honoring my parents' 50th wedding anniversary! We began the day at the Woodland Park Zoo. The weather was perfect zoo weather; not too hot so the animals are inactive, but not too cold for us to be without jackets (you never know in Seattle). The grizzlies were probably the most entertaining, as they were active in the water right next to the protective glass. Of course, my own family provided much zoo entertainment too!

The evening was for the adults, as we had an evening of laughter at the Teatro ZinZanni dinner show in Seattle. If you haven't gone, I highly suggest it for a highly special evening (since it can be quite spendy). We had great seats on the floor for the interactive show, so we became a part of the entertainment. The show changes every few months, and the one we saw was Hail Caesar! Thus the photo below...

Even better than the zoo, according to the girls, were the alpacas on my brother's property. Jeff, Lorrie, and daughter Stephanie own and operate Liberty Alpacas.  Between their own, boarding, or "just visiting" for breeding, they currently have 34 alpacas on their property! There were plenty of newly born too, including one just four days old. The babies were all curious about the cute girls in their pasture, so would come right up to check them out. Their favorite by far was Mira, who is the friendliest alpaca you have ever seen (if you have seen any). They typically are a bit on the skiddish side, but this sweet thing would come lay with the girls, kiss them, and put her head on their lap. But no, no matter how much they beg, we cannot get one of our own!

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Hiking, or Climbing???

Earlier this week Mike casually mentioned that he and Josh were going to go "hiking" on Wednesday. Being the supportive wife I am, and happy that he and his son were going to be doing some male bonding, I eagerly supported this venture. The night before they headed out, Mike told me he would email me a location, so I was aware of where they would be.  I should've been more suspect over their adventure when I read the email the next morning; If we don't contact you before it gets dark, call 911. "Geez, I just thought they were going on a little hike in the mountains," I thought. I guess it never hurts to be prepared for anything.

Here's my idea of a hike, and what I assumed the entire day would be like. Notice the beautiful scenery, walking sticks, breathrite, gentle uphill climb.

 Well from the photos below, you can see I was obviously mistaken!

See the lookout on top this peak?

Guess where this was taken...

This was the "hike" leading there (click on the photo and you can see the lookout in the larger photo)...

That building was the Hidden Lake Lookout, and it had a beautiful view overlooking Hidden Lake. It was frozen over, but you could see bits of magnificently pristine blue water around the edges.
After that ascent, they climbed to one more peak, with more beautiful views of Mt. Baker and other glorious sites. Look closely and you can see the lookout they just occupied, as seen from the second peak...

 In all it took them six hours to climb up, but only two hours to get down. Think Mike had an accident coming down?
Nope, they just took a shortcut that left him cold and wet...


Now that I know the definition of "hiking," I am a little hesitant of their expressed desire to do this more often. However, looking at the breathtaking views, and wanting to encourage them spending more time together, I will not voice my concern (and who knows, maybe even join them someday:).