Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Mount Rainier birthday adventure

When one has a "big" birthday, one either wants to ignore it or do something big to commemorate the occasion. When I turned 40 last month, I wanted to do something special - something adventurous.

Over the past months, I came up with several ideas that didn't pan out. Then Brad suggested we spend the weekend before my birthday (June 3-5) exploring Mount Rainier National Park. Instead of our usual camping, we decided to stay in a cabin - you know, since it was a special occasion!

We chose Deep Forest Cabins, a place just outside the park boundary in Ashford. They offer several cabin options, and we picked Maplewild, which had rave reviews. While I failed to take any photos (you'll have to look at the site for pics), I was absolutely thrilled with this little cabin. It was exactly what I wanted for my special celebration. And I fully recommend this to anyone looking for a special getaway!

Our weekend agenda included relaxing, sampling from the restaurants in town, hot tubbing, hiking and trail running. First up Saturday was a run. The trail we chose was snowed in, so we went with Plan B: the Wonderland Trail. We parked at Box Canyon Picnic Area and took the Stevens Creek Trail to Wonderland.
Gorgeous scenery!
Because Stevens Canyon Road just opened the previous weekend, annual trail maintenance had just begun. As we started down the round-the-mountain trail, we spotted lots of fresh cuts and saw dust - sure signs of recent trail work. Then a short time later, our forward progress halted as we came to an end of the maintenance. We climbed over the few trees across the trail. Then a few yards later, another road block. Then a few yards later, more. And more. And more! We could not believe the destruction from winter storms!

We continued climbing over, under, around the downed trees until we reached a creek. The bridge had washed out, and there was no way to get across.

Before we turned around, we explored the Maple Creek Camp. The sign is propped against the bottom of a toppled fir tree:
And this is the trail to the campsites:
Climbing over and around this stuff was hard, tiring work! So much for our trail "running" experience :)

We returned to the cabin for showers and a nap before heading out to hike to Comet Falls:
It was short but steep - and HOT since it was the hottest weekend of the year!
After packing up and saying goodbye to our little cabin in the woods, Sunday's adventure was a hike on Rampart Ridge. We parked at Longmire and did a clockwise loop.

Not a bad view!
We chose this lovely spot for lunch:
Birthday bundt cake!
Cheese and salmon jerky:
After that super-sweaty hike, we drove up to Paradise for a glimpse at the Tattoosh Range, where we've done lots of climbing:
And the summit:
Because of the amazing weather, the place was packed! The parking lot was full, and we sat in line just to drive through. I jumped out to snap some photos while Brad slowly circled in the car.
It was such a great weekend! A wonderful way to celebrate my big birthday :)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Mother's Day

WOW! Life has been CRAZY these past few weeks!

Between birthdays and graduation and vacation and negotiations and a relay, I am way behind on posting.

LAST MONTH, the fam gathered for Mother's Day brunch at McMenamins Grand Lodge in Forest Grove. Of course, we had to pose for photos in the garden.

Ma with her daughters:
Add in the granddaughters:
And Vicki (lots of females in our family!):
Ma and Pa:
Eryn and I gave Mom boxing gloves and wraps for Mother's Day! I bet not many other mothers got that :)

Sunday, June 26, 2016

No. 22

Still loving Sue Henry!
After reading all my books and all the loaners from Dad, I found this one at Goodwill for $1.99!

I zipped through it, learning more about sled-dog racing and Alaska. And it was especially fun since we just went to Alaska!!

Gotta get more Sue Henry :)

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

More CE2 grads!!

We have more CE2 graduates! Check out my lovely former students!

 More to come :)

Sunday, June 5, 2016

No. 21

No. 21 was Sue Henry's Dead North, borrowed from my dad:
I'm loving these books! Henry weaves a great tale - really keeping me guessing and wanting more. 


Friday, June 3, 2016

CE2 Adopt-a-Highway

A week ago I was walking Highway 99 with my CE2 kiddos.

Several years ago, our class adopted the section in Tigard from McDonald to Highway 217, and we clean it twice a year. The students earn volunteer hours and also (hopefully) learn something about giving back and taking care of our world a bit.

We split into two groups, and my kiddos cleaned both sides from McDonald to Main Street.

I walked the bike lane and picked up cigarette butt after cigarette butt. Yuck! 

Next time you drive past the signs, think of us :)

Thursday, June 2, 2016

Guess what I did for Global Running Day?

My plan was to get up really early Wednesday and hit the pavement for 4ish miles to celebrate Global Running Day. BUT... our contract negotiations session didn't adjourn until almost 9:30 the night before, and by the time I was actually asleep, there was no way I was getting up before 5 a.m.

So I slept in a little and then hit the treadmill for a quick 1.5 miles. Despite exhaustion, there's no way I'm missing that holiday!
We also made it to kickboxing in the evening for more sweating!