Thursday, June 30, 2016

Mount St. Helens birthday adventure

Per tradition, I requested a family hike for my birthday: Johnston Ridge Observatory on Mount St. Helens.
First, we went to the observatory to watch the films, listen to a ranger talk and learn about the eruption. They had never been to the observatory, so it was a fun learning experience for everyone! 

We'd planned to take a cheese buffet picnic lunch, but we were so hungry that we spread it out on the sidewalk on ate in the parking lot before we hiked.
 Dad is asleep:
We headed out toward Harry's Ridge, but the exposed trail was too much for Mom's acrophobia, and we turned around at the viewpoint. Mom turned around a bit before that and missed our "summit" shot:
Spirit Lake:
We saw this sign on the way back and laughed: it's Mom!
Let's try to get a group photo. Four out of five isn't too bad:
Different four:
How about three and two partials??
Never mind.

The wildflowers were surprising and gorgeous!
A group shot with everyone!
On the way home, dinner at Corbett Fish House!

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 :)