Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Last Bit of Summer

 I was feeling some cabin fever last weekend.  I begged and whined and complained until the family agreed to get out.  Then we hemmed and hawed trying to decide what to do.  We finally decided to go find a waterfall.  We decided on Union Creek Falls, which is purported to be only 2 tenths of a mile from the road...I'm not so sure about that...it seemed, to my out of shape legs, to be two tenths of a mile in elevation.

The previously reported bridge was not in existence, but someone had fashioned a rope to support the crossing of the stream on a log.  We discovered the log bridge AFTER I got my feet wet attempting to ford the stream on rocks with a camera in hand.
Chloe had her heart set on walking in the stream after I insisted on packing an extra set of shoes with that in mind as a possibility.
The water was crystal clear, Chloe is standing in about 8 inches of water here.





The falls were nice, but the trail had obviously seen better days and there was a little bit of confusion because of the changes.  There was a path to the upper falls, but we were all tired by the time we thought to try for it.  Maybe next time.  The whole point was to get out, and we did.  It was fun.
 Still, when we pulled away from the falls, we felt we had more time on our hands, so we drove up to the summit of Chinook Pass.  If you have never been there, it is totally city kid friendly.  Flat paths and open space allows you to watch your kid on the path for a great distance.  We stopped and walked around Tipsoo Lake, which has a pretty good view of Mount Rainier several miles away.  It's a beautiful alpine lake with frogs, tadpoles, and salamanders.




Once again, Chloe managed to get her feet wet.  I swear, she isn't happy until she's walking in water.  Still, it was fun to watch her catch frogs and then release them with gusto, "You're free froggy!" 

It was a great day!  I love my family.


Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Summer Camping

 In no particular order, you see our August trip to Iron Creek Campground.  A wonderful location.  We were able to go see Mount Saint Helens.








 Land of a million steps...

 but the view was worth it.


 It was only a short weekend, but we all enjoyed it and on the last day, Sunday, when we were to come back, we found a nice little beach on the river where Chloe enjoyed wading.

We intended to go camping three other times...but Chloe's ear infection cancelled one and the other two we needed to delete.  It's a pity that summer is so damned short.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Wow, Another Month!

 We planted our garden back in May.  Our red cabbage is STARTING to come along and make a show.  We already harvested the other cabbage, made it into sourkraut and then threw it away because the vessel we chose to use for a crock was ill suited.  We fixed that and have a new batch of kraut on the way.

We walked to the park...that is, Cora and I walked, and Chloe rode her bike.  She did especially well riding to the corners and waiting for us to catch up so we could cross the street together.  It's a good thing Moxee has the street life of a ghost town.
 I've been working the schools as maintenance guy.  Seems whenever I work with my father-in-law I work harder.  Not a problem, because, all-in-all, he's a good guy to work with, despite the questions he raises as to my abilities.  He thinks he is a comedian I think.
Last weekend we tried to go camping.  We got pretty close to it, until Chloe began complaining of an annoying noise her ear that night.  We were already camping.  At four in the morning we awoke to a small splotch of blood on her pillow.  Needless to say, we were in the cruiser on our way to the ER by 4:30am.  We discovered that 5AM on Saturday is a really good time to get into the ER...you know, if you have to go.  She had gotten an ear infection that failed top show until we had reached higher altitudes.
  
We quickly decided that we were done camping and I went up and retrieved the camper while the girls got prescriptions.  Sunday, we decided to go to the park while Chloe burnt off some energy which she seemed to get from her ear drops.  Cora read her Kindle and watched the kid on the playground and I went around taking pictures of random insects.   When I came back it was time to discover the creek.



 And, finally, my daughter in her "Beauty Queen Dress" from the Fourth of July.


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Camping 2014

We left Sunday, June 22, for a week long getaway to the Oregon Coast.  We enjoy, during that time, many trips from our camp at Fort Stevens to several places of interest from Astoria to Tillamook.  We had fun...at least we did when a certain 4 year-old wasn't being whiny and in need of a nap.

Here you can see us at a rest stop for the dogs and Chloe.
 Chloe loves the beach.  Most times it was a great effort to drag her away from it.  Even promises of ice cream seemed to be no good at times!
At some point we sent her chasing seagulls.  I told her if she could catch one she could keep it as a pet.  She did not succeed.


 I was able to do some night photography.  I pedaled my bike over to Battery Russell one night and was only interrupted by the sheriff once.  Here you can see me and a shooting star.  It was pitch black except for me and my flash.  I had to close my eyes each time I let it strobe, otherwise my night vision would be shot for a few minutes.  There were at least eight flash bursts in this photo.
 We went to the museum at Fort Stevens and Chloe did not fall down on the ground and claim to be tired!  It was amazing!

 Of course, she DID get "Jumpy Squirrel" from the gift shop.


 We went to Fort Clatsop one day.  Chloe got to do the Junior Ranger training (She got a patch).
 And the volunteers were dressed up in period garb.

 We went to the aquarium at Seaside.  We enjoyed touching the sea creatures there and feeding the seals.  There were two who tried to out compete each other by splashing and slapping.  Chloe enjoyed it entirely!



 We went to the beach a million times...ok, it seemed like it.  Only the first day or so could even remotely be said to be beach weather...Chloe disagreed with my assessment and would have been on the beach the entire time.



We had a really good time.  Chloe insisted on being a mermaid, just like last year, but we were not in the position to allow her to cover herself up completely.  You see, on the last morning, we cleaned up, packed up, and then went to the beach to say goodbye for a few minutes...it turned out to be sunny, warm, and amazing.  If it had been THAT way the entire time, I doubt ANY of us would have left the beach.
On the way home, we stopped in Astoria for fuel and food.  I got fuel, and Cora and Chloe got lunch at the Burger King.  I parked the rig in a lot between the two places and got out.  There I saw three seagulls and a pigeon.  I decided to feed them a hot dog bun while I waited.  Within thirty seconds I got swarmed by thirty more pigeons.  Soon they were attempting to land on my hand to get the bun themselves as I wasn't doling it out fast enough.  When the girls came out I had several on my arm and two on my hand.  It was all quite fun.  We made Chloe eat first before we let her feed the birds.  When she was ready, they had all gone off to some other place.  She was left with five.  She kept trying to catch one, though.

We asked her why.  She said, "Well, you SAID if I catch one I could keep it."  We then explained the difference between pigeons and seagulls.