Monday, May 28, 2012

Oregon, revisited

WARNING! The photos you are about to see may contain disturbing elements.

Okay, not really. But I did finally hook up the kids' camera to see what we've been taking pictures of. It has been quite some time - almost two months now. The photos I'm attaching are from our trip to the Oregon coast and Portland that we did over Spring Break in early April.

We were eating at a restaurant when I noticed the fun house-like distortion on the kids.

There were a ton of these photos to sort through since the kids were laughing so much at chimping their photos on the rear LCD.

At the Portland Science Museum there was a neat green-screen weather thing that Ian had a good time playing with. It took him a bit to figure out what was going on, but he had fun once he got it. Unfortunately there were a bunch of other kids wanting to play here, so Leah didn't get a good chance.

In the same museum there was, I'm assuming, a replica of an old space capsule that the kids were able to climb in and push the buttons.

 Both Ian and Leah loved it!

I hope everyone has enjoyed their Memorial Day celebrations. Cheers,


Sunday, May 27, 2012

Memorial Day Weekend Camping Trip

This weekend's camping trip in the Olympic National Park was as well planned as any of our vacations - which is to say we winged the majority of it! I needed a break from the hordes of patients that I've been seeing, so Catherine indulged me on a last minute plea to get away for a couple of days. She cancelled some kid-related functions, and Friday morning we got out early to beat the mad rush for camping sites. 

We totally lucked out, the Fairholme campsites on the western edge of Lake Crescent were still pretty open when we got there, but it was a packed house later that night. We got our tent set up, and then went out to do some exploring/hiking. For Friday afternoon, that meant a short hike up to Marymere Falls. The kids had a nice enough time taking turns leading the way for the hike there.

The photo below is from out campsite. Yes, the tent really is leaning like that. We had to get the inflatable mattresses lined up so that our feet were all downhill, which was a mildly difficult task.

Saturday was a day to explore the western edge of the park. We drove to Sol Duc to see the rainforest and the waterfalls. I'd been here before, and the walk to Sol Duc Falls is very nice. You don't do much up or down hill walking, and the falls are quite striking. The photo below is just some random stream with a nice bridge over it along the way.

Ian had a bit of a meltdown, and didn't want to get his picture taken in this photo. I didn't notice the rainbow inline with the bridge when I took this photo, but you'll notice my pot o' gold standing at the end of the rainbow!

Enjoy your Memorial Day everybody!



Saturday, May 19, 2012

Celebrating Military Appreciation Day

Today just so happens to be Military Appreciation Day, and we took great advantage of all the goodies just waiting for us. I bought a new backpack (look out Olympics/Mt. St. Helens/Mt. Rainier!) at REI, since my last one failed me on a hike in the Olympics this past year. That one was well over 20 years old, and had seen its fair share of hikes and such. I can't wait to load up the new one and test it out!

Then, to top off the day, the National Forest Service (and a ton of other government agencies) made the Interagency Access Pass free to all military members. Yeah me! That got us in to the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge today, and will work everywhere else we end up going this year for National Parks/Forests/etc. I was contemplating buying one of those for this year, and finally my procrastination has paid off handsomely.

Anyhoo. I'm attaching a couple of photos of all of us here in Washington. We took a nice long walk to the end of the boardwalk. 

Unfortunately, it was a couple of hours after low-tide, so the mud flats were out and the birds were out too. But we did see some bald eagles flying, which is always cool. I was taking the photos above when a kind stranger walked by and offered to take a photo of all of us, shown below.

My strategy to wear out the kids worked. "Let's have you guys race to me". Fifty percent of the time, it works every time ;). Unfortunately, it also worked on me. I think I'll be going to bed early tonight.

Enjoy your day everybody, we sure did.


Tuesday, May 15, 2012

More Mother's Day fun

Mother's Day was a beautiful day here in the Pacific Northwest. The sun was out and the weather was warm. After lunch near Tacoma, we made our way out to the beach to walk along Puget Sound. Nothing much new here from my previous post, just new photos of the kids.

This first photo is completely overexposed, but I like how it shows the kids cooling their feet off in the water and having some genuine fun.

Just a bit further up the beach is a nice view of the Tacoma Narrows Bridge (with the obligatory tourist-in-front-of-the-icon photo).

You may remember that bridge from your high school (college perhaps?) physics class: 

Thankfully it has been remade in a much less bendy, twisty, collapsey kind of way! By the way, my favorite part of that video is the dramatic voice over reminiscent of Troy McClure. I was half-expecting to see poorly constructed UFO's suspended by visible wire attempting to land on the bridge...

Gotta' love old news casts!

Have a great day everybody,


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Happy Mother's Day

Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers out there. Catherine and I had a nice dinner out on Saturday and some nice times today. The weather has once again cooperated for the weekend, with some beautiful warm and sunny weather.

The photo of Ian below is from earlier this week. It was sunny, but in the low 50's/upper 40's.

Leah's photo is from today. Sunny and warm, just the way we love it!

Have a wonderful day, and Happy Mother's Day again. Cheers!


Sunday, May 6, 2012

Punch Bowl Falls, Redux

Some of you may remember way back February when we made a day trip down into Oregon to discover the Columbia River Gorge. We hiked a couple of miles up to Punch Bowl Falls. I knew then that I wanted to go back when it was both warmer and greener. I was originally planning on the Memorial Day weekend, but Catherine threw a wrench into that plan. After the kids went to bed Friday night, I packed for an early morning (and I mean EARLY) trip down to Punch Bowl Falls.

I got there a little before 5 am, and hiked the 2 miles in to Punch Bowl Falls in utter solitude. This shot was taken just before 6 am, and again, I had the place to myself. I came better prepared, but nothing really can prepare you to stand essentially barefoot in spring run-off in early May. To say it was cold is a wild understatement...

I took some photos on the way back to the car. Remember, Catherine and the kids have walked this. It is a beautiful, and at times, pretty intense hike. It is worse when the trail is busy and you have to pass people. That wasn't a problem on this hike.

I saw this on the way back and thought it'd be a good place to set the self-timer to catch a photo of me hanging out above Eagle River.

Finally, there are waterfalls all along the Eagle River valley. Many are seasonal, however the one above, Metlako Falls, is a regular one. It is about a half-mile closer to the trailhead than Punch Bowl.

Have a great week!