Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Pearrygin 2011 - by Brad

Time to catch up on some summer posts now that school has started. I have to back-date this post to August so if I try to look back at this post in the future I will pick the correct month in the archive. Anyway, I am feeling lazy (and this happened a month ago) so I'm not going to try very hard on the narrative with this post.

This year at Lake Pearrygin, we stayed six nights - our longest Pearrygin excursion yet. This annual vacation has quickly become the anchor highlight of our summer. We could have used it a few degrees warmer, but it didn't stop us from playing in the water most of the time.

Here are some of the highlights...

Entertaining the kids on the "relaxation station"...



Relaxing and snacking...



The cousins brought a little surf board that Spencer LOVED!




Giant jaw breakers...



Smores 



This year we found a rope swing on the opposite side of the lake that we hadn't found before. It wasnt' very high, but we had fun playing around on it...



And here are selected clips from the week at Pearrygin. Much of it is just me playing around with the GoPro camera...

Friday, August 19, 2011

Filling in Some Blanks & Quotes - by Brad

I went a full month without posting anything and I have been trying to catch up the past few days. I still have a big post about our week at Pearrygin Lake, but I have a little video splicing to do before that one makes it up. So for now I will just fill in with some random pictures and quotes that don't really have any theme, so don't expect any of this to tie together. I wrote down some of these quotes six months ago, so that shows how diligent I have been to blog...

Spencer (to Mom): Elliott and Wes aren't letting me play with them... can I go spit on them?


Hey look, Wesley graduated Kindergarten (a couple months ago)...

 
Wesley (to Mom): I am a horrible listener. Sometimes I just shut my ears off while you're talking... it's fun.

But she still loves him...

(wow, she's a cute one! ...and she's almost 30!)
 

While Wes is pretending to be Darth Vader and Spence is a Storm trooper...

Wes: Darth Vader has the force that can pick people up and choke them with thunder…and that’s who I’m being. I am the ultimate Darth Vader. I don’t even wear a cape.
Spence: I found a bible for when we go to church.
Wes: We don’t go to church. Ultimate Darth Vader NEVER goes to church.
Spence: (as he is putting on a cape) I’m going to be Darth Vader.
Wes: Ultimate Darth Vader doesn’t have a cape
Spence: Well, I am not being ULCHIMATE Darth Vader. I’m just the regular one.


At the beginning of July, we went camping with some friends in the in-law's trailer at Suncrest Resort in Moses Lake. I'd give the "resort" mixed reviews, but the company was good and the pool was great for kids.





I only put this picture in to show Spencer wearing a necklace that his grandma helped him make. He started wearing it toward the end of June and he hasn't taken it off since. It is tied on and since we would have to cut it off, he has decided he doesn't want it off...



A few days ago while standing in the kitchen...

Spencer: I wish there was a potty in here.
Brad: Um, why in here?
Spencer: So when I have to go potty at dinner I can just go right here. I'm gonna go unscrew the potty and bring it in here.

Thankfully, he wasn't able to "unscrew the potty." Well, I think that's that for now. Hopefully the next post will be Pearrygin 2011...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Minotaur & Theseus Lakes - by Brad

During high school I went backpacking a couple times up to Lake Minotaur with my youth group. The amazing scenery and lack of people made it quickly become my favorite hike. When Lindsey and I were dating 12 years ago, we hiked up there for a day hike, and the last time we were up there was when we went backpacking with Mike and Becky 8 years ago.

We were due to make the hike again, and my parents were willing to watch our boys since the hike isn't really kid-friendly. So yesterday, Lindsey and I woke up at 5:45, left our house at 6:20, stopped at the Leavenworth Starbucks for a breakfast sandwich and caffeine, then continued up Highway 2 toward our destination. We arrived at the trail head and started hiking at 8:05.


To give an idea of what the terrain looks like, I copied an image from Google Earth...


The hike in is less than 2 miles, but you gain almost 2,000 feet over that duration. The first mile is very steep and forested. After we broke out of the forest, there were still patches of snow that were covering the trail. I had never seen that in the other four times I had been up there! Shortly before we got to the lake we saw a patch of dead trees that was certainly worth a few photos... especially with such a perfect blue sky behind them...


When you get to Minotaur, you are greeted with an amazing view. Check out the 360 Panorama at http://360.io/VRacER...


We toured around taking pictures at Minotaur for a while... if you want to see some more Panoramic pictures we took at Minotaur, check out...




We headed toward the ridge that overlooks Lake Theseus...


Just so you can see how clear the water is in these lakes, here is a closer picture of the island in Lake Theseus...


From Minotaur, there seems to only be one way down to Theseus, which involves hiking down a steep chute and climbing over a rock slide field. The top center of the ridge in this picture shows where we came down...


For a couple Panoramic pictures at Theseus, check out...



Off to the left side of Theseus is a meadow with a pond in the middle. There are several little streams that wind around into this pond. There were several frogs there and the pond was full of tadpoles. It was a fun place to peruse and take pictures...


The large rocks slide has created some need caves under the gain boulders that have fallen. I crawled under one and got a neat photo of the Theseus island...


After we made it back up to Minotaur, we stopped to have lunch. After a couple minutes of holding still, we were swarmed with mosquitoes. We were wearing heavy mosquito repellent, but we still preferred to eat while we were hiking so they wouldn't annoy us so much. I think overall, we only got a few mosquito bites, so I think that was pretty successful. After our hiking lunch, we headed up toward the peak of the ridge, Labyrinth Mountain. We couldn't get all the way to the top because there was quite a bit of snow covering the trail and we didn't have enough time to try to blaze our own trail. So we wandered around for a while and headed back down...


Thanks to the mosquitoes who never let us sit for more than a couple minutes, we hiked from 8:00 to 4:30. The best part about these lakes is that so few people ever hike up to them. There was not another person up there all day long! Just Lindsey and I and some amazing views!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Putting up Fences - by Brad

No, this post is not a deep, emotionally tugging post (like mine usually are), this is literally about us putting up a fence. Sounds real exciting, huh? Besides some vacationing here and there, the fence has consumed most of our weekends and evenings the past few weeks.

Before we started the fence, there were several shrubs that needed to be removed.


The shrubs we could salvage were replanted at my in-laws house. The unsalvageable were assaulted by our children...




Next, since our ground is comprised of sandstone, rock, and kevlar, we got out the tractor to dig the post holes...


Then the tractor broke, so we got another tractor...


Then we rested...


Starting to put up the panels...


Of course everything can't go perfectly smooth, so we hit an irrigation line in several places requiring a new trench to be dug and new pipe to be laid.


Spencer wanted to be outside with us working on the fence ALL THE TIME. He loves being outside and he loves being where any action is. This morning he told me he was thirsty, so I told him he could get himself a cup of water. He went inside, and got both of us water and cherries, brought them outside and lined them up nicely...


Oh, wait... there's more resting!


Then this past weekend Lindsey and I put a finishing coat on the fence to prevent it from graying or warping... I hope. So here is the finished product...




Now, why did we need a fence? Mostly so we could get a trampoline without making our neighbors too upset! The trampoline was delivered last night and the boys had their test run...





We decided not to get the cage for the trampoline. Mostly because it is an eyesore and it would probably violate the height restrictions we have in our subdivision (ruining our neighbors view). We know, we know, it's just an accident waiting to happen! Lindsey has already offered our kids $5 for the first one who can do a complete flip... hopefully they don't flip over the new fence!