Monday, July 23, 2012

Boat Camping!

We had been hoping to do something fun this weekend, but there was going to be a thunderstorm all afternoon, evening, and night on Friday.  That was going to put a damper on our plans.  Well, about 4:45 pm the sky cleared.  I checked several weather web sites and from the looks of it, it was supposed to stay clear for the rest of the evening!  We decided to go camping!  We got all of our camping gear, food, and clothes and loaded them on the boat.  We had to fuel the boat and let the rain water drain out, so we didn't launch the boat until 8 pm.  We boated up lake, found a campsite at Mitchell Creek, and set up camp with plenty of light to spare!  :)  I've told you before, but I'll remind you that Lake Chelan is about 60 miles long.  We started in the river, so that was at the very beginning of the lake.  We probably only went about 20 miles up the lake to our campsite.  There are campsites all the way that you can only get to by boat.  They have tent pads, picnic tables, fire pits and pit toilets, so quite comfortable by camping standards!  We found a great spot right on the water for the night.
After dinner, we had to make JiffyPop over the campfire.  A very fun camping tradition!

Our boys are awesome campers!  They never whine or complain while they are camping!

We didn't want to haul and set up our big huge tent for one night, so we took our two smaller backpacking tents.  Jason and I shared the two-person Marmot on the left, and the boys shared the 1-person auto-set-up tent on the right.  I was worried about the boys getting scared during the night and wanting to crawl in with us, but they all 3 slept all night long!  And they even went to sleep pretty easily!

Early morning lake swim was a bit cold!  The water temperature on our end of the lake is about 72-75 degrees this time of year.  Refreshing on a hot day.  Up lake, however, the water temp steadily decreases.  I'm not sure what the temp was by our campsite, but cold enough to deter even my boys who normally don't seem fazed by cold water.

He got in up to his ankles before turning around!

The rest of the day we spent on the boat.  We went back down to warmer water.   Jason skied, we all swam.  

We moored our boat in Manson Bay and swam at their beach.  We also did the tourist thing and walked around their downtown.

Diaper man!

We met up with Kevin, Julianne, Doug, Brielle, and Conner.  We had fun lounging on their boat and visiting. Then, we beached our boat and grilled some dinner.

Julianne and Baby Conner

It was a beautiful day, and good friends made it even better!

He likes being a grandpa!

We listened to the Bach Fest Concert in the park as we drifted by and got off the lake around 9 pm.  It was a lot of fun!  Sunday we had the privilege of the Grillos' company after meeting and spent the day on the beach with them!

Friday, July 20, 2012

Summer Fun

Look at all the bees and honeycomb in the air conditioning unit of the shed by our house!

Last week Dorlene came and spent a few days with us.  We had been wanting to climb the Butte, so Leah, Dorlene and I braved it!  We felt it for days afterward!

Pretty awesome view though!  Don't we live in a cute little town on a beautiful lake?

We also got to go and see a cherry run.  I was once again amazed at how the whole process works!

Celebrating my 31st birthday!

Guess he was tired!

Sunday after meeting Wade needed a has been over 2 years since he last needed one, but he got a bad cold that got him wheezing pretty bad.

We have had lots of forest fires lately!  The smokey haze makes for awesome sunsets!  In the 6 years we've been here, I have experienced 1 thunder/lightning storm, much different than the midwest!  However, in the past week and a half we have had about 5 storms!!  They are awesome!  We just sit out on our deck and enjoy the show!  There are lots of fires that are started by the lightning though!

Jason working on getting the footings for a house he is building.


On the 4th of July we spent the day at Silverwood!  Can you tell by their mouths what they are saying?

A tired waterslider

Again the helicopters and airplane rides were the biggest hit with the boys.  They also loved the train roller coaster that G-ma and G-pa took them on while Jason and I went on the big coasters!

The rest of the week we spent in Sandpoint.  The Ramsden/Lewis clan was having a family reunion of sorts and invited us to crash it!  I grew up with some of these ladies, so it was fun to all be together!  We spent the days at the beach on Lake Pend Oreielle.

Loved kayaking!

Jess and baby Kiesha

The Statue of Liberty!!!

Apples on the boat

He shaved when we were in Vegas, but not since!

Jaime and I spent most of our teenage birthdays together as we are only 4 days apart!   We used to get a bunch of girls together and go camping to celebrate! Jess is only a week or 2 older than that!  There were a few other birthdays that we celebrated too!  Matt turned 33, Jess 31, Kiesha 1, Jaime 31, Me 31, and Kevin 30!  I didn't notice until this picture that Jaime and I are matching too!!  :)

Beach moms trying to keep track of our rugrats!

They had rented a couple of beautiful houses!!  We had a lot of fun all being together!

This concludes all of my trip postings.  I'm sure you didn't have quite as much fun looking at the pictures as we did experiencing it, but thank you for putting up with it!  It was an awesome trip that we will have to repeat again sometime!!


We got to Yellowstone early Friday morning. The temperature was in the low 30s, but the boys wanted to have their shirts off!  Our first waterfall of Yellowstone!

Friday was our geyser day.  Waiting for Old Faithful to spout.


I love the thermal pools

These are all taken at the Upper Geyser Basin

The days were hot and we enjoyed a little cooling off in the river!  

I like the wildlife in the orange shirt the best!

The bubbling mud pots were one of my favorite things!

We woke up at 5 am on Saturday to go see some early morning wildlife.  The fog on the river was awesome!  Sat. was our wildlife day.  We saw 9 of the 12 bears that we viewed on the whole trip, fields of buffalo, elk, etc. 

After watching animals for a few hours, we parked in a turn-out and made some pancakes for breakfast!

We hiked down to the Lower Falls in the Grand Canyon of Yellowstone.  You get to stand right at the brink of the falls!  It was hard to capture the huge drop of the water!

Saying "waterfall!"

We went to a viewpoint a bit farther into the canyon and tried to get a picture of the waterfall that we had hiked to.

This mama black bear had 2 cubs in a tree nearby!  I tried to get a picture of them, but it was hard to see the difference between cub and tree.  We saw 6 black bears (2 mamas with 2 cubs each) and 6 grizzlies (2 mamas with 2 cubs each).  Jason also saw a lone grizzly, which may have been a male.

We took another hike to Tower Fall.  The path that takes you behind the waterfall was closed temporarily, so we missed out on that.

In the Lamar Valley we saw thousands of buffalo!  We also saw a pronghorn being taunted by a coyote.  That was fun to watch through a spotting scope.

Paint pots

Buffalo in the campground is quite a common sight!

And walking down the middle of the big deal!

Wade and I exploring the Norris Geyser Basin

I'm requesting this waterfall for my backyard!

Big bull elk

I liked this waterfall!!

Buffalo chips make for a great campfire!
Sunday night we stayed at WorldMark in West Yellowstone.  It was nice to sleep in a real bed and do some laundry!  We'd had a straight week in our tent!  Mom and Dad S. met up with us there and went to Mammoth Hot Springs with us on Monday.

I remember from last time I was in Yellowstone (16 years ago!!) that the terraces were my favorite!  I was disappointed this year, because my favorite terrace, Minerva Terrace, was dry!!!  The water running over the terraces is what gives them this cool color.  Here is a smaller terrace that was running.

I forgot to mention in my other posts that each National Park has a Junior Ranger program.  The boys participated in the one in Zion, which involved finding animal tracks, animal holes, and picking up litter among other things.  Tristan collected a whole bag of litter that he insisted on bringing to the ranger to show!  Bryce Canyon's ranger program included drawing hoodoos and playing park bingo.  In Yellowstone they had to spot different types of wildlife and draw diagrams of geysers.  In each park the boys were successful in completing the Junior Ranger program and earned a park badge.  Here they are receiving their awards in Yellowstone under the big buffalo head.

Cool owl!

We stayed the next 3 nights in Grandpa and Grandma's trailer!

Tuesday morning we went to a bear and wolf exhibit.  Tristan was old enough to be in a program that involved hiding food in the bear's habitat and then watching them search for and eat the food that they had hidden.  It was an hour long program, must of which was spent listening to this guy talk about rules.  See Tristan?

Tristan had hidden his food under this log.  It was cool to see the bear easily flip the log and eat the food.

This is Takoda, Wade's favorite wolf.  He got a button with this wolf's picture on it.

My little wolf pups coming out of their den.

There was a raptor section too.