Friday, July 11, 2014

Staircase rapids

Not every adventure with our visitors should be a repeat.  There has to be room in there for a new adventure.  Today was that day.  We drove out, past the turn for Mt. Ellinor, and continued up beyond the gorgeous Lake Cushman and on to the Staircase National Park.  Ruthie clued me in to this hike and I remembered it last night when we were deciding what to do today.  I have a stretch of work days coming up.  We needed to do something. 

By the way, Lake Cushman is beautiful and we will have to find a way to get up there and do something soon. 

But today was about...

Just a two mile hike.

For you existentialists.
Of course, being us, we did the loop backwards.  As we met oncoming people, one of them laughingly informed me that we were going the wrong way.  I asked him how he knew where we were going.  If I don't, how could he?

The views were nice though.

No, it's the staircase rapids, not the trail.

We had to forge across the raging river.

The forest is awesome.  During the wetter spring season, all the moss is so green it glows.  This is the first time we have been in this region during the summer months with some time to explore.  I think I like the wetter forest better, but I haven't just survived a cold dark winter either. 

For now though, this is gorgeous.

Big fuzzy trees surrounded us.

That one looks like it is dancing, just sitting there.

Even the little waterfalls are cool.

Nana in her happy place.
Even downed trees were pretty cool

Green fuzzy trees all over the place.

When it actually came time to cross the river, they helpfully provided a cool cable suspension bridge.  This was the halfway point of the hike with pretty views down the river.

Heck, they even made the bridge pretty.  They think of everything.

Ohhh, pretty.

Max wasn't as impressed.  He decided to take a rest instead.
I was more impressed with the bridge than Max.

The kids, however, loved the rock.

There is nothing that fires the imagination quite like climbing some rocks

Michael practicing his curmudgeon

Max practicing his cute
Yeah, fine.  I had to climb the rock too.  Max made me do it.

This place makes it easy to take pretty pictures.

I think Nicholas has walked every log he has seen.

At our sedate pace, the hike takes a while.  It is easy to get a little foot sore.  So we took advantage of the cold water.

Set your piggies free!

Life is tenacious

Because I like it.

Hey, I found some rocks! Inside a tree!
Back on the trail, we continued to marvel at the coolness of this forest.  Then we saw this..

Snakey tree roots and stuff.

Of course the kids had to climb it.

Nana decided contemplation would be better than climbing.

And...waterfall.  Of course.

Obligatory long exposure shot.

Hey kids, I'm doing another long exposure shot....silence.
Mommy and her little hiker kid. 

Michael decides to try that whole contemplation thing. Looked fun.

Another adventure. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Back to Seattle

We have visitors.  That seems to require a trip to that little town across the sound.  You may have heard of it, Seattle.

It's great as far as cities go.  But something was missing, so we asked Ruthie and her crew to go with us.  Everything is better with Ruthie and the Gang.

We went to the park near the ferry and waited for the appointed time. 

Even Satchel got into the act.

I would sit right over there and catch all the fish.

We boarded the ferry and headed out for whatever the sea brought us.  Or, Seattle, whatever.

All aboard the legendary Walla Walla

The boys decided to fire on all incoming ships

Of course I left the zoom lens at home.  That's why the bald eagle swooped down and soared along with us.
So I had to catch the close up action

Yes, that is my real hair.
Once in Seattle, we of course had to show them Pike Place Market and the seawall. 

And the giant metal squid.

Always a hit with the kids.

Add caption
And then, of course, the gum wall.

What the hell is wrong with these people?

Which flavor is best?

It was a hot day and we needed a rest.

Ruthie saved the day with water and a bowl.
Rainier came out to play

Of course we couldn't keep Michael away from an aquarium window.

The kids learned about bitcoin.  I don't know why, but they did.
Nicholas had two goals.  He wanted a Starbucks drink.  It is Seattle after all.  He didn't want to wait in the hour long line at the original Starbucks, so we had to settle for just another chain.

Hard to find Starbucks outside of Seattle, they should expand.

The other thing was to go to the Columbia Center, which is the highest building in Seattle.  We were waiting for the ferry and Sarah thought we might have just enough time if she and Nicholas ran there.  They got up there and back just in time.  Overall it was a good day with great company.  We had clam chowder and Starbucks.  Touristy, but fun.