Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Fall Break 2014

We headed to Lost Maples State Natural Area for fall break this year.  We spent the first night in the main campground and then did a little backpacking to reach our site for the next night.  We were a little early for the colorful leaves, but it was still really nice and the weather was perfect. 

Lost Maples State Natural Area
Can you spot those 2 tiny water specks in the picture?  That's where we ended up camping (after a steep descent!)
The boys resting after our hike.
A great little swimming hole- deep enough to jump off the lower cliffs (no we didn't try).
Of course Titus couldn't resist the water.
On our 2nd night, a troop of boy scouts arrived at 12:30am!  We woke up surrounded by 16 new tents- crazy!  We packed up as quickly as possible and hiked out. 

Before heading home, we stopped at 2 other parks: Hill Country State Natural Area and Government Canyon State Natural Area.  At Hill Country, we experienced their frontier day.  There were some restored tractors, a chuck wagon, covered wagon rides, etc.  It was pretty hot so we didn't stay long, but it's a great park if you like horses.  Government Canyon is definitely a place we need to go back and explore some more someday.  Pets aren't allowed in the backcountry, so we were limited in what we could see with Titus. 

Titus and tractors- Hill Country State Natural Area


Monday, September 8, 2014

Washington Trip, Part 4- Traveling Home

We had a couple nice nights of camping before returning to TX.  We kept things very simple and stayed in primitive campgrounds without water or electricity.  I'm pretty proud of the fact that we only spent $40 total for lodging during our 18-day trip.  Our first stop on the trek back from Washington was in southern Idaho.

Milner Historic Recreation Area- along the Snake River
What does it mean if the labrador sees his shadow?  Perhaps 2 more weeks of vacation?  I wish!
Happy camper!

Our 2nd stop was in the Jemez mountains of NM.  We had a couple possible campgrounds to stay at, but we got there too late and they were all full.  So we drove down a forest road, pulled over, and pitched our tent in the dark.  The next morning, we got up and drove to Ponderosa Christian Camp- the church camp from my childhood that Josh had never seen.
Make-shift campsite on the side of the road
I have so many wonderful memories from this place!
The campfire ring where I have such sweet memories of worship and excellent sermons.
I was happy to see that they had not torn down all the old cabins.  This one is similar to the ones we stayed in as children.  The new cabins are much fancier and don't allow campers to tumble out the front in their sleep.
An old outhouse- yes, we used these!  I can't believe they are still standing.  There are now modern plumbing facilities, but these bring back some hilarious memories.
Titus had to jump in the creek of course.
This is the part of the creek where I was baptized by my dad about 23 years ago.  Special place for sure.
This is the cabin my family used to stay in for family camp.  I just love that there are old parts of camp along with the new.  This is how I will always remember PCC.

Well, that completes our trip.  We had a great time and Titus was such a trooper.  Who knows where our next adventure will take us!

Friday, September 5, 2014

Washington Trip, Part 3- Portland

Ok, well our main destination for this trip was Washington, but we did spend most of 2 days in Oregon since my aunt and uncle live so close.  We spent a day in Portland exploring the zoo and arboretum.
My aunt mentioned Voodoo Doughnut at one point and couldn't believe we actually wanted to go.  I'm not sure she knew that donut are one of Josh's favorite foods.  If you don't know about these donuts, check out their website.  I'm sorry if the donut descriptions make you blush a little ;)  It was a fun way to kick off our morning.
We were so lucky to not have to wait in line!
Placing our order- the stained-glass windows were pretty cool.  Notice the line was out the door at this point.
Ready to dig in!
We should have taken a picture before we drove to the zoo.  They looked better right after we bought them.  Notice the pretzel stick stabbing the voodoo doughnut.  Ha!
Peach fritter- it was huge!
Portland Zoo- hello there sun bear!
They had a ton of lorikeets that you could feed.
So pretty!
Mandrill
The zoo had 3 lion cubs born last September.  I believe this is the mama and 2 of her cubs.
Polar bear waiting for its feeding time
The arboretum was wonderful!  Josh said it's the best one he's ever visited.
Giant Sequoia
Cedar of Lebanon anyone?  They were used to build the temple during King Solomon's reign.  1 Kings 5:6
Just us and a bunch of trees
Well, that almost wraps up our trip.  We made a couple of fun stops on the way home.  I'll share those next.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Washington Trip, Part 2- East Side to West Side

We left the Pullman area and headed to the west side of Washington.  We made plans to camp one night and hike for huckleberries on the way.
We stayed at Beaver campground along the Wind River.  It was wonderful!  We arrived on Sunday afternoon and spent the rest of the day resting and exploring the area.

Titus really liked finding a deep spot in the river and swimming against the current.  It was like he was in one of those continuous current pools where you just stay in one spot and swim.  He would do that for a while, then get out of the current and rest, and then go back and swim some more.  It was fun to watch!
Josh and Titus in the Wind River
Beaver Campground site #10

The next day we got up and drove to the Observation Peak trail head.  We followed the directions on the WTA website, but it was a horrible drive with really bad roads.  We found a much easier, quicker way out and wished we had known about it before.  We intentionally found an easy hike since our main goal was to get berries.  It was a beautiful day with great views!
Observation Peak
 A little hazy, but still beautiful
We went for huckleberries but found these blueberries instead.  We picked 2+ qts pretty quickly.
Happy boy getting his share of berries
Sign of a productive berry hike
We will ration out these berries and make them last as long as we can.  It's easy to see why people charge $50/gallon for berries at farmer's markets.

After our hike, we continued west to go visit my aunt and uncle that live in Kelso, WA.  They took us down to the Cannon Beach area in Oregon since Josh had never been there before.  It was a perfect hazy, cool day.  We walked around the beach, hiked a 4-mile trail, had a picnic lunch, and then did a little shopping in town.
Haystack Rock
Light rain on the beach
Washington has big slugs!
This trail had some pretty amazing trees along the way.
Uncle Bill led the way followed by Aunt Patty and myself.  Josh pulled up the rear and kept getting left behind because he kept stopping to eat various berries along the trail.

 I'll cover our day in Portland in my next post.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Washington Trip, Part 1- East Side Memories

 At the beginning of August, we were able to take a wonderful 18-day road trip up to Washington.  I hadn't been back in 5 years, and I was missing it!  We so appreciate everyone who fed us and let us stay in their homes.  It was great to see so many friends and visit some of our favorite places.
We lived in Albion, WA for 5 years.  It's a small town with about 630 people.
Our old house in Albion.  It looked a lot better when we lived there ;)
The park across the street from our old house.  Titus and I spent many mornings playing ball and frisbee here.
A view from the Albion cemetery- beautiful rolling farmland.
Albion cemetery
Albion sits low in these trees in the middle of wheat and bean fields.
A view from Steptoe Butte
Me and my pup on Steptoe Butte
Glorious wheat fields- amber waves of grain
Titus enjoying the ride through wheat fields.
Boyer Park along the Snake River- one of our very favorite places in Washington.
You can visit Granite Dam and see a fish ladder at the visitor center.
The river is lined with wild blackberries.  Titus had a belly full of berries this day!
A view of the Snake River and a barge full of wheat.


We took a hike up Kamiak Butte and Titus did great!
We spent one day in the Spokane area visiting friends.  Titus got to see his buddy Boonie!
No trip to Pullman is complete without a trip to WSU's creamery and Ferdinand's ice cream.
Rows and rows of plant cabinets in the herbarium where Josh used to work.
WSU greenhouse
WSU football stadium
More rolling hills near Moscow, ID
After leaving the east side of Washington, we headed west.  More to come!