Monday, August 29, 2016

Summer 2016 recap

After I went to Africa and Darren took Hen down to the beach and Hen went to Trackers for a week, we still had plenty of time to do fun stuff this summer. Now, we're a week away from school starting so I thought I'd do a quick(ish) write-up of those things.

  1. LOST CREEK CAMPING - We went with Jon, Briana, Kadyn, Mia, and Tabor to Lost Creek (near the Ramona Falls trailhead). Things I want to remember - it is wet there. Really wet. Most importantly, the campsites are HUGE! Fantastically large and accommodating, which will be good to know if/when we go back and if/when we have other friends meet us there. The creek is lovely and the kids ventured very far away - note to self: get whistles for kids - to play in the wilderness. Here's a link to the full album of that trip. And here's a pic of the kids hiking out from Ramona Falls. 
  2. APE CAVE DAY TRIP - We went with Molly and Beren to visit the Ape Caves and managed to get all the way to the end of the tube but stopped when crawling became necessary. (We weren't sure we could get the boys to crawl back out on their own. Maybe next year...) It was our second trip out there and continues to be a fun and interesting, albeit incredibly dark and somewhat scary, place to go. The temperature is particularly nice on hot days. We were well lit and had fun, stopping at Yale Park on the way back home to picnic and play. It's a great day trip and is something we highly recommend to anyone who has yet to go. 

  3. RICHARDSON'S ROCK RANCH DAY TRIP - We went with Amy, Elliot, and Alice to Richardson's Rock Ranch outside of Madras. It was hot. HOT. H O T. Even leaving early we arrived at the ranch to dig for thundereggs in the extreme midday 100+˚F temperatures. Did I mention it was hot? The kids were good sports and since we had no schedule to adhere to we stopped at Frog Lake on the way home. This was a most welcome end to a greatly hot-tastic day. The kids bought a few trinkets, played in the water, and saw some frogs and peacocks. I can't say I'd head back there again on what was close to being the hottest day of the summer, but we would definitely consider going back again. To see the full album of pics from this day, click here.
  4. FROG LAKE CAMPING - We went with Amy, Elliot, and Alice back to Frog Lake for an overnighter. The kids had a fantastic time. The weather was gorgeous, we made s'mores, the kids played with fire. What more could you ask for? We had a most excellent spot that we managed to get when we saw some campers leaving. It had a trail that went out to the lake that the kids took advantage of, and, since we are much more lax about parenting whilst camping, the kids got to run around pretty much the whole time. They made their own leap frog game that they played as the sun set. To see the full album of pics from this trip, click here.
  5. THE VINTAGES OVERNIGHTER- Again, we roped the Platt-Neitzel clan into coming with us on an adventure to a place called The Vintages just outside Dundee. We stayed the night in remodeled RVs. Yep, you read that correctly. We "camped" in RVs. Hen and I stayed in an Airstream Bambi and Amy, Elliot, and Alice stayed in a Shasta camper right next to us. The weather was overcast with a little rain but that didn't stop us from enjoying the pool or going for a bike ride around the park after Amy taught Alice how to ride a bike. Once the drizzle ended and the sun came out to dry everything the kids were able to watch Bolt in our little outdoor theatre (i.e., the iPad on a blanket with a sleeping bag for the kids to cuddle in). The Vintages is a super cute place with two rows of campers available for rent next to several rows of campers for people to park their own RVs in. We didn't end up biking into Dayton but were told it is a short 5-minute ride away. Perhaps we can do that next time we stay?
  6. ROCKAWAY BEACH DAY TRIP AND SLEEPOVER - We went with Uncle Nick and Cousin Mia to Rockaway Beach for the day. We were not the only ones who got out of town to beat the hot temperatures in the city but even the cool ocean air did not do much to alleviate the oppressive heat. The kids didn't seem to mind. They built a castle, played in the very cold Pacific Ocean waters, and even saw mermaids! Or rather, women dressed in mermaid costumes playing in the water but still, mermaids! That evening, we got to bring Miss Mia home for a sleepover. Woohoo! And we got back just in time for the kids to hit the pool for a nice evening swim. Mia was particularly impressed with the idea of doing fun things with Blankie after seeing this album that I had taken after she accidentally forgot Blankie and Frog at our house after another sleepover.
  7. FROG LAKE CAMPING, AGAIN! - This time we went with Libby, Emory, and Etta for two nights and Amy, Elliot, and Alice joined us for one. Phew. That's a big group. The kids had fun. The adults had fun. The only downer came on the second evening when our camp host, David, told us that a prowler was in the area and that someone at the site had been assaulted (details were sparse but David did tell Libby something about bringing weapons into the tent with us). I love Frog Lake and we have a lot of good memories of times spent here so it was disappointing to hear this. I don't want my camping stuff stolen and I don't want myself or anyone else at the campground to feel unsafe.  To see the full album of pics from this trip, click here.
Our next and final adventure for this summer? We're heading to the Wallowas! Pictures to follow, I'm sure. 

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