Thursday, July 30, 2009

Senior Cooling Center

Lately we've heard about Senior Cooling Centers on the news and I discovered we live at one. We're the seniors and all the kids come to cool off!!! With temperatures hovering over 100 this week our air conditioning became quite popular. This day it turned into a pool party.

Cousins Aubrey and Lorien have a "discussion" over a tennis ball.

Cousins Grace and Hayden present their royal selves.

Fun, fun, fun including a little self-defeating behavior of filling pool with hose while someone dumps the water with a bucket!

Then of course finishing with a little ice cream.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Backpacking Trip

Okay so let's start blogging with our most recent trip to the mountains. We left Monday morning, July 20, 2009 for 5 days in the Mt. Adams Wilderness Area. Phil and I were accompanied by our longtime friend and hiking companion Mel Springer (he's responsible for the gorgeous sunset picture of Mt. Rainier). This is our 3rd time to this place called Killen Creek. The trail is so familiar it's probably time to find someplace new.

The hike in is about 4 miles and took about 4 hours (half that time out). Remember, except for the last mile it is all uphill. There are also 248 built-in stairs (Mel counted!). The Killen Creek trail meets up with the Pacific Crest Trail at about the 6,000 foot level. Our campsite is about a mile down this trail and there is a meadow with a waterfall as well as a spectacular view of Mt. Adams. A small lake is down a side trail and really neat sunsets occur here with Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams.

During our weekday hikes we traveled all over the area including a place called High Camp which is at the 7,000 foot level. This trail is steep and at times there is nothing on one side except a very loooong drop - while you negotiate shale rocks. It is also marked by rock cairns as just a couple weeks ago this trail was covered in snow and these cairns are how you find the path! This is where some people go to start their ascent on Mt. Adams. All we do is enjoy the beautiful scenery, flowers, pump some more water and eat lunch. Mt. Rainier, Goat Rocks and Mt. St. Helens can all be seen from here.

As everyone knows I take a ton of pictures and no trip is complete without pictures of flowers. This trip was no exception; white bear grass, yellow buttercups and arnica, mauve shooting stars, purple lupine, pink heather and asters, just to name a few.

There are snow banks everywhere you look and hike. They are melting rapidly at the moment but we did our share of sliding - even me! I had on rainproof pants and I slid a LOT faster than I anticipated. Mel was the brave one, sliding all the way down to the bottom from High Camp.

I knew how difficult this hike would be but I just wanted to do it one more time. We started making these hikes (11 now) when our teenage daughters and their friends came along. Now they're all grown up and so it was just the 3 of us this time. It's a beautiful place and I'm glad we went. Now it's on to newer places!!!