Sunday, September 4, 2011

40th Wedding Anniversary

Wasn't it only yesterday that I was married? Where does the time go? So here are pictures from our 40th Wedding Anniversary in no particular order really. I have to say it's a great bunch of family as well and each one brings a special uniqueness to the group.

Our anniversary was really on Wednesday but today was actually Hayden's 7th birthday so we had a double celebration.
Here's the original 5 siblings. What a handsome group.

Add their parents...
....and their spouses.
Then add all the kids...and my mom. Us with all our grandchildren. At our 30th anniversary there were only 5 grandchildren!
Jon & Mandie Senske; Lorien & Hayden (Mandie's expecting in October)

Becky Timmons; Kaylee, Aubrey & Grace Dion and Kristina Labadie; Jayden, Meghan, Anna & Ethan
Jeff & Krissa; Mitchell, Jesse, Noah & Larissa plus DominoRick and his kids Austin, A'dra & WesleyMeghan our oldest at 16 Jesse & Wesley at 11
Austin and Anna at 13

This is our 7-yr old bunch. Grace, Ethan, Mitchell, & HaydenOur 9-yr old bunch Jayden, Larissa, A'dra & KayleeAnd our cute 3-yr olds Aubrey, Lorien & NoahThe boys, Jeff and RickyKristina, Mandie & Becky. 10 years ago Mandie wasn't married and the other 2 were pregnant!

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Camping in August!

We were finally able to get away for a little overnight camping/hiking trip. Our first this year. We decided to go up around the area we wanted to go over Labor Day and check out conditions. Good thing we did.

So this is a familiar place to most of my family. The fancy placards haven't always been there but this is a spot to commemorate a handshake agreement between the Indians and the white man. They agreed to let the Indians have exclusive rights to the hucklberries on one side of the road. This is in the Indian Heaven Wilderness area. This is the Indian Viewpoint and we've had several family shots taken here over the years.

We camped in Cultus Creek where we camped last year. Very quiet, not many people around for a summer weekend. But then huckleberry season starts soon so maybe people were waiting.

As we were having breakfast Phil was robbed of part of his pastry by this guy. I couldn't believe he could fly with such a big chunk. Brazen too - we were still standing there!

Now for all the lovely wildflowers we saw....

This lupine should have been a clue. It was in full bloom and ought to have been almost gone by now.

Indian Paintbrush

Bear Grass should be gone as well.

We came to check out the hiking so we started up this trail that would have looped around a ridge complete with views of Mt. Adams and Mt. St. Helen's and even Mt. Rainier if clear. There's even some small mountain lakes to see.

Not a good sign to run into this in less than 1/2 a mile of the trailhead. This is not a lake on the map! It's snowmelt. when the trail disappears and you need a GPS to totally navigate, it's time to turn around. We were not prepared to find this much snow here. This is the side of the mountain that we depend on to be warm and dry for Labor Day camping.

As we were headed south a couple of hikers came upon us that were going north. They were thru-hikers on the PCT (Pacific Crest Trail). They told us they had just come through much worse and the little lakes were frozen! They had done the Oregon PCT section last year and were hoping to do the Washington section this year. We talked and exchanged information as they were from Boulder, Colorado. They had been on the trail 5 days already and that is probably 2 days slower than should be at this point. Knowing it was only going to get worse they figured they would have to give it up for this year. From the snow we see on the mountains still it was probably a wise decision. We tried a little farther but turned back. The couple (in their 70's) were at the trailhead waiting to flag down someone to drive them to the nearest town. We repacked our car and drove them into Trout Lake. We had to go there anyway. They filled our gas tank and headed off to find lodging and other "trail angels" to help them on their way. They will have to retrieve supplies they have sent on ahead between here and Canada.

Mt. Hood from White Salmon

We will probably stay home for Labor Day and have a big family party for our 40th anniversary. That way ALL the family can come.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Alaska Extra - for flower lovers

Okay, this absolutely the last Alaskan post. Everyone knows I can't go anywhere without taking pictures of flowers. Now a lot of these may well grow in our neck of the woods. But we were blown away by the fact that they were growing at all. Alaska has such a short growing season and goodness knows our wet spring has left growing stuff almost a miracle. However, they do have the advantage of more daylight hours than we do.

This first picture is of Alaska's state flower the Forget-me-Not. This was growing wild in Denali National Park. These are bluebells, again in Denali. As were the next 3 pictures.

Wild Rose

This next bunch of flowers blew me away. I have to find the name. They came in a wide variety of colors.

This next bunch were just too pretty to resist.

I know you've all seen fushia baskets but these were gorgeous. Hanging outside our hotels.

This is called Himalayan Poppy...

These next bunches were in a huge planter behind one of our hotels. They're small dahlias

Then we strolled through a peony garden near the University of Alaska. They had other flowers too.

So Alaska is not just a place of snow and ice but has a lot of other beauty as well. Thanks for looking.