Sunday, August 30, 2009

Washington - Part 2

If you are tired of looking at spectacular scenery and hearing about the beauty of God's creation then you can skip part two of our trip. Day three we spent floating on the beautiful Skagit River. It was labeled a whitewater trip but because the water level was down the rapids were not bad - only one barely class 3. Nevertheless is was a great trip with beautiful scenery, several bald eagles flying overhead, and virtually no effort needed. The water was a frigid 43 degrees and we all donned wetsuits and we all got in fully - it was really cold - took your breath away. At one stop the younger ones jumped off of a 12 foot cliff into the water. I was not so brave. We arrived back at the outfitter's place to a hot sirloin steak - my first one since my surgery.

The next day we were up early and off hiking again. This time Maria took care of Jayden and Emery Kate while we took Duncan. It was a beautiful hike through old growth forest and along a river for two miles. Then it got challenging as it started up the mountain and continued up for 3 1/2 miles. Unfortunately, due to wildfires in the area and smoke from them the views at the pass were partially obscured.

Our last day was more relaxed as we drove to the Baker Lake resort area and did some picnicking and canoeing. There is an incredible view of Mount Baker from the middle of the lake as it towers over the lake. After that we headed back to the cabins, but as usual I had one more hike in my head. Nobody else would go with me so I went by myself. After a long drive up a mountain, there was a two mile hike to the top of Sauk Mountain. It was tough but the views were to die for. On top was a 360 degree view of the entire area. It was truly one of the most beautiful views I have ever seen. Unfortunately, no one else was able to enjoy it - and my camera battery died right at the top.

All in all it was an amazing trip and I feel very blessed to have been able to do it. I am thankful for my kids and son/daughter-in-laws who all made it very special. Where to next? New Zealand?

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Washington - Land of trees

Well we just got back from an amazing family vacation to Washington state and Cascades National park. We took all of the kids, their spouses, our three grandkids and a friend who served us as a nanny. The first amazing thing was to be able to get all of these households and people to get off of workand school to be able to come. We all flew from DFW to Seattle (can you imagine us all at the airport?) and then rented 3 SUVs to drive to Marblemount, WA. We rented 3 cabins at a place called Grace Haven. It is actually owned and operated by believers as a ministry. They were really nice and the cabins were just what we needed. Our porch looked out on old growth forest which is where I sat each morning for my quiet time.

The first day we hiked 3 1/2 miles up to Cascade Pass with all of the kids/grandkids on special backpacks. It was beautiful and then 5 of us went another 2 miles to the Sahole glacier. Overall it was one of the most beautiful hikes I have ever done. The next day we drove across the park and mountain vistas to a little area with some short hikes to mountain lakes which were really pretty. The last one was a 2 mile hike up to Lake Ann which I did with just my four kids. I think it is the only time I have ever hiked with just them by myself. It was a real special time.

The next day we went white water rafting and while the rapids were not bad enough to even get me scared, it was a spectacular trip. The guides were great, the river beautiful with mountains in the background and we spotted several bald eagles flying overhead. It ended with a steak dinner at the outfitter's place. All in all it ws a great day. That is enough for one blog. I will post pics of the first two days. No camera on the float trip.