Monday, September 23, 2013

Hiking Mt. Ellinor...

Last Wednesday Rue and I headed out for an afternoon hike up Mt. Ellinor in Olympic National Forest right on the edge of the National Park.  I had to work until 11:30am so it was a rush to get home, grab lunch and our packs and drive over there.  It is only 1.6 miles to the top from the upper trail head, not too bad at all but it is a hike UP that just doesn't quit!  We started the hike at 2:30pm and got to the top at 5:15pm. 

There was thick fog the entire way up.  We saw three separate groups of people coming down and they all said we weren't going to see much and we weren't going to see anything at the top.  I was a little disappointed but determined to go all the way to the top anyway.  This was my third time doing this hike and I had yet to get to the top.  The first time was when Daniel was only a few months old, I was carrying him in the snuggly and it was a HOT day, in the high 80's.  It was just way to hot for me and for him.  The second time Daniel was about 2 and I carried him on my back.  But we had a time constraint and had to be back by a certain time and I was just going way to slow with all the weight.  This time with Rue was just right.  Even though it was foggy be both agreed it was just so wonderful to be out in the mountains together just the two of us.  We really needed it. 

It didn't rain but the dense fog actually got us wet.   
Sweet little rabbit. Rue was accessing the amount of meat we could get off of it in a survival situation.  :)
Looking down into the fog.
Looking up into the fog.
Can you see him?  Heading towards the summit.  
The fog made everything so quiet and muffled.  It was eery yet thrilling to see all the dark shapes in the fog.  At about this point I whispered a little prayer that God might let the clouds part a little bit at the top so I could get at least one picture.
At the top!
Rue snapped this picture of me at the top with his iPod.  FINALLY made it to the top!  
Summit all fogged in. Not much to see until...
...I noticed the clouds looking different and all of a sudden a mountain appeared right in front of us! 
Looking down to a snowfield.
The clouds just kept swirling and just when something would get covered up again something new would appear.  It was one of the most amazing things I have ever experienced in the mountains.  God was putting on a show for us and it was quite a show! 
The pictures just simply cannot do justice to how magnificent it was!  I knew God could answer my little prayer but the fact that He answered it the way He did took my breath away!  
We could even see Seattle! Believe it or not it's in the middle of this picture.  
And the clouds continued to dance.
I zoomed in as far as I could.  The two little white dots in the middle of the picture are a momma goat and her baby.
I could have lingered forever but sadly it was 5:45 and we needed to head down to beat the sunset. 

 Places that had been completely covered in fog on the way up we could now see clearly coming down.  

Even Mt. Rainier came out to play!  Amazing!
Hood Canal and Mt. Rainier.
Looking down to Lake Cushman.

If this ends up being our last hike of this year then I am content. I was feeling a little bit like I hadn't gotten any real spectacular hikes in this summer, although I had gotten in some very lovely hikes.  This hike was spectacular to say the least.  To be sitting on top of a mountain with the love of my life and watching a show only God could produce...I couldn't have asked for anything more.  Well, more time maybe.  :)
Here is a 3 minute video of the swirling clouds.  Once again it doesn't do justice to actually being there but it's still pretty.  :)

Saturday, September 14, 2013

Chambers Creek...

On Thursday we decided to head out and enjoy one of the last days of summer outside in the sunshine.  We went to Chambers Creek, across the bridge in University Place near Tacoma.

 We walked over the train tracks on the foot bridge to the beach.

 Daniel loved seeing a train go by.

 Going in...

 See him?

 I handed him my camera through the hole and he took some pictures inside.

And back out again.  Thankfully the tide was going out or he would have had to go for a swim.  :)

     Summer is slipping away.  I didn't get to go on nearly as many hikes that I would have liked to but the ones we did go on were simply perfect.   Who knows, we may still get another one in before fall completely arrives.  The rain is suppose to start tomorrow with no break in the forecast so we'll see. I do love the rain though and the cooler temperatures make me happy.  I actually snuggled into my blankets last night instead of kicking them off because it was too hot.  My garden is still producing tons of gorgeous zucchini and I have dozens of storing onions to string up in my pantry.  I have some pumpkins, butternut and spaghetti squash as well along with some garlic. I should be getting my fall garlic in the mail really soon to plant in the fall so I will have garlic in the spring. 

    I love this time of year.  There is a certain feeling in the air when you stand outside.  The light is different and it's almost as if the world is catching it's breath right before the long plunge into winter. 

Sunday, September 08, 2013

First Day of Preschool...

This past Thursday was my little man's first day of preschool!  I can't believe we are already there!  Where did my little baby go?  He's turning into such a handsome little man!  We have decided I will home school him.  I can't even tell you how much fun I have had getting ready to teach him.  I turned our spare room into his little classroom. 

 Daniel loves the collage I made of our hikes and camping trips this summer.  He likes to point at the pictures and tell me the story behind them. 
 And he loves the alphabet train because's a TRAIN!  
I also put leaves and pumpkin die-cuts all around the room for fall.   

 A bulletin board for a calendar, current work and incentive charts.  

It's so nice to know that as we go along I will be able to adjust my teaching style according to his needs and just be able to teach him one-on-one.  If needed I can spend extra time on a certain subject or jump ahead if he catches on to something quickly.  One of the many benefits of homeschooling is that he doesn't have to speed up or slow down based on other students around him.  There are many benefits to homeschooling but the only thing I am worried about is him getting to play often with other kids.  He LOVES being with other kids so I am going to do my best to make sure I am taking every opportunity for him to play with others.  Thankfully we have a wonderful church we attend with lots of kids his age and my dear childhood friend has FOUR boys for him to play with. He and her second boy Billy are only three months apart. 

He was a little discouraged because he couldn't write the letter "A" right away. I held his hand and helped him write it.  Then he did the third one on the third row there on the paper in the picture all on his own.  We cheered and cheered because now he could see that he can do it!  We will work on the lowercase "a" when he feels confident writing the uppercase. 

Just as he will be learning as we go I will also be learning as I go.  I welcome advice any homeschoolers out there can give me!  I am looking forward to this new adventure!  :)