Monday, September 30, 2013

Mount St. Helens

Misty and I decided to go on a summer vacation trip, sans the boys.  We drove through Idaho, stayed the night at a beautiful lake in the hills of Idaho. The next day, we drove to Washington via Oregon, where we stayed at The Lone Fir Resort.  We got up at about 4:30 and were on the trail to Mount St. Helens by 5:30.  Talk about rough.  The trail started out like any other. We had to take the summer trail, which we weren't planning on and added time to our hike.  Apparently there is a lot of snow in June in Washington.  After a few miles of wooded ski trails, we made it to the timber line.  We hiked along lava flows and bare mountain for another few miles.  Then, it was straight up! The trail continues almost vertical up the ridge of the mountain.  It was steep! I realize that we were climbing a volcano and all, but it was steeper than I had expected.  I thought the slightest shift in my backpack would tip me over at one point. After a few miles of boulder, we could see it getting super steep. We had watched people begin to climb what we thought would be the ash field, but they were climbing in thick snow with ice picks and crampons.  Several skiers and snowboarders also passed us, gear and all, ready to ski their way down.  Well, as we were in hiking boots only and didn't want to risk having to be rescued, we decided to turn around.  We had been hiking almost six hours at this point.  My hip was killing me! I would have loved to finish, but I know my limits, and I think that's important in hiking, too.  Misty was such a great friend to put up with me! All in all, it was beautiful and breathtaking!

We continued our trip south, headed down to Portland and made a few stops there, including Powell's Bookstore and an ice cream run. I love the downtown Portland area! After that, it was off to camp in the redwoods and travel down the California coast.  All in all, a successful trip, despite leaving my favorite pillow and blanket in some random sketchy hotel.  Misty wasn't willing to backtrack five hours.  I wasn't either! I love spending time with this girl! I'm so grateful we met back in the day at Westminy!

Early Summer

 Visit to Grandpa Wood's house. He loves the cat, Gato. Who doesn't love that cat!?
 Trip over Memorial Day weekend to Phoenix. We met the Madsen family at Mom's house, went boating, and spent the weekend. It was nice to get some sunshine!

 We went to an outdoor restaurant that was BBQ and dancing.  The kids loved this huge cactus by our table.
 Me, Mom, and Jenni
 Getting reading to ride the tube on the boat.

 Hoover Dam

 Dale and I went golfing in the morning and watched a group of about 30 para gliders take off at Squaw Peak in Provo Canyon.