Monday, August 1, 2011

Josh's Mt. Adams Climb

Yes - it really is a post from Josh...

About two months ago, while having a few beers my buddy Tim, he told me he was planning a trip to climb Mt. Adams, and asked if I was interested.   With my courage shored with by a few cold Dos Equis I said I'd love to join the group. The plan was to drive to Trout Lake on the first day and hike from the parking area to "base camp" around 9000ft. There we would set up a camp eat sleep and prep for day two. The second day would include a pre daylight excursion and climb for a mid morning summit then head back to base camp pack up and head to the truck for a night of camping BBQ'ing and drinking.i
nleman, and
We met Saturday morning to lay out all our gear and determine what was needed and try and eliminate duplicate stuff. We had done a pretty good job of getting our stuff lined up but we still needed a last minute trip to REI and the grocery store. We met at my place Sunday morning at 6am and headed to Trout Lake Ranger station to register for the trip. It cost $15 for a weekend pass. We were told the snow level was very low and we would have to park 2.5 miles below the trail head at 4400 ft, which was great because 15 miles didn't seem like quite far enough to walk! Since it was Sunday morning there were quite a few cars parked on the road to the trailhead but we found a spot and headed up the mountain. Thanks to the low snow level the hike had a nice little warm up of 2.3 miles to the trailhead. The snow was pretty consistent at the trail head and made the walk much more difficult.


Setting up camp for the night was super cool. We were at about 8900 feet, well above the tree line and the place looked like the moon. No life anywhere just big volcanic boulders snow and a few small sheltered areas that had been dug in by previous hikers. The common place to stay is called Lunch Counter by the professionals we were about 600-700 feet below that but as I said before, we were gassed, and seeing 2 small nooks for the tents among the rocks was a life saver! We pitched our tents and set about unpacking and cooking dinner... That is melting to snow to make enough warm water to cook our MRE’s. The selection of MRE’s is pretty good and you can have just about anything, some good some bad. In my limited experience, keep it simple. If it is normally dehydrated it’ll taste better ie. dehydrated noodles and rice - good... dehydrated Chicken breast with Mashed potatoes - bad.

We were settled in about 9pm and pretty much ready for bed. I put on a fresh pair of socks which was better than ___ (I’ll let you fill in the blank), then threw in a packet of Via coffee kicked my feet up and watched the sun set over Hood, St Helens, and the entire lower Columbia Basin. Very Cool! About 10:30 I couldn't keep my eyes open anymore (even though it was still daylight) so we turned in for the night. We were a little worried because it was about 28 degrees with a 20mph wind, but in the small tent and our bags we slept like babies and there were no reports of anyone getting cold.

We set the alarm for 5:00am, a Little later than we originally thought, but after talking with several people on the way way up it was determined we didn’t need to start so early.We were all up before 5 and never heard the alarm go off.

Hot breakfast (dehydrated granola in milk for me) another cup of coffee and we were off! We started walking about 6am. The Summit is 12,300 ft so we had approx 3400 vertical to climb today. The ascent to the false summit is massive and intimidating, but I found it to be easier if you just don’t look up... Everyone I had talked with warned me to be ready for the surprise of how much farther we had after reaching the false summit, and they weren’t kidding! I was the first of our group to reach the false summit so i had time to watch a ventricular cloud formation blow over the summit and completely white out the view. By the time the rest of the guys got there it was pretty menacing looking. We decided to trudge on and see what the mountain would bring!

The hike after the false summit went surprisingly quick. Before we knew it we were standing on the top of the world... well higher than any of us had been except for in a plane. It was about quarter to ten and we had made it! I remember trying to determine if the altitude was affecting me, I didn’t feel like i was starving for oxygen but in retrospect i do recall feeling a little “drunk” for lack of a better term. i remember fine motor skills like zipping up a jacket or putting on gloves seemed to take more concentration than normal. Other than that the 45 minutes we spent on the summit was incredible! The view is un-describable, Mt St Helens, Rainier, Hood, Sisters, the ridge to the east of Rainier which I think is called the Razorback all surround you and all above the clouds.

The biggest bummer of the trip was that the clouds that were covering the summit that day prevented the snow from getting slushy, this made Glissading suicide... If you aren’t familiar, Glissading is sitting on your butt and sliding blissfully at the speed of your choice to the bottom of the mountain. We were forced to walk down a couple thousand feet before we could start Glissading.

The walk back to the truck was so much easier! Slipping sliding and glissading downhill is so much better than 8” steps uphill! All in all The trip was so cool... I’d say if you don’t want to start climbing don’t do it once! I will be doing it again. I would like to climb Adams a few more times then maybe move on to anther mountain.

This was waiting for me when I arrived home, nice to be missed!

Sunday, June 26, 2011

Finally - A Weekend at Home!

It sounds so boring but it is exactly what I needed!  Summers are so busy and we love seeing all of our friends but there is still so much to do at the house.  Saturday after my regular breakfast of champions (a vanilla latte and Luna bar) I mowed the lawn and tried to pull up crab grass.  I got a sunburn and very sore leg and back muscles for those efforts.  Josh entrusted me to do some experiments with lawn chemicals (not something I am usually a proponent of but we really need some assistance to get this yard up to our standards).  He  spent the day getting sheetrock up in the shop and moving things all around.  We also got 8-10 loads of laundry done too.
This morning we enjoyed yummy blueberry bagels from Thursday's trip to the farmer's market and introduced the boys to Styx! They are playing the "trust game" in the photo but I'm not sure they know that. Next up is local raised and butchered ribs smoked on Josh's Green Mountain Grill, if I can figure out how to use it! 

Memorial Cruise

Friday night was the first time the bugs have been out since Dave Sr. passed away last September.  Josh and Don got them all washed up and shiny and we had a little family cruise over to Richland for Cool Desert Nights.  This isn't the best photo (iPhone); we stopped for dinner at Azteca first. Nana and Grampa took the black bug with one kid; Josh and I took the Red Rag Top with the other kid.  Brody was so excited to wear the black beetle button. Spending some time in the cars was a great reminder of Grandpa Dave and how much of himself went into his cars - we even found an unopened pack of Marlboros and some Binaca!

Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

33 for 33 - Final Results

This is WAY late but I really wanted to recap my to do list that I made on my 33rd Birthday!  So 17 out of 33 isn't terrible but not really a big success.  I suppose building the house had something to do with it, not a lot of free time to be had (especially free time with Josh).  

  1. Run a 5K (Did a 2 mile race in July) (Finished a 5K in March 2011)
  2. Achieve a "normal" BMI (so very close, 2# away) (No more movement in this area, I'm happy with maintenance at this point)
  3. Wear a bikini - even if just in private (Do Tankinis count?  Didn't think so) (Again, not so much!)
  4. Take a photography class (Took one online - but haven't practiced much)
  5. Get a new tattoo  (no new ink, I'd forgotten about this one)
  6. Hike Badger 5 times (2 times so far) (Done)
  7. Eat more veggies daily (Done intermittently, didn't hurt that we lived with a veggie Nana for 6 months)
  8. Go on a weekend trip away with no kids (Adult weekend at the Roberts Cabin in June)  (Heading to Vegas this weekend)
  9. Take a family vacation (Not quite what we planned but we took a 3 day trip to Silverwood)
  10. Finish our shop (Done enough to count, still waiting for power) (Waiting for sheetrock and lights - but done)
  11. Move into our new house (I think I'll be cutting this one a little close) (Thanks to my fabulous husband, this one was done early)
  12. Plant a garden (Planted watermelons that froze and died - This one will wait until next year)
  13. Pay off the Tahoe (Would be moving along faster if we hadn't purchased a "new" truck) (Done in April, so it counts).
  14. Decrease non-mortgage debt (Moving right along - boat is paid off) (Decreasing - see above)
  15. Practice Yoga weekly (Fail)
  16. Scrapbook monthly (not so much) (Still not so much)
  17. Sew Something (No projects, everything was packed up for so long)
  18. Go Kayaking (Done - Black Lake in September 2010)
  19. Float the River (No, but I am so doing this in the summer)
  20. Go Wine Tasting (Nope)
  21. Sell our house  (Yay -we closed this week) (What a relief that was - moved out in August 2010)
  22. Go white water rafting (Nope)
  23. Finish 5 books on Good Reads list - not new additions (one down - 3 currently underway) (Yes!!)
  24. Smile More (I hope so, wrinkles are showing more so that much be a yes)
  25. Go on adventure walks with boys monthly (Not monthly, but more often for sure)
  26. Get a massage (Yes thanks to a major neck spasm)
  27. Build a piece of furniture (Nothing yet - maybe a dining table this year)
  28. Keep a one sentence journal for a month (Another one I forgot - would have been cool to do this while building the house)
  29. Monthly game/movie nights with kids (Yes - technology really helps with this at the last minutes)
  30. Finish my "Encyclopedia of Me" (Apparently I thought I'd have a lot of time this winter)
  31. Volunteer (Not enough)
  32. Improve/Maintain/Make New Friendships (Absolutely - this has big a great year for socializing)
  33. Make more desserts! (Yes - see #2 for results of this)
I really want to make a new list - maybe not so grandiose as 34 items this year!  I suppose I'd better get on it - a lot of the things on my list are things I want to do with Josh and some just for myself.  Maybe two lists are in order.  I also think posting them where I see them regularly would have made a big difference - let the planning and list making begin!!!

Looking Out for Mama

Yesterday we were getting in the car and Boone says "Dad, you need to change Mom's oil. Oh wait, never mind, you just hadn't started the car all the way yet!". I love that my little man is checking out my engine gauges and lights and looking out for me!  What a great kid!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Ten for (almost) Tuesday

1.  Brody had his 5 year well child exam yesterday.  It was not a fun time when he needed his two shots, that kids is strong and loud.  Funny how much less embarrassed I am with him than I would have been with Boone.  A second child makes you humbler for sure.

2.  My race results were better than I thought but I am only on one of the finishers lists on  Somehow I got missed on the main spreadsheet.  Good Thing I found this though:

3.  We are finally getting the stamped concrete sealed today and the exterior paint prep will start too!

4.  Boone is on his second round of antibiotics for an elusive sinus infection - seems to take after his Gram. Josh went to bed early tonight fighting early cold-like symptoms.

5.  The boys are both waking up to alarm clocks and getting themselves dressed.  This has been a wonderful month of mornings!

6.  The age of my poor Tahoe is finally starting to show.  It was a rough winter outdoors but it will be paid off at the end of the month.  This will be the first time I've kept a car (payment free) and not run out to replace it.  I don't think we have ever even paid off one of my cars before.  We did keep the Bronco payment free for quite a while but added a second child in childcare to offset that savings.

7.  My parents are in Kauai right now with my Aunt and Uncle. They ate rice and Portuguese sausage and eggs for breakfast and I was very jealous.

8.  I am taking two trips within two months coming up really soon - Minnesota in early April and Las Vegas in early June.  Two very different packing efforts.

9.  I am listening to my old Tug Dog snore next to me and wondering how much longer I'll get to hear those noises.

10.  We get our couch delivered Tuesday afternoon between 1 and 3pm-Oh Happy Day!!!

    Sunday, March 13, 2011


    Outside My Window -Concrete stain is being pressure washed away on my patio!
    I am Thinking - That I really need more furniture.
    I am Thankful - For all the space that that furniture will fill.
    From the Kitchen - Blueberry coffee cake in the oven now.
    I am Wearing - Jean, a long sleeve tee and slippers - can't wait for warmer weather!
    I am Creating - Lists and lists and more lists (and food).
    I am Going - To Raptor Reef for Brody's birthday next weekend.
    I am Reading - Lots of short stories.
    I am Hoping - That our trip to Costco doesn't break the bank.
    I am Hearing - Tom Petty Concert on Josh's new live streaming find Wolfgang's Vault.
    Around the House - Outside might be painted next week.
    One of my Favorite Things - My Kitchen!
    A Few Plans for the Rest of the Week - Costco Trip, a cousin's birthday party, treats for Brody's birthday. 

    Wednesday, February 23, 2011

    Real Life - You Asked for It!

    So many of our friends and family have asked for updated pictures of the house.  I keep putting it off because we are far from done and completely settled.  Things are a mess, furniture is absent, we just aren't done yet. But today I read this post and the follow up comments and realized - its okay!  It is what it is as my sweet husband always says.  This is us ~ this is now!
    I'll do a room at a time when they are more finished but for now, here is a mini tour...

    This is the view from the breakfast bar in the kitchen - yes there is supposed to be glass in the cabinet door, but its not there yet!
    This is the view from next to the fridge - the blue/green room in the distance is the master bedroom.
    Here is our living room sans couch and rug.  The couch was supposed to be here on Valentine's Day but looks like at least another two weeks.  Such is our luck when ordering new furniture.  Eventually there will be rock on the fireplace and a mantle too, in white.  We love the built-ins.  I just need some time to figure out the layout.

    This is the view from the living area to the front of the house.  Eventually we will have stuff on the walls, possibly a bar instead of the piano...priorities!

    The is the guest bath downstairs off the entry way.  Planned to be quite neutral so I can add stuff seasonally.

    No great pictures of the master bedroom as this little guy is sleeping off his fever (hopefully).  Not quite sure what is wrong with him yet, maybe a sinus infection?  You can also see one very messy nightstand.  Lots of things still waiting for a home.

    No tour of the master bath today either (one of my favorite rooms) because as you can see by that big box there along the wall, there are two guys in there putting up my shower door...finally!  There are two open doors on either side of this little hall leading to the bathroom.  Each side goes into a closet - so far I've even let Josh keep his all to himself. I'm a nice wife like that!
    This is the view from the living room looking at the dining/reading room and further in to the laundry/mud room.  Lots of hyphenated multi-use rooms in this house, no?  Very unfinished at this point.  I didn't want to bring the old table in when I want something different for this space. We also need a hutch and two comfy little chairs for the reading nook, as well as a rug for under the table.  All these solid surface floors have me begging Josh for a Roomba.  Now he knows why I wanted central vacuum put in - but alas, it was vetoed.  
    Here is the laundry area - I have big plans for this mudroom but my hubby needs a bit of a break from 18 hours days and has some other big projects still.  This is currently functional and just needs a little organization for now.

    This is the office/craft room - more slashes in the room titles.  It still needs a desk and work table.  I have another trip to Portland Ikea in me before this room will be done.
    This room had me the most scared for awhile after the boys picked the paint color, but then I found this bedding and it has become one of my favorite spots.  This is the guest bedroom and it is actually ready for visitors (hint, hint).

    A view up the staircase standing at the front door.
    The boys bathroom - its pretty galley shaped so getting photos in here is pretty difficult.  These mirrors are so great for a bathroom with growing boys.  They tilt down while they are shorties but can tilt up as they grow. They were a major splurge even on sale (Josh - don't click on the link :))
    Everyone's favorite part - ya gotta have a urinal in a house full of boys, right?
    We have a loose Seahawks theme upstairs - this is a view into the shower and toilet room that is separated from the rest of the bathroom by a pocket door should my boys ever decide privacy is a necessity. I don't see that happening anytime soon.
    Boone's room! Sick little guy = unmade bed.  Overwhelmed mom = undecorated room (so far).
    Brody's room and his version of a made bed.  He's having a tough time getting used to sleeping in here by himself.

    This is the bonus room.  Right now, it is very much a playroom - they've been cooped up for so long they don't know what to do with this much space except make a huge mess.  Eventually, as they get older and we restock a savings of some sort, it will turn into a media room.  We have it wired for a projector and ceiling speakers when the time comes.
    This is how I would prefer the room look. It is the view back into the hall from the bonus room.  A little more organized...
    This is a storage area off of the upstairs hall. Behind me is our furnace and in front is an explosion of holiday stuff, luggage, and kids clothing of various sizes that doesn't currently fit either kid.  This area is in need of a few shelves but that is pretty much all that will happen here.
    The view from the top of the stairs out of the center dormer.  It is all open to below.
    This is that same space from the side, sitting on Boone's bed.  The area joins the boys' bedrooms and has a desk in the little nook.  Eventually it will be their shared computer area, but for now the pocket doors stay open so Brody can see Boone lying in bed.

    The view out the back door - the covered porch isn't quite finished.  Hopefully, next week the concrete (stamped/stained) will be done out here and cut down on some of the insane amounts of sand tracked in on my floors!  The wind is intense up here too so with no ground cover at this time, the sand is everywhere.  Better than dust I suppose...

    The exterior will be painted as soon as the weather warms up a bit.  The driveway should be graveled this weekend and hopefully, Charter can get the cable installed so we have internet speeds faster than my iPhone currently gets.  Clearwire is sooooo slow!  The lawn will be hydro-seeded when the irrigation is turned back on this spring.  It will not be soon enough but there is a ton of lawn to do!  I hope to get trees planted along the back to block some of riding arena that you see there and landscaping will be a bit farther down the road yet.

    We are so happy to be HOME and I am so amazed at what Josh has accomplished here.  We've all worked hard and sacrificed a bit but it is no comparison to what he has endured to get us this far.  He is so talented and has put so much effort in to our home and I am so grateful!  

    Monday, January 3, 2011

    One Little Word - 2011

    I've been thinking a bit about my word for this year - wanting to make it count.
    Two years ago when I first started this project, I chose the word focus and that was year I made a big dent in what has become a sixty pound weight loss.
    Last year's word was adventure and goodness knows its been that with our living situation, building the house, and trying my hand at enjoying physical adventure into running.
    This year I really wanted my word to reflect my desire to keep on with the newer, healthier lifestyle as well as the peace I hope we all find as we settle into our new home in a few weeks (fingers crossed), organize our space, and spend some down time just being together as a family.  My "one little word" for 2011 is~

    Blessings to you all in this new year!