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Monday, July 6, 2020


After the Sharatin camping trip we had fireworks off the front deck of the house.  Lots and lots of fireworks.  Happy birthday USA!  And I certainly appreciate what happened on that long ago Fourth of July day.  That was one brave act and I and the rest of the citizens today are certainly beneficiaries.  Thank You!

At our fireworks celebration we did the usual bottle rockets, sparklers and mortars.  Mike P cam over and brought these Chinese lantern like things that were a HUGE hit.  They floated up like big hot air balloons and disappeared over the horizon.  WOW!

More Sharatin Camping

Some more pictures from last weekend's camping trip on Sharatin with the cousins - and it was such a good trip that I have even more pictures to post!  But I think this will be the last post.  I'll let the pictures do the talking - great weather and those cliffs are certainly impressive!

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Stuey and the cousins on Sharatin

Last night Stuey and I went on a hiking camping trip up Sharatin with the cousins.  The claimed objective was to climb to the top and tick off another mountain on the Adjust your Altitude Challenge.  But only Stuey and I had stickers - so really it was all about camping with the boys.

We climbed up and camped next to a lake and even went swimming after dinner.  On arrival it was looking a little ugly and I was worried we'd be getting in some downtime in tents in the rain.  But the sun came out and after dinner we went for a quick walk and checked out the super scary and sheer cliffs near camp.  Like 300 foot vertical drops.

We also found where a stream had cut a tunnel under a snowfield and you could duck walk through under the snow.  A snow cave tunnel!  All and all we had a very good time and I took so many pictures that I will have to do a couple of posts at least - so stay tuned.

Hiking up through the 'buggy' brush

Ah to be in the divine alpine!

Stuey waiting for dinner

Camp and dinner prep

Checking out the sheer and very scary cliffs on an after dinner walk

A big hit - the snow tunnel

Camp at dawn

On the summit - 3 down and 4 peaks to go!

Hiking home

Friday, July 3, 2020

North Sister Loop with Stuey

Yesterday Stuey and I did our second peak in the 'Adjust your Altitude' Challenge - the North Sister.  There were a lot of people climbing the mountain with us and we even met Stuey's babysitter from way back.  It was also very hot and steep.  We went up the front steep side and without any wind or shade it was sort of a slog.  But we made it and there was a breeze out of the north on top.

Rather than negotiate the steep front side again we opted to climb down the less steep backside.  Stuey and I both agreed that going down steep slopes hurts the knees and shins.  However, on the backside the top section is super scary!  And I was wondering what I had got us into, and even suggested that we go back up and down the way we came.  To this Stuey replied, 'are you crazy - go back up!'

So we continued on down and once past the scary section it was far more pleasant than the other side of the mountain.  There was a breeze and even shade trees lower down.  It was also far less steep and we did not see a single other soul on the trail.  We just enjoyed the view while we meandered through the wildflowers.  We also filled our water bottles with the most 'delicious water in the world' from a cold spring on the way down.

At the bottom Stuey sat by the side of the road and drank the 'delicious water' while I walked a mile or so up the road to collect the car.  Lap 2 complete!


On the way up - steep pretty much the whole way and no shade

We begin the descent - there is a steep scary section at the start

Hiking down through the wildflowers on the backside

This flower has a great name - weaselsnout (Lagotis glauca)

Baking a cake

Earlier this week Stuey and his friend Elias baked a cake and made the frosting for it.  They did it all on their own and I was a little shocked that it came out so well.  A week or so ago they had tried 'on their own' and I had had to help them a bit.  It was like watching 'dumb and dumber' in action, and afterwards the kitchen was a mess.  Flour on the counters, sugar everywhere, and a cake where they got the ingredients slightly wrong and the frosting was inedible.

So this time I was very skeptical and informed them that they were not going to get any help from me and that they had to end up with a clean kitchen.  Since there was no wifi they could not look up the recipe on line.  So I showed them where the cookbooks are located and pulled down 'The Joy of Cooking' for them to use.  Then I went and took a nap.

But low and behold I awoke to a finished cake.  It was amazing.  They made 2 layers and neither stuck to the pans.  I watched them put them together and coat with frosting.  They 'totally redeemed themselves'.

Thursday, July 2, 2020

Adjust your altitude with Stuey

Last summer Nora and I did the 'Adjust your Altitude' challenge where you climb 7 local mountains before the beginning of September.  This summer I am going to do it with both Nora and Stuey.  And yesterday Stuey and I checked off the first mountain on his check list - Mount Monashka.

For some reason, this is a mountain that both Nora and Stuey do not like climbing.  It is actually my favorite because you climb up through trees and then above tree line the wild flowers are incredible.  Best of all, the water is right below you.  But we seldom hike there because, as I said, the kids don't like the mountain.

Yesterday Stuey said, 'I'm only doing this mountain because of the money'.  Once you finish the challenge you do get to enter a drawing and potentially win money.  At the start Stuey was asking me about the odds of winning it all.  'Say 1/2 a percent?'  I was pretty impressed with his numbers!

At the top Stuey did admit, 'It's so beautiful that I want to stay up here!'  And back in the car driving home he did admire the view of the mountain looming on the horizon and was quite proud of his accomplishment.  Patrick

A quick trip into the alpine with the doggies

Earlier this week I took the doggies up Pyramid for their daily walk.  I was worried that it might be a bit much for Tank.  He is over 13 and that is pretty old for a big black lab.  But I need not of worried - he handled the hike easily.  And once up into the alpine both dogs were so happy.  We sat in the tundra and enjoyed the view.  Patrick