Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fun with the fam

I've had a fun time being back in the Seattle area with my family since Tuesday. I fly back to Houston next Tuesday.
I got to my parents' house on Tuesday and we unloaded all my trip stuff out of the truck then headed downtown to watch a Mariner's game. The field was pretty cool and I was glad to get this picture of my dad actually smiling!
We decided to get a family shot. We were just missing Adam and Sus.
The next day my mom and I went on a little excursion to Federal Way. She took me down to Redondo Beach. It was really pretty.
This is a shot down the boardwalk.
That night I had dinner with some friends from Houston who have moved to the Seattle area. Sadly, their little daughter had already gone to bed by the time I thought to get a picture of them.
Thursday we decided to catch the Sounder down to Seattle for the day.
Here's the train parked at King Station. It was a cool backdrop and a very smooth train ride.
We walked around a lot, but I didn't take too many pictures since we went to a lot of the same places as my last Seattle trip a few weeks ago and I've already posted those pictures. I had to put this one on of my dad riding this wooden whale. It was a pretty cool sculpture.
We did do something my mom and I have wanted to do for a long time - Ride the Duck! It was a really cool tour. Here we are about to get into the water. I loved that it was by land and water.
Here's a view of the Seattle skyline from the lake.
The Space Needle, of course!
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Here's a video of a sea plane taking off. We saw a lot of that on our little tour.
This was the most famous part of the tour. This is the floating house from Sleepless in Seattle. Cool, eh?
I tried to get a shot of our duck, but couldn't get back far enough to get the whole thing unobstructed. Oh well!
My dad took two shots of me with this background, but my eyes are closed in both. You can't win them all!
We got tired and turned around so we headed back to our neck of the woods. We still had stuff we wanted to see so Friday we drove down to see the Locks. On the way, we saw two of these tank looking vehicles driving down the road. I thought it was pretty cool.
Here we are at the Locks. It was pretty interesting.
Also interesting there was the fact that they had a salmon ladder. Here's a view with a whole bunch of salmon.
This viewing area was indoor and pretty cool.
This is looking down at the ladder from the top. Every once and a while you could see one jump out of the top.
Back to the Locks. Here's a good picture of one of the locks and some boats behind it waiting for the water level to go down so they could head out from the lake to the Puget Sound.
We've caught some glimpses of Mt. Ranier lately. It's pretty spectacular. I got this one today at a service project we did with my parents' ward to clean headstones at a National Cemetery.
Here's a little zoom view for you. It's over 14,000 feet high and we're pretty close to sea level where we are.
The cemetery itself was pretty impressive. Here are my parents and some other people doing some scrubbing. We worked out there for almost 2 hours. It was pretty warm and sunny for Seattle.
We saw several LDS markers. Can you tell how we knew?
My dad snapped this one of me with Mt. Ranier in the background. It's hard to see because it was so light in color.
I've really loved the farmers markets out here. We got a bunch of stuff today after the service project and I had to get a picture of it because it makes me really happy! I'm not sure I'm ready to head back to the heat and humidity of Texas!
We've had a few visitors at their place already. We had some old Joseph City and Holbrook friends stop by today!

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Idaho

Very soon after arriving in Moscow, Susannah and Adam drove Katherine and I down to Placerville to Adam's parents' cabin there for a fun weekend.
This was a pretty view on our way up to Placerville.
While in Placerville we had a good time shooting this BB gun for some target practice. Well, most of us shot at targets - Vic got a few chipmunks.
After some shooting and playing around the cabin, we hopped on the 4-wheelers for a little exploring adventure of this mining area. It was really cool and had some awesome old buildings. They were really run down inside. The road to get up there was super gnarly so I was glad I didn't have to be a driver.
It was fun being together with these friends again. Kirsten came up from UT to meet us in Placerville. I hadn't seen her for about a year!
We did some poses by this huge building. I'm not sure what it was used for, but it was pretty impressive.
Kirsten's poses were hilarious. That girl cracks me up!
I thought this stream was so pretty.
After exploring, we gave our feet a rest. The only problem here was the flies! There were tons and they really liked us.
Vic had to come back and help fix the 4-wheeler so we could all make it back to the cabin. He rode this cool motorcycle up there.
Susannah and Kirsten headed up a smaller road to see if there was anything else of note, but came up empty.
Kirsten and I really enjoyed taking turns in this hammock.
Our next excursion of the day was a quick trip to the Payette River for some fun in the water. This area had hot springs too. The water was REALLY cold.
Here's cute pregnant Susannah just starting to show.
I love this picture. It was Adam's idea to go swimming, and he's the only one who did. The rest of us just got our feet wet. He didn't actually swim, though. It's more like he just submerged himself a few times to cool off.
We found a good swimming spot in the river, but right near the bank, hot water from the springs was bubbling up through the sand. It looked and felt so cool.
Katherine spent most of her time in this hot spring. The water was really hot and it was almost 100 degrees outside too. Not sure how she does it!
Here's our master griller, Vic! He and Deej did such a great job of keeping us fed. The food was amazing!
Saturday morning we went on an awesome 4-wheeler/motorcycle ride for a few hours.
Katherine was super brave and rode this 125 dirt bike around. She did a great job and got a major workout because it's a kick-start bike and it kept dying. Look at those guns!
My cousin Desiree and her husband Kurt joined our group late Friday night. They were a lot of fun and we wish they could have been there the whole time.
This trail that we went on was amazing. It was so narrow and there was lots of vegetation. We also had to go over little streams about 6 times which added to the fun. Desiree had my camera and got tons of the back of me, but I though this showed the trail pretty well.
Susannah got the most dusty of all of us. She was in the very back on the back of the ATV that Kirsten was driving. It had a super short back end too.
She looked like she had gray hair and I really wish you could see how dirty her face was.
On Saturday the main mountain road up to Placerville was closed for a rally car race. We went out and watched it that afternoon. It was cool to see them drift and drive a whole lot faster on that dirt road than we ever would.
Vic decided to get a closer look at the rally cars. I was fine staying back from the road away from all that dust!
Katherine was cracking us all up. When we were all sitting in the shade, she was always out in the sun. That may explain why she's a good ten times (at least) darker than any of us.
We're just relaxing and watching those rally cars while recovering from our fun 4-wheeler rides.
This is the crew minus Vic and Deej who were being our photographers. We had to get a picture in front of the cabin with old Chief Clubfoot.
Saturday night, we all went to the Starlight Mountain Theater to watch a musical production of The Scarlet Pimpernel which is one of my favorites. During the intermission, the actors get out and sell concessions. This guy was HILARIOUS. He and one other guy were selling licorice ropes - well, it was kisses for $1 and licorice for free. Kirsten got in on that action real quick. She gave the licorice to Adam.
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The guy was shouting out to everyone that if he sold all of his licorice, he do a trick. Well, it worked and I got his trick on film.
On the drive back to Moscow from Placerville we stopped to see some of the rapids. We were lucky enough to see some kayakers go down these class 4 rapids, then we saw some rafts. This raft ran up on a big boulder, corrected, then went up on another and capsized. Everyone was thrown out. All the passengers went down the river - ok I think. The guide quickly swam to the opposite bank and clearly had a hurt arm. This is a picture of two guys trying to free the raft. The guy in the yellow green shirt - not sure how he got out there, but he was out there the longest. The other guy in blue kayaked out to him. That raft was really being held in place by the rapids.
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This is a video I shot of them finally freeing the raft. It took a long time and a lot of effort, but they did it. I was impressed with how tough that raft was and also how tough those guys were!
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After the raft was free, those two guys had to get off the rock and back to shore. This guy on the body board thingy tried to get out to them but with no luck.

The way they got off was pretty impressive. I tried to upload this the normal way but with no luck. I put it in youtube and did it from there! Enjoy!
Once back to Moscow, Susannah and Adam took me to a cool look-out called Kamiak Butte. It was an amazing view of a lot of the rolling hills in the area.
This is a view from the top of the Butte. It was really pretty. None of my pictures really do it justice, so if you want to see the true beauty, just look up "Palouse" on Google images.
Here's the happy couple trying to smile at the summit in the bright sunlight.
I was really excited that Susannah pointed out some wild raspberries that were growing along the trail. We picked a few and ate them! Delicious!