Monday, October 12, 2015

25th Anniversary

This is our 25th anniversary month!  And to celebrate, I am getting a new ring.  But it is not your normal "go to the store and buy it ring".  I had one specifically designed for me and I am using family heirloom diamonds.  I am soooo soooo soooo excited.  It will be a one of a kind that has such sentimental value.  I am even having the names of the women who owned the diamonds engraved on the inside of it.  The diamonds were from my grandmother and my great, great grandmother.  I using my marquis diamond from Jim and am also adding two new diamonds to pass down in the family.

The picture above shows the wax model of the ring.  It doesn't look very impressive but not to worry - the ring will look much better.

Tombstone, AZ

 We took a side trip to Tombstone, AZ this weekend while visiting Drew.  It is a cute little old western town where Wyatt Earp and Doc Holiday used to hang out.

This is the original Bird Cage Theater

Marty and another statue

We had lunch in Big Nose Kate's Saloon - which is the actual same building as when Wyatt Earp was there.

Marty and Jim on the corner of Good Enough and Tough Nut!

U of A Family Weekend - 2015

A little beer pong before the football game

We went to Family Weekend in Tucson this weekend and squeezed more in than I thought possible!

It was fun that Drew had an apartment where we could hang out (and party).  We got there at about 11 am, hung out at his apartment for awhile and then went to the football game.  U of A was playing Jim's Alma Matter, OSU!  Unfortunately is was about 100 degrees in the stands.  So we only stayed in our seats for about 8 minutes!  Then we watched the rest of the quarter from the shade and then called it good and went to Drew's house to watch it on tv.

Marty and his statues

Chad and Jim talking football

Room mates families

A room mates Armenian grandma made this raw meat appetizer

Drew's apartment building

Hello, hello

This is one of my favorite recent pics of William.  He is using an avocado skin as a telephone!  Goofball!

The Enchantments - Day 4

Day 4 was our final day of backpacking.  We got up, had some breakfast (oatmeal AGAIN!) and took some silly pics with mustaches!  Just as we were finishing up with the pictures a mama and baby goat came thru our camp.  This was the icing on the cake of an already epic trip!  We watched them parade around the perimeter of our camp while giddy with excitement.

This is the "coleman crapper" of the Enchantments

There were a number of porta potties along the hike.  People were encouraged to use them so that the goats would not scratch around getting the salt out of human urine!  Gross, right?

After watching the goats we headed out.  The hike was about 5 or 6 miles downhill and I thought it was the hardest part of the trip.  It was hard on my ankles and knees.  In fact I felt the stiffness 2 days later.  I had done lots of training for uphill but very little for downhill and you could tell.

Icicle Creek along the trail

This is the creek right close to the trail head.  We followed it all 15 miles down!

Crossing Icicle Creek below Nada Lake.  This was a big landmark on the way up.

Mama and baby

Baby following mama along the edge of our camp

Hiking out

This is where we stopped for lunch on the way out.
We stopped for lunch about a mile and a half from the trail head on some rocks on the side of the trail.  Although we were all anxious to be done on one hand, on the other hand it was so amazing we didn't want it to end.  In fact, Shannon wanted to figure out how to walk all the way back to Seattle so it wouldn't end.

Mama and baby walking away

Hiking out

There is a goat behind the tree behind me - that's why I have such a silly face!

Ninja campers
We noticed that Grace and Susan had the same height and similar build.  So we decided to dress them alike and see who could tell a difference.  When we showed the pic to Susan's sons, they didn't pick out the right one as their mom!  Who do you think is who?  Answer below.

Such diverse trails

Packing out

Strike a pose!

Time to leave Nada Lake

It is a tradition to have trail names and to name your packs.  See below for ours.

"Scooby"  (pack name was Shaggy)

"Amen" (pack name was Brown Suga')

"Cheese Whiz" (pack name was Violet)

"Animal"  (pack name was Kermit)

At the trail head coming out! Look at the people behind it heading in!

Hiking out
Grace and the goats!

Once we made it to the parking lot, we did Susan's family tradition of filming each person taking off their pack and doing a little celebratory dance!  It was hilarious to watch.  Then we headed off to see the fish hatchery that is fed by Icicle Creek.  Next up - celebratory Huckleberry ice cream and a Big Foot lunch box for Grace!

Celebrating with ice cream!

Answer - which Ninja is which?  Susan is on the left, Grace is on the right!

The Enchantments Backpacking - Day 3

Day 3 was a slow day on the trail.  We decided to take it easy, pack up and head to a new camp site.  Our plan was to travel slowly and explore.   We explored Upper and Lower Snow Lakes, a Coleman Crapper and Nada Lake.  After all the miles from the previous days, this slow approach left us lots of time for silliness - including prom pics, yoga, selfies, gummy bear taste tests and self frisbee.

A group shot before leaving our camping spot at Upper Snow.  We headed down to the creek to pump water and then got started hiking at 11:10.

This is above Nada Lake looking down on it.  We had to hike thru a bunch of landslide granite boulders - sometimes on the edge of the world.  In fact, in some areas, the only thing making you stay on the trail was plants that formed a type of wall.

Grace and I got trail bracelets for all the ladies.

Crossing the creek where we pumped our water.

The forest along Upper Snow was quite dense.

Shannon brought a Frisbee with her and was always disappointed when no one wanted to play with her (we had just hiked for miles and miles and were tired).  So on the third nite she suddenly starts throwing her Frisbee and catching it herself!  We were all cracking up!

After we got to Nada Lake and had lunch in the sunshine, Grace held a gummy bear blind taste test.  We compared the gummies that Susan brought against the gummies we brought.  Susan was the taste tester and Grace administered the test.   Shannon and I stood by commented on how we would have barfed after the 4th gummy!  The results were that Susan liked our gummies 4 out of the 5 times!  Later, the bag of gummies melted into one giant gummy while sitting in the sun!

Lower Snow had these beautiful horsetail plants which looked lovely but are apparently indicative of an unhealthy lake.

This was where we had lunch.  It was such a warm day in the sun that Shannon went skinny dipping!  She is brave!

Susan and her highly coveted People Magazine

Prom pics!

It got cold FAST when the sun went behind the mountain

Silly selfies!

At nite we would sit around and read conversation starters out of a book and each respond

More silly selfies

Upper Snow

Susan in a downward dog at Upper Snow

Me and Shannon in tree poses at Upper Snow

This shows the huge boulders we had to hike thru to get from Lower Snow back down to Nada

Nada Lake from above

Butt crack rock - distant cousin of butt crack rock near Cherry Lake!