Friday, August 28, 2009

Whitefish, Montana

One of our last stops was to visit our friend (and midwife:) Alice in Whitefish, Montana. The drive from Idaho to Montana was beautiful and somewhat dangerous as we had a couple of deer try to cross the road in front of us! Once we got there we enjoyed hangin' out with our friends and their pups, and visiting the gorgeous mountains and glacier lakes nearby.

We took the gondola up Whitefish Mountain while dad was biking down. We were surprised to find snow at the top (in June)!
Our friends took us down a dirt road to this Mercantile (seemingly in the middle of nowhere) that had incredible pastries and a singing and piano playing dog - quite a sight!

We continued down the dirt road until we arrived at this glacier lake. We felt like we were in a postcard! And if you've never experienced Montana (a.k.a. "Big Sky Montana") for some strange reason the sky does seem really "BIG"!

(Thanks for having us Alice and Dan! We really enjoyed visiting with you and seeing Montana!)

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Hello Coeur d'Alene, Idaho!

We left our family in Oregon (and the luxury of full service gas stations:) and drove alongside the Columbia River checking out waterfalls along the way. Then we made our way through Washington to our friends in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho.

Lind, Washington - where we almost ran out of gas (and couldn't find a pump that would work). But wouldn't you know Lind is "Home of the Combine Demolition Derby"!

In Idaho, we met up with our friends who took us to Coeur d'Alene Lake.

We explored the lake and hiked around Tubbs Hill.

(Bouncing on the bridge)
We saw the biggest dandelions we had ever seen! (Many thanks to the Deak Family - we had a great time:)!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Nate Meets Chef Julian

While in Portland we had the grand opportunity of meeting Chef Julian* and his mom and little sister at Peninsula Park (where there is a gorgeous rose garden). Nate was a bit "star struck" at first. Here is what Nate had to say about it...
"I got to meet Julian at this beautiful park. He gave us chocolate cookies that he made his own self. At first I was a little shy and then I talked to him. I gave him a telescope and we went on the swings. It was fun meeting Julian and I want to meet him again!"

Later in the trip when Nate saw his Great Grandma in Nevada he asked her if he could give Julian one of the crocheted pot-holders she had made. She gave him one to send to Julian. Recently Nate was excited to see him using it on one of his latest cooking shows. "It was so cool because Julian was using Grandma's pot-holder his kitchen. I saw him using it when he was making ice cream!"

*Julian is a five year old chef from Portland, Oregon. His show Big Kitchen with Food airs on Portland Community TV.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Sauvie Island

One favorite while visiting Portland was going to Sauvie Island where we went berry picking at Kruger's Farm. We love going to U-pick farms and this was by far the best one we'd ever been to!

It seemed as though we had the farm to ourselves as we hunted out the ripe raspberries and blueberries.

The newly ripened berries were de-li-cious - yum!

When we were done picking (and eating - we probably ate as many as we took home) we had 10 pints of berries that cost us a whopping $11 (we pay three times that much for berries at our local farmer's market)! Thanks for taking us here Jamie!

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Portland, Oregon

After our camping experience and the realization that we were oh so close to the California/Oregon border we decided to drive straight to Portland. We were ready to impose on our family! We arrived at Aunt Jamie & Jonny's house (a.k.a. the MADison Motel) and had the luxury of staying with them for a few nights. Portland seemed so eclectic to us - seemingly anything goes here. Some of our favorite things we did: we walked and shopped along Hawthorne Boulevard, we went berry picking on Sauvie Island (more on this later),

Carly took a ballet class at the Oregon Ballet Theater, Nate got to meet and hang out with his favorite chef, Julian Kruesser (more on this later),

we visited the Odditorium where Jonny works (here we are rockin' out with Jamie & Jonny),

we watched old movies (our favorite - the 1975 version of Escape to Witch Mountain) on J & J's big homemade movie screen in their basement,
we got couple of a terrific massages, visited with old friends & neighbors, and had a backyard BBQ. We had a great time, so watch out Jamie and Jonny, we may be back before you know it!

Monday, August 3, 2009

Mill Creek Campground

We packed up the Eurovan once again and traveled back to the coast. We drove through Mendocino and up as far as the National Redwood Forest. We were hoping to camp in the forest but the campgrounds were full. We headed toward Klamath where there was another hostel we thought we might stay in; when we stopped by "the lights we on, but nobody was home". So, we kept driving until we stumbled upon the Mill Creek Campground. We drove the two miles of winding road to the creek below and found numerous sites available. We picked a site and set up camp - by this time it was almost midnight. The next morning we woke up to luscious green ferns at our feet and beautiful redwood trees towering above us.

We saw elk (at night), banana slugs, waterbugs, chipmunks, and inchworms on this part of our journey.

Allie counted the rings of this tree. She found out that the tree was one year older than she is.

Riding the Flume by Patricia Curtis Pfitsch is a good historical fiction book we read on our trip. If you are interested in reading about logging in Northern California and one girl's mission to save an ancient Sequoia, you might want to check it out!