Wednesday, January 14, 2015

2014 The Rest of the Story

What can I say!  It is the end of 2014 and I am soooooo behind!  I seem to start out each new year with renewed determination to do a better job of keeping my photos and blog and journal up-to-date, but it never seems to fail, by the time New Year threatens, I am scrambling to wipe the slate clean and start all fresh and new!  Being slothful makes me feel ungrateful for all that I have been blessed with!  I do not wish my Father in Heaven (or my kids for that matter) to think me ungrateful! After sorting and loading all of this....No wonder we felt like we were never home this year!

So here goes: The Rest of the 2014 Adventures with Tim and Peggy Story... Its epic!
May 25-26 Memorial Weekend
Once we got life back to a good routine after our awesome bucket-list worthy trip to the Yucatan (previous post), we were ready to kick off the summer with our (almost annual) backpack trip out to Graveyard of the Giants via our secret(ish) back door: Scott's Creek.
It is always a bit tricky to find the right forest road, but it is always worth it!  It would take us 4 or 5 hours of hiking in the sand to get to these remote beaches that we love.  So nice I married a map head!  The trail is not maintained, and is straight up into the primordial forest and then straight down to the beach, but always worth it!  Check those tide charts!  There are a couple of heads to navigate at low tide only!

Well we didn't time our arrival quite right; the tide is on the way out and we had to wait about and hour to get around this rock.  On the way back, we tried to time the wave interval and well, I made it, but Tim got wet.  He was not a happy camper.  Fortunately, wet boots and shorts didn't matter for long---it started to rain!

I love these beaches:  surf,  sand, rocks, logs, grass, forest and the occasional glass float.

Our camp was well above the high tide mark in the trees.  Our neighbors were not so wise and camped out on the beach, below the hide tide a nice wave came in and put out their fire!  Pilgrims....

Panoramic of "our" beach with my new camera.

For Christmas, the kids purchased us some Seattle Sounder gear and tickets to some games!  Absolute fun!  Seattle does a classy job and each game is a sensory experience!  This is game two that KB and Zac got for us!  Sounder's Game 5/31

Panoramic of Seattle from the ferry on the way into the stadium.
Tim always wanted a Sounder "kit".  He has lost 55 pounds since this picture was taken!

Pregame warm-ups!  It was nice in that sun!

This just happened to be the game winning shot!
As soon as the sun comes out and the days warm up, we stop being home.... A favorite hike is the 5 miles into the Dosewallips campground.  Several years ago the road was washed out by the river, so now it is a long hike instead of a short drive.

 Day Hike up Dosewallips 6/7

You can see where the road used to go; the forest is now taking it back over.  The grade is easy to hike....mostly.

Tim brought a small tarp (always be prepared!) and after laying it out we took a nice nap in the sunshine before heading the 5 miles back to the car.

The old campground still has fire pits and picnic tables along the river.  There is a ranger station there still that is manned in the summer.
Katie and Zac Surprise visit with camping 6/27

One evening, we were at home and thinking about what to prepare for dinner and my youngest called for a chat.  At the end of the discussion about our possible dinner solutions, Katie and Zac surprise ME with a visit!  They live in Utah and were in Puyallup for a family wedding!  They had made secret plans with Tim, so it was a surprise for me!  Actually the surprise was on them....there wasn't much in the house for dinner! 

Eating teriyaki at Chungs in Poulsbo!
 The one thing they really wanted to do was go camping with us (love them!), so we gathered our gear and some food and camped nearby at Fort Flagler State Park after lunch and pie at the Chimacum Café.
Eagles are always a happy site!

Zac and Katie checking out the flotsam on the beach.
Around the bend there was a beached sailboat!  Somebody forgot to tie up his boat!
It was a quick, but fun overnighter with this fun couple.  As requested we had foil dinners and s'mores that evening....such easy guests!  Love them!

Normally we have been taking one long backpack trip into the Olympics, but this year, Tim just didn't want to.  So we planned a road trip to a part of the state that we wanted to explore: 
SE Washington, Central Oregon and a loop out to the Oregon Coast at Newport:  July 5-8

So our road trips are not really planned, we just have an idea of what we want to see, no idea where we will camp or stay depending on the circumstances and we eat out of the grocery stores along the way.  The unknown is kind of the fun for us--drives our children crazy!  (It is one of the perks of an empty nest)  ....maybe the grandkids one year will like to have an adventure with us!

Being from the western side of the state, it was really nice to be in he heat with an air conditioner!  As we were driving along we saw this huge rock escarpment rising out of the ground.  We drove over to check it out! 
This is what it is up close!  Smith River State Park in Oregon.  Wow!  Very cool rock formations with a lazy winding river.  Lots of hiking opportunities, but we opted to not get out and hike.

As you drive along the Columbia River highway, up on the hill near Goldendale there is what appears to be Stonehenge!  I have always wanted to stop and see it.  This is the view from the site.  That is the Columbia River and Mt. Rainier in the background.

Turns out this replica of Stonehenge in Goldendale is a WW1 monument; plaques with names of those local young men that served are on the cement walls. 
The design duplicates the size and shape of the original in Wiltshire.  When Hill, a Quaker was told it had been used for human sacrifice (now most think the design had more to do with astronomy), he realized that youth were still being sacrificed to the God of war, he decided to build this monument.  It was completed in May 1929.
 Free to the public and well maintained.

The  open visas of the countryside is beautiful, especially to a couple of people who live in the trees!  From this position alongside the road we are supposed to be able to see four volcanoes!  It was kind of hazy and the sun was in the wrong position to capture the view very well.
Sign indicates Mt. Hood is 50 miles left, Mt. St. Helens is 70 miles , then Mt. Adams 45 miles, with Mt. Rainier on the right, 85 miles away.  We viewed several others besides those  our trip!
I cannot remember the name of this was deep, 120 feet if I remember correctly, and had this beautiful arched bridge running over the divide.  They built beautiful bridges back in the day!  Image, being on your horse and coming to this!  We stopped and ate lunch in the park that had signs warning people to keep their dogs on a leash--more than one had fallen into the canyon below!--oops!  The rock wall barrier was about hip high.

Tim remembers visiting these lava flows when he was young. They went on forever!
The PCT and the scenic road  runs right through this lava flow! 

There on the top of that hill (left)  there is a structure built by the CCC.  It is called the observatory.  Lava rocks were stacked, leaving windows ( open slots) that framed all  the local peaks and lava vents in the area. 
Each window space / slit had a name plaque on it, with a corresponding map on the wall. 

All made of the surrounding lava rock. Very cool.  We are always finding little things like this on our back road jaunts! 

After a beautiful drive through forests and lava fields we came upon this view of the 3 Sisters.
After our exploration of the warmer parts of this part of Oregon, we decided to come home by way of the coast and headed for Newport.

The wind was howling; we had to lean in to keep upright and Tim had to put his had in his pocket. 

The area the light house was in  bird sanctuary and we had to pay the fee to see it!  It was beautiful, but the wind was crazy!

It was time to find something to eat so we made our way into Newport.  Past visits were always  the other side of the harbor, but this time we got to the more west side. 

We watched this woman clear and fillet the catch from one of those fishing charter boats.  She was so fast; it as amazing to watch her work!
As we wondered around the tourist shops, it reminded me of Poulsbo, except Newport is  still a working  port with small glimpses of fishermen going about their business just block away from Mo's; talk about fresh!

My parents used to make a point of stopping at Mo's.  They love the clam chowder (New England red).  They also enjoy my Ivar's (white) when they can get it!  Mo's was really busy; we had lunch after a substantial wait.

Depot Bay, Oregon - Smallest harbor in the world according to the sign.  We watched a coast guard cutter navigate this tiny passage into the harbor.  I wonder if they try it when the surf is up?

Washington State always seems to surprise me with its natural diversity.  We love all of it's many personalities!  We will have to check some maps to see where we haven't been and plan another trip!

One of the really difficult parts of being empty nesters with our kids spread "all over creation" (Utah, Colorado and Texas), is that we miss them---especially when they bless us with another grandbaby!  Marc and Jesica and Kyron welcomed Paxton Carter to their family on July 23rd, so my amazing husband said "Lets go meet the newest member of the family!"  Quick Trip to meet Paxton 7/19-20
Yes were are crazy!  We left home on Friday afternoon, visited Saturday, and got back home Sunday night about midnight with enough sleep  to survive Monday work!  Hey, its only about a 15 hour drive, each way!  Yeah for great gas mileage!

Grandpa and Kyron building and bonding over guy stuff.

Grammy getting her fix holding Paxton, grandchild #8!
Bratt Visit July 27-Aug.8

We love having Heather's family visit us!  We could not stand the idea of missing a chance to play with them, so they came for a two-week visit.  I know Ethan missed them very much, but we were so happy to have them!

We had some car problems the night before their arrival.  The Snelson's loaned us their van so we could pick them up from the airport without renting a car!  So thankful for them!

Next day we kind of hung around until the truck repairs were completed.  Then we packed both the 4Runner and the Corolla with kids and gear and struck out on our first adventure:  Camping at Grayland south of Westport!

We arrived just as it was getting dark, but Grandpa was ready with headlamps for everyone.  Camp was set up and tucked in for the night.  Next day was a fun mix of surf, sun and fog!  So fun!

Rafe is ready to go!

Love this smiler in the hat!

We had a small walk to the bathroom (which had hot showers).  So we made a few trips--no accidents!
Heather took a bunch of great pictures and posted a few.  The kids LOVED the  waves (the surf breaks way out and the shore stays pretty flat) we all got sunburned in spite of rolling fog!  You can drive your car on this beach, so the 4Runner brought us lunch on the beach -- always fun!

At home, Heather and crew helped us break in our newly completed fire pit.  We made s'mores  hung-out and talked r a day at our local beaches.
Heather's kids live up on the plains, near the Rocky Mountains, so we thought that a trip into the city to the Seattle Aquarium would be fun.  Totally awesome with touch pools, an octopus, jelly fish and a diver in the water feeding sharks and answering questions.  Great space.
I think Eliza really liked the huge aquarium.

After the aquarium, there was the Olde Curiosity Shoppe and some Ivar's food--of course!  This is Seattle!

We were not done camping however!  Heather said that she had never been up to Mount Rainier NP.  So were camped near the entrance to the Park, viewed all of its awesome beauty at Sunrise then drove around to Paradise to close out the day and saw a completely different perspective on the mountain.  We even caught the wild flowers right!

At Sunrise, you are high up, right next to the mountain.  The view are specatular from the Ranger's log cabin.  You can see the climbers on the mountain from here.
The Bratts have a great tradition of doing the Junior Ranger program at each state park they visit.  Here Liam and Eliza are working on theirs.  It took them all day, but they kept after each requirement!

Wildflowers on the mountain were spectaular!

Lunch at Sunrise in the sunshine!  Then it was time to pack up and head for Paradise--the other side of Mt. Rainier!

My first born with 3 of her kids hiking the trail to the falls.  Rafe was in the pack on one of the grandparents.
Eliza took this one with my camera of Mt. Rainier.
Heather B! Looking great!

Alongside the trail up to the waterfall. The flowers were superior!

When the kids finished their Junior Ranger requirements they took them to the Visitor Center at Paradise.  There was a swearing in ceremony and they got badges for Mt. Rainier National Park.  I think they have collected 4-5 others including Rocky Mountain and  Mount Rushmore.  I think its a fun thing to do and keeps the kids interested in what they are seeing!
In between camping and city visits there were trips to downtown Poulsbo, Port Townsend, Hansville and Indianola.  We hiked into Marymere Falls near Lake Crescent and helped Heather find some Native American Art to add to her collection from the Jamestown S'kallam Tribal center.

Heather crossing the creek into Marymere Falls.  The kids were great hikers!

We played around in the water at Lake Crescent Lodge with  lunch and rafting at Poele.

Jamestown S'Kallam tribal center has beautiful art everywhere -- stellar gift shop!

All to soon, it was time to head to the airport!  But before leaving, the kids made a visit to "our Betty"!  She has been our go-to grandmother for all our local and church functions and has become our adopted grandmother in Washington!  Love her!
Betty with Heather
Afton, Liam, Rafe, Eliza
Penny's Baptism 8/23

Every few months I fly home to give some assistance to my aging parents in CA.  It has become a tradition of late to also go to lunch with some of the gals from high school!  We always have fun catching up on each other's news and they have proven to be a great strength to me!  I look forward to it every time!  Lisa always gets us together! 

This time Shirley's husband braved the gathering even! 
There were perhaps 20 of us this time; each gathering grows in numbers!
As an added bonus...a long time member of the family--my sister-in-law Penny--decided to become member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints!  She as kind enough to plan it for when I was going to be there.  Happily lots of Gardner family came to town too!  We had a houseful!
Brad performed the ordinance and I goy to speak on the Holy Ghost.

Artie, Vere, Jeannie, Richard, Brad, Penny, Shelby, Laurel and daughter, me, Amy and Keith

I also got to see my great neice Kourtney at the Butte County Fair as a future Little Missette. She was adorable!  

Dose overnighter 8/30-31

Never ones to waste the fine weather of summer, not long after my return from CA, we made plans for an overnighter up the Dose.  This time I took my water coloring supplies and painted while Tim did some fishing!  There was an afternoon shower, so we took a nap in the tent.  We were just about the only ones up there on Labor Day weekend!

No mirror, so you use the camera to check things out!

Mud run, Liam Baptism, Paxton Blessing 9/5-7

It seems that we like to squeeze as much family fun as we can into each and every quickie visit we make!  The kids were kind enough to time everything this weekend whirlwind so we could do it all with a minimum of missing work!  We flew in to Denver and spent time with our Colorado kids...
Katie and Zac drove from SLC so Katie and Heather could participate in a 5 K mud run in Colorado.  We got to go watch.  They were not this clean in the end. 

To be safe they taped their shoes to their ankles so the shoes wouldn't be lost.  I hope to participate with Heather next year! 
Way fun to watch---

That evening was grandchild #2,  Liam's baptism. He was so cute and paid close attention to his grandpa's talk on the Holy Ghost and how important it is to learn to listen and obey his directions.  We stayed up late, but got up early to head back over the mountain to SLC for Paxton's baby blessing.

Beautiful scenery that early in the morning.
It was a 5 hour drive and after a quick change a KB and Zac's apartment, we made it to the church with 15 minutes to spare for the blessing! Phew!

This is a four generation photo:  Great- Grandpa Bullock, Papa (my son Marc) holding his sons Paxton and Kyron, and Grandpa "Tim" Bullock (my hubby)
Kyron had fun showing grandpa all of his cars and toys. 
We spent the afternoon with the Wayman's then it was time to head for the airport and back to Washington and work the next day!

Kyron loves airplanes, so we took some pictures of us inside the plane!
Lake Crescent Kayaking 9/20-21

We told ourselves that they were our Christmas presents to each other this year, but that we would get them now and use them now.... but they were for Christmas....whatever....

It was a little windy but we went about halfway down the lake on our  voyage. We had practiced a bit on a sunny day at Island Lake first. We learned a thing or two along the lifejackets would work better, and stuff gets wet-- plan accordingly-particularly when the wind blows!

Glassy smooth, perfect for some time in the new Kayaks!

Peggy spent some time painting while Tim fished.  Gotta love where we live!

Here's the set up.  Tim is not completely happy with how long it takes to put the boats up on the truck. 

 Wenatchee Road Trip conference weekend 10/4-5
Summer is fading fast now, and although I love General Conference, we MUST go out one more time before the snows fly!  The colors are showing in the pass so we head for Wenatchee.
But  first we stop and Tim shows me his Everette workplace and how close it is to Boing Field.

We stopped for food along the way at a local grocery store; this was the view from the parking lot.   We have not yet gone up into the cascades, but the view was pretty spectacular! I want to say that this is Mount Si!

This is a pretty stop we made after traveling up some forest service road, looking for a prospective camp site for the evening.  We just sat in the sun and ate a snack, then went in search of another spot.
We found this freebie, right on the creek side, and pitched out tent for the night. There were 3 or 4 sites, nice outhouses--with paper, and running water nearby. At the end of the road was a Church camp of some type.  The salmon were spawning and the fall colors were outstanding!

This place was appealing to us.

Bentley Baby Shower 10/10-12
Katie, Heather and I coordinated plans to fly out to Dallas to attend Sarah's baby shower in Shreveport. LA.  We stayed the night at Tim's in Fort Worth, then he drove us the 4 hours to Louisiana where Sarah is from.
After the shower, Sarah showed us around  her childhood home and  the town she grew up in. We attended a street fair with some nice live music and enjoyed the local river walk shopping. 

Peggy, Sarah, Hether,Rafe, Katie


KB, Heather, Rafe, and I stayed at one of the Casinos in town for the night, then Time drove us home to Dallas, stopping at the stockyards to enjoy the fun atmosphere there and give Heather a chance to see the area.

Sarah made sure we stayed at one of the Casinos in the "right" part of town!  This was our room for the night

Texas longhorns
Tim, Peggy, Rafe, Katie and Heather at the Stockyards in Fort Worth.  Tons of Cowboy shopping at its finest!!
Big Sportsman's place with allegators out front.  Tim treated us to some target practice on virtual target range; there is a massive aquarium inside too!  This place is cool!.
Just had to toss this in!  We didn't get to see her run, but the picture is priceless!
October right after our whirlwind trip, Katie ran her first half-marathon back in Utah.  She was so proud and so done!
Condo at West Port  11/1-2
Tim had access to a condo right on the beach at West Port.  So on a promising weekend we made the dash out to enjoy a couple of nights.
View from the balcony

Those dots are surfers.
Surfers in the water with wet suits

The water views were awesome.  We just strolled the beaches and the harbor and dodged the rain and Peggy painted a lot.  It was simple and nice.  Being winter, there were not many places opened, but we came prepared.  We did find one Greek restaurant that was sooo yummy!  The food was super fresh and well prepared!  I look forward to eating there again!

Turkey Shoot 11/27
Empty nesters can run amuck sometimes when left to their own entertainment devices.  After a yummy meal with just the two of us, we had a contest shooting inflated rubber surgical gloves, marked to resemble turkeys.  We used a BB gun;  loser had to wash dishes--Tim won.  Then we went to a movie.
Sol Duc 11/28
Day after, we needed something to do.  I had never been up to Sol Duc falls so we made the drive out onto the peninsula to make the one mile hike into the falls.
First bridge over the creek
Shelter up near the falls
It wasn't raining, that is spray from the river and falls!
You may remember, (or you may have heard in the news) that they have removed the two hydro- electric dams on the Elwha River.  They built an observation platform on the top of the old dam; we stopped to see what things look like now that the work is done.

Lots of silt in the water today due to the rain.
River bed changes course regularly in the "old" lake bed
Elwha River Valley
 Welcome to the World Baby Bentley! 12/19/14We are looking forward to a quick visit to sunny Texas to meet our newest grandson Bentley James!

Our son Tim Jr. holding his Christmas present Bentley James (#9)!

December Storm Damage 12/12/14

Wind storms are a staple in the PNW.  We are used to losing power and having trees blown down.  This particular night, it sounded like a 747 was trying to land on the house, so we decided it was the prudent thing to go sleep in the basement, just in case.  This is what we woke up to!
neighbors tree almost got us!

Wind fall

Our neighbors both had trees damage their houses, but we were fortunate to only have arm sized limbs in the yard-- some planted 6 or 7 inches deep in the yard!  It took  several hours on Saturday to clean it up!

  We enjoyed several hours of Facetime with the kids opening gifts "together" with them.  Among all of the great gifts and time spent together was this stellar news:  Katie and Zac are providing grandbaby #10 in August 2015!  The blessings of our Heavenly Father have been great! Best Wishes for a smooth and blessed 2015! 

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