Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Summer Vacation: Washington, Oregon, Idaho, and Montana

Before we left Indiana, I savored moments with two childhood buddies.  When we get together, it's like no time has passed.

For a family that bleeds cream and crimson, it was a difficult decision to send Collin to Purdue Basketball camp.  Despite my misgivings, he had a ball (literally).

About a week ago, we jumped into a plane bound for Seattle.  We had six boys in tow and our friends the Brinkruffs.  As we neared the Seattle airport, Mt. Rainier appeared amid the clouds.

The first day in Washington, Claudia and I participated in the Orting Half Marathon.  In my quest to run a half marathon or marathon in all 50 states, I'm inching my way towards the half way point.

Post-race and all smiles, we toured around downtown Seattle.

Chris relished time at the original Starbucks.  Unfortunately, the line to order a coffee snaked around the block.  So, he just window shopped at this location.

One of the boys' trip highlights: Seattle Space Needle. 

605 feet off the ground with a full view of Seattle.

My daredevil sons had no problem leaning on the glass.

I, however, preferred to stand a safe distance from the glass.

These two used their souvenir money to purchase Seattle Seahawks jerseys.  They wanted to wear them everyday!

From Seattle, we drove to Mt. Rainier National Park.  When we first arrived, it was absolutely freezing, and Mt. Rainier was engulfed in fog.

Later in the day, the fog rolled out, and Mt. Rainier made an appearance.

Although some expressed hesitations about hiking at Mt. Rainier National Park, they were all smiles at the end of the day.

They even hammed it up for the camera!

Packed lunches consumed in nature became our daily routine.

From Mt. Rainier National Park, we headed towards Seaside, Oregon.

Honestly, my pathetic words don't capture the true beauty of the Oregon coastline.

The beach weather was by no means tropical, but it did not stop the kids from savoring the sand and the water.

Chilly ocean temperatures don't scare this one.

Beach time with my favorite (and as an added bonus I didn't have to wear a swimsuit!).

Crab hunting!

The Cannon Beach Haystack (next to Seaside) wowed our group.

Beach finds: dead jellyfish.

Ecola State Park off Canon Beach provided the most spectacular views.

A craggy shoreline with creatures, shells, and twigs captivated the youngsters.

Off the coast, a lighthouse perched on a small island. 


Since it's my blog, I can write that all four of our children spent the entire vacation in a chummy, peaceful fashion.  (The picture proves it, right?)  If you ran into our family on vacation and witnessed something different, please don't leave a comment:)

On the way to Spokane, we made a stop at the Bridge of the Gods.  The bridge spans the Columbia River and connects Washington to Oregon.  This bridge was featured in Cheryl Strayed's Wild book.  It was her final leg in her quest to walk the Pacific Crest Trail.

On July 3rd, we arrived in Spokane, Washington.

On the 4th, we traveled over to Coeur D'Alene, Idaho.

I'd read Coeur D'Alene was one of the most picturesque locations in America.

It lived up to the hype.  The lake boasted clear, blue waters with scenic mountains flanking the shores.

Chilly water again did not deter this boys from a good swim.

I dipped my toes in the water, but couldn't take the plunge.

For the fireworks, we returned to Spokane.

Spokane wowed us with their patriotic displays.

For the final leg of our journey, we arrived at Glacier National Park.

The Road to the Sun offered spectacular views.

Bear signs blanketed the park, but we didn't catch a glimpse of even one.

The first day, we hiked the Sunset Trail.

Day two in the park, we visited Many Glacier.

Four miles into the hike, a sign hung over the trail.  It warned of dangerous, snowy patches and recommended snow equipment to walk further onto the trail.  Although the husbands seemed interested in continuing, the moms (killjoys) halted the trip.

The Many Glacier Lodge resembled a Swiss chalet set in the Alps.

Lake McDonald

For the last day, we hiked 12 miles along the Logan Pass trail.  (Note the child with the funny expression.  I promised him we would use all of his colorful photos for his wedding video!)

Snow covered portions of this trail too.  However, these snow passes didn't prevent passage.

On our last evening, we ate dinner with friends Jim and Pauline Davidson.  We met during residency and just adored their family.  When they moved to Kallispell, we were heartbroken.  So grateful to spend time with our friends.

Hours before leaving Montana, we jumped onto the alpine slide at the Big Mountain Ski Resort in Whitefish.

No adult supervision.  I eyed these boys on the ski chair with much apprehension and fear.

Once home, we picked up Rosie.  I'm not sure who was more excited to be home and together.

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