Thursday, August 30, 2012

Chain Lakes 2012

From Daddy:

Today Little and I got back from a backpacking trip on the Chain Lakes trail in Mt. Baker Wilderness. Spending alone time with Little is a superspecial experience and it's a shame we don't do it more often.

We started off in thick fog and misty rain. Little tried to sled for a while but the weather made that kind of yuck. We started the hike, Little carrying all of our clothes and her own sleeping bag. She was determined to be tough and to be "impressive" to anybody we met on the trail. Being a gloppy weekday, that was nobody pretty much. But it was gorgeous and so fun to be with such a determined little girl.

Little trying to get a good view of a marmot.

About a mile in we crested a pass and found a huge snow/ice drift on the other side. Little thought it was awesome and loved crunching it with her boots, but I... well, I forgot my boots. So I did it in sandals.

Little grabbed the camera and got a rare picture of me!

We had wide-ranging discussions the whole time, with barely a pause for breath. Little wanted to know all about how trails are made, how old she would have to be before people stopped being impressed with her hiking, what red snow is, etc.

We hiked to a lake called Iceberg Lake. It was appropriately named. Little thought the icebergs were extra awesome and we spent a lot of time talking about how they were made. She wanted desperately to ride one.

It rained off and on all day.

After getting to our camp we explored for 3-4 hours. This ice shelf was pretty cool:

But mostly Little wanted to hike back to Iceberg Lake to see if we could find a way for her to ride one. Alas, they were in too-deep water to get to them.

Little schemes up wilder and wilder mechanisms for getting out to ride on the icebergs.

Back at our lake [Hayes Lake] we spent a long time drawing in the mud in the rain. Little wanted to learn all about geography and especially the continental divide, so we drew maps and stuff. And a big eye ball. Little was so intent on the drawing that she didn't realize she was a couple inches from a 40-foot fall behind her.

We saw an Osprey fishing all around our lake. We followed it around the lake for a while. I don't have a bird lens anymore so there was no way to get cool pictures of it, but we had a ton of fun trying to figure out where the Osprey would try to catch a fish next.

Little helped me set up camp:

The osprey finally caught a fish right in the little inlet that Little though it would.

Later in the day we saw not one but two independent father/daughter pairs on the other end of the lake, after seeing basically nobody all day. Little was absolutely possessed with going to meet them. As we hiked over to see them I discovered that her real interest in meeting them was to find out how old the girls were to see if they threatened her in impressiveness. They turned out to be several years older than her, a fact that Little keeps on insisting I put in the blog.

On the way back from meeting the girls we decided to walk along the shore of the lake instead of the trail. Little was up in front and I was composing a picture when she pointed...

...and said, "there's the osprey!" After catching that fish it had landed on a rock next to the shore and was almost done eating when we found it. It was super cool to see up close, but we couldn't find any fish heads or anything cool like that.

Little pooped:

We spent about 3 hours that night talking in bed.

We talked about: what my life was like when I was her age, stories from when I was a kid, sex [she had a hard time wrapping her mind around why Mommy and Daddy might want to "practice" [a term she made up] when we aren't trying to have another baby], mortality [lots of sweet tears about death], the practicalities of terraforming and injury. Little just never stops talking and when I actually have the patience to engage her it turns into a deeply rewarding conversation. I wish I could have saved that whole conversation for posterity, it was ultra-sweet.

The next day Little volunteered to carry about 5 extra pounds. It didn't last long but she carried 15-ish pounds up a couple hills.

We ended up running into Sophie, a girl we had met the night before. She and her dad were hiking out and they took a picture of us as we crested the last pass.

As we departed, Little reminded me to mention that Sophie is 9, which means that Little is still "impressive."

Monday, August 27, 2012

Summer 2012

This summer has been a bit of a wild one for our family. Here it is in an illustrated nutshell [though Daddy put the camera down for unprecedented amounts of time this summer so photo coverage is spotty]: In June we all bummed around Costa Rica and Nicaragua for a couple weeks. We'll have a post specific to that trip eventually, so no pictures on that. Suffice it to say we had a blast. We learned in the early summer that Stanford would no longer let us live there because we've been there too long. So before heading out on a western-states road trip we had a couple weeks to start packing, get a little work in... and slack-line. A lot:


 Half of OurDearFriendsTheCanneys visited for a day. Littler got to play with her sweet old friend for a too-short day:


OurDearFriendsTheKatzes visited us for a day and we had a typically swell time:


 We slack-lined a bit more. Yes we tend to get obsessive about these things.  

 We drove with ODFTKs to their place in Logan and hung for a few days. We had tons of top-secret hooliganiationings. It was a blast. We spent a day up in the mountains:



 We had a week-long family reunion on Daddy's side just south of Livingston, MT. We spent most of our time trying to manage the logistics of 45 people sharing a small space and trying to go out and do things together. Also, cleaning up lots of barf/diarrhea. But still, it was awesome. Some of the all-time coolest people in the universe were there.  

 In Yellowstone:  

 The whole crew [multiple heads obscured in back]:

Grammy and Grampy, who started it all:  

 We even had a dance party and Little got to show off her super-awesome Mariner's Revenge Song dance [courtesy Aunt Megret]:


 There was an almost-epic family basketball game in Livingston... it was windy, raining, getting dark... there was lumber in the court and the court seemed to be made of crudely-crushed rubble. We were like a lightning-strike or broken-limb away from family-legend epicness but it was still super-fun. Daddy spends his life dreaming about playing ball with "Uncle" Nick, Uncle "Chris" and the crew and it happens all too rarely. 

After MT we went back to Logan for a couple days and met up with OurDearFriendsTheArchibalds AND OurDearFriendsTheKatzes at the same time. It was like old times, but totally different. Still awesome. We played Ninja Destruction, which is way cooler than it sounds. Daddy got a little out of control and hurt people; the usual stuff. It was great to be back with this crew again [photo courtesy Boni]:

 We met up with Mommy's sister and her family and drove off to Washington to spend some time on the Olympic peninsula with Aunt Chisnap. We did a variety of cool frontcountry stuff:

 4,600 miles in 3 weeks, 9 states/provinces, 51 family members and about 3,237,743.2 vomits/diarrheas. In the end, we were really excited to get back home and get as much courtyard time as possible with OurDearFriendsTheTalbots. After six years of living there it seemed strange to put so much value on a couple extra days of open courtyard life, but it was very hard to let go. Some last-minute courtyard videos [some of these are quite long...] [Well, here's one. Maybe more to follow]

 EV is a magical place and an inspiration for community design. We want to spend the rest of our lives living with like-minded people around shared space. We haven't completely come to grips with leaving, but I suppose it's inevitable. We had a multi-family send-off party in our courtyard and so many awesome people showed up to wish us goodbye.

We got to spend one last day with OurDearFriendsTheAndrewses, some of our very favorite people ever. Bittersweet times. We packed up and moved to Washington with lots of help from Grammy and Grampy. For loads of boring reasons this ended up being a better option than staying in CA. We had a teary send-off from ODFTTs: OK, perhaps not so teary.

 Bud getting in on the action.

 The most potent combination of personalities on the entire planet:

 Now we're in WA, living near Daddy's parents and nearer Aunt Chisnap, starting to slide back into normal life, etc. Mt. Baker is super-close:

 To all of you we visited: thanks for a stupendous time! And to all the old EV folks...