This is the first summer in four years that I’ve been able to spend in Oregon. I wanted to document all the good times that we had during July. It was an eventful month filled with good times with family and friends.
Oneonta Creek (July 3rd)
We started the month off by taking a dip in one of the most beautiful places in the Gorge. It’s a little canyon off the side of the road with a beautiful waterfall at the end. In order to get to the falls you must climb over fallen trees and wade through water almost waist high. The water is freezing so the best time to go is on a hot summer afternoon.
Emily’s Birthday and Independence Day (July 4th)
I’ve missed the last three years of Independence Day and was so happy to finally be able to celebrate with Emily in America.
We started the day with a lovely breakfast of waffles and crepes. There was so much food and lots of people. Then we had the most spectacular parade that I have ever been to. I even got to be the Queen with my sisters. Just following in my mother’s footsteps.
After the parade we headed to Chuck e Cheese for some good ‘ol fashion fun. Then off to Vernonia for another parade and some fireworks.
I haven’t had such a great 4th of July celebration in a long time. I loved every minute of it.
Seattle to Portland (July 11th)
The following weekend Rick, Natalie Baxter, and I rode from Seattle to Portland. A 203 mile bike ride that I never have to repeat. I was on my bike for 16 hrs and my rear end felt it by the end of the ride. I’m glad that I did but I’m also glad that I never have to do it again.
I had many hours on my bike to prepare for the following speech.
Bruce Reunion (July 14th)
A few days later we had a Bruce Reunion with some of my dearest friends from the pre-mission days. We had five of the six Bruce members at our house and others who always wanted to be a part of Bruce but were never actually accepted into the group. But unlike other cliques, Bruce loved all.
We gave the out of towners a tour of the Gorge. Stopped at Vista House then did the Ponytail Falls loop. After which we had a nice BBQ at Heid’s where we reminisced about the good old days.
Triple D Gone Double and Margethai’s Visit (July 17th and 18th))
The next weekend I wanted to hike the triple D: Mt Defiance, Dog Mountain, and Devil’s Rest. It’s a 26 mile hike with almost 10,00o ft of elevation gain. I started the first and hardest hike at 6 AM. A later start than I was planning so I had to hurry because I was meeting Margethai and Heidi at Dog Mountain. In order to save time I ran down the mountain, a decision that has cost me a great deal. My knees have not been the same since that 6 mile run down a 4900 ft mountain. Can someone say stupid? I made it to Dog Mountain about 1/2 hr later than planned and desperately tried to catch up to Heidi. I was in so much pain. I was already feeling the effects from Defiance and didn’t know if I would be able to summit Dog. We finally caught up to Heidi (mostly because she waited for me) and hiked the rest of the way together. The way down was painful on the legs. When we finally made it to the bottom I laid on a picnic bench and admitted defeat opting out of the 3rd mountain. Smart decision. I couldn’t move for the next three or four days. Poor Margethai had to spend the weekend with me as I limped everywhere we went.
Sherwood Robin Hood Parade (July 18th)
Random but fun. One of Heidi’s many fun adventures that we’re always grateful for because it gives us a chance to get out of the house. I got to see lots of my old students. I sure do love them. I’m looking forward to seeing them again when I get back.
Direct Instruction Conference in Eugene (July 20th – July 23rd)
I spent the following week at a conference in Eugene. I met some amazing people and made some great connections. So grateful for the chance to learn more about the curriculum that I’ll be using for the school in Zambia.
My friend moved to California this week. I was sad to see him go.
Family Reunion at Yellowstone (July 24th – July 28th)
This was our first attempt at a family reunion. We got almost everyone there. We really missed having Mike and Stacie’s family with us. We spent our first night in Boise with the Crockett’s, our dear dear cousins. It’s always so fun visiting them.
The next morning we drove to Island Park. Mark, Dad, and I had just a bit of a struggle finding the cabin instead of the lodge. We all finally got to the lodge and proceeded to laugh, play, eat, and rest for the next three days. Sunday was church in Island Park and Yellowstone. Monday was an attempt at the lake and hanging at the lodge. Tuesday we cleaned up and headed home. The weather was awesome with thunder and lighting storms. It was so nice having most of the family in one spot. I loved having the kids around and playing with the siblings and spouses and pops. Such a great weekend. Hoping we’ll be able to do it again next August.
Bridal Showers for Cathleen and Mercedes (July 30th and July 16th)
We’ve had lots of wedding’s in our ward among which were my sweet friends Cathleen and Mercedes. I sure do love them.
Kara’s Visit (July 30th – Aug 3rd)
I’m not really a best friends kind of person. I have two sisters and they fit the role of best friend pretty well. There are only two other people that I would consider a “best friend” from my childhood days and sweet Kara Jones Sommer would be one of them. We grew up together from Junior High on and spent many hours at each other’s homes. Every once in a while we get a visit from her in Oregon. It’s always so good for my soul to be in her presence. Her kids are delightful and even though she’s going to be excommunicated we still like her.
Friday we spent the day up Eagle Creek basking in the sun at Punch Bowl Falls. Kara’s Goddess nature was realized as we swam to the waterfall. We then did some cliff jumping. Nothing major but it still gave us a little thrill.
These kids are adorable.
After Punch Bowl Falls we headed to a baseball game. My only memory of that was how gross and dirty everything was. Beer and urine all over the place (not so much the urine but it might as well have been). We did get to eat peanuts, licorice, and ice cream so I guess it was worth it.
We spent the next day at the beach where I was planning to get some sun and was sorely disappointment when I froze the whole time. The Oregon Coast is tricky business. Beautiful but definitely not for sun bathing.
Sprint Triathlon (August 1st)
Triathlon’s have been on my list of things to do every since I started the list. I’ve never had the opportunity to do one because of timing and other events that I’ve trained for, so when my friend, Marianne, told me about the Blue Lakes All Womens Triathlon I jumped at the opportunity to join. It was so much fun. Come to find out, I am a terrible swimmer. Who knew? Seriously, I think I was the last to get out of the water in my age division and perhaps the two divisions that came after me. Guess it gives me something to work on. The biking was my favorite part. My next goal is an Olympic triathlon.