Sunday, August 29, 2010

Ventura County Fair

The boys and I wanted something fun to do before school started again. I heard that the fair was happening in Ventura so we headed over. The boys surprised me, especially Kevin, by wanting to go on all of the fastest rides. It was wristband day so they both got one, which let them ride unlimited rides. I told them ahead of time that they would have to go together because I was not going on those rides! They had a blast and went on many, many rides. Even more surprising was the fact that neither of them got sick! Zach did ask to take a little rest in between rides at one time, but that didn't last long. I had just been talking about how Kevin is my more cautious boy, but he couldn't find a ride that was too scary for him that day. If we didn't have to be back for cub scouts they would have stayed all night!

Any ride they were tall enough for, they went on.

The haunted house. Kevin said he kept his eyes closed the whole time.
They also enjoyed playing with these old wooden toys for almost an hour!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Mt. Whitney Take 2

Coming off the mountain last year I was thinking that I wouldn't want to hike Mt. Whitney again. Approximately 2 days later I had changed my mind and decided, of course I would! Call me crazy, but there is something about starting off the day in the dark, hiking for 2 hours before the sun even comes up, and getting to view the gorgeousness of a sunrise while surrounded by a massive mountain that makes me want to put up with the LOOOONG day, sore feet, and back aches that follow.

So, we hiked again on August 3, 2010. There were six of us starting the adventure, (missing Susan and Dennis). Matt, Tina, Mark, Laurent, Paul, and I started out at 2:48 a.m. We could tell from the start that there was much more water than last year because there were more streams to cross and the sounds of the waterfalls were much more intense. The most pleasant surprise this year was the perfect weather. It really could not have been any better. I was completely prepared for the cold after last years hike, but found myself zipping off my pants into shorts, removing my jacket, and actually enjoying the warmth of the sun. There were a few times where we had to get our warm clothes back on, but on the way down we were down to shorts and tank tops. So different and so much more enjoyable than hiking and freezing!

The view from the top was so clear with the bluest sky I've ever seen. The pictures don't do it justice and that is what makes doing the hike so special. Only those that actually make it to the top get to experience all the beauty of it up close and personal.
Some of our group were actually napping (and snoring) on the top because it was so nice! Of course the snickers bar, thanks to Tina, at the top made it well worth it too!

Then of course there is the joy of going down. As beautiful as the hike is, on the way down much of the beauty is passed by as the hours drag on. We were still able to enjoy seeing the waterfalls that we missed in the dark, view some deer, and look at the lakes and meadows, but as those last two miles continue on and on it's all I can do but to make up songs in my head and hope that the trail head is just around the corner. Thankfully, we got there eventually....a mere 16 hours after starting! Always good to be down and look back up at where you just came from and wonder how the heck you did that all in one day. :)

So now a few weeks have passed and I'm thinking.... ok, I'll do it again!
Early morning, looking up to what we are about to conquer.

At Trail Camp, before the start of the 3 miles of switchback.
At the top. Tina carried a picture of Grandma Bev, her inspiration,
who recently passed away.
A little snooze before going back down.

Mt. Whitney Summit!
We borrowed the sign from some other group on the top.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Back to School

I can't believe the summer is over and the boys have headed back to school. Kevin is in the 4th grade and got the same teacher he had last year, Mrs. Holst. Zach is in the 1st grade and has Ms. Ferguson. Both boys said they were not that excited about going back, but I've never seen them get up and ready so quickly in the morning as they did this morning! New haircuts, new shoes, new clothes..... the boys are ready for another great year.