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Showing posts from January, 2014

Wedding pics!

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This is Jon. I never posted any pics of Stephanie and Jason's wedding. More specifically, the flower girls of Stephanie and Jason's wedding. Dee and Adds were the flower girls earlier this month (just like they were for Steph's younger sis, Melissa a couple of years ago) and they didn't disappoint. Very proud of them, but at the same time, not ready at all for them to be walking down the aisle again anytime soon. In the hallway of the hotel before the wedding. It was pretty cool as many people, including the entire wedding party, were at the hotel overlooking Commencement Bay, so the hallways were filled with people buzzing around getting ready. Kind of fun actually. There was another wedding party also on this floor, so it was hectic, but fun. Pics before the ceremony with the wonderful bride. Dee in the middle of the dance party at the reception. Me and my bride of 11+ years! More dancing with Delaney and Adelyn in the mix. Adelyn is a huge Beatles fan b…

Birthday hike to Ancient Lakes

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This is Jon. Anyone who knows my three girls knows they're not the greatest in the heat. Me? The hotter the better, the colder the better. While we're outside often during the summer weather, most of our hikes are during the cooler wintertime so we can enjoy nature without getting heatstroke. Below is a hike I've been eyeing for a few months now, someone told me about it then, I saw it again online and I told my girls this is what I wanted to do for my birthday. It all worked out. Ancient Lakes is about an hour away, but it's an easy, lazy drive over the river into Grant County. Family photo to start the hike. The picture doesn't do it justice, but the basalt walls behind the girls were enormous. To see it in person is the only way to do it justice. Another waterfall for us to enjoy this week. In fact there were at least 10 falls that ranged from a winter trickle to this one, which was probably the biggest of them all at this point of the season. I swear, …

Frenchman Coulee with J&B

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Living in Kittitas County, we have so many examples that we live in God's Country and we have countless examples of proof that this world is a mixture of past and present, meaning earthquakes, lava and water (among many other elements) literally shape our world. Frenchman Coulee was that visual proof last week. It's across the river in Grant County (same exit you would take to get to The Gorge and the Fingers rocks for rock climbing). A couple of views of the Columbia River, just beyond where you park for the Frenchman hike. At the end of the coulee is a waterfall that had a decent flow to it considering it's January. You can see this waterfall for the entire two miles in, which gives you great motivation to keep on trucking. The hike is relatively flat, but in some places covered in jagged rocks. Surrounding us the entire time was the basalt rock walls. Unbelievable. Brittany is on a snow bridge where the waterfall emptied under. Smart? Probably not. Apparently, I w…

Beaver Tail Trail

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Every so often, you bite off more than you can chew. This was one of those days. We once again decided to take advantage of the girls in school to head up a trail in an area we see often, but don't realize the degree of difficulty. Contrary to my own belief, I'm not a 23 year old still doing triathlons. Beaver Tail Trail is named after the Umptanum Recreation Area in the Yakima River Canyon. Unbelievable scenery in the way the river cuts through the Umptanum Ridge and when you take it all in from the peak, it looks like a beaver tail. I could definitely see the resemblance, but in all fairness, Brittany and I decided to turn back before reaching the peak. The hill was extremely steep, so much so that the traversing didn't necessarily take away the degree of difficulty for us. Great hike and great view though. Before the hike. We're all smiles here. Just me. Brittany told me to keep plugging away. Usually I give encouragement to keep her moving, but after 11 years …

Umptanum Creek Trail

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Umptanum Falls is a favorite of ours, but we've also gone the other way along Umptanum Creek, starting where it drains into the Yakima River in the canyon south of Ellensburg. This is another: "The kids are at school, let's find a trail to hike" moment for jon and Brittany. There's a thought out there that says that humans are the most advanced creatures on Earth, but I've never bought into that. One of the countless of examples I see of that every day is included here in this picture. Along our path, Brittany and I kept encountering many tree stumps and branches that clearly had been chewed away rather than chopped down by a human. We came along this dam that by my estimate was probably between three and four feet high, clearly stopping Umptanum Creek to barely a trickle. Very impressive. No sign of the workers, but still a sight to see. If you can't tell, it was cold that day, with the creek iced over in some parts. Brittany was starting to get pret…

Hiking near Vantage

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Headed out toward Vantage for one of the many wintertime hikes this season. Heading up the hill at the Ginko Petrified Forest. If you can see, Adelyn is showing off her athletic talent, running up a long, steep hill, while the her sherpa (Dad) anchors the rest of the team. The "forest" is just west of Vantage and overlooks the Columbia River. Years ago (thousands, millions, a long time either way) lava flow and the changing Earth preserved trees and the result are what's left: "Rocks" that once used to be trees. Pretty cool actually. As you can see in the photos, the trees are protected, but we're close enough to the action to get an up close view of everything.