Monday, July 24, 2017

San Diego, Days 1 & 2

So my parents are pretty fantastic:  for their 50th wedding anniversary celebration they decided to take their kids and grandkids to San Diego for the week.  What a week we had!  It was really great and I'm missing it now!

We drove over to Littleton on Friday night to drop off our dogs at Grandma and Grandpa's house.  Grandpa drove us to the airport early, early Saturday morning - I think we left around 3:45am.  We flew out around 6am and got to San Diego by 7:30am (PST, of course).

After getting our luggage and car, we drove to La Jolla and spent the morning walking along the beach and shore and checking out all the wildlife.  It was a great start to our trip!  We then met up with my sister and her family and went for a little hike in a small slot canyon.  It was fun and cool.  Then we went and checked in to our house - my parents had just gotten there, too.  We figured out the rooms for everyone and just had a good evening at the house.  The house had seven rooms - which was perfect!  The house was very awesome and we all loved it!  I don't think I got any pictures of it, though . . . :(

 La Jolla - so cool!

 Ahhhh, the ocean!

 There were tons of sea lions at La Jolla.  This one was the biggest one - he liked to bark and bark.  It was quite awesome.

 The cousins at the start of our hike.

The slot!  Cool.

Sunday morning was spent at church - all three hours.  We all (kids included) had a good time and enjoyed our classes and lessons.  We all (adults included) enjoyed the many treats that were passed out in like all of the classes!  :)  A young man spoke in sacrament meeting and it turns out that he is the great-grandson of Jim Maxwell's mission president.  Small world indeed.

After church we came home and got lunch and then headed out to the Mormon Battalion site in Old Town San Diego.  It was really cool and the kids really enjoyed it, too.

The girls playing at the house while waiting to go to church.

 My dad got to dress the part of a soldier during the presentation at the Battalion site!

 At the end, the kids got to do some "gold panning."  They all enjoyed finding themselves some pyrite.  :)

 The Galbraith clan in our awesome reunion shirts!

Just us.  Nice Emmy.

That night we enjoyed a delicious dinner of fresh Salmon from Alaska, grilled by Derek.  All the kids totally loved it, too.

Thursday, July 06, 2017

Our Camp Rodwell Backpack Trip

I invited my friend Csilla and her family to join our family on a backpacking trip to Powderhorn lakes.  We did this as a family two years ago - and Ben and boys did it three years ago.  It's the perfect backpacking adventure for our family and so we love going back there!

I have a gazillion pictures:

 We were able to leave by 7:45 on Monday morning and we got to our trailhead two hours later.  The girls were happy and ready to go!

 I don't know why, but I like this picture.  Just everyone getting ready - Jonas helping Emmy out with bug spray.  The mosquitoes were horrific.  I literally came home with over 30 bits on my arms alone.  The girls' faces got attacked quite well, too.  I HATE mosquitoes.

 This picture cracks me up - the two kids on the ground are Levi (6, almost 7) and Lexi (4).  Levi pushed Lexi and so Lexi pushed him back - on a rock.  They were both mad and pouting.  Kids.

 The Rodriquez family: Lexi (4), Csilla, Kyle (9 almost 10), Sye, and Levi (6/7).

 The Maxwell family: me (38, ha), Miles (13), Lucy (6 1/2 as she calls it - although it's more like 6 11/12ths), Emmy (9 and 10/12ths), Jonas (11) and Ben (41!).

 I didn't get any pictures really along the trail - so I am glad Ben got this one.  The wildflowers were beautiful.

 The girls look happy - but that's just because they know how to smile for the camera.  That first 1/2 mile was pretty miserable for them - and, thus, their parents.  They complained so much about their packs - which weighed all of about 7 pounds!  But, to their credit, big backpacks just don't fit well on little girls.  Ben did some rearranging and fixed things up a bit and the girls did stop - although not completely - their complaining.

 After the hardest part of the hike - a good, steep one-mile climb - you reach the meadows and this rocky view point.  So cool.

 Jonas looking good in his coon hat!

 Csilla, Lucy, and I hiking on the trail.

 We finally made it to our campsite!  Lucy was getting a little tired and discouraged, but was all smiles as soon as we made it.  :)

The boys didn't take long to head out to the beaver ponds for some fishing.  Jonas caught a small little guy here.

 Lucy finally caught a fish!  She's been wanting to all summer and so it was awesome when she finally got one.  Cute, cute.

Miles was feeling a little sick at this point.  His face was practically white - I kid you not.  We owed it to probably a mix of dehydration and some altitude-sickness.  While I am sure those reasons were part of it, when I got home I figured that him fasting for two meals the day before a big hike was probably the biggest factor!  Miles is an excellent hiker and so it was unusual for him to not feel good!  After some water, rest, and sugar, he felt better.  :)

Then we decided to go fish at the lake.  Both times that Ben has come to Powderhorn lake, no one has caught any fish at the lake.  But the one person we saw that day told us he had caught some pretty good-sized fish at the lake and so it gave us hope.  So we went to the lake to give it a try.

 We got lots of bites and then finally starting getting some fish.  Ben caught one, Emmy caught one, etc.  This is Levi with his beauty of a fish!  He put it back in the lake.  The Rodriquez family are vegetarians, organics, etc.  But they still enjoyed fishing a lot!

 Miles was the only one who hadn't caught a fish at either the beaver pond or the lake.  He was fishing with some other type of bait and so I kindly brought him a worm to try.  Within 30 seconds, he had nabbed a fish - and a big one at that!



 Emmy and Dad with their fishes they had caught.  Emmy did kiss her fish as she is wont to do.  :)

The rest of the evening was just spent at camp, cooking and eating dinner, etc., etc.  It was a good night.  Ben and the boys slept in our new backpacking tent; the girls and I slept in our old one.  I use the term "sleep" lightly - as Ben and I had some horrible sleep.  But at least we weren't eaten by bears and so all was well in the morning!

Happy July 4th!  The girls loved the hammock and spent lots of time swinging and hanging out on it!

 Jonas and Kyle and Levi built a cool fort.  Jonas took the picture . . .

After breakfast and packing up our stuff, it was time to head back.  On our way to the lake at the meadow area, Ben saw a ridge and thought it would be cool to hike back via that way - forging his own trail.  So Sye and Kyle and Ben and Miles and Jonas hiked back via the ridge.

 This is the trail around the lake - the trail curves to the left; the boys pretty much went straight up from here to the top of the ridge.

 Somewhere along the way . . . (Csilla and I and the rest of the kids went back via the lovely path . . . which it totally my style.  :) )

 Hiking up!  Ben said it was the hardest hike he's done in years and years.  He LOVED it.  All the boys thought it was really cool!

 This gives an idea of how steep it was!

 I think that is Upper Powderhorn lake in the distance.  That is Miles and Sye.

 Jonas, Levi, Ben, and Miles - probably nearing the top of the ridge!

 A pretty sweet view for sure!

 Well that's about the biggest cairn I've ever seen.  :)

Then the boys started heading down the ridge to meet us in the meadows.  I spotted them at the very top of the ridge and it was fun to watch them make their way down!  We beat them by about 45-minutes - not bad!

 A messy, but very happy, little hiker.

 We finished!  Yay!

Another great trip to Powderhorn lake!

June's Random Pictures

Some of the pictures that Miles took on his Scout Camp-out:
 DJ and his big lollipop.

 A selfie of Miles inside his teepee.

 The Colorado river seen from a hike, I think.

 The climbing wall that Miles got to do.

 The rock that Miles got to repel down - he loved that!

A counselor that the boys became friends with while there.

The girls had a blast visiting the Young Women at their camp:
 Emmy and "CC."

 I'm not sure why Emmy isn't smiling . . . she loved everything.  We're missing one YW in the photo and their awesome leaders.

The girls like playing with their dolls and taking pictures:

The calendar: