Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Rock climbing

We have been rock climbing a few times this summer and I finally took a few pictures. It has been fun to just go in the evenings when it is cool outside but warm in our house. I am happy to report that I have climbed to the top of each route I have tried and even done a few "hard" moves. My best move was on this climb when I pulled myself up using mostly arm strength I didn't know I had. I also had to mantle a few moves and learned a lot about balancing. I also took my first fall this month where I actually tried something and then fell. There was no danger involved and the rope caught me right when I fell. It wasn't scary at all and I think that everyone should have to fall on the rope so they know how it feels.

The girls have also been learning, very slowly, how to rock climb. The worst is when they will not properly come down the rock and Cameron has to climb up to help them come down. Here I am at the top of the route! Hurray I made it! It was hard and worth the effort.

We brought the pack and play which made everyone but Annika much happier!
Here is Ali trying rock climbing with actual rock climbing shoes. Thanks to nice friends for lending their kids rock climbing shoes. I guess if we keep this up we will have to get our own!

The Biggest Lodgepole Pine Tree

On Sunday after church we needed to get out of the hot house. It was just too warm so we had visions of driving around in our nice cold air conditioned car. We decided to drive up to Big Bear and go see the tallest Lodgepole Pine Tree in the world. It is up off some dirt road in Big Bear. I had never been to the area and I loved it! It was my favorite area in our mountains and I can't wait to go back and hike around again.

This is a picture of Mount San Gorgonio that we hiked to the top of last year. I really like the view of it because most of the time it is hidden and hard to get good pictures of this mountain.

It was quite a green meadow that we hiked to in order to get to the tallest tree.
Here is the little creek we hiked along which made everything better!

Here is a picture of the tallest tree trunk. It is tall but not super impressive like the redwoods and sequoia trees are. It is just the tallest because these trees do not grow super tall.

Annika loves to hike and didn't hardly ever want to be picked up. It was only 1/2 mile each way but she did most of it on her own!

Monday, July 12, 2010

What do you do in the summer time?

Our life for the past few weeks has included about as much swimming as I can schedule in. To me summer means swimming daily. It is a little bit difficult to do here because there are hardly any public venues where I can pay to take the kids swimming. The two public venues I do know about have strict rules which include no floaties... my favorite floatational device for kids who do not know how to swim on their own. Instead I have been begging, bribing, and otherwise ingratiating myself with hosts who can allow us to swim at their places. During this time Ali has been in Arizona easily swimming in my sister's pool.

This past weekend we went to pick up Ali at Stacey's. It was a 115 degrees when we arrived to pick her up. We headed straight to the pool after unloading our car of everything that might melt inside it. We then lived in the pool most of the entire weekend.
Ali is getting pretty good at diving. She loves swimming and is pretty much an expert at it.

Annika wanted to try her had at the diving board. She enjoyed it as long as someone held her hand when she jumped.
This is Stacey's little boy... and Annika. He is sure he is not a dog since they give him people food, let him sit on the couch and take him in the shower with them when he needs a bath.
Annika has learned how to use the floaties quite well. She now can jump off things and keep her head from going under the water. She kicks her legs and paddles to where she wants to be.
This summer Ashling has become pretty good at swimming. At the beginning of the summer she had forgotten how to swim but on the trip she swam across the whole 39 feet of pool!

I guess this picture is so cute I put it in twice (on accident) and now I can't remove it!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Camping Trip that wasn't to Big Pine

We wanted to go on a camping trip to Big Pine Canyon in the Sierras. Cameron got off work at about half way through the day and by 3:00 pm we were on our way. We made it to the canyon in good time after a brief stop to play at the park and eat dinner. As we drove up the canyon we hardly saw another soul and we were convinced that we would get a camping spot. I loved the first campground and really wanted a spot there but it was full. We drove to all the camping spots and there was nowhere to camp at all. So we abandoned our home of camping in Big Pine Canyon.

We next drove a little further up the road to Bishop Canyon. We looked through most of the campgrounds and the only spots we could find were in sage brush. I didn't want to camp in sage brush and so we kept looking. We finally found a spot at the Sabrina Campground that was up pretty high. By this time it was nearly dark and we set up the tent in the dark.

Our friends were about two hours behind us and so Cameron had to go back down the canyon to call them and tell them where we were camping. I was worried that they might wake up the kids setting up camp so late but they have the most quiet, polite kids who knew to be quiet.

We went to bed and it seemed cool but not really that cold. In the morning we were surprised to wake up to ice in the water bottles and frost everywhere. We all took turns walking down to this place where the water was flowing like a water fall. The water was so high from snow melt off. Then we decided to walk down to the water fall together.

The kids enjoyed the campsite where there were rocks and secret paths through the aspen trees.
The first day we fished around Lake Sabrina, visited North Lake and took a trip down to Kmart to get what we had forgotten. Our family also went swimming at the hot springs. (I decided that there will be swimming at each and every vacation I take from now on.) Then we came home and had hamburgers for dinner.

The second day we went fishing alone South Fork canyon (at least the guys did) and then Jessica, Annika and I came back and took naps while the others fished at South Lake. Here is a picture of us relaxing around camp in the shade. It was very cold at night and the sun made it very hot in the day. What a harsh environment.

We filled our tub up with water in the morning and let it sit in the sun all day long. Then we added a couple pots of boiling water and had a nice bathtub to get the kids clean. I really enjoyed the bath too!
We took Sierra with us and she was good at just relaxing around camp.
After dinner we set up a movie for the kids so they wouldn't get too dirty after they were cleaned up.
This is our view from our campground. Nice isn't it?
Our friends bought massive marshmellows to roast. The things were about three times the normal size. I will never buy again because when you are eating them they get everywhere but it was really fun!
On the third day our friends had to go home and we went for a long drive to the Ancient Bristlecone Forest. It is up a very lonely road on the other side of the valley from the Sierras. This is a picture of Temple crag that Cameron climbed last year from up in those mountains. It also has Mount Sill and North Palisade (which he also climbed a while ago.)
About 20 of the miles were on a rough dirt road through what looked like tundra. We drove up to 12,000 or 13,000 feet at the top of the road.

Here is our only picture of a tree and only the one in the background is alive. These trees are about 2-4 thousand years old.
After our long drive we stopped and went swimming again. We enjoyed getting clean and watching our girls. Ashling is getting to be very good at swimming. Annika is learning to swim with floaties on too. We decided against fireworks because it was too late for Annika and too hard to find a good spot so we had smores with kit kats and went to bed. (I know it was a little un-American but still fun.)

Monday we woke up early and packed up our camp quickly. We enjoyed a quick breakfast and then headed up to do some more fishing. The fishing didn't go well because nothing was biting except mosquitos. Annika and I enjoyed a nice walk after liberally applying cancer causing deet all over. We ate lunch by the river on picnic benches and then drove home. It was fun camping trip. The best part was the swimming!
This is the deer we saw right by the highway. It was fun to get a good long look at it.