Thursday, December 15, 2011

Princesses will be princesses

The saying "boys will be boys" has always made me laugh. I don't have any boys, so I really can't relate. I am doing my best to raise up tough girls, though. I want them to be a little on the tomboy side. Rowing boats, riding bikes, hiking, backpacking, etc. I just want them to love the outdoors.

On the other hand, I have to let go and let the girls be girls. Here is the video of them at their first dance recital! They really are little princesses.

Both girls are in the middle of the frame in the back row.

Kellie's dance

Katelyn's dance

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

A peak into Santa's bag

I've got spring fever and it isn't even December yet!! I spent some time Sunday night scavenging through a hiking Idaho guide book. The results were fruitful. I found 6 lakes within 110 miles from my house that were within a 2 mile hike. Translation? 6 lakes for me to take the girls backpacking to!! Here is a list of the lakes:

Moose Lake
Iron Bog Lake
Bear Creek Lake
Merriam Lake
Mill Creek Lake
Nez Perce Lake

Can you say awesome?

This got me thinking about my Christmas list for us. I've sent my letter to the North Pole and here is what I'm asking for:

For Katelyn. A little more space for her teddy bear (and it comes in purple).

For Kellie. She will be 6. That's old enough to share the load, right?

Garmin 62s. I want to be able to find my way to the trailhead and be able to accurately answer the question: "Dad! How much further?"
Do not worry. I did not forget Mom and Andie. Their presents will remain a secret. For now.

Merry Christmas everybody!!

Sunday, October 23, 2011

The Bike Train

The definition of a great bike is one that makes you giggle every time you ride it. My Epic is no exception. I squeal like a school girl every time I ride it. I've been in love with that bike ever since I've heard of it's conception from Specialized. 29 inch wheels, dual suspension, all for around 25 lbs. It is awesome. It climbs brilliantly, descends like a missile, and is very fast everywhere else. Frankly, It is more bike than I really need. It does have one major flaw. It is the DT Swiss through axle rear hub thingy. Why is it a flaw? Because I can't hook up my kids Chariot hitch! That's right. I can't pull my kids in their trailer. All of this carbon super bike and I can't pull my kids around the block. Que the bike train. My solution was to pick up a used Adam's Trail A Bike attached to the seat post, and the chariot hitch to the axle of the Trail A Bike. It's a little long and cumbersome. Cornering is tricky, but we gets a lot of smiles from the kids and innocent bystanders. Best of all, it makes me giggle.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Andie's first trip to Yellowstone......

Our last trip to Yellowstone for the year was a snowy one. We stayed at Madison campground because it was the only place that was open! It seems like the park closed up way early this year. We did something this time we have never done before. We came home early! It turns out that our batteries on our trailer were shot. Despite our best efforts, our batteries (and furnace) would die at around 3 am. Temps inside the trailer would drop into the 40s in the morning. The older girls were fine, but Andie and Michelle didn't sleep much!! Despite the early exit it was still fun to see the park as a winter paradise!
All of the snow made wildlife easy to find.

Katelyn was so proud of her snowman.

I've always hated generators. I've always cussed at people who use them. Dad happened to have an extra to let us try. I had to swallow my pride and use it. It saved our trip. The white floating things are snow flakes!!

One of the few moments that Andie was awake (at least during the day). I love her bear ears.

The true definition of a true outdoorsman is when you will have a picnic no matter what.

Our last animal we saw was this Grizzly at about 100 yards. This was taken with my little camera through Michelle's binoculars. 

Same picture, but before editing.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

So, this blog is about my kids. But every now and then, I get to do stuff that is so awesome that I have to write about it. Last weekend, my brother came down from Post Falls, and Eric (my brother from another mother) and Dad came up from Ogden. We spent 2 days on the South Fork with a Cyclocross race squeezed in between. The fishing was not great, but the weather was perfect. It was a lot of fun!

The Guys at Clacka Craft let us demo this boat for the weekend. It is the Clacka Max. It is an 18 ft boat that will seat 5 plus the rower. We had 4 guys in it for a total of almost 900lbs. It rowed beautifully. Despite being huge and heavy, I could still crab row this boat and hold a drift just like my smaller 16 ft model. This boat is on my dream list.

The nicest fish ended up in my belly. On the South Fork, it is the law to keep rainbows. I was happy to oblige.

Eric smoking it up on the cross race. He took 4th over all in the mens A race. I also took 4th in the mens B race. 4th out of 4. I was the slowest guy out there, but no one had more fun!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Summer time and the livin's easy

Ok. My first official blog was going to be all about our adventures this summer, but we’ve had too many to possibly give them all the credit they deserve. The biggest adventure was the birth of Andie Michelle on July 8th. The older girls fell right in to their roles as big sisters, showing Andie the world as they see it.

In mid August, Andie did go on her first camping trip. We spent an awesome weekend in Teton canyon.

As far as Michelle goes, early summer meant she was mega-prego and by mid summer, we had a new bean that was too young for our wild weekends. This gave me PLENTY of excuses to take the other two girls out for some fun. We had multiple fishing trips on the Henry’s fork, complete with nights in tents. It was awesome.

The most notable night out was the girl’s first backpacking trip. We hiked the 1.3 miles into Aldous lake on the Idaho/Montana border. The trail is part of the continental divide trail and was perfect for 3 and 5 year old legs. I’m still not sure how I fit 3 sleeping bags, 3 sleeping pads, 2 pet pillows, a 3 man tent, cook gear, clothes, and enough food for a week (mom did not want her babies to go hungry) into my pack. It was completely awesome.

Fast forward to last weekend. I was chomping at the bit to go do something, so I used my usual excuse. “Honey. Would you like me to get the girls out of your hair for a couple of days?” Tee hee hee. I asked the girls what they would like to do. Of course it was Yellowstone. I bought an air mattress that would fit the bed of my truck, loaded our stuff, and headed out. (See James Halfpenny’s book about Yellowstone Bears. There is a great story about a grizz in the Indian Creek area bear named “The Tent Crusher.” This is why Michelle was much more comfortable with us sleeping in the back of my truck)

Our mission was to find bears. Kellie and Katelyn are both just crazy about them. We have had good luck lately, but not so much on this trip. We struck out. However, we did come across 10 wolves. 1 on the Blacktail Plateau, 3 at the east end of Lamar valley, 3 near Slough creek, and 3 more in the Hayden valley.

We spent a lot of time in the car, but had a total blast! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2011