Sunday, June 15, 2014

42, and getting lost in the mountains

So I turned 42 this week.  Rapidly heading towards 50.  To celebrate we headed to the Methow Valley, where our friend let us stay in his vacation mobile home.   The birthday festivities included hiking, mountain biking, chocolate, burgers, cherries, and getting lost (my fault, of course).  
On the first day, the family headed up Patterson Mountain, where wild flowers and Aspens charmed the heck out of us.  It's only a four mile hike, so Eva marched up mostly by herself, but by the end where it gets a little steep, she needed some help from my 42 year old back, and Steve's as well.  Here's one of my favorite pictures of my three kids walking up the mountain.

There's nothing like spending your birthday with your loves, cherries, and nature.

Mama Mule.
Eva hugging a little Aspen tree.
The second day, my sons and I headed out on our bikes - on a mountain bike trail that had been recommended to us.  It's a system of trails also used by skiers in winter.  We had no map, which concerned me because I know my penchant for getting lost.  I warned Steve about it when he dropped us off, but he shrugged it off, casually saying, "Just follow the trail."  Right.  Okay.
So we did.  Oh, it was lovely!  My boys led the way, charging up, up, up a rugged trail, amidst wild Lupins and Indian Paintbrush.  I followed their delighted squeals, letting rip a few of my own once the endorphins hit.  After one and a half hours, we started getting tired, and thunderheads formed above us, releasing a few gentle rain drops.  We came to a V in the road, and not knowing where to go, we followed one trail, which led up a logging road.  It didn't feel right, so I had us turn back.  It didn't feel right to go on the other trail either.  It seemed to lead us deeper into the wilderness.  So we made a joint decision to ride down the logging road, hoping it would spit us out somewhere closer to the valley floor.
After 45 minutes of rough riding, with screeching brakes and very sore bodies, we made it to a place where I got cell phone reception and called Steve.  We decided to keep following the logging road, and pretty soon came to the spot where Steve had dropped us off!  Phew!  Way to go, Mama, getting your children lost in the wilderness without rain jackets in an approaching thunderstorm.  And way to go using intuition to get us out of it!
We really, really, really loved eating burgers afterwards.  Every single one of those french fries filled up calories we had sweated out on that epic ride!

This photo is totally fakey.  We didn't know we were lost yet.
Waiting for our burgers.  Note my kids' dirty faces.
We came home to a thriving garden cranking out healthy food (and gorgeous flowers), and I made a huge salad for dinner - everything home grown or made by our own hands, including mint-stuffed halloumi cheese.  We really do take great pride in feeding ourselves and being as self-sufficient as we can be!

Let me tell you about another fabulous thing that happened this week.  My enterprising sons started making Tie Dye Shirts and are selling them at our local once-a-month community farmer's market in Marblemount.  I also listed them in my Etsy shop.  You can see them here.  They already sold six!  Here they are with their friend who makes and sells wooden walking sticks.

Since they earned their own money, I allowed them to buy sodas with it.

And since I didn't post a blog entry last week, let me share some of the pictures I took.  Strawberry picking and eating with Eva's best friend, and later hiking up Sauk Mountain with the boys' best friend.  

Last but very much not least:  Happy father's day, Steve!  This man is the best daddy any kid could ask for, and it humbles and overjoys me to my soul what an amazing father he is.  We are so lucky to have you!!!!!!

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