It has been a while and I have so much to share! I spent the better part of spring organizing and cleaning my home. After a busy spring on Etsy and my website, I decided to take a much needed break from sewing. Needless to say, it's been pretty hard getting back into the swing of things. However, OTHER things have taken precedent!
My daughter had been working a nine-month internship at the Grand Rapids Press in Michigan. That ended the end of May and she began her venture back to the Pacific Northwest. Her boyfriend flew out to help her move back, and they turned it into a little vacation.
They went up to the Upper Peninsula, one of the first stops being Mackinac Island. LOVE this photo her BF took or her!
This is Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. From the photos she took, the whole Upper Peninsula is a beautiful place! I can't wait to visit this area one day!
I absolutely LOVE this photo of them! This was taken in the Rose Garden in Portland by a friend they met up with on the last day of their trip. I call this photo "Smitten".
Without a job to come home to, it was certain she would move in with us. And since her old bedroom is now my craft room, I had to convert the open room at the top of the stairs into a bedroom. First, I had to clear out all of youngest son's items that were in there. It was once his rec room and housed his electronic drum set, a couple of electric guitars, a foosball/pool table, and a Wii Rock Band drum set. It also housed a huge computer desk armoire that was no longer being used and needed to go! That was the last to go and was a job I never want to have to do again. I still don't know how the men who delivered it got it upstairs.
This is a photo I found of the exact piece we had. The bottom swings out to allow you to sit at the desk. You would think it is two pieces that can be taken apart. Well, it's not! It is huge and heavy and bulky, and despite it NOT being two pieces, by the time it made it most of the way downstairs it had broken in half! AND you would think that would have made it easier to continue moving it. But it didn't! It made it so hard to get to and lift the front half up over the half wall at the bottom of the stairs.
As you can see from this old Christmas photo, the stairs have a stoop at the bottom before turning right to a couple of more steps, and a half wall in front of the door. The cabinet had to be lifted up over this wall and it JUST BARELY cleared the area between it and the ceiling. And not a lot of room to get in there and get a good grip on the furniture. Needless to say, once it FINALLY reached the front porch we had had enough of that piece of furniture and we hurled it out onto the driveway, hoping it would break into pieces. No such luck. Hubby ended up having to break it apart, and it was hauled off to the dump. I would have much rather it went to Goodwill in one piece, for someone else to use; but it just didn't work out that way!
Anyway, Katie and her dad hauled her bed and dresser upstairs, as well as boxes of clothese she had brought back from Michigan. My friend's husband came by and installed a neat ceiling track with alligator clips, and we were able to hang a ceiling to floor curtain to close off the room. And now she has a nice bedroom. There are now five in our house once again and we are all adjusting nicely.
The day after she got back home she had an interview with the Seattle Times. It went very well ("four hours" well) and a week later she was offered the job! Woohoo! Her FIRST full-time-benefit-paying-vacation-earning JOB! She starts July 9th and I'm so excited for her!
I also wanted to share a day trip we took a couple of weeks ago...and the adventure it turned into! I had seen a photo on Pinterest (I'm hooked on this site!!!!) of a beautiful waterfall here in Washington. So I did a little research about the area. I couldn't believe we had never been here, and with the upcoming weekend forecast to be beautiful, we decided to pack a picnic and drive down south to Gifford Pinchot National Forest.
The exit to the National Forest was at the little town of Woodland, about 20 miles north of the Washington/Oregon border. From there, Gifford Pinchot was another 60-mile drive. But first, was a stop at the old mill outside of Woodland. We drove out into the country about 10 miles to this beautiful old mill. The little covered bridge was an added bonus.
Turned out to be a very pretty spot and a nice little detour from our destination.
After the long drive on two lane road, we finally got to the waterfalls. There were three different waterfalls and this was the first.
There was a trail my son and I decided to take. Well, it eventually led us to this steep, root ridden hill! I HAD to climb down to see if I could get a better view (and photo) of the falls. I had no idea what I was in for...and what goes DOWN, must come back UP! If you look at the top of the above photo, that blue speck is my husband! I think he was worried he was going to have to call in the helicopter to air lift me out of there! LOL! But I made it back up. And despite my son being in an arm sling (skate board accident that sent us to the ER the night before...and ANOTHER adventure in itself) he made it back up fine, as well. And the view from down there....?
The trees were huge in this forest. I just liked the red of this old stump.
And they were definitely TALL!
Beautiful path to one of the three waterfalls.
This was another falls. It was the prettiest of the three!
And this was the third. It was hard to get a good view or a good photo of this one. And the hike to this one was quite far and strenuous! We were all happy to get back to the car after this hike!
Once we left the waterfalls area, we decided to leave the main national forest road and take a less maintained side road that would take us to Trout Lake and eventually to the Columbia River Gorge. Our plans were to take the Oregon side of the Gorge back to Portland, head across the river back to Washington, have dinner at Joe's Crab Shack in Vancouver and then head home from there.
The drive was beautiful and took us on the back side of Mt. Saint Helens and then eventually Mt. Adams.
The road started out pretty good, albeit rather narrow. But that didn't matter because WE NEVER MET ANOTHER VEHICLE once we turned on to this road to Trout Lake. However, after about five miles we started hitting some patches of snow.
We continued on and then at one point we came upon this section of the road that had almost been wiped out by a rock slide. This was a little disconcerting, but we decided to trek on! At this point the road would narrow at times and even turn into dirt road at places. Of course, when it did this, the road would be filled with huge pot holes and I would have to quickly come to a complete stop before proceeding on through the pot holes. And after about another five miles of this, the road turned back into a nice road again....UNTIL WE CAME TO THIS!
The road was actually SINKING! We had already driven on this road to Trout Lake for about ten miles, and since I could see tire marks over to the left, going around this barricade, I decided to follow suit and once again TREK ON! I was able to just barely keep my right wheels on the upper pavement and my left wheels from going over the embankment over on the shoulder! Well, we trekked on a few miles further and started noticing more snow on the sides of the road and eventually got to a place where half the road had snow on it. But there again, I could see where other cars had gone before me and where tracks had been made and turned into bare road.
As you can see, the right side was perfectly passable. I got out to take a picture, turned around to take another picture and where we had already driven, and was welcomed with this beautiful view!
That was the view behind us...Mt. Adams. Well, I got back into the car and continued to venture on. It was mid afternoon and we wanted to get to Trout Lake soon and on to Portland. So again, we TREKKED ON. So we were happily on our way, the road was good and not too much snow on the hillsides, unaware of what lied ahead! It wasn't but maybe three or four more miles before we came upon THIS!
The road was completely covered with about two feet of snow. Yes, I saw the tracks made by vehicles that had gone before me. Yes, my car had four wheel drive. Yes, I'm an adventurous type, as is my husband! But with that curve and not being able to see what lied around the bend, I was a bit skeptical. And when my husband took a look and immediately said "time to turn around", I knew we had reached the end. We were NOT going to Trout Lake that day and we were NOT going back by way of the Columbia River Gorge. Instead, I turned my car around, looked at my odometer, and realized we had already driven 244 miles that day, and would have to turn around and go back the way we had come. Despite there being no road side notices and no closed gates, had I checked beforehand, I would have read that this road was CLOSED!
So it was back to this, and back to the place of the previous landslide, back through all the pot holes. And once we hit the main national forest road, it was back another 60 miles of two lane, mostly forest land road before hitting the interstate. But we trekked on, once again!
Once we hit the interstate, we were only 20 miles from Vancouver and the Washington/Oregon border. Since our dinner destination had originally been Joe's Crab Shack in Vancouver, I still had crab on my mind and I was hungry! We were ALL hungry, and I wasn't about to let a little detour change those plans. We DID make it to Joe's Crab Shack and we had a delicious dinner. It was 9 o'clock when we left the restaurant and 11:30 when we finally made it back home that night. Despite the little detour in our plans, it was a fun and beautiful day. And we plan to make a trip back this fall to see those beautiful Aspen in that top photo turn their beautiful, bright yellow. And hopefully that trip will be before the first snow. If so, we WILL make it to Trout Lake! ~~Annie