Sunday, July 10, 2011

Early Summer Catch Up

Hello faithful blog readers! I've been MIA (again), but I've been busy and life has been full and quite lovely.

Ben and I were finally able to upgrade to iPhones and much of our time has been spent figuring out these cool new toys. I love the apps (there are so many!), and I've been having fun with Instagram:

It's still not a habit for me to whip out a camera and take photos, but I'm trying and I want to be better at documenting our life!

We've been slowly chipping away at our new house, and though none of our rooms are officially "done" we've settled in and are loving it. I really will post pictures someday...

We love our new neighborhood! Our deck overlooks an old quarry that has been filled in with water and is now a lovely lake. The view over the water is pretty beautiful and we love our nightly walks around it as we are serenaded by frogs, crickets and geese. The shopping center is coming along and we are looking forward to the New Seasons opening and having fresh, local groceries steps from our door!

You know Ben and I love going out, and this new neighborhood has not disappointed us in the breakfast arena: we are crazy for Cafe Murrayhill! Their banana pancakes are amazing - and I'm never one to order anything with bananas!

Now that summer is here, I've been craving fresh foods and that combined with my beautiful new kitchen, I've managed to scrape together a few meals at home. I tried Whole Food's whole wheat pizza crust last week, and though I didn't manage to get the dough into a square and I forgot to buy basil (and our tomatoes were rotten) the pizza was pretty yummy!

I had a little stretch off of work the last week of June and I was eager to get outside and go camping. So, we packed our backpacks and headed east to Bend, despite the forecasted rain. We figured we'd get to the desert and take a go at hiking, even if we would get a little wet.

Just about to get to Bend, ready for a few days in the wilderness!
Well, we didn't look at the weather close enough, because if we had, we would have expected Eastern Oregon to be a little more snowy than we were expecting.

We obviously weren't prepared for snow trekking, nor were the roads ready for hikers, because every trail we tried was closed! So, we paid an outrageous amount of money for a terrible hotel room and then made a new plan the next morning.

Planning. Strategizing - again.
We tried a few more places before finally settling on our favorite spot, now an old classic, Alder Springs. We went twice last summer after running into snow, much like this trip. This little spot is such a gem and we are thankful to have it in our back pocket!

You drive some back roads just outside of Sisters. Then, carefully (especially if you're driving a VW Golf!), make your way down the dirt road to the Alder Springs trailhead and make your way down (it's only about a mile and a half, but it's pretty steep!) to the river. Once you cross over, you find yourself in a lush little paradise. The view from the car is very desert-like and you'd have no idea such a green little oasis exists just a short way below.

We made camp by a little stream and let the sound of the water gently bubbling over the rocks lull us into complete relaxation.

We laid on our camp chairs, read books and got our fill of sunshine and vitamin D.

We saw one couple hike past our campsite on our last morning, but other than that we enjoyed 3 days of solitude and family time.

On our first camping trip with Bridger (to lake Olallie in 2009), we could not get him to go swimming (maybe it had something to do with the fact that to get him in the first time, Ben threw him into a pond...maybe). We tried to coax him in with sticks, balls, and even swimming with him, but no, he would not have it. 

Now, however, it is as if Bridger is making up for lost time and he tries to swim whenever there is water! He's fearless! To get to our campsite, there is a river crossing, and Bridger has done it a few times now without problem, pack and all.

Well, on our second day at camp, I was reading my book and hadn't noticed Ben had wandered off. Until I hear a "Hey, look at me!" and see my monkey husband had climbed the hill on the other side of the river. Well, naturally, I had to follow, and you'd be silly if you thought Bridger was going to miss out on an adventure. The river at this particular crossing point was a bit swifter and I was a little nervous, because, unlike my dog, I am a bit of a fraidy cat. Well, I noticed the quick water and was preparing to hold onto my impulsive pooch as we crossed. Bridger, however, wasn't feeling like waiting - he jumped in before I was even in the water. I got into the water as quickly as I could, just as Bridger started to loose his footing - just out of my reach. I tried to get to him, but the water was moving quite quickly and he was being swept downstream. He was swimming and swimming, but he was making little progress as his feet couldn't touch and the current was too strong. I started to panic. I started to yell, "Ben, I can't get him! I can't get him!", but it was of little good because Ben was still trying to make his way down the steep slope and couldn't get to us safely. I was trying to run in the water, but keep my balance (and breath, the water was really cold!) at the same time. I had visions of our poor, stupid dog being swept down river and me standing by helplessly. 

Thankfully, Bridger managed to get caught in a low-hanging tree and somehow jumped off the branches and up onto the bank. His eyes were big and he seemed a bit shocked for a moment, but then he started to scramble up the hill to Ben as if nothing had happened. I however, had to climb onto the bank myself and take a moment to calm my mama-heart and just be thankful nothing serious happened to our baby! Needless to say, on the way back, I had Ben hold onto his scruff during the crossing!

The rest of our little getaway was uneventful and thoroughly refreshing. Though our initial plans were waylaid by the weather, I am so thankful we had the opportunity to get outside and enjoy some fresh air. We live in such a beautiful place and it's a blessing to have amazing little getaways just a short drive away. 

I'm also thankful for my sweet little family and my cute, fearless boys!

I am a blessed girl!

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