Saturday, May 28, 2016

Going to Mount St. Helens

Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, we took a day trip out to Mount St. Helens. The day started out rainy and we weren't sure how the visibility was going to be, but Doug checked a webcam of the mountain and we decided to go for it.

Doug and Kate went to help clean the church so we didn't get on the road till about 11:00. Doug wanted to drive out through Tenino and see some of the little places that you don't get to see from the highway.  It was really pretty--very green and hilly, and the patchy cloud cover made for some nice lighting.

We stopped to visit Grandma Mary and her new husband, Ed. They have a little place out in the country, south of Chehalis.

We stopped at the first visitor's center (before you get to the actual park), where Doug got a hat pin and Kate found a cute little bat finger puppet. (She's been very interested in bats lately.)

Further up the road is the Forest Learning Center, which has a playground.  We had to stop and let the kids run around for a while.

The central feature of the playground is a big fake volcano, where kids can play "don't touch the lava!"

The view was amazing. (And the lighting made my little Mom-with-camera heart very happy.)

We drove through the reforested area, and then got into some places where you can still see the tree trunks sprawled on the ground, away from the blast.

It was after 4:30 by the time we got to the Johnston Ridge Observatory. That was where most of the people were--they have a big parking lot, and it was pretty full. The mountain was huge and impressive, looming somberly over everything. I imagine it's quite blinding on a clear day.

There were a lot of these red flowers around--I don't know what they are!

A nice man at the top of the ridge took a family picture for us.

Cool clouds on the way back (starting to get dark!)

In the tiny town of Toledo we stopped to get gas and noticed a Mexican restaurant across the street, so we decided to get dinner there.

The restaurant was right next to the Cowlitz river, so we had to go check it out after we ate. Doug stuck a hand in and pronounced it glacially cold. And Andy, of course,  found some rocks to throw in.

We arrived back home after the kids' bedtime.  Long day!  We had a couple of minor meltdowns (and one somewhat-less-minor one) but it was a good trip. 

Saturday, May 21, 2016

Snail Watching

Kate spent quite a while out in the rain, watching all the snails in the yard. It's like Snail City out there when it's wet.

They really like the Red Hot Poker plant!

Kate wants a pet snail. I guess it's no weirder than pet pillbugs (and possibly less likely to get eaten by the cat).

Thursday, May 05, 2016

Front Yard Flowers

The dutch irises in the front yard made a nice backdrop for our annual Children's Day pictures.  It was a really sunny day so we waited till evening and got some nice lighting. 

Andy is always looking away from the camera, or looking like he's thinking really hard.

Kate on the camera.


Kate had so much fun goofing off in the yard that she wanted to finish up her homework out there too.  I'm not complaining!