We had an amazing summer!   Really, it was awesome!


We finally were able to buy another mini-van (we sold our last Sienna to pay for our plane tickets to Spain), we put our mail on hold and took off for adventures around Washington state.


We spent most of our days out exploring and our nights were spent in a tent together.  We traveled around 2,000 miles; all within Washington State and concluded that there is SO much more to see and do.



Summer 2017 Timeline:


June 21st – My mother-in-law comes for a visit and stay with us.  I bunk up with the girls while Jeff takes the couch.  We squeeze in strawberry picking, attending end of year school parties, jam making and swimming in the pool.

June 27th – Last day of school for the girls.  FINALLY!

June 30th – Last day of school/work for Jeff.  FINALLY!

July 1st – Mother-in-Law leaves.

July 3rd – July 6th – Annual visit to Inch Acres.  We camp in their backyard, help with farm chores, eat delicious food and spend quality time with our wonderful friends.

July 6th – 9th – Jeff travels to Las Vegas for a friends Birthday Bash.  The girls and I swim in the pool, pick raspberries and get prepared to head out camping.

July 11th – We celebrate Scarlett’s birthday at K1 Speed.

July 12th – Travel 3 hours and 150 miles to North Cascades National Park  and camp at Colonial Creek Campground at Diablo Lake.   Score back country permits to backpack for 4 nights & 5 days on the Thunder Creek trail in North Cascades National Park.

July 13th – July 17th – Backpack the Thunder Creek Trail for a total of 13 miles round-trip with 2 bear sightings.

July 17th – July 20th – Car camp at Colonial Creek Campground .  Planned to spend 1 night here and move on but then the mice moved in and we worked to move them out.

July 18th – Rather than bake a carrot cake we celebrate my dad’s birthday with beer and sleeves of doughnuts.

July 19th – Day hike to Blue Lake.  Amazing views, cold water swim & a mountain goat encounter.

July 20th – July 21st – Travel 40 miles and 1 hour over Washington Pass, hike Cutthroat Lake trail and disperse camp.

July 21st – Travel 65 miles and an hour and a half towards Winthrop, Washington to find a campsite before heading back to Blue Lake to fish as the fishing at Cutthroat Lake was a bust.  When we returned to our campground near dinner time, it was full!  So glad that we decided to not wait to find a spot.

July 21st – July 23rd – Car camp at Klipchuck Campground which was a nice, quiet and cheap campground.

July 22nd – Visited Winthrop, Washington, drank some hard cider and walked the town.  Winthrop used to be an annual trip for us but we haven’t been in years and it was great to be back.

July 23rd – Visit the Winthrop Fish Hatchery and travel 2.5 hours and 115 miles to Leavenworth, Washington in 101 degree heat.  Keep the A/C off, travel with 5+ gallons of water, stop for cold drinks several times and hope we don’t break down.

July 23rd – July 27th -Arrive at Eightmile Campground along Icicle Creek and get lucky enough to snag one of our favorite campsites in the campground.

July 27th – Travel 122 miles & 2.5 hours home.

July 27th – August 3rd – Stay around home, swim in the pool, visit with friends, do laundry, prepare for our next trips and celebrate my 30th birthday,

August 4th – 7th – Travel 82 miles to Lodgepole Campground outside of Mt. Rainier National Park to meet our friends who from Michigan, who flew to Las Vegas and drove to Washington.

August 5th – Visit Mt. Rainier National Park and hike the 5.6 mile Freemont Lookout Trail.

August 6th – Visit the Paradise area of Mt. Rainier National Park.  Hike a to Glacier View, visit Visitor Center and stop by Lake Louise.

August 7th – Travel 164 miles & 3.5 hours with our friends to Sequim Bay State Park.  Pick Lavender in Sequim, play in a river, and watch the sunset in Port Angeles.

August 8th – 104 miles to Ruby Beach in Olympic National Park to play in the Pacific Ocean and then travel down the coast to camp at Kalaloch Campground.

August 9th – Say goodbye to our friends and play as a family on the beaches at Kalaloch before we travel 190 miles & 4 hours home.

August 10th – August 13th – Hang out at home, swim in the pool, relax, play Ninetendo, wash laundry and prepare for our next trip.

August 13th – August 18th – Travel 95 miles & 2.5 hours to meet our friends from Minnesota at Cougar Rock Campground in Mt. Rainier National Park.

August 14th – Hiked 5 miles with our friends from Paradise Visitor Center to Cougar Rock Campground.

August 15th – Jeff & Jacob hike 9 miles with a 4,000 foot elevation gain to Camp Muir.   While Sara, the kids and I, hiked the 5.5 mile, 1,450 elevation gain Skyline Loop Trail.  We used a super cool, composting toilet at 7,000 feet in elevation, saw more than a dozen marmots, a couple of Pika, several waterfalls, and panoramic vistas.

August 16th – Hiked 2.5 miles to swim & picnic at Snow Lake in Mount Rainier National Park.

August 17th – Travel 60 miles over 2 hours together with our friends to visit the Sunrise Visitor Center at Mt. Rainier National Park and to hike the 4 mile, 600 foot elevation gain, Dege Peak trail.

August 18th – Say goodbye to our friends and travel home to wash clothes and prepare for our next adventure.

August 19th – Wash lots of laundry and watch lots of television.  October & Lavender get new haircuts.  Mail out care packages to the girls.

August 20th – Travel 70 miles and 2 hours to drop the girls off at Camp Colman where they attended camp for 6 nights and 7 days.  This was Lavender’s first year, Scarlett’s 3rd and October’s 5th year.  They loved it of course!

August 20th – After dropping the girls at camp, Jeff and I travel 120 miles to Lake Quinault in Olympic National Park and sleep in the back of the van.

August 21st – We pick up our backpacking permits for the Hoh River Trail in Oympic National Park, stop on the side of the road to watch the Solar Eclipse on our way to the trai lhead,  finally begin our 9 mile hike in the heat of the day and collapsed as we reach the campground at the Olympus Guard Station.

August 22nd – Decide to take a zero backpacking day and hike back out the 9 miles tomorrow rather than finish our planned 32 mile hike.

August 23rd – We hiked out 9 miles, had a beer in Forks, Washington and traveled 90 miles to Port Angeles where we drank more beer, ate pizza, attempted to watch the sunset, ate Pho and slept in the back of the van.

August 24th – Traveled 47 miles to Port Townsend.   Visited the Chimacum Farm Stand, and Finn River Cidery before sightseeing and enjoying an evening dockside concert and then traveled 40 miles south along the Hood canal to  Dosewallips River Road where we slept in the back of the van again.

August 25th – Hiked 7.2 miles on the Lena Lake trail and then continued sightseeing and traveling 71 miles south along the Hood Canal until we reached Joemma Beach State Park to camp for the night.

August 26th – Picked up the girls from camp, traveled home, held a closing ceremony and took a surprise visit to Baskin and Robbins.


Stayed tuned for more posts & pictures on all of our summer adventures!  Hey, better late than never.





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