Thursday, July 28, 2016

Route of the Hiawatha

I finally got a chance to check this off my travel bucket list.  We rode bikes on the Route of Hiawatha.

The Boys
The Route of the Hiawatha is a rail trail on the Idaho/Montana border.  The trail travels over 7 trestles and through 9 tunnels.
trestle we rode over
The longest tunnel is the first tunnel, Taft Tunnel, is 1.7 miles. The length of the trail we traveled was 15 miles.
The boys after the Taft Tunnel

Me after riding through Taft Tunnel
This is a wet tunnel

Waterfall outside Taft Tunnel
The Route of the Hiawatha is a 2% grade and downhill. A shuttle is available down at the bottom and will take you back to the top tunnel to ride back to your car. We did see people start at the bottom and ride both ways.

view of top of one of the trestles

We rented our bikes at Lookout Pass exit 0.  The staff was awesome there.  If you rent a bike it comes with a light and helmet.  They also provide bike racks.  We brought our own bike rack. You drive to exit 5 and drive to trail head.

We had some opportunities to see some really well fed chipmunks on the trail.  We also saw 2 deer crossing the trail.

This was a fabulous adventure and we saw all kinds of people using the trail.  This was a great family experience.

Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Plant Change of Scenery

My African Violets have been blooming like crazy.  I have them in my bathroom.  I decided I needed to move them downstairs so everyone could enjoy them. Violets is something my grandmother always had in her house. She had the magic touch with them.  I don't have quite the same touch but I do enjoy them.

I moved out the Christmas cacti.  I have 6 of those but they aren't currently blooming  so I moved them upstairs.

HEY EVEN PLANTS NEED A CHANGE OF SCENERY!  That is my story and I am sticking to it. YES, I am the crazy plant lady.

I think it makes the space seem less cluttered.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Summer Linky

We just rode the Route of the Hiawatha so that is why I included the ad.  It was amazing.  So be looking for a blog post all about it.

When Conversion is Slow - This is from Emily Freeman's Blog - Chatting at the Sky.  This is what I needed to hear right now, right now.

10 Insights of Remarkable Parents from Family Therapists - I say #1 frequently but I need to remember #6.

Teacher at Mt Blue Uses Engineer and Design Principles in English Class - One of my English Teacher friends posted this on Facebook and I just found it fascinating.

Badass Librarians Foil al Queda, Save Ancient Manuscripts - real life adventure story

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Friday, July 15, 2016

What I Read July

It appears that most of my reading lately has been non-fiction.  I linking up with Modern Mrs Darcy's Quick Lit.  Check out what everyone is reading.

Getting  Life by Michael Morton

This book is about Michael who was wrongfully convicted in his wife's death. He spent 25 years in jail for a crime he did not commit. Michael writes eloquently about his travels through the criminal justice system.  I read Just Mercy last year about justice and how it is served.  This book reminded me a lot of that book.

Dirt Work: An Education in the Woods by Christine Byl

This book was a slower go at the beginning.  You will never look at a trail in a National Park the same way again.  Christine worked on trail crews in Glacier and Cordova and  Denali.  She talks quite a bit how being a woman in this line of work.  You can't but help but feel Christine's love of the outdoors and trail work. Make no doubt about it, trail work is back breaking sometimes thankless work.

Monday, July 11, 2016

Spotting the Ape

On the 4th of July long weekend, we raced to spot the Ape in Birch Bay.  The Ape we were searching for was this spot the ape tag.  The tag we found was hanging off a tsunami sign.

There is a large gathering every year to called Going Ape 2016 (GC69KDW) for geocaching .

"The APE is found in the rugged, snow-capped Cascade Mountains, just a short drive from Seattle, where you can walk through the spooky 2-mile-long Tunnel of Light, find one of the oldest caches in Washington, and visit the APE tribute cache." - geocaching,com

People who retrieve these spot the ape tags can redeem the tags for a special limited edition coin. We have never been but who knows maybe this year is our year.  Hey we GOT THE TAG!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Adventure Linky Love

Good Life With Shilea Cooper - This is all about being open to adventures in cultivating a good life.  SO GOOD!

Instagram Travel Accounts to Follow 2016 - I love me some good travel eye candy.  I think I enjoy Instagram over Facebook.

Challenge: The Intentional Summer As a stay at home mom to teens this is good stuff and I am going to take the challenge.

10 Ways to Make Your Summer Feel More Like Summer  I think you should add smores and running through sprinklers to the list

Here's Why You Should Always Bring Something Back From a Trip

Modern Novels Set in National Parks

20 Hikes That Will Make You Look Like a Bad Ass - interesting and maybe doable list for most people.

Friday, July 8, 2016

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker - Secret Concoctions

Dear Diary
I make stuff up.  That is what I do.

As a parent, do you ever make up stuff?  I do.  I told my kids that sprite and orange juice was a Mexican Sunrise.  I just said it in jest but now that is what they request.  I saw this secret potion drink on Pinterest. It was sprite and ice cubes made with Kool-Aid .  As the cubes melt the drink changes.  we gave it a shot.  My kids thought it tasted a lot like Jell-O.  It was a fun experiment.  My youngest told me I was not allowed to call it a potion.  It MUST be called a concoction according to my youngest According to the critics, the concoctions is not as nearly as great as the Mexican Sunrise evidently.

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Adventure Crew Rides Again or Big Mail Boxes, Heart Pics, Flat Trails,Parade

Well we have been having a 4th of July Adventure Long Weekend .  We have had a slight revival in the Adventure Crew. We visited the Bellingham Farmer's Market and downtown Bellingham. We had a chance to meet up with Ms Smarty Pants aka Bird Girl and her bestie.

We spotted a GIANT mailbox.  We visited the feed store and saw the bunnies. We ate at Hanna Teriyaki

We did a switch a roo of kids and headed to Point Whitehorn.

Chuck laying on a Log
Queen of Quite of A Lot and Chuck

I personally love this 3/4 of mile trail but be prepared for the steep trail and stairs down to the beach.  We had a good time exploring

Tree growing out of a log in Lake Whatcom
We walked the Hertz Trail but most people call it the trail around Lake Whatcom.  This trail is where the railroad ran. It is relatively flat though that was debated by The Queen of Quite A LOT.   This trail dead ends and we ate our lunch there.  It is 3.1 miles to the turn around. This is a great trail for bikes, dogs and little people. The trail even blazes under and through a tree.

We noticed a lot of people with Trek for Treasure T-shirts so we ended up GTS (googling that stuff)  This is a really cool program where participants go on 6 hikes over 12 weeks that get progressively harder.  There is a clue given at the hike to a riddle upon the completion of all 6 hikes they solve to find the treasure. This looked like so much fun.  This is sponsored by the hospital in the next county.


The bread and butter of the adventure crew has always been a parade.  We went to the Blaine 4th of July parade. We were only minus one member of our crew.  AMAZING! We sat across from Lady Liberty.

Sunday, July 3, 2016

July Linky Love

The above Florida Georgia Line is another summer hit.

The Best Porta Potty on the Planet - Oh Mavis you had me at the title.  DOUBLE DOG DARE you to click.  You know you want to.

Free Coloring Page - Alisa Burke - I am a big Alisa Burke fan and I love that she gives away free coloring pages from time to time.  YOU GOT TO CHECK OUT HER DECK

7 Ways Introverts Can Harness Their Quiet Superpowers

I am Sorry My Child is Hard to Like - This is very relatable story. 

Lessons for a 9th Grade Son - REALLY REALLY good!  I am so going to read this to my 8th grader.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Diary of a Mediocre Homemaker - Summer Household Management

Dear Diary

School is out. I feel a strong desire to lock myself inside my bedroom and not come out.  My boys would like nothing better than to be surrounded by screens all summer long.  I believe that is so they can't hear my voice. They are teens so they are hearing impaired.

Need some help to manage screens  check out this post at cool tech mom - Screen Time Management Solutions from Been There Done That Parents.  Over time I have used several different versions of those solutions but if you got older teens it is real hard to compel them.

I don't know about other stay at home mom's but I start out STRONG but as the summer gets going I get a," I don't care attitude."  I can't keep up the "RAH" attitude.  I saw this quote and I wrote it down.  It fits so perfectly.
I have a survivalists mentality to summer household management.  I want to have fun.  I lower my standards about just about everything related to household management.  I do expect people to do what I ask them to do and in return I try to give them a break about screens.

Notice the sign is crooked.

Friday, July 1, 2016

What I Learned June


My oldest graduated. There are no words. If you have followed my blog my son has had some significant challenges at school and despite all of that he walked across the stage with his peers and with honors.  It was AWESOME. IT was a VICTORY of sorts.
pic by TT
digital stamp Ali Edwards


My dear friend got to visit Ecuador and she brought me back a lovely apron with a recipe for Cuy Asado - roasted guinea pig.  (Yes, I am an apron chick.)   Evidently, roasted guinea pig is a special dish in Ecuador. My friend did not sample cuy asado but did get to sample a lot of local dishes. There was also a really good Expedition Unknown episode "Incan King's Mummy"that showed the Guinea pigs as well.


My youngest and I discovered this ice cream novelty/cake.  I though the chocolate chip seeds would be strange but strangely good. The rind is lemon sorbet and the watermelon part is watermelon ice cream. Anyone else try this?


Evidently, the last week we have been having Goldilocks weather, "Just Right". It has been in the mid 70's and sunny. Here in the Pacific Northwest that is considered near perfect. I had never heard this term for weather before but it cracks me up.