Sun Valley, Red Fish Lake and 100,000

With Blaine and Mary Ann Luke in Idaho (albeit the other side of the state) added to it being really hot here AND the fact that they\’d never been to Sun Valley or Red Fish Lake, it just seemed like the perfect time to take a short trip. So Monday we met up with the Lukes in Sun Valley. The Inn there is spectacular this time of year. We enjoyed driving around, walking around, watching the skaters, golfing (for the men) and of course food!

The next day it was on to Red Fish Lake. We got our first real gawk at the Sawtooths as we came over Galena Summit. Like the Tetons, the Sawtooths are always a spectacular sight. We took the official boat tour around Red Fish Lake, drove to Stanley Lake, walked around a bit and of course….ATE! Red Fish was super busy. We usually visit in September and we were a little surprised to see how many people were playing in the lake.

As we headed back home today our car turned over to 100,000 miles! It doesn\’t seem possible!

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The Charlotte (Pocatello) Fire

Lynn and I ran over to eastern Idaho for a quick tour of the damage caused by the Charlotte Fire. This is the area where I grew up and where my parents and brother and sister-in-law all live. We wanted to see it before the big clean-up starts this Saturday. They are expecting 2000 or more volunteers to help homeowners take away debris, cut down trees etc. As we made the rounds with my family there were some things that really stood out. Here are just a few.

1–Fire is no respecter of persons and a shift in wind could be the difference between having a home or losing one. It seemed so random. One house would be completely gone and one next to it by would be untouched.

2–As my brother put it, chimney\’s are the \”black boxes\” of houses after a fire. They always survive. (Which is good since they keep your house from burning down day after day!) People lost fire proof safes. Maybe we should hide valuables up the chimney. :-) (Probably not!)

3–Signs speak volumes. Some good–some bad. We saw dozens of signs on properties thanking the people who fought the fire. Gratitude is a great thing. We were impressed with the number of and the size of these signs. We also saw \”No Trespassing\” signs on virtually every property. Unfortunately they are were necessary. Families have found strangers rummaging through their things. When my parents neighbors were allowed back to see the ruble that used to be their home, their \”Welcome\” mat was the only thing left. It meant a lot that something had made it. But when they went back the next day it was gone. It\’s hard to fathom the lack of conscience that allows someone to steal another\’s last possession.
0The last picture in this group is of a sign that is sadly ironic. It was placed before the fire.

4–More than just people lost their homes. We were surprised that these deer hadn\’t moved on. There is nothing to eat and no cover or shade to speak of.

5–While fire is destructive it\’s not permanent. These are strong people and they will survive. Our hearts go out to all those affected by the fire and our admiration goes to all those who are so willing to give of themselves, their time and means to help those families.

Alexis Turns 5!

Alexis turned 5 this week and on her birthday we met Kim, Brian and Alexis at Kleiner Park to watch her open presents. It was fun to see her. She was grateful for each gift.

The big gift from her parents was a new bike! Before she got the bike she got tassels for the handlebars and two helmets. She probably knew she was getting a bike but didn\’t demand to see it or anything. Then came the moment when they showed her the bike. She was so excited! And she immediately got on and just wanted to ride.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ALEXIS! Enjoy riding your bike!

Quick Trip to the Oregon Coast

We decided that we needed a quick road trip and VERY last minute packed up and \”flipped a coin\” between the Coast or Glacier NP. We headed toward the Coast. Since we left at noon we decided that Hood River was far enough. We stopped at a hotel that we\’d always wanted to visit and were lucky enough to get a room. Well, it\’s the nicest \”room\” we\’ve ever had AND the biggest for sure. If this place were on the ocean we would have just stayed there there the entire time. It\’s right on the Gorge and the view, the grounds and the accommodations were all spectacular!

The next morning we took our time and then headed for the coast. We hiked a bit on the way at Ecola State Park. It\’s a beautiful view of Cannon Beach and Haystack Rock.

The next day was driving and hiking and eating! Here are some of the pictures.

For 2 days of driving and 2 days of \”vacation\” we packed a lot in. The Oregon Coast is one of our favorite places!

The Twins Turn 5!

I can\’t believe it\’s been FIVE years since those cute guys made their debut into this world!

Watching them grow has been a joy for sure! A tiring, exhausting joy! :-) These are some fun pictures of them over the last 5 years.

Steph and Nick threw a fun party for children and then one for the family.  It was a busy fun weekend for sure! HAPPY BIRTHDAY BRENNAN AND BRAYDEN!!!