We spent the first week of July in Idaho at my Granny and Gramp's house with my dad and brother, sister in law Raquel and niece Maria.  We missed out last year as Zeke was just a newborn so it was great to be back!  Ty and Maria played so well together and it was great for them to reconnect.

On the fourth, we headed to my Aunt Annette's for the annual Independence Day BBQ.  This is my lovely Aunt Annette and this picture captures her beautiful smile perfectly. 


 Granny and Gramps at the BBQ

The highlight of the whole trip for Ty was "fire in the sky."  We picked up some fireworks at the local roadside stand and did some mini ones during the day and kept him up the latest he has ever been up to watch our family fireworks show.

 Marc let Ty help him light the fireworks.  Grauntie Tammy was aghast that Marc would allow Ty to light fireworks without safety goggles but he was (thankfully!) a little anxious about the fire and would run away quite quickly to the safety of the grass.  He was so excited he was vibrating.  I love the above picture with both Marc and Ty looking up at the fireworks with wonder. :)
Getting ready for the evening show:
Granny and Gramps live up the hill from a lake and across the lake are 3 separate towns.  We have an excellent vantage point to see all 3 towns firework shows and we watched them while simultaneously enjoying our own show out back.
The whole family: (Missing Gruncle Bruce and cousins Ian and Erin)

4 generations:
On our last full day we headed out to the waterslides.  Ty was so excited to go but when we got there he had just woken up after falling asleep in the car and was a miserable mess.  Maria fell asleep and wouldn't wake up and Zeke hated the water and screamed every time he touched it. 

Thankfully Maria woke up, we got Ty an ice cream cone, just carried Zeke around and didn't touch his toes in the water and all was well.  The kids had a great time and did not want to leave. 

The adults had some fun too.

 We had a great time and are super excited to see Grandpa and Brad, Raquel and Maria again in Lethbridge in August!


slesse icefall

a few days ago my friend mike and i hiked up the slesse memorial trail to check out the granite cathedral at the top. 
the trail was in good repair, albeit slightly overgrown.  the last time kylie and i came this way there was no rail on the log, which made things a bit more exciting.

we made good time and it didnt take long to pop out of the trees and into the alpine.
i forgot how much niko loves the snow.
here is mike achieving our goal of reaching the propeller cairn.  witness him overcoming severe lactic acidosis.
slesse really is a stunning peak.  there are multiple climbing routes accessible from this approach.
looking the other direction was pretty stunning as well.  above are mt. rexford and the illusion peaks.

saluting the cairn.  in 1956 a plane crashed directly into the face of mt slesse and 62 people died.  there is a memorial halfway up the mountain, the propeller cairn at the foot of the peak and apparently a bone cairn nestled in the rock.

niko absolutely loves snow fields.  have you ever seen a dog smiling?  this is what a smiling dog looks like.  niko just couldnt wipe the grin from his face.
he's pretty casual around icefalls and crevasses, and i suppose cliffs in general.  i'm not sure if that is b/c he is surefooted, or b/c he has no idea of the consequences.
the pocket glacier at the base was still a good size and joined beautifully with the seasonal snow fields to form a spectacular icefall.  hanging out on icefalls always makes me feel like superman going to find himself.
after relaxing and playing on the snow for an hour or so, mike and i walked and slid our way back down to the creek and up to the truck.  a quick drive to town and home before zeke woke up from his nap.  what a great day.


BD at BC

 june was a magic camping month.  the day after our chehalis day trip we rumbled back out to our favourite spot at bear creek.  unbelievably we had the entire forestry site to ourselves for the week.  monday to friday camping is the way to go!  one of the three provincial campgrounds we passed on the way was completely full.  i guess the forestry service road and the lack of services repel the masses.  or quite possibly they just don't know.
 there were a few spots of rain, but we're now well prepared campers and between our pop up tent and the forest canopy we were able to stay dry.
 speaking of canopy, here is ty mourning the death of a tree.
 we picked up this awesome wool suit for zeke at a second hand shop in abbotsford during a friend's concert.  he fully rocks it.

one of our camping days was my birthday and kylie prepared me a special birthday breakfast.  this is our first course: strawberries, yoghurt, bacon and coffee.
second course: birthday pancakes and more coffee... can you guess how old i am now?

third course: scrambled eggs with cheese and beans and salsa and sour cream.   mmm...
here are my birthday pancakes after flipping.  my age is no longer as obvious.

the forecast was rainy, so we brought the truck in case we wanted to visit harrison or clear creek hotsprings.  the weather turned out quite nice, so we opted for a visit to the remote hotsprings.  the road to clear creek is pretty rough and at one point a creek diverted onto the path for over 200m.  it made for interesting and exciting driving.  i kept wanting to get out and take pictures while kylie loudly and insistently called me back to the driver's seat.
clear creek has been built up quite lovingly by someone, and although often we arrive to find it strewn with garbage, this time it was pristine, with the tubs all perfectly at their respective temperatures of piping hot, quite hot and nicely warm.
ty absolutely loved the hotsprings this time.  he is now old enough to enter and exit the tubs on his own.  his favourite was the lowermost and coolest tub.  perfect for splashing and playing well away from his relaxed parents.
the cool tub was perfect for playing with parents as well.

kylie and i both went kayaking on the lake every day.  these pictures are from my birthday.  even on a cloudy day harrison is beautiful.  the calm waters (not always the case here!) and softened peaks produced an introspective vibe.  i spent a lot of time just bobbing in the water thinking variations on "i love my wife, i love my kids, i love my life.  what a great day to turn 35".
can you see our lonely little motorhome nestled in the trees?  can you see why we love this spot?

here is me contemplating my place in the universe.

we have always been proud to give niko an ideal dog's life.  now it gives us great joy to provide the same thing for our boys.  watching them climb and dig and throw, get dirty, eat healthy and sleep well, it is so clear that this is what they are meant to do.