Sure it's February, but it's not too late to blog about last year. And it's not too late to fulfill long supressed good blog intentions. Browsing through my cell phone photos the other day I was impressed with how many photos were taken with a brief post in mind, blog posts that never happened because I either decided the topic was kind of lame or because I didn't have time to sit down and write, or I just plain forgot and the moment was gone. So I've decided to create the world's longest photo based blog post in history by cleaning up the entire album on my cell phone from the past year, in reverse order.
Looking through the photos, a few ideas crossed my mind. First, I was struck by the amount of fun stuff we got to do this year. I was lamenting to Vanessa the other night when our weekend plans changed about three times at the last minute, keeping me home doing little scut projects instead of being outside doing something "epic." Turns out we do get out from time to time and I really have no ground to complain. Second, while I always appreciate the photo documentation and quality of photos that Vanessa produces in our travels and adventures, there is something soulful and important about spontaneous cell phone photos. I anticipate these pictures will be as fun to look at in twenty years as Vanessa's really good photos.
So because I see this as my online journal, centered exclusively around the author as blogs are wont to be, I will take no offense if you forgo this entry, because I'm certain you have better things to do.
Anyway, here goes.
This is last weekend during our family walk along a stretch of the centennial trail. Ansel is taking after Emmy in wanting to climb, even if it is loose mud.
Here is the annual Christmas tree cleanup, also this past weekend. Last year I had to dig through a foot of snow to get to the fire pit. This year, unfortunately, I didn't.
A minor interest of mine is exploring different parts of town, discovering little things I've missed before. I picked up some good ingredients here a few weeks ago and brewed up some mean Pad Thai this evening. Did you know there are two Asian grocery stores in Spokane?
I also visited this place recently for lunch. I don't eat burgers too often these days since I'm trying to eat less fat, but thought I'd give this place a try. It reminded me of Bob's Big Boy from when I was a kid, with extra relish in the sauce. Not bad but I can live without it. I also like the sign.
The other day, after snowshoeing up Mt. Spokane, Vanessa and I ate lunch at the Milk Bottle and hit up a few antique shops on North Monroe. This was one of the antiques. When I saw it I had a reflex to bust out some mean air guitar. If only there was a vintage tennis racket nearby to use as a prop.
The Milk Bottle. At least that's what I call it. An old dairy store that is now a small diner.
Ah yes, this is the place. Or so they say.
So Vanessa never really blogged about our trip to Utah over the holidays. These alpenhorns were seen at Solitude playing "Tequila." Which reminds me, our kids watched Pee Wee's Big Adventure the other night for the first time. It was as good as I remember. Paul Ruebens, ha.
Here is the parking lot at Solitude on a chilly bluebird morning. It was a good day.
One project I did this fall was having a wood burning stove installed in our basement so that we could utilize all the downed wood that is on our property to heat our home in an economically and environmentally responsible way. The point of the photo is to ask the question: "Why are there so many stores in Spokane that peddle the combination of wood burning stoves and hot tubs?" I fail to see the connection. We didn't get our stove from these guys, by the way, but from a store that only sells stoves.
There is a small dot in the sky over the mountain in the distance that represents a hot air balloon. This was on my drive to work this fall. It was more impressive in real life.
Early in the Fall I mapped out a loop south of town to see the monument on Kentuck Trail Rd where Qalchan and several Palouse Indians were hung. This is a significant part of local history and is the event for which the Latah Valley was "unofficially" renamed Hangman Valley, hence our morbid sounding address.
Washington roadside apple tree.
I saw this in the REI parking lot late last summer and asked myself,"why do I have a job?"
Cannon Beach. The girls on our morning hike down the beach. We waded through the water between the rocks and got stuck on the other side when the tide came in. We ended up hiking barefoot through the woods and a mile or tow on the road back to the house we were staying in. Luckily we found plenty of ripe wild blackberries on our way.
Ansel and Haystack rock. Apparently the dominant geological theory is that Haystack rock came from Idaho about 15,000 years ago, being washed to the ocean during one of the floods when Lake Missoula burst its banks. I don't know if it is really true but I like the idea.
This is my favorite picture from our Cannon Beach trip. We had fires on the beach each night we were there complete with marshmallows and s'mores.
Last summer we had a nice garden and enjoyed a lot of vegetables. This was one of a few front yards I have noticed on my commute up to Holy Family that have been turned into large vegetable gardens. North central neighborhoods tend to have small yards. This one was particularly impressive with tens of bushes of tomatoes, peppers, beans, and zucchini.
In August we had a couple cousins visit from Utah. This is a mandatory photo for anyone who visits the Inland Empire. I identify with Savanna in this picture, I'm not much of one to pose for the camera.
Our back lawn taking root last July. It took forever to come in because I mistakenly thought you weren't supposed to fertilize hydroseed. Once I did it took off and I remembered why I get tired of mowing.
A pumpkin from our garden. Appropriately, there were three pumpkins about this size which ripened nicely. One for each of the kids. Unfortunately, there were still a little too small to carve really well.
This was on the trail at Brundage, just above McCall Idaho. Werode the lift and bombed down with my bike while the rest of the family walked down. However, to maintain my masculinity, I pedaled back up and rode down a second time.
I posted this on Facebook before but I just can't help posting it again here. Note the soft serve in the left hand. In Vanessa's defense, she didn't actually buy this.
These next few pictures are obstacles from the trail and the then defunct Tamarack Resort, south of McCall Idaho. My hard earned cycling masculinity was bruised when I chickened out of hitting anyone of these features. In fairness, they hadn't been maintaining the trail since the lifts weren't running, and there were several logs and branches in awkward spots. Regardless, I prefer to stay on land.
Teton Valley, Idaho, from Grand Targhee.
And that's it. If you're still reading I'm flattered, and a little worried.
We'll have to make 2010 even better. In the works already are a repeat ski trip to Utah, backpacking in the Alpine Lakes here in Washington, and maybe an overseas trip later in the year. Plus I've got a whole cache of nearby alpine hikes for the summer and dreams of a bike tour in Canada. We'll see what happens.