Sunday, August 14, 2011

birthday weekend

So we kicked off our family birthday week with Jeff's birthday. We went to a local pizza place for dinner:
we found tiramusi at the grocery for a cake:

and cupcakes for the kids, since they aren't a fan of coffee and since we thought that if each kid had their own candle to blow out that Jeff could blow out his own candles, but we were wrong.

As soon as we finished singing happy birthday Lance leaned over and blew out Jeff's candles despite me yelling "NO" when I realized what he was about to do. We continued the celebration on Sunday by driving to a nearby ski resort and hiking around on their nature trails. The views were incredible:

We did have a bit of a scare. We took a trail down to an overlook and then took a perimeter trail around in hopes of connecting to another trail to make a loop. The initial trail had other hikers on it, but the perimeter trail was deserted and was a little creepy especially since the trail map mentioned that several trails were prime bobcat habitat and to beware of bears. At some point on our journey I noticed there was what I suspected, bobcat scat (poop) which put me a little on edge. Then we got quite a scare, so much so that both Jeff and I got goose bumps. The perimeter trail runs below a mountain ridge and at one point we came up on a turkey vulture and scared it so it left its roost to fly away. We heard the flap of the wings and the movement up ahead of us and though I can't describe it, it scared us, we thought it was a bear or bobcat. Jeff and I both started making a lot of noise in hopes of scaring it away and the kids of course started screaming and crying. I guess what made it scary was we were enclosed in thick brush, well actually rhododendron shrubs, so we really couldn't see our surroundings at the time and heard something very large move right in front of us. After the incident we were ready to get off the trail that seemed endless. We did something stupid in normal situations, we left the trail once we got out of the thick brush, and headed up to the top of the mountain. Normally this isn't smart, but since we knew all the houses of the resort and roads were above us we knew that the only way to get back to the car was up. Despite not seeing any houses when we decided to start out on our own we spotted some right away and walked back to the car. Turns out we were almost to the trail that would have taken us back to the car if we just would have kept going, but we were too freaked out and tired by that point, it was starting to look like it might rain or storm.

We got back to the car and drove to a city nearby and had dinner at Chipotle and went shopping at an outdoor store. We then headed home and just missed two severe thunderstorms and got home just as it was starting to rain.
So we had yet another breath-taking animal encounter, fortunately this time though we weren't in any real danger.
So despite being terrified and feeling lost, we had fun, I am so thankful that the kids are old enough to go hiking and enjoy being outside adventure, I am looking forward to even more adventures to come.

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