Sunday, July 21, 2013

Central Oregon - An Outdoor Playground!

Many people ask if we've found a place we could/would settle down.  And so far we've both not hesitated in saying NO!  We love PA and that is where we'd go back to (IF we decide to settle back down one day far down the road).  Now, after seeing this area of Central Oregon (around LaPine, Bend, Redmond and Sisters), I'd have to hesitate a little on that question.  I'm not saying I'd settle down and move here today but I'd consider it down the road.  The only hesitation, besides being very far from home (PA), is that it gets pretty cold in the winter (and long winters).  I do want to come back during the winter one year to get in some cross-country skiing as there are sno-parks everywhere.  

With our love of the great outdoors we are not having a hard time finding something to enjoy each day. We met a local couple, Gisela and Stephen, who have been giving us great tips of where to go as well. We were happy to meet up with friends we last saw in Cottonwood, AZ and have been enjoying time with them.

Kayaking on Sparks Lake with views of South Sister Mountain and Mount Bachelor 

Hi, Ann, Janet, Fred, Becky, Olan and Kathy

Paulina Lake and East Lake at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Paulina Lake - view from Paulina Peak

Paulina Lake - taken from the Obsidian Flow

Paulina Falls

Smith Rock State Park - This is a very popular destination for rock climbers from all over.  We enjoyed a hike here and just stared, open jawed, at the rock climbers and the rocks they climb.  People think we are crazy because of the mountains we climb but I think these rock climbers have us beat in the crazy category!

Monkey Face - yes, they climb this!

My cousin summited Mount Hood a month and a half after we did!  We have not seen each other since I was around 13 and come to find we are both mountain climbers.  My cousin, Susie, reconnected us when she found out we were both climbing Mount Hood in the same year.  Donna and her climbing partner, Katie, summited Mount Hood July 12.  She raised $52,000 for the American Tinnitus Association for this summit climb.  They had a dinner after the climb and invited us to join them.  It was great to reconnect with Donna and to get to know her and her husband,Gary, who live in Denver, CO. They plan to join us for a long weekend in CO.
Katie and Donna - look great for being on the summit just hours before this picture!

Becky and Donna

Becky, Tom, Donna, Gary
Kayaking on the Deschutes River with Rita Morgan and Ed Smith - Kayaking on the lake was great but floating down the river is pretty darn nice!  

Lava River Cave

end of the cave-turnaround point

Cascade Mountains area - drives and hikes

We will be in this area until August 2nd and have plans for many more hikes and hopefully a few more kayaking trips as well.  

Til next time...Happy Trails!

Saturday, July 20, 2013

A Visit Home to PA in June

Hello!  I'm finally catching up on the past 6+ weeks!  

After summiting Mount Hood, we emptied our fridge, packed our bags and prepared our "home" to be stored for a month while we flew back to PA.

Unfortunately our visit was not as planned due to a family medical emergency.  We're sorry we did not get to see many family members and friends but are thankful we were home at the time we were.  We did get to enjoy some time with family and friends and miss everyone already!

We were thrilled to be home for the birth of our first granddaughter, Sophia Lynn born on June 21 (the first day of summer)!  She is now the first princess among 2 other grandsons.
Sophia Lynn - June 21

proud GiGi and Pap

mommy (Holly) and big brother, Noah
We enjoyed some quality time, although way too short, with our grandsons!

Drew's birthday party.  How can he be 8 already!  My brother was in town so we took my nephews, Taite and Jax, to the party as well.  How fun they all got to play together for a few hours.
Taite and the boys were having a great time climbing the tree in the backyard

Drew and his cake

the gang of kids

Rebecca and Holly

Andy and Rebecca
Drew - the birthday boy!  8 years old

GiGi and Drew - enjoying this time before he gets too old!
Time with the boys (our grandsons Drew and Noah) - fishing, swimming, catching minnies and of course ice cream!

We spent some time catching up with Tom's cousins who have not seen each other in many years.
The cousins - Tom, Mickey, Anne, Stanley and Tony

Sharon and Mickey

Tony and Debbie

Tom's family reunion at Knoebel's Park
Uncle Nick and Aunt Pearl - brother and sister who had not seen each other in over 30 years

We had a very fun day with my Aunt Edie and Uncle Randy in Jim Thorpe.  Dalton, a great friend of theirs and the father of a girl I went to high school with, offered to take us on his boat.  What a great time on the lake at Bear Creek.
Dalton and Uncle Randy

Aunt Edie

Catching up with friends...

High Tea with Mary Ellen and her niece, LaBreeska

Dinner with friends I worked with just out of college

Becky, Sherry, Diana and Heidi - MXL girls!
Hiking with our dear friends, Brenda and Joe

We had fun times catching up with others but just don't have pictures to share.  Sorry to each of you, but know we enjoyed the time with you.

We miss all of you so much!  We'll see you next spring when we have the RV back in PA for a few months.

We are currently near Bend, Oregon and are really enjoying the area.  An Oregon blog to come very soon - I promise!

Til next time...Happy Trails!