Ethan’s One-on-One Trip

E and Mike headed to Texas for his yearly one-on-one adventure. The aim was to do some great birding in the southern part of Texas whenever lots of the birds would be there and to enjoy time together. They had a lot of success, despite the many bugs (see photos below of trails that were literally covered in spiders) and high humidity. I’ll try to get him to send me a few of his favorite pictures to include in the next post. For now, here are some shots Mike took.

They had a great time together and got home right in time to start the school year on Monday. =D

Camping at Brainard Lake

Every January we attempt to book a campsite at Brainard Lake the following July (around here you have to book six months in advance for some of the better spots). After many attempts, Mike was finally able to secure a couple nights! Later we found out that our friends had also booked nights at a nearby site which overlapped us. It was so much fun to get to do some camping with them.

Life at our site:

Hiking to Blue Lake (which included a jump by all except me into the frigid waters):

Video of Mike and Micah and Ethan jumping into Blue Lake after about 3 miles of hiking.

Another highlight is all of the fishing the guys did (including from off of the stand up paddle board). Micah caught two tiny fish and loved the experience so much. We saw a moose swim across Brainard Lake while some of the guys were out on the water. It was pretty incredible.

Other pics from the trip:

This is easily one of our favorite places to camp. It’s not far and is just so very beautiful. We’ll be back next year, as long as we can get a site in January. =D

Mikey’s Birthday

We celebrated Mikey’s birthday with a yummy breakfast, a meaningful church service, a short and hot walk through the Farmer’s Market by church, delicious sushi burritos, and then a drive up Mt. Evans where we did a little hiking (and then got us altitude-sickness-prone-people down the mountain). It was a lovely day.

The following day he opened his gifts from us.

We sure love this guy!

Alaska Adventures, Pt. 2

We were only in Valdez for a quick evening before getting on the ferry to Seward. Our crew ate at “The Fat Mermaid” and loved watching bald eagles and baby bunnies all evening. I’m hopeful I can show some of Ethan’s pictures from that spot because they were pretty remarkable.

On Ethan’s special outing, he enjoyed another boat ride. He, Mike and Grandpa enjoyed birding from this boat for seven hours on Father’s Day.

We spent most of this trip out and about, but I did snap a few pictures at various homes we stayed in.

Other highlights included walking part of the first mile of the Iditarod trail, checking out the salmon run, exploring the wildlife sanctuary (and finally seeing bear!), playing at parks, going for a few different hikes, and (on our final day) taking a trolley ride. Our crew also especially liked breakfast out at a place we heard about from Diners, Dives and Drive-ins.