Sunday before last, my aunt Tanya, my cousin Jenny, and her 7 kids were in a car accident in New York, on their way to a family reunion. Aunt Tanya was killed instantly. Jenny and two of her children were hurt badly, while the other 5 escaped with relatively minor injuries (many thanks to the Good Samaritans who stopped at the scene to help). Please consider including them in your prayers/positive thoughts/good mojo, whatever form of communication with the Almighty you prefer. While they are all making encouraging progress, they have a long road to recovery ahead of them and the entire family and many friends are mourning the loss of an amazing and dynamic woman.
If you are able to contribute and feel so inclined, a donation page has been set up to help with mounting medical expenses.
We spent a week on the Olympic Peninusla earlier this month and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly (until we timed it wrong and drove on I-5 on a Friday afternoon - that was fairly miserable). Camping is one of our favorite family activities and we had a great time exploring this new-to-us area of the world, hiking, and even learning along the way. (When I insisted we stop at a Native American museum in Neah Bay, I made the mistake of saying, "Let's go see what we can learn!" The response was a chorus of groans. "But Mom, it's summer! We're not supposed to learn anything!" Au contraire, mon fils.)
Olympic National Park is billed as "three parks in one" because it has glacial mountains:
|At the pinnacle of a hike near Hurricane Ridge.|
|In the Hoh Rainforest.|
|On Ruby Beach along the Pacific Ocean.|
And they're all breath-taking in their own way. Well worth the trip, if you have the chance.
On our way over to the Olympic Peninsula, we stopped in Seattle for the night at an incredibly busy KOA. (When we arrived at our postage-stamp-sized assigned spot, crammed in between two other already occupied campsites, my oldest exclaimed with disgust, "This isn't camping! This is crowded camping!") Then, we surprised our boys with tickets to a Mariners baseball game. They were beside themselves with excitement and we all had a blast! (The Mariners even won!)
|My boys with the Mariners Moose!|
The highlight of the trip was when we hiked out to Cape Flattery, the northwestern most point of the continental United States. A juvenile gray whale was surfacing right below the viewpoint just as we arrived! She (he?) swam right around the point, surfacing and spouting several more times until rounding the corner into the Strait of Juan de Fuca out of sight. We were all absolutely thrilled. (Of course, that was the precise moment my camera decided not to work. A couple who arrived just before us took a few pictures and offered to email them to us...Marcelle and Ray, I hope you come through!)
|This isn't "our" gray whale, but it was taken in |
the Puget Sound, which is fairly close to Cape Flattery,
and it's roughly comparable to what we saw of "our" whale.
(Courtesy jazzbassnorm via flickr)