Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Grand Tetons

One day we decided to take a long weekend and go to Grand Teton National Park just outside of Jackson, WY. It is only a 3 hour drive from Pocatello so we loaded the kids up early one morning and took off on a beautiful drive. Most of the family had never been to the Tetons and the boys had never seen four legged mammals this large before outside of a zoo. Upon driving into the park we saw a moose and over the three days we also saw pronghorn, elk, bison, and a grizzly. Even though the mornings were quite cold the days were perfect and this trip turned out to be a perfect camping trip.

The "Grand" stands at 13,777 feet. Quite a beautiful range.

Driving into the park.

Heading up to our first hike.

Kian was such a trooper in the pack and loved hiking

Finding some cool rocks on the trail.

Time to stop for some water.

Leif journaling on our hike; drawing pictures of things he saw.

A great place to contemplate the meaning of life...or just to have a snack.

A pronghorn

Set up at our campsite

The boys playing...not exactly sure what...at the campsite.

A short stroll form our campsite gave us this view; breath taking.

Roasting those marshmallows.

He is actually eating a bowl of cereal in his bag because it is so cold.

It was too cold to sit around and try to enjoy breakfast so we decided to go for a drive and see if we could find some bison. We had no idea what we would find.

All of a sudden we saw a heard on a ridge not 50 yards from our car. And then...

...they crossed in front.

Later we saw a heard of elk.

When we got back to camp, the local deer was taking a rest behind our tent...

...so we didn't need Leif's jedi skills and protection after all.

Setting out on our next hike to Hidden Falls and Inspiration Point.

We decided to take the boat across Jenny Lake.

Beautiful views on the way.

Kian loved it, too.

Leif was very excited as well.

A little cool on the way over but it was sunny and warming up wonderfully.

Giving a big shaka for a big hike!

Our backpack trooper loving being outdoors again.

Snacks and journaling again; great memories.

Hidden Falls was raging!!!

Now on our way to Inspiration Point. We ended up calling this the "Chipmunk Trail" because we saw so many chipmunks; Leif and Kian were so excited to spot them.

Coming up to the last section

Amanda felt a little exposed here but the brave boys had no problems :)

We did it! And Leif took every step himself.

All in all, it was a total of 2.5 miles round trip and several hundred feet vertical. Not too shabby for a four year-old.

When we got back to camp a grizzly decided to stop at the local watering hole for a drink. We were about 50 yards away, sitting in the car ready to leave if need be.

Eventually a ranger came and scared the bear off and all was well again.

On our last day we went in to Jackson for lunch, grabbed some local chocolates, and then hit the road to head back to good ole "Poky."

It was an outstanding camping trip and we all look forward to exploring more of this beautiful part of our country.

Cory, Amanda, Leif, and Kian

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Back in the Pacific Northwest

On our way to Pocatello, ID we stopped over in the Pacific Northwest to get our car and spend a couple of weeks with Nanna and Pop-pop. We had a blast and the boys had a great time spending time with some of their grandparents.

Family BBQ at the Packards; nearly all were there.

Kian and his Grandma-great

Leif "playing" the piano. He thought he was pretty good.

Kian helping out...as best he could.

Sunset views from the back yard.

The boys had a great time at the Everett Imagine Museum

We took a trip with Leif and Kian's cousin Dorothy to Seattle. It was an amazing day and everyone had so much fun.

On the way to the Space Needle and the monorail

Almost as tall

Kian loved the "train."

All aboard....

Classic Pike Street

The Seattle Aquarium was a huge hit.

Kian was beside himself

So much to explore

Funny kids...

making funny faces :)

Another long day with Dorothy.

We also made a couple of trips up to Bellingham. Don't be fooled by the sun; it was cold out there!

Down by the bay...

Having fun climbing rocks.

It was too cold to stay out much longer. While Kian slept in the car, Cory and Leif went in to get hot chocolates.

That is one good hot chocolate.

Looking like a movie star in mom's sunglasses.

Silly boy

Had an ok lunch at the Colophon; somehow not as we remembered it.

The boys had a great time running around outside.

That is one big cookie.

While Amanda went fabric shopping, Cory and the boys went to Whatcom Falls Park for a little "hike."

Whatcom Falls

They loved the stone bridge.

And, they did great on their hike throughout the park.

Love that boy!

Checkin' out the Rhodies

We also spent a second day in Seattle with Nanna and Pop-pop at the Seattle Science Center. Again, another big hit!

Leif learning about dinosaurs.

Not quite the same size.

Huston, we have cuteness!

Kian having fun exploring as well

Having a blast with Pop-pop

Enjoying his first ever banana split!

Kian was really into it, too.

Glasses don't last long around Kian.

On our second trip to Bellingham we did some more exploring and had a fabulous time visiting our friends; Dr. Chris, Richelle, Ginny, and Joe. Cory even went mountain biking with his good friend Joe and his two kids (4 and 2 years old)!

You simply can't keep this kid out of the water. I guess his middle name fits him; Kai.

Lovin' the water :)

Enjoying a wonderful desert at La Fiama--this was after an awesome dinner at Boundary Bay with a couple pints of IPA.

It was another great trip visiting great people and great places. Our next stop would be our new home Pocatello, ID and there were some great adventures awaiting us there!

The Bennetts