Monday, July 21, 2014

Return to Three Fingered Jack

For my birthday M took the girls and me on a hike up Three Fingered Jack. It was a six mile round trip hike with a 900' elevation gain and the longest I have done since my surgery. It was pretty and we had fun but I was done and ready to go home by the fifth mile so the last one was pretty hard for me.

We hiked a couple of miles through dirt/rocks and then trees before hitting snow. M said that the snow had melted a lot in the week since he had last been there.
The girls had fun running up the ice crusted snow and sliding down the hill. 
Up in the saddle of Three Fingered Jack. It was very windy and cold up here but there was a pretty view all around us.
We had to hike through some snow and over very large rocks to get here. K found herself off the trail and stuck in an area with a lot of sliding rocks. M made it over to her and helped her get back on the main trail which was a little less rocky. On our way down we had to slide on the snow because it was too steep and slick to walk on.
It was very cold on my bum!!
At the bottom there was a stream and a pretty meadow. I am always amazed when you can see so many different types of landscape in one small area. It was beautiful to behold.
We finally made it back to Jack Lake and were so close to the parking lot in this picture. We had a great time on my birthday.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Bachelorette Party Mormon Style

I helped my aunt plan and throw my cousin's bachelorette party. Being Mormon it is hard coming up with fun yet clean things to do for a bachelorette party but I think we nailed it. The whole thing was a surprise for Mika, she had no idea when, where, or even IF she would be getting a party.
I made up an invitation to send out and put very few details about the party on it. Pretty much just where to meet, on what day, what to wear and to keep it quiet. I used my silhouette to make the invite.

We had everyone meet in the parking lot of  my uncle's dental office. Mika was under the impression we were going out with the family to celebrate the July birthday's and had to stop by to pick up her dad. We pulled into the parking lot and found a zebra print stretch limo. Mika looked at it, then saw her family and friends and responded "I'm confused. What's everyone doing here?" The look on her face was priceless!
Karen and I decided it would be easier to get around to all our destinations if we didn't have to drive/park ourselves. We all piled into the limo and headed to Claim Jumper for dinner. The limo was stocked with soda, water, Cosmos, and gummies we could munch on.  Once in the limo we passed out goodie bags to everyone and a crown to Mika which she had to wear all night. Our goodie bags had advil, tums, chap stick, hand sanitizer, mints, gum, a "special" sucker, a button and bracelet that said Team Bride.

Claim Jumper had amazing food and was really inexpensive. They had an eleven layer chocolate cake that looked heavenly!
After dinner our driver, Chris, came and got us. I just want to take a minute to do a shout out for Chris and the limo company he works for, JMI Limousine. He was amazing and treated us so well. He always helped each of us out of the limo and was happy to take pictures of us with each of our phones or cameras. The company also gave as a great hourly rate for the limo. We couldn't have asked for a better driver.
Karen and I thought it would be fun if everyone had to wear a wig for the night, so after dinner we passed around a box and let everyone choose their color. Just doing our part to help "Keep Portland Wierd".

Our next stop was Voicebox, a karaoke bar in Portland. They have private suites for your party to sing together in. It's great if you ever wanted to try karaoke but were afraid to embarrass yourself in front of strangers. We had the room for two hours and everyone was surprised when the time was up. It flew by so quickly and everyone had a great time! If you have minors in your group, you can stay until 9pm. Might be a fun family outing.
Karen, Bri, Mika, Rachelle.
The mothers of the bride and groom.
Chelsea and Stacy
Bri, N, Mika
Mika and Tiffany
Tiffany, Mika, and Karen
I loved the way my wig looked!
After karaoke, we headed to Curious Comedy Theater. It was Friday Night Fights where two experienced improv teams go head to head and the audience gets to decide who wins. It was super cheap to go, like $8 per person and it was clean comedy. The place is small but the employees are great. We had a fun time and laughed so hard. I definitely recommend checking this place out as well.
Goofing around before the show.
The two teams of comedians.
While the votes were tallied from the audience, we were serenaded by a barber shop quartet. They were pretty good but definitely mellowed out our party.
We had planned to go dancing after the comedy club but all the young'uns were tired and wanted to call it a night. The old ones, Stacy, Karen and myself, wanted to continue the party. We compromised and headed to VooDoo donuts after cruising the downtown area. We got lots of compliments on our limo and many asked for a ride but we were pretty full and none of them were cute enough:).
I got the frootloop round.
After our donuts we headed back home. We had given Mika a box of items to open at the beginning of the evening. Throughout our adventure she would open a layer in the box at each stop. There were items for her to use on her honeymoon and as she got deeper in the box, the items got a little more risque. It was fun watching her open the box and see the reactions to some of the items.
All in all, I think everyone had a good time. I know I did. The only thing I would change would be having it on a Saturday instead of a Friday night. People may have been less tired and more willing to head to the dance club at 11pm instead of home to bed. Definitely worth the money though!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Three Fingered Jack Part 2

While I was in Prineville living it up with Karen, M dropped the girls off at bahmah's and took another stab at Three Fingered Jack. Here is his accounting of the hike.

Sunset M saw in Silverton Friday night.
I did a 38 mile hike around Three Fingered Jack starting at Marion Lake. Here is the first view of my night's destination, Three Fingered Jack, beyond Marion Lake.
At Marion Lake I took the trail along the East shore and headed toward Minto Pass. There were a few decent sized streams crossing the trail not far from Marion Lake.
This guy was about as wide as my boot and sitting still on the edge of the trail. His camouflage nearly got him impaled by my trekking pole. There were a bunch of big frogs like this and many more little ones. I've never seen so many before.
The trail condition quickly deteriorated. There were numerous blow downs and the sides of the trail were getting overgrown. If you wear shorts when you hike approach the trail between Marion Lake and Minto Pass with caution. The trail is in the center of the photo.
 But there are some flowers along the way. These are Flowering Bear Grass.
 I dropped down at Minto pass and took in the view at Wasco Lake. There were campers with a barking dog on the north shore and a family wading on the South side. I aimed a shot between them to get a people-free view of the lake.
Along the trail at the South end of Wasco lake is a little tree growing in a crack in a rock. There is an inspirational poster here somewhere.
 I continued on into Canyon Creek Meadows. It was nice to get into the thicker tress and I appreciated the shade. I walked to the end of Canyon Creek and up the slope to the small snow-melt lake.
I could see a cairn at the top of the next saddle beckoning me forward to I left my pack where I was and headed up the ridgeline. The view from the top was worth the effort.
Mt Jefferson, to the North.
There is flat area large enough for a tent right next the the cairn.
Looking East.
Looking down at Canyon Creek Meadows.
To the south there is a view of Broken top, North & Middle Sister and Mt Washington.
 A few guys walking up the first ridge.
There were at least three other groups camped in the area. I picked a campsite in the meadow since everyone else was out in the trees and I like to be alone. The sound from the creek made it so I couldn't hear anyone and I couldn't see anyone else's site from mine.
That night was the full moon which made for some nice pictures of the silhouetted treeline during the moonrise. 
Long exposure so the Moon looks like the Sun.
Moonlight selfie, it's hard to hold your face still for 30 seconds.
Sunrise shining on the mountain side in the morning.
In the morning i debated whether I should go back up to the saddle and take the shortcut route or if I should take the trail past Jack Lake. Since I had never been to Jack Lake I decided to go the long way. Here is Jack Lake.
I think I made the wrong choice, nothing much along that section of trail was worth the extra miles. As I was approaching Booth Lake I crossed a creek and noticed that from where I was I could see the cairn I had walked up to the day before.
Booth Lake seemed to have a lot of fish. They were jumping regularly and I saw them swimming near the shore. Most were 6ish inches long but there were at least two that were about 12", some of the largest i've seen in these small lakes.
The day was pretty gray and drizzly by the time I made it to Square Lake.
Some lily pads(?) in a small pond after I started North on the PCT.
Shortly, I left the PCT and headed down the Santiam Lake Trail. About here the mosquitoes started getting pretty annoying. I decided to spend the night at Lower Berley Lake. It is much bigger than this picture makes it look.
I left in the morning a little before sunrise, suffering the onslaught of mosquitoes while I packed up. Then I remembered that I had packed the head net. After putting that on it wasn't bad at all.
Meadow along the trail.
Blue lake had a very nice campsite with easy access for swimming. The water is deep and clear right next to shore so you can get in without worrying about finding a fish hook with your foot. The mosquitoes hadn't bothered me since Jorn Lake which made this and excellent place to rest in the shade for a bit and enjoy the scenery.
When I crested the last high ridge of the loop (near Marion Peak) this is the view that greeted me.
Yep, that's smoke. Collecting on top of Jenny Lake, I think. I continued on, hoping that I wouldn't have to turn around and go all the way back to Santiam Pass to catch a ride. Every now and then the wind from the North smelled faintly of smoke. I prepared myself for a long walk back the way I came.

Near Marion Lake I met a work crew doing trial maintenance. They told me that lightening started a fire near Lake Ann on Saturday night but it only got to 4-6 acres and was already under control. They assured me that the trail to Marion trail head was accessible. I thanked them for their efforts and left them to their work.
Back at Marion Lake.
I took the side trail to Marion Falls. It's a quick walk but the trail down to the nice viewpoint is not very family friendly.
This one got me and my camera soaked.
I was very impressed with my hubby for being able to do this long hike while being sick. Not just a little sick, but throwing up sick. I would have turned around and called for a ride on the first day but he pushed through all 38 miles. Sorry for all the pictures, but I love how beautiful his photography is.