Friday, April 22, 2011

Spring Break in the Pacific Northwest

Sarah showing her model of a cell created for her science class. She and all the kids are doing very well in school, but were in much need of a break--particularly from nightly math home work for Sarah and her tutor Marie.

Marie also keeps busy keeping Will entertained with worthy projects when he is not at his twice a week morning pre-school or his afternoon kindergarten class. So when my annual geography conference was scheduled in Seattle the same week as spring break we decided to make it a family affair.

We drove to Boise through rain and snow on Friday afternoon after school was done for all of us. Next morning we stopped at the Oregon Trail Center outside of Baker Oregon where we enjoyed walking along part of the actual trail where there are still wagon ruts among the sage brush.
Next stop Bonneville Dam on the Columbia River.
Not too many migrating Salmon in the fish ladders
This part of the dam is where the turbines generate electricity.

We then visited a Salmon fish hatchery.

Next morning after attending Sacrament meeting in the Kelso Washington Ward (thanks to the LDS Church web site for showing us time and location) we visited the Mt. St. Helen's visitor center and then we drove to the Olympic Peninsula where we enjoyed a wet stroll on Ruby Beach

We all had fun collecting some smooth stones

Next morning we drove along the Hoh River to the Hoh Rain Forest. We experienced rain at least part of every day of our 10 day trip. You can see the new snow higher up on the mountains.

It hailed as we walked through the rainforest. The ferns were already matted from a recent snow storm.
Nearly fourteen years ago Marie and I walked this same trail on our honeymoon.
Amazing what fourteen years can bring!

This row of trees has grown up along the nourishing environment of a felled, decaying tree.

Skunk lilies were in bloom. Marie thinks they are appropriately named.
That afternoon we drove to La Push where we explored Second Beach.

The weather was ever changing.
Notice the lone seagull perched on the rock.
Playing with kelp.

Marie and Will negotiating the drift wood and stream. Will took a face plant fall onto the rocks while climbing through a lengthy stretch of drift wood. On our hike back to the car, Marie tumbled off the muddy trail into these bushes. I was bringing up the rear after taking a few last photos on the beach. From down the trail I heard her calling for help. I hustled up and pulled her out.
We stayed two nights in Forks Washington. None of us knew it was the setting of the Twilight books and movies. On our second night in town we took a tour of Twilight sites using a map we picked up the first night at a pizza place where Twilight stars had dined. The local tourist information shop not only directs tourists to the rain forests and beaches but also to favorite Twilight sites. It also notes via the white measuring stick the twelve feet of rain Forks gets each year.
Tuesday we headed east to Seattle. We stopped at a glacier carved Crescent Lake for photos and some stone skipping practice.
In 1962 my parents took us four boys on a trip to the Seattle World's fair. While in Seattle we took a ferry ride to Victoria British Columbia. From left to right: Chad, Bob, Bill and Jake
A favorite photo of us in a life boat plugging ears when the ferry horn sounded.

Forty nine years later a new generation of Emmett children rode the ferry from Bainbridge Island to Seattle.
Beautiful Seattle sky line from the ferry in the middle of the Puget Sound. In 1962 the Space Needle was the tallest building west of the Mississippi. Now it is only the 5th or 6th tallest building in Seattle.
Looking back at the snow capped mountains of the Olympic Peninsula.
On Wednesday (and Friday) I attended sessions at the annual meeting of the Association of American Geographers. Marie and the kids joined with Marie's sister Jeanne and her four kids for a trip to the Seattle Zoo. Thursday, Marie and the kids drove in to meet me for a classic day of Seattle touring. We visited Pikes Market.
Had lunch at a Malaysian restaurant in China town.

Then visited the Seattle Center (site of the 62 world's fair). We all enjoyed the Star Wars exhibit in the Science Center. We also visited the butterfly room and watched the Imax movie Born to be Wild.

We then braved the rain atop the Space Needle


 Six year old Will in front of the space needle. I was six too when I went to its top. To end the day we had fish and chips and clam chowder down on the wharf.

We drove to Boise on Saturday where we stayed with a mission buddy and fellow general conference interpreter. Then on Sunday after attending a Boise Ward we drove to Twin Falls where we stopped to see the new temple.

And then stopped to look down on the snake River gorge. No Evil Kennievel trying to motorcycle jump over it. A great trip. Hard for all to go back to school on Monday.