Thursday, February 26, 2009

Winter Comes for an Unwanted Visit

Last week we enjoyed some terrific weather and started to get outdoors after a tedious winter. Today we woke to an unwanted return of snow and cold. With any luck this will move off to Rexburg where it is wanted.

At least the dafodils have poked their sleepy heads out of the ground to see what the fuss is. You can see that they haven't awaken all the way and are still stretching to find the sun. It's there, be patient a little longer.

In a few weeks these branches will be budding with brilliant green leaves, rain will be misting down, making this winter scene much more colorful, rich and promising. Even though it rains here, the colors are beautiful. Don't any of you Utahans tell me you couldn't tolerate the rain. Look out your window, see the brown grass, the gray trees, the dust kicked up from the sanded streets? Yeah, it's bleak there too, but our air is clean.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Our Nest Is Empty - Again

Now that's a flex I can get used to. Brandon drove out of the driveway a week ago to take a job in Las Vegas. Melanie cried as soon as his taillights could no longer be seen. He drove to Salt Lake City for a few days then on to Vegas. I'm sure he was glad to get away from mom and dad's constant directing. I look at us like coaches - and who can't use a good coach? I have to admit the house was a little less lively at dinner that night. Having Brans around was nice while it lasted.

Brandon had spent a few weeks with us after graduating while he nursed this job along. He left our place without any living arrangements. Melanie and I are more careful to have loose ends tied before embarking on such an adventure, but Brands doesn't worry much. He did have a lead on a place with an appointment to meet with a property manager to look at a condo where two other fellows were living - members of the church going to UNLV. While in SLC the weekend before, he got an email from an LDS fellow who had advertised a room for rent in his house. Brandon called him back and looked at his place the next day. He took the house. It seems Brandon always seems to work things out before he gets stranded. We are happy and looking forward to seeing him get started on his own.
With no kids left in the house, again, Melanie and I decided we need to explore the State again, from an adult perspective instead of with little kids or teenagers being dragged along. We drove to Mount Rainier this morning and enjoyed a beautiful winter day. Here is Melanie in front of Narada Falls. The trail was covered with 6 feet of snow so we scrambled down to an overlook without sliding headlong into the abyss. We weren't really dressed for walking in the snow but Melanie was a trooper about it.
At Paradise (5,400 feet elevation) the weather was clear enough to see the top of the mountain. Even the tall, jagged peaks in the neighborhood are dwarfed by Rainier. For those who have not been up here, it's a must on your next trip.
Here we are after I cropped out all the other people from the shot. I hate it when a bozo takes a picture for me and makes a mess of it. I asked him to make sure he got the mountain in the shot - he got the back side of his fat brother instead. It looked like two rolling hills with a cravasse in between. I crapped it out - I mean, cropped it out.
I forgot my tripod so my waterfall shots fell short, sorry. Here is Christine Falls with the bridge going right over the top of it.
This is Christine Falls from top to bottom.

We finished the day eating at the Copper Creek Inn. Grilled Chicken Sandwich for me and Momma's Meatloaf Sandwich for Melanie. We split a slice of their world famous Blackberry Pie, ala mode of course. As we were driving out of Ashford, the little town at the Park entrance, there were a couple people performing CPR on a large fellow in a convenience store parking lot. We flipped a U-ie to go back and help. Just as we arrived a volunteer EMT from the fire station arrived. As we were getting out, they got his heart working again and rolled him onto his side. Melanie was relieved she didn't have to help with the respiratory part. A few minutes later the ambulance arrived followed by two aid cars a few minutes after that. We hope the fellow made it and that he makes another New Year's resolution to stay alive.

When you come to visit next time, we will take you to the mountain. Be prepared to walk around the meadows and hills. It'll be fun.