Sunday, August 26, 2012

Back to School 2012

It's back to school time at the BigG home.  As is the norm, I have mixed feelings.  I always feel like we didn't get to Lake Powell enough, like we didn't get to BBQ enough, like we didn't get to go into the Mountains enough, like we didn't see family and friends enough.  I guess I feel like summer just went too fast before we got it all done...and now it's over.   On the flip side, I feel like we are wasting time when we should be working, like we are staying up too late and sleeping in too long, like we are are starting to fight more than usual, like we are lazy daisies...and we need structure! 

So last night, everyone got backpacks stuffed, showers taken, and clothes laid out.  Jebb was ready to roll!

These two get up first.  6:30 came early this morning!  They got all ready and were fun for pictures-even Jackson gave me some smiles (although he has this ongoing thing about not wanting his teeth showing).  

After putting these two on the bus, I came back for the big kids.  Of course they know I am going to take their picture, but they don't pretend to be excited about it...

Overall, I think it is going to be a great year.  Elise is all alone at the Middle School and I have 2 High Schoolers!  How in the world?!

Kristine left this morning for Denver as well, so I feel strangely alone, but I think I am going to get used to it!

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Mt Sneffles 14,150ft.

Friday night Seth, Gabe, and John went on a scout campout.  They hiked to the base of Mt. Sneffles, a 14er in our area.  In the morning they hiked to the top!  I am glad that our boys are in Boy Scouts so that they get to participate in these amazing experiences! I am also glad John used the camera I sent.

They made it to the top!! Seth, John, and Gabe

Mount Sneffles (14,150 ft) 

Lots of bouldering

The view from the top

Hayden and Gabe

Top of the World!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

And Back to Durango

Having bought a new truck in SLC, the task fell to me to get the Suburban home.  Jackson and Jebb agreed to be my traveling buddies.  It was hot when we stopped half way in Moab and we were about an hour ahead of John, so we decided to take a dip while we waited for them to catch up and join us for dinner.  

J&J stripped down to their unders and waded in slowly before going all the way in.  They swam for a while and John arrived just in time to see them.  The big kids waded in too, but just up to their knees.

We made it home from the Reunion.  We have been gone for 10 days! That certainly counts as a good, long road trip.  Some (like me) might even say Epic.  This is what summer is all about. I am so glad we had the reunion and got to see our cousins.  We did miss G&G Ross and the Martins and will have to visit with them soon.  But for now, it is ELT...Epic Laundry Time.  :)  And it is good to be home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

RR12-Back to SLC

This morning John woke up before the sun, and we began the final leg of our journey back to SLC.Now of course, we don't live in Utah, so we still had 7 hours left of ERTing before we got to sleep in our beds.  But SLC was where we began our trip with the camper shell on the truck, so I am considering it a sub-ERT within our larger ERT back to Colorado where we really started.

We spent the day in Salt Lake because we wanted to go to dinner tonight with our friends the Blakes.  Their son, Jared, goes into the MTC in the morning on his way to Puerto Rico.  Gabe and Seth were especially excited to see him as he has become like an older cousin or brother to them.  I too am very fond of him. He served as our Seminary President and has been a really outstanding example to all of the youth in our area.  And he's just a cool kid. :)

Jared and Gabe

Hanging out for the last time in 2 years

Our ERT is almost officially at an end.  I will drive the Suburban home tomorrow and John will take the new truck and camper.  What a great trip!  I loved the journey and the destination.  That is truly the point of an Epic Road Trip, right?

Monday, August 6, 2012

RR12- The ERT Continues

When we got up this morning we decided to take in the sights.  We went to Cannon Beach which is kind of famous from the 80s movie, "The Goonies." Haystack Rock can be seen as the pirate ship sails out (I think... the 80s was a long time ago...).

"J + M" written by Jebb (love the backwards J)

While it was a warm sunny day, there were still some clouds and it was no Southern California summer day. ;)  We dug in the sand and buried children.   We built human pyramids and photo bombed one another.  Good times.  The beach is really long and made a cool reflection in the still water that washed ashore. The big boys were hoping to surf, but it wasn't breaking that way.

It was time to start heading Eastward, and we headed toward Portland, OR.  We got there in the afternoon, but didn't have time to see much.  As is sometimes the case with an ERT, you need more Trip on the Road and less playing around.
Portland from the car window
I was amazed at how quickly it heated up once we left the coast.  We ERTed along quite well and decided we'd take the Hannays advice and check out Multnomah Falls along I-84.  The weather here was a far cry from the chilly, breezy coast this morning.  We were in the Columbia River Gorge and it was flat out HOT. The kids were still choosing to ride in the camper which was like sitting in a giant blowdryer (with the windows open and the hot air blowing through).

Columbia River Gorge

Super Toasty! 103

Walking up to the falls and buying ice cream cones there was a welcome break.  We cooled off and enjoyed the beauty.  We dipped our feet in the river and loved the cold water.

Seth and Elise

Jacks and I stay at the bottom

Seth, Gabe, Jebb, John

Two more hours along the gorge and the kids were ready to stop for dinner at a place with air conditioning.  We stopped at a park where the Hood River feeds into the Columbia.  I am not sure what the event was, but there were literally hundreds of parasailers and wind surfers enjoying the warm sunny day. It looked so fun we were tempted to rent a few. ;)  But the road called to us and we had to move on.

The rest of our day would consist of driving, and more driving.  We went through Boise really late at night and I begged John to stop.  But ERTer that he is, he pressed on until he could go no further and we slept at a truck stop near Burley.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

RR12-Farewell Seattle

Just like every year, it is hard to end the Ross Reunions.  It seems like we just settle in when it is time to go home.  This morning we all got to go to church together. The Rosses live just through the woods to the church and it was a perfect day for a stroll together.  It is nice to share your faith with your family.

Heading to church

And back again

Jebb and Clair find a caterpillar
I am so glad that we got to come and see Skip and Laurene's home.  They worked so hard to make us all feel comfortable and welcome.  They did some amazing work on their home and I know they must have spent many late nights getting ready for the reunion.  Thank you for all your work Rosses! You made it another wonderful reunion!!

While I always enjoy a good road trip (especially an Epic Road Trip), I was in no hurry to climb back into the truck.  But alas, we needed to go home.  We decided to take a different route home so we could see more of the beautiful world.  We headed South towards Oregon.  It is amazing all of the waterways and commerce that takes place along the sea.  I enjoy seeing people using our natural resources because I know they will be used to make people's lives better.  It is fascinating to me to see different raw materials and wondering where they will be taken and what they will be used for.  We had warm sunny weather as we worked our way South.

 I am not sure how Kim and Steve went home, but I think they shot straight for Boise, as they had taken this route on the way to Seattle.  Brad and Keryn took a route home that included a stop at Mount St. Helens, a famous volcano.  I heard Keryn gets to ride in a helicoper to check it out.  She is a geologist and a huge fan of volcanos. We just drove south until we reached Oregon. From there we drove down the 101 along the coast.

Seaside-quite cloudy and chilly

It was still early evening when we reached Seaside, Oregon.  It's a huge beach with a boardwalk and places to eat. I took some really fun pictures as the sun was going down. 

Trying to get a fun 'jumping' pic

We tried again and again

Finally we got this awesome picture: I love it!!!! After this, we just kinda let the kids run free, maybe too free.  It wasn't long before J&J were soaked, head to toe.  Although the weather has been very nice, it was somewhat overcast in Seaside and we all kept our coats on.  Leave it to the little guys to abandon all good sense and lay down in the ocean.  

 Luckily (although I don't know how lucky J&J felt) we had that awesome outside hose on the camper.  We made it back to the truck and washed out kids and clothes from the sand and sea.  Very chilly!

We got some dinner and were torn whether we should press on with the ERT, or find a nice place to lay our head.  We did both.  We drove south for a while longer while I googled a good RV park.  We got the last space at the Sea Ranch RV park near Cannon Bay.  This was my first time staying in an RV park (a really full one at that) and while I thought it was pretty cool, I must say I am not hip on the whole communal bathroom thing.  I heard the owner of the park, an Asian guy with limited English, yelling at Jackson and Jebb in the men's bathroom for running the water while they brushed their teeth. That took a little of the community charm out of it all for me. ;) But it was nice to have a place to really rest and it was fun cramming in the overhead bed with J&J.  The ERT gets a good night's sleep.