Wednesday, September 30, 2015

2015 Camping Trip - Day 4

Another ELEVEN hours of sleep.
And ham and eggs for breakfast :D

And this is what happens when you pull your fleece blanket over your head.

I love Leavenworth :D

We drove through town and up the Icicle Canyon to the end of the paved road,
and went for a little hike - soaking in the fall colors :D

Yep, another bridge.

You might have noticed in the photos from Lake Chelan yesterday
that up high in the mountains sometimes the water
does more than just reflect the blue sky.

Sometimes it really has some color of its own,
usually kind of turquoise.

All this beauty.
I feel like I'm feeding my soul,
storing it up for the long, dark, gray winter that's coming.

Yes.  The water is really that color.

Had some time to hit the playground before lunch :D

Yah, it's too bad she's not having any fun ;D

We thought of heading up to Lake Wenatchee,
in case it was warm enough to swim or wade,
but decided to take the back way up the Chumstick Valley
and drop in at Stonewater Ranch.
I used to work with these folks twenty-some years ago,
back when they were Reachout Expeditions.

Didn't plan it, hadn't told anyone we might be around,
and we hit the jackpot :D

My friend Greg Johnson (now the director)
just happened to be onsite,
and generously gave us most of his afternoon
to hike around the 150+ acres and get caught up.

Naomi got to try out the indoor climbing wall,
with Gunnar spotting.

I think her favorite thing was feeding the horses.

It's a little piece of heaven,
up in the Chiwawa Valley.

See the structure that looks like a tree-house?
In the winter they run a hose with a mister up there
and create their own private ice-climbing wall.

Gunnar remembered me taking the boys up to the ranch to play in their snow
one winter when we hadn't had any of our own.

We hiked up the tubing hill.

If you look back at the first picture of the ranch, you'll see this slope from across the meadow.
In the winter they put up tiki torches along the sides and
use retired river rafts to "tube" down the hill.
Sounds fun to me!

They have a campfire ring at the top,
to warm everybody up.

No need for that when we were there!
I think it was almost 80F.

Looking down at the horse barn.

Oh gosh, it was so good to be there.
Greg and his staff have done amazing things with the property,
all to bring people to Jesus while having a great time.
What could be better?

Well, two-plus hours of hiking around gave us all a good appetite.
And you know where to go in Leavenworth?
Gustav's :D

We could see a few clouds coming in,
but it was still warm enough to eat outside on the roof-top balcony and enjoy the view.

Somebody waited patiently for her macaroni and cheese :D

Took a walk through Leavenworth,
a faux-Bavarian village in an Alp-like setting,
and Naomi found a friend.

It was hard to tear her away, because she thought the bear looked lonely.
He needed some hugs and kisses.

But we enticed her back to camp with the promise of her last Fairy Hunt.
Previously, the fairies had left her jars of Pixie Dust,
but knowing it was her last night of camping they gifted her (and Gunnar!)
with magic wands.

She had to hunt around the campground to find them after dinner, just before bed.
Easier to find them in the twilight,
since they glow in the dark.

This may have been her favorite thing about the whole trip,
except maybe the pool.

The first night she found a jar of pixie dust,
she was so excited she could barely speak.

The second night the whole campground probably heard her yelling.
"This is soooooooo exciting!
The fairies must really like meeeeeeeee!"

And I have to confess,
we shamelessly used the fairies just like parents use Santa's elves.

"Oh, Naomi, talk nicely to Grandpa.
The fairies only leave pixie dust for good little girls."
And so on ;D

But you've never done anything like that, right?

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