Monday, August 29, 2011

Hood to Coast Relay

My friend Heidi invited me to be on her Hood to Coast team this year. It took me about 1 second to say yes.

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Our start time was 9:30 a.m. on Friday morning. A perfect time to start a run, wouldn't you say? This is us at Mt. Hood just before I left on leg one which was a 6 mile run down the mountain, from Timberline Lodge to Government Camp.

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The race was 200.1 miles, broken into 36 legs. Each team has two vans with 6 runner each and the runners/vans alternate for the course. So there's a lot of running involved...
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And a lot of time riding/waiting in the van while the other runners are on their leg.

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As we leap-frogged our runner we'd often stop to wait on the side of the road so we could cheer for them as they came by. (I like being cheered for, by the way.)

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And then it is back to the van to beat the runner to the next stop.

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One of my favorite things about the race was cheering for other runners. At the hardest leg on the course (done by Heidi on my team), my team mates stretched toilet paper across the route at the top of a particularly brutal and long hill climb. It was great to watch people feel revived (at least a little) by a roll of toilet paper.

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This is just before my second leg (leg 13 of the course). Don't you love the sunglasses + headlamp combo? It was about 8 pm, sunny when I started but full on dusk by the time I finished.

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There were lots of Honeybuckets on the course.

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So it did feel like luxury when Safeway kindly let us use their inside toilets!

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This had to be about 1 a.m. We managed about an hour and a half of sleep (in a field!) around 3 a.m.

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Driving into the night...

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My third leg (leg 25 on the course) started about 5 a.m. and was absolutely glorious. I took it slowly and just enjoyed the views. Don't I look relieved to be finished?

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Did I mention the Honeybuckets? Seems they were on everyone's mind first thing in the morning!

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After our van finished we made our way to Seaside to meet up with family who was waiting there for us.

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Our team took 30.5 hours to complete the course.

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The Welcome sign in Seaside was great to see!

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Saturday, August 06, 2011

Montana, Around the Condo

Staying all together in a condo is such a great way to do a big family vacation. We can do things together during the day, or go our separate ways. But we can come back together for meals and relaxing at the condo. And while there were so many great things to do, I don't think the boys would have minded if we never left the condo:

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And the adults, it was great to spend time together. All checking our Facebook status while sitting next to each other. ;-)

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On the way out (because the Mini Cooper wasn't quite full enough) we stopped off at a Dollar Store and bought all sorts of cheap garbage to let the kids break enjoy. Here's Dad and Peter assembling the glow hats.

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The do look pretty cool, don't they.

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And they made the cereal experience all the better.

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Some days Grandpa and Grandma would take their motorcycles into the park...and come back and show the boys pictures of where they'd been.

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And of course, as with every visit with Grandpa, this one came with a haircut.

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The Alpine Slide

Last year in Breckenridge, we all did the alpine slide so we were happy to discover that our Montana condo was next to another alpine slide.

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Soren uses absolutely no brakes if you let him drive. This picture was taken right before he crashed them both into the barrier at the end of the course. (No injuries.)

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Soren will however stop occasionally if it means he gets to sit on Grandma's lap.

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Here's Amanda and her littlest speed demon.

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Friday, August 05, 2011

Ziplining Whitefish Mountain

Do you think it is possible to tell just how much fun you're going to have based solely on how much cool gear they make you wear?

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The Plasman (et al) clan geared up for some serious fun!

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There was actually quite a lot of instruction about proper form and safe landing techniques. Ah yes, the landing. I suppose if you are catapulting down a mountainside dangling from a cable, the stopping technique would be useful.

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Here I am cool as a cucumber. This before I heard the maintenance guy come over the walkie talkie (no kidding) and say "We'd better replace cable two, that one isn't going to last much longer." Aack!

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Our guide (who's walkie talkie had just broadcast to the entire group) backpedalled a lot saying that they were just very careful and replace the cables at the first sign of wear! Here's Amanda all ready to go:

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And Dad ready to race down the mountain...

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Does this harness make my butt look big?

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Just waiting for the command to go!

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And we're off! This was one of the earlier lines where we weren't extremely high, the later ones were much higher and much longer.

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And this is me, in pencil form. I'm not usually such a sucker for overpriced professional photos at events like this, but this one made me laugh so hard I guess it was worth $18!

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I have to say that I found ziplining way more fun than I expected. An opportunity not to be missed. And yes, I did scream, er laugh, the entire way down each and every cable.

Thursday, August 04, 2011

More Glacier National Park


We love Glacier National Park. It was too big, and too awesome to fit into just one post.

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We did do some hiking, but would you believe that we got this shot of the mountain goats from the car? They were hanging out right next to the road.

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One of the rare shots where he's not trying to pull a silly face!

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It was hard to stop taking photos, even when we were just driving through.

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Though for views like this we did get out of the car.

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What a great family vacation.

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The Junior Rangers

The National Parks' Junior Ranger program is always a highlight for us when we visit a national park.

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Having a team of three work on the program together made it all the more fun. So many fun things to learn:

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Including the required book work...

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...for which Riley may have gotten just the teensiest bit of help.

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And then there is the practical knowledge like "Yes, if you jump off that ledge you will die."

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Or "Yes, ground squirrels poop too."

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We even attended a Ranger talk.

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In the end, the boys brought their workbooks for the inspection of the Ranger.

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And they took the solemn oath of a Junior Ranger.

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Then of course it was back to pure silliness again:

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