Well, we’ve returned from vacation and school has started. Susie spent some time in Sonoma visiting some dear friends and our nephew, Matthew. She came back to blistering temperatures near around 110 F/ 43 C. Fortunately, we were turning around and making a trip up to Washington and Montana. We visited Susie’s sister Kim and her clan in Tacoma, while taking in the sights around Puget Sound and Mt. Rainer National Park. I had a great time hiking around Rainer, we were at Mowich Lake and Eunice Lake. I think for some the hike was a bit too long, I’m still apologizing. On our way out to Montana, we stopped in Ellensburg to see Dick and Jane’s Art House Spot along with the Gingko Petrified Forest. The journey was quite comfortable and we were surprised by the difference in climate and landscape between western and eastern Washington. We drove through the Coeur d’Alene National Forest in Idaho. The lakes and mountains in Idaho were most impressive. We did notice that there were people on boats, but no water skiers. I believe the water was way cold, even with wetsuits.
We spent about a week touring around Glacier National Park. We were with Ted (best friend from University), Juliana, their family and a guest from Ireland (Jamie). We did a bit of hiking around lakes, near snow and some slightly rocky terrain. We didn’t see any bears, while hiking. Most of the wildlife we saw, were chipmunks, pikas, red squirrels, big horn sheep, mountain goats. We did see a black bear on the side of the road eating berries. While touring the park was great fun, I think the highlight of our trip was rafting down the Middle Fork River. Ten is the perfect number for getting everyone wet going through some fun rapids. No one fell into the water, but there were a few who went in for a swim. Most got out pretty quickly.
Even though the kids started school on the 22nd of August, I would have a tough time saying summer is over. We were still in 100+ Fahrenheit/ 38+ Celsius temperatures and there was no forecast in sight that temperatures were going to get cooler. Well surprise surprise, today it has all of a sudden gotten cooler (90 F/ 32 C). I never thought I would think of 90 F as cool.
I woke up very happy about this change in temperature, only to learn that there are some terrible high winds and fires going on all around the city, see the Austin American Statesman Newspaper for details. Much of Susie’s family (the Callahans) live out in the Bastrop area, so they are heavily impacted by the fires. We are spending much time glued to the television with our thoughts going out to everyone impacted.