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After picking up the kids from Grammie and Pop Pops in Corvallis we headed out to Yachats for a few days.  We got there a little before sunset and took some nice family photos

The next morning everyone was excited to head down to the beach

Mia led us down the short little trail to the beach

Time to chase waves

Mia insisted on wearing her swimsuit and as you know Mia does what Mia wants

Everyone had lots of book time


and rock time

and of course bike time

Before heading back we stopped by Devil’s Churn, Spouting Horn, and Thor’s Well 

After all that you’re going to need a montage

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Ready for our spring break trip to Sunriver!

After a four hour drive (including vomit all over the carseat on the way over the mountain pass) we made it!

First thing was to test out all of our fun gear with a bike ride to the park

The next day we went to Mount Bachelor for snowboarding, sledding, and in Mia’s case, lots of snacking (see previous post)

After the inevitable exhaustion following a trip to the mountain with three kids, the following day we decided to keep it low key with some time at the swim center

We rode bikes everyday, rain or shine

We also explored the nature center

Luca was pleased to see a real red-tailed hawk, his school’s mascot

There is also a small observatory, and we were quite impressed with their set up and knowledgable staff. Chris and Luca went back the following evening for some night-time star and planet gazing. They could see Jupiter and its moons!

Although it was still pretty cold most of the time, it was actually quite comfortable in the afternoon sun. Mia tried out a bit of a nap on the deck.

Later in the week Grammie and Pop Pop joined us for a couple of days. After their long drive we decided to get the legs moving with a walk to the park.Autumn conquered the firefighter pole all by herself for the first time!

Then it was off to the local brewery for a yummy (and silly) dinner

The next morning started off with everyone’s favorite breakfast – Grammie and Pop Pop’s blueberry wafflesFollowed by a nice long bike ride along the Deschutes River

Two little munchkins snuggled quite cozily in the Burley trailer

The grandparents offered to watch the kids while mom and dad went on a date in Bend – woo hoo!

The next day we went on a hike along the Deschutes River to Benham Falls

And among all of the many fun things we did during our vacation, we also found plenty of time for silly snuggles and selfies

and the hot tub!

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It was HOT today in Portland hitting 100+ so Luca and I headed out on an adventure

Sample Time

 Watching the cheese being made was fun and interesting

Luca loves his samples

Hiking in the coast forest

 Luca’s favorite part the lighthouse

Beach fun

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Nice day to hit up a local pump track on the eastside

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It was a nice day today and with everyone watching football the roads and parks were clear so Luca and I headed out to the bike park

Shredding remix

We had a lot of fun. There were a few crashes

and even dad took a spill

sigh… seriously thanks YouTube 🙁

But along with some dirt and a few scrapes we came away from it with some memories

p.s. For those of you who know how particular Luca can be you’ll appreciate that after I drove to the park I pulled out his helmet and he quickly realized it was NOT his spitfire helmet.  He said this helmet does not have anything cool on it.

When we were leaving he said.  Dad you need to never grab this helmet again. You need to put a sticker on it that says THIS IS NOT LUCA’S HELMET…DON’T GIVE IT TO HIM, and don’t make the sticker red like my spitfire sticker.  Make it…. make it yellow.  I’m going to put this helmet at the bottom… underneath everything else so you never grab it again. (ok Luca geez message received)

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A while ago Auntie Kimmy and Uncle Kyan stopped by and watched the kids while Kitty and I headed out for a date.  Uncle Kyan’s caught the action with his Go Pro.


My favorite part…pure joy

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At the Park


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This past weekend I hiked Mount Saint Helens with some buddies. We followed the Summer trail, in red below. I don’t know how “Summer” it was and there wasn’t much of a trail, but that was our route nonetheless.

Here’s a Google Earth view.  The grey oval at the bottom right is the parking lot and our starting point. To be honest I  was sort of expecting some sort of trail to the top.  I didn’t expect it to be easy but I did think there would be a worn path or something to follow. It really was park your car and hey there’s the mountain… climb it.

View Larger Map

The plan was to be at the top at sunrise.  That meant we left portland around 11pm. Hi my name is Chris and after a long week of work I’m going to go on a 9 hour hike… I make good decisions!

We got to the base and started our hike at 1:30am.

The trail starts out in a wooded area.  Of corse it was dark when we hiked it but on the way down I got some pictures

Eventually the dirt trail turned to snow and the trees were replaced with boulders

If you look close you can see people up on the ridge

More snow and bigger boulders

Eventually the boulders subsided and it became mostly snow and ash

We arrived at the top at 6:30am for sunrise coming up over Mount Adams

We could see several lakes, the lights of Portland, and several mountains including Mount Hood in the distance

If you stand still for any amount of time it starts to get cold really quick, so we started on our way back down


I was really happy to see the forest trail again.  Before I left home Luca told me “Daddy, you can only hike ONE mountain, and then you come home… OK.”  At this point I’m thinking that’s some sound advice and I can’t wait to get home. 

It took about 9 hours to hike a total of 10 miles with the peak being a little over 8,000 ft.

I slept for 30min on the car ride back, 2 more hours when I got home, then slept soundly that night.  It was a lot of fun but there were definitely some concerning slips and navigating over ice covered boulders was a little nerve-racking at times but overall I’d have to say this picture sums it up best…

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