Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Observation Peak Hike

Last Sunday, I met Todd and Dan for a hike up Observation Peak in the Sawtooths. Also joining the party were Todd's two excellent hiking dogs Leo and Roxy. After meeting at 9am, we headed out around 9:15am. The drive was smooth and we were hiking just after 11:30am.

Observation Peak is the only Sawtooth peak with a trail to the top. Thus, the hike was unusually easy for the Sawtooths. However the typical long approach was still present. We spent most of our time hiking up the Trail Creek drainage which was scenic and enjoyable. The trail was well-graded but more overgrown than we expected. We also only saw two other people on the trail all day - pretty sparse for peak season. The creek crossings were a little bit high but the only risk was getting water in my boots. We had been in a mild burn area for much of the hike but once we got near Stanley Lake Creek it turned into total destruction with no vegetation anywhere. In this burn area we hit snow which was firm and supported us well. Soon we were on the summit, just over four hours in.

The summit was incredible with perfect temperatures, no wind, and outstanding views of the northern and western parts of the Sawtooth Range. We all enjoyed a nice leisurely break on top before heading back down. We made good time on the descent, highlighted by a nice glissade on the upper slopes of the peak. Upon arriving at the trailhead, we were deflated upon discovering Dan's vehicle has suffered a flat time. Fortunately the spare was in order and we were able to roll home on the doughnut - though we didn't get home until after 10pm!

Observation Peak Pictures!
GPS Track
Dan's Trip Report

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Business Trip #3

Immediately after returning from our Vancouver trip, I had to get on a plane for a business trip to Covington, LA, where one of our offices is located. My day started with our arrival back from Vancouver just before 1am on Wednesday the 6th. After an abbreviated sleep, I woke up about 8am, went running, mowed the yard, fought fires at work, then went to the airport to fly to New Orleans. After a stop in San Francisco (a beautiful place to fly in and out of), the three of us arrived in the Crescent City at 12am Thursday morning. After arriving, we drove another 45 minutes across the Lake Ponchartrain Causeway (the second longest bridge in the world!), finally getting to the hotel just after 1am. Long day!!

Thursday was our meeting day where we had engineering discussions from roughly 8-5. Lunch was from McAlister's Deli, which I didn't know still existed. They used to be around Florida in the 1990's. After an evening tour of the lab, we went to Don's for dinner and drinks. The oysters were great and I discovered a new favorite beer, Jefferson Stout. The South apparently is milk stout central which makes it awesome!

Friday was a travel day but we had some time to spend before our afternoon departure. I had a quick breakfast at the Covington Chick-Fil-A which was celebrating Cow Appreciation Day. After breakfast, we were able to squeeze in a brief walking tour of the French Quarter before heading home. After a quick cruise through Jackson Square and along Bourbon Street, we grabbed a quick lunch before heading to the airport. The flight home was interesting because we ran into two other coworkers at the New Orleans airport (they were doing demos in New Iberia, LA) and one of our sales guys was on our final leg home from Denver. Clearly it was a busy week for office travel!

Business Trip Pictures!

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Canada Trip 2011!!

2011 has been full of lots of great trips for Zach & I - highlights have included LA/Long Beach in January, our wonderful visit to Florida, and Portland at the end of May. This past long weekend was no different! We headed up to Vancouver to spend some time with the Shepherd/Aprim side of the family. We left Boise late in the day on Wednesday June 30, and drove all night, arriving in Vancouver around 11am on Thursday morning.

Thursday was a low-key day, since we were both pretty wiped out from pulling an all-night drive-a-thon, although luckily we had our Sirius XM Radio in the car, which kept the drive more interesting! Friday was Canada Day, and I spent some time in North Vancouver visiting with my friend Jenn, and then we had a lovely dinner at White Spot with my Mom, Dave & Greg.
On Saturday, I got together with my friend Linsie, and then Zach, Mom, Dave & I spent some time (DAAAAAAYS, if you ask Dave & Zach!) at IKEA, picking up a few things including our new light fixture for the nursery, which Zach is putting up this weekend.
Sunday was a beautiful day for a party, and we had a great one! Mom made delicious burgers, spinach salad & potato salad, Dave grilled the burgers & we enjoyed 2 fantastic dessert options - Pavlova with whipped cream & berries and blackberry pie (or galette, because we're fancy!), made with berries that were hand-picked by Auntie Margaret! YUM!! What wonderful spread of food! Along with Mom, Dave & Greg, we were also able to visit with Megan, Ben, Emily & Matthew, as well as Auntie Margaret, Auntie Maggie & Uncle Barry and Uncle Tom. It was SO nice to see everyone...thank you for the birthday gifts!
Sunday night took a turn for the worse when Greg, who was playing in a co-ed recreational soccer game, got tripped by an opponent & took a very bad fall. He ended up in Emergency, with a fractured pelvis (OUCH!!). He spent the night in Emergency, and was admitted on Monday so that he could have surgery done on Tuesday morning (the morning we left). He's now sporting 3 steel pins & a steel plate in his hip, so we can all call him Bionic Man! Greg, you have seriously been a trooper through all of this!!

Greg was able to come home on Friday, and has been settling in & adjusting to life on crutches. He'll likely be on the crutches for a couple of months, but who knows - he surprised the physio-therapists by dominating the crutches on Thursday, 2 days after surgery, which they weren't expecting! I'm sure he'll be back on the soccer field in no time! ;-)

So, apart from all that craziness, we had a great trip! Tuesday was spent driving home, and we got in around 1am...it was a loooong day, to say the least. Zach left on Wednesday afternoon for his business trip to Loooo-zianna, but he'll get to that in the next post!

Below are a few pictures from our party on Sunday. Enjoy!

Canada Trip 2011 Pictures!