Saturday, August 3, 2013

My daughter is part Mountain Goat

Wow. What a long day.

So we got out of here around 10, and drove across The Dalles bridge. First stop was the dam, where David and Micah spent some time studying the diagrams of how a lock works and Sam hid in the car, thinking we were not permitted to be there (but we were).

Then we drove down Route 14 in WA, the Louis & Clark Trail, to Horsethief Butte.

You know those western movies, where the actors are out in the middle of nowhere, and there is a big block of rock to be climbed, or a bad guy sitting at the top with a rifle, and the good guys are trying to hid behind the rocks?

Yeah, we were there.


The boys were really anxious to climb, so David took them in. I parked the car in 15 minute parking, figuring Sofia and I would just walk around the bottom a bit and then head back to wait near the car.

I did not count on my daughter proving to be part mountain goat.

I was torn. On the one hand, I’m terrified of heights, and I needed to move the car.

On the other hand, how could I tell her she couldn’t climb, when clearly she COULD climb. Really well. Amazingly well. With no fear, no struggle. She saw her path, and she took it.  

Which meant, of course, that I had to follow her.

I got about 2/3 of the way up before I started to panic. Thank heavens for cell phones. I called David (since they were already at the top and far enough away from us not to hear our yells) and had them come help us.

Sam guided me down, while David and Micah worked with Sofia.

I was SO nervous!


Ok, so back into the car. And at this point, David was expecting a work call, so I drove. Our next stop was ... Stonehenge.


A replica of Stonehenge, Washington’s WWI memorial. Nearby was the memorial for WWII, Korea, Vietnam and Afghanistan.

 The view


Next stop, the Maryhill Museum, the former mansion of Sam Hill (as in “What in the Sam Hill...?”)
David was still on his conference call, and the boys were not really interested in going in to the museum. They just wanted to stay on the grounds (which had a lot of cool statues and parkland). But Sofia and I needed the restroom, so we headed inside. Then we came back out, and I tried to get the boys to come take Sofia so I could go back in and look around.

And Sofia disappeared.

We all ran around looking for her.

Micah and I had to pay admission this time to go in and look for her (since the lady at the desk hadn’t noticed her come back in).

The security guard upstairs finally found her, happily playing in the children’s art room.

I was SO angry!

Thankfully there were only about 14 people in the area, and not a lot of places she could have gone, so I wasn’t so much worried about her safety as about her breaking something.

Micah was graciously stayed with her in the Children’s room while I took some time to walk around the museum and calm down. There was a cool exhibit of unusual chess pieces that I wanted him to see, so I came back and got them both and brought them downstairs. Then outside to meet up with David and Sam.

Ok, back to the car.

In the car, Sofia very clearly said “Kill Mother”, so I know she had a definite agenda for the day.

We were badly in need of lunch now, so we went to White Salmon, WA. I had a tasty sweet potato burrito, and the three guys all had home-made mac&cheese. Sofia was in heaven with rice, beans, sweet potatoes and hummus (much of which came home with us and she had for dinner tonight).

After lunch (already after 3pm), we went over the Hood River bridge and took the highway west. We wanted to see waterfalls. I fell asleep in the car for a while, which was very good. But then I was too fuzzy-headed when David needed me to navigate, so we ended up fighting over where the heck the waterfalls were.

But eventually we made it to the first stop, Wahkeena Falls. Although the parking area was right at the bottom of the falls, there was a 0.2 mile walk up to the first bridge across the center. The boys ran up, while Sofia and I went more slowly. By this time, she was starting to get tired.

 Sofia and I walked up to find David and Sam encouraging Micah to go out on a limb...

 Sofia needed a little help with her pants...

 She has her rocks ready... THROW!

We made it to the first bridge, and she had fun throwing rocks into the water. The boys continued up to the next pass. We tried to get Sofia to continue, and I got her a bit further, but then I had to take her back down. I actually had to carry her a bit (ouch).

We got to the bottom, found the port-a-potties, and then waited for the boys. Which took a while. But I’m glad we went back. I had rushed out of the car when we arrived, and had not felt secure about how I’d hidden things in the car. Ours was fine, but the van two cars behind us had been broken into! Apparently that’s a common occurrence. Ugh.

It took the boys another half hour to go to the top and then come back down, and then poor Micah was badly in need of the potties, too!

Off to the next, Multnohma Falls, which is the 2nd largest in the country. Visitor’s Center and everything.

At least everyone was feeling better and more energetic now. Punchy, too. David kept taking shots of Micah posing as if he were drinking from the waterfall.

Got Sofia and Micah some sno-cones, and we were off again.

We made one more stop at Horsetail Falls. This time the kids stayed in the car and only David and I got out. We played around with setting on the camera. David has an idea in his head of a kind of shot he wants me to take, but we can’t quite figure out what he means. I think it has to do with focus but he thinks it’s about aperture settings. So we argue and play.

Finally time to head back to the hotel, well after 7:30. When we got to Hood River, I called ahead to order a pizza from Spooky’s in The Dalles. We should have been able to pick it up at a drive-thru window, but the guy ahead of us was taking FOREVER, so I went in.

Back to the hotel, eat pizza and leftovers, get all the dirty laundry out for the first laundry run of the trip (I’m still drying stuff), and the kids watched Lord of the Rings on TV until they all passed out. David’s going to sleep now, too. He banged his knee at Horsetail, and it’s hurting a lot now.
I’m blogging, sorting photos, packing, and doing laundry. We leave tomorrow. The plan is to get up and go earlier, head to Mount Hood and take that route, and then off to Seattle. It will mean a lot of car time tomorrow.