And you guys thought I was just joking about boring you to tears with pictures.... Ha!
From Geoff and Jocelyn's we headed down to Oregon to see Tyler and Lisa and kids for the weekend. It was only a 6 hour drive, so it was a short-ish day. Which means I had energy for lots of pictures. And then, once we were at Tyler and Lisa's, well I had to take pictures. I added the pictures of Nevada and Utah to this post, since there were only a few.
This is the Columbia River. With a barge and a train zipping through. Life is easier than when the pioneers headed west.
Cows on the edge. I wonder how often eating grass becomes entirely too much to bear and a cow jumps off the cliff.
I wasn't a huge fan of this part of Oregon. So brown. And somewhat barren-ish. But once we turned off onto 97, things perked up quickly.
We saw some green!
Little ranch in the middle of the sage
A few junipers
Getting close to Tyler and Lisa's!
Heading down into the valley, where Madras is
Look closely. There is a majestic mountain there. If only I had better photography skills.
And then! Cousins!! The kids had a good time helping Breanna use the art stuff her Aunt Anna had just sent.
Tyler and Lisa's. A hammock with a view. Again, you can't really see the view because I have never figured out lighting on my camera. But believe me, it is a nice view.
A clever pinterest thing Lisa did. Regular canvas, paint the sides black, get picture sized to fit the canvas, and modge podge it on. I really want to try this. I love it! And I love this picture.
Lisa's sewing room/kids reading/play room. I love this too.
Tyler and Lisa's view at night. There are mountains there. Really!
Lily and Levi
Lily karate kicking a tree. I don't know why.
We went to one of the parks in town to listen to Breanna's class sing. When we got there, the Warmspring tribe was performing some traditional dances. The kids were fascinated by the outfits.
That is a little mirror surrounded by feathers.
That is Breanna in the top right corner.
Coming down into Madras. Just one of their beautiful mountains.
Ha! I did get a picture of their mountains in the daylight! I think these are called the three sisters.
Gilbert got sick Saturday. Fever and not feeling great. Poor kid. He has been asking since they left at Christmas time when we were going to see Levi and Andy. And then he didn't feel like playing for most of the one day!
The toad. Levi brought this home from their camping trip the weekend before and kept it in a little clear jar-ish thing. Which was fine. Until Elsie got a hold of it and let the toad out. The first we knew of it was a little puddle of water and a missing toad. An hour or so later, the toad was finally located near the boys bedroom.
Levi and Orianna celebrated their birthdays together. They are 361 days apart, but have never been able to celebrate together.
The neighbor girls came over to help celebrate
Lisa had just found a truck cake pan at a garage sale that afternoon, so Levi got a truck cake. The kids loved it.
Orianna wanted a strawberry shortcake.
Orianna opening presents. Lisa made her this purse, which she loves. I sort of love it too. I really like the Russian doll fabric.
We got Levi a bubble machine and it was a big hit. The best $10 I have spent in awhile.
This is my workaholic brother, heading back to work after cake. No, this is a very busy time of year, with all the irrigating, so Tyler is on the hop most of the time.
Gilbert felt better Saturday night, so we set off to meeting Sunday morning in Bend. He threw up on the way, so when we got there, we stood around, debating what to do. Fortunately, the elder came out and sorted us out, sending Justin and Gilbert to the apartment in the garage and the rest of us in to meeting. On the way home from meeting, I realized Gilbert had been really hard to wake up thats morning and didn't eat anything. Aha! I checked his blood sugar when we got home and it was low. Every once in awhile he gets low blood sugar in the morning and throws up. Especially days following a day when he didn't eat much. I should have noticed the symptoms. But I just figured he was tired. After a chocolate bar, he perked up and was fine the rest of the day.
A lovely afternoon. Leaf shadows, a blanket, sunshine, kids, and books.
These guys are six days apart. Good little friends.
Did I mention that I loved their view?
Andy, stretching out on mommy.
Andy and Elsie
Love, love this picture of my boys.
Justin living the good life
Sweet girl o' mine
Andy D. Vaughan
The kids set up a road side stand. They pillaged Lisa's pantry and went out and sold stuff. They made three dollars.
Driving over to Willow Tree Farm
Tyler's little pets. He keeps them running like tops.
I so remember doing this with Dad's jack
Tyler and things
We went boating on one of the irrigation lakes.
The wind was fierce.
Love this picture too.
Levi was coming at a run because he said you just couldn't trust this dog with Elsie. Levi is a sweet big cousin.
Willow in the wind
Justin rowing the kids out
A dust devil in the background.
Breanna set off with Levi
This picture would be a whole lot sweeter of Tyler and Andy without the chain link fence in the way.
I liked the wind in the willows. Me and Kenneth Grahame.
Andy didn't want to boat.
He wanted to kick. Look at that grin!
I thought it was cute, so had all the kids do it when they stopped boating.
Whoops! Hadn't figured on the wind, which was sending a lot of spray in Breanna and Lily's direction.
Sunlight in the willow
Isn't it gorgeous?
And this too.
Love, love, love.
"All God's creatures got a place in the choir,
Some sing high, some sing low.
Some sing out loud on the telephone wire
And some just clap their hands, paws,
Or anything they got now."
I always think of that when I see birds on telephone wires. A song Mum used to sing to us kids.
He was disgusted that I was taking picture of this wheat field, which was one of the least beautiful fields they have.
Wheat is wheat though!
And there was even a dairy farm! All these years later, seeing a herd of holsteins makes me happy.
There was a wedding of some sort. Breanna played the wedding march.
Lily had a fever, which we didn't figure out until later in the day.
Waving goodbye. Wahhhhh!
Southeastern Oregon. Lots of sage.
At this point, we were heading to Elko, Nevada area to see my cousin and his family. This was around the time in which our trip started hiccuping and changing drastically. We discovered Lily had a fever. My cousin has a sweet little baby girl, so we didn't want to get her sick. Next planned stop was Las Vegas, but it would be a long haul, getting there around midnight. Then we realized Justin's grandfather had heart problems and couldn't be around the possibility of the flu. And then our van started acting badly. I got a ticket for talking on my cellphone talking to Dad about the van (Nevada is a hands free state. In case you were wondering.). And finally it was all too much. We weren't sure what the van was going to do and whether Elsie and Orianna were going to get sick the next day, so we decided to just head to Colorado, where we were planning on spending a week.
A week in one place seemed like wonderfullness at this point.
So lonely, I could set my camera on the road and take a picture. Look! Asphalt in Oregon. I take the best vacation photos.
One of our many stops that day. This was a very sparsely populated land. Never seemed to be a town when we needed one. We bought tylenol for Lily from this sketchy little store in Nevada--a dusty grocery store/gas station/restaurant all in one. They even sold a wide selection of cast iron skillets. But when it came to kids pain relievers, they had one option, Advil for infants that was just about at the expiration date. So we gave Lily a triple dose. It seemed to help.
Driving through this country, feeling overwhelmed by sick kids and potential car break downs in my air conditioned van, I kept thinking about the pioneers. What were they thinking? I can see settling the northwest, all lush, green, and beautiful. But desert?!?! First glance at this sort of thing, I would have turned that wagon train around and decide to settle in Wyoming. A good thing the pioneers had a bit more pluck than I do. Actually, I remember hearing a few years ago, that the government still has the homestead act in the empty (read completely devoid of any redeeming feature) parts of Nevada. But no one wants the land. So the government just uses it for nuclear waste dumping. (Nuclear Waste Repository is the preferred wording.) There are a few beautiful places in Nevada, like Spring Creek, where my cousin lives, but as for the rest of it.... Well, it is a good thing I wasn't the one making decisions back then.
Singing a belated Happy Birthday to Lincoln.
Salt Flats of Utah.