… because we are exceedingly lame. We can never seem to get out of town before noon. Something always happens. Yesterday, being Father’s Day, I planned for us to take Thomas out into nature and let him enjoy the flora and fauna.
After a leisurly morning that started at 5:54am for me and 8:11am for Thomas; some hot tub time for Thomas, Micah & Christopher (he splashed from outside the hot tub); and a lot of gathering of stuff, we finally left our house at 10:49am and headed to McDonalds to feed the two kids who hadn’t bothered to have breakfast. Christopher ate because he’s just a moocher. We needed to stop at Safeway because I am one of the lame ones. I did not have enough lunchmeat and bread for a picnic. This was a huge mistake. I ran in for the necessary lunch items and Thomas waited in the parking lot with everyone. He didn’t realise he had his lights on so the battery didn’t have enough juice to start the car (yet another issue we just won’t delve into here, but is now resolved). Thankfully some nice soul let us jump start our vehicle with their battery.
Because of this fiasco I suggested that we stop at Bi-Mart to get one of those “will start 50 cars” things so if the battery was dead in the middle of no where we could start the damn car. Well they had one, but it wasn’t charges. But we bought it anyway. We also bought two fold up camp chairs. You can never have too many of them. So finally at 12:03pm we were off. However by this time there was grumbling in the ranks and Thomas was almost as ready to just go home as he was to go up the McKenzie. But he headed east, so I am guessing he resolved this conflict within himself.
Since we moved, Thomas hasn’t been able to find his topographical map book (no, it wasn’t in the box marked “maps” either – smartass). So we stopped at the McKenzie Bridge ranger station (very cool log building – our tax dollars at work?) for some maps. Since we didn’t want to have another “Safeway fiasco”, he kept the truck running while he went in to scout out maps. While we were sitting in the car trying to entertain Christopher the motor was doing odd things like dropping its RPM by half and making the oil gauge go off. When Thomas came back to the car he said a bunch of stuff but the only thing I remember was “alternator”. Fixing an alternator is expensive, so I will put this into the “bad” category.
It was good we stopped because the lake he wanted to go to wasn’t in the Thomas Guide map. I didn’t know that we had a Clear Lake up here. Now I know why people always asked me which Clear Lake I was referring to when I would talk about it. I was always talking about the one in California, but now I know I need to specify. The one here is on Hwy 126 almost to Hwy 20. We ended up getting off at the exit for the “resort” and it was packed. Now mind you there were probably only about 50 cars there, but it is so small that 50 cars (some with boat trailers) filled the place up! When we got there we realised that we went one exit too far. We’d missed our exit because of the road construction. So we backtracked and found our exit. There was no picnic area at the Cold something-or-other, but there was a nice campground and we just picnicked (can I add any more consonants to that?) in an empty site.
Sometime before we got to this point Christopher had fallen asleep. This goes in the “good” category. Unfortunately that didn’t last more than an hour (if that). He is a 2 1/2 hour a day napper so he is one cranky boy when he doesn’t get the nap he needs. Give you a clue how he was for the rest of the day? Thankfully he was kept busy with brothers and daddy for a while.
While he was at the ranger station, Thomas decided that he wanted to hike from the Cold place to Sahalie Falls (a mile or mile and a half I’d guess) with the teenagers. So where does that leave Christopher and me? Driving to Sahalie Falls and then occupying ourselves for an hour and a half in a place that is not conducive to toddlers. If I had been alone, I would have dragged out one of our new camp chairs and spent the time trying to sketch (not going well) or reading one of the many magazines I have that aren’t read yet. But I had a 2 year old to contend with.
While we were driving to Sahalie Falls, I put music on and hoped that Christopher might mellow out and take a second nap. I thought it was working and I found a sort-of parking place at the falls. Unfortunately I had the windows down (didn’t want to kill us with the heat) and he heard the sound of other little children. So after about a half an hour of trying to ignore him I gave in and we wandered around. He liked the narrative boards and ran around in the little hut thing. He found another family with 3 kids (one was his age) and I think he wanted to go home with them. I kept trying to get him to go down the trail to the waterfall (a new word for him!) but we’d get to the end of the parking lot and he’d go back to the narrative boards and that other family.
Finally the hikers got back into walkie talkie range and I heard Jonah. After another agonizing 15 minutes he showed up. He is able to put Christopher on his shoulders (something I just cannot do) and we walked down to the falls. Yes, I have pictures. No, they are not uploaded anywhere yet. I thought it was a stunning view. Christopher didn’t really care, except he kept saying “waterfall” a zillion times. Thomas and Micah were at the upper viewing platform so we waved and said goofy things over the walkie’s at each other. We also took pictures of each other. Thank goodness Jonah had his camera too. Christopher was so happy to see his daddy again! So was I!
We started heading home, with a small detour on a lava bed (future snow sledding site). Thomas asked me if I wanted to stop for dinner. I would have loved to stop but I didn’t want to be in a restaurant with an over-tired 2 year old so we just headed home. At some point Thomas turned the driving over to Jonah. This gave me a raging headache. I don’t like having to be the driving instructor so I sit in the back. So technically it’s not Jonah’s driving that gives me the headache, it’s sitting in the back seat. But I like to blame it on Jonah.
Just call us the Griswalds …