August 2020 Part II

Click here or on the sunrise above for more photos

Knowing school was starting completely online on September 1st, we decided we should try to be prepared. We got computers, headsets, mice, and little desks for both of the kids. We set up little workstations in our bedroom so they would have a dedicated place and it wouldn’t be the free-for-all that it was last year: Which device should I use? Where should I do school? Etc.

Chilkat saw a picture somewhere of someone with dyed hair and asked if she could do that, too. Chilkoot then of course wanted to do it as well. Chilkat ended up with part of her hair purple, and Chilkat got blue.

It’s a popular birthday month. KrisDi made a blueberry cheesecake for Les’s birthday, and we visited them in Bonney Lake. We did a make-up birthday at our place for B False Alarm, since we didn’t want to join their crowd for her actual celebration. Chilkat’s current best friend turned 10, and all she asked for for her birthday was dinner with Chilkat. We surprised her — her dad took her out to pick up take out for dinner, we arrived at their house while she was gone, and we all yelled surprise when she came in. She was delighted. She also picked up and tried to steal our daughter. Then of course they played, including in their new above-ground pool.

Since the kids both figured out how to ride bicycles, I wanted to bring all four bikes with us on our next camping trip. Since we pretty much fill up the truckbed, I needed a bike carrier of some sort. Paco didn’t have a hitch installed; I ordered a hitch and a 4-bike carrier on Amazon and installed them. The bike carrier was pretty simple. The hitch was a bit more involved. I needed new tools (I could have gotten away without a torque wrench, but it’s definitely better to torque a load bearing device to spec). Putting it together, when I figured out the carriage bolts went through the square-hole plates and out two layers of holes to be tightened down on the outside by a lock nut without a tool on the head side, I thought, “By God! Mechanical engineers are ingenious wizards!” When the carriage bolt started turning inside the plate without catching, and I had to devise solutions to somehow turn the nut while pulling on it, I began to think, “God motherfucking damn it, fucking mechanical engineers are too fucking clever for their own fucking good, and not half so fucking clever as they fucking think they are!” Eventually I got it all together, despite my lower back’s protests.

And so we went camping. This time it was at Deception Pass, which is a totally beautiful area. Maybe the most beautiful area I know.

It was just the four of us and KrisDi’s parents. We stopped at Bastion brewing on the way up for lunch. We didn’t use the sandwich irons at all this trip. Pizza, shish kebabs, marshmallow-centered-donuts, hefty cheeseburgers, lots of delicious beers. I laughed at myself when I realized I was fishing past Chocolate Cherry Duchesse and Rodenbach Grand Cru to find a Hamm’s in the cooler.

As usual, I woke up earlier than everyone else. I tried to take some sunrise pictures and got at least one I liked (see above). I think possibly my favorite new photography story is how I rewound sunrise so I could try it again: The sun was coming up over the horizon (a wooded hill fairly far to the east), and I started taking pictures. After the terminator passed me, I walked west a couple blocks down the beach until I was past the terminator again, and then turned east again for more pictures as the sun rose over the horizon a second time. I don’t remember if this was from sunrise #1 or #2.

Chilkoot experienced his first injurious bike wreck. We were taking a loop around the campground. Part of it was downhill. A van started pulling out of a camping spot, and he completely panicked. He was behind me, so I heard but did not see the crash. Based on the evidence, I think he locked up his back wheel, turned too sharply to the left, and flipped to the right. He ended up with bruises and scrapes on his right wrist, shoulder, and brow (and side of his helmet). He cried, we walked back to the campsite, and I am super proud to say we were back on the bike later that day. I was concerned it would be a “I had one bad experience therefore this is inescapably terrible” sort of deal.

We took various short rides, we went to a beach, we took various short hikes, the kids climbed on rocks and on trees, we saw squirrels and seals and deer, we tried to watch the sunset but it was too hazy to see anything, we had colorful fires, generally we had a good time. We stopped for seafood and ice cream on the way home (and got yelled at for eating in the grass at the restaurant, since apparently they’re not cleared by the state for that right now).

We finished up the front yard. We dug a trench along the boundary where we’ve had a lot of moles cross and buried some double-to-sextuple folded steel wire cloth. We finished weed-papering the area, and put down about a yard and a half of bark (~300 gallons). Overall, I’m pretty pleased with how it turned out. Now I just hope the trees survive.

We went boating on Lake Tapps and actually got out of the boat for a while. Kids swam, we drank beer, KrisDi and I dove off the boat…it was pretty nice.

Other stuff…

snaotheus

Posted by snaotheus

1 comment

Looks like a lot of fun was had. I hope that mole barrier goes deep enough… and laying the plastic up that close to the tree (the front one, anyway) means you’re going to have to be really careful to water it, because rainwater won’t get to it. But you know that, right? I wish you’d let me know when you’re going to be as close as Deception; I’d have loved to come down and spend a few hours with y’all. I miss you.

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