No, school has not started. The backpacking I mean is of a much more physically gruelling sort. Apparently Dad had been planning to do a family backpacking trip with us at this age for years now, but I wasn't informed until 3 days before it happened. It was quite a shock. We went on the Mother Mountain Loop, inside the Mount Ranier National Park, which has a total distance of 17. something miles. After checking in with the Park Rangers, we began our journey at 10 in the morning on August 25. Dad, being the enthusiastically crazy guy he is, planned it out so that we had to go 10 miles the first day, then 5, then 2, as it was meant to be a 3 day 2 night trip. The first 10 miles wouldn't have been bad at all, if it weren't for the fact that they sucked. We had a bit of flat ground at the beginning, and then things got bad. Steep downhill rocky switchbacks ensued for a much longer distance than there was flat, taking us a total of at least 3 hours to get down them. Ups and downs for a long while, and then the miles ended with the last 2 being incredibly difficult for all, as they were like the uphill version of the switchbacks mentioned before. Mom, Luke, and Emma were reduced to tears. Mom mentioned earlier that she was kept from saying some naughty things and verbally expressing her hatred of the hike and of Dad (At the moment) only by the presence of her children. The whole day was 9+ hours of hiking alone. Keep in mind that this whole thing was made many times more difficult by the carrying of heavy packs and that we couldn't enjoy the views because the fog. The next day it was much the same (Minus the fog), except we decided to go the extra mile (or two) than planned, and do it in 2 days, as Mom got no sleep in the tent and she wanted Dunn and I to be able to go to our open houses, which were today. Keep in mind that Luke did this too, but I carried his pack for him. Let me tell you, that loop was meant for 3 days. Every group we passed by (None with kids, I might add) was doing it in 3. The coolest thing for day 1 was this awesome suspension bridge we got to cross, and for day 2 it was walking across the snow fields. I never would have guessed I would be walking across snow in the summer, but I was, and I was wearing a t-shirt and shorts, and I was hot. It was beautiful, though. Very beautiful. Dunn posted some pics on Facebook, I believe. When we were driving home afterwards Mom puked multiple times because of the exertion and lack of hydration (There was water, she just didn't drink).
I beleive Chase posted on this on his blog, so I won't steal his thunder. It kinda deserves to be stolen though, as of now it has no punctuation, terrible spelling (There IS a spell check, you know), and left out some very important parts, like the Seattle Art Museum and crazy people who did crazy things to random people. I would also like to mention that I was the one who said the peach was the best peach they'd ever had. At REI I bought a boomerang. I used it this morning, and though I didn't expect it to work, I actually caught one of my throws, which I thought I could never do. It was awesome. So the trip to Seattle went awesomely, and now that Chase, Dunn, and I have ORCA cards, we can do that whenever. The waiter at the Cheesecake Factory was hilarious, and that makes up for the fact that we were tricked into eating there.
If you need explanation on something, you're not going to get it unless you comment.
For Joryn- We were getting hungry and were looking for a place to get a snack so we could eat later. Miles had been obsessing about the Cheesecake Factory all day, and so we decided to try and get a slice of cheesecake. We walked into the restaurant expecting to order a slice of cheesecake from their counter, rather than sitting down and eating lunch there. When we got in through the revolving door we were looking around in awe at the decor and listening to the music when, within 2 second of being in, the lady asked us 'Table for four?'. Dunn didn't know what to say but 'Uh, yes?'.
Chase has fulfilled his lifelong dream of getting a blog, and with some help from me, named it. I told him the only reason I get comments is because mom told people on her blog I have one, and so I told him I would do the same for him, so his fan base may also consist of Mom's friends. Chase's blog is chasewesthoff.blogspot.com. See you there.
As you can see I have changed my picture to a much more recent *cough*NOT*cough* photo and changed my template. You could say it signifies my start of a new life here in Washington. You could say that, but you'd be wrong. I just got tired of the black. I wanted to change the name too, but I couldn't think of anything clever enough. You might see a change soon anyway. Since the 2 comments I got (1 via email) didn't have any instruction or suggestion about what to put in my post, I'm lost as for what to say. Miles has become my best friend, and Chase's and Dunn's as well, which is sad. Last time in Washington I tried to be friends with Dunn's friends, but apparently now its the other way 'round. I've spent my free time either hanging out with Miles & Chase & Dunn out of the house (very often), biking, rotting my brain one way or another, reading (I'm proud to say I've read more books than all of my siblings combined this Summer), or some combination of them. That's about all I'm gonna say right now, so goodbye.
OMGosh I suck at this. It's difficult to over everything in one post, so I guess I just haven't been posting at all. Sorry people. As I said, it would be next to impossible to cover everything in one go. So I won't. When/if you comment on this (I wouldn't blame you for not, I don't deserve them after that 1 month pause.) say what aspect of my life here you will like to know about, and I will do my best to get them on here SOON (2 days-1wk), as opposed to LATER (2wks-never).
P.S. Possible Topic- Scout Camp
P.P.S. I do not have access to Dad's laptop for pics of my trip, so if you really want to know, I believe the Facebookers of my family have posted pictures and stories and stuff about it.
As I mentioned earlier, but now proves incorrect, there are 2 other deacons. It is now incorrect because Miles is a deacon now. The othere two's names are Tyler and Jordan. Jordan is the Deacon's quorom president. Anyway, yesterday at our scout meeting, the 3 (Miles is in Utah) of us planned out 4 months of our activities our by our lonesome (with the scout leader, of course). Lots of service, about 1 service project and campout a month (not at the same time, for the most part). Within these 4 months fall The Washington Jamboree (Wash Jam), which I don't quite know what it is, and Scout camp, which I do. Both of these I am signed up for. My scout leader does not yet have my scout info, but I plan on getting it from Brother Schuck soon (If a Mormon Missourian in Rolla is reading this, please have Brother Schuck email my dad about it. Thanks.). That's about all I have Scout-wise, so I make an end to this post (Which happens to have the most parenthesis in it than any other post of mine. It's ridiculous, actually, like half the text.)
So we're pretty much all moved in. Except Dunn. He's not. The Westhoffs have been using his room for their clothes, so his stuff is still in boxes. We've done much of what there was to do, and not much remains except for plugging in the kid's computers ('Can you do it now, Dad? Can you? please?') and hanging up posters and pictures. DuPont's nice. The center of the shops and stuff is 2 miles from the house, so being kicked out for the day is an option. The trail system is nice as well. When Dad checks the bikes, I think that it might be a family home evening activity. I don't know what the school looks like on the inside, but last year was it's first year, so I'm guessing pretty nice. It's got a nice field. My reed for the saxophone chipped in the move, so I'm either going to have to use a higher level one or wait till I get a new one from a music store or something. My quest for new shoes has been partially completed, as I have new church shoes (high quality, like 70% percent off) and have permission to wear a pair of Dad's shoes. I don't have normal shoes of my own, nor do I have running shoes yet. Miles is on vacation in Utah, and I am keeping his yard up for until his dad gets home for saltwater taffy. No cash payment, please, just saltwater taffy. Its a good deal for all, I needed something to do anyway.