Sunday, May 19, 2013

Centennial Trail Bike Ride, Mirabeau Park Trailhead

Two things have brought a lot of joy into our lives lately. First, this incredible Spring weather has prompted us to bust out the bikes and our load up the Wiggles in our new bike trailer. And second, the Spokane area is criss-crossed with SO MANY bike trails! We are having a good time exploring the area via family bike rides. Plus, since it is tick season and the ticks are worse than normal I am just fine leaving the forested hiking trails for a few weeks while we pound some pavement on our bikes. Erik flicked twelve ticks off his pants on a hike the other day! Somehow there was only one on me. Still, gross.

This Saturday we met Matt and his boys at Mirabeau Park to hop on the Centennial bike trail for a ride up to the Barker Street bridge. We just loaded up that bike trailer with all the snacks and baby essentials, bundled up Wiggs, and cruised an easy 9 miles alongside the Spokane River. I had a blast following the boys on some off-roading mountain bike trails that paralleled the main paved trail. My nephews are so much fun. They are little outdoorsman through and through. We stopped every so often so the boys could re-fuel and throw rocks in the river. Somehow, anytime we do anything with the Lucas's we end up throwing rocks in water, boys will be boys!

Tate has been a little firecracker this week. She is beginning to take steps on her own, climbs on everything, mastered climbing up and down the stairs with ease, says lots of fun words, jumped on the trampoline for the first time, sits and babbles aloud with books pretending to read, eats all her fruits and veggies, has mastered the sippy cup, and loves exploring at the park. I went up to babysit my nephews in CDA this week and little 4 year old Gavin kept asking me, "why is she SO CUTE?". I tried to explain to him it is because her parents are so good looking, but the joking comprehension was above him. The truth is, we have no idea how we got so lucky with a happy, well behaved, people loving little girl! She is so full of life and love for the world around her. She turns one at the end of the month, I can't believe how fast the past year has flown by. It has by far been the best year of my life.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mineral Ridge, Lake Coeur D'Alene

The end of track season is in sight! The return of Erik to these hiking posts is coming. In the meantime. . . last week while Erik was in Portland for the Big Sky championships,  his sister Lynette came up for a friends wedding. We had the chance to show her around our adorable tiny town and check out our new house, then head up to ID for a quick hike. I was trying to decide where to take her so I asked her if she preferred to hike along rivers to water features or up to the tops of mountains with nice views.  Her answer was that she liked hikes in the shade! So we found just that in our hike up Mineral Ridge.

We let Tater run around in the grass for a while at the trailhead before we climbed up to the ridge. She was so muddy and dirty. Now that she is so mobile and we try to spend as much time outside as possible she is always so dirty. That is how kids should be at the end of everyday. Her pants all are extremely worn at the knees and some already have holes and his little bare feet are always brown. I love it! She lives to explore the world around her and especially loves being outside.


 The hike was gorgeous. The perfect quick workout right outside of town and right off of the freeway with easy access. The 3 mile loop takes you back into the woods before climbing along the entire ridge with views on both sides, then drops quickly down some steep switchbacks. Even though it was a toasty 80 degrees, the climb was shaded the entire way with a nice cool breeze coming off the lake. We both enjoyed the spiritual renewal that such beauty brings into our lives. Tate explored at the top and had a good time running around with Auntie Lynette.

After the hike we met up at Matt and Brenda's house for the best mango, avacado, grilled chicken salad I have ever had! It was such a treat to have family in town, Lynette is the first person to come visit since we moved to Washington, we love having visitors and we miss all of our friends and family, so anyone else looking for a good trip come on up!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Eagle Point and Nimbus Knob, Dishman Hills Night Hike

The Inland Northwest Hikers have really saved me this Spring. Erik has been traveling so much with the track team and I am still adjusting to "the stay at home" mom life. Both of these scenarios would not be that bad if we still lived in Utah but being in a new state and not knowing too many people makes it tough. Luckily my little hiking club provides opportunities for me to hike in new areas several times a week. I am learning all of the trails nearby and making tons of friends. I feel totally safe taking the baby with me out into these great areas with these wonderful people.

We did a great hike recently in the Dishman Hills. I have hiked this before, but this time we went in the evening as the sun was setting. It was a totally different experience with the gorgeous lighting and new wildflowers blooming everywhere. I love the views looking down over the city. I am so grateful to live on this beautiful Earth Heavenly Father created for us. We are so blessed to have healthy bodies to take us to the tops of mountains and though the beautiful forests.  I can't help but look down from lofty mountain grandeur and think, "How great thou art".