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Camp Ticawa 2019

If you search this blog for posts about “Camp Ticawa”, you’ll find a lot of entries. When I lived on the east coast, I frequently had the pleasure of hanging out with the Abendroth family at their place on Long Lake near Harrison, Maine.

Since moving to Washington, the trips have become a lot less frequenty. Tyla and I made it out there in 2011 and this year, we decided it was time to go back. Luckily the Abendroth clan was cool with us inviting ourselves out to invade their family vacation!

Getting to rural Maine from Woodinville with a 6 year old in tow isn’t easy. There weren’t any great options, but I think we ended up with a good one. Don was kind enough to get us to the airport by about 4:30am for a very early flight out of Seattle all the way to Boston. There we rented a car and made the ~3.5 hour drive up to camp. After factoring in the time change, we arrived around sunset.

We were blessed with beautiful weather all three days that we were there and we spent it floating down the Saco River, tooling around the lake on the pontoon boat, and relaxing around camp. It was great to catch up with old friends and meet a couple new faces as well. I can’t say enough thank you’s to the entire Abendroth family for letting us crash their family time! You all made us feel so welcome and we will cherish those memories forever!

Apparently, Jay had been passing around the old videos I made of camp and I was immediately asked by a number of the kids to make another one. So here we go! It’s the 2019 Camp Ticawa montage video:

Heybrook Lookout

Tyla and I hiked up to the Heybrook Lookout fire tower back in 2009. This past Saturday, I got to do it again but this time it was with Elijah.

Earlier in the week I had given him a choice of a waterfall or a fire tower. The fire tower was a two mile round trip with almost 1000 feet of elevation gain so I knew it would be a stretch but he could do it with a good attitude. So all week I pumped him up by talking about going on an adventure to a secret tower in the woods. I later realized that he wasn’t very excited so I asked him why… turns out the idea of a secret tower in the woods sounds a little scary to a 6 year old.

With that mistake rectified, and after waiting for some morning rain to clear out, we hit the trailhead around noon. He was getting pretty tired by the time we neared the top but his pace was good. We passed a few groups and never got passed ourselves. He made it up in 55 minutes. We climbed to the observation deck of the tower but it was pretty chilly in the wind with our sweaty shirts so we snapped a few photos and went back down to eat lunch on the picnic tables.

The trip down took about 40 minutes which felt slow. Going up was easier for him because there were some pretty big wet rocks to climb back down and that’s tricky when you’re only 3.5 feet tall. We stopped at DQ in Monroe on the way back to celebrate our adventure. The trip was a total success!

Lake Wenatchee State Park

Back in 2011, Tyla and I went to a sled dog race near Lake Wenatchee with Tim and Chelsea. That’s the only time I’ve been near Lake Wenatchee State Park, but a couple weekends ago, we went back with Elijah and Tyla’s family to camp at the state park.

As the name implies, Lake Wenatchee State Park sits right on the lake. We booked pretty late (only seven months in advance!) so we got the runt of the litter for campsites but they ended up being pretty nice. We were warned in advance about bugs by numerous internet reviews but thankfully we hardly saw any.

This was our first camping trip trying to sleep on cots instead of air mattresses. Tim and Chelsea loaned us two normal sized cots and I bought an ogre sized cot for myself. I think we might add a thin pad or air mattress on top of them in the future but they worked great! They take up the same space as our air mattresses did but it opens up all the space below the cots for our bags so it is a lot easier to navigate the tent.

You Shook Me All Night Long

Last night just before 3am all three of us woke up to the house shaking. It was bad enough that it even woke up Elijah (“Mommy! Daddy! What’s happening?!”), but it wasn’t bad enough to shake anything off the walls or make it difficult to move. Tyla got Elijah back to sleep pretty quickly and after walking around the house to look for any damage, I hopped online to see how bad it was. As I sat down there was a smaller aftershock.

Within a few minutes, the quake information was available on the USGS website and I had a notification in my inbox. If you’re not familiar with that site and you live in an earthquake zone, I recommend you spend some time there. Here’s the page for the main quake last night which was a 4.6 and both it and the 3.5 aftershock were between Lake Stevens and Monroe (less than a 30 minute drive from my house). They were 25-30km deep and lasted 10-15 seconds.

Not only does that site get very quick assessment of the intensity of the quake but you can also fill out a quick survey to help them assess the potential damage. Strangely it looks like their notification service page is broken right now, but when it’s working, you can set your own alert levels. So for example, I get an email alert whenever anything bigger than 2 hits the Pacific Northwest and anything bigger than 5 hits the west coast. Check back on the site later and look for the Earthquake Notification Service.

So that site gave me some instant calm as I realized it was a pretty mild earthquake and then Twitter helped some as I didn’t see any reports of damage or injuries. After about 45 minutes, the TV stations finally started picking it up. Kiro 7 had a story about how the newscaster’s teenage son was up watching TV and he said their cat sensed it before it happened…

We haven’t found any damage around here and none of us are hurt. So after the gallons of adrenaline that instantly flooded our system finally wore off, we were able to go back to sleep.