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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:

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.

Great Wolf Lodge

A couple weekends ago, Tyla, Elijah and I headed to Great Wolf Lodge for the second time. It was quite a bit different from our first trip because we were already familiar with the layout so there wasn’t a feeling of discovery and we were more careful/cheap with our time there. Instead of staying two nights, we stayed one night and made use of the water park on the day we arrived and the day we left. They’re quite generous with those policies so it worked out well. Another difference is that Don, Logan and Megan came along and I think they had a reasonably good time.

When we were at Disney, I had specifically picked a hotel with good water slides. He was afraid to try them until almost literally the last minute. He finally got the nerve to try one and LOVED it but we had to leave immediately to make some dinner reservations. That was our last chance at the pool. He was pretty sad but I think it taught him a good lesson. When we got to the pool this time he looked up and said, “Daddy, which slide is good for me?” Yes! I was very proud. We started on the yellow and red slides in the middle and he loved them. After doing those a few times, he was ready for even bigger challenges, He went down three of the bigger slides and loved them all too. The only one he didn’t do was the Howlin’ Tornado and he wasn’t tall enough for that. I was incredibly proud of him for his great attitude and willingness to try those slides!

It was neat seeing him so confident in the water too. He’s progressing quite well in his swim lessons. One I watched him get knocked off a play structure and land in the water. He immediately rolled onto his back and started floating and motoring to the side. I think he’s going to have a great time when we visit my parents this summer and spend hours in their pool.

So even though Great Wolf Lodge is a mess of screaming kids and thinly veiled attempts to vacuum money from your wallet, it was a good trip. Thanks for organizing it Tyla!