17 February 2017
The yard is finally (mostly) done! We have grass & we have a trampoline, so the kids are able to get outside. We got impatient waiting for the landscapers to install the trampoline springs & jump pad, so Courtland & Isaac helped us put it together the other day. And the boys love it! Now we're just down to a handful of last little items for the landscapers to finish, and they scheduled the replacement of the damaged garage door panels for March 1st, so once they get the garage door fixed and painted, they could finally be done. The funny thing is, March 1st will be exactly one year from the day they started work on our yard. So glad to finally be at this point where we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
12 February 2017
11 February 2017
Today Courtland was baptized. And lots of his family got to be involved. His Great Grandma Faun said the opening prayer, Grandpa Dick gave a talk about baptism, he & his brothers & Dad all sang a song together, his Grandma Debbie played the piano, his Nana gave a talk on the Holy Ghost, his dad baptized him, his dad, Grandpa Dick, Papa, and Great Uncle John helped confirm him, and I said the closing prayer. And our friends, the Beeghley's, came to the baptism too. It was nice to have family & good friends with us to support our sweet little Courtland boy on his special day.
31 January 2017
29 January 2017
Yesterday Kolby & Elijah had a deacons basketball game at the church at 10am, and after the game we had one of those rare Saturdays without anything else on the schedule for the day. Since last summer, I have been eyeing these really fun-looking hikes out in the dessert, and waiting for some free time when the weather wasn't too hot and it wasn't supposed to rain to explore some new slot canyons that we haven't been to before. But the hike that I really want to try out is a few hours drive from here and the hike itself is a few hours long, so it's the kind of thing where we would need to get up in the morning and go spend the whole day.
Since we didn't have an entire day free yesterday, we decided to make the most of all this rain we've had over the last few weeks and find a waterfall. I found one up north of Temecula, 1 hr and 20 min from us, called Tenaja Falls. The photos online of this waterfall didn't look especially impressive -- I mean, most any water feature on a hike in the San Diego area is great since we have so few waterfalls here, but even though Tenaja Falls is 150 long, it's more like 150 feet of cascading falls in different tiers, rather than one massive falls rushing over the edge of a cliff. But there were some pictures of the pools at the falls, which looked really pretty. And when I watched someone's video of their drive to the falls down a very narrow, pothole-ridden road with barely enough room for two cars to pass each other, I decided this looked like the adventure for us. :)
So after the basketball game we threw the kids and the dogs in the car and headed out.
It was a pretty drive, and the narrow road at the end as we approached the falls trailhead just added to the effect of the rugged adventure. The one downside was the fact that we were definitely not the only ones who had the idea of hiking to a waterfall after the heavy rains, so we had plenty of opportunities to scoot all the way to the edge of the narrow road to allow cars to pass, and we were lucky that someone was leaving when we arrived so we were able to find a parking spot in the small overcrowded parking area off the side of the road. [The parking area/trailhead was at 33.549121, -117.394503].
As soon as we parked the car, Camden discovered that he had gotten into the car in his socks and accidentally left his shoes at home, so he did the hike in his socks.
It was an easy hike up to the falls -- there was a stream crossing at the beginning of the trail (you could find rocks to cross on to stay dry if you were careful). But the water was a few feet deep, probably 6 or 8 feet across, and flowing quickly. We met another hiker who told us he had been there before when they just walked across a dry stream bed.
We hiked up the trail, which was uneventful, other than Camden taking a little longer than normal as he hiked in his socks, and lots of hikers stopping to pet the dogs as we went along.
At our first glance of the falls from the trail, I could tell that it was a more impressive falls than it had appeared from the photos I'd seen online.
When we got to the top of the falls, we climbed down to the first pool, (which wasn't hard for us, and just took a little extra assistance to get the dogs down too).
We decided to hike around the far side of the falls down to the second main pool, which looked pretty steep from across the falls, but really wasn't tough to get down to, even for the dogs.
It'd be such an ideal destination on a hot summer day, except that the water flow would surely be much lower, if not nonexistent. And there were already too many people there for my taste (including one guy climbing around the rocks at the top of the falls playing very loud music that couldn't be ignored, and another group of adults up there who were smoking something that smelled awful). So it was nice, because the further we climbed down the falls, the fewer people there were.
The rest of the way back we just followed the water, walking along the bank and crisscrossing back and forth across the rocks. And I eventually gave Camden my shoes and walked back the rest of the way in my socks (he wasn't complaining, just slowing down more and more without shoes on). From down there, we were able to avoid the crowds, and get off the beaten trail. It was a great end to a fun day.