Gold Fever

So, over the years my dad has had different interests but they always seem to have one common thread ~ being out in nature. He loves biking, hiking, outdoor photography and in the past year he has taken up a fascination with gold panning. I believe all those shows on TV have spiked his interest, especially the show called “Gold Fever”. Have you seen it?

Catch Gold Fever

After years of watching shows about rock and mineral hunting, he finally got his feet wet! Literally!

It was August of last summer and after obtaining all his beginning gold panning equipment, having all the legal documents necessary and finding a place he could actually pan that didn’t have a claim, off we all went with him on his first gold panning expedition. He happened to pick a place that he has spent camping and hiking at since he was a teenager and invited my mom, our dogs and me to come along to make it a family day. Our destination was the Buck Creek Recreation area on the White River; it is on the road to Mt. Rainier and Crystal Mountain Ski area.

So the three of us, my dad, mom and I and two of our dogs, Sophie and my Sadie, trekked down the bank to the fast running, beautiful, but cold White River.

As you can see in the photo, the river water is actually white.

My dad first had to dig up some material of rocks and dirt to start his panning.

Then it was off to the sluice box and his pan to discover our fortunes!

OK, so we didn’t get our fortune on his first try. He said it was his first try and really just wanted to try out his new equipment and see if he could figure out how it all works. But it was still a fun day out in the great out of doors and the Pacific Northwest. The dogs had a great time, even though my mom freaked out a couple times she thought the river would sweep them away.

It seemed to be a little back breaking for my dad ~ haha ~

But the rest of us had a fun and relaxing time, enjoying the scenery. We found some bear tracks and were on the lookout for a while, until we realized it may have just been our dogs tracks. Still not sure what to think of these though! hmmmm

So, after a couple hours, we headed back to the car and thus ended my dad’s very first gold panning expedition. He has been on another since, with some people from the group he joined, and he actually came home with some gold sparkles! May they be the first of billions of those little sparkles, and maybe a big old chunk of gold.

Fun October Treats

My mom came home from Bunco last night, all excited to show me this cute, fun and easy Halloween dessert that I could share with all of you. She found someone who had a camera to take a picture and email it to her this morning. I too, think this is the cutest idea, and very simple too! Kids, along with the adults, will delight in this treat.
Thank you Renee Brock for having such a great imagination and bringing smiles to all the Bunco girls, and thank you to Debbie Komperda for sending us the images.

According to Ranee, all she did was drizzle melted chocolate on the waffle type of cone and added some sprinkles. Then she scooped either pumpkin flavored or Butterfinger Ice Cream into the cone. Then, place ice cream side down on the dish and add the broom. The broom? A piece of licorce sliced on the end to resemble the end of a broom! She recommended using a sharp knife for making the cuts, as appossed to scissors, as the scissors got too sticky.

So fun!

Take a Trip to Leavenworth, WA

Looking for a day or overnight getaway in the Pacific Northwest area? Try Leavenworth, Washington. It is just on the east slope of the Cascade Range. From the Seattle area, take I-90 east and then east over Blewitt Pass, or venture on the slower paced Highway 2 over Steven’s Pass.  From eastern Washington, it’s a short drive west out from Wenatchee. Fall is a fantastic time to travel as the leaves begin to turn the beautiful fall colors over the Cascade Range.

Leavenworth is like stepping into a Bavarian Town in the Alps. You can listen to live Bavarian music played by a live band while strolling the streets and enjoying the scenery of the mountains, and the flowers in all the hanging baskets, all the while stepping in and out of a myriad of Scandinavian shops. This is where you are easily tempted to be sure to fill yourself full of bratwurst, sauerkraut and a locally brewed beer. There seems to be such a cheerfulness on the streets as you watch the children enjoying peering at the items in the store windows and pressing their noses against the bakery windows. The smell of waffle cones seems to be everywhere.

The hotels are charming and there are many to choose from. In December, the Christmas Lighting Ceremony is a big draw, so if you plan to go then, you will want to book your room as soon as possible.

For winter, if you are a skier, Mission Ridge and Steven’s Pass are both nearby. The rest of the year, hiking, rafting, fishing, biking….. the activities in the area are endless.

Check out the official Leavenworth web page

Silver Plume, Colorado

Do you live near Denver and looking for a fun area to check out, or will you be traveling the area before winter sets in? Travel west on Interstate 70 from Denver heading toward Loveland Pass and the Eisenhower Tunnel and check out the old mining towns on your way. A fun quirky favorite is the quaint and very old mining town of Silver Plume. Silver Plume is just a 1/2minute off the Interstate, but it’s like stepping back in time.

Once there, park your car and walk up and down the street.

At one end is an old building that houses a bakery where you can purchase fresh baked bread. The owner said he bakes 550 loaves a day, right in the tiny kitchen behind the counter! That is one hard working baker. The place is called the Sopp & Truscott Bakery. One need only to walk in and take a look, and it is hard to not want to purchase a loaf of a large variety of fresh breads.

In the ‘center’ of town, is a place called The KP.

Walk into the KP and sit and relax. The owner is there to make you something to eat, or just stroll around and enjoy the huge antique shop, full of fun and unusual items. Sit at the counter and spend some time playing with the difficult game puzzle’s the owner has that will either entertain you for hours or cause you to laugh at yourself, because you can’t figure them out. The owner will show you the answer if you beg and plead long enough, but its obvious the joy she gets out of watching the people squirm and get frustrated trying so hard to solve them. She also sells homemade lotions and lip balms to soothe your dry skin, needed in the dry Colorado mountain air.

Another charming building to stop into is called the Silver Plume Tea Room, located only a few steps away from the KP. The Tea Room is in a building built in 1889 used originally as a mercantile, and then a saloon. The Tea Room is also filled with antiques but of a different flavor than the KP, with items such as antique china, jewelry, ladies hats and some other gift items. If you dare, you can walk down into the basement, but only at your own risk. The basement is filled with more antiques and the floor is the buildings original old wood beam floor (it creeks) and has a very low ceiling. It’s interesting and exciting at the same time, like stepping back in time, and one might wonder if there could be ghosts! Step back upstairs and sip some tea at tables dressed with old china and flatware and relax a spell.

It’s these unusual places that makes memories!

The Titanic’s Hidden Mysteries

On April 15, 1912 a famously historic tragedy occured. The Titanic sank, and 1,500 people went down with the ship.

Recently, my brother’s girlfriend received an amazing opportunity working with the Titanic. It’s truly something that most of us will never be able to experience! She will be working on the ship for the next six weeks as they (the scientific discovery team she is a part of) try to find out why the ship sank.

The ship is disintegrating, and in the next 20-25 years the decks on the Titanic will be almost gone. Needless to say, the race is on to gather as much data as humanly possible. They will be sending there AUV (autonomous underwater vehicle) down to the ship to take pictures and videos, they will also be sending a ROV (remotely operated vehicle) down that will take 3D videos.

It’s a very exciting time for my brother’s girlfriend, and we all wish her the best of luck!

Here is a quick video to get an idea of the latest news regarding The Titanic:

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Sweet Tooth!

I love anything sweet. You’ll have to excuse my terse intro, but seriously, who doesn’t like sugary treats? Unfortunately, eating sweets can make you gain unwanted weight, increase blood pressure, and all kinds of other bad things to your body. Luckily, I’ve found a few food products that I love, that also happen to be low in calories. From that perspective, they are kind of healthy for you… in a way.

Skinny Cow is one of my favorite Ice Cream brands. I love their ice cream sandwiches; the vanilla flavor is my favorite and is only 140 calories. Being the savvy business they are, they continually introduce new and tasty flavors. Another item of theirs that I’ve been enjoying is the Caramel Truffle Bar. At only 100 calories, it’s worth every bite and I try to make it last as long as I can so I can enjoy it in the way it was meant to be enjoyed.

When I have a craving for something with a fruity flavor, I tend to choose the Creamy Coconut Dreyer’s Fruit Bars. They taste like you are eating a real coconut! This healthy and refreshing treat is made with real fruit, and they are perfect on a hot day. One bar is only 120 calories, if you can believe that!

I also love, love, love frozen yogurt. Frozen yogurt places are hard to find where I live unless you go into a mall where they have a stand or some little kiosk. One of the best places to get frozen yogurt is a place called Pink Berry, but to my dismay, I’ve yet to find one in WA. 🙁

Now, onto the really bad stuff. I am a big fan of Starburst Fruit Chews candy. If I could, I would eat them all day long… Anyone who has been in my car knows how much I like them, considering my center console is full of Starburst candies waiting to be eaten. Right now my favorite kind is the new summer fun fruits pack.

If you haven’t tried any one of these treats,  I think you should because they are amazing. Although I am constantly working out in the gym, I wont ever cut out these products out of my diet. I love them all too much to do so… 🙂

Fun in the Sun

Weekend At NHRA

For my boyfriend, Matt’s, birthday this year he wanted to go to the NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways. It was a hot and sunny all day and all you could really smell was the gas burning from all the cars. It wasn’t what I expected it to be, though! I thought it was going to be something boring, but after we got there it was a lot of fun. I was glad I wasn’t the only girl to go with our group. Nate Whitehill’s sister, Amira, came with us and she had a great time watching the drag races too. We al had so much fun watching the cars, and the “people watching” was hilarious. The cars were super loud, and they would be going 300 mph in less then 5 seconds. It felt like a rush of adrenaline when the cars would rush by… you could feel it throughout your whole body!

Sunday afternoon ended up to be a very sad and tragic day. A Top Alcohol driver named Mark Niver died at the race. When he went to pull his shoot it flew off of his car so he couldn’t stop. He was slowing down on his own but when he got the end of the track where there is a safety net he ran into it and his car folded over. He died at the scene, unfortunately. Law enforcement shut down the race before it was even over. He would had made it to the next round if that hadn’t had happened. Mark was a great racer and built is own cars and engines. My sympathy goes out to his family and friends.

On a lighter note, we got to walk around and look at the cars while they were being worked on. I found this to be very interesting and fun to see how they would take apart the engine and put it back together. We stood behind one car as they started up the engine, it was so loud and the gas burning made my eyes burn so bad I couldn’t even see because we were right in front. What a great day!

Sadie’s Eventful Week

Today, after work, I went to the chiropractor. Since it was 90 degrees outside, I couldn’t leave Sadie in the car. So she came with me into the office. I put her into her little bag, and carried her into the reception area. At first, she sat in there and just growled at everyone that walked by. After we got into the room she settled down a little.  She didn’t have “work” done on her this time but I think when we go back on Monday she will.  It’s always worth trying once.

This week was a very eventful week for Sadie. We went on a walk through the woods on Monday evening and she had her first snake encounter. She likes to stop and smell every thing, and this time when she stopped there was a garter snake. She smelled around and stuck her nose right into the center of the snake. The snake lifted up and Sadie jumped back standing just on her back legs and ran away. When we got home later that evening all she wanted to do was cuddle with her bunny and go to sleep.

July 4th was a day she would like to forget.  She spent half of the day hiding in a shelf  or in the corner in the room. She wasn’t a huge fan of the fireworks, maybe because the boys were making large explosives that were super loud. 🙂