A beautiful day for a hike along the bay, and to learn about the big guns that defended it during WWII.


Smoke filled the bowl that the lake sits in, so it wasn’t beautiful like it should have been. We’ll have to visit again when the world isn’t on fire.


We learned a lot of Oregon history at the site of the first provisional government on the West Coast… before a flood washed away the town. There was a nice trail along the river where we hiked and ate wild blackberries.


My parents showed us their zoo, where we got to meet one of the elephants during feeding time. The zoo in Portland is the perfect size for a nice afternoon visit.


My mom wanted photos of the entire family, since it has been so long since we were all at the same place. Then we had a BBQ and celebrated Zander’s birthday.


We took a short walk along the Tualatin river in Cook Park, near my parents’ house. Then the boys talked Michaela into playing a little wiffleball.


We started off walking around the California State Capitol. Then ventured down to Old Town Sacramento, where the boys talked me into buying them way too much saltwater taffy.


The fire damage from the Creek Fire in 2020 made the mountains look like a moonscape. But the lakes persist and we enjoyed visiting them.

Huntington Lake, where I used to go to Scout camp, was still freezing, as I remembered. But Shaver Lake was pleasant so the boys and I decided to have a swim.


We took in two of the biggest trees in the world, the General Sherman and General Grant. Along the way, we met a beautiful young buck, just hanging out under a tree.


Kings Canyon was a beautiful area for a hike, although it was a bit hot this day.

While on the trail, I had sat on a rock waiting for the others to catch up. I was faced looking up the trail where they would come around a bend, so I didn’t notice the bear that was sneaking up behind me. When it was about 10 feet away, Aliciana came around the corner and screamed “Bear!” at me until I realized what was going on.

We slowly backed away, and the bear decided to carry on its way off trail. It wasn’t very big, probably just a few years old, and not aggressive in any way. I think it was just curious. Either way, it was a memory I won’t soon forget. I just wish I would have had the mindset to get a better photo when he was so close.