well we're sitting in bend, oregon after a bit of traveling over the past 10 days and we're finally updating again. (with lattes! yay milk!!) i guess we'll start at yellowstone.
first of all, if you go to yellowstone, spend one night (at least) in grand teton national park. truly beautiful and breathtaking. we had a great little site, right next to a lake, where we watched the sunset over the mountains. pretty unreal! as for yellowstone, we found a bangin campsite for cheap in a beautiful (and less crowded) park of the park. the first couple days we did all the touristy stuff...old faithful, mammoth hot springs, mudpots and paintpots. we managed to drive a lot of the park in the first couple days, which was also cool. after we got it all out of the way, we got in a couple REALLY cool day hikes, one to a meadow and one to a beautiful lake. throughout the week we got to see elk, a few baby deer, mule deer, a fox, a bald eagle, and a grizzly bear! it was all very exciting. we met some cool people the last night and overall had a really good time.
after yellowstone we drove to boise, id where we found ourselves a microbrewery, a campground, and (finally) a shower! the next day was spent straddling the oregon/washington border (and the columbia river...gorgeous!) stopping only shortly to eat the best peach that we, personally, have ever had. after driving through a cool, dense national forest, we camped just a few hours south of seattle.
seattle turned out to be a fantastic last-minute decision. we called taylor and jeff who let us stay with them (and redder, lauren, barkley, and missoula!!) for a couple nights. it was a packed house and a lot of fun. it was great to see fredericksburgians after a long drive and they all played great hosts. we were also totally taken care of by my (Em B) two cousins, caryn and sandro, who live in seattle. they took us out to dinner and lunch and we got to spend the better part of the second day visiting with them. sandro took us to pike's place (yes, the market where they throw the fish and shout and it IS just as cool as it sounds) and up to the top of the space needle for a 360 degree view of seattle and mt. rainier. that night, i got to have a drink with caryn; it was a great opportunity to hang out with family who i dont see very often. taylor and the gang also took very good care of us AND introduced me to my new favorite game, bananagrams (thanks lauren!). check it out... anyway, emily s fell in love with seattle even MORE than i did, so i left her there! just kidding, but seattle, don't be surprised if you see emily sooner or later...
by the time we were done with seattle, we were ready for the ocean so we headed to the oregon coast! we managed to find a great camp site all but on the beach (our tent bed was on sand). even though it stayed cloudy and cool, we really enjoyed dipping our toes in the pacific ocean. very sweet to have the pacific stretching on the west and big sleepy hills and mountains to the east.
the next morning i left emily to relax at the site/beach while i headed 45 miles north to visit my good friend from new hampshire elliott! we met in cannon beach where his friend was at a family reunion at granny's house right on the beach. what a beautiful house and family! i spent the day with the friend's friend's fam while em got a day to herself at the beach. also, elliott fixed our speakers which had TOTALLY stopped working right before seattle. very exciting news for us music lovers...
yesterday we woke up early and headed to mt. hood national forest where we navigated to bagby hot springs. now i havent been to a lot of hot springs, but this one was particularly cool. we set up camp at the trailhead and hiked 1 1/2 miles straight into the forest. we came to a platformm made entirely of wood with 5 individual stalls and a lower deck. each stall contained it's own tub made out of a carved tree and a "spout" (a hole with big stick for a plug) to allow the hot spring water into the tub. the whole area was surrounded by 100+ foot firs and was absolutely beautiful. it felt so good to just sit and soak in the tub...very relaxing for our tired bodies! we did it once yesterday afternoon and then got up again at 7am to do it all again this morning. after a soak (and a 3 mile hike), we loaded up again and ended up in bend! we're heading to crater lake tonight and should hit the california redwoods by monday or tuesday.
so far, this has been an incredible experience (who would figure, right?). we've had a lot of fun and have run emily's car to almost 5000 miles by now! thanks again to everyone who has helped us out along the way, we couldn't have come this far without you! looking forward to the next 2 1/2 weeks on the road (since we're not due at the farm until sept 8). happy 3 weeks to us on the road today! and happy anniversary to miss rosie! i'm so happy for you and i wish you another million years of great health and happiness!