Not that long ago #fall #trees #arboretum #uofiarboretum #illiniarboretum #illinoisarboretum

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Santa checking his list #christmastree #christmas #christmaslights #christmasornaments

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Letter to a soldier #randomactsofkindness #24racks #bekind

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School Spirit #halftime #statefarmcenter #uofiwomensbasketball #uofiwbball #illinibasketball #illiniwomensbasketball #illiniwomenssports

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Half time at the U of I Women’s Basketball game #womensbasketball #uofiwbball #uofiwomensbasketball #statefarmcenter #halftime

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Here we are in the last weeks of fall #fall #autumn #walks #uofiarboretum

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Oregon 2016

Rest stop

Rest stop

I just realized I never published this post.  I’m going to, even after the fact.  More a record for us than a post for the masses, but fun stuff either way.

Facts From Trip 2016

Movies watched in trailer: Suspect, Clear and Present Danger, Reservoir Dogs, Paycheck, Fifth Element, Red Planet

Woodchucks in Miller Riverview campground, Iowa

Severe weather first night with lightning, thunder, heavy rain that took a big tree down in our campground.

Pelicans, woodpeckers, chipmunk, golden eagle in MT, buffalo, cows, horses, bunnies, cranes in ND lakes, rubber boa that Riley stepped on at fisherman’s bend, Osprey carrying fish at Minto-brown park

Thunderstorms in ND

Stressful events:  thunderstorm in Iowa, Weston nearly fainting from heat, realize running with propane on could cause fire when entering gas station: no longer running on propane, tam burns fingers on bbq lid in ND, tam drives trailer over curb in ND, biting flies in Makoshika State  Park MT, Karen dropping 10 pound weight on foot and Tam trying to get ice pack from Walmart ending up buying another whole first aid kit, Tam hurt back helping disabled man getting bike out of his van and got terrible sciatica, Karen tripped over some lids and fell down in Mom’s dining room, bees and dust at Allen Springs though it was nothing eating inside the trailer couldn’t solve, Weston getting a hold of the stick at Fishermen’s bend we thought might have hooks and such on it though we finally got it away from him, using the bite gloves and pulling up on his head so he had to drop it to find the stick had a huge piece of sausage on it.

Playlist with 1194 songs means never having to hear the same song twice on the 8 day trek out, or for most of the entire trip.

Saw worlds largest Sandhill crane in Steele, ND

Saw Salem Sue, worlds largest Holstein, in New Salem, ND

Saw Golden Eagle fly right over our heads in Beavertail Hill State Park, Montana

4 Barn Owls at Mom’s place

Killdeer bird nest on ground at Mom’s

Visits with: Kyra, Syd, Susie, Joan,  Coni, Kris, Stan and Connie, Stacia, Liz, Josh, Linda, Parker siblings, Kate & Terri, Vicki & Kathleen, Sandy, Heather, Kristen & Nechelle, Maggie, Steph & Phil, and of course Mom and Kev.

Rode MAX into Portland and went to Little Big Burger and Ruby Jewel and Saturday Market.

Went down the rapids at Fishermens Bend a couple of times and rafted with Karen, Kev tipped over, but made it down safely.

Explored some great hiking trails at Fishermen’s Bend with Mom and the dogs.  What a great walking/hiking park that is.

Spent time building a rock wall in the Santiam River at Fishermen’s Bend with Phil and Steph, their kids, Mom and Karen.  Just because.  We were working on putting together a new swimming area.  Fun was had by all even though we weren’t able to completely finish it.  Maybe someone else will and by the time we go back next summer it will be a great spot to spend the day floating around and swimming.

Used our new hammock and loved it.

Floyd and Opal, camp hosts at Fishermen’s Bend, were awesome.

Went to  see an outdoor documentary movie about Lewis and Clark at the Fishermen’s Bend Campground one night with the gang.  It was totally enjoyable.  Even when we were totally freaked out as some animal loudly knocked into a metal garbage can very near to us.

Tubed, rafted, with the POD at the Metolius.  So so cold.  Everyone frozen (except Karen and I who were in a raft) by the end.  The Metolius, though fun, is our rafting/floating nemesis.

Camped with the POD at Allen Springs.  No better group of people out there to spend time with.  We love those ladies.

Fly fished on the Metolius for the first time in years.  A total joy, even though I didn’t catch anything, other than maybe the bug to fly fish more often.

Put up directional signs made on paper plates, which none of them saw, along the road to Allen Springs Campground for the POD because we had no phone service at the campground.

The many laughs and hugs and smiles we got as we spent time with so many people we love.

A very fast 6 day trip back to Illinois, driving faster, all the way up to 65, than we ever had pulling the trailer so we could make it back for the Sweet Corn Festival with the kids.

We’re already starting to do tentative planning for next year’s adventure.  Life is very very good.