Saturday, August 26, 2017

Grandpa's Birthday

A few days after Grandpa Michael's birthday, we took a road trip to Grand Coulee to see him.  The drive from our house to Grandpa's is supposed to be a half day's drive, but we had terrible luck with traffic.  First, there was construction that had us crawling over the I-90 pass through the Cascades.  Then, when we were almost there, an accident closed the whole highway we were driving on.  Lots of cars in front of us turned around before state troopers directed us down a side road that wound past the wreck.  We made it, and only two hours later than we had expected.  The kids were delighted to make a pit stop in George, Washington.  
 My dad and Naomi met us at our campsite in the Spring Canyon Campground for dinner and cupcakes.  I won't tell you how old this guy is, but he is pretty old.
 We don't get to see Naomi very often, so it was a treat to get to see her on this trip.
The setting was beautiful.  
 So much is obvious about our kids' personalities in this picture.
 Sleeping in a tent was a bit of a challenge.  Sammy cannot settle down when there are other kids to play with, which meant that no one else could sleep, either.  The people in the campsites next to us were not very cooperative either, talking loudly late into the night.  We learned a lot about their work problems, and what it takes to be licensed to drive a big rig by the DOT, but we didn't sleep a lot.
 P.S. It was hot.
Sammy actually knows how to blow bubbles.  Sometimes he misses the mark, though.
 The tooth fairy came! I don't know how the tooth fairy managed it, in the jumble of kids and blankets, in the brief amount of time when we were all asleep (I think Sammy slept on my head for a lot of the night).
 Our first order of business, after breaking camp, was to go swimming.  
Lake Roosevelt was cold!  I think it would have felt warmer if we had waited for the sun to really warm up the day, but it was still pleasant for swimming.  Grandpa and Naomi came back to hang on the beach and swim a little with us.
 When we stopped swimming, we drove to Nespelem to to Colville Pow-wow grounds for a horse parade.  It was small, and there were hardly any spectators who weren't connected to the participants, but the ceremonial costumes were beautiful, and the event was fraught with tradition and history.  Some of the riders modernized the event by throwing candy to the kids, so they weren't bored.
 My dad introduced me to the mayor of Nespelem, who talked at length about the history of the event.  It used to be a great stampede of horses and riders down from a nearby hilltop, followed by a parade, which marked the beginning of the annual pow-wow.  It is a much smaller event now, but tribal elders are doing what they can to preserve the history of their people.
 After the horse parade, we stopped at Grandpa Michael's house to change our clothes, and then started the long trek home through Stevens Pass to avoid the construction on Snoqualmie Pass that had slowed us down so much on the way out.
It was a short trip, but a lot of fun.  Happy Birthday, Grandpa Nichael!

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