Friday, October 17, 2014

Round Valley Backpacking

Wow, 2 posts in 2 days.  Go me!!  Cody and I went on a backpacking trip around Round Valley Reservoir that I wanted to post about.  So, a little background first.  Next August I am planning a backpacking trip to Mt. Whitney with my Dad and my brothers (and Tyler too, but I consider him a brother).  My Dad always talked about wanting to go to Whitney some day when we were younger, so I figured, what better time than the present.  Anyway, so because I started to plan this backpacking trip, I have obviously been thinking a lot about backpacking, and decided to take Cody for his first backpacking trip.  We decided to go to Round Valley Reservoir.  For those of you unfamiliar with the reservoir, it is a large lake with back-country campsites on the far side of the lake.  You can either hike or canoe into the sites.  It is about 3 miles into the first backpacking sites, but there are a lot of sites, and probably another 3 or 4 miles to get to the end of the sites.  It was Cody's first time backpacking, and he was really excited to carry his own stuff and sleeping bag.

So here we are at the beginning of the trip just getting started.  You park right at the lake on one side, and then hike around it to the other side.  The first picture is right at the car, and the second picture is after we had been on the trail for a few minutes.  You'll notice Cody has his sleeping bag strapped on as well as a big giant metal cup, which you'll see again later in the photos.  The cup was from Wild Bill's Olde Fashioned Soda Company .  We get them every year when we go to festivals out here, such as the Italian American Festival, or the Bordentown street festival (they offer free refills, and one year we must have filled the cup up 20 times, but that is another story).  The cup ended up working out perfectly for boiling water and eating out of and stuff.

Here is our campsite we set up after making it in the 3 miles.  The hike was nice, and there weren't very many people on the trail.  We even saw a few deer while we were hiking in.  You can't see it from this picture but our campsite was right on the lake.  After we set up our campsite we had Mac and Cheese for dinner, from one of those dried backpacking foods.  It wasn't too bad, and Cody said he liked it.  It had rained the whole morning before we started backpacking, so all of the wood around was soaking wet.  We tried to start a fire a couple of times, but with the wet wood, we had a tough time keeping it lit.  Coincidentally, the Simmons family, who are friends of ours, had borrowed our canoe and canoed across the lake to camp at Round Valley that night also.  They were at one of the sights further around the lake from where we camped.  Cody decided he wanted to go over an visit them.  So we hiked another 3 miles or so to reach their campsite.  We didn't stay for long though, because by the time we got there it was pretty late, and already very dark.  We hiked back the 3 miles to our campsite.   It was a little creepy on the hike back to the tent, because we saw a lot of deer, but because it was pitch black, you could only see the two eyes shining.  It was tough to tell if it was the eyes of deer staring at you, or a bear sitting there looking at you.  We both fell asleep very quickly when we made it to our tent, as our legs hurt and we were tired.

It was very cold that night and the next morning.  We had a tough time wanting to get out of our sleeping bags.  Cody decided his sleeping bag wasn't as warm as mine, so he kicked me out of my sleeping bag so he could get in and stay warm.  That kind of forced me to get up.  Luckily, I was able to heat up some water and made us some hot tang, which was delicious.  Unfortunately for us though, that was the only part of breakfast that was delicious.  Cody had wanted to have pancakes, so I packed all the stuff for instant pancakes.  Unfortunately, I had left the butter in the freezer at home (which I had put there to keep cold as long as possible), so I had nothing to grease the pan with.  The pancakes kept getting stuck to the pan, and didn't work out at all.  Instead we had trail mix and granola bars for breakfast.  I told Cody if we had had Oatmeal like I wanted, we wouldn't have had that problem.  Oh well, lesson learned.

 Cody wanted to go back around the lake to visit the Simmons family that morning, but we decided we weren't up for hiking that far.  So instead we played around a little bit at the lake and then packed up and hiked out.

This is Cody when we had made it up the last hill right before coming to our Car.  You could actually see the car from where Cody was standing.  He was very excited to make it back, because he was very tired.  It turned out to be a really fun trip, which I can't wait to do again some day.  Next time we might go on the Appalachian trail.

Thursday, October 16, 2014


So, I haven't done a blog post in years.  But I decided rather than just post the pictures to Facebook, I wanted to write about what was going on in the pictures.  I don't know why, and I don't expect anyone other than family to read this.  So this post will mostly be about some of the cool stuff Becs and I saw and did in Colorado.

We started off the trip with a very early trip to the airport and a flight off to Colorado. (I know, you don't have to say anything, I know I look fantastic even at 3:30 am)  A big thanks to Joan, who was watching the kids.  We stayed in Denver, but did a lot of day trips all over the place.  I will talk a lot about Rocky Mountain National Park, because, well, it was AWESOME!  If it was Becs typing, she would probably talk about something totally different.  But, she's not typing, she's watching Grey's Anatomy, and there's only so many times I can watch some disaster hit Seattle Grace, wait I mean Grey Sloan Memorial, so I'm typing.

So, here we are about to start our first hike in Rocky Mountain National Park.  We were a little worried about the altitude, and how it would affect us.  We felt great though, and didn't have any problems.  The first hike we did was up to Alberta Falls and Mills lake.  It was about a 6 mile round trip hike, and went up to about 10,000 feet.
There were some beautiful fall colors along the hike.  Our pictures don't quite do the colors justice, but it was really nice.

Here I am at Alberta Falls.  It was about 1 mile up the trail.  Probably one of the prettiest and most popular waterfalls in Rocky Mountain National Park.

This is us at Mills lake, our destination.  It was really nice.  We had packed a lunch, and ate it there at the lake.  We also took some beef jerky, which was surprisingly good.  We saw fish in the lake, and there was a little waterfall coming down the mountain into the lake.  It was probably one of the nicest lakes I've ever hiked to.  I would've jumped in, but it was way too cold.

A couple days later we did some more hiking in another part of Rocky Mountain National Park.  We went to a small waterfall, which was cool.  But one of the cool things was we saw a family of moose.  There was a big male, a female, and a baby with them.  They were kind of far away and hidden by the brush, so we didn't get any good pictures.  I put a circle around the male moose in the picture above.  It had a huge rack (Becca laughed a lot when I said that, I'm not sure why.)  The other picture is of some elk we saw.
Last pictures of Colorado.  We did some canoeing in a lake called Grand Lake, right at the base of Rocky Mountain National Park.  It was fun.  We got to canoe around the lake and see some of the huge cabins that we would buy if we were rich.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Saturday, April 16, 2011

The Mother of All Catch-Ups

Okay, so I know it has been forever since we last posted. Please bare with me as we catch ourselves up. I'd like to promise that this won't happen again, but I'd probably be lying, so instead I promise to try really hard not to let so much time go by in between posts. For now enjoy all the pictures and try to endure to the end.

Cody's First Day of School in September.

Jade got a "big girl" bed.

Jade went to her first Princess Birthday Party in October.


Scott built this amazing dog house for Dash.

Jade turned 3 at the end of November!

Which means Jade started Pre-School!

Jade's Birthday Party.

Christmas in Utah.

Jade's new hair cut.

Cody lost his first tooth in February.

Cody turned 6 at the end of February!

Jade's first "food coma" after eating too much.

Cody started soccer the beginning of April.

I am quite proud of these cup cakes I made for Cody's class party.

Cody's Easter Hat Parade!

The Governor of New Jersey had an Easter Egg Hunt at his mansion in Princeton for all the special needs kids ages 3-6 that we went to today!
Easter Bunny!

Governor Chris Christie.

So that's us in a nut shell since last September. I hope to have pics of the kids' Easter outfits and some much needed family photos soon!

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Last Chance

Fall is in full swing here in Jersey and we love the clean, crisp air and bright colors of the leaves. The only down side is that the weather becomes too cold to do many of our favorite outdoor activities. But we were lucky enough to have a beautiful Saturday today and get one last family hike in. We went to Clayton Park in Monmouth County, which is a great place to "hike" with kids. Both of our kids did really well and Dash had a good time too.

Now bring on the snow so we can go skiing and snow boarding!

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Pay Back!

So for Cody's last birthday my sister volunteered to make his birthday cake. It was a soccer ball and I think she did a fantastic job. Plus I was extremely excited not to have to make it myself. Now today we are celebrating her daughter's birthday. Somehow I found myself volunteering to make her birthday cake. You know what they say about pay backs. Anyway, she is having a barbie party and so a barbie cake it was. The first attempt at just physically baking the cake was a miserable failure, but I got it right the second time.

Cody's Cake

Lucy's Cake

So who do you think had the harder cake to make?

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

First Day of School!!!

Today was Cody's first day of Kindergarten. I am proud to say that our family made it through it without shedding a single tear. He has been looking forward to this all summer and was super excited this morning.

Getting the supplies together
All set to go

He is a walker.

Checking out what everyone brought

In he goes!!