This weekend Eli and I spent went on his first backpacking adventure at Ethan Pond. Full trip report at our lodge blog.
Last winter we ran out of wood.
This was the first winter with the Lodge house, so we weren’t sure how much wood to store up. We head a little less than a cord, which I thought would be plenty.
Around March we totally ran out and had to make some emergency calls around to get some wood delivered. The problem is that we have a small wood stove and need the wood cut at 14″, which apparently is not a normal length.
So this year, I set a goal of building up my wood pile large enough to last throughout the entire season. I’ve been cutting trees down, cutting them to length, splitting, and stacking. We are usually pretty busy, so I’ve been trying to sneak this project in an hour here or there once or twice a week.
It’s now late September and I’ve built up a pretty decent pile. Unfortunately I don’t think I’m there yet. Also, the wood needs to season. By ‘season’ I figure it needs to sit out for a single season, but I’m still not sure.
Overall, I’ve found it incredible satisfying to see the lifecycle of chopping down the tree, stacking it, and now starting to burn it. It’s hard work, but very enjoyable.
I posted an article over on the lodge blog about a 9.8 mile day hike I did with Aaron this weekend. Also, I’m going to try to update the 4000 footer list in the project section.
We just got back from spending 10 days in Oregon and California. Overall it was a great trip. We got to spend a lot of time together before the kids start school for the year. Below are some pics from the trip.
Part 0 – Arrival
The first day of the trip, Friday, was spent traveling from Boston to our Airbnb in Central Point, Oregon. On the descent into Portland, we got to see Mt. St. Helens, Mr. Rainier, Mt. Adams, and Mt. Hood. Eli was so excited to see these huge peaks.
After the cross country flight, we stopped at a brewery in Portland, before the long drive (5 hours) across the state. Oregon is filled with tons of breweries, and they all seem to cater to families. After filling up, we drove down to Central Point, where we stayed for 3 nights.
Part 1 – Crater Lake, OR
The kids loved the Airbnb. It had a nice in ground pool, game room with darts and ping pong, and a movie room with a big screen tv. Tommy got his own bedroom, and the other two boys slept in another room. The house was in a suburb of Medford, which is not too far from Ashland. We were about a 2 hour drive from Crater Lake. Unfortunately I (Michele won’t let me forget it) waited too long to book the lodge at the lake, and there are no other options within an hour of the park. I thought it would be good to be in civilization and have to put in the extra drive.
On Saturday, we did a short hike to see some waterfalls and the Rogue River up close. The trail was called the Mill Creek Falls trail in Prospect, OR. We were struck by the huge Cedar trees everywhere. After the hike we went back to the house and hung out in the pool for the afternoon. We had dinner at a Mexican restaurant right down the road.
On Sunday, we spent the day at Crater Lake, OR. We got there early because we wanted to reserve a spot on the boat that takes you to Wizard Island. We took a steep 1.1 mile hike down to the base of the lake. Tommy was freaked out by some overly friendly chipmunks who were crawling all over us. We took the boat ride out to the island. Then we hiked up to the top of Wizard Island, which is a volcano instead of another volcano. The trail, 2.1 miles each way, was filled with switchbacks. There were more friendly chipmunks at the top, which I’m guessing somehow hitched a ride on the boat at some point. After hiking down we took the boat back and then made the steep trek back to the top. After hiking we completed the drive around the rim and headed back to the house.
On Monday, Michele took Eli and Aaron up to hike Mt. Scott, which is 8934′. We figured this was a little too tough for Tommy (who’s 5), so I stayed back with him. Tommy and went to the local arcade and did Go Kart’s, bumper boats, and played games.
After they got back from the hike, we hung out in the pool and went to a local pizza place.
Part 2 – Redwoods, CA
On Tuesday, we headed to Crescent City, CA, which is right next to the Redwood national forest. Along the way, we stopped at the Oregon Caves national monument. This place had a 1.5 hr guided tour through some natural caves. I totally wussed out at the entrance (I don’t like closed spaces) and waited while everyone else went on the tour.
On Wednesday, we played by the ocean in the morning and then headed to the Redwoods to hike the Boy Scout Tree Trail. This trail was 5.3 miles round trip, and was supposed to offer the most stunning views of the redwoods. Boy this trail did not disappoint. The trees were just massive. It’s really hard to describe their size and pictures do it no justice. After the hike we went out to the SeaQuake brewery, which everyone liked.
Part 3 – Newport, OR
On Thursday, we drove on the coast to Newport. Unfortunately it was pretty cloudy, so we didn’t get to see many sites. We did make a couple stops though and the kids got to play in the ocean.
On Friday AM, we went to the Newport Acquarium. In the afternoon we hung out at the pool and beach. At night we went to the Wedding rehearsal dinner and got to see some family.
On Saturday, we did more beach and pool in the morning. In the afternoon we went to Michele’s cousins wedding, which was right on the coast. The wedding was a great way to wrap up this trip.
On Sunday, we headed back to Portland and caught a flight back to Boston.