Wednesday, August 27, 2008

AUS day 6: Beach Day

Day 6 was to be our 2nd beach day of the trip. The day started sunny and beautiful and we started by splitting up our group; Julie, David and I taking the nephews to a park while the rest of the troop ran some errands in town. The park group had fun playing baseball, kicking field-goals and going for walks, all while anticipating an afternoon in the water. Click here to go directly to the pictures of this day.

Lunch came and went and we made it to the beach. Not exactly a hot day, we nevertheless spent a bulk of our time in the water. Highlights were:
- burying Andrew in the sand
- burying all three boys in the sand
- throwing the football around
- body surfing
- baby Gecko
- the signs at the beach warning of all kinds of terrible things that could happen to you (it was, thankfully, the "off-season" for the jellies).

After the beach I believe we ended up downtown for dinner again.

Another special memory for Julie was her walk with Kyle that morning. While David, Me, Nathan and Andrew were playing ball, Julie and Kyle took off for a nice long walk together (no pictures).

Again, to see all the pictures, click here.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Remembering Mom

Yesterday marked the one year anniversary of my Mom's passing. It was a bit of an emotional day. To mark it, I had a chance to spend the afternoon/evening up in the mountains, a place my Mom loved to be. It felt good for me to make a little memorial for her. The two pictures are the same memorial; one with Mt. Shuksan in the background, the other with Mt. Baker in the background. The following is in memory of her. Click on each photo to see it full size. Click here to see more pictures from table mountain.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

AUS day 5: Port Douglas, Mossman Gorge

Day 5 involved a lot of driving. The day started with some noisy Cockatoo's and ended with a rushed/late dinner at Hungry Jack's (Burger King). Click here to see all the pictures I uploaded, and/or read on to hear more about the day.

The morning was beautiful and I started by heading down to the dock. After getting back, a big flock of cockatoo's decided to hang out right above our place. They were fun to watch and I ended up shooting a bunch of pictures of them.

Following our morning we jumped in the car and headed out to Port Douglas. We ended up eating lunch in Port Douglas and visiting the place where Mom/Grammi lost her cane many years ago. This turned out to be a little bit of an emotional time for many of us, but after that we jumped back in the car and headed out to Mossman Gorge to do a short hike through the rain-forest.

Mossman Gorge was beautiful, although I was constantly reminded that we were seeing it in "dry season" where there was very little water. Still, highlights from this hike were seeing the huge trees, (the bigger ones are fig trees I believe) and other plant life in the forest. Our group split up a bit at the Gorge with some of us doing a 2 mile loop hike, and others going to a shorter loop by the river. Unfortunately, those who thought they were doing a shorter loop found out that at the very end, the path was blocked and they had to go back the way they came.

The ride home featured a rushed stop in Port Douglas to try and find dinner (unsuccessful for most, except Julie who managed to get a great little pizza), followed by a late-night Hungry Jack's stop. A fun day, albeit a long one...

Again, click here for all the pictures.

Friday, August 15, 2008

North Twin Sister

So my and my three brother-in-law's made an attempt on the North Twin Sister. Alas, we got close, but not all the way to the top. Still, it was a fun day, if not a grueling one...

Getting to the trail-head requires a bike ride of 6 miles, gaining about 2500-3000' of elevation. Unless, of course, you take a wrong turn on the logging roads (which we did), in which case it's a 7.5 mile bike ride...and that just got us to the trailhead. Needless to say, I was gassed. Once there, it's a fairly easy hike to get to the ridge, which leads to the summit.

So how far did we get? We got up on the ridge and followed that a ways before mercilessly stopping...we got about this far (see image below); although one of us, Derrick, charged ahead and made it very close to the summit.

Will I do it again? Already the memory of the grueling bike ride has faded and the desire to reach the top is growing...we'll see. Scroll down for a few more pictures;

Tuesday, August 05, 2008

AUS day 4: Kuranda

Day 4 was our Kuranda day. We broke up into two groups to start the day; the skyrail group (me, Julie, Terri and the boys) and the van group (Dave, Scott, Traci and Dad). As usual, click here to see all the pictures.

The skyrail ride was very cool and very scenic. You literally go over the rain-forest. We were able to get out at two different points and look around. The first stop was at a rain-forest boardwalk which was nice, but the second walk was even better, stopping at Barron Falls. This water-fall is amazing in the wet season...unfortunately, we were there during dry season.

However you can check out the video below of Barron Falls (the transformation from dry season to wet season is amazing).

Kuranda itself is a great place to spend the day to do some shopping and eating; which is exactly what we did. The day was unfortunately remembered for Nathan's arm injury. He got hurt pretty bad towards the end of the day but after a doctors visit and some prayers, he ended up being just fine in the end. The other bummer was the hat I found that I ended up not buying...still regret that to this day. Also in Kuranda, the three girls got matching purses (they are really cool).

After our day in Kuranda we made a mad dash home and ended up dropping Kyle, Andrew, Dad, Dave and Traci, while Julie and I accompanied Scott, Terri and Nate to the E.R. (Julie and I tagged along so we could get dropped off downtown while Nate was getting checked out). It was during this time that the bird pictures were taken - I'll admit, this is not my best photography work...I had some problems getting my ISO set right, etc. However, still a nice evening. And then, after Nate got the green light from the ER, we had to go to the Night Market to celebrate with some McDonalds and a crepe. Click here to see all the pictures