Somewhere close to 23 years ago I became a dad for the first time. As with all dads, I lamented that there was not an instruction manual, took 5 minute power naps in the car before driving home from work, and discovered that not covering the nether regions of a boy while changing a diaper could result in both of us needing a shower!
Unlike other dads (I am assuming here) I found the infant stage boring (they are essentially paperweights and don’t do much) and I though Father’s Day was silly. Most years, this one included, people had to remind me it was coming….
This year as Father’s day was approaching, life events revolved around the Manchild (who, by the way shall be renamed.) and his graduations (from both High School and community college!) Given his major at WWU starting in the fall, I will hereby dub him CompSci!
This weekend represented the first one in months that CompSci wasn’t buried in homework all weekend. So I told him we would be going to Hurricane Ridge (Olympic National Park) on Sunday to hang out and get away from the world a while. (Once again not remembering it was Father’s day)
At the ceremony for the AA, MathMajor asked if his brother and I were still going to the Mountains and if he could tag along. Cool! We hadn’t done something like this with the 3 of us for years! (as you can see, they look a bit younger below)
He also asked if Lola the Wonder Dog could tag along! (He was dogsitting his girlfriends dog)
What the hell! The more the merrier!
I think it was Michelle who finally told me it was Father’s Day when all this was happening. I think they knew that…. (they showed up with a great card and presents!)
The trip started well! MathMajor got there early. We went to the ferry and somehow we were able to buy a ticket and drive right onto the boat! That never happens! As you can see above, Lola came with us to the top of the ship, CompSci was holding her for a bit. I wasn’t quite sure she or he was happy with this arrangement.
I will say though, the pup is a an excellent traveling dog! She crawled up into the back window, settled down, and until we stopped I flat forgot about her!
Hurricane Ridge is just up from Port Angeles on the Strait of Juan de Fuca. Which means you go from sea level to 5200 feet. (There were a ton of bike riders doing the climb. I have a new goal!) In fact this lookout from the road up shows you how close the water is (That is Canada in the distance!)
The top was a bit colder and more overcast that I thought.
And there was still snow on the ground
But that didn’t stop either the boys or Lola!
What surprised me though was the wild life! You can go to Mt. Rainier 10 times and not see more than a bird. (I’ve been lucky over the years to have seen Deer, mountain goats, marmots and once, a fox). Coming up here, though, there is always something to see!
Mathmajor spotted a marmot
Then this guy was close on hand and getting a lot of attention
But looking farther away, I saw to mommas with VERY small littles. The second one, per a lady who seemed to know much more than I, may have been only hours old!
As always in nature it is all a matter of timing! We went for a walk, and checked out the visitor’s center. Maybe 40 minutes in all. When we got back, both moms were gone with the kids. If we hadn’t been observant….
By this time, the wonder dog was a bit chilly so we started down the hill. We stopped a little lower near a stream with tiny waterfalls.
We hiked around here for a bit, but sadly, we cut it short, no dogs allowed!
but as we got lower, it got much warmer, a fact that made this little guy very happy
I wanted to make one more stop at a place called Dungeness Spit. A long spit of sand that goes out into the straight. I hadn’t been there since the 23 year old was still a glimmer. Back in the day, it was a small parking lot and a free trail. Now it is huge, no parking spots available and it costs per person to hike. We decided to skip it! (I was a bit sad to see the changes but I guess 23 years is a LONG time….)
Remember the driving right on the ferry that morning? NOT so much for the trip home. We were stopped a mile from the dock in a holding area. CompSci took a nap and Mathmajor started walking to find a restroom! (when you gotta go….). Lola and I just kinda hung out. We were there for about 20 minutes.
Soon we were in the holding are waiting for the boat, and the kids went for Ice Cream! (8, 12, 18 or 23 kids always love ice cream!) We ended up on the second boat and headed for home. Evidently Sunday evenings are busy times on the Puget Sound!
We were at my house by 7 and the boys headed south after a final pit stop.
It was a great day. We talked about a crap load of stuff. We laughed when I said I wanted to eat here at Fat Smittys, but ALL agreed not to when we saw a big Vote for Trump sign.
These two kids talk politics, Dr. Who and music I’ve never heard of. When they launch into accents they are hilarious. (Mathmajor does a great Canadian and Compsci nails Sean Connery) All in all though, it was fun to know both of them didn’t mind heading up to the mountains and spending a day off with dad.
With the one starting Grad school and the other Undergrad in September, who knows when this will happen again. So yep, this was a killer Father’s Day! (though I still think its kinda silly!)