Conversing with 18 year olds on Facebook

Follows is an exchange that I had with our younger son’s new girlfriend (Emily) and his best friend (Dylan) on Facebook.  Our son starts the thread off with an innocent complaint about the sunburn he got last weekend.  Alasdair went Saturday and Sunday to a big concert at The Gorge in central Washington state – a place where the sun really knows how to shine. It was very hot with little chance of finding shade. The place is a rock wall gorge which forms a natural amphitheater. Like I said – hot. I tried to teach my boys about sun screen but what can I say?  He is eighteen.

The whole thing is just too humorous not to share!


Swan River afternoon

Some of the most lovely river canoeing and kayaking is only about an hour away from us.  We drove up to Flathead lake on Sunday hoping to put in somewhere, but the white caps and the numbers of people on the lake detoured us up the Swan River drainage.  We only drove just a few miles to put in at a a small river park. There was no one there except the fleeting glimpse of another kayaker just taking off upstream.

The day was warm but not unduly so. Still, the sun was not to be forgotten, so on went our sunscreen and off we paddled up river too.  Downstream, right behind us at the boating access, was the dam and restricted white water rapids, so what was the intrepid paddler to do?  Here, as you can see, the river is more like a small lake.  The camera doesn’t really like that much sunshine but wasn’t the day dazzling?

Swan summer

As we paddled up river there were dozens upon dozens of Bohemian Waxwings feeding on a mayfly hatch along the river banks. Their acrobatic sweeps kept me amused the whole time. Ducks complained at us and kingfishers scolded us even more. We stopped once to stretch our legs only to find the Belted Kingfisher’s leftover lunch. Way leftover.  They do like their crayfish.
kingfisher lunch

Lazy afternoon and lazy water; it was slow going further up river where there was more current.  Mostly we just meandered along.

tree bones

The Swan – mountains wherever you look on either side and soon they will have snow up high once again.  For now, we will continue to enjoy those lingering, yet waning  summer days.  Can’t think of anywhere else I’d rather be.
Swan Range

Paintbrush Galore


Along the mountain trail up in BC (where we had our family reunion) were thousands of wild flowers. The Paintbrush was in full glory. Matthew hauled both little boats down to the small lake the first evening we arrived.  Summit Lake lies in a steep descent below the dormitory-style center where we were all staying. The trail was narrow with quite a sudden drop in places so you had to have a good reason to hike down it. My Dad and Auntie came down the trail with us at one point but then they had to go back up… they did okay with the climb — sturdy stock and my Aunt Flo had new knees!
canoe trail

The boats were either sitting among the wild flowers or paddling in the lake with us. We never would have been able to cart the Red Raven down that trail, so these small (i.e. light) boats came in handy.

pack resting

Here is an evening shot of the lake and the surrounding mountains. And, I do mean surrounding.
Summit evening