Labor Day Adventures

Labor Day Adventures

Now that my Navy son is back in the area, I’m able to do things with him and my grand-kids. This past weekend, we headed to Lake Easton to spend the holiday.

We took off from Seattle around 10:30 am and headed to Lake Easton State Park. Traffic wasn’t too bad, considering it was a holiday weekend and…well, getting out of Seattle is never any fun these days!

We got to the campground ok and saw burn ban signs up everywhere…no wood…no charcoal…no fires allowed, except for propane! I was glad I had planned for this and took a griddle to place on my propane camp stove. At least we would be ok in regards to food! The guys set about putting up the tents while I made a lunch of shrimp tacos with a corn salsa. They were really yummy!

While Malakai took a nap, the rest of us (my son, Marcus, and grand-daughters Avenleigh and Amiyah) went on a short hike along the river. Afterward, we changed into our swimsuits and went to the beach area of the lake. The water was icy and the temperature only around 68ºF…needless to say, we weren’t there very long.

Once back at camp, I made dinner. On the menu were steaks and ratatouille skewers. Since the girls are picky eaters, I heated up some Mountain House spaghetti for them (which they loved). The steaks really hit the spot!

After dinner clean-up, we just chilled for a bit until it started to get dark. The temperature was really dropping and the wind had picked up, so everyone was a bit cold. We were all very disappointed that we couldn’t do a campfire to warm us up and toast marshmallows. Not to be thwarted, we toasted them over the propane burner and made our s’mores. They were just as tasty, plus we didn’t have to worry about wood ash getting on the marshmallows!

Camp dancing by Avenleigh:

Since it was so cold and we couldn’t sit around and enjoy a campfire, we all turned in fairly early. I think I was asleep before 10 pm.

Breakfast the next morning was French toast and bacon…..oh, and don’t forget the coffee! I need at least one cup to get me up and moving each day!

After breakfast, we headed to Hyak to hike a part of the Iron Horse Trail that runs through an old train tunnel. I was glad I thought to grab a sweatshirt, because it was very cold in there with the wind blowing towards us. We were also lucky to find a headlamp laying on the ground (though it had a weak battery). I wasn’t thinking straight and didn’t even bring any with us! I also used my cellphone flashlight to light my way. We weren’t sure how long the tunnel was, but after a while, you couldn’t see the entrance nor the exit! We thought, at the time, that it would be good place to do some Halloween haunted hike.

It seemed like we walked for ever, but finally saw a pin prick of light ahead. It grew bigger as we kept moving forward, so it had to be the exit and not somebody else’s headlamp.

After finally exiting the tunnel, we took a snack break and enjoyed the view for a bit. It was then that I saw a sign pointing back to the tunnel and saying the Hyak trailhead was 2.7 miles. So, when we walked back, we had walked a total of 5.4 miles. By the end of the day, my FitBit said I had gotten in 22,549 steps for a total of 8.18 miles! Not bad…and, since the tunnel was so cool, I didn’t overheat or get too tired! My feet hurt a tad and when I got back to camp and changed shoes, I discovered that I had a nice sized blister on the ball of my left foot.

We packed up sandwich fixings, changed into our swimsuits and headed back to the lake. It was a warmer day than the one before, so the kids were eager to hit the water. I had taken along a round floaty, so Malakai was the first in the water, floating around the outside of the swim area. While they played in the water, I took a cat nap in the shade while Marcus played music and kept an eye on the kids.

Around 5 pm, we packed up and headed back to the camp site. Dinner tonight was to be a tin-foil seafood boil that included shrimp, scallops, sausage, corn and potatoes. Everything but the potatoes cooked fairly fast (I placed the tin foil bundles on top of the hot griddle). So, I pulled the potatoes from all the bundles, put them in a pan with some butter and white wine, then cooked them on the stove until we heard then starting to go dry. After adding some garlic powder, salt and pepper, they were some of the best potatoes I’ve eaten and the crispy bits from the pan going dry really added to the flavor!

After dinner, we again kicked back for a bit. Marcus was playing music and I recorded Avenleigh doing some dance moves. The kids also made a little scene using a toy soldier they found, sticks, stones, leaves and pine cones.

I was exhausted and was asleep shortly after 9 pm. I think the kids were asleep shortly after that. It was a long, but fun, day.

The next morning, we ate a breakfast of Tex-Mex eggs, hashbrowns and leftover bacon, before breaking camp and heading home.

I can’t wait to share more adventures like this with my family!

Hanging Out

The grand-kids made a little adventure scene.

Me and Avenleigh

Marcus watches Ave in the lake.

Avenleigh and Amiyah

Amiyah as a rocker girl.

Malakai trying to look cool.

View from the other end of the train tunnel.

This train tunnel was a very dark 2.5 miles hike (plus the return)!

View of the train tunnel as we head back.

Mile marker back to the trailhead.

Making marshmallows.

Amiyah likes her marshmallows burnt like I do.

Marcus, pretending there was a camp fire.

Malakai acting goofy.

Waiting for dinner.

Me and Avenleigh

Avenleigh playing in the dirt.

Down by the river

The girls down by the river.

We have arrived at camp.

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