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Friday, November 2, 2018

As the month rolled away, I didn't think I would have much to post.  But now as I go through the favorite photos of the month, I am surprised to see what a gorgeous, busy month it was!
 Fall color in the canyon was amazing! 
 It has been such a dry summer and fall, the river is really low.  I have actually watched fishermen walking across it.

 Since living here, I have grown to really love those clouds!
 Even when the mountain is not showing, it is so awesome to see the sun come through a crack in the clouds and make the most amazing rays.
I have heard that a dry summer will make for better fall colors.  I am not sure about that, but something has made the leaves so amazing.  I think I always think that.
 My tree of Hearts...almost bare
How does this even happen?  All those colors in one leaf!!!
 I read a little thing a while back.  It said "The trees are about to show us how beautiful it is to let things go"  How true.

 There are still a few flowers in the yard too.

 I have taken advantage of the clouds and semi warm weather to capture the gorgeous sunrises for as long as I can.  I know that as soon as we switch back the clocks, I may not be up in time to capture them.  I will just enjoy them from bed!

 I love it when you can see the mountain's shadow just before the sun rises.

I decorated the house for Halloween, just in time for the kids to come stay the night. Josiah thought it would be a great idea to take his photo with the cat candle.  I think it turned out pretty cute.
   They all took their turns making  their own pillow cases. I can't say enough how much I have loved showing them how to sew.
I managed to get the little flower girls dresses done for the big wedding day.
The girls loved putting them on and first thing, they had to spin around to see if they were fluffy enough.  Emily asked for them to be extra fluffy.
Arianna really took it in, checking out her dress. 

Lina was normally just as excited as Arianna, but this day was just before her nap and she just didn't want to stop playing and mess with a dress.  The only reason I am posting this is, that it makes me laugh to see her so dressed up and tears rolling down her face.
I also had the task of making the ring boy pillows and covering the flower girl baskets.  Both are made from the satin and lace that I used when I made Rachel's wedding dress.

I went shopping with my Mom and we both found our dresses for the wedding.  Only a month more to wait!!!
 For Christmas last year, my parents gave my sisters and us a spa day at Skamania.  John and I decided to go up a couple of days early and hike around the gorge.  The fall colors were so beautiful.  Those yellow maples were so bright, it was like driving into the sunshine.  The first day we drove the Hood River fruit loop and stayed the night in Hood River.
This is Mt. Adams at sunset.

 The river after dark and at sunrise.
 The next morning, we got up and headed for the Washington side of the Columbia River.  Since the Oregon side has so many trails closed still from the fires last fall.  It was actually nice to see what is over there on the Washington side.  Before we left home, we had decided to hike into two falls, Rodney Falls, Hardy Falls and Pool of the Winds.  They are only about 2.5 miles on the trail up to Hamilton Mountain, which was supposed to be about a 8-9 mile round trip hike.  We were not sure if we wanted to go that far, but we knew we had all day, so decided to hike until we wanted to turn back.  Well the falls were gorgeous.  The Pool of the Winds was my favorite part of Rodney Falls, there is a log jammed down it and then a pool of water in an enclosed area of rock.  The other falls, was not so spectacular, since the water was so low.  I am sure it all looks amazing when there is more water.
I thought this cliff was so pretty...little did I know that we were about to climb all the way up there!!!

 Since it was only 2 miles in, we kept on going.  It was beautiful, peaceful and full of color.
 We saw this along the way in a hole in the rocks.  I had no idea we were going to see foxes in their den!
 That rock below is called Beacon is where we had started!  And we were not even to the top yet!
 The trail was pretty step,but we kept climbing...The views were incredible!

 Once we got this high, we just had to keep, who would turn back and just walk down without finishing by this point, right?

 From the top we could see Mt. Adams...I liked the little heart in the side of the cliff.
 We could also see the tip of Mt. Hood in the other direction.
 We were at the top and continued on the loop.  
 Once we made it to the bottom, I just had to take another shot of that cliff that I had taken at the start of the hike.  This time, I left the zoom out so you can really see how far it was.  I could not believe that I had actually climbed up there.
 We were tired and hungry, since we had only taken some chips and water to drink all day.  We stopped at the first place and had a healthy after hike meal.  
My fitbit said I had walked 12 miles!  The maps all said around 8-9 miles, but that didn't count for the extra steps in and out to side trails to see the falls.  AND 248 floors??!! (Fitbit counts a floor as a flight of stairs, 8 feet high.) It was a steep climb, some places were rocky and I had even had to get on my hands and knees to get up the rocks.
Do you see the face in the tree below?  I can see an eye and nose and an open mouth.

 We checked into a room at Cascade Locks for the night.  This was the first time I have ever had earplugs along with the shampoo, etc.  I was a little concerned it might be a bad sign.  But it turned out just fine, maybe I was so tired from the hike, I didn't hear a sound all night.

Here is sunrise from my room and the same view later on with the fall colors and river.
This is the Bridge of the Gods.
 The McCools were not due for massages at Skamania until afternoon, so John and I decided to drive up to another falls that did not require a long hike.  I was surprised that I was not sore, but I really didn't want to take my chances and hike in someplace and regret it.  I decided on Panther Falls.

 It was a long drive, but worth it for the colors
 A short little walk and the most amazing falls!  I can not believe I have not heard of this falls before.  I want to go back when there is more water!

We met up at Skamania Lodge and all had massages followed by an awesome dinner together.  I really love that our family started giving gifts that we all enjoy together throughout the year.
 I can't believe how long Bazzel can stretch himself out.  He sits at my feet like this every morning hoping I will pet him some more.
 Josiah asked me to take him to his Parcore class.  I had no idea what that even was.  He loved showing me all his stunts as he jumped from beams and onto and off structures.  We celebrated with ice cream afterwards.

 Josh finished off his junior year of cross country. He was team captain too! We made it to a few meets.  He did a great job, even beat his own time!!! In the photo above, it shows how he has insisted on tying his shoes ever since he was a little boy.  I can not imagine how he even goes about un-tying them!
I finished off the month with Halloween.  We had the cutest little trick or treaters!  Our only ones, as always.
 Here is what my LA kids looked like.
One more shot of the mountain peeking through the clouds and the new snow.