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Take a Hike

This weekend has been filled with love, laughter, and cake!
July is the month of birthdays in my family: dad, brother, cousin Tim, and Esme! It's been a family tradition to celebrate the men's birthdays together, most often doing something adventurous. We've had to skip a few times, but this year our cousins were able to visit. Unfortunately, my brother's schedule just didn't allow for it this year.
July 14, 1955
Let's start with my daddy- my hero! He's a former forest firefighter and IT guy. My dad's health declined in 1999 and he eventually turned to an office chair instead of the wilderness. He's always been a nature lover and his knowledge of anything outdoors amazes me (and those who meet him). We've not been exploring in some time, so this weekend's trip to one of the area's hidden treasures, The Devil's Bathtub, was a true blessing! His health often hinders his mobility, but let me tell you, he was like a twenty-something maneuvering through the woods!
 Back in his football days.
Saturday, July 13 
July 13, 1950 (I think! hehe)
My cousin, Timothy, has been a significant part of our family since I can remember. He and my daddy are like two peas in a pod. And, his daughter Kelly is close to my age. We visited them often just as they did us throughout the years. Our get-togethers always include adventure, and those adventures always come with my daddy's famous "shortcuts" which mean at least an extra 2 hours added to the trip. Tim's quite the nature expert as well, so us youngins got schooled.
The weather was perfect for a hike, followed by dinner, and birthday cake! I was so happy to see Kelly! It had been roughly 12 years since she had been able to make the trip. Travis was also able to come along and this was our first hike together, ever! And, he was certainly the entertainer. You'll see why! Our mommas stayed behind and enjoyed the view from the front porch and a little shopping.  
The start to his shenanigans.
Having a serious conversation about the snake dad scared away, which just happened to head downstream toward Travis. One minute Travis was slowly crossing a creek, the next he was sprawled out on rocks on the other side.
An old mining cart.
The beginning of Travis' scouting of the pool just below the bathtub. He walked the perimeter trying to decide if he would take the plunge.
I so wish I had recorded his jump. The water was no more than 45 degrees and Travis' reaction was priceless, screams included!  
Getting used to it!
Dad testing the water.
He kept going back for more.
It's a good thing I put off my pedicure until this week.
Saying goodbye.
This year's trip to the bathtub was full of unexpected moments, but at least this one didn't end in a "shortcut" back to the vehicle.
We can't forget about Esme's second birthday celebration.
From prissy pup... 
To rambunctious toddler. She enjoyed her weekend on the farm.
Hope you had an enjoyable weekend!

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