Monday, July 28, 2008

tye's visit [seabird]

i was excited to hear that seabird was making a trip out west this summer to play a string of shows. i was even more excited to hear that my good friend tye would be playing drums with seabird for their western dates!

we got to see seabird on sunday night and they rocked! we highly recommend you check them out! buy some of the music, shirts... whatever you can to keep their bus running!

monday after their show, since their bus had broken down in walla walla, andrea and i got to go eat dinner with the band and hang out for a while. quality guys! after dinner we did our best to show tye seattle in an evening. we hit up cafe ladro's and a ferry to bainbridge and back.

proof we made the trip. [photo thanks to tye]

although his visit was short, it was great getting to see him! we look forward to the next time tye and seabird are in the area!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

half century [a bike ride]

andrea registered for a bike ride (2 weeks prior) called the seattle half-century; a 58 mile bike ride... for fun. this was not a was a bike ride. for fun. we met up with a few friends from rei at 7am to kick this event off. andrea, lisa, and kristen rode together; brooke was the 'support' vehicle driver. read: mobile spectator!

at the start: andrea, kristen, and lisa.

andrea breezing into rest stop uno.

ron and michael, both shop techs from rei. ron is andrea's personal bike tech and my ski tech. andrea bakes him lots of cookies.

this was the best race event i've ever spectated. they had fried chicken at the rest stops. seriously...fried chicken!

kristen blowing down a big hill.


dodging bikers and buses!

biking through the city streets.

leaving mercer island.

andrea biking over the montlake draw bridge.

lisa charging into the 'u district.'

rolling into the finish line.

the three made it to the end with no accidents or trouble. a walk in the park! these folks know how to finish up bike races in style...smoked salmon, grilled chicken, salad, draft beer, asparagus, brownies with black- berry sauce. what a way to recharge!

Thursday, July 24, 2008


abandon. explore. find.

it's been exactly one year since we started this online journal. we were hesitant that we'd be able to keep up with it...and keep the audience interested. it's been great laying down our thoughts for family and friends to read. thank you.

we remember driving across the country [kansas to be exact] this time last year, brainstorming names for our journal. we pulled an old arby's napkin out of the glovebox and started scratching down names. we just found that same napkin a few weeks ago; still in our glove box. here are the titles that didn't get used. we're very pleased with the name 'finding nowhere.' a close second was 'the world can wait.'

it's been one year since we've left cincinnati, and we've seen more then we could have imagined. we've taken some time to reflect on all the miles we drove, all the photos we've taken, national parks we've visited, events that happened and people we've met.

in the past year...
we've driven through 19 states. and 2 countries [usa and canada].
and seen 4 of the 5 great lakes.

visited 8 national parks: rocky mountain np, grand tetons np,
mount rainier np, yellowstone np, glacier np, pacific rim np,
badlands np, and theodore roosevelt np.

we've taken 4089 photographs.

driven 22,871 miles
9106 miles were for trips between ohio & washington and
washington & montana. we want to be better about this next year.

price of gas in 7/07: $3.09 per gallon
price of gas in 7/08: $4.50 per gallon
average price of gas: $3.80 per gallon

27,871 miles @ $3.80 average gas price = $4138.56 spent on gas.
we definitely need to be better about this next year!

we've gotten three nails in our tires. all of
which we ran over in our parking garage.

we've tried to eat better. andrea hasn't had 'fast food' once.
brooke's eaten taco bell three times.

andrea hasn't had starbucks once! brooke has had way
more espresso than he should!

felt freer than ever!

all this to say... we're not done yet! andrea still has many more mountains to explore and brooke still has a lot more espresso to drink! we feel we've changed a bit; we feel a little wiser...about each other and the world. but our core values are still the same: we love god, we love each other, and we have an unquenchable hunger for this creation. our travels search of 'nowhere.'

don't worry... we'll keep you posted.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Visit from Steve & Maura

We were stoked to hear that Andrea's brother Steve, and his wife, Maura were planning a trip out west over the summer! After they spent a few days in Glacier National Park, they flew on over to our part of the west to soak in the mountains, sun, and sea. We think we did a pretty good job at showing them a few highlights of Seattle during their 4 days here.

Steve and Maura, looking out over Elliot Bay in downtown. We were fortunate enough to hit up an Indians v. Mariners game while they were here. (Steve, one of very few fans sporting the Indians attire...he made us proud.)

We spent pretty much an entire (chilly) day on a boat that included a tour of the islands in the Pacific NW along with some whale watching (something that we have not been able to see until now!) Let us show you on a 3D map.....
So we took this big boat to see these huge it? (Thanks to my crafty-elementary-art-school-teacher sister-in-law for the creativity...I'm so impressed.)

We passed through 'Deception Pass,' named during the Vancouver Expedition because it deceivingly appeared to be connected to land...but alas...this is truly an island. Whidbey Island to our left.

Steve, Maura, and Brooke. It was a little windy up top!

A brief history of the local Orca Whales:
There are three resident pods living in the Pacific NW. Pods J, K, and L. They typically keep to themselves, like the typical American family, unless they have a reason to band together. In this case, they become a 'Superpod.' Orcas typically do this to gang up on the transient pods traveling through.

It is very rare to see all three pods on one, short, whale watching tour. We traveled to the west side of San Juan Island to check out Pod J. Here are some beautiful shots of these amazing creatures (note: it is harder than you think to grab pictures of these guys!):

The larger whale is a male; he has a very large, straight dorsal fin.

This is a female, with the curved dorsal fin. Coming up directly next to her is a baby whale. He tucks in close beside her when they travel (cruising at about 35 mph) to keep up with the family.

A size comparison. Enjoy.

We were able to follow this pod around quite a bit before we headed back to Friday Harbor, San Juan Island, where we were able to explore the town and grab a beer...or two...before heading back to Seattle.

On the way back we ran smack into both Pods K and L traveling across the straight! They had formed as a 'superpod' and were quite active. We stopped the boat and sat there watching them breech and flip and jump across the water. It was simply breathtaking to see these massive creatures jump straight out of the water, flip, and land!

Andrea, Steve, and Maura. The sun finally came out on the way back!

One of the coolest views of Seattle is from across the water, approaching the city. This goes to show that no matter how tall man can build, no matter how far our technology and enginneering advances, we can never, ever out build God.
Mt. Rainier, 50+ miles away, looms over the Seattle skyline.

We spent our last day touring the breweries and chocolate factories (Theo Chocolate Factory in the background) in Fremont.

Thanks, Steve and Maura, for the visit! You showed us great eats (The Salmon House was a favorite!) and drinks (mmmm...Brouwers) we didn't even know about. But more so, we enjoyed your company. Can't wait for your next visit...maybe we'll take you deep into the mountains this time.

Thursday, July 3, 2008


time to make our way back across the country. although brooke said he never wanted to do this again, he was having fun the whole way.

leaving toledo. hauling 'the burden.'

mackinaw bridge.
we stopped to picnic...

until the seagulls attacked us!

we made a brief stop at pictured rocks national lakeshore

although the stop was quick, it was easy to see the beauty...

only the trislers would take a uhaul off roading!

sometimes you have to travel rough roads to understand.

to be honest, not much happened in minnesota. our only recommendation would be to NOT stay at buffalo river state park! it's some sort of government mosquito breeding experiment that has gone horribly wrong. never in our lives have we seen mosquitos [aka, devils] swarm a human being...we're talking thousands! maybe millions!

after escaping near death-ness, we set our sights high on north dakota. we pushed hard to get to medora, although we wouldn't have time for the musical. we just stopped to get our national parks passport updated at theordore roosevelt national park. we've been there before, but just didn't get the book stamped.

teddy's badlands.

by way of great falls, montana we headed to glacier national park; our second favorite park. we had a good two day rest ahead of us at a place we love! trying to shake off our road weariness, we treated ourselves to a dinner at lake mcdonald lodge.

waiting for dinner. look at what glacier can do to two
road-worn people!

if you're ever in glacier, take the lake mcdonald interpretive
boat cruise. you'll learn a lot.

dinner time!
we tasted the goodness!
yes, that's wild huckleberry wheat lager.
a great brew from great northern brewing company.

we got treated to a red jammer bus tour!

this is fred. he had a passion for the red jammers, and
glacier np like one we've met.

he even let andrea use his 'field glasses.' fred is our hero!

we cruised us 'going to the sun road.' fred made little comments
in his monotonous voice, towards other drive racing up and
down the road like, 'why so fast? you're missing all the scenery.'

we saw plenty of wildlife: mt goats, rams, birds, and others.

the glacier valley.

tomorrow we head back to seattle, and we're ready for a vacation!