Bookends

Fittingly, we ended our trip to Colorado by binge-watching three of Zoe’s soccer games on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.  Of course, that’s because that’s how we planned our trip.  After Jen emailed me about the girls’ games, I adjusted our visit so that we could see as many games as possible.  Unfortunately, we weren’t able to get there early enough to see the last of Logan’s games.  

Zoe plays on an elite team, and she’s a year younger than most of the players, but she managed to hold her own in all three games.  She scored two goals in the three games.  I think the team lost two out of three games, but, truthfully, I find it nearly impossible to follow scoring when I’m focused on taking pictures of a particular player, especially when I’m really focused on how my granddaughter plays, not how the team as a whole plays.

These games seemed to be called a little tighter than Sydney’s games were, but it’s clear that soccer is not a non-contact sport.

At this level all of the girls are fast and aggressive.

My camera takes shots pretty quickly, but I didn’t manage to get a great sequence of any of Zoe’s goals; these three shots come close.  I’ll have to admit that I had never seen Zoe kicking a goal with her left foot before.

Apparently, the goalie didn’t see it any better than I did until it was in the back of the goal.

Zoe has always been naturally fast, but she has complemented that with toughness.

We headed out for home after seeing her final game on Sunday which ended around 10 AM.  Luckily, the game was played 60 miles north of Broomfield, and we were only driving to Brigham City on Sunday where we hoped to visit our favorite sushi restaurant and visit Bear River Wildlife Refuge the next morning before the last leg of our trip.

Real People In Real-Time

Our trip to Colorado really emphasized how traumatic the last two years have been for us.  A year ago we had planned to visit in late Spring to see Logan graduate, but it didn’t make sense to visit for virtual graduation,  especially with all the other things that were going on with family members here in Tacoma.  

We knew before we went that it was a less than ideal time to visit. Jen and Tyson both had to work. Logan was heading off to Montana State with Jen on Friday, and Zoe and Sydney were starting school on Thursday.  As it turned out, Logan was also busy attending “goodbye” parties with fellow graduates as they, too, were about to leave for college.  We did manage to get him to take a break from his busy schedule and have breakfast with us at a local restaurant,  join us for dinner several nights, and we even participate in one night of board games.  Zoe wasn’t leaving for college, but between seeing friends, soccer practice, babysitting and finishing summer homework before school started, we didn’t see much more of her than we did Logan.  

We got to spend more time with Sydney, but even she was busy getting ready for school and practicing soccer.  She went out to breakfast and dinner with us, played board games several times, and, best of all, went shopping for her birthday present at Michaels. While we weren’t able to be there on her exact birthday, we were close enough that I suggested we should go shopping for her birthday and that way could ensure she would get something she actually wanted (besides, from past experience I’ve learned that grandkids usually get more expensive presents when they go shopping with me).  It turned out that I didn’t realize just how expensive beading supplies are and got a bit of a shock at checkout when it turned out we had $170 worth of beading supplies, nearly double my usual, cash birthday gift.  

We generally had Thursday to ourselves since the girls had school.  The highlight of the day was breakfast with Steve Allen, our long-time Tai Chi master, and his wife Stasia. We also had time to go birding, but, as Tyson pointed out, the birds seemed to disappear in late Summer, just as they do here in the Pacific Northwest. On our hour-long walk, I spotted a female Mallard,  two Snowy Egrets,

and a single dragonfly, sadly, the best sighting of the day.

Considering how many memorable trips we’ve had to Colorado over the years, this could have seemed like a disappointing trip, but it didn’t feel like it.  Instead, it felt like the moment when your doctor tells you that there’s no sign of cancer he has been treating you for.  After nearly two years without contact except for Facebook, emails, and an occasional phone call, it felt great to finally be able to visit in person.  As great as the internet is, it is no substitute for meeting real people in real-time.  

Colorado, Finally

I finally got my long-anticipated trip to visit the Colorado Websters.  Although it was a hectic week for everyone, we managed to get there in time to see Sydney’s Saturday afternoon game and her Sunday morning game.  It’s been over two years since I last saw Sydney play soccer, and I was a little surprised by how improved she was.  When I last saw her, she was a defender, not a wing player.  More importantly, she plays a lot more aggressively now than she used to.

I would have loved to have seen her get a goal, but sometimes the ball was just a little too far away to chase down 

and this shot was about an inch too high, hitting the upper crossbar and bouncing away.

While a goal would have provided a nice highlight to the game, I was impressed by Sydney’s aggressive play.

In most of Sunday’s game, she was paired up against number 9 on the other team, and it was clear neither of them was going to let the other get the advantage.

The referees called the game rather loosely, and I suspect that there might have been a foul somewhere in this play, but nobody appeared to get hurt and it was exciting to watch how competitive the two teams were.

Sydney’s team ended up winning the game, and the tournament,  in a shootout, providing a nice end to our first weekend there.

Narada Falls to Reflection Lake

We took our fifth hike of the season on Mt. Rainier two days before we left for Colorado to visit Tyson’s family before Logan left for Montana State and the girls started back to school.  I’d hoped to post it before we left but was too busy packing to finish until we returned. This hike was nearly the same as our hike from Narada Falls to Paradise, but in the reverse direction so we didn’t have to finish with the steep climb at the end of the trip.  I hoped that a strenuous hike at this altitude would help prepare me for Colorado’s altitude.

I’ll spare you pictures of the first half of the hike since they’re not as good as those in previous posts and they’re not as striking as this shot of Reflection Lake.

Though the Avalanche Lilies were mostly gone, there was still lots of Paintbrushes 

Fireweed,

and various white flowers, adorned by various butterflies.

Leslie wanted to repeat this trip so that Kylan could see the remarkable views, and he had lots of time to enjoy them while waiting for us to catch up with him.

The trail wasn’t a lot easier from the other direction, but the pain was eased by occasional glimpses of Tiger Lilies on the trail

and views of Mt. Rainier through breaks in the trees as we descended back to Narada Falls.

In retrospect, perhaps we should have been hiking a little higher up the mountain to really get ready for Colorado, but if we had done so I wouldn’t have enjoyed it nearly as much as I did.  Hiking Mt. Rainier is definitely my favorite way of getting in better shape.