Thursday, August 01, 2013

Taking the Plunge

We chose to hit Mt. Hood Adventure Park on Wednesday.  By arriving soon after the park opened, we faced little waiting time at any of the attractions.  This time, in order to more fully embrace the bonding process with our sons, Michele and I signed up for all the all day Adventure Pass along with the boys so that we could participate in it all too.  It's not cheap, but at the end of the day (and with a $10 off coupon each), we felt like it was a pretty good deal.  

The first stop was the Quad Trampolines.  I'd done this once before in my life - let's see....1993?  Yep, my ex-fiance, Lance, and I had visited this place when it was practically nothing.  I was so frustrated at that time that I couldn't flip.  So, I was hopeful (but skeptical) that I could make it happen 20 years later.  Sadly, I was able to catch Michele in the action of doing a backwards flip, but she couldn't get the camera to snap at the precise time I made it happen.  But I did do it!  Several times, in fact!  But, it was NOT easy....good grief, that whole experience was a lot more cardio than I expected - and not all of my flip attempts were successful.  Rather embarrassing to not get yourself over before coming back down (hence hitting your head on the trampoline....)   Of course, the boys had no problem.  They do that sort of stuff all the time on our trampoline without the help of pullies or harnesses.  Front and back.  Wow....

The first couple of pics are Michele.  We dressed a lot alike on this adventure (without trying) - and particularly without the differing colored shoes on, it is kind of trippy how similar we look.

This is me.

Next up - the 100 Foot Bungee Jump.  There was supposed to be another attraction, called the "Reverse Bungee" in which you start from the ground and get thrown into the sky.  Sadly, that activity was out of commission - and that was the one Michele and I had agreed (albeit a bit reluctantly) to participate in.   UH OH.  That means to prove our bravery to our boys (and because I knew Michele would do it even if I didn't - and there was no way I was going to let that happen....) we were forced to agree to the real Bungee.  This is something I NEVER THOUGHT I WOULD DO.  Seriously, not a fan of heights.  The high diving board - and just jumping, not diving - is a big deal for me.  Then, when you have to weigh your post-vacation(s) body to get into the right harness.....yeah, this attraction was getting worse by the minute.  Don't even get me started on how many stairs you had to climb to reach the place where you'd jump to your death the launch site.

The boys went first - so we could get pics.  This was the only time I wish we'd brought the Cannon camera (the one John uses).  Because, if this was going to happen, it better be recorded on film - ain't no way it's gonna happen twice!   Thoughtfully, Brayden wanted to go before me just to ensure it wouldn't put undue strain on my neck.  I was aware of the risk, but honestly, in general I cause myself more damage to my neck doing what I'm doing now (typing on the computer) with bad neck posture than is caused by any sort of physical activity.   Both boys ended up going off in such a way that their heads were first....I guess they had to "up" the thrill from last year.  I can't even imagine....

First up, Traig-

Then, Brayden-

And, that my dear blog ME!  Ummm, yeah.  I did it.  And, it was scary.  I went up the stairs as determined as possible - doing everything in my control to not recognize just how many steps I was climbing to take me up, up, and up.  And, most importantly, I did not look down.  The guy strapped hooked me up - after ziplining and such, it wasn't a matter of being scared it wouldn't hold me, but the fact I was free falling down from such a lofty height.   It was also up to the jumper as to when to go - so you literally had to decide when you'd plummet to the ground step off the ledge.  I just kind of did it - inspired totally by pride and peer pressure (as John pointed out after I texted him that I did it - what quality lesson to teach our sons in terms of motivation!).  I opened my eyes after the first jerk back up, and by then it was tolerable - but I'd still take a zipline - or better yet - "Tower of Terror" a million times over than that.  But, I DID IT!!!!

And, here's Michele.  Just as scared, and just as gutsy.  We made our boys proud though.  =)

I have to give a sweet shout out to Brayden who told me numerous times over after I did it how thankful he was that I didn't hurt my neck.  It was his first concern when I "landed".  I love that kid and how obvious it is that he loves and cares for me.

Next up - Zipline.  This was a no-brainer in terms of hesitancy.  After our adventures in Maui, this was like comparing a tv dinner to a five course gourmet meal.   But, it was still fun - and even better than last year's as they'd added an extra line and extended the first run.  I just love doing activities in which I find myself automatically smiling just because of the excitement/fun of it.

Next, the Go-Cart Speed Track.  Since the Reverse Bungee was down, we opted to do this twice as our replacement activity.  It made me smile non-stop.  That is, until, I tried to pass Brayden, clipped the back of his vehicle - and consequently sent him careening into the side barrels, knocking two of them into the track.  I'M SUCH A BAD MOM!  And, of course, when we're all given the red light and I'm already on the other side of the track, I'm burying my head in embarrassment instead of rushing over to see that he was okay or owning that it was my fault.  Again,  I'M SUCH A BAD MOM!  (Let's blame it on the obvious lack of sanity stemming from the earlier bungee jump).  I was pretty certain Brayden wasn't injured, and the barrels were quickly put back, but I did feel bad.  I kind of stepped off the acceleration pedal a bit after that.  (And, to add to the BAD MOM part, he did get hurt - he has a baseball sized bruise on the inside of his knee....WAY. TO. GO.)

The last attraction was the lamest, but it did make leaving this portion behind easier.  The tube - not much of an attraction at all.  Our boys did get sprayed on the way down, though.  I used my cell phone as the "don't-touch-me-with-that-hose-spray" excuse.

After a stop in Government Camp to eat our lunches, we headed to the West Side Attraction Site - where the Alpine Slides were located.  These too, were improved from before.   They run much faster down the tracks.

In fact, as I rounded the first turn (with the full smile again on my face), I quickly realized that I couldn't full-throttle it like last year.  I barely kept from capsizing on that first turn.

Traig figured that out too.  However, his lesson was a lot rougher.  He would kill me if he knew I was typing this - or that this picture was taken including him in it.  But, he did wipe out.  He has abrasions on the back of both calves, on his hips, on one arm, one hand, and along his temple.  None bled, but just looking at those "road rashes" made you know in an instant that they would not feel good in just a short matter of time.  Poor guy.  He was a total champ about it with good humor as well.  The pic I said I took was of the bear - which has a sign warning you about the potential injuries that could occur.  Yeah - take that seriously folks!  

The bummer in these kind of attractions is how bottlenecked you can get if you have riders that are more "cautious" in front of you.  I got pretty lucky on my three runs, but here towards the end I had the opportunity to slow down enough to get my phone out to take pics.  That's Michele in front of me.

Given that Traig was starting to "really feel his scrapes", we only went down three times.  But, I thoroughly enjoyed each of those runs - as well as the fun time in the lift chairs up the mountain with either Brayden or Michele.

Knowing how uncomfortable Traig was feeling, Michele and I abandoned our earlier ambitions of a longer hike with the boys.  Instead, we opted for this stop off on the way back to our campground.  250 yards?  I think we could manage that...

No Photoshop here folks - this lake is breathtakingly beautiful and so, so tiny.  

You can see the person on the other side to give you an idea just how small it is.  And, 45 feet  So worth the 250 yards!!!

It's a good thing it was a short hike as we had about 30 minutes after returning to the campground before it started to rain.  We sure saw the ominous dark clouds coming in - and heard the thunder giving us the alert of what's to come.  More cozy vehicle/movie watching/cell phone charging time.  =)

After it subsided, some Marionberry Cobbler (have I mentioned this year how much I love my camping oven?) and s'mores - we retired in the tent, very content with the day we'd all shared.

This morning, we were pretty efficient in getting out of there.  The boys get a better grade for packing up today...but barely passing.  At least we know it was put together well - thanks almost entirely to Michele (as I went to get gas during much of it).   We'll be in good shape for our Hills Creek Adventure in two weeks.

Even though I wanted to kick him in the back end for dawdling and being distracted, I couldn't help but melt when Brayden made a point of stopping to say "Mommy, I had a really good time on this trip".    Ahhhhhh....and somehow it doesn't matter if he is hammering a stump instead of packing the van anymore.  I think it's safe to say we all had a "really good time"....better, in fact, than last year.  Next year will be a struggle to determine a week to make it happen as they could be serving at Harlow during most of the summer, but the rewarding part is hearing the boys both tell us it's not something they want to miss out on.


Patryk But said...

Nice blog :) Don't stop! <3

Bin John said...

Your photo with your son is amazing and touched my heart... keep it going
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