We were lucky to be able to spend close to 2 weeks in Bend, Oregon with my sister and her family. It was the middle of October and the weather was fantastic, sunshine and blue skies most days. We also timed our visit for the peak of the fall colors; all of the trees were wonderful reds, oranges, and yellows.

We took CJ out one day for some rock hounding. We spent a few hours digging around in the dirt looking for bumpy round rocks. We managed to dig up about 20 which we got sliced to reveal the blue agate inside. I have to admit I did get a bit of the rock hound fever; was a addicting searching for the rocks hoping that they would be beautiful inside.

Another day we took a hike along the Mackenzie
river to a clear blue with seemingly no inlet. There was plenty of water flowing down the river as we walked upstream, but when we arrived at the pool we could not see where the never ending supply of water was coming from. Turns out as the snow from the nearby mountains melts it filters through the ground and into old lava tubes, the water then flows through the lava tubes until it reaches this blue pool where the tube runs out.

Our Oregon visit ended in Northern California where we watched CJ compete in the Western Region Fiddle Open. He took first place in his division!! We were all very proud of him.

We really enjoyed being able to spend time with the kids playing, carving a pumpkin, cooking, and hanging out. It is pretty special to be able to spend so much time with family.

First 6 hours of driving from Huntington Beach to Half Moon Bay - easy cruising. Last 7 miles into the camp ground - mega-traffic. Thanks random pumpkin patch.
Thankfully a kindly Gray whale and calf were there to meet us, performing hi-jinks only 50 feet from shore. A long (really long) walk on the beach and top the evening off with some pumpkin-spiced ale and phosphorescent waves under the stars. This is the recipe for a wonderful day.
We departed on a 5-day camping trip with 48 junior high kids to Pinecrest, just north of the Yosemite Valley. There were many very entertaining events including a hail storm on a ridge line above 9000 feet and a 'hunger games' event where we got to be the tracker jackers and spent the best part of an hour chasing kids though the wilderness. Friday we wrapped up the camp, did a quick head count and returned the kids to San Fransisco before departing on an 8-hour drive to Bend Oregon.