Writing by Scott on Tuesday, 8 of October , 2013 at 3:46 pm
So, this is the second year in a row the Rainy Pass to Hart’s Pass hike was selected and abandoned at the last minute. Last year was due to my knee blowing out over a Labor Day hike and this year was due to a significant amount of snow in higher elevations (including over 9 inches at Hart’s Pass). We weren’t interested in sleeping in snow so a series of other hikes were researched at the last minute which introduced uncertainty and caused our party to dwindle from a party of 7 (almost 8) to a trio of stout men: Jeff Thompson, Pat Boyer and Me.
For those who missed the hike, it was an all-time great walk in the woods! We covered ~31 miles in four days, caught fish, built massive camp fires, bonded over time honored beverages and experienced one of the most beautiful places in Washington State (the Pasayten Wilderness) on four glorious weather days (cold but crystal clear). The golden larches were popping at tree line, the three passes we traveled over offered amazing views of a whole series of peaks, bear tracks in the snow kept us on-guard, fat pheasants/grouse/ptarmigens stared at us from trees and rocks plus we got a little lost on our way, but it ended up working out JUST FINE thankyouverymuch.
Here’s how it went down.
Jeff picked up Patrick from the airport Weds evening and high tailed it to the Mazama cabin and were welcomed by a large camp fire and a planned power outage at Midnight. Thursday morning was a large breakfast of breakfast tacos made with local bacon and then a load out to the trail head (~1 hour from the cabin). We were surprised by the snow at the trail head as we were only at 4,300 feet. Off we went on our way and almost immediately, missed our trail cut off to Hidden Lakes via Eight Mile Pass. Between the snow, cut back type trail and lack of focus while clomping up a snow covered trail. We realized our mis-direction when three ultra-light hikers caught up to us and asked why we changed hikes – oops! The good news was that we were on a major trail although it was on the North side of Billy Goat peak which meant 4 miles of hiking through beautiful snow in a gorgeous valley. We righted ourselves and kept going, but that added about 4 miles to day 1 that we didn’t expect. So, we camped at Drake Creek at a horse camp – lots of room, big fire, next to a stream, good food (brats, salmon fettuccine, red wine) and a cold night’s sleep.
The next day we kicked into gear for ~9 miles over Lucky Pass, through Diamond Creek, all the way to Cougar Lake where we experienced another wide open camp site. We saw two college guys on the trail, but they kept going to Hidden Lakes so we had Cougar Lake to ourselves. After nine miles with full packs we had no desire to keep going to Hidden Lakes – great future hike! Fishing ensued where Pat caught first and biggest with an Eastern Brook Trout while Jeff hauled in a Rainbow. Scott was skunked, but had fun trying. That night was grilled fish, freeze dried veggies and chili mac.
On Saturday, we slept in, did some more fishing and let camp around noon. Nice and easy. We hiked back to Drake Creek and found a father-daughter team at our site. Jeff/Pat explored and found a COOLER site down the creek that was a bit more wilderness-y with a proper fire ring and the ritual repeated. Bourbon supplies were running low, but we had enough to keep warm and enjoyed another quality camp fire and a well earned night sleep.
Sunday morning was an early pack out and crossing Eight Mile Pass. We exited around noon and had time to hit Three Finger Jacks to watch the last 4 minutes of the Seahawks game (damn!) and get a few beers. We then cleaned up at the cabin before Pat and Jeff took off for the airport.
All in all an adventure trip filled with exploration, incredible scenery, friendship and sore feet. I look forward to next year’s hike. Jeff, where are we going?
Writing by Scott on Monday, 7 of October , 2013 at 10:20 pm
It is with a sweet farewell that we say goodbye to Pack 144 Cub Scouts and move into Troop 186 Boy Scouts. The five years with Pack 144 has been a blessing for Jackson and I to spend quality time together every Wednesday Night and at least four weekends a year at Blake Island, Mount Baker, Millersylvania State Park and Camp Shelton. I’m proud to say that we attended every outing in our five years with the pack.
Not to mention the great friends Jackson and I have made in the pack and our Den. I’m also proud that we graduated every cub in den 7 that started with us plus a few we picked up through out the years. Den 7 rules!
So, here is a fantastic video from our last year that kicks off 2013-14 cub scout year. Enjoy!
Writing by Scott on Wednesday, 19 of December , 2012 at 12:49 pm
Happy Holidays to our Friends and Family,
Wow, has it really been a year since we lasted posted something on this blog? Yikes.
The Fassers are all doing well. We have had a really fun year as a family. The kids are growing up so fast and they are both such great people.
Jackson is 10 now. He started snowboarding last winter, making the switch from skis back in January. He’s got a new board this winter and is ready to get up to the mountains. The snow has been falling steadily now and we will be getting lots of skiing in over the Christmas break. Jackson played basketball last winter, baseball in the spring, rock climbing throughout the year and soccer this summer and fall. Jackson joined a new soccer team this fall called the Knocknoodles and just last weekend the Knocknoodles won the championships for their age division. This was extremely exciting.
Jackson and Scott continue to be active in Cub Scouts. This is Jackson’s last year as a Cub Scout and he plans to move on to Boy Scouts this spring.
Lindsay is 15 now. She loves being a student at Ballard High School. She is very active in student government acting as sophomore vice president. She is secretary of SLAM (student’s lives always matter) club, which is a student suicide prevention group. Lindsay joined the National Honors Society this fall and she participated on swim team for the second year. She just joined the BHS inclusion basketball team, which is a league that integrates students with special needs and they participate in the Special Olympics. Last spring Linz played fast pitch softball for the first time and she absolutely loved it. Her greatest wish right now is to get signed up for driver’s ed. so she can get her permit and start driving!
Scott continues to be a fabulous husband and father! He works very hard to provide for our family, which the kids & I appreciate so much. Scott is the den dad this year for Jackson’s Cub Scout troop and he is coaching Jackson’s basketball team this winter. He had meniscus surgery this fall and recovered beautifully. He was quite productive at the cabin putting in new flooring in the guest bedroom and updating the bathroom. He also did an amazing restoration on our 1946 Monarch stove (at the cabin). The thing actually works now and it is so nice to be able to cook over there (used to take about 40 minutes to boil water!).
I’m still enjoying being a stay home mom. I am starting to work a little outside the home. I started a small business last spring doing home organizing and clutter consulting. I also planned a holiday party for Ocean Beauty Seafood and planned a lovely wedding in June. I love who the kids are growing into. Our family didn’t travel this last year out of state but we spent a ton of time at the cabin and we enjoy that time so much. We are heading over on December 27th and staying through the 5th of January.
We wish all of you and yours a very Merry Christmas. We hope that the New Year brings you health, wellness, and peace.
Michelle, Scott, Lindsay, Jackson, Cooper & Lucy
Writing by Michelle on Thursday, 22 of December , 2011 at 6:38 pm
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukah, Happy New Year!
I hope this letter finds you all well and in good health. We are so grateful to have our friends and family and to celebrate another great year on this earth!
2011 started like so many years before with a celebration with our friends in the North Cascades at the cabin. Our dear friends the Dennis’ and the Krystads came over to celebrate the New Year. We enjoyed the snow and the beautiful mountains. Mazama, truly is heaven on earth.
In February Jackson turned 9! I still can’t believe it. He and I took a trip to Santa Cruz during mid winter break to visit my family that month. He had fun playing the big kid to his younger cousins, a role usually played by his big sister. Jackson played basketball last winter followed by baseball in the spring. This year baseball really changed as the boys were learning to pitch to each other. To add to the challenge was record braking cold temperatures and rain fall in the North West. This made the games nothing short of miserable for both the players and their parents. It also meant that most of the practices were rained out. The highlight of the season was our last game. The sun finally came out, as did the fans and the hot dogs! While hanging out in the outfield with the other parents my boy hit a grand slam homerun! A real one! As he rounded home his whole team came out to congratulate him and were just jumping up and down around him screaming! It was so fun to watch! After that game our unseasonably cold spring turned to a fairly decent summer.
This last summer Jackson had a blast participating in sleep away camp at Camp Sealth, lots of trips to Mazama with friends, Challenger Soccer camp and Rock Climbing Camp with Vertical World. The summer went by way too fast as it always does and Jackson started the 4th grade this fall at West Woodland in Mr. Langley’s class.
Fourth grade, fall soccer, and rock climbing has kept Jackson busy! He is super excited for Christmas, hoping for an iPod Nano from Santa. Good luck kid.
Lindsay’s year was especially exciting as it was her last year at Seattle Girls School. We took a trip to the cabin with her 3 best friends in January, our 3rd year to do so. She played her last year of basketball with her North Seattle rec league. In February she went to Costa Rica with her 8th grade Spanish class for a week. The girls all stayed with host families and spent their time practicing their Spanish, volunteering in a local elementary school, learning to cook the local food, and enjoying the sight seeing.
This spring Lindsay graduated from Seattle Girls School. We were so proud of her to be one of two students chosen to deliver on of the commencement speeches (can be seen on this website).
This summer Lindsay started training with the Ballard High School swim team, also attended sleep away camp at Camp Sealth and enjoyed rock-climbing camp as well.
This fall high school FINALLY started. Our little freshman was extremely excited to become part of the BHS community. We are really happy with how Lindsay has transitioned from her small all girls’ school of 125 to a co-ed population of 1,600! Piece of cake for this girl! Linz swam on the swim team and has joined SLAM club (Students Lives Always Matter) which is an anti biased group that educates students on suicide prevention and how to help a friend that might be suicidal.
Both kids continue to do well in school and are just happy, lovely kids. Scott and I feel so blessed. Dogs are great too if anyone really cares.
Scott is still with Optify and has really been enjoying his interface with the customers and being a support to the new employees that just seem to keep coming as the company grows! He still has a few projects on the side so that he can continue to flex his creative muscles and help small businesses in our community.
This summer with the help of our good friend Giles, Scott built two zip lines at the cabin! They are totally cool. So cool that Jackson even crashed on one of them, split his shin open, and got his first stitches over Labor Day weekend. Guess that was going to happen sooner or later.
Scott and Jackson continue to be very active in Cub Scout pack 144. Scott has volunteered as “outings chair” this year and is currently planning the Mt. Baker Snow Camping Trip. He also coached Jackson’s baseball team last spring. This guy is such a great dad!
All three of my people did a climb in August while at the cabin with a local guide. They did a climb called “fun rock”. It’s actually part of a group of faces that one can climb at Mazama Rock, almost directly across the road from our place. It was strange for me to see the kids scamper up the face of such an enormous rock! It was scary to me but also really cool to see just how strong and capable they are as climbers. It was awesome.
I’m doing great. I feel like the luckiest woman alive. The kids are getting big and I feel like it’s my time to try a little something new. I was hired to do a Christmas Party this year as the event planner. I’m working on a wedding for this June and I may be working on an event in September for the Little People Community here is the Pacific Northwest. Fingers crossed that that happens!
The event-planning piece just happened because, well, I can just do it. The really big news is I’ve started a little home business! I am now a clutter consultant and home organizer. I’ve actually been doing this for years for my self and for girl friends that get over whelmed by their spaces and their…stuff. So, I figured, “why not?” I’ve loved how flexible the hours have been and how deeply satisfying it is for me to come into a chaotic space and make it calm. Hence, the name of my business is called Chaos2Calm. (Girl friend Kristie came up with the name). We will get the website up this winter and I’m putting the finishing touches on my business identity.
I hope you all enjoy this holiday season. We love visitors so please come and visit. Take care of your selves and each other.
We love you all so very much.
Writing by Scott on Friday, 18 of November , 2011 at 5:09 pm
This is flat out crazy. The 72 year old neighbor who lives up the hill from us – behind our house – and over one drove through his garage, through a hedge and through a fence to drop down and crashed into Mary and Spruce’s deck – on Spruce’s birthday! The driver emerged shaken up and un-hurt, but what a mess! Oh, he just got his license two weeks ago…
Writing by Scott on Monday, 12 of September , 2011 at 10:55 pm
We spent a great Labor Day weekend at the La Tierra Environmental Learning Center in Leavenworth Washington. Our neighbors Mary and Spruce got hitched and we spent a lifetime getting to know their friends and parents and celebrating the nuptials. Highlights include morning meditation and yoga in the Yurt, late nights around the fire, listening to Jeff playing the Ukelali and Nolan playing the guitar, the fabulous wedding ceremony, great food, yard games and fantastic conversations.
Writing by Scott on Saturday, 27 of August , 2011 at 9:37 am
The 2011 edition of the annual boyz hike was a big success with an excellent destination, great weather, good fishing and some stories to tell. Dave Dawson picked the hike this year which took us to the 7 Lakes Basin in the Olympic National Park. Attendees included Dave, Jeff, Will, Johnny G., Ralph and myself.
Our hike began on Thursday afternoon a little before 2pm. This was a little late to be starting a 10 mile hike, but logistically there was a good bit of travel to get to the Olympic Park Ranger station in Port Angeles, get gear situated and move the circus. Jeff Thompson brought a portable scale and we weighed ourselves with and without packs – before and after the hike. We won’t go into details on weight but my pack was the heaviest (76 lbs!) so some re-distribution was in order.
The hike through the first part of the trail to the Sol Duc Falls and then up to Deer Lake was packed with tourists and day hikers. The Sol Duc Falls was a great stop on the way back for rest and photos (see below). We reached the 7 lakes basin at dusk and passed beautiful semi-frozen over lakes at Lunch lake and beyond. The sunset was fantastic, but we lost our trail and decided to camp up in the basin – good call Will! Dave ended up staying at Deer Lake Thursday night and caught up to us on Friday.
The next morning was blue bird sky and we found the trail to Morganroth within minutes. An hour later, we are at the lake and setting up camp right on the water with a great group hang-out spot and some majestic tent areas. There is a small lake called no-name that feeds into Morganroth and a creek that runs between – great spot for pulling water and added the babbling brook soundtrack. Our group was the only one at the lake – nice!
Activities of the week included:
- Day hike to the waterfall into no-name
- Fishing the lakes
- Napping/reading in the hammock
- Modest frisbee golf
- Cribbage by the lake
- Trips to the snow pack to for the ingredients for bourbon slushies
- Lots of cooking and eating and laughing
On Friday night, we were about to get out the headlamps when two hikers stumbled into our universe- Debbie and Fabrice/Fabio (?). They had no packs (only a day pack), minimal food and water and were clearly out of their element. What had started out at a day trip to Bogachiel Peak and back to the lot (which would be a 20+ mile endeavor) turned into a lost wander through the basin. We gave them food, clothing, pads and a blanket so they had a spot to sleep for the night. They were very appreciative and very lucky someone was at the lake to help or else it would have been a much worse night for them.
Sunday morning we packed up and cruised out early. The hike down was a spectacular as the hike up, but this time we hit the early morning sun. Ralph and John bagged Bogachiel Peak on the way out and we did the ceremonial weigh-in at the parking lot. We all lost 15 or so pounds from our pack. We stopped in PA to drop off bear cannisters at the ranger station and got some beers/dinner at the tavern 9 and headed home.
Writing by Scott on Sunday, 12 of June , 2011 at 8:51 am
Below are the 8th grade graduation speeches from Lindsay and Greta. Lindsay was chosen by the faculty to talk and Greta was chosen by the students. Sarah Murphy introduced them. All three of these girls are in our Phinney Ridge car pool! We’re extremely proud of the girls, their poise, ability to speak in front of several hundred people in an auditorium and young women they have become. Enjoy.
Writing by Michelle on Thursday, 21 of April , 2011 at 7:24 pm
Day two in Tucson started out well enough but trying to find our way to the shopping district was a bit rough. We were trying to find the fabulous shopping district that I kept reading about on line which we never really found. Despite the internet being such an amazing resource for us on this trip, it was bullshit when it came to recommending shopping areas. We headed to 4th Avenue which promised to be Tucson’s eclectic shopping district. That is code for stoner head shops and skate punk clothing mixed in with some Buddhist weird ass stuff. We didn’t hang long here as we were in mixed company. However, Lindsay did score a fabulous frock and that made it somewhat worthwhile.
Next stop was downtown Tucson. We saw a lot of impact on the economic downturn of the last couple years. Sadly most of the store fronts were empty. The downtown though is really pretty. I really appreciated how beautiful the public buildings are. It was a really very nice down town. There just was not a lot going on.
We found a great local spot for lunch today. Our people are always up for Mexican food and a local business- man directed us to the fabulous hole in the wall Alejandro’s. There were a half dozen momma’s back in the kitchen fixin’ up some pretty authentic fare. I had the chicken mole and I have to say it was so good! The guacamole was amazing as were the super fresh chips. A+!
Not wanting to spend any more time in the sun that afternoon (thanks to a very angry sunburn on my back from yesterday) Linz & I ditched our group at the house for pool time and Lindsay and I went off in pursuit of retail therapy. We got a few hits and few misses that afternoon too. I had a blast with Linz bouncing in and out of the high end shops of Tucson. We(I) are too cheap to spend the kind of money that they wanted for t-shirts and flip flops so we came home with just a few sweet items.
That night, the classic teriyaki chicken, salad, melon, and left over corn bread. Not bad at all.
Writing by Michelle on Thursday, 21 of April , 2011 at 7:23 pm
Our first full day in Tucson began with a lovely breakfast outside on the patio. The sun is already nice and warm. We were given the recommendation to hike Pima Canyon from Mike Richards’ brother and it turned out to be a great one. Just a short drive from the house we reached the trail head in what appeared to be a residential area. My mom’s place is in the Catalina Foothills, which is a really pretty part of Tucson. We started out on our hike and immediately felt that we were no longer in Seattle. With temperatures reaching the low 90’s that day, we were friggin hot! So, off we went.
It didn’t take long before we were rewarded with substantial views of greater Tucson at our backs. Once rounding a bend, we lost sight on the city and were in this fabulous forest of Saguaro Cacti. It was so hot. We stayed strong and made it in 3 plus miles. Both kids were such troopers.
There was no loop or specific destination here. We could have gone on and on. We learned from returning hikers that the damn was dry and therefore there was no water. We stopped for Jolly Ranchers at a popular hiker stop and then made our way down.
We decided to run back (as we often do on our hikes) and it was so hot that I thought I was going to pass out. Turns out that when you run down a mountain and it is 90 degrees outside, you get over heated.
Okay, so a great start to our vacation. Lindsay’s and my favorite part of the hike were the giant Saguaro forest. Scott’s favorite was the view of Tucson. Jackson’s favorite, had to be the sprint back to the car! He was done with that heat. As promised by the internet, the canyon was truly beautiful and the cotton wood groves deep in the Pima Canyon were stunning and a welcome respite from the intense sun.
Now that we were back in La Paloma it was time to go to the pool! We spent the afternoon horizontal in a pool lounge chair. Linz, Scott & I read books while Jackson splashed in the pool. Scott and I drank cold beer. What a fabulous pool and it is located right across the street from my mom’s place. Dinner was barbeque ribs, baked beans, melon, and corn bread. It was all a perfect end to a perfect day.
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