Summer, 2001
Washington State

   Leavenworth, Washington
We picked up two of the boy's old friends, Matt and Jake, and went east of the Cascades for some nice weather.  This Thousand Trails Resort had plenty for them to do including a paddle boat race and miniature golf.
After we arrived, I took the boys to town and let them do the shopping.  They planned their own meals, did their own shopping, built their own fires using flint sparks, cooked by themselves and cleaned -- well, at least as much as I could get them to clean.  It was a very interesting four days.
 
We returned to the West Coast of Washington and stopped by the King County Fair.  Our niece, Christa, was showing her cat for her 4-H project. I'll have a picture of Christa on our "Summer People" page coming out soon.

Mitch and Max enjoyed watching these guys jump their bikes off of the quarter pipe ramps.
 


Pack Forest
The following weekend we spent as guests of Cheryl's sister, Janet, at the University of Washington's School of Forestry Alumni Reunion Summer Camp.

The school owns a large piece of land near Mount Rainier.  Here, we are on a walk through the school's oldest stand of trees.  There are many different stands of trees, all in various phases of growth, thinning, harvest, and protection.  Here, students can learn about Forestry and carry on studies that span many generations to come.

It's called Pack Forest after Mr. Pack, the guy that donated the land. 
 

Here the staff is cooking a seemingly endless supply of salmon.  It was not only slow alder-cooked salmon, but the best I have ever eaten.

 

Here we are enjoying a great dinner on the first night. All the salmon and food we could eat, including beer, wine and pop.

Then there was the endless wine tasting, (that's Cheryl's sister, Janet and her husband, Denny).

 . . . and marshmallow roast.
When we first signed up for the weekend we thought that the price was kind of high, but by the time we left we felt like it was a real deal.
Endless breakfasts and lunches at the mess hall. 

The food and service was top notch all the way.

We were able to back our trailer in near the dorms.  It was nice to have our own house.  The others shared dorm-style bunkhouses and used common bathroom and shower facilities. 

During the day we participated in several activities.  Here's a hike through different types of trees.

And later we pulled out our GPS, (global positioning satellite,) units to search for a hidden prize box.  I found out that there are many such GPS challenges across the U.S. posted on the Internet. 
We also attended a hands-on presentation on the use of Forest Simulation software.

For this training session we worked with data that represents the entire Pack Forest.  We selected a single stand of trees that is fairly young.  We had the computer project growth over the next seventy years, project animal density, and experimented with the effects of thinning to see how the yield varied.

The school has collected a mass of data about forest, harvesting, thinning, drought, fires, animal habitation and much more.  The software is able to simulate forest and animal habitation quite accurately.  It is used to model forests across the US and around the world.

They could just sell our boys the SIM-Forest software as a game and they wouldn't even know they were taking a college course.

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