Friday, October 18, 2013

Lynden, berryland

Lynden turns out to be the raspberry capital of Washington.  They supply 90% of Washington's berries, plus send some out to other places.

One morning, Nick wanted us to get up early and go golf nine holes at a local course called Raspberry Ridge.  This may seem quite normal to you, especially knowing what an avid golfer Nick is, but the trick was that I had never played golf before.

Yes, yes.  Ten years of marriage into a golf-dominated family and I had not yet played more than a few buckets at the driving range and some putting on a practice green.  I blame it on the kids.  Nick woke up extra, extra early to go scout out the course.  Really?  This wasn't exactly going to be competitive.  That's just the kind of golfer that I married.  He came back around six to get me.  The plan was to be back to the house a little after breakfast.  It's hard to see that I'm on a golf course in this picture, but that's a club in my hands.
 I was pretty thrilled with how I played.  My only cheat was that Nick teed up my ball for me on every shot.  On one hole, I actually got a triple bogie!  Not an accomplishment for most, but it was a stroke count with a name!  On the last hole, I got one more triple bogie, but only if you ignore the ball that went in the water, so that one wasn't really a triple.

Later that day, my parents and I took the kids to a raspberry farm for u-pick berries.  They loved it, and were good little pickers.  It's funny how their picking style was so predictable by their personalities.

Curie picked any berry that looked remotely decent and played and sang as she went.
 Bethelle only picked the ripe ones that fell easily when she pulled, just like I taught her.  She did well.
 Rigby is Mr. Meticulous.  He really inspected every berry before giving it a tug.  Each one had to be the right shade, size, symmetry, etc.  He did not pick very many, but they were all perfect.

 My parents...
 Our bounty.  My parents were just there to be with the kids, and Holly only wanted what she had picked, but I had come to vacation prepared to make freezer jam.  We got 16 pounds of berries for 20 bucks.  That is a steal, ladies and gentlemen.
My mom and I stayed up pretty late making that jam.  The berries were so perfectly ripe that it had to be done that day.  You really should come over for a sandwich.  I am not kidding when I say that we go through bread three times faster than we used to ever since this jam came into our lives.

That afternoon, Troy and I took our families (minus Pierce, plus Blair's Charlotte) to float the Nooksack river.  We had ten kids, ages three to eight, and four adults.  There were definitely moments where I wondered, "What were we thinking?" but really we were safe the whole time.  The river is gentle and the kids did pretty well.

Here they all are just before setting off.  It's hard to tell, but there is a steep wall of rocks to climb down to get to the river behind them.  That was probably the trickiest part of the voyage.  Well, that, and finding where to pull off the river that would be near the car.  Overall, a grand adventure.

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