Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Visit from North Dakota - Part 5


That afternoon while I went to work Trevor hiked to the lake above the house, pretty much a "must see" for visitors.  He had a great time, saw some new foxes, and took some good pictures.

This is the view "over the top" from the ridge to the right of the lake.

That evening I introduced him to the joys of a belt-fed, automatic firing Nerf gun.  I think we have solved the mystery of where he learned to make gun noises with his mouth . . . .

Please don't tell Goldfish we turned the house into an indoor firing range . . . .

That night we feasted on a four cheese macaroni and cheese casserole that Goldfish pre-made before going on vacation and put in the freezer for us . . . . ohhh man, heavenly.  In our family, we we have a thing about mac and cheese.  My Mom made the ultimate mac and cheese, I can remember shopping with my Dad for "Coon Brand" extra sharp cheddar when I was little when Mom was going to make one.  Mom passed away in '94 and Dad found a wonderful woman to share his life with, and I cringe to admit it but one of the yardsticks we - by we, I mean me and my 3 siblings - used to measure her as a woman and a step-mother was her ability to make mac and cheese.  The years would go by and I would say "Wow, great mac and cheese, almost as good as Mom's!"  My Dad has been married to her for 13 or 14 years now, and it was just a few years ago that I finally told her it was "just as good as Mom's" - the poor woman is a saint, of course the mac and cheese was every bit as good as Mom's from the very beginning, we just had to love her more each year, and she had to patiently let us.  Our commentary on her mac and cheese was a metaphor for love, only realized upon looking back.  From this experience I did however learn a valuable lesson - there is no point in being so stingy with love when I have such a big heart, and the very first mac and cheese that Goldfish ever put on the table was proclaimed "as good as Mom's" - so there is hope for me in my old age . . .

The next day Trevor hiked the Ugadaga Bay trail, first bicycling up Overland Pass Road to get to the trailhead.

Ugadaga Bay Trail connects the Bering Sea side of the island, where we live, with the North Pacific Ocean side of the island, and it has been used for thousands of years as the best and easiest way to get from one side to the other.

The trail follows the valley carved by this stream and sometimes get a little close to the edge of the stream bank . . . .

And there is Ugadaga Bay . . . the "other side" looks just like this side in most ways; what makes the hike special for me is thinking about all the other folks that have used the trail.  It is rare to see anyone else when hiking almost anywhere out here, so it is easy to slip back in time.

On this night Trevor made spaghetti sauce - he has always made great spaghetti sauce, it is one of his gifts to the family, it may have even played a role in the wooing of his wife for all I know.  This was the first time he made one "island style" though, with giant scallops and king crab meat instead of chicken or hamburg.  Wait a minute, is he giving me the stink eye in my own kitchen??  Cheeky monkey . . . .

Ohhh yeah, gotta love it . . . all over a nice multi-grain pasta.

It turned out great and I had leftovers to last me until Goldfish came home from vacation.

After this point, the photographic record of his visit gets a bit sketchy as someone left the camera memory card in the Wii after we reviewed the day's pictures, and my camera doesn't have any on-board memory.  This would be the same someone who came out here without a camera, just to throw a hint out there.  Anyways, we didn't just play with Nerf guns (and I will say this - the person who lost at the Nerf gun range in the living room did better at the real gun range), we played lots of cribbage, we explored a cave and a wreck, we attempted to play Wii golf and watch a movie, there as a Crystal Head involved at one point, and we had some wonderful conversations.  A wonderful family friend dropped off a blueberry pie with ice cream to supplement our rations - I thought I made decent pie crust but I now realize how far I have to go to perfection.  We made some homemade ice cream and made huge banana splits and ate them while we watched trash on Spike TV.  We had to change his ticket twice due to fog canceling flights, but alas, he eventually returned to home and responsibilities in North Dakota, starting a new job on the Monday after he left.  For a father, there is really nothing more rewarding than having sons who are also great friends, and I am so proud of both of my sons - and I hope my Dad knows what a great friend I consider him to be!  Miss you guys, love from the island!

6 comments:

Suzassippi said...

You brought a tear to my eye on this one, as well as a great memory of our hike on the Ugadaga. You also made me hungry. I want mac and cheese AND spaghetti.

Terria Fleming said...

Wonderful post, and it sounds like you guys made the most of his visit and had a lot of fun. The "shooting range" in the living room looks like fun too. The islands walks and all the photos you take make me want to come see the island for myself. Lucky you! Have a terrific week.
P.S. The food photos made my mouth water too. Nothing beats good mac and cheese, and the spaghetti looks really good and unusual. Yum.

Trevor said...

Great summary of a great trip! We sure at good on our little vacation that's for sure. I'm thinking I might start showing some of these pictures around Cando so the people can see where their good doctor ended up.

Love you!

Transitions said...

I have no doubt that Goldfish would not be suprised to hear that you turned her house into a firing range. Infact she probably knows you well enough to expect it. :)

Anonymous said...

Great post, Steve. Our step-mom is an amazing cook and a blessing in our lives.

Lori said...

Spaghetti with king crab and scallops - now that's a first. Gotta try that one! Great post!