My cousin Neil hit his 50th birthday this past week, and celebrated in fine fashion, as noted above, exiting from the Bouncy Castle. Huge barbq with lots of family and long time friends at his homestead. An absolutely wonderful time, on a beautiful Saturday.
I first met Neil in the early '70s, on a family trip to the Northwest to visit. He taught me how to catch frogs, jump off houses, and take the training wheels off a bike. He is the older brother I never had, and I eventually lived in his house when I moved out here. We backpacked and camped as teens, as a family and in youth group. Tonga Ridge, Teeanaway, Potholes, Whidbey Island, Crescent Bar, Moran State Park-- lots of marvelous outdoor places, where I sometimes now find myself returning via trail running.
Although I see Neil and others in the family on holidays and other occasions, it's never enough. "Don't forget your family!," my aunt clearly reminded me on Saturday.
I've been climbing Chinscraper a bunch in the past week or two. I think it's going to be an all hills diet for me for the next couple months, with some really big hills lined up for September. My ankle isn't 100%, but I decided to sign up for White River, because....well, everybody plays the fool. I'm sure it'll be ok--10 miles at a time, and a fine barbq at the finish.