Friday, July 03, 2020

Prospecting and a proposal!

In our family, if it happened once and it was fun, it will forevermore be considered a TRADITION.

Heading south to Quincy, California for a week on Danny's prospecting claims is now one of our favorite family traditions. It's a two-day trip there and a two-day trip back. Normally we'd stay in a hotel, but this damn Covid-19 pandemic has made 2020 anything but normal. We're not about to stay in a hotel, and we're definitely not about to fly anywhere, so a few weeks ago we bought ourselves a cute little trailer.

It's smaller than our last beloved trailer, but our winding, curvy hilly driveway just barely accommodates it, so if we want to travel, this is our option. It's just right for us where we are now in our lives - figuratively and literally. Tom added a solar system (that is, a system for solar power!) to keep the lights on for a week off-grid and Danny brought his "miner's/fireman hose" to keep the tank filled with creek water, so we were all set.

It's a long drive from Gig Harbor to Quincy, and state parks have been closed due to the pandemic, so we made a reservation at an RV park in Grant's Pass, Oregon, which marks the approximate halfway point. When we drove in, we were greeted by multiple Trump/Pence signs.

Not just one, but many of them. To be honest, we probably would have turned around and found somewhere else to stay the night, but RV parks were all jam-packed because public parks were closed, so our options were severely limited. Once we settled in, I decided to talk to the owners, suggesting that they discourage (any) political signs, as most people travel to get away from things like politics, but in the office I noticed a - yup, Trump/Pence sign. Suffice it to say that we slept and left. How sad that politics in this country has gotten to this point. I plead guilty for my role in it, but I stand vehemently against just about everything Trump stands for and have to say that if you love the guy, well... unfriend me, please.

Fortunately, the rest of the trip was filled with beauty. Even the rest stop, with the amazing view of Mt. Shasta, was pretty!

The last two miles of the trip, a rough dirt road, took about an hour, with Danny helping Tom fill in huge gaps, ridges, and holes with logs and rocks.

It was a long, hot haul to get to the claim, but oh, the beauty that greeted us!

We hadn’t seen Kat and Ian since before this damn pandemic began and we had planned this reunion carefully, with testing and quarantining all around, so that initial hug was like new life being breathed into me!

Elisabeth, Danny, and little Leo had caravaned from Washington with us and we met Kat and Ian, along with Ian’s mom (also named Kat, nicknamed “Mom Kat” to avoid confusion with our daughter, Kat), her friend (also named Tom, nicknamed “Tom Not Dad” to avoid confusion with “our” Tom), and Ian’s brother, Arden. Now all ten of us were finally together, ready for a fun week of prospecting, playing, and relaxing. We parked the trailer next to Kat and Ian’s new Westfalia van and the Markus’ tent, and settled in. 

The next morning, as I walked the few steps from the campsite to the river, Ian approached me and announced that he was going to propose to Kat that morning! We’ve known Ian for over 15 years, since he was Elisabeth’s housemate at Cal and 15-year-old Kat’s “crush.” He’s always felt like part of the family and now he was about to officially become part of the family! A few minutes later I caught a photo of Ian as he told Tom of his plan for the morning

Ian had asked Danny to help with specifics: Danny would hand Kat a prospecting pan that was ready for “processing” (the step in which the heavy dirt - and hopefully gold - are separated from rock and other “debris” by shaking and moving the pan just under the surface of the water). In that pan, Danny had placed the ring Ian had brought. Wisely, Ian brought two inexpensive rings, as that river can be quick... 

This is what happened next:

As both families looked on, Ian and Kat became engaged! We quickly named the location “Proposal Pond” and celebrated with champagne! 

What a great way to start our week together! 

The rest of the week was full of fun, relaxation, and yes, even a bit of gold. 

And we got a whole week with Leo - who is far more toddler now than baby. He’s such a cutie, and so much fun!

I especially love this little montage of Tom and Leo. Leo adores his Papa!

What a week it was! After being relegated to home for months, this was such a welcome and unforgettable respite and celebration of family, love, and hope for the future.

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Margaret said...

Beautiful photos and congrats to Kat, Ian and the whole family! Weddings are probably very different these days, but I'm sure they'll/you'll figure out something. :)

Carol said...

They'll figure something out. Currently, the options range from visiting a Justice of the Peace now and having parties later, to a small family gathering, to a full weekend destination wedding. Waiting to hear what they decide!

Judy said...

How much family fun, surprises and beauty to fill hearts and escape reality for a while. ❤️❤️❤️❤️

Tonya said...

What a gorgeous place that is! It looks so peaceful, and that creek/river is wonderful. What a fun time, and I'm so happy for Kat and Ian. Woohoo!!

Carol said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Carol said...

This family keeps growing and I love it SO much!

deekeller said...

A whole week! What a relaxing and exciting time!

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