Christmas Tree Cutting in the National Forest

We decided to go for it this year! Cutting down a Christmas tree from the National Forest.

This actually wasn’t our first time. Darrick and I did this years ago when we had a dog baby instead of a human baby. We ended up on a steep and snowy forest road, which I was fairly certain we were going to slide right off of to our untimely deaths. And then it was freezing outside and very difficult to to find a tree, so we ended up with the Charlie-browniest tree ever. Which we actually quite loved in the end. πŸ™‚

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This year we decided to try again, for a couple reasons.

One: We’ve had quite a bit more experience in the woods over the last couple years.

Two: Our Thanksgiving weekend is packed, and we didn’t want to wait another whole week to get a tree. That meant our day to go was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving — Family Day! There is only one U-Cut farm open before Thanksgiving and it’s all Noble Firs … and we just weren’t stoked about the thought of paying $100 for a tree this year.

So the morning of, eggnog lattes and hot chocolate in hand, we headed to the ranger station at REI to get our $10 tree-cutting permit. We decided that if they said the weather was bad or the roads were dangerous, we’d bail and head to a tree farm sometime that following week, but all sounded clear and we were given a map with some ideas on where to head. (For some reason, we didn’t talk to anyone the previous time we did this. No idea why.)

Also, we just love REI. πŸ™‚

And then we were off! We headed out to Highway 2 since it’s an area we’re relatively familiar with. It was a gorgeous drive, as usual.

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Funny thing was, my phone lost service the further out we got. Not sure why that didn’t occur to me before we left. Clearly I have more important things to think about. πŸ˜‰ Between GPS and the super simple map from the Ranger, we figured out how to find the Forest Road exit we were looking for. We were originally aiming for Money Creek (NF – 6422), but I’m pretty sure we ended up on Miller River Rd (NF – 6410), just before Skykomish. (Map here!)

The road was clear and flat, and we just drove for awhile until we found some patches of trees that looked promising.

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Finally we found a spot (mostly one that didn’t look marshy!), so we packed up our tools and headed out into the wilderness!

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And then we saw her (Clark Griswold moment! … “Thith thtree is a thymbol of the thpirit of the Grithwold family Chrithmath.”)

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Olivia and I played around for a bit while Dad sawed!

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We were SO EXCITED to get such a beautiful tree!!!

By the way, this area was just amazing. Quiet and peaceful, lots to explore. I wish we had left earlier so we had more time to play!

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By the time we got home, it was dark. We hosed the tree down since it was caked with mud and moss, and left it outside in a bucket of water till morning. When we brought it inside, we realized how big it actually was. LOL! Funny how small it can feel in the forest. (SMH)

It really is beautiful, though! We couldn’t be happier. πŸ™‚

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Leave a comment if you have questions! I totally recommend doing this. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚

Little Si

Little Si was Olivia’s first mountain summit! Girlfriend hiked the entire way up all by herself (with only a little help from Dad on the really rocky parts). We were so proud, but more importantly, SHE was so proud. Go get ’em, baby girl.

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Often the drive to a hike is stunning. It’s our first breath of fresh air as we head out of the city.

O started off a little crabby today, but once she started climbing over rocks, her attitude was much improved. She may not realize it, but she loves a challenge.

 

The summit!

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And the hike down … with a little rest. πŸ™‚

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Gymnastics & Seward Park

It can be hard to get out of the house on rainy days, I KNOW IT.

Today we knew we needed to (can you say grumpy?! … and I’m talking about me, not the kiddo!), so we decided to go to the indoor playground at the Seattle Gymnastics Academy, one of Olivia’s favorite play spots, and a go-to throughout the winter.

Afterwards, still wanting to go on a hike, we went to explore the trails at Seward Park, which I somehow always forget about, or at least “poo poo” it since it’s so close to home and generally crowded.

I am so glad we went because it was beautiful in the fog and the drizzle, we moved our bodies (even if it was partially thanks to PokΓ©mon Go, LOL), and we played and giggled.

Even if it doesn’t fix everything, getting outside is therapeutic. DO IT, even when you don’t feel like it. ❀

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Her constant splash of pink gives me joy. πŸ™‚

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Much-needed giggles.

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Breathe deep.

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This stage is perfect for our little performer!