Getting Closer

Getting Closer
Getting Closer

Sunday, August 24, 2014

08-09-2014 Last Days of the Reunion

Current Location: Home in Rocky Point with clear skies and 79F and low humidity day ahead

On the Friday when I was wandering around my old haunts in Northern Idaho, a large contingent of the rest of the family met at some unearthly hour for a tee time at a Post Falls golf course.  A good number of the Oukrops are avid golfers and most of the rest of them do it for fun.  I heard the stories later, but not being a golfer, I was much happier hanging out with old friends.

walking Riverside SP (2 of 12)Mo opted out of this activity as well, choosing instead to hang around the park with Abby, let her play and swim and relax for a bit.  I have a sneaky suspicion that Abby wasn’t the only one of this pair that needed some down time.

dinner at Don and Wynns (19 of 25) By the time I got back from my part of Idaho, the golf group was returning as well, and it was time to head to the west side of the South Hill for a wonderful hosted dinner of lasagna, salad, and bread.  Can you imagine making dinner for 33 people and not having a single potluck contribution? 

Wynn said that she spent an entire day cooking up these gorgeous pans of tasty lasagna. 

dinner at Don and Wynns (1 of 25) It was fun seeing how many people could fit on Don and Wynn’s deck without it collapsing.  Well built deck, I would say.  Before and after dinner we were entertained by the little ones playing around on the grass and listening to all the conversations on the deck as we watched the almost full super moon rise over Hangman Creek to the east.  The view from the deck was gorgeous.  dinner at Don and Wynns (13 of 25)We even managed the “complete” family photo with everyone attending the reunion gathering on Don’s lawn.  I have a sequence of about 12 different shots, all with varying degrees of success at getting everyone to look forward and smile at the same time.  The joys of photographing a group are not to be understated.dinner at Don and Wynns (15 of 25)

Saturday morning dawned sunny and warm, and was a perfect day for the family float on the Little Spokane River.  Don is an avid kayaker, and knows the area paddles well.  He picked this one the last time we were in his area, and it was a great choice.  Everyone opted for the 3 hour float rather than the shorter paddle.Family Float (3 of 12)We had a large number of rubber boats to compliment the few kayaks, and the best part of the morning was the gathering of people as we stood around while Don tried to explain the logistics of the car shuttles, organizing the designated drivers, and trying to figure out who would be where when.  I won’t post a bunch more photos of this day because in the first reunion post I chose to share my favorite shots of everyone participating.Family Float (7 of 12)

The Little Spokane is a meandering river, with just enough current to make it fun, and enough that I was glad we were only paddling downstream.  Much of the shoreline is in a natural wildlife area, and we didn’t discover until the end of the trip at the takeout that no dogs are allowed on the river!  UhOh.  Glad we didn’t read the sign because Abby had a great time.

Oukrop Reunion Float (20 of 41) Golf and Silverwood required a weekday, so the float got the weekend day by default, and Saturday wasn’t the best day to be on this lovely river.  It is an extremely popular place, especially on a hot sunny weekend, and we were accompanied by a large number of fellow rafters.  I think our group might have been the biggest, however, and maybe all those other rafters were wishing they had picked a different day as well.  Something a bit disconcerting to be on a gorgeous river and come around a curve to the smell of cigarette/marijuana (legal in Washington) smoke and the sound of loud rock and roll on someone’s radio.

Oukrop Reunion Float (39 of 41) We all had a great time, and the kayakers in the group thought the trip length was perfect.  A few of the floaters thought it was just over the limit of comfortable, especially the ones who had to keep blowing up their boats.  I wish I could remember Susan’s youngest son David’s exact words, something to the effect  of “If we don’t stop right now I am going to die”  Susan, if you read this, please post that comment in the comments.  I would love to get it word for word!

IMG_0616Oukrops on the Deschutes River 2010

I think the float trip is my favorite part of these Oukrop reunions, and remember fondly our float trip on the Deschutes when Roger and Nancy’s family was in charge of the festivities.

dinner at Ginny and Gabes (2 of 34) After a long day we arrived back in camp just in time to change and clean up a bit to drive in a different direction to the home of Ginny and Gabe for their fabulous fully hosted dinner.  Once again, no potluck allowed, and Ginny and Gabe put on the best pulled pork BBQ ever!

dinner at Ginny and Gabes (18 of 34) Ginny is a professional portrait photographer, and incredibly artistic.  She had the yard all decorated with Martha Stewartesque jars of baby’s breath and wooden table runners, all coordinated.  There was even a lovely basket with an assortment of beautiful quilts for spreading on the grass. Her appetizers and casserole accompaniments to the dinner were fabulous. Not to mention the infused waters and banana split dessert!

dinner at Ginny and Gabes (21 of 34) Gabe had a regulation volley ball court all set up with a 20 foot high barrier to keep the ball from ending up in the neighbors yard.  Did I mention this is a very athletic family?  The barrier wasn’t high enough, and Gabe spent a good amount of time going over the fence after the ball. 

dinner at Ginny and Gabes (34 of 34) It was so much fun watching Ginny and Gabe’s dog wandering around trying to play volleyball, and watching all the little ones running around underfoot. 

08-09-2014 Oukrop Dinner at Ginny and Gabes We went home to the campground by the light of the almost super moon, one more night before it would be full.  The next morning, folks began dispersing, some to the airport, rigs loaded up and ready to roll toward home, and Mo and I spent some quiet hours all alone at the park enjoying the river and the trails.

walking Riverside SP (1 of 12) Our evening destination was only a few short miles north toward Bonners Ferry where we planned to overnight before our border crossing early Monday morning into Canada. No need to rush.  A wonderful end to a wonderful reunion with plenty of time to decompress and relax before the next leg of our journey.walking Riverside SP (6 of 12)

Next: Fabulous Kootenay Lake in British Columbia