Sunday, July 1, 2012

Fishin', Shootin' and Chet-Ba

My grandpa just turned 83 and recently retired (yes, retired from owning/running a restaurant full time at the age of 82). We usually head to my grandpa's house once a year for a large Verstrate family get together in September but we decided to head over this summer for some one on one time with Grandpa Chet (or as Cooper calls him, Chet-Ba).  My mom and I loaded a ton of snacks in the car, some toys, and strapped the kids in for our six hour drive to Joseph, Oregon.

After a couple of potty stops, a lunch stop, several "baby is crying and we can't reach the bottle or binkie" stops we finally rolled into Enterprise, OR to our hotel. After some dinner in the park with Chet-Ba and Linda, we headed back to the hotel to get a good night's sleep. We were tired from our trip and knew we needed sleep for our adventures the following day.

Our day started with breakfast at the Cheyenne Cafe in Joseph.  Then we headed to grandpa's house for some farm work. Grandpa had some BIG plans for the day.  Cooper first helped Linda get some eggs out of the chicken coop...

Then they needed to chop some wood. They live so high in the mountains in Eastern Oregon they usually have a fire going to heat their home 11 months of the year. Let's put it this way, they had snow flakes on June 9th.

We couldn't come to their house and not drive the tractor.  They drove the tractor down to the pasture by the horses and the garden to dig for worms. 

Carter even got to sit on the tractor.

After digging up some dirt with the tractor, it was time to get some worms. We had to go fishing... 
Now, anyone who knows me should know that at this point I was ready for an inside activity. I hate being outside for any length of time. I admit it.  I am an inside girl. Unless I am by a pool or on a beach... and even then I only last about 12 minutes. But, this trip wasn't about me. It was about having some quality time with my grandpa... so fishing we went.

My mom got to visit with her dad as they found the perfect spot...

Cooper was unsuccessful but Chet-Ba caught one trout! It wasn't big enough to feed all of us for dinner but Linda was sweet enough to clean it and cook it for us all to try!

After fishing, we headed to downtown Joseph for an ice cream cone and a stop at my favorite store, Mad Mary & Company.  The slogan of the store is "Everything fun and fattening" - I mean, how can anyone not like that?!  It has toys and candy and crazy gag gifts. I could spend hours in there. Yes, hours.  After our brief shopping trip (and I mean only long enough to get candy cigarettes and a cap gun) we were off again...

At this point my mom had asked my grandpa if we needed to stop and take a rest (he is 83, you know). He laughed and said he was fine and that he usually didn't take a mid-day rest.  My mom looked at me and smiled - not because she was pleased her dad has so much energy - but I think she was asking about a rest for me (the 36 year old)! I was pooped!

We headed to Wallowa Lake, which is about 6 miles down the road from Joseph. It is a gorgeous lake with amazing views of the mountains. There is wildlife everywhere - chipmunks, squirrels, and deer. Everywhere.  Here is just one we saw near the lodge at the park.  They get so close!  

We had to do one "tourist" activity while on our trip to the lake; Cooper wasn't old enough for the go-karts, the mini-golf wasn't open, so bumper boats it was. I used Carter as an excuse to not go on a boat but my mom didn't have any excuse so onto a boat she went! Luckily Cooper has a cool grandma!

We headed back to Chet-Ba and Linda's house for some dinner and to end our day. Linda grilled some hot dogs (Cooper and Chet-Ba had a hot dog eating contest; Chet-Ba won), she cleaned, de-boned and cooked the trout caught that morning (which Carter loved), and we had fresh berries from the garden.  While eating dinner, Cooper and Chet-Ba came up with a plan to shoot some BB guns. I honestly don't know who was more excited, Cooper or my grandpa.  They made a target, hung it on a stump, loaded up the gun... then reminded me to move my car (which I moved as far away as I could)... and FIRE away!  We all had a turn on the BB gun with my mom winning the shootout. She is her father's child.  

It was a wonderful day.  Cooper made so many memories with my grandpa and Linda that he couldn't even put it into words.  He couldn't pick his favorite thing - he said "EVERYTHING!" He loved spending time with his "Chet-Ba" and Linda.  He has already made plans to go back this winter when they have snow taller than him. He will have a whole new set of activities to try then.  I told him I don't think I can keep up...and if we go, we better schedule a nap for me.  I was so tired on our drive back to the hotel, I even let Cooper drive for a bit.  True story.  Don't believe me? Ask my mom. :-)

1 comment:

  1. What a great experience for your kids, Chun! Love the little fishing hole. I have a niece who lives in Joseph; sounds like a lovely place.
    Ooops! I meant to put this comment on your newer post, but you get the idea.