Christmas Lights With Friends – 12/7/2016

Laura wanted to check out Tilles Park’s Winter Wonderland. We decided it would be best to visit on a carriage. So we split a large carriage and invited Josh and Jen to join us. We all met early as we were quite excited to get our ride. The kids were super excited and we all bundled up for the cold.


Once we got started, we had quite conversation as we took in all of the lights around us. Its impossible to get a good photo from a phone, but here is an idea.

After viewing the lights, we had everyone over to our house for dinner. Its amazing how much you can prepare for a group in a hurry. Luckily the house didn’t burn down while we were gone with the ham in the oven.

Hogan Haake

 

 

Thanksgiving Day Camping – 11/24/2016

All of our Thanksgiving plans with family fell apart this year. We didn’t plan to out of town, so we improvised a last minute camping trip. It has been three years since our last Thanksgiving week camping adventure. The kids seemed to miss the camping this time of year. So we quickly shopped for food and packed clothes and bikes into the minivan and took off. Our standard camping destination is Meramec State Park. Its about 90 minutes away from the house and next to the river. It didn’t take long for the park to welcome us with some wildlife!

Our plan was to go for a hike so we quickly parked the camper in our designated spot and went straight to the trail for the hike we had planned for the day. We have not hiked this park before as we mostly just paddle the river, so this was a pleasant change for us. Right off the parking lot, the trail provided us some entertainment!

A short way into the hike, we saw a stone pavilion overlooking the river. This was a fun distraction to look at!

No hike is complete without getting to limbo lower!

Eventually, we got to the most important part of the hike… stopping for lunch! We had deli meat on sandwich rolls and other assorted goodies that we brought with us. Since we were down on a rock bar of the river, we also took some time to attempt to build a rock bridge across the river. We got almost 10 feet across before we gave up to continue our hike.

Now our hike was half way over and we hiked back on the ridge overlooking the river.

We even managed to find a cave and work our way down to check it out!

After our walk was done, it was time to go back to the campsite and check set up camp. We dropped of the pop up earlier, but didn’t do anything to set it up. So after we got the camper mostly set up, we realized that we didn’t bring any water with us. After checking, there were no working water spouts anywhere near us. So I volunteered to go and find water. I ended up checking out several places in the park before driving out into town to look for water. Eventually I ended up at a used car dealership that had a working spigot on the outside of their building. With water, I headed back to our campsite.

From here, we made a fire and I proceeded to burn as many leaves as possible, enjoying the large quantity of smoke!

And being a boy, Corvin found the smoke quite entertaining as well! Since we were camping, we spent lots of time riding bikes in circles and cooking. A very chill evening!

Danelle got into the bike racing with the kids.

After a hard day of camping, we finally packed up on Friday to head out. I decided to take a minor detour after seeing something interesting searching for water the previous day. The remains of a never-finished Sayman Hotel. (Found inside Meramec State Park)

So we ended up climbing around to see what is left of it.

A perfect way to spend a Thanksgiving day/night!

Hogan Haake

KC Visit – 11/5/2016

We came into Kansas City to visit family. It was a rare weekend when Corvin didn’t have a soccer game and we took full advantage of it. Corvin and Sonora were most excited to meet Heidi, the new puppy. Planning ahead, I brought my unicycle and had a nice ride with Herman. I couldn’t get him to ride his, but he biked with me and we had a great time!

Here is Heidi…

 

And of course, Peaches still gets love!

And what would a trip to KC be without catching my dad sleeping on the sofa!

Don’t worry, I didn’t actually put it in dad’s mouth. As always, the visit ended much too soon!

Hogan Haake

Apple Cider – 10/29/2016

Josh and Jen invited us over to their house to make apple cider. Ok, the real goal was to get the juice so they could turn it into hard apple cider. But all good things take time and we needed to start with getting the juice out of the apples. Several of their friends showed up.

The process consisted of a few steps. First we had to clean the apples by cutting out any bad spots. They are then placed in the blue bucket to clean them of debris.

Then next step is to pull apples out of the bucket and on to the table. There, we’ll cut them in half and place them in the manual hopper. We take turns turning the wheel to grind up the apples to much smaller chunks and juice.

Once the bucket is full of apple parts, it is dumped into a cheesecloth bag inside of the press. Once the press was full, it was time to start turning the press to get the juice out of the apples.

The juice in the bowl is apple cider. When the bowl is full, it was moved into containers and put into storage until it could be brewed into hard cider. We of course had to sample each type of apple cider.

The spent chunks of apples were taken to the mulch pile while the rest of the process continued. Of course, it wasn’t all work. We had fun and stopped for lunch!

Hogan Haake