St. Louis Mardi Gras – 2/10/2018

The annual tradition continued this year. The group was a bit smaller, but Jake came out for the first time. We met Laura downtown as well. As normal, there was too much drinking by all, but we won’t talk a bout that. Ohh, and its the first year we made it out early enough for the parade. How about some photos…

And how about some drama… We met the girl below when she fell over next to us and seemed to need some help.

The heel of her boot was coming off, she lost her friends, and was very drunk. We had an awkward moment when we helped her zip up her coat. We were actually doing our best to be gentleman and did not want to take any advantage of her. Eventually we walked her all the way back to the Hilton hotel where she finally met up with her friends. That whole ordeal took nearly 2 hours, but was worth it to do the right thing. But it sure was nice to get home!

Hogan Haake

Metheny Moving – 8/14/2015

Jake and Robin sold their house, and were moving to a new neighborhood in St. Louis. Like I would for any of my friends, I offered my back to help him move. So the whole family showed up at his old house to load up the moving truck! Jake bought pizza and some soda that we were all happy to partake in.

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I didn’t waste any time getting the truck loaded. Moving is the kind of thing you build up a rhythm for. Once it breaks, its hard to resume.

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With the truck totally packed, we drove over to the new house. Jake was thinking of waiting till Saturday to unload, but I strongly insisted that we get started. Since all of his help was still around, we got started with the dreaded piano. My third time moving the wonderful instrument. Then we just kept going till the truck was empty! IMG_20150814_210014

By the end, I was more interested in photos than helping, a sure sign I”m getting old 🙁

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Onondaga Cave Camping – 8/2/2014

Jake and Robin invited us to go camping with them at Onondaga Cave state park. They gave us the date and told us the campsite they would be staying at. We had the weekend open and decided it would be a fun time to hang out with them. We booked the campsite next to them.

We spent the day doing a short hike to Onondaga Cave to explore the visitor’s center. Of course the kids just wanted snacks and to see the cave, so we did all of that.

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Corvin and I went for a long hike while the others hung out and Jake drank fancy wine at the campfire.

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We spent some time swimming in the Meramec and trying to avoid all the drunk boaters coming down the river. Corvin got into a bike wreck with a kid running and sent him to the hospital. Just your normal weekend.

Here is a video of us taking down camp.

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Rooftop Camping – 1/12/2013

A group of guys from church decided to get together and go for a winter camp out. I’m not big into the whole church thing, but it was a chance to hang out with Jake for the weekend. There was also a 10 mile hike somewhere I have never been before. I’ve heard of Hawn state park, but have never been there.

I got out of work early and met Jake at a park and ride lot along the highway. From there, we went south together toward the campsite. We stopped in Crystal City to pick up dinner. While we were getting dinner, I discovered that I forgot to bring the chairs. We found an Alco store that had chairs. Jake bought one, but I was feeling cheap and opted not to.

On we went with full bellies to the camp site. Once we got there, we couldn’t find anybody there. We did a lap of the camp site and then went off to see if there was one somewhere else that we missed. After lots of second guessing and some unsuccessful phone calls. We decided to give the camp site one more try. Driving slowly through, we found Jason running down the hill to say he was there. It turns out that we have the multipurpose/Boy Scout area for camping. You can’t see it from the road, only by driving up the path.

Because we got to the camp site late and it was dark, we opted to sleep in the back of the van the first night. It was simple and there was plenty of room for both of us.  Getting up the next morning, we had a quick breakfast including coffee. I stuck to the caffeinated hot chocolate I brought with me. Then we loaded up my van and we were off. It was decided on Saturday that we would do some trail work. The drive with all of us in the van took about an hour. When we got to the trail work area, nobody was there. It turns out that there was a winter weather advisory for later in the day, so the event was cancelled.

Rather than give up on some beautiful scenery,we decided to hike a bit. We went around the St. Francis river (I think) and saw some beautiful rock formations that we enjoyed playing on!

After a long drive back to the campsite, we debated if we should take the 10 mile hike or not. I very much wanted to go and finally got the group to go. So we all walked through the campsite to the trail head and started hiking. The path was a bit damp, and there were a few water crossings. The last water crossing before the group split up had Dan misstep and put his whole foot in the water. He and Jake decided to take it easy and head back for a shorter hike.

About 30 minutes after the group split up, the rain started. It rained for the rest of the hike getting progressively heavier the whole time. By the time we got back to the campsite, Jake and Dan were busy trying to get a tarp over the fire to stay dry and warm. Thinking it was a great idea, I backed my van down the hill and used it along with all my boat straps to help hold the tarps up.

With the tarp mostly up, we ended up putting all the wood on the fire to use it and stay warm. This ended up burning a hole in the tarp that we all laughed about. Ultimately the freezing ran brought us all to the same conclusion, we should call it a night and just go home before we were stuck at the campsite.

When I was packed up, I found that the van was stuck in the mud. The group spent about 30 minutes in the rain getting stuff under the tires so I could get traction to leave the park.

If it weren’t enough to have been rained out, Jake came to my house on Sunday after church to help hang out all of the wet stuff from the trip. While we were hanging up stuff in my garage, I was lowering down one of my boats from the ceiling to hang a tarp on when one of the supports in the ceiling ripped out and fell on my head. The boat fell, but nobody got seriously hurt. All we could do was laugh. As it turns out, I didn’t put in long enough screws and it was an easy fix.

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Hogan Haake

Bowling – -1/6/2013

Jake called and said that we were invited to go bowling with them. This was the perfect excuse to get out of the house and the doldrums of winter darkness. Off to the bowling alley we went. Learning from a previous experience bowling with Kelly and Jeff, we asked for something special. Bowling alleys have a platform you can put the ball on and push to have it roll down the lane at a reasonable speed. I believe it may have been designed for handicapped people, but small children qualify as well 🙂

We all had a great time. The highlight for the kids was probably the nachos!

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