Highs and lows of 2016 and it isn’t about celebs….

Low….. My laptop died. It went black.

High…..Zion hiking

High……First time down under

Low……..My desktop computer died.

High…….2nd time down under

High…….Kids doing well in school and being able to participate on sports teams and musical groups.  I don’t believe in trophies for losers, but I do like teams that allow many to participate. Hiking doesn’t discriminate and doesn’t care how fast you are. 🤓

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White Christmas

img_5272Merry Christmas friends! Today we will venture to church on slick snow packed roads. I am sure there will be a lot of singing. We got a lot of snow which is what I always wish Santa will bring.

Walkabout Cairns

We headed down South to have a hike around Barron Falls. When we arrived, it was already getting muggy and hot. There is a railway and a gondola from Cairns which would be a really fun experience, but we had a rental car. We found an elevated walkway to the lookout. There were many of these walkways everywhere we went in the rainforest. The falls were nice, but we couldn’t figure out how to get closer to them. It would have been tough that day though as the heat was draining.

Finding Nemo

On Thanksgiving day, we visited the Great Barrier Reef. Since the reef required a boat ride, we opted for Quicksilver cruise because it would be easiest for our differing abilities. I have passed a serious scuba class, but opted out of certification and I have experience snorkeling in Mexico, the Caribbean, and the Mediterranean while my children and husband did not have experience. Would they do it or freak out and refuse after wasting 💸💰💵? The experience we opted for was a boat ride to a huge platform near the outer reef. Lunch was included and it seemed doable for all, but with an emphasis on the beginner. The suiting up wasn’t nearly as cumbersome as skiing, but close. We rented suits to protect from jelly fish and unpleasant sunburns.  We approached the busy platform and though my youngest was scared, she jumped in. The others had gone ahead and were quickly capable. It was nice that the area was all roped off so you couldn’t get interested in something and end up way far away from your ride back to land. My goal of seeing a sea turtle was not fulfilled, but we saw some great fish and coral. We definitely saw some clown fish. (Nemo) The experience as a family is a lot different  as their comfort can sometimes put a damper on seeing as much as possible so you need to lower your expectations and call it good. At the end of the day, we saw one of the most extraordinary things on earth.

Queensland part deux

After unplanned swimming at Mossman Gorge, we ended up with a lot of dirty clothes. Since we pack light for a family of 5, we had to do some laundry on day II. While we waited for the clothes, we shopped around Port Douglas. img_4757 There are a lot of sugar cane farms in the area and this is called the sugar wharf I believe. There was also a sign to not swim due to crocodiles. I didn’t see one croc the whole trip, but it wasn’t for lack of effort. I didn’t choose to become bait by swimming though. Port Douglas downtown had a lot of nice shops and restaurants. We found an additional grocery store to get supplies. We discovered that our travel required many many grocery store trips for food due to being in a hotel and largely avoiding restaurants. A family of 5 eats a lot. We were either shopping for a meal or shopping for snacks for a hike. When I am hiking or venturing alone, I don’t need as much thought for provisions besides water. However, in a group with children the whining goes way up when provisions are lacking. We spent the rest of the afternoon swimming at our hotel and relaxing for the next day we were headed to the Reef.

 

 

Over the river and down under

As soon as school got out for Thanksgiving break, we drove to Salt Lake City. Then, caught 3 flights to eventually end up in Northern Queensland, Australia for turkey day. It was long trek, but you eventually don’t feel it anymore. You watch movies, you sleep zzzz, you eat…. The sitting doesn’t bother me, but the turbulence is always a different story 😳. It costs 20 Aussie bucks to get a visa to enter the country and you’re in. (Apply minimum 2 weeks b4 travel) We arrived in Queensland for 5 nights with a few goals to accomplish, but no set schedule. I’ll be posting more pictures in the next few days….📷

If anyone needs gear 🏂or Christmas gifts, click on my Patagonia icon on the website. They are having their best sale of year. They have tons of stuff at 50% off plus free shipping. Patagonia is a good quality product and not cheap. It doesn’t go on sale very often.

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First thing in the morning was check out the beach in front of the hotel.

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That’s as far as I ventured since it was box jelly fish season. 🌞

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On the itinerary…… Mossman Gorge

 

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Daintree rainforest tree

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Butterflies

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I enjoyed swimming in this spot. You could see fish. This swimming hole was along a 2 + kilometer loop walk we were on. We hardly encountered anyone until we got here. Most people don’t venture beyond the first river swimming area.

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Amazing sunny day to be in the Daintree rain forest.