Long Time Gone! – Olympic National Park – August 2014

It’s been too long, and many things have happened. First, my old implementation of Gallery2 is no longer supported in WordPress, so I’m going to try use a new photo/media manager. If you can’t see the pics, please let me know. I’ll probably try a few until I find the right one.

We went to Kalaloch in August. We had a great time camping, visiting Ruby Beach, the Hoh rain forest, and a few other sites.The campground is very tight quarters, but a really pretty place. It was my first time there, and a revisit for the Penning crew. We hiked the Hoh River trail and explored some great places. We even saw a monster elk, munching away at grass near the trail.

Hoh Rain Forest, Ruby Beach, lots of fun!

memorial day lives on…geocaching 2013

We have celebrated Memorial Day in Zion National Park, UT with friends since 2005. Although we no longer live near Zion, we hope to carry on the camping tradition with our children and friends…new and old…for a long time to come. This year we celebrated near Mt. Rainier. It was wet and green and completely different than what we have grown used to over the years. I missed the warmth of Zion and all of the familiar surroundings. But I also loved being “home” and showing my kids what it was like to camp near real trees. Rob and Jaime joined us, which was awesome.

Instead of hiking on Saturday, the guys took the kids geocaching. They have explored many geocaches all over Las Vegas and its surrounding desert.


They love looking for “treasure.” Adam loves using his GPS. And I love sitting in my camping recliner. So it’s win-win for EVERYONE! :)


We had several cousins join the fun. Everyone had a great time!! Despite being homesick for familiar faces in Las Vegas, I love being home.



Geocaching – Mountain Springs Peak

After trying out a couple geocaches here in the city, we decided to try our luck on a little longer adventure. Mountain Springs Peak is a less-traveled peak in the southern part of Red Rock National Conservation Area. It does not have a maintained trail, but there are several use paths. Altogether it was about 5 miles and 1,100 feet of elevation gained to reach the peak at ~6,600 feet.


We found two caches and lots of cool logs from previous hikers. The earliest note was from 1970. A fun outing for all!


All of the photos are in the Mountain Springs Peak photo album.

mt. stirling


Adam told me he has a new goal: summit all 50 Las Vegas area peaks with the kids. I slightly chortled and said, “Does Las Vegas even have 50 peaks worth hiking?” He says, “you get what you get, lady.” (what I always say to my kids) I’m thinking, go for it buddy…I’ll be at the spa. Although this time I somehow ended up staying home with a newborn, a two year old, and a seven year old. Hmm, no spa for me. :)


Don’t get me wrong. I love hiking. But I do not love walking-in-the-desert-through-a-wash-and-up-a-hill-to-say-I-hiked kind of hiking.  *northwest snobbery at its finest*



I’ve been dragged on worse desert excursions than these pictures portray. This doesn’t look half bad, trust me! Maybe I’ll try the next one.

arizona canyon fun


Adam and Danny hit a canyon on the way back from scout camp in Arizona. Lucky Boys!


Danny had a blast getting wet!


Adam’s truck wouldn’t start when they exited the canyon. Luckily, there was a group a few hours behind them. The guys weren’t super pumped about spending another night in the 100 degree weather.  But seriously, what would a canyon with my husband be like without a slight mishap??

daddy, can we go camping?

Adam is such a sucker! And I love him for it. The older kids asked if he would take them, and we actually had a semi-free weekend ahead of us when they asked. Sooo…the three oldest kiddos backpacked Bridge Mountain with their dad in mid-February….something he’s wanted to do with them for awhile.
Adam, Daniel, Ezzy, and Nikki.

As you can tell from the pictures, it was a bit chilly, with “lots of snow” still on the ground. But the daytime hiking weather was perfect. The three kids snuggled up in a backpacking tent together while Adam braved his bivy. Daniel even woke himself up to see his first very sunrise ever. He is definitely maturing…even if he’s super middle school dorky right now. :)

six miles in the desert

January is the perfect time, in the desert, to do longer and exposed hikes. 55 degrees and sunny here in Las Vegas….Awesome hiking weather!

The kiddos did really well. And I only threw up once–no joke. I think I was super dehydrated. It passed, and I finished strong. :) Here’s to another January on the White Rock Loop Trail!!!

new thanksgiving tradition

New Thanksgiving tradition…hiking at Zion! So much fun. And prefect hiking weather. And no weight gained due to leftovers. But I did miss the leftovers. :)

We hiked Angel’s Landing. Correction, we hiked to Scout Lookout. Adam took Danny and Nikki all the way up the chains to Angel’s Landing. Pure awesomeness.

Favorite memories:
1. Singing Christmas songs on the way there (with children who actually know the words now).
2. Snuggling in one hotel room and watching The Music Man till midnight as we fell asleep one by one.
3. Watching the kids run up the very steep trail, as I wish with all my might for the boundless energy they possess.
4. Seeing so many other families out hiking. I don’t know why this makes me so happy, but it does.
5. Gorging ourselves at Red Robin on our way back home Saturday night. The kids each got their own meal and drink! A rare treat in our family when we go out. :)
6. Watching Adam skip rocks with the kids at the river….watching Adam with the children, period!

recent hiking activity

October–Hidden Falls

November–First Creek

Soccer has slowed us down this season, but we are trying to get back into hiking. Last weekend, I taught Annie what an echo was when we were in the canyon. She has been “awooooing” ever since. She hasn’t exactly figured out why the sound doesn’t echo back the same when she is in the front yard. ADORABLE!

We are planning on Angel’s Landing the day after Thanksgiving. Anyone game?

one dad, seven ninos, and a new GPS


We have the Best Dad Ever!



On Father’s Day weekend, we went up Fletcher Canyon (Mt. Charleston). We hiked four miles and had a blast in the water. Dad kept dunking our heads in. And daddy finally got to use his new GPS. (he lost the old one in an airport somewhere between here and Shanghai, seriously!)


Best Father’s Day yet! June 18, 2011