Tuesday, December 27, 2011

CA vacation part 2: water fun

Thursday of our vacation week was spent in the water.   The Leibig's decided to rent rafts inside the Valley.  Rachel joined them.  The rest of my family borrowed a beach pass and had an amazing time at a private lake area. 

As we were driving towards the lake, I saw this doe on the side of road. Ironically, we had just passed a deer crossing sign!

Tobin went for a run before joining us at the lake.


Sarai catching some rays.

I later learned that there were several places to stop at along this lake. We stopped at the first place we saw and it was perfect for us. Inside the swimming area were two floating rafts, for lack of a better term. The center tube was a huge trampoline. There were two ladders on either side so you could climb up onto it. Rachel wanted to go onto these rafts, so I joined her. The "thing" to do was this: one person would scoot onto the rectangular tube. Another person would launch themselves in the air and fling the first person up and into the water.

Here is a picture of me launching myself to pop Rachel up into the water.

After Rachel and I were out on the raft for awhile, the rest of the gang:  Sarai, Carmen, Abram, Leah and Tobin joined in the fun. Here is Sarai trying to launch Abram.   

As I had mentioned earlier, the Leibigs were in Yosemite valley renting rafts with Rachel.  Cora's friend Erica drove up to spend time with them.  She took a number of photos and I am using them to tell this part of the story.

Here are Rachel and Julie walking in the water.  I heard the water was extremely cold.

Mike, Rachel, Julie and Teresa

I love this picture of Joey and Rachel climbing a tree root.

The view while rafting.  Half Dome is in the background. 

Friday, the Leibigs joined us at the lake. 

Here is Julie crawling out on the hot dog tube.  Most of us made it one and a half steps before we fell off this structure.  Julie made it all the way out and almost all the way back before she slipped into the water.

Here is Teresa trying to run across the tube.

Rachel and Joey had a great time playing on the rafts.  Here is Rachel jumping to launch Joey and....

It's successful, Joey is up and off the raft!

Thomas enjoyed digging in the sand with Cora.

Theresa doing hand stands in the water.  I caught her going down. 

This was an amazing vactation.  There is more to come as we did more and saw more in Yosemite!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Tobin racing at Districts

The end of the cross country season can abut up against some bad running weather.  But this year takes the cake.  Leagues was scheduled for October 27th.  It is always held at the Marlboro country club.  Thursday's weather was predicted to be pouring rain.  the race was postponed until Halloween.  this year we had 10-12 inches of heavy, wet snow the weekend before Halloween and a snow day, yes a snow day in October!  With the ground covered in snow the MIAA organization did not know where they could hold a Leagues meet.  There is typically two weeks between Leagues and Districts.  As the week progressed without any solution school began complaining and saying they did not want to have a League meet.  MIAA decided to use the Districts race to determine the League results.

Districts had more weight it this year.  Now, not only did it mean that only the top three teams went to states, but it also meant that each runner's performance determine the result of two races.  Pressure was on.

Tobin had run a race the weekend earlier, which resulted in a collapse before the finish and transportation via ambulance to Milford's ER.  I will talk about that race in another blog.  But that incident was weighing on him heavily for Districts. 

This co-captain Mike Bodden.  We were laughing before the race because it looks as if he is going to run the race with nothing on.  Yes, he's wearing his uniform underneath, but the shorts are so short that the jacket covers them.
Shrewsbury jogging to the start of the race.  Tobin is wearing a blue shirt.  Coach has his white cap on.  Christian is proudly holding the Shrewsbury X-C flag.

Tobin running around the first mile.  the weather is very cold, maybe it was 40 that day.  He was grateful that he wore the leggings since everyone spoke later of how cold they were after the first mile. 
Here is a shot of the runners going down a hill.  The course was held at the Gardner Country Club.  This is the site for Districts each year as well as last year's state meet. I had stood off of the course, according the white line painted on the grass.  The first runner ran straight at me because I did not realize they would take the tangent of the curve. 

Tobin looking strong near the finish.  He was slowing down at the end and was passed by someone behind him in this picture.  He finished 8th. 
Here's is Mike trying to pass some runners near the finish. 
CJ, Tobin and Mike.  the first three guys to finish from their team. Shrewsbury scored 66 points in this race.  This is the lowest score Shrewsbury has ever scored at a Districts meet.  It gave them 3rd place and entrance as a team to the states meet the following Saturday. 

Tobin was feeling a bit wobbly on his feet at this point. 

Enjoying some friends after the race.  It is wonderful that runners who are not able to compete in this race and friends of the team come an hour away to cheer on the team.  I am a captains mom, so I'm one of the moms responsible for bringing food and organizing donations so everyone can have things to eat. 

Tobin getting his medal for eight place.

Tobin has always made a point to congratulate all the other runners regardless of their place after a race.

Love this photo.  I captured Tobin's movement by blurring all the stationary figures.
The officials did not see that they had given the Division 1 guys Division 2 girl medals.  All of sudden we hear a moan from several runners and one of them tell the officials they have girl medals.  We all waited for the exchange of medals.  A number the teammates in the bleachers had no idea what was going on with the exchange of medals though. 
From top to bottom:  Tobin, Dan M, Alicia, Guiseppe, Jake and CJ.

Here are some of my seagulls!  I was sitting in the bleachers, having a conversation with another parent, when I start hearing a funny sound.  Tobin had gotten his group of runners to say: "mom, mom, mom"!  They reminded me of the scene from Finding Nemo when the sea gulls all see Nemo and say "Mine, mine, mine"!  This is why I call them my sea gulls.  I told them that story and they loved it.  Tobin asked everyone to call me so he could ask me to get this photo. 
This is a photo of the runners and others from the team that came to Districts.
Remember I said that the results from this race would be used to determine placement of two races.  This photo is of the League all stars from Shrewsbury.  For the first time ever we had 7 league all stars.  Shrewsbury scored 66 points the next team in their league score 100 points.  Our first 5 guys finished before their 3rd guy.  Way to go Shrewsbury!  The boys were trying to be the Verizon raise the bar by lining up by height.  They are a puny group. 
Tobin has three fingers up because this is his third year being a League All Star.

 CJ, Dan W and Dan M.
Captain Tobin and Captain Mike.
Shrewsbury girls and boys cross country both make it to states!
Stair case boys: Funny John, as Rachel calls him, Karl, Dan M, Tobin, Guiseppe.

Next it is off to states! 

Sunday, October 23, 2011

CA vacation part 2: hiking up and down the 4 Mile Hike

It has been difficult to divide my pictures into appropriate, but brief blogs. I decided to capture the 4 mile hike by itself in a blog. Barbara mentioned to me that she wanted to hike a long hike on Wed of our vacation and wanted to know if Abram and I and others were interested. Of course Abram and I wanted to jump at the opportunity! It worked out that many of us could hike up while Mike hung with the younger crowd. He would drive up to the summit and meet us for lunch.

The hikers for the 4 mile hike were:  Tobin, Abram, Ryland, Barbara, Leah, me (taking the photo!)

Cora and Theresa.  The hike was really called "4 mile hike" because the elevation of the hike was 4 miles upward! 

When you drive into Yosemite park you can see upper falls or lower falls, but not both together.  At multiple points during the hike we were able to see both the upper and lower falls together.  I didn't realize how lucky we were this year to see the falls still running in August.  The snow fall the past winter had been at a 30 year high allowing the falls to flow rapidly even in August. 

I believe this spot is called Cathedral point.

This is half dome.

Barbara took this picture of us.  I do beleive she has one of Tobin and Ryland.  When I have that I will update this blog with it.

No idea what this is really called, but  I affectionately call it "Pig Face Point".

This is a panoramic photo of Glacier Point.  This is what we hiked up to from the Yosemite valley. 

Here is a great photo of all of us who made it by foot or car to the top.
Mike graciously stayed back at the cabin with Sarai, Carmen, Rachel, Joey, Julie, Thomas and Faye.  He drove everyone up to Glacier point with lunches so we could be together for part of the day. 

Rachel, Julie and Joey on top of some big boulders.

These are the hikers who climbed up the 4 mile hike.  Cora offered that Mike could hike down and she would take the car.  He accepted.  Sarai also hiked down with us.

Our family photo on top of Glacier Point.

This walkie talkie has a fantastic story!  Cora and Mike brought walkies to use between the cabin houses.  Cora thought it would be good to take one on the hike and she intended on Mike having the other so they could find each other when both arrived at the summit.  As Cora and Theresa were hiking up they were often hearing a kid yell into the walkie.  Multiple times they would say "Joey, we cannot hear you.  Talk slower!".  It became more frequent and more annoying that at one point they told Joey to shut up.  Well, low and behold, Mike forgot the walkie and Cora realized that she had been yelling at a different kid who was not Joey!

On our hike down I learned that Barbara and Paul were going to have celebrated their 20 year anniversary that month.  I also learned that they had gone to Yosemite for their honeymoon and this was a huge reason why Barbara suggested this area for our summer vacation spot.  We knew Paul had cancer while were making plans for the vacation and all hoped Paul would be able to join us.  Unfortunately, he died before our visit to Yosemite.  Barbara had his ashes and per request of Paul, she spread some of his ashes at beautiful spots on our hike down.  It was a tender moment to witness.  This truly was and is a beautiful park.  We miss you Paul!

Abram has the camera again and caught me and Tobin.

We took a break so Tobin could do some weight lifting!

Sarai join in on the super sibling show!
This is like a National Geographic picture.  Abram saw this small lizard with a meal in its mouth.  Great shot hunny!

Barbara and Ryland took bikes with them to the valley and biked to more spots to spread Paul's ashes.  We headed back to house and found out that all the family was coming for dinner at the cabin.  Many of the photos I took from the fire pit happened that night. 

A not so funny story about the cabin:  Tobin intended on running daily while we were at Yosemite.  After hiking the 9 mile rigorous trail up to Glacier Point he said he was going out to run a few miles.  Isaac told him that the owner said there were trails behind the house that led to the main road. Tobin took off.  An hour later, I realized he wasn't back.  Abram took off in the car to look for him and soon Isaac left in a car too.  The difficult piece of all of this was that there wasn't cell reception for AT&T carriers (which is our carrier).  Within 5 minutes of Abram and Isaac leaving Tobin shows up.  I did not know how to contact Abram.  I tried his cell number with the house phone, got his voicemail and absently held the phone away from my ear exclaiming my frustration that I couldn't tell Abram to come back.  Somehow his phone recorded my voice and when he was in a particular spot on the road with cell reception, mind you this was a miracle since we had no service the whole time we were in Yosemite, he heard me say "Tobin's back, but I cannot tell Abram to come back".  After that scare we told Tobin to run on main roads only, no trails and well before dusk. Oh yeah, forgot to mention he began running at 6.  Dusk was at 7 with potential of bears in the woods!  Ah!!!  Tobin drove home with Ryland that night and they saw a mom and baby bear outside of the house Barb, Jennie and Justine's family were staying in!  They ran at 6am and then encountered several deer on their run.  Beautiful sites and wildlife to see.