Monday, July 9, 2012

Wheeling in Gilbert

We recently became a two-car family when Pete bought a 2004 Jeep Wrangler with a 4-inch lift, 33-inch tires, and a winch. (Is that right? I could be off on the stats. Pete could tell you all kinds of numbers on his new baby...and I don't mean Sammy.)  We've had one good-sized Jeep for the last two years and have made it work just fine most of the time. Now that Ella will be starting preschool next month and Sammy is here, we felt we would have a whole lot less pressure to figure out transportation each day if we had a second vehicle. I started out insisting on a small car but soon realized that wouldn't work so well when Pete gets called in for c-sections in the middle of a snowy night, so I shifted my mindset to a 4-wheel-drive-something. I was still sticking to something smallish, but then felt bad thinking of Pete driving a little Subaru. (Nothing against Subarus. They're just not his style.) That's when I gave in and let him look for something that he liked and wouldn't cut his manliness. I didn't exactly mean to go after a rugged Jeep with big ol' tires and lift, but I'm not complaining. It's a pretty hot vehicle when he takes the top and doors off. And we got a great deal on it.

In June we felt it was time to do some off-roading in the new Jeep, so we headed north to Gilbert's Off-Highway Vehicle Recreation Area. With us were three Jeeps, the Horns, the Gilbertsons, and lots of food for grilling. The Gilbertsons know a ton about Jeeps and off-roading and had been to the park many times. They were great coaches.

But first, we grilled.

Ella ready to go with one of the Gilbertson Jeeps
the Horns. aren't they great?!
Sammy hung out on his blanket in the shade
After grilling, we took to the trails. This place was sweet. Tons of trails through what used to be mining land. This was a road to one of the low-key trails we took since it was my first time wheeling. Plenty of mud and rocks.

A few videos from our adventure:

The wheeling girls - Ella (clearly having fun..check out the dirty shirt), Robyn, Ang, Krista. And that's Pete's new Jeep behind us.


I've had many people ask how Ava has been doing. Ava is Ella's very good friend who was diagnosed with a brain tumor three months ago. She had been down in Minneapolis for radiation at the Children's Hospital but finished on Friday and was able to return to Duluth with her mom, dad, and baby brother over the weekend. Unfortunately, she was almost immediately readmitted to one of the local hospitals after complications were making her very sick. She's still there while they do another MRI today and try to figure out what's going on. We hate that she's back in the hospital instead of in her own cozy house, but we're happy to have her close enough to visit now. I'll be taking Ella to see her tomorrow morning, though I haven't leaked the news to Ella yet. I'm excited to see her reaction. She hasn't stopped asking about Ava through these few months and wants to pray for "Ava's owie" quite often. Please continue to pray with us for healing. Ava's been incredible through all the awfulness she's had to endure. It'd be amazing for it to be completely wiped away.

Ava's mama writes nearly every day on her Caring Bridge page, which can be found HERE.

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