I used to enjoy a good Super Bowl Commercial Party – my friends and I would mute the tv during all the cumbersome football, and watch the commercials and half time with glee. That’s “glee,” not “Glee,” BTW. Brian is always occupied with his annual poker game during the super bowl, so I’m left to my own devices.
But once I had kids, the old Champagne-drinking commercial-watching party just wouldn’t do anymore.
Blessed with gorgeous weather today (seriously – is it really February in Oregon?), we headed eastward to meet up with Dayl and Zephyr for some outdoor play. Other than the snacks we brought and the fuel to get there, it was all FREE family fun!
We stopped first at Bonneville Dam. The visitor center was fairly empty, so the kids could run around a bit.
We didn’t want to be inside too much with the sun shining, but thought the fish ladders would be pretty cool to check out.
Now that is a giant turbine! I was surprised at how interested they were in this thing. They made me read the whole sign, and they had a lot of questions about how it worked.
This video was way over their heads, but they liked being able to push the buttons! Interactive = popular.
Fortunately nobody minded that they were running...
Unfortunately, the ladders were empty. I mean really empty. The guy manning the visitor center informed us that since the ladders were empty, we could see some baby fish in an aquarium, so we headed down to check it out.
No water, and certainly no fish!
Eric thinks he saw a fish in here. I'm not convinced!
After the visitor center, we made our way to the fish hatchery to feed some fish and visit with Herman the Sturgeon, the famous 70+ year-old sturgeon. The Fish Hatchery has beautiful grounds, with pretty ponds and old stone paths. I was a bit paranoid about one of the kids falling in to a pond, but it didn’t happen, and everyone had a great time.
The viewing house at Herman's pond
Herman, in the flesh
Dayl made a new friend, and named him Fred
We stopped for a snack, always a good idea with little ones. Herman's House was a great place for this, with built in benches and awesome fish to watch.
Bring quarters! Several fish-food dispensers are placed around the grounds, and the proceeds go to park maintenance. The fish get all jumpy and active when you feed them, which is fun for the kidlets. We won't talk about the accidental graham cracker feeding.
We had a great time at Bonneville Dam and the Fish Hatchery with Dayl and Zephyr. We had some great discussions about the fur trade, and carnivorous animals, got to play in nature, and spend time with our good friends.
We followed it up with a short hike on the Pacific Crest Trail from Cascade Locks, and then a late lunch at Charburger. Perfect for our non-Super Bowl Day!