The day after Thanksgiving we actually saw a tiny bit of sun appear in the sky so we called up our friends Ray and Lyn Fish and invited them and their 4 college aged friends (visiting Petersburg for the weekend) to come out the road and join us on the yearly epic hunt for the perfect Christmas tree. This was definitely the first year that the boys understood what was going on and fully participated in the excitement of the day. Thanks to Lyn for taking most of these pictures and capturing the fun we had so perfectly.
So many trees, such a difficult decision...
"C'mon, Mom and Dad! There are thousands more trees ahead!"
Wonder how deep that puddle is? Dad will test the waters...
Heading to forge the stream
Ray helpfully trims a few branches away from the surrounding trees so that we can see prospective tree #3 a bit better. This is obviously something you can only do in a national forest...Of course it's also something you'd only need to do in a real forest where what appears to be one nice, thick tree more often than not turns out to be 3 growing closely together. Time to move on and look for a new tree...
O Boy gets some help getting through the thick underbrush.
The "make sure you smile for the camera" pep talk
Quite possibly our first family picture with EVERYONE smiling at once.
While O Boy was getting his "make sure you smile for the picture" pep talk for the above shot, Mr. T. decided to warm up for the picture by posing for a few. He was very generous to allow me to get into at least one shot. Before I got in the picture he was just standing around smiling and saying, "CHEESE!" to whoever had a camera handy. He needs no pre-picture pep talks.
Yep, this year we finally brought along a tape measure. !!
Ray and Phil debate the pros and cons of yet another tree.
Ray is thinking, "This may finally be the one!!"
The highlight of the day: the chainsaw gets fired up.
Gotta catch every move Dad makes with that chainsaw!
A true Alaskan pastor must not only be able to wield the sword of the spirit, but a chainsaw as well.
The final result. Very tall, narrow Scotch pine. We'll see if it sheds fewer needles...
Logging roads provide miles and miles of endless running pleasure...provided you don't meet up with a bear or a porcupine!