Ski to Sea

The subdued excitement was palpable this Memorial Day weekend at Fry Lodge. Physical activity included: walking, biking, kayaking and sitting on the edge of our seats while watching Solo, a Star Wars Story.

To kick off the weekend, Henry, Ruby and I biked to Mallard Ice Cream. Because no Fry Lodge bike ride is complete without ice cream.

The annual Ski to Sea event is held over Memorial Day weekend in Bellingham. We walked down to Fairhaven on Sunday to watch the racers cross the finish line as they completed the kayak leg of the relay race, which started 60 miles to the east on the ski slopes of Mt. Baker. Last weekend, Ruby participated in the Jr. Ski to Sea event. She did the biking leg for her team, the Pug People.

Today, inspired by the previous day’s race, we hauled our kayaks to Birch Bay to launch the Fry Family Flotilla. The kids held their own. Ruby needed a short tow when the wind kicked up.

An awesome, very memorable Memorial Day. Bring on summer.


Happy New Year from Fry Lodge

The Fry Lodge Year-in-Review video is a good opportunity to reflect on an entire year of adventure, change and growth for the Fry Family. 2017 was quite a year. We made some nice friends in Bellingham, traveled all around North America… again, and [re]learned several skills, including snow skiing at the end of the year. We can’t wait to see what 2018 brings.

Happy New Year to the Fry Lodge Faithful!

2017 Fry Lodge Year-in-Review | soundtrack by B.E.R. (The Night Begins to Shine)

Henry and Ruby hear from their Representative

Henry and Ruby received both received a letter from their Congressman, Representative Rick Larsen, this weekend. Back in June, their friend, Sam, who lives in Maine, sent the kids some postcards to send to Larsen – reminding him to keep fighting to help preserve our oceans. They were thrilled to get a response. Thanks to Sam, Henry and Ruby for reminding us how it’s supposed to work. Oh, and Patty and Maria, we’re sure your letters are in the mail. 

The Fry Side 

We spent the last full week of summer in North Idaho, home to many Fry side relatives and venue for the 2017 Fry Family Reunion. Unlike the Eitings and Watsons, who gather their extended family annually, the Frys only manage to get together every several years. And that’s probably a good thing. 

Brother Mike hosted the extended Fry clan at Priest Lake this past weekend. Four generations of descendents of Margaret and Carl Fry Sr. gathered at Mike’s place, which is only a few hundred yards away from the spot where Carl, Marge and their young family built a rustic cabin on the beach in the 1940s. So many Frys have made so many memories there. And, I’m sure more than a few were conceived in that old cabin. Frys, we’re like salmon returning to Priest Lake to spawn. 

It was a great way to end the summer. I spent quality time with each parent, sibling, cousin, aunt, uncle, niece and nephew. Henry and Ruby got acquainted with their North Idaho cousins. And my mom and I finally had our potato salad face off. 

Fry family reunions are… rare events. Fittingly, as we drove home across Washington state today, the sky dimmed as the moon totally obscured the sun for the first time in nearly 40 years.

Once upon a time there was light in my life. But now there’s only love in the dark. Nothing I can say.  A total eclipse of the heart.

Almost Home 

After 4000 miles, 12 campsites, 7 states, 3 provinces, 2 rodeos, 100s of bison and probably 3 gallons of ice cream, our 2017 summer RV trip is almost complete. Currently in Winthrop, our last stop, only one mountain pass and a 3-hour drive stands between us and our own beds. 

We sped through the Big Sky state so we could have a nice 2-day visit in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, where Grandma and Grandpa Fry hosted us for a much needed pit stop. We had Grandpa’s famous ribs, Grandma’s delicious scones, and, of course, more ice cream. 

Having spent the past three weeks driving through forests, grasslands and corn fields, it was nice to spend some time on the water. This weekend we took two boat rides on beautiful Lake Coeur d’Alene. Grandpa gave the kids driving lessons, which made the excursions pretty interesting. 

We packed a lot into three weeks. Though we’re happy to get back to Fry Lodge, some of us are already planning the next road trip. And ice cream cone. 

Turtles and Luaus

Wait, that underwater rock shouldn’t be moving. That was my first thought when I saw an object bigger than both Henry and Ruby saunter past the kids and me as we floated in 3 feet of water on Poipu Beach this afternoon. Oh, that’s not a rock; that’s a turtle. This was a nice surprise during another wonderful day in Kauai. It’s taken us 4 trips to this place to realize that the beach right in front of our rented condo at the Kiahuna Plantation is the best beach on the island – especially for kids who love swimming. And the occasional no-big-deal turtle.



After a day at the beach, we attended the requisite luau at the Sheraton. The kids weren’t exactly sure what to expect, but they ended up loving it once they realized they could go back for as many desserts as they wanted. The fire blowing, fire throwing dancer helped, too.



No day on Kauai would be complete unless Kristine and I were called out in front of a large crowd to recognize our wedding anniversary. This time, as we took the stage to dance, we handed our phones to the kids and told them to take pictures. Aloha.


No Good Deed Goes Unpunished


We had a bit of a bumpy start at Fry Lodge today. Damage report: one bruised head, a downed fence, and two lost kayaks. Henry will be totally fine – His bandage makes his injury look worse than it is. We’ll repair the fence. And, the kayaks have been recovered.

It all started when Ruby woke me up at 6:30 this morning by saying, “Dad, the boat’s in the water.” That’s normally not a cause for alarm. Unless your boat isn’t supposed to be in the water, which was the case with our boat. High winds and an extra high tide had dislodged Emotional Rescue III from the beach. Knowing our boat was tied up, I wasn’t too concerned. Until I realized that our kayaks were not tied up. And, they no longer were anchored by being full of water – thanks to the work Henry and I did last weekend. No good deed goes unpunished. I shot out of bed to look out the window. The kayaks were nowhere in sight. Damnit.

I quickly pulled on my pants and boots to inspect the beach, where the wind was pushing water up onto the yard and trying to blow me over. As I looked down the beach, I saw a hint of yellow about 200 yards away; so I ran up the driveway and down the road. Luckily, the wind was pushing both of our kayaks against the shore. I scrambled down the bank and hauled up the red kayak, which was about 100 pounds heavier than normal due to all the water in it. Just then, Henry and Ruby showed up. Did I mention it was 6:30 AM? A little excitement gets anybody dressed, I suppose. As I moaned about the shape our kayak was in, Henry said, “well, Dad, at least we still have a kayak.” Always the optimist, that Henry.

The next challenge was how to retrieve the yellow kayak, which was further down the beach, stuck into a steep bank of brambles. I decided to get a paddle and crawl down to the kayak so I could then paddle it back to our beach. There’s nothing quite like sitting down into a seat of icy water first thing in the morning. It took some effort to paddle against the wind, but I eventually got the kayak back to Fry Lodge beach.

Back on our property, I noticed the wind had knocked down part of the fence.


That was the second piece of bad news of the morning. What was the third? Just then, Henry came stumbling back into the house holding his head. On the walk home, a tree branch fell and hit him on top of the head. He was OK – until he noticed the blood streaming down the side of his face. It really was a minor scrape, but head wounds tend to produce more blood than other cuts.  Kristine was ready with the first aid kit.

Once Henry calmed down, the first question he asked was: “Does this mean I can stay home from school?” Fry Lodge policy stipulates that any head trauma results in a day off from school.  Ruby, ever the empathetic sister, made the case she should stay home, too; but in the end, we decided she could soldier on while Kristine and I took care of Henry for the day.

All of this activity happened before 7 AM.  We’re glad to have retrieved the kayaks, which we would gladly sacrifice a million times for a healthy Henry. We’re glad he’s OK. From now on, we will all be extra careful while walking during windstorms. Oh, and maybe I’ve learned enough lessons about what happens when you don’t secure a vessel.