Bankhead Adventures

13 October 2017

Point Bonita

Amy and the kids spent a day checking out the Point Bonita Lighthouse and the surrounding cool stuff, including a graffiti-covered abandoned structure that capture our imaginations for several hours.

04 October 2017

Kings Canyon National Park 2017

Just a few days after the kids got out of school for the summer, we took off for camping in Kings Canyon. The bad news is that mosquitos love Amos, and who can blame them? Although he wore long sleeves and long pants, his poor exposed face was covered with bites. Happily he's a cheerful camper despite his itchiness, and we had a great trip, enjoying many waterfalls that we haven't seen since before the drought. Miles celebrated his 4th birthday on this trip. He requested a purple cake, which Amy managed to create while camping with a can of blueberry pie filling on a cheesecake.

21 September 2017

Back-to-School 2017

James, Sadie, and Amos started a new school year in a homeschool/private school hybrid with a few neighbor kids. They miss their friends from their old school but not the uniforms. Miles started preschool with the same teachers his older siblings had. One month in, everybody seems to be thriving. And with her new four kidless hours a week, Amy might blog about our summer adventures. Maybe.

31 July 2017

Anniversary Backpacking Trip 2017

Amy and Paul celebrated 13 years of marriage with a backpacking trip through Sequoia National Park, our most challenging adventure yet. Thanks to the wet winter, we enjoyed dozens of waterfalls, river-crossings, and snow-stomping. The wildflowers were outrageous and the alpine lakes pristinely inviting and our marriage all the better. 

Paul gets big kicks out of tracking our trip data with his cool watch, so here are the details he has spent hours analyzing: 

Day 1: 5000 up, 5500 down, 16 miles

Day 2: 6500 up, 3600 down, 9 miles
Day 3: 4600 up, 4400 down, 11 miles
Day 4: 1600 up, 4300 down, 11 miles
Total: 17,700 up, 17,700 down, 47 miles

Amy gets big kicks out of disappearing into the wilderness and tromping through the glories of nature, so here are the photos:

Some previous backpacking anniversaries:

Mount Whitney in 2015
Yosemite in 2012
Kings Canyon in 2010

30 July 2017

Bankheads in D.C.

Astronauts at the Air and Space Museum
In honor of Aunt Heidi's graduation from Southern Virginia University, the Bankheads made the trek across the country, taking the opportunity to visit the capital. Thanks to their excellent school teacher who prepped them with plenty of historical background and thanks to our obsessive listening to Hamilton, the children were excited and engaged with everything we saw. Museums! Monuments! Memorials! Government! Art! Washington D.C. lived up to our high expectations. Even riding the Metro was an adventure, with Miles yelling every few minutes "Next stop Crazyland!"

Building an igloo at the American Indian museum

The kids love all the Cubi art 
We briefly lost James at the WWII memorial, which is why he's not in this photo

19 June 2017

From Nimbus 2000 to Firebolt

 After nine years, we said goodbye to the Nimbus 2000, our Honda Odyssey that happened to come in the color Nimbus Grey. Because Sadie was pretty upset about the change (we've had that vehicle since before she was born), we dedicated an entire family home evening to a eulogy for our old minivan, praising its boat-pulling, mattress-hauling, bike-transporting, and overall adventure-enabling. But the silver lining of this goodbye was welcoming the Firebolt, a sparkly red Chrysler Pacifica, which will inevitably make many future appearances on this blog.

07 June 2017

History Fair 2017

 One great thing about having the Bankhead kids in a one-room school is the project collaboration that happens among siblings. This year for the history fair, James and Amos chose to be Lewis and Clark, while Sadie chose Sacagawea. The evening was staged as an animatronic museum, so when visitors pushed a button, the students came to life and recited their memorized spiels about their chosen historical figures. Happily there was a trip to Utah scheduled during this project, because of course Grandma Glauser happened to have perfect costumes in her collection for us to borrow.

04 June 2017

Amos Starts Kindergarten (surprise!)

 For various reasons, we decided that Amos would skip his kindergarten year and begin first grade next year, which was working out great. But one Thursday in February, Amos said, "Mom, I see no reason why I shouldn't start kindergarten on Monday. It seems like a great opportunity for me." So we pulled some strings and off he went, joining his older siblings in a one-room school, mid-year. His first day he began working on a research paper, which ended up being several pages long. Not your typical first day of kindergarten, but he rocked it. The only downside is how much Amy and Miles miss Amos at home.