Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Space Racing, M Hiking and General Mayhem and Mischief

A few weeks ago we ended up at the first annual Space Race and Science and Engineering Festival.  The kids started out with the Mercury run which was supposed to be 65m from Mercury to the Sun.  Due to some logistical issues it was the only portion of our day not to scale, as they had the kids run from Pluto to the Sun and back.  Matthew was a bit old for this race but a bit young for the 1k.  He did much better than his last race and "won":
 Catherine needed a little coaching:
 Then it was time for the 5K Run/Walk.  We had intended on walking but were pretty much the only ones with that plan, so we did a very fast walk.
The run was scaled to actual solar system measurements and we ran from Neptune to the Sun, with Haley's Comet and this asteroid belt (of bubbles) thrown in for good measure:

 The kids rode in the stroller most of the time but got out at Mercury for the last short stretch. 
Matthew and I raced to the Sun but Catherine did it at her own pace, while my phone upgrade decided to hipster up my camera:

Then it was time for some learning and exploring.  First up was the Van de Graaff generator:
 A bounce house:

Some time to roll around as viruses and red blood cells:
 We headed into the stadium to watch the balloon launch:
 Matthew made a water filter:
 And what good hands-on science day can go without oobleck?

 There were some smoke rings to be made:
 And a stomp rocket to launch:
 That evening we took the kids for a bike ride to the nearby pizza place.  Matthew was most ecstatic about the pop bottle we got so now we can make our own rocket launcher!

The next day we decided to make it up to the M one more time.  Since we have to discuss hiking it every time we drive anywhere in Bozeman and the kids spot it, we figured we may as well get another trip in before the snow flies.  We also decided it was time to do some geocaching along the trail.  I was super excited that the local paragliding company was up there until James told me about this story (http://www.kbzk.com/news/para-glider-collides-with-hiker-at-m/)that had happened less than 24 hours before!  Luckily we were well on the other side when they came down:
 Matthew has become quite the speed racer while Catherine still likes to stop and smell the roses a bit more, so most of my pics are while waiting for her to catch up:
 Matthew taking a water break on the rocks.  I had a simple goal of getting a picture of both kids in their Niagra Falls shirts from Amma and Papa at some point during the hike, but couldn't get them near each other at the same time and I doubt the shirts will ever be clean on the same day again :/
 We made it to the M and then hiked beyond it a ways to find our second geocache of the day.  The first two were only big enough for log books but the last cache of the day held some great tchotchkes for the kiddos:
We were racing a rain storm on our way down the mountain so that's where our pictures end.  Matthew decided he wanted to start trail running.  As one can imagine this involved one stubbed toe on a rock and a faceplant.  However, Matthew recovered fairly well and kept "running" down the mountain.  Our greatest tragedy though was the grasshopper who hit him in the face.  That took a LOOOOONG time to get over. It was a very active, very fun weekend. 

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