Shane and I pointed our car eastward on Friday afternoon to spend the weekend at Lake Chelan, cheering on Jack in his Half-Iron Man and celebrating Jason’s big 30th birthday.  Nancy had scored a deal on a great condo overlooking the lake, with plenty of space of for all of us to crash.  I’m always a little taken aback by the landscape once we get past the mountains and arrive in Eastern Washington – shades of green are replaced by shades of gold and brown, and the sun has an intensity to it that you just don’t feel in Seattle.  But with a nice cool lake just a short walk away, and a fridge full of cold beers, I thought, “Bring on the heat!”  I was ready for my dose of Vitamin D.  Luckily, we had a small patio that was perfect for lounging in the sun – many hours were spent in a lawn chair here, looking out toward the lake, reading, chatting, laughing, and eating.

I rolled out of bed on Saturday morning to head down to the lake to cheer Jack on as he finished his 1.2-mile swim and transitioned into his 56-mile bike ride.  It was a beautiful morning, and exciting to watch the swimmers emerge from the water to run toward their bikes – felt kind of like a Baywatch episode, but with full-coverage wetsuits.  Jack finished his swim like a champ, and was off on his bike in no time.

As Jack was biking, Shane, La V, and Jason were all running in the Chelan 10k.  Here’s the crew pre-race – you can see that J has his serious game face on…

A remarkably short time later, Nancy and I stood at the finish line and cheered on our runners as they each breezed past us.  I love my friends, but they sure can make me feel lazy!  What a bunch of studs.  This picture of La V is great – like she’s saying, ‘Yeah, I just ran 6.2 miles.  Ain’t no thang.’

During all of this, Jack was still biking, on his way to transitioning into his 13.1-mile run.  Incredible.  A couple of hours later, we were all back at the finish line, waiting for our all-star to round the corner and complete the journey that he’s been on for months, with countless hours logged in preparation for this moment.  I think all of our chests swelled up with pride as he gave us a wave on his way to the finish, and we said to ourselves, “Wow, I actually know that stud!”

I figured Jack would want to spend the afternoon stretched out on the couch with an ice pack and a tall glass of water, but, true to Jack form, he had other plans.  Just a short while after his race was done, Jack was driving us out to the nearby wineries do some tastings (to ‘rehydrate’, of course).  I suppose I shouldn’t be surprised – this is the same guy that convinced Shane it would be a good idea to pop over to a Mercer Island winery to do some wine tasting in the middle of one of their first really long bike rides (just to ‘rest their legs’, of course)…

The rest of the day was perfectly chill, spent grilling out on the back porch, playing games, and welcoming Brian and Nicole, who arrived at the condo late that night, to say a farewell to us all on their way to Colorado.  Sunday was Lake Day – we staked a claim on a perfect patch of grass right near the shore, spread out our beach towels, and spent a couple of hours alternating between sun-bathing and swimming.

Shane was thrilled to spend some quality time with his best bud, G-man.

And I have to say, you are never too old for a good ‘group jump’ into the water.  (Photos by Daniel Lee).  Shane is still living down the fact that he completely bailed on us (that’s him, standing lamely on the dock while the rest of us launched ourselves into the water)…

Post-lake, we had time for one more Little-League-esque group shot of our athletes, and then it was time to head back west, toward taller buildings and cloudier skies.  This was a tough place to leave behind!