– Ben Martens


2024 PDGA Portland Open

In addition to playing disc golf fairly regularly, Elijah and I have watched a lot of the pro tournaments online. They have a subscription network for live coverage, but we generally watch an edited version of the final round for free on the JomezPro YouTube channel. Most of the tournaments are in the midwest and southeast but there were a couple Oregon tournaments on this year’s schedule, so last weekend we made a day trip to Portland for day 3 of the 2024 Portland Open.

I didn’t really know what to expect and it was going to be a long day (6 hours in the car plus ~8 hours at the tournament) so I was hoping for the best. I had so many questions starting with “What is parking going to be like?” There wasn’t a lot of info available ahead of time about parking but I was thrilled to see that we could just street park within about a 5 minute walk of the course!

The tournament schedule had the ladies teeing off first followed by the guys. Elijah’s disc golf teacher was in one of the first groups of ladies to tee off and that had happened a couple hours before we got there. After checking scores on my phone, we made a beeline back to hole 16. There was almost no one around and we weren’t even sure we were in the right area, but then we saw his teacher come through. She spotted after teeing off and came running over to give Elijah a hug! We watched her through the final holes and got to chat with her after. She made Elijah feel super special and even took him up onto the #1 tee between groups to get a great photo by one of the big PDGA sign boards. You can see it on her Instagram account.

After walking around the booths and grabbing some lunch, we watched the top ladies groups finish up on hole 18. Then we headed over to hole 1 and parked ourselves in a great spot with some shade but also great views of the green.

It ended up being a magical spot. One of the first groups we watched had Niklas Anttila in it (one of Elijah’s favorites.) As Niklas walked by, he fist bumped Elijah and blew Elijah’s mind! It was a tiny act but the unnecessary kindness of it was so wonderful.

That was more than we expected but it certainly wasn’t the end. When Andrew Presnell came through, his caddy handed Elijah a signed trading card. And then when Ricky Wysocki came through, his caddy rummaged around in his bag for quite a while and came out with a Ricky t-shirt in Elijah’s size! Elijah immediately put it on and Ricky gave him a big smile as he walked by. Just being close to all the people he watches on TV was a hit but these extra interactions sent him over the moon. In this image below, we are back against the trees just to the left of the guy’s disc in his hand in front in front of the person in the red shirt.

We watched everyone come through and then we headed further out on the course to watch a few more players come through before finally settling on hole 18 to watch everyone come through again. It was about 10 minutes between groups but Elijah never once talked about being bored or tired even though it was about 8 hours on the course in total.

If Elijah had to pick one player as his favorite, it would probably be Calvin Heimburg. Calvin was in the second to last group. We got to watch him make a stellar eagle on the last hole. You can see us in this photo below to the left of the basket. We are all standing and Elijah has an aqua colored shirt on. Or watch this video for a longer clip of the video that this screenshot was taken from. You can see Elijah jump up and cheer.

If you kept watching that video clip to see Calvin’s putt, you might have noticed that Tyla and Elijah were gone. (I was standing there recording a phone video like a dork.) Earlier in the day, Elijah had picked out a Calvin Heimburg disc as his souvenier. After the round, he waited in line to get it signed by Calvin and even got a picture with him too!

As I mentioned, it was a long day and we were wiped out by the time we got home. The morning drive wasn’t too bad but it would have been really nice to have a hotel that evening. I was really thankful for the autosteer feature on the Tesla as it took a lot of pressure off both of the drives.

If you can’t tell by now, we were very impressed with the event. Yes, disc golf is still a niche sport, but they put on an excellent show. You can tell they’re putting a ton of effort into really polishing it as much as possible. But since it’s still picking up steam, it’s very easy to attend an event like this and tickets were only $21 (plus Elijah got in free.) The only time when a crowd was minorly annoying was on the final hole of the day with the final group, but realistically it was probably only 200-300 people. I was still able to see just fine, and there was zero traffic leaving the event.

Most of these same players will be playing next week a little farther south in Oregon. We’re excited to do this again sometime, but that’s probably a little too soon. We’ll have our eyes on the schedule next year though! Most events are east of the Mississippi but it’s nice to see a couple within driving distance for us.

A huge thank you goes from our family to everyone who made our day special, but especially Corey! She made Elijah feel like a VIP!

Leaping Lamb Farm Stay Review

You may remember that back in 2022 we spent a few days at a farm in Oregon. Shortly after we left, we booked another trip and this time we intentionally booked it for spring in hopes of seeing baby sheep and goats. Spring of 2023 was booked out so we had to book a year and a half out. I thought the wait might be too much for Tyla, but she made it.

We spent four nights at their cottage and had a blast again! Denny and Kate were the farm managers while we were there last time and unfortunately, they had moved on, but we enjoyed meeting farm owner Scottie and new farm manager TK. The last time we magically had the farm to ourselves but this time the bigger farmhouse had about 10 guests in it, but the farm is plenty big for everyone to spread out.

The goats were all born by the time we got there, but some of them were still very young. They were easily the highlight of the trip. Tyla and Elijah spent hours holding the goats and playing with them. Elijah would even go over to the goat yard by himself sometimes because he couldn’t get enough.

There were a lot of baby lambs already but six more were born on our first night. They give birth on their own without human intervention so it was a bit of a surprise every morning to walk out and see if there were any new babies. We helped tag some of them and castrate one of the boys. There were a lot of good opportunities to talk biology with Elijah!

Going in the spring was quite different than the summer. We traded time in the creek and wandering the property for time with the baby animals. Both were great experiences and we’d be hard pressed to choose which was our favorite. We’ll have to figure it out though because I’m sure we’ll be going back at some point!

Some pictures are included below but you can see more on Instagram @benwmartens.

Tips for Visiting the San Juan Islands

The San Juan Islands are a gorgeous place to visit and half the fun is the 1+ hour ferry ride that it takes to get there. However, the islands are a popular destination and it can be a bit of a challenge to plan a trip there. Rather than write this up multiple times in various emails to people, I thought I’d capture it all on a single page that I can share in the future.

1. Plan Ahead for the Ferry Ride

  • Ferry Costs: The ferry ride to the San Juan Islands isn’t cheap, but keep in mind that you’re paying for a round-trip ticket. You’ll pay to get to the island, and the return trip is free. Check the fares ahead of time to avoid surprises. We recently paid $90 for a car, two adults, two seniors, and one child.
  • Anacortes Ferry Terminal: The Anacortes Ferry Terminal is busy. Multiple boats operate from here, so expect queues. Reservations are highly recommended! You can make a reservation for free, and there’s no charge for canceling up to 5 pm the day before. Just ensure you’re in line within 30 minutes of the scheduled sailing time to avoid a no-show fee. Remember, you pay the actual ferry fare when you arrive, not when you make the reservation.
  • Ferry Schedules: The ferry schedules are limited due to the approximately 1-1.5 hour ride each way and multiple destinations. Sometimes, your ferry might even stop at another island along the route. Check the schedules in advance to plan your trip effectively.

2. Timing Your Day Trip

  • Be Prepared for a Long Day: With less frequent sailings, it can be challenging to make a day trip. For instance, we left home at 8 am, got back at 7 pm and had about 4 hours on the island.

3. Transportation Options

  • Driving vs. Walking On: While it’s cheaper and easier to walk onto the ferry and park your car at Anacortes, this option limits your mobility on the other end. If you drive your car, you’ll have more flexibility to explore the island, but be prepared to carry your supplies.

4. Choosing Your Island

  • Shaw Island: Shaw Island is more rural. I’ve never been there and I don’t think that it’s generally a day-trip tourist spot.
  • Lopez Island: We once stayed at an Airbnb on Lopez Island. It’s a bit busier than Shaw but still maintains a laid-back vibe.
  • Orcas Island: This is a big island with plenty of tourist activities, but they’re not very close to the dock. Figure out your transportation in advance. (We always drive our car onto the ferry.) There’s a decent-sized town and a state park with great camping but make your reservations for the campground early.
  • Friday Habor: Friday Harbor, technically part of San Juan Island, is full of tourism options. Many attractions are within walking distance of the ferry terminal. If you have a car, explore three excellent park options. Don’t miss learning about the “Pig War” historical event. There’s a National Historic Park on both ends of the island (one American camp and one British camp). Additionally, Lime Kiln State Park in the middle is renowned for whale watching from shore. Right by the ferry terminal, you’ll find food options. San Juan Island Brewery is a favorite stop for us, offering a variety of good beer and a substantial food selection (including pizzas, soups, burgers, chicken, and sandwiches). They have around 10-15 beers on tap, and it’s kid-friendly. Most entrees are priced at about $17-20.

I had no idea about the incredible Washington State Ferry system when I moved out here, but it’s the second busiest ferry system in the world (second only to the British Columbia ferry system.) They make for fantastic day trips!

Indiana Vacation

This summer we made another trip back to my parents’ house in Indiana. We spent a lot of time in the pool, playing disc golf, and eating delicious food. We also visited Indiana Dunes National Park and saw my grandpa. I put together a quick video recap of the trip and while it’s not going to win any awards, it’s a fun way to look back on the trip.

JBLM Airshow and Warrior Expo

As a child, I remember going to some big airshows, and I still have a poster on the wall in this room of the Thunderbirds. Dad stood in line with me to get it signed by all six pilots. So when I heard that Joint Base Lewis McChord (JBLM) was bringing back its airshow after a seven year break, I really wanted to go.

We booked a hotel the night before even though it’s only 60 miles away with the thought of making our morning a little less hectic. Plus, Tyla and Elijah love hotel pools and hotel breakfasts. Elijah thinks Best Western is the most amazing hotel chain ever, and I’m not in any hurry to dissuade him! We did have a relaxing evening on Friday and then Saturday morning, we drove about 5 minutes across the interstate and onto the base. We were directed to park in a field and hopped on a shuttle quickly after that.

The airshow area was huge and there were so many static displays that we couldn’t see them all in the ~2.5 hours before the show started.

The show started off with a “joint force demonstration” since it’s a joint army and air force base. The list of planes that flew included B-17 Flying Fortress, B-25, C-17, Focke-Wulf 190, P-51 Hope, Tora Tora Tora Mitsubishi A6M “Zero”, Undaunted Air Act (Vans RV-7 and RV-8’s), and Yellow Thunder (twin AT-6 Texans). The army also had Apache, Blackhawk, and Chinook helicopters along with a Striker vehicle. I’m sure I’m missing some more!

It was the first time I remember seeing the Tora Tora Tora act. They reenacted the attack on Pearl Harbor with eight planes. Even with only a few planes, it felt like chaos because they had lots of big pyrotechnic explosions happening on the ground while the announcer talked about the attack. It’s impossible to imagine what it would have felt like with 20 times that many planes attack constantly for TWO HOURS.

Of course, the highlight of the whole show was the Thunderbirds! All the acts were fun to watch but the Thunderbirds are the pinnacle of air acts. It was beautiful to watch them with Mt. Rainier standing proudly in the background, and I was so happy to share the experience with Tyla and Elijah!

I was also really happy that we remembered to bring ear protection. It’s LOUD and sitting out there all day in the hot sun is a recipe for a headache even without the loud planes.

While I don’t know if I would have enjoyed lugging my dSLR around all day, I do wish I had it for taking pictures of the airshow. We had a beautiful view with Rainier in the background and while there are plenty of photos online, it’s always fun to snap “the shot” yourself.

We had gone extra fancy for this event and paid for reserved seating. It was really nice to have “saved seats” and not have to fight for position. We also had easy access to bathrooms and food. I’d make that same choice again.

I’ve been wanting to go to an airshow for years and I’m so thankful that it finally happened!

Ok so that’s the happy side of the day. Let’s talk about the downsides.

  • It was HOT. Temps were up around 90 and since you’re on an airfield, there’s no shade. We brought water bottles and refilled them multiple times at bottle filling stations that they had cleverly hooked up to fire hydrants.
  • Traffic was bonkers. The news said that the airshow hit capacity around 1:30pm (about halfway through the air acts). Thankfully we missed it going in but it bit us leaving.
  • We had to take a shuttle back since our car was ~8 miles away. I made the tough decision to leave the show about 2/3 of the way through the Thunderbirds act because I knew the shuttles were going to be a mess. While I hated leaving early, we were able to still see most of the maneuvers as we walked back. We arrived to CHAOS. It was unclear where the busses were going to stop and which line was for which shuttle. The lines were already enormous, but thankfully the line for our shuttle was shorter. This was part of my plan by picking the shuttle on the south end because I knew the north end would be swamped with all the people from Seattle. We waited baking in the hot sun in a line of angry people for an hour. That got us on the THIRD BUS. Yes, the busses were incredibly slow because they were getting caught up in all the traffic leaving the show. I’d estimate that we were about 5-10% of the way from the front of the line and it took us an hour to leave. People must have been there for hours. Thankfully, there were quite a few military personnel there to help sort out line cutters and other squabbles.
  • They did have limited parking on base so I suppose we could have tried that, but then you’re resigning yourself to sitting in traffic for hours trying to squeeze out of the one lane gate off the base.

I honestly don’t know what I’d do if I could do this again. I think the winning move was probably parking at the closest shuttle stop (SR-512 Park and Ride) and then just walking the ~3 miles back to that shuttle stop after the show. But then again, the line for that shuttle stop was enormous in the morning because the city buses went to the wrong location to start the day!

Both our bodies and nerves were fried by the end of the day, but I was so proud of Elijah for sticking with it all day! If anyone in our family had given into a bad attitude, it would have been miserable for all of us, but we all left thankful that we saw what we saw, but also very thankful to be sitting in air conditioning and driving home. I’m not eager to go again, but I’m glad we went!

One Week in Moab

This year, we decided to visit some of the national parks in southern Utah for our family vacation. It started as an idea to hit all five, but we scaled back to spending a week in Moab, Utah for easy access to two of the parks. In the end, we were glad we simplified our plan because there was a lot to keep us busy and it was more relaxing than trying to cram in a bunch of different stops.

Moab is about 1100 miles from our house, and I’ll write a detailed post about our road trip, but in short, we took two days to drive down there and two days back. So after two long days in the car, we rolled into Moab late on Sunday afternoon.

I’m happy to promote the Airbnb that we rented. It was a duplex so we had our own garage (with a charger for our electric car) along with way more beds than we needed. It also had a private hot tub along with a full washer and dryer. There was a community pool a short walk away too. It was a great home base for our adventures.

I had tried to pre-plan as much of the trip as possible so that I wouldn’t have to be doing logistics and figuring things out while I was on vacation. Plus, Moab is an incredibly busy place and many of the things we wanted to do required reservations months in advance. Moab is a town of about 5000 people with around 2 million people who visit every year! The economy is defined by tourism which is good for business but it’s also wreaking havoc on the people who live there. They simultaneously can’t make a living without the tourists and they often can’t afford basic necessities like housing because of the tourists.


For our first full day in Moab, we started with Arches National Park which is just on the north end of town. It was about a 15 minute drive from our house. Arches is using timed entry reservations. Months in advance, I registered for entry into the park between 7am and 8am on the day we were planning to go in. We arrived right at 7am in hopes of beating the crowds a bit and also beating the heat. Our plan each day was to be mostly done with planned activities by noon to avoid the hottest part of the day and leave ~half the day open for random activities. This meant getting up early each morning on vacation, but I think we’d do it the same way if we went back.

I have seen plenty of pictures of some of the arches in the park, but I was surprised how different it felt to be there in person. A picture can’t communicate the enormity of the scenery. It feels like the opposite of a green, cool place like Seattle!

We came prepared with an itinerary for our park days thanks to For a few bucks, I purchased her guide to Arches and we followed her two day itinerary. I won’t repeat the details here since I don’t want to give a free summary of her great content, but we were very happy with the info she provided! Despite the extreme visitor load, we never found a trailhead that was full, we ate lunch in a completely empty picnic area each day, and we even had some of the arch views to ourselves!

The highlight of our first day in the park was the Devil’s Garden area. Landscape Arch is enormous and the hike from there to the Double O arch was one of our favorite hikes of the trip. It required climbing up and walking along big rock fins.


Tuesday was our first of two paid adventures: off roading! Moab is a world-renowned mecca for offroad fun and we didn’t want to miss the opportunity. We chose a 2.5 hour with the cleverly named “Moab Tourism Center” tour company. I drove the UTV/side-by-side for our family and there were a total of 5 vehicles in our group including our guide.

It’s hard to put into words what this trip was like! The vehicles were extremely capable and the terrain was incredible. We drove up steep narrow fins, down steep inclines, and over all sorts of terrain that I would never have imagined was possible.

A huge portion of Utah is “BLM land” (Bureau of Land Management) and you can do pretty much anything you want there. Our tour took us through the “Hell’s Revenge” area which had a additional rules because of the high traffic. If you’ve watched any rock crawling videos on the internet, you’ve probably seen some of the main features in this area. We stopped at “Hell’s Gate” and watched four vehicles try to climb it. Three made it up fine but the fourth flipped up and over! Everyone was fine, but it was quite a sight. All of this is just a short drive out of town so part of our tour involved a ~10 minute UTV drive on the roads to and from the business where we started. UTVs can be road legal in Moab and you see lots of them!

If I could go back for one day, I’d do another UTV trip!


We got up early again to get into Arches right at 7am since it had been working so well for us the previous two days. This day involved more highly trafficked parts of the park, but our early start gave us easy parking and ok-ish crowds. Highlights were Delicate Arch, both of The Windows, and the Double Arch. When I had been researching this trip, I saw Double Arch and immediately recognized it as from the opening scenes of Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. While the arch was covered in people, it was still neat to see the area in person. We again ate lunch at a completely empty picnic area with a great view of Balanced Rock.


Our second scheduled excursion was a half day rafting trip from Adrift Adventures. Their web presence and signup process was less polished than our other excursion, but everything went smoothly. There were three small groups like ours that got put together in one boat and then there was an enormous group of dads and sons that filled up about four or five other boats. They were pretty wild so our guides did a good job of keeping us separated from them on the river so we could have our own fun.

The trip mostly hits “bumpy water” Class 1 and 2 rapids but there was one short Class 3 section too. This felt just about right for our family. There were a couple areas where Tyla and I both jumped out of the boat to swim, and Elijah even got to row the boat for a while.

The river had about 2.5 times as much water flowing through it as it did last year so everything was moving faster than normal. We got to do the whole 12-mile stretch that they normally divide up into two different 6-mile tours.


For our last day in the parks, we drove about 50 minutes to Canyonlands National Park. This park is divided into three distinct areas and the entrances are hours apart. We chose the Island in the Sky district. The name comes from the fact that this part of the park is mostly on top of a large mesa.

The site we used for he Arches Itinerary had some guidance for Canyonlands but not a full itinerary, but our early arrival paid off again and we were able to see everything without overwhelming crowds. Our first stop was Mesa Arch and it might have been our favorite one of the trip! It’s quite a trippy experience walking up to the arch because it’s right on the edge of the mesa so there’s an enormous drop off beyond the arch. We also had the whole thing to ourselves for quite a while so we got some good pictures and enjoyed the view.

We did one longer hike out to Murphy Point and thoroughly enjoyed the view there. Again, we had the whole viewpoint to ourselves for almost the whole time!

The remaining stops were a couple that we could drive to which mean that they were much busier, and while the views were awesome, our first two private stops were much more enjoyable due to lesser crowds. We found another private picnic spot with shade and a great view for lunch.


Our plan to finish each day around 12 or 1 worked out well. We got to beat the heat and crowds, and we also had the afternoon free for relaxing and spending time in the community pool.

We saved a lot of time and money by eating breakfast and lunch at the house every day (or packing a picnic lunch.) We did go out to dinner each night and our favorite spots were the Moab Brewery, El Tapatio, Moab Food Truck Park, and Spitfire Smokehouse. Utah has some confusing liquor laws which means that good draft beer is hard to find, but I did sample quite a few new ones.

We played the license plate game on our drive and made it amazingly close to collecting them all! We ended without seeing Hawaii, Rhode Island, and Delaware, but we did get a few Canadian provinces, D.C., and two Mexican states (Chihuahua and Nuevo Leon.)


This is long post already, but we have so many memories that I haven’t touched on here like lizards, base jumpers, frisbee plates, the Tree Penguins, the filming location for Horizon, meeting people from Woodinville on our first day in Moab, Lops ice cream, and a lot more. What an amazing trip!

I did a lot of research and planning ahead of time, fully expecting to only use it as a rough guide, but almost the entire trip went flawlessly according to plan. The return trip had some hiccups mostly due to extra traffic on the weekend before the Fourth of July, but it wasn’t a big deal. I’m so thankful for the smooth adventure and the fun family memories. When’s our next road trip?! Let’s do it again!

Eureka Filming Site Visit

I’ve been burning through the Eureka (2006-2012) TV show episodes on Amazon Prime. I’m a Stargate fan and this was recommended to me as something with a similar vibe (and a lot of crossover actors.) Like Stargate, a lot of the filming happened in the Vancouver, BC area.

I was curious where the downtown Eureka scenes were filmed so over many episodes, I carefully looked for clues and searched and searched and searched around on Google Street View until I finally found a couple blocks on Wellington Ave in Chilliwack, BC which looked similar. (Shortly after that, I found this website which lists out all the filming locations for many different shows. Derp.) That’s only a couple hours from our house and it seemed like it could be a fun family adventure day so I looked up a few other possible activities and we set off.

Our first stop was the filming location and even though it has been 10 years, I was happy to see how much it felt like walking through Eureka. It wasn’t quite the same vibe I had walking through Radiator Springs at Disneyland, but it was similar.

With my own nerdery satisfied, we set off to find some food at Cookies Grill. I don’t remember how I stumbled on this place (Yelp?) but I suspected it would be a winner since Tyla and Elijah love breakfast and Cookies serves breakfast for lunch. It lived up to their expectations and they honestly talk about driving all the way back there to eat again some time.

While we were walking around Eureka, there were a few other people there looking in the shops, etc. One of the couples seemed like maybe they were Eureka fans too but that seemed unlikely and I wasn’t about to start that weird conversation. When we drove ~10 minutes to get to Cookies Grill in a random strip mall area, we got out of the car and the same couple was in the parking lot! Weird things happen in Eureka.

It was still raining but we went for a hike anyway to see Bridal Veil Falls. The path is almost smooth enough for a wheelchair (except for a couple stairs) and it’s only ~5-10 minutes long, but it’s steep. The falls are beautiful though and the length of the tiny hike was about perfect for our day.

From there we stopped for ~10 minutes at the Chilliwack Supercharger on Luckakuck Road and then continued our journey via Lickman Road. As we giggled about the street names, we drove to Chilliwack River Valley Honey where we picked up a few jars of delicious honey. (Before we left home, I verified that we could get back across the border with it.)

Our border entry into Canada had been quick and while the internet said the return trip would be quick, the line of about a dozen cars was moving very slowly. They were carefully inspecting everyone, searching a lot of cars, and even pulling some cars off to the side for additional inspections. As we approached the booth, I was prepared for a lot of questions, but apparently we are super boring and we were almost waved right on through.

Despite what the border guard must have thought of our story, we loved it! It was a lot of driving for one day, but Elijah had fun going to Canada for the first time that he can remember, and we all enjoyed the random sites. There were quite a few other attractions in Chilliwack that looked interesting (water parks, giant lakes/parks, disc golf, etc.) so who knows, maybe we’ll be back!

PacNW Christian Men’s Retreat 2023

Every year, the area churches affiliated with the WELS and ELS combine to host a men’s retreat. I’ve known about this for years but have never attended myself. This year when I got the email, I thought, “Hmmm… I think I want to go to this one. I need to remember to bring it up with Tyla and see what she thinks.” A few minutes later, she came in reading the same email and said, “Ben! You have to go to this retreat! Professor Paustian is amazing!” Mark Paustian is a professor at Martin Luther College, and she had him for a couple classes. He was scheduled to be the guest speaker at the retreat. I took her advice and signed up immediately. Over the next week or two, three other MLC grads heard about the retreat and encouraged me to attend so I could hear Professor Paustian.

The event was held at Fort Worden State Park in Port Townsend. It’s only about 35 miles away but it either requires a ferry ride or a drive around the south end of Puget Sound. The event starts Friday evening so I checked in, met up with a couple other people, and we got a quick dinner at a Mexican food truck called Burritos y Tacos on the northwest side of the golf course. Then we headed back for the opening session where Professor Paustian explained what he’d be sharing over the weekend and talked to us about being “transparently Christian.” He shared examples like purposely reading Christian books when he’s out in public or simply including church activities when people ask about your weekend.

There were 76 of us in attendance so that requires a lot of sleeping space. We stayed in building 225 which is a group housing dormitory. It’s a historical site so the accommodations are simple, but I had my own room and a shared bathroom. Our group brought a large selection of snacks, drinks, and games so there was optional fun happening there until late into the night.

After waking up early and walking around the park, Saturday morning started with breakfast in the group dining facility and then we headed over to the USO Hall for more classes. Our course was on apologetics which is an intellectual defense of the truth, rationality, and core beliefs of Christianity. We went through various aspects of it, but the repeated message was that you’re not there to argue specific facts with people, but the goal is always to point people to the message of the gospel. Our consciences tell us that things are wrong, but only the gospel reveals the saving message of Christ. Jesus died for our sins. There’s nothing we have to do or can do to earn heaven. He did it all for us! This is a simple message that is unfortunately unique to Christianity and even unique within many circles of Christianity. Human reason says that there must be something we have to do, but God’s mercy is an affront to human reason. He loves us more than we can ever imagine.

There were a few hours reserved on Saturday afternoon for people to do whatever they want. Some went back to the dorms to take a nap while other groups went hiking, golfing, and shooting. I went with a group of about a dozen people to play disc golf. It was fun playing on a new course and introducing people to the sport.

After dinner, we headed back for another session before going back to the dorm for more fellowship and sleep.

Sunday morning was the end of the event and we met one more time. Professor Paustian gave a devotion/sermon and as part of a short service. Hearing a big group of men singing some favorite hymns is a treat!

If you’re in the area and are at all intrigued by these, please consider attending! This event has been going on for over 20 years except for a short COVID pause and they’re planning to hold it again next year in mid to late April. It’s a wonderful opportunity to be encouraged by your fellow Christians and hear a great speaker. Professor Paustian lived up to the hype! Tyla and I are already going through his “Our Worth To Him” devotion book, but now I’m also looking forward to reading Prepared to Answer and the cleverly titled follow-up: More Prepared to Answer.

LeMay Car Museum Review

I’ve seen the car museum off to the north side of I-5 in Tacoma many times, but I’ve never been inside… until recently. When my parents came for a visit, we decided to check it out. A review on the internet said that a non-car geek could make it through in about two hours. I couldn’t understand how that would be possible. The place doesn’t look that big.

As we walked around, we saw signs that said Harold LeMay owned a refuse company in Tacoma and built up one of the largest private car collections in the world. And while there were a lot of cool cars in sight, it sure didn’t seem that large. But then we turned the corner, went down the ramp, and I caught sight of a building map. There are four floors and each one is packed full of cars! If you follow the arrows, you’ll wind your way all the way to the bottom and then work your way back up to the top.

We spent too much time on the way down and had to walk up a bit quicker than we would have liked since we were on a schedule, but wow, this place was huge! There were so many cars to look at. It kept our family easily entertained for a couple hours, and I think we could have spent a bit more time there.