Now that it's officially autumn, I keep expecting cold rainy weather, but over the past several days it has felt like summer is having a brief revival. The pressure is back on to get outside and make the most of sunny weekends while they last! With that in mind, this past Saturday we headed for Melakwa Lake. Unfortunately, we got a very late start, which meant parking over a quarter mile from the trail and having hardly any time to relax at the lake. However, our late start meant we had some beautiful late afternoon light once we reached the lake. Andy really had to push me to leave the lake, since I kept stopping for "just one more photo!" I was extremely envious of the couple that reached the lake shortly after us with plans to spend the night. Andy and I both agreed we'd like to come back to camp in one of the rather impressive sites we found while exploring the area.Read More
Somehow today is the first day of fall! It's certainly felt more like fall than summer over the past weeks, but September has been absolutely flying by. Since my lovely vacation at the beginning of the month, I've hardly had time to get outside and appreciate the changing of seasons. After the jam-packed summer I've had, I'm certainly looking forward to a quieter fall. I recently read this lovely post about why Seattle natives welcome fall so enthusiastically, and I couldn't agree with the sentiment more. This summer in particular, any weekend I wasn't out hiking, I felt guilty - as if I were squandering the limited summer days. Now that temperatures are cooler and it's raining more often, I'll be happy to have a little more free time for last minute plans with friends and family, as well as quiet rainy Sundays at home curled up by a fire with a good book. Keep reading for few other things I'm looking forward to doing this fall!
Forage for one of my favorites fall foods: chanterelles, elderberries, or wild blueberries
Try a new soup recipe. Maybe something entirely new, or just a new version of an old favorite!
Continue a new favorite tradition by going on another larch hike.
Get outside for lunch or after work at least 3 days a week. As easy as it is to forget about it, I need that time outdoors!
Bake a pie for no particular occasion and invite friends over to help eat it!
Get caught up blogging about all the hiking we did this summer. I've got at least three trips to share!
If you're curious, here's how I fared on my summer list:
Sleep outside at least once a month. Between one car camping trip and three backpacking trips, I definitely had this one covered!
Take a random weekday off work to hike a popular trail I'd never consider visiting on a weekend. Sadly, I never got around to this. There's always next summer though!
Summit a mountain. Thanks to Alpine Trails Book Club, I summited Sauk Mountain this July. Just like last summer: Spend time adventuring outdoors with both my nieces! No grand adventures, but I was able to get in some quality time outside with both nieces! Learn a new practical skill: backcountry first aid, avalanche safety and the use of an ice axe, or navigation. I studied up on backcountry navigation. Now I just need to get some practice using that new knowledge!
Go crabbing, and enjoy the fresh caught crab immediately! The boat on Whidbey was not fully operational this summer, so we never got the chance for crabbing.
Try my hand at making my own freeze dried backpacking meals. I made a cous cous dinner and oatmeal packets and they both turned out great! Eat at least one meal cooked over a campfire. Car camping provided plenty of opportunites for this!
This week was rough. After our lovely, relaxing week off, this week started with a stressful trip to the emergency vet. Our cat is back to his usual cuddly self now, but the ordeal was exhausting for all of us and it took most of the week to recover. Thankfully we had a quiet weekend of relaxing at home. We went on a few short walks around the neighborhood, but for the most part we were total and unabashed homebodies.
Every time we did manage to step outside, I was happy to see signs of fall everywhere. Since moving to Washington as a child, I remember the sight of spiders perched on their webs decorating the woods around my parents house throughout September. Apples have started to spring up all over and bright yellow leaves have been tumbling from the trees outside my apartment all week. I always love seeing the piles of leaves littering the walkway at our apartment, and can't help but feel sad when the groundskeeping crew come to blow them away. For now, though, my favorite season is just beginning, and even when these early leaves are gone, there will be plenty more to turn vibrant colors and fall through November.Read More
A full week on Whidbey Island, and what a lovely week it was. Originally, our plans for our anniversary were to spend a week backpacking on the Spider Gap - Buck Creek Pass loop. Unfortunately, the Buck Creek fire got in the way of those plans. We briefly talked about a few backup multi-day hikes we could do, but since my feet have been bothering me so much, we decided to take it easy and spend a week on Whidbey Island instead, something we haven't done in years! With a whole week, we had time for many of the things we always talk about doing but never are able to make the time for. On a rainy Wednesday, we took a ferry to Port Townsend to taste lots of delicious Washington ciders. Another afternoon, we visited Fort Ebey State Park to hike some new trails and explore the old bunker. We also made it out on the water in the kayak a couple times and found the water mysteriously filled with jellyfish. Naturally, we also spent plenty of time just lounging around the cabin too, knitting and reading in the sunshine. While I still am disappointed our original plans for the week, it's hard to imagine a better anniversary vacation than the one we wound up with!Read More
After a mostly quiet work week at home, on Saturday we headed to Whidbey Island for a long anniversary vacation. I always enjoy going to Whidbey, but I think September is my favorite month to be there. During the week it rained and rained, but by the time we got to the cabin on Saturday, the sun was shining and it almost felt like summer again. Since we were going for a longer visit, we took our cat with us. It was the first time we'd traveled with our cat, and luckily he adjusted to the new space pretty quickly. In fact, it didn't take long for all of us to get settled into a relaxing cabin routine.Read More