Last summer, at one of the several WTA work parties we participated in, we heard rumors of something wonderful at Mt Rainier. You see, WTA partners with the national park on trail maintenance, and last summer they were focused on the Longmire area of the park. The reason everyone we talked to was excited about this is a not-so-secret secret: the Longmire Stewardship Campground. This quiet, mossy campground is available only to volunteers, and for the low cost of one day of volunteering, you get free park entry along with up to two nights camping in this magical spot! When WTA started up their 2019 trail work season in the park early in June, I was overjoyed to see that they'd be operating out of Longmire again, and immediately signed both Andy and myself up for the first weekend we had free. I am happy to report that that Longmire Volunteer Campground fully lived up to the hype. It was a weekend of hard, dirty work in the hot sun and it was one filled with laughter, new friends, and plenty of post-trail work relaxation, and Andy and I are already plotting our return!Read More
Summer has arrived, and with it the long days of sunshine and hot weather. Halfway through June and already there have been an intolerable number of sweaty, restless nights where the temperature in our apartment doesn't seem to drop below 75. There are many things I love about summer, but I could do without the heat! With a vacation to get ready for, Andy and I spent our weekend close to home, although we did make time for another day trip to Whidbey Island to pick up more of our favorite coffee from Useless Bay in Langley. It wasn't until we were on our way home that we realized while we'd eaten lunch on their patio, we'd completely forgotten to pick up more coffee! Of course that just means that we'll need to make another trip to Whidbey. How unfortunate...Read More
We had an adventure of a week! Our weekdays were mostly quiet and sunny, but I had grand plans for the weekend. I wanted to get out for at least one backpacking trip this spring, and with the summer solstice fast approaching, this weekend was it. During the week, our evenings were spent sorting through our gear and getting everything packed an ready for a early start on Saturday. For the first trip of the year, especially with so much snow lingering in the mountains, we decided to stick to a familiar lowland area - Blanchard Mountain. We've hiked the trail to Lily & Lizard Lakes twice, and knew it was a placed we wanted to camp.
We had a lovely time Saturday, getting an early start so we had plenty plenty of time to relax and explore. We spent the evening sharing a campfire with a couple and solo hiker camping near us at Lizard Lake, roasting hot dogs and marshmallows and swapping stories. The excitement didn't start until late that nightRead More
After a mostly uneventful work week, Andy and I volunteered for our second WTA trail work crew this past Saturday. Since the trail we'd be working on was outside Leavenworth, almost a 3 hour drive from home, we spent the weekend at a rustic cabin near Leavenworth so we could sleep in a bit. When I'd checked the weather forecast earlier in the week, the weather had looked perfect for trail work - 70° and sunny. You can imagine my disappointment when we work up Saturday to rain. Throughout our extremely soggy day of trail work, I kept hoping to see the sun peek out from behind the clouds to dry us off a bit, and it did eventually, on our hike back out to the trailhead! Working all day in the rain, I did learn a few useful bits of information. First, my hiking boots are solidly waterproof. At one point I was nearly ankle deep in mud and didn't even notice! Second, for future work parties, we will be bringing a second pair of work gloves for after lunch. Putting on our cold, soaked, filthy gloves after lunch was the worst part of the day!Read More