This week had some ups and downs. In the middle of the week, our kitty wound up spending a few days at the emergency vet with a bladder blockage. He's doing great now, but we had a stressful (and expensive) couple of days that almost led to me cancelling plans for a weekend camping at Mt Rainier for the Alpine Trails Book Club adventure. Thankfully Andy convinced me that a weekend away was just what I needed, and I'm so grateful he did. Instead of sulking at home, I spent a weekend in Paradise in the company of the most wonderful group of women. It's amazing to me that the combination of books and hiking seems to draw in such a diverse group of like-minded people. Over the weekend, I discovered many other passions I share with some or all of the ladies, and while discussing tea over breakfast, one woman mentioned she packs china teacups with her on hikes to up her backcountry tea drinking experience - something I'm totally going to copy! Somehow, we also managed to squeeze in three hikes over the course of our two days in the park, all of which were spectacular in their own unique way. I'll write more about the weekend soon, but it's certainly safe to say that Andy was right - the weekend was the perfect cure for several stressful days spent worrying about a sick pet!Read More
To call this a busy week would be a serious understatement. With everything I did, it felt like at least two weeks, and it was a good two weeks! Early in the week, I celebrated my birthday and was treated to two dinners at my favorite restaurant. On a run to the grocery store to pick up lunch, I even bought some flowers to bring a little sunshine into the apartment. Monday through Thursday, any time that wasn't spent out for a marvelous meal with family was spent trying to get ahead at work to prepare for a Friday off so I could head south with Ashley for the April Alpine Trails Book Club camping trip. Driving east, we quickly left behind the clouds layered over Puget Sound, and by early afternoon, we'd reached the Columbia River and set up camp.Read More
Confession - I almost didn't make it to the April Alpine Trails Book Club outing. Our destination for the month was Columbia Hills State Park for a weekend of camping, hiking, and other adventures. With such a long drive, going for just one day to join the group for our Sunday hike was out of the question, but spring is always a busy time for me at work, and in years past I've ended up working at least one day each weekend from late April through late May. Thankfully, I not only managed to avoid working through the weekend, but was able to take Friday - all without falling to far behind! Three whole days spent away from my computer, soaking up the glorious sunshine in the company of an inspiring group of women was just what I needed to restore me. Our weekend was filled with all sorts of adventures, but my favorite was definitely our Sunday hike through the wildflowers studded hills at Dalles Mountain Ranch.Read More
I've already written a little about our recent night spent at Lizard Lakes, but the nocturnal drama aside, it was a great trip. While it was overcast and a little chilly as we left the trailhead, it wasn't raining - a first for us hiking this trail! I'd chosen the trail to Lily & Lizard Lakes for this trip for several reasons, but mostly I looked forward to exploring the network of trails more. I also hoped we'd get to enjoy a great sunset from nearby Oyster Dome! For a few years now, I've had a picture in my head of a dreamy solstice backpacking trip, with long days to explore a rocky alpine wonderland and a phenomenal sunset. With so much snow still left in the mountains, an alpine adventure wasn't an option, but this seemed like an excellent alternative.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