8.08.2017

Plains of Abraham for an Almost Full Moon






















Knowing that I always regret it if we don't take advantage of a backpackable summer weekend, we headed out to Mount Saint Helens to camp on the Plains of Abraham.  Despite the heat, despite the humidity, and despite the smoggy sky due to forest fires, we had a wonderful trip.  As is often the case, we passed lots of hikers who were leaving the trail just as we were getting started.  We had the plains all ourselves.  The almost full moon that we'd hoped to see was obscured by smoke, but colors in the sky were beautiful.  A short trail run the following morning, a quick dip in icy cold waters, and lunch at Battle Mountain Brewing... the weekend was a win.

8.05.2017

One of the Best Things About a Weekend Away...




is coming home to find unexpected growth on our houseplants.  We're frequently met with little surprises that get me really excited.

8.03.2017

Paradise Park, Finally!
















We got the news from a forest ranger that trails were free of snow - or at least free enough that we'd be able to make our way on them - so we headed out on one of our favorite hikes for an overnight at Paradise Park on Mount Hood.  This is the fourth time we've hiked out for an overnight there. Every time we start the hike, I wonder if it will be as good as I remember.  And every time we complete it I'm in awe of how gorgeous the hike and destination are.  The insane views of the Cascade Range.  The amazing light at all hours of the day.  The wildflowers.  The bubbling streams.  Gah!  It was so, so good to backpack again.  It was so, so good to hang out on the Sandy River afterwards to wash up and cool off.  And it was so, so good to end the weekend with Mahi Mahi tacos from 808 Grinds and a beer from Gigantic.

8.02.2017

While We Waited for the Snow to Melt

 






As of last weekend, several of the trails that we like to backpack on were still covered in snow.  So we decided on one more weekend of car camping, which wasn't so bad.  We hung out on the East Fork of the Hood River, slept under the stars, and hiked Elk Meadows.  Not a bad way to spend a weekend, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I've been itching to go backpacking.

7.12.2017

When A Tuesday Off Makes for a Three-Day Weekend















Having a Sunday/Monday weekend has its benefits, especially when a national holiday falls on a Tuesday.  That happened last week, making for a long Fourth of July weekend for me and Barry.  We relished every minute of it.  Barry found a quiet riverside spot near Mount Hood where we pitched a tent and set up camp for a few days.  We hiked nearby trails, we did some trail maintenance (he drove me to one end of a trail where I started in with a handsaw, he drove to the opposite end where he started in with a chainsaw, we met somewhere near the middle, and we hiked out together on a trail free of obstacles), we rode bikes, we soaked in the river, we read and read and read (I loved Lincoln in the Bardo), and we sat for hours around a campfire.  I know the rest of the country gets it a lot earlier, but summer is finally here and we're going to squeeze the heck out of it.