New TLE and New at TLE

I'm so happy for the good folks at Tender Loving Empire who are opening their third location (less than a year after opening their second spot, on SE Hawthorne).  They are a really nice group of people doing really cool things with locally made goods and music here in Portland.  They've recently announced plans to open their next location on NW 23rd Avenue in mid-August.  And just like the two sweet locations they've already got, you'll be able to find sulu-design jewelry at the new northwest one, too.  Here's the first delivery for the new shop:


Since the Start of Summer Part III

(over the dark ridge line to the right in the photo above
you can see a sliver of a lake... that's our destination)

Determined to make the most of an extra night of backpacking (thank you, Fourth of July!) we trekked out just east of Mount Hood to Badger Creek Wilderness.  There were gorgeous views of Mount Hood and several other peaks in the Cascade Range near the start of our hike at Lookout Mountain.  A sometimes gnarly, sometimes nerve-wracking trail followed.  We took it for miles and miles until we found a spot next to what looked at the time like the most beautiful creek ever.  We set up camp, soaked our tired feet in the cold water, and rested up for the following day.  When morning came, we quickly make our way to Badger Lake where we splashed in the water and lounged on the rocks all day.  We spent the night there and had a fantastic morning (mornings, I'm realizing, are often my favorite part of our backpacking trips).  The early hours felt like autumn.  We got cozy with our coffee and watched fish jumping out of the lake.  Eventually we hiked out and caught one of the best views of Mount Hood we've ever seen.


Since the Start of Summer Part II

Getting a late start for our second summer camping trip resulted in a night of camping at a semi-developed campground at Frog Lake instead of hiking to our intended destination of Twin Lakes on Mount Hood.  We had a really sweet interaction with the family staying in the camp site next to ours, but the experience of car camping reminded me how much more I love backpacking than staying in campgrounds.  We made the hike the following morning to Twin Lakes and had a great day splashing in the water and laying on the shore.  It's been a crazy hot summer so far, and the relief that lakes and creeks have offered have been beyond welcome.


Since the Start of Summer Part I

 This one is picture heavy.  Prepare to scroll.

We spent the summer solstice hiking to Paradise Park on Mount Hood.  Our trip started out on an overcast day on a trail that was more populated than we prefer.  But once we were a couple hours in, the sun was shining and the clouds had burned off, the day hikers had all turned back to the trailhead, and we found a spot to pitch our tent that offered solitude and incredible views.  We stood in awe that evening of the variety wildflowers everywhere and watched a long, gorgeous sunset and moonrise.  And we woke the next day to countless cups of coffee and hours of reading in the morning light that bathed Mount Hood's peak.  During our hot, view-filled hike back, we were giddy about this trip and what the rest of summer has in store for us.