Fifteen Years In, and In the Wilderness

To celebrate our fifteen year wedding anniversary last week, Barry and I took a day off work to enjoy a three day weekend in Goat Rocks Wilderness in Washington.  We've had a couple awesome backpacking trips in that area in the past* and decided to explore a new-to-us destination this time around.  We hiked through a hot, dusty meadow and then climbed through a forest to spend our first night on a teal blue lake nestled in the trees.  The next day we hiked up and out into one of the most scenic alpine meadows imaginable with a bubbling creek and dramatic waterfall, wild flowers galore, a stunning peak and a glacier looming above us, another perfect little lake, and a dramatic view from above of the lake we'd camped at the night before.  It was silly how gorgeous it was, and we had it all to ourselves - there wasn't another soul in sight for two solid days... unless you count the flock of about fifty mountain goats we saw grazing for their dinner one night (check out the second to last photo - they're up on the steep mountain there).  We're still high from this amazing experience, and we're still celebrating the fact that fifteen years ago we made an official commitment to a best friendship and a love that started five years earlier.  Still going strong, in fact better than ever.

*In the post I wrote about the first trip we made to Goat Rocks in 2013, I mentioned a stolen wallet.  Just a couple weeks ago, three years after I wrote that post, I found that wallet wedged under the passenger seat of our car, where I swear I'd looked for the wallet a million times before deciding it must have been stolen.  For three years it sat in our car!

* In the post I wrote about our second trip to Goat Rocks in 2014, I promised that this space wouldn't turn into a backpacking journal.  I take it back.  And I'm pretty happy about that.


Paradise Park, Round Three

This hike is my jam.  A short drive from Portland, a pretty walk through the woods, an idyllic Alpine meadow at the end of the climb, and the prettiest streams that are straight out of fairy tales.  I got teary-eyed on our approach to our campsite this time - the beauty of this place is overwhelming.  Two cold beers stashed in my pack that we chilled on a snow field and a color show at sunset that you wouldn't believe were icing on the cake.


McNeil Point, Round Two

Still a butt-kicking hike, but not nearly as bad as last year.  More bugs, less wind this time around.  We did a little more exploring off of the trail this time, too.  That all was two weeks ago.  Got another backpacking trip from last weekend to post about, too.  Soon.