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.


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.


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.


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.