The 2012 “Celebrating the Pacific Northwest” Calendar is now available for pre-order at a discounted rate of only $18. Shipping anywhere in the US or Canada is an additional $5.
You can order at this link. Click Here To Order
The 2012 “Celebrating the Pacific Northwest” Calendar is now available for pre-order at a discounted rate of only $18. Shipping anywhere in the US or Canada is an additional $5.
You can order at this link. Click Here To Order
One of the joys of living in Western Washington is the opportunity for outdoor adventure. One such adventure involves the 4th largest Bald Eagle viewing opportunity in the lower 48 states.
On Saturday my friend Don and I headed up to Rockport in the North Cascades to enjoy a float on the Skagit River to photograph the Bald Eagles.
I was offered a comp trip back in December (one of perks of having a highly glamorus “pennies per word/pixel” magazine contract and got an assignment out of it.
Then I took that nasty fall down the wet attic stairs during the storm from hell and couldn’t go because I couldn’t sit up and was barely able to walk more or less sit in a car for several hours and go on a raft trip.
Long story short, I needed (and wanted) to go on this trip, so we booked one.
My status as “Weather Witch” continues… (hey it was 7 ½ years before I saw rain in the rain forest) as we had fabulous mist, but no rain until after we were off the river.
It was absolutely BEAUTIFUL out there.
The Eagles did not disappoint
After a wonderful trip, we stopped off in Arlington for Mexican food and Cadillac Margaritas.
I was still a bit chilly when I got home, so I came up with a creative way to warm up.
How to tell you’ve lived in the Pacific Northwest too long # 126
You wear a wool hat in the hot tub.
the rest of the photos are available here
if the slide show doesn’t embed in your browser/reader you can view it by making with the clicky clicky here…
It was awesome!
I don’t have time to write a trip report yet, but here are some photos I took on yesterday’s Skagit River float trip.
If your reader or browser doesn’t embed the slideshow; you can see it by making with the clicky clicky here…
I’m placing one last calendar order
You can pre-pay me in person, or better yet use the link provided below and pay with credit card or pay pal.
Sorry, I can’t “hold one for you” any more.
I have to pay for these when I order and people still owe me money for the last batch of calendars. I’m a single person with a mortgage, this stuff adds up.
I will place the order on Friday.
You can order by clicking here
*please feel free to pass this along/repost…
After a lot of nagging from several people who are noticing that there aren’t very many pages left on theirs…
The 2011 “Celebrating the Wild Pacific Northwest” Calendar is finished and the sample being printed.
You can order here make with the clicky clicky to order the calendar
I’m taking pre orders now. Calendars ordered by November 20th should arrive in plenty of time to mail out for holiday gifts.
Yesterday I dragged my exhausted carcass out of bed at the ungawdly hour of 3:30 AM in preparation for a 4:00 AM departure from Tacoma to head up to Mt Rainier National Park to photograph the sunrise (the event) illuminating the mountain at Sunrise (the place
I managed to get everything ready the night before (which is why I stayed up too late) including the espresso machine so that I could brew up some “essence of the sacred bean” (with milk, vanilla syrup and a drizzle of caramel of course)
Since moving, I have not yet gotten my hiking/backpacking/snowshoeing/skiing gear organized; it’s in various piles and tubs in the gear room in the basement.
It was going to be below freezing when we got up there, and I needed gloves. Since I could not locate my fleece mittens that convert to fingerless gloves that I use for photography, I settled for the next best thing.
I grabbed a pair of gardening gloves which were quite “spectacular” with my ugly robins egg (yeah if the Robin was on LSD) blue TNF Flight Series jacket.
How’s THIS for a Mountaineer/Urban Farmer fashion statement?
It was clear when we left Tacoma, turning cloudy about the time we hit Bonney Lake; I did not despair since Sunrise is on the East side of the mountain and the weather is usually different there.
As we wound around the hairpin curves of the road to sunrise, we could see peeks of the peak alternating with fast moving clouds around each bend.
It was going to be a crap shoot.
We arrived to heavy mist and fog. We were IN the clouds. Drats!
Having the reputation of “weather witch” and insanely good luck with weather on trips, I did not give up. After a disgusting visit to the pit toilets near the backpacker parking (we discovered that the regular bathrooms closer to the visitor center were in fact open [smacks self on forehead] I gathered my photo gear and headed out towards the trail to see what I could see.
The lady Tahoma was being a tease…
As the wind whipped clouds raced past her summit, a stunning pink and orange glow began to appear.
“Don! It’s happening”.
I ran down the trial to snap a few pics, and when I realized how cool it was going to be, I raced back up the hill towards the Emmons Glacier viewpoint, camera gear, tripod and trekking poles swinging wildly.
The usual cadre of photographers was not there because of the clouds.
Myself and only three other people witnessed THIS stunning, if not unusual sunrise and magical moment in wondrous silence.
We headed down to the lower parking area where we saw the last of Tahoma for the day
An ungawdly early trip to Sunrise is never wasted. We had lakes to bag and meadows to explore before the hordes of screaming visitors descended on the park (I normally won’t go there on a summer weekend) and we headed off down the trail to Palisades Lakes.
We only saw one other person in the parking lot and he was long gone when we hit the trail. We soon discovered the tracks of a large bull elk and a couple cows. We were not far behind them as the tracks were fresh and so was this elk pee… (we found a big steaming pile of elk poop too, but I’ll spare you that photo)
We had a lovely view of Sunrise lake coming down the trial, but we bypassed that cutoff and visited Clover Lake
The wildflowers were lovely (they are past their peak, but still plentiful) along the ridge
The moon although no longer full, was still gorgeous
The meadows were absolutely stunning.
I couldn’t help but do my best, bad Julie Andrews impersonation…
We found something interesting in this little pond
Tadpoles! Seriously, you’d best get to growing legs little guys, your season is almost over, even though it just started. These have to be some seriously bad-assed frogs to live up here.
We checked out Upper Palisades Lake as a spot to come back to camp on a backpacking trip and ran into some folks I know. It appears that I can’t hike anywhere in this state without finding someone who knows me from organizations I’ve been involved with or recognizes me from my blog/magazine/website stuff. I honestly don’t know if I should be flattered or creeped out. (ran into a blog reader two weeks earlier at Spray Park)
Here’s the lake
On the way out, the pikas were frantically nesting to get ready for what appears will be an early and hard winter.
It was an AWESOME trip; 7;43 miles including a short sojourn to check out the lower Palisades lake, 2,246 feet of cumulative elevation gain, and off the trail by noon when most of the other folks were just starting out. We had the trail completely to ourselves. It was awesome.
The rest of the pictures are available by clicking here:
Or as a slide show here:
Or as a slide show here-make with the clicky clicky…
And we WILL be going back for a backpack trip.
One of the best things about living here in Tacoma is that in addition to the lovely water surrounding us on three sides, we have Mount Rainier National Park, North Cascades National Park, Olympic National Park and a host of fabulous National Forests as our “back yard”
I FINALLY got some hiking in for the first time since May when a chain of events including house buying, escrow, moving and a fractured foot/big toe kept me from getting out and doing things.
On Friday, a couple friends and I headed up to Mount Rainer National Park to photograph the wildflowers up at Spray Park. The areas on the Carbon River side of the park have always been my favorite because it is the least accessible area of the park which cuts down on crowds, litter bugs, trail cutters, flower pickers, marmot feeders, and tundra trompers (all of which drive this former NPS Ranger batshit crazy)
After a long drive in on the washboarded dirt road up to Mowich Lake, we started the ascent up to Spray Park.
We took a brief stop at the Eagle’s Lookout for the obligatory photo op with the lady Tahoma (Tahoma being the mountain’s true name) who was in her full glory.
We continued up the trial and hit the “longest alleged 0.8 miles of trail anywhere” up to the plateau.
That last bit of climb up sucks pond water, especially on a hot day, but it was worth every bit of it when we left the cover of the trees and entered the first meadow.
There were wildflowers everywhere…
And bugs… OMG the bugs. I have given up on folk, natural and less toxic methods of dealing with bugs. I’ve found that what works best for me is the standard 30% DEET (hey, I’m not going to reproduce or lactate so no harm done) Even with three doses of the stuff, I got chewed on (or sucked on in the case of mosquitos) pretty badly in areas I didn’t get enough DEET on. (above my socks, my elbows which apparently are quite tender and tasty) and behind my ears.
And a cute chubby marmot
Of course, no trip to Spray Park is complete without the short side trip down to Spray Falls.
The hike was an 8 mile round trip hike with 2,543 feet of (cumulative) elevation gain on the first day of the heat wave.
You can view the rest of the photos here: make with the clicky
Or as a slideshow here: clicky clicky
We got down about 3:30 PM and stopped in Bonney Lake for Mexican food and margaritas on the patio.
I don’t know what happened to Mazatlan after they moved to their new location, but the drinks, food and service were terrible; seriously, this was the worst Mexican food I’ve ever had, bland, tasteless and the margaritas tasted like grapefruit soda (at least they had a decent alcohol content).
*this margarita was so ashamed of the way it tasted, it had to hide it’ identity
We enjoyed our time on the patio, but from now on, we’ll wait until we’re back in good old Grit City and eat at Taquera El Guadalajara on 6th Ave.
On Monday a friend and I braved the heat and did an early morning run (5:30 AM departure) up to Snow Lake in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness of the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest up off of Snoqualmie Pass.
I won’t get near that (or any other insanely popular) place on a weekend because I don’t care for crowds, but early on a Monday was nice, quiet and almost cool.
We were mobbed by swarms of mosquitoes in the parking area. (7:00 AM WTF?) but I had gotten better at applying bug spray so I escaped this trip with no angry itchy welts.
The heat didn’t start to hit until we were just cresting the ridge to drop down to the lake, where we were treated to blessed shade. We knew that the hike up and out would be hotter than heck, but we did manage an early enough trip that we’d be out by noon.
We walked around the lake to the junction with the trial that heads over to Gem Lake. This lake was every bit as stunning as I’ve heard.
The rest of the snow lake pictures are available here: make with the clicky
Or as a slide show here: clicky clicky
Along with a BBQ with friends on Saturday and volunteering as a Swim Angel for the Danskin Triathlon on Sunday (that inspirational event will get it’s own post), I couldn’t have asked for a better long weekend.
I’m tired, sore, achy, bug bitten and slightly sunburned. THAT’s the way one should feel after a weekend.
Yesterday started out with a torrential downpour at about 5:00 AM which scared off most of the people from my Boulder River Falls hike (those that hadn’t already been scared off the day before by the forecast) That left three of us; myself, Don and Eric.
My backup plan in case of uber crapy weather was to bag some falls closer to home with hikes which were too short to make a day of in themselves.
We chose three waterfalls in the Snoqualmie Pass corridor: Twin Falls in Ollalie State Park, Franklin Falls in the Denny Creek area and Snoqualmie Falls.
Eric and I headed up I-5 blasting “Born to Be Wild”; uh yeah… we were in a mini van, which makes it that much funnier.
We picked up Don at the Eastgate park & ride, grabbed some coffee and treats at Tully’s and headed for our first target, Twin Falls.
The rain from earlier in the morning had tapered off to a light mist. I didn’t even need the rain cover on my camera bag and Eric didn’t have to play Mary Poppins holding the umbrella for me when I set my camera up on the tripod for slower exposures (to get the movement of the water)
I saw my first Trillium of the season
The falls were STUNNING!
and look, we’re DRY
By the time we were done with the hike, the rain had stopped completely and there were patches of blue sky peeking out.
We observed a moment of silence (followed by proclamations of “Sucks to be You” & peals of laughter) for those who wimped out on the trip because of the weather.
Fall #1 bagged!
After some brief snacking, we hopped into the waterfall mobile and headed over to the Denny Creek area to bag Franklin Falls.
Once again, there was no rain.
There was a bit of compact snow in some areas of the trail, but we didn’t even need Yak Tracks; it was easy hiking.
The falls did not disappoint. There was a lot of spray coming off the falls, so if we got close our lenses got soaked in short order making it difficult to get sharp photos. It was better when we backed off a bit.
We stopped along the way back to the car to take more pictures and it started to lightly rain when we got to the car.
Fall #2 bagged; and once again, we didn’t get rained on.
We weren’t too worried about getting rained on at fall #3 as the main overlook is very close to the parking area and the hike down to the bottom of the falls is only ½ mile
Luckily, my reputation as a “weater witch” held. (I always have good weather or at least better than forecast on my trips) As we drove towards North Bend/Snoqualmie to hit “the big falls” the rain stopped. We got out of the car and it was perfectly dry. (we wondered out loud how much fun the weather wimps were having at home while we were out bagging falls)
We hiked down to the bottom of the falls; it was only ½ mile, but it was quite steep.
Snoqualmie Falls are always impressive and today was no exception.
We finished off the day with well deserved munchies and beverages at the Salish Lodge (more expensive that we usually go for, but so worth it and we deserved it). As we looked out the window of the lounge we noticed that the torrential downpour had begun.
We had some great “debates” on freeway exits, directions and trailhead locations, but we all got the chance to be right at least once.
Yeah baby, we bagged THREE falls and didn’t get rained on.
Total hiking mileage: 9.33 miles
Total elevation gain: 2,936
The rest of the photos are available here:
Here are the maps of our adventures:
It was a GREAT day!
And did I mention that we bagged THREE waterfalls?
This weekend’s Larch Hunting Expedition to the North Cascades ran the gamut from being a comedy of errors to a crisis of epic proportions and back and that was before I ever left for the trip.
Here it is in bullet points:
~I try to plan an easy day hike (rehabbing an injured ankle bone), can’t find any takers.
~A friend wants to backpack to Larch Lake
~We discover that since we can’t get a shuttle to High Camp, it would be 24 miles round trip.
~We decide that Larch Lake is not going to happen this trip.
~We spend a couple days tossing ideas back and forth and doing research
~We settle on Blue Lake in the North Cascades
~We are excited
~I call the Methow Ranger Station-Okanagan National Forest and the person who answered the phone assures me we can backpack/camp there as long as we’re 200 feet off trail/away from water (the Okanagan National Forest could learn a thing or two from the Mt Baker-Snoqualmie Naitonal Forest about how to make information easily available.
~I get a call back two days later from the person that really knows what’s going on telling me that it’s a day use area and that there’s really nowhere to camp in that area and be ¼ mile away from the lake. (there are a couple climber’s camps up high and one camp low)
~Get warned by ranger station about a large, aggressive marauding bear in the area, ripping apart tents even with no food inside and breaking into cars.
~I ask office type ranger station person if it’s a “brown” bear or a “black bear” to differentiate species. I get a lecture on the fact that not all black bears are black. DUH! That’s not what I asked, you said “brown bear” (which means Grizzly or Kodiak further North) and I want to know if I’m dealing with a species that might bite me because I’m in it’s way or that considers me a possible entree.
~Starts to wonder if the woman on the phone at the ranger station has ever seen a bear or if she has ever spoken to someone who isn’t stupid. I don’t care what color the bear is, I want to know the species.
~Still not clear on species of bear, they “think” it’s a black bear, brown in color, but it has been reported as a griz by some scared people. (confirmations that the bear has torn apart tents in clean camps garnered from WTA, whatever it is, it’s bad news)
~We decide to camp ten miles East in a Forest Service campground; I don’t like car camping, but it would make a good base camp and we’d have to haul less gear to go take pictures-also, Lone Fir is at the far eastern edge of the “Bad Bear”’s territory and I know that others in that campground do not keep as clean a camp as I do, so I’m good even if it does show up. (even car camping, I use a bear can)
~We’re both excited about the trip
~The weather forecast calls for an arctic blast to bring record low temperatures to the region on Saturday night.
~We’re excited anyway.
~I yap about said trip all week, turn down party invites and trips to the coast, stay up late to get ready
~I go to pick up my magazine check (to fund the trip) and it’s not signed (the only person who can sign has a family emergency)
~I can’t afford to drive my truck, even with two people because my money is not there
~Friend agrees to drive (I can afford half of the gas for her new little car) but we can’t have a fire because she doesn’t want to haul firewood in her new car.
~Get a text message at 6:00 AM the next morning that friend lost her wallet and can’t go (understandable, not her fault, but this is work for me and I need to go)
~I have a hissy fit (not directed at friend, she’s got enough worry and stress) because I’m pissed that my magazine check is a month late (seriously, what kind of business has only one person that can sign a check?)
*note, this WAS a big deal because I have to photograph my magazine articles a YEAR ahead of time. Waiting until next year was not an option, this photo shoot was for next year.’s issue. The larch are at peak and the weather is turning. Next weekend (when I have other plans anyway) will be too late; the needles will drop and/or the weather will suck pond water and roads/trails may be closed or dangerous.
~Another friend (also a photographer) feels my pain and saves the day by loaning me gas money so that I can go.
~Friend finds wallet but decides not to go after all, at least not overnight.
~I head out, five hours late (already mentally exhausted)
And our story continues…
We find our heroine driving North, nearly to the Canadian border eh? (Canada’s only two hours from here, so it’s not that big a deal)
Then she cuts East and heads into the heart of the North Cascades.
Said heroine (who has spent time in a LOT of spectacular mountain ranges) loses her heart to the North Cascades.
So there I am, after crossing Rainy Pass, heading over Washington Pass. Since, I was running five hours late, I didn’t have time to stop and bag a lake on the way in. I already decided that I might stay a 2nd night since I was flying solo, but wanted to get to the campground in time to get camp set up and a fire burning before the Arctic blast hit.
The fact that the lakes along the North Cascades Highway (Hwy 20) were frozen and the waterfalls were icicles before the Arctic Blast hit, did not bode well for it to be a warm evening.
But I had to stop at the Washington Pass Overlook; the trail was only ¼ mile long and I needed to stretch my legs.
I took a few pictures and took in the views.
It was there I met Debbie and Tom. They were traveling in an RV and where happy to hear about Lone Fir where I was going to be staying.
As I was driving down the East side of Washington Pass, I saw them, on the mountainside… LARCH!!! They were what I had come for!
I was so excited to finally be in a larch rich environment, that I started to sing a happy larch song (OK, “I was pretty much just yelling larch Larch LARCH!!! I’ve got LARCH” at the top of my lungs). They are elusive (they only turn golden for a short time and it’s usually when the weather turns to crap; planning larch expeditions is difficult)
I arrived at the campground, left a note for some friends that were going to pull in late and got camp set up and a fire started. (Debbie and Tom pulled in a bit later)
There was a cheeky Stellar Jay that wanted to see if I was going to drop any food. (see my previous not about bears and keeping a clean camp) Every time I got my camera ready the dirty little bird would fly off into the shrubbery. He was not very cooperative and we played this game for a while.
I got a good fire going and was quite pleased with how nice it is to do a solo trip, relying on no one but myself, being able to do anything I need to do and having peace and quiet to just be.
I made use of a treat that my friend Daria sent me last holiday season, white hot chocolate, with a dark chocolate dipped spoon and marshmallows. (I had wine as well, this was a quick warm up before bed)
It was a lovely evening in a spectacular setting.
As the temperature began to plummet and the fire could no longer fight the freezing temperature, I retreated to my tent and my 15 degree (F) rated down sleeping bag (wearing long underwear, wool socks, wool hat, neck gaiter and fleece gloves; at one point I even put on my neoprene facemask) where I did some reading before hunkering down. Since I was car camping, I was able to take the big fat 3.5 inch thick sleeping pad.
*note, the “comfort” rating of a sleeping bag is subjective at best. I think it would more accurately be called a “you won’t freeze stiff and die but will still be miserable” rating.
One of the most important factors in preventing hypothermia is not only proper nutrition, but proper hydration, which unfortunately leads to one getting up in the middle of the night to leave the (relative) warmth of their tent to answer the call of nature. (NOT fun)
I woke up in the wee hours of the morning with my wool sock clad feet aching from cold even in the 15 degree down sleeping bag. I kicked my legs around and flexed my muscles to make certain that blood was flowing and drifted back off to sleep) (*note to self, order some down booties for cold weather backpacking.
When I finally exited my tent at 7:00 AM the next morning, I discovered that my water (that was inside the tent with me) had frozen and that there was ice on the inside of the tent. I also discovered that any bits of me (mostly hair sticking out from under my hat) that were exposed to air had ice on them)
I tried to take a picture of this, but my camera was very unhappy with the cold and it didn’t want to auto focus and the shutter didn’t want to work.
No problem I thought, the “joy” of car camping (which I normally avoid) is that you can start the truck, crank up the heater and defrost things.
So I cranked over the ignition…
Whirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr…. Whiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiine, Mrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.
I tried again, more moaning, groaning and whining from the truck
The third try was a charm (barely). I kept the truck running for a good half hour to warm the engine block and charge the battery (which is the original battery that came in the truck 8 years ago and probably should be replaced)
As soon as I tried to move the truck, it died again.
That’s when I decided that I wasn’t going to stay a 2nd night.
I would be asking for trouble.
I told my emergency contact where I would be camping, where I would be hiking, and when I would be back (and what ranger station to call if I’m not heard from by a certain date and time)
But I thought about it. If I couldn’t get the truck to start on Monday, no one would think to call the ranger station until Monday night; I’d likely get checked on very late Tuesday (when the campground would be deserted) when food, firewood and fuel were running out. I would have hiked out to the highway and flagged down a passing motorist, but it’s a long way to any phones in sub freezing temperatures (I didn’t yet know exactly how cold it was)
It not only would have been trouble, it would have been dangerous and very very stupid.
I headed up the road (the truck died once) back over Washington Pass and stopped a few places along side the road to take pictures. (leaving the truck running of course) I figured that I was reasonably safe on the highway because people were driving by and I had jumper cables.
I ran into another guy who was photographing a
waterfall wall full of icicles who said it was the coldest he’d ever been. Normally he sleeps in the back of his truck (he had a shell/topper/canopy) but he had slept in the cab last night and still nearly froze. I felt kinda badass for sticking it out in the tent. We joked about how similar our trucks looked with the maps in the windows, sleeping bags and photo gear all over the place and had to get back in our respective trucks because we could not feel our fingers.
I took a few sunrise larch shots on Washington Pass and headed over to the Blue Lake trail head.
Debbie and Tom were there joking about how I was “following them” they headed up the trail ahead of me.
On the way up the first set of switchbacks, I heard a “whoosh” and looked to my left (down the hill) and saw that I had been buzzed by a HUGE owl. I couldn’t tell what kind, but he was HUGE, maybe a Great Horned Owl. I suppose I disrupted his or her hunting.
I was not far behind Tom and Debbie and spent most of the trek to Blue Lake getting to know them.
We warmed up on the 1,100 foot climb.
I darn near had a larchgasm. The further up the trail we went, the more and more spectacular the larch were.
Blue Lake did not disappoint. It was a stunning deep blue green. Morning light is not the best for catching the rock formations behind it (shooting into the light) but I made it work and the back lit larch were spectacular.
After wandering around the lake with Debbie, Tom and one other couple taking pictures, I sat on a rock in the sun. It didn’t take long to get cold again once I stopped moving (it was no more than 15 degrees (F) at this time)
I ran into some other people on the trial who said it was 15 degrees (F) at Mazama so it was likely only 10 (F) degrees at Lone Fir where we camped. I checked Weather Underground, and it was 11 degrees (F) at Mazama, so who knows how cold it was at Lone Fir. I was starting to feel more and more badass by the minute, My hands and feet were also starting to get numb again.
I met my NW Hikers and blog friend Ingunn & her hubby and another friend on the way down. We missed each other in camp last night because they got in very late and didn’t see my note. At least we saw each other on the trial. They told me it was 15 degrees when they were having breakfast (well after the sun came up) so that 10 degrees seems to be a generous estimate of the temperature.
I got back down to the trail head after stopping to chat with not only them, but some other photo types and people who had camped at Lone Fir. I stopped off and exchanged contact information with Tom and Debbie (it’s always nice to make new friends with common interests)
I thought about trying to bag another lake (Ann), but it was a bit late for that, and at the rate I was going, I was never going to warm up, especially not on an icy trial mostly in shadow, so I called it a good trip and headed back home.
It was a great trip and well worth freezing my butt off for.
I’m bummed that my friend wasn’t able to make it (we haven’t been able to spend time together since the Tulip Pedal last April), but sometimes a solo trip is very nice and good for the spirit. I’m surprised how many women I met couldn’t imagine doing a backpack trip/hike/camping trip/road trip alone.
They ask me if I’m afraid, thinking I must be very brave. (no, I’m just prepared, experienced and am used to it; heck I used to be a backcountry ranger)
I explain to them, that I’m much safer out in the wilderness than I feel in the city, that I am well equipped, trained and experienced and make sure my emergency contacts know where I am camped, where I will hike, when I should be back and what ranger station to call.
But most important, I don’t take stupid chances. I know that something as simple as a sprained ankle can be life threatening in the wilderness (especially in the conditions we had) so I’m careful where I go, I watch my steps carefully, I don’t over estimate my capabilities and stay well within them. I’m at greater risk driving on I-5.
I love my friends, but there will always be a place for solo trips and the peace and chance for reflection that they provide.
The rest of the pictures are available here:
Or as a slide show here: