Sunday, April 16, 2017

Saddle Mountain Remembering Solo hike in the snow

It was my sister Amy's birthday February 25, 2017. She died 10 years ago and would have turned 48 today. I set off on a solo adventure to remember Amy and ground in nature. It was a bright sunny day and I headed to Saddle Mountain.
When I got to the trailhead I was surprised to see snow! I was glad to have my hiking poles and figured if the road was open and there were so many other unsuspecting hikers it would be safe to proceed with caution.
The snow and somewhat blue skies were beautiful. I was happy to be without kids as I headed up the trail.
While I know that Amy was not much of a hiker- her memory lives on in me and spurs me on at various times, sometimes when I am climbing a mountain! One quality I admire about her is determination which is necessary when climbing a mountain.
As I climbed higher up the steep trail it was great to see the nearby hills and their sprinkling of snow.
There were several dogs on the trail and I gave some love to a golden retriever, thinking of my sister's dogs that were such faithful companions and carry her memory so much.
There was a lot of water coming off the hills as well as these pretty icicles.
The snow got a little deeper as I climbed- Saddle Mountain is so exposed that snow does not often stick on its slopes.
I had not taken this hike since I was carrying baby Amy in a pack 7 years ago. It was good to be back.
I enjoyed seeing the fresh snow and just breathing in the high spring like snowy air.
I continued climbing and enjoyed admiring the cliff sides and feeling on top of the world!

The push to the top looking back.
The panorama view from the top. Today's clouds hid the high mountains in the distance.
I could still see the ocean and a long view from the top.
What a beautiful sunny day to be on top of a mountain!
I'm sure in Colorado on her birthday, my sister would not have been enjoying the ever present deep snow.
I enjoyed being on top of the world and felt good about climbing a mountain.
What a gift to take some time without kids. The view goes on forever over the far mountains and ocean.
Again admiring the snow covered hill I headed back down carefully!
I am grateful for the chance for some self care and to take some remembering time and time to breathe in the mountain air that gives me so much life.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

All Terrain Hikers!


One Winter Day We Decided To Snowshoe To Copper Creek Hut, Mt. Tahoma Trails. Mom And I Were Confident As We Started On The Trail.   
There Were Mile Markers. Instead of the 3.5 miles we were expecting, the trail was 5.5 miles since the starting place was lower than usual due to road conditions.
We Took A Break For Lunch after making it up the first BIG hill.
There Were Two Trails But We Continued To Go Straight on the groomed trail.
Don't Ask What That Birdhouse Looking Thing Is. Instead Research It If You Want To Know.
The Camera Was A Time Keeper. Quit taking random pictures mom!
It Started To Snow So I Caught Snowflakes On My Tongue.
There Were A Lot Of Things On This Sled.
There Are A Lot Of Signs.
So Close.
Yay!!!!!! We Made It!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Closer.
We Look Back.
Even Closer.
 We Wrote A Poem.
 Here Is What It Says: The snopark road was closed and muddy
The mud felt a bit like silly putty.
We walked determinedly up the hill
An eight year old snowshoer and her mom until.
We found the top and the climb leveled.
We had our lunch-in the tuna we reveled.
We wore our snowshoes for 10 minutes.
When the trail was bear we said,"Good riddance"
The sun came out for just a bit
Then it snowed hard but we didn't quit.
Mom was pulling a heavy sled
With food and sleeping bags for our bed.
Some ravens watched from close by
It started to rain but we did not cry.
Getting closer the miles clicked down
It was nice to be so far from town.
We found the hut and gave a shout
Hurray we did it and did not pout
We are grateful to Mt. Tahoma Trails
For such a nice hut though it did rain bails.    

Pretty, huh?
Copper Creek hut is a BEAUTIFUL hut complete with games, cookware, propane heat, solar power, books and magazines. The hut sleeps 14 so you often meet new friends! There were two couples and a group of coworkers at the hut this night. Everyone was very friendly and shared food and supplies.
 Mom and I played many games including Monopoly for the first time. Mom went bankrupt quickly and I won! The coworkers had a game of charades and taboo that they made up clues for. I was their time keeper and took my job very seriously. They were very friendly. In the morning we had to leave the cozy hut and head back out into the snow.
A Picture. Mooooooom! A snowshoe dropped off the sled on the way back but our new friends found it and caught up with us!
Prayer Flags in honor of a volunteer named Judy who was such a special person!
We Finished The Hike And Had A Nice Drive Home. See you next time Mt. Rainier!

Saturday, January 21, 2017

First snowshoe of the year December 2015- kid free adventure

 We headed to Maxwell Butte last December 2015 with NO KIDS!
Gil had always hated snow adventures, particularly heading uphill but was in much better shape for this endeavor. We were with our friends, Monica and Sarah, and Monica and I are bent toward snowy challenges.
Maxwell Butte is one of my favorite places to snowshoe. It is somewhat close to Salem, somewhat groomed, but still feels natural in the trees and not a snowmobile destination.
I always try to remember to look up! So much of life is spent not remembering what might be above the trees!
The snow was lovely, fluffy, and good for walking in.
It was partly sunny and we got warm quickly climbing up the hill.
Since we did not have kids we were able to go up further than we have before, some to my husbands chagrin but he endured it without cursing so that is an improvement at least!
Monica was in her element and leading the way.
Sarah and Monica taking a break.
Gil held up the rear but mostly stayed with us. This was not a destination trip and we just enjoyed the trail.
We saw some folks with large backpacks heading up to the shelter for the night. I am not a fan of carrying weight on my back while snowshoeing, particularly uphill.
We were surrounded by snow covered trees and greatly enjoyed this rare day together without kids.