Saturday, March 17, 2018

Yurt Summit 2017: Very Wet, Very Sunny, Very Cold, Very Happy

 Last year March 2017, I headed out to the beach with 8 year old Amy, and two friends to join a Yurt Summit at Nehalem Bay State Park. Because we are adventurous and to save on costs, we decided to camp in tents. We drove on a Friday evening through the unrelenting cold rain to the coast. When we got to the camp we set up tent on the edges of the flooded campsite we had been assigned.
Three of us made it through the night semi dry. Amy's clothes got partially wet on the side of the tent. However, our fourth friend had a completely flooded tent. She ended up finding the community yurt and warming up around 2am.
Having made it through the very rainy night, the sun came out and we were able to enjoy the beach and the community at the yurt summit.
The kids and adults played a game where a group was blindfolded and followed the sound of a moving drummer through the sand as a mindfulness, sensory activity. I helped string a tarp up and the kids dug canals to drain the puddle in the fire pit which we were able to use later for a campfire.
Wearing my snow pants and jacket to stay warm and dry, I dipped my toes in the water and enjoyed the sunshine.
The spring sunshine on the beach was wonderful and warmed our spirits as well.
We enjoyed communal food and conversation and were very grateful for the offer of a yurt spot for those of us whose stuff had not dried out during the very wet night. My friend Corrine and I were able to dry tents out enough to enjoy a rather cold but clear night in our tents.
This was quite the car camping adventure, but we were glad for the time together.
Can't wait for some upcoming spring adventures. A word of wisdom- be prepared for a wet night if camping on the coast in late March in Oregon.

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Sunny day hike with a spirited five year old

 Mom: I was so excited to see the first sunny spring day. Analise had asked to go with me but wanted a short hike. I chose Weldon Wagon Road on the Washington side of the gorge because I like that there is lots of sun exposure and it is a kid-friendly hike. Analise packed a backpack with water and sunglasses and was determined to hike. Analise is my spirited five year old with an autism diagnosis. She is very expressive and creative and also struggles with rigidity. Hiking is hard because it requires flexibility and tolerating discomfort. Anytime she has motivation to hike I get very excited.
 Analise: I loved walking up the trail. It was so fun! 🙏🙆😺😦💘😝💭💭💟💥😈😺😹😸😷💜💖💀💝💓🙌
 Mom: A friend joined us on this hike and I gave her a walki talki so that she could hike ahead if she wanted and one to Analise. This gave Analise something good to focus on. I promised to stop for lunch pretty early into the hike as well. We left the dog at home since she hikes at a much faster pace.
 Analise: I loved the little flowers! They were so pretty!🍛🍵🐁🐀🐈🐇🍼🎂🐱🐲🐵🐾🐠🐂🍏🍎🍐🍑🍒🍓🍔🍕🍕🍕🍕
 Mom: I loved seeing the long needled pines and coming out of the trees to views of the valley below.
 Mom: We had almost gotten to the lunch spot and Analise was doing great using the walki talki to distract from the challenge of walking uphill.
 Analise: I did not like mom taking pictures of me. 🎆🎅🎄🎃♡♥♦💒🏉🎴🎠🎦🃕🃍🂶🂴🃉🃏🃇🂹🀇🀈🀉🀄🀡⚾⚽🀪🂸🂵🃍🂸🂩🂳🂶🂩
 Mom: These old trees made me smile.
 Mom: Taking time to soak in the sun and enjoy the view of the scrub oaks and valley.
 Analise: Mom tried to take a selfie of me and her but it came out to be a big fail! ☎👑💉💮🕓🕘🕜🔧📵📬📘📙📗📍🔍📌📋📊📉📈📇📆📅📄📃💹
 Mom: We didn't make it quite far enough to see Mt. Hood but our friend did. Still a really nice view.
 Analise: I used the walki talki to sing loudly "Shot to the heart and you're to blame. You give love a bad name!" and also to check on our friend. 🌝🌞🌟🌠🔥🌜🌛🌚🌐🌑🌈🌂✨🌀🌏🌄🌕  analise
 Mom: More signs of spring!
 Analise: i won the race.💟👶👷💓😇😏😍🙀😿😾😾😽😼😻😺😹😸🙉🙊💧💢💤💃👹👸👭👬👰👯👮👐👏👪👫👍👌👋👊👉👈👇👆👅
 Mom: I took a short rest on the hillside in the sunshine since Analise claimed to be too tired to hike any further up the hill. She enjoyed playing with rocks and our friend hiked ahead to the viewpoint.
 Analise: I WAS 😎😍😌💭💬😧😡😱😰😤RUNNING😉😀👩👪👄👅👏👧👨💙💟💭👻😁💃👺😈😈😕😔😌
 Analise: Mom was trying to take a picture of me but I put my hand up and it made a big fail. 🚼🚻🛅🛄🚺🚰🚞🚋🚚🗼🏩🚢🚗🏮🚓🚘🚱🏯🚐🚋💈⛼⛻⛺⛹⛱⛶⛷analise
 Analise: I was climbing the hill in the sunshine to play. My hiking energy had run out. ⛰🚷🚓🚍🚕🚮🚹🛃🛂🛁🚽🛅🛄🚛🚑💈🚋🚹🚮🛂🏩🏨🏡🗽
 Mom: Sitting on the hillside while Analise played was lovely.
 Analise: I was running down the hill toward the car. 🚪🚽🚧⛱
 Mom: Heading back down toward the car, continuing to enjoy the sunshine and trees.
Mom: These needles are so long! I am grateful to have a patient friend to hike with and to have this time with Analise. She gave the hike a 10 out of 5 and said she really liked the pretty view. She gave herself an A+ and me a B-. It was a nice time together.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

Snow Bowl birthday hut adventure!

 This is the second year of what I hope to make an annual adventure. The weather stunk and two out of the four of us needed to stay home due to illness, but Corrine and I braved the rain and drove up to the south sno park with Mt. Tahoma Trails.
 The plus of a rainy day is that we got to park a mile closer and skip a mile of climbing uphill! After about a mile of hiking we hit snow at 3600 feet. I left my snowshoes in the car because it was easier to just hike today.
 We continued through the rain in the woods but the climbing kept us warm.
 Reaching the high point and enjoying the prayer flags!
 We took a short break but cooled down quickly.
 This looked totally different with so little snow but we knew we were on the home stretch.
 My faithful friend braving the rainy day with me.
 We started downhill to the hut.
 There was a light dusting of snow but it got a little deeper when we got up out of the trees.
 Behind the hut, this little gazebo was made by a special volunteer Judy as a meditation space.
 I took some time to enjoy the gazebo.
 Inside the gazebo there were colorful prayer flags.
 The windows at all sides gave a great view on a sunnier day.
 The gazebo has all sorts of special touches.
 Outside the gazebo
 On the edge of the special place- people stacked rocks and left special touches.
 Here is a pole with the distance to the mountains.
 We had the big beautiful hut all to ourselves- played a board game- Harry Potter Chamber of Secrets trivia with a Quiddich game, relaxed by the fire, took naps, and read good books.
 What an amazing cozy space!
 MTTA huts feel like coming home! I love how many special touches the huts have.
 Melting snow on the stove for water.
 We cooked some delicious food.
 The extensive kitchen has everything you might need- even a collection of muffin tins. Propane and solar power.
 I slept upstairs and had a wonderful time. It was cozy and special to have the hut to ourselves.
 We braved the wind and rainy morning and hiked back down to the car. We met up with two friends, Keri and Joseph who brought us to Longmire where I enjoyed this yummy blackberry cobler.
We had a great visit and a short hike by the river. I can't wait until the next hut or yurt adventure! What a gem. Such a special place. I feel connected to myself, Mt. Rainier, and my friends and open to what these experiences have to teach me!