Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Siouxon Creek Ladies Backpacking Loveliness

Mom- I got another manager to cover my on call so that I could head out early on a Saturday with my favorite hiking partner on a backpacking trip with lady friends from the neighborhood in one of my favorite forests- Siouxon Creek!
Amy-My friend, Lucy came with me. We had fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amy- Our obligatory selfie!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amy- A big break stump!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Amy- The bridge over a raging waterfall. 
Mom- We came to the first beautiful waterfall.
Amy- I climbed down onto the rocks- another break spot!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Amy- This tree had amazing petrified wood vines!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom- This is usually my turn around spot with kids but today it was a fantastic camping spot!
Amy- I went exploring a lot.
Mom- I let Amy play at camp with her friend and took off for some hiking with my women friends.
Mom- The creek crossing was much easier than anticipated and we got to enjoy this waterfall on the other side nice and close.
Mom- We soaked it in and filtered some water.
Mom- On the other side there were many more campers and we hiked to another "hidden" waterfall.
Mom- In all the times I have hiked this with kids I can't believe I have not pressed on to see these falls. This is definitely the icing on the cake of this trail.
Amy- Me and Lucy played spies for a while. We did well.
Amy- It was super fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Mom- Back at camp I took some time to read and enjoy the waterfall.
Mom- The evening was cozy and restful and in the morning I again enjoyed gazing at the waterfall before the short trek back to the car.
Amy- Lucy and I walked along a big log.
Mom- Backpacking is the best and I was glad to be out with my favorite hiking partner and our new friends!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Four Year old Camping Adventure

It was with some optimism, a little fear, and trepidation, that I set out with two four year old friends and a dad to Lewis River Falls for the friends first camping trip. This is a very long drive, and after much listening to Moana soundtrack and some questioning when we would be there, we arrived and found a campsite.
Though she is not a fan of new places and experience, Analise wanted to go camping with me. Her favorite pastime is playing in the dirt. We found this hollowed out tree near camp to explore.
After setting up camp, the young friends did agree to a short walk to the Lower Lewis River Falls. The river was beautiful.
Not only is my youngest four, she has an Autism diagnosis which leads to a lot of rigidity and an aversion to hiking. We got into an argument that ended in screaming and tears about whether we could take the trail back to the campsite to enjoy the view of the river rather than the road. This was not what Analise was expecting so she resorted to screaming and crying for her daddy which is very discouraging while I am trying to enjoy the woods. We worked to compromise though and the not so great behavior and not so great parental response moment passed.
We all had a peaceful and cozy night other than friend having a difficult time settling down. All morning we tended the fire and "roasted sticks" while our friends did some exploring and some hanging out at camp.
I tried to enjoy my unique, beautiful youngest daughter and watching her interact with her young friend.Sometimes adventures together can be really challenging since our ideas of what is nurturing can be pretty opposite, and I have to let go of expectations. I have intentionally taken time for self nurture and challenging hikes by myself, with friends, and with her sister. This was our time to be together and to appreciate the neurodiversity that comes with how she sees the world and the creative world that she and her friend create!
I am grateful for the time and hope to take these two on more adventures to come!

Friday, June 16, 2017

Defied but not defeated on Mt. Defiance

Someone invited me to a climb I had never done! I was excited. We drove to the Mt. Defiance trailhead at noon in the heat of the day. We enjoyed a couple of waterfalls- this one was set behind a boulder.
We enjoyed a second waterfall before we started our steep ascent.
My friends knew a lot about wildflowers and I enjoyed finding them.
We started climbing. It was SO STEEP- about 1200 feet a mile and hot.
I kept at it but was pretty slow up the steep hill.
I continued to enjoy the wildflowers.
There was one viewpoint a little ways up and I saw the tip of Mt. Adams in the distance.
The gorge was lovely as always.
We took a little rest and then kept on climbing.
I was very glad for the shade on the trail that helped make it more bearable.
I found a Trillium!
Near the top I slowed down quite a bit. I invited my friends to continue on and we agreed to a turn around time. I knew I was on the last big push to the viewpoint when I reached this sign.
As I stepped out into the open rocky view point I sat back and took in the amazing view.
I was less than a mile from the very top but decided a 9 mile hike with this much elevation gain in the heat was respectable.
I debated going on but felt accomplished (as well as a bit nauseous and light headed).
The mountain view made me happy though.
The way down saw more flower. A pink Trillium.
It was so steep that I thought I might lose a toenail from my toes slamming into my boots down the hills.
I tried to stay in the moment, grateful for my new friends and what my body can do and remembering that I am enough.
We saw this large nest on top of the powerlines.
We continued to enjoy the flowers on the way back down.
These hearty flowers welcome hearty hikers.
I enjoyed watching the boats and trains below.
The top of Dog Mountain with its open meadows was calling to me from across the river.
What a hike! Do not underestimate Mt. Defiance but was glad to have this experience and keep getting stronger.