Open Water Scuba Certification

  *Picture from Unsplash.* I wish it was from my class!

*Picture from Unsplash.* I wish it was from my class!

On a whim, I decided to learn how to scuba dive and get my open water certification. To be honest, it wasn't a very fun experience. Within the pool, it wasn't too bad, but when we moved to the Puget Sound, it was pretty bad.

The diving conditions were some of the worst our instructors had ever seen and if they hadn't been familiar with the area, and known that there was no current, they would have canceled the classes.

We could see 2-3 feet at most. For most classes the whole class is able to go out at once, but we were out in pairs, and at times we were out individually so we didn't get separated. 

We were able to see some sea cucumber, starfish, crabs, fish, sea life, and a sunken boat, so those were pretty cool! And apparently, the training is usually the worst part of scuba diving. From here on out, it should just be touring/seeing things.

I don't regret doing it, but it wasn't very fun. I'm really hoping that scuba diving in the Caribbean will be worth this!

Hike to Little Mashel Falls

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On the last day of 2017, and apparently the last day of hunting season, we went hiking to Little Mashel Falls in Pack Forest near Eatonville, WA. Most of the hike is done on a dirt and gravel logging road, so it's not very scenic, but the waterfall at the end was beautiful!

The sunlight coming through the mist created magic. It wasn't too crowded at the falls, we had a few minutes to ourselves before the next group of hikers came in, and it was definitely a hike worth doing and a good last hike of 2017.

I haven't been able to hike as much in 2018 as I would have liked, but hopefully that will change soon! What's a hike you've enjoyed this year?

Tolmie State Park

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I haven't had a chance to get out hiking much this year, but I was able to end last year, and start this one, with two hikes! When my best friend was in town we drove down to Olympia to hike Tolmie State Park. Besides the fact that it was really muddy, it was a very simple walk through the woods, but beautiful nonetheless. Another local hike/walk I've been meaning to do is the Nisqually National Wildlife Refuge. It's been a while since I've been out and I can't wait to get out again!

What's been your favorite hike so far this year?

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Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, Caramelized Onion and Feta Galette Recipe

It took me a while to get into Pinterest. Years. I liked Tumblr a lot, and Pinterest seemed redundant. Well, it's finally won me over. I find almost all of my recipes on Pinterest, including this Heirloom Tomato, Zucchini, Caramelized Onion and Feta Galette.

The recipe is great, but the one problem I ran into was that the pie crust stuck to the parchment paper. And stuck well enough that I mostly just ate the filling the first time I ate this. 

So the second time I made this, I placed the (homemade!) pie crust in a large rectangular glass pan. It meant that there were no individual galettes, but less work for me, and since I was the only one eating it, it worked out perfectly!

I also used two different kinds of thyme growing in our garden. And finally, the second time I made this, I made the mistake of going to the expensive grocery store to get heirloom tomatoes which were $4 more a pound than at the other store. So I supplemented my heirlooms with some normal tomatoes so I didn't have to go to two stores. I didn't see a major difference, but the heirlooms are quite a bit prettier!

Do you have any similar recipes to share?

Angel Falls

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Recently a friend and I hiked to Angel Falls. We started really late, and from a different trailhead than the main one, so we only made it to Angel Falls and missed Curtain Falls. The bridges had been taken out for the season, and the trail was washed out at one point, but with agility, trekking poles, and waterproof boots, we made it!

Angel Falls was pretty, and it all made for a good workout, but it was a bummer to not make it to Curtain Falls as well. I'm planning on going back at some point to see them both.

Do you have any waterfalls you like to hike to?

Solo Hike to Little Si

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Solo hike number two was to Little Si. I hadn't done it, or Mt. Si, before, and wanted to do something new. So I packed up my stuff and headed out. It wasn't as crowded as I was expecting it to be in November, but there were a fair amount of people. It's also not as remote as I expected it to be. See the houses behind me at the first viewpoint?

But it was still a nice hike and a decent day for it! Seeing Mt. Si from the top of Little Si was amazing. And I even saw some rock climbers attempting to get to the top of Little Si!

Do you have any hikes you'd reccomend for a solo hike?

Solo Hike to Rattlesnake Ridge

A few years ago, my friends and I hiked up to Rattlesnake Ridge and then continued on to Rattlesnake Mountain. I've been wanting to hike more lately but my friends aren't around to hike as often as I would like. So I decided to go for a solo hike.

I picked Rattlesnake Ridge because it's short, moderate, close to home, and incredibly crowded. A good hike for my first time solo. I was still nervous though.

There were a few other women hikers on their own. That trail is so popular that I've heard that tour buses drop off tourists.

And here's a picture of the beautiful leaves for good measure.

 
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It was nice to be out by myself and I'm glad I finally did!

Where have you hiked by yourself to?

Christmas Ideas for the Hiker in Your Life

I've started Christmas shopping and am about halfway done with my list. Planned gift giving isn't my love language, it stresses me out, but if you're looking for a few gift ideas to get the hiker in your life, check out the items below! I have or want most of them!