Solo Hike to Lake 22

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I’m going to start off my attempt at getting back into blogging with a (mild) adventure.

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I’ve been wanting to hike to Lake 22 here for a while, but it just wasn’t happening. So I decided to make it my fourth solo hike!

It was a winter hike (and the WTA website warns of avalanche danger) so I packed a lot of extra safety gear. Including food and water, my pack was about about 20% of my bodyweight. But hey, that’s all training weight, right? (For real though, I need to figure out how to get my packweight down. I’m petite though which doesn’t help.)

I told my mom what time to expect to hear back from me, but I did my math wrong which meant that I had a very frustrating hike I didn’t know I’d be able to finish for the first hour or so. I was so annoyed at myself and at the lack of cell-phone signal to tell her that I wanted/needed more time. I did the math though and figured out that my turn around time had to be 12:15 p.m. Wherever I was at that point, I needed to head back.

I booked it up that mountain-I passed so many people! Somehow (I ate a snack while I walked) I made it to the top with time to spare! There was snow at the top so I pulled out my poles but didn’t need my micro-spikes.

I checked the time, it was about noon. I wanted to loop the lake, but again wasn’t sure I had time. I decided to try it though and see how far around the lake I was in 10 minutes. Sure enough, I was halfway around it in time so I was able to loop it.

It would have been kinda nice (but kinda cold) to stay at the top, relax, have lunch, but I didn’t have time for that. I headed straight back down and again passed lots of people going down.

I made it to the car with a few minutes to spare but was still 30 minutes from cell-service. Worst case scenario I figured I’d stop and ask to use a phone at a local business but I made it!

I’ve never wished for a 1-2 way satellite messaging device more than I did on that hike. I carry a personal locator beacon, but it would have been nice to have some way to tell my mom “Hey, I’m fine, don’t call the rescue team. I’m just taking longer.”

Looking back, I think in the future I’ll be more careful about my math and give myself some extra time to hang out and relax. I’m so glad I was able to finish the hike though, and I did it in record time!

6.6 miles with 1,400 ft of elevation gain and a pack that weighed 20% of my body weight in 2 hours and 40 minutes! It was a record for me and I’m proud of it.

What’s one of your prouder hikes?

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Hello again

Wow, it’s been a while. Longer than I’ve thought!

There’s too much to catch up on since I last posted. I’ve hiked to Lena Lake (again,) Greenwater Lake (gorgeous,) Cape Disappointment (rainy,) Lake 22 (by myself-I’ll tell that story soon,) some trails near Snoqualmie, Little Si (with my little sister,) Rattlesnake Ledge (just after Snowmageddon,) Hurricane Ridge (with snowshoes,) Franklin Falls, Cape Flattery, and down in the Redwoods and along the California coast.

I also learned how to cross-country ski which was so much fun!

Without a dedicated desk it’s hard to blog regularly. I use my phone almost 100% of the time. (I’ve even been computer-less for the last four months which hasn’t helped!)

But I miss writing and blogging so I’m going to sit down and try to get you caught up. We went to Banff last year-which was the top of my bucket-list- so I need to tell you about that too! There’s just so much to say that I don’t know where to start. I really should have written that one the week I got back.

Talk to you soon!

2018 Christmas Tree Hunt

I’ve always been lucky enough to have a live tree at Christmas. As a child, we would go to a u-cut farm, pick out our tree, and take it home to decorate. As an adult, I was excited to do the same in this apartment.

The day I was going to get mine from the u-cut farm I remembered that if you have a permit, you can go out to National Forest Lands to get a tree. After some furious researching, I found out where we could get it and where we could go! (We ended up going to Baker-Snoqualmie near Enumclaw, Washington.) They sell a limited number of permits each year, so we were lucky there were permits left. (I’m betting they’re just about out if they aren’t already as I write this two days later.)

Because I still wanted to get a hike in, we went to Greenwater Lake, a short and easy hike recommended by the ranger. Then we took our permit and our map and ended up in a place where we could find a tree! I was determined to get one where it was snowy, so we drove until we found it. We were blessed with a beautiful day.

We could have easily gotten a tree at a lower elevation where the terrain was easier and there wasn’t snow to deal with, but we made an adventure out of it!

I’m so glad I remembered this was possible. It’s going to be my new tradition. I’d highly recommend doing it yourself. I know I’ll be sure to get a permit again next year!

Birthday Hike to Twin Falls

I've been lucky enough to be able to hike on my last two birthdays; I'm hoping to make it a tradition! This year I met with one of my best friends to hike.

We met at Twin Falls in Washington state. (I finally got a photo of my newish car on a hike!)

It was one of those days this summer where it was about 95 degrees Fahrenheit all day but had cooled down to about 89 by the time the hike started. The hike was great, not too difficult, and we finished just after sunset. I'm thinking I need to make a bigger habit out of hiking after work from here on out; it's just too much fun!

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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Caribbean Vacation Part 5: Florida

After our cruise docked back in Florida, we had about 12 hours until our flight left. So we rented a car to set off in search of wild manatees. It wasn't the right season to go looking for them, but we tried three separate places. Unfortunately we didn't see any, but we still had a fun time at those places! With more time on our hands, we went to a historic lighthouse. 

While Florida and the Caribbean were fun, I see most of my future adventures going to more adventurous locations. Where are you hoping to travel to soon?

Caribbean Vacation Part 4: Favorite Port

I wouldn't have thought that my favorite port on our trip would have been Roatan, Honduras, I would have thought it was somewhere we went diving, but ziplining through the jungle, snorkeling at a reef, and relaxing on the beach made Roatan my favorite port. (Honestly probably because it was within walking distance of a beach! The other ports didn't have a beach.)

I wasn't nervous about ziplining until we were about to start. Then I was nervous! But I went through with it and it was pretty cool!

The zipline took us right down to the beach when we were done and we rented snorkeling equipment there. See my post on snorkeling here! We snorkeled until we were too tired to keep on going and then went to the beach to relax for a while. We got chairs right on the water and lay in the sun for a bit. It was a fantastic and relaxing day. 

It was such a cool vacation and I'm glad we did it, but I'm also excited for some of our upcoming vacations that will be far less relaxing but way more adventurous! 

What do you have coming up that you're excited about?

Caribbean Vacation Part 3: Diving

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I recently got Open Water Certified for scuba diving with the intent of diving in the Caribbean. Here's where I wrote about getting my Open Water Scuba Certification.

When we booked our trips, I wasn't sure I wanted to spend four straight days scuba diving so we only booked two days of it. Looking back, I kinda wish we'd done all four! But snorkeling, ziplining, and spending time with the other people on our trip was fun too.

We had two two-tank dives booked. One in Grand Cayman, and the other in Cozumel, Mexico. 

Grand Cayman was my first dive after my certification; it was a beautiful sunny day and we were going to a wreck and a reef. I can't remember the name of the wreck for the life of me, but it was just off the coast!

On that dive we saw lots of fish, lobster, and even a sea turtle! The sea turtle was definitely the coolest thing we saw diving.

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In Cozumel we had two drift dives scheduled. It was a choppy day on the water and entering was difficult. But once we were in it was a nice dive! There were lots of unique fish, a barracuda, a crab spider, sea snake, and a seahorse!

While learning to scuba dive in the Puget Sound was difficult, it was completely worth it for the Caribbean. I'm even considering diving here again!

Stay tuned for the last two posts on our trip!

 

Caribbean Vacation Part 2: Snorkeling

On our recent Caribbean cruise, we didn't want to spend all four port days diving. We did end up renting equipment one of the days though to snorkel, and it was so much fun! Apparently, the diving in Honduras is amazing, as it is in many places down in the Caribbean, but the snorkeling was cool too!

One thing we did learn after snorkeling is that sunscreen kills reefs. The reef we were at was about 90% dead because of the tourists' sunscreen. (Ours included!) But you can buy reef safe sunscreen. Next time I go swimming, snorkeling, or diving, I'm going to make sure I have environmentally friendly sunscreen!

Caribbean Vacation Part 1

I was lucky enough to be able to go on a weeklong vacation with friends recently. We took a cruise in the Caribbean. While it was fun, and I'm glad I went, I don't think that a cruise is for me.

The food was delicious, and I saw dolphins from our balcony three separate times!

I have so many cool photos from our trip that I'm going to break them up into a few different posts, so keep an eye out for them in the coming days!