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!

Talapus and Olallie Lakes

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While I enjoy hiking when it's not raining, I live in Washington, and if the choice is to hike in the rain, or to not hike at all, I'll (usually) pick the rain.

I can deal with rain way better than I can cold. But that's a side point.

One rainy week day a friend and I took off for Talapus and Olallie Lakes. We were the third vehicle at the trailhead, one of which was for two forest rangers clearing debris off the trail. Thank you!

The parking lot is a bit small so I'd imagine that on a nicer day or a weekend, it would fill up early.

It was my first time using my Lowa Renegade boots on a hike and let me tell you, they were worth every cent! So was my Arc'teryx Beta Lt. Hybrid jacket (no longer sold; similar jacket here.)

 
 

The trail was muddy, full of puddles, and at times, running water. I just stomped right through it all.

We barely saw the other hikers on our hike. They had taken a different fork and if we had been five seconds ahead, wouldn't have encountered anyone besides the rangers on the first half of our hike.

Talapus Lake:

 
 

Olallie Lake:

On our way back we only passed three people. We were both craving something warm to eat or drink and settled for Starbucks in North Bend.

I've checked a lot of hikes off of my list lately. What's been one of your most recent hikes?

Glass Beach

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My mom read about a beach with lots of sea glass, the catch is that you have to hike three to four miles each way to reach it. 

It's accessible through two access points/trailheads in Port Townsend, Washington. We parked at North Beach on Kuhn St. and walked west along the beach to find the seaglass. The other option (according to Pacific NW Beachcombing) is to park at the Marina Drive parking lot at Cape George and walk east along the beach.

If you're coming from the east, two old car axles about 3 miles in mark where you can start to find sea glass. You need to make sure you time it for low tide and that you don't get stuck out there at high tide.

On our hike/walk, some of the people who we passed going back to their cars said it wasn't a very good day for sea glass, so that was disappointing, but we managed to find a bit anyways. 

White glass was pretty common, with brown, green, and blue, and even pieces of porcelain. My favorite piece I found was one piece of pink sea glass.

 
 

Finally, one more cool thing I found along the beach, was a possible fern fossil.

 
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Hiking on the beach isn't really my idea of fun. I find it more exhausting than going uphill. So while this isn't a hike I'll do again anytime soon, it was fun to go out and get the glass. 

Do you know of any good places to find sea glass?

Snowgrass Flats

A few weeks ago we drove down to hike to Snowgrass Flats. An entire hour of that drive was spent on the same 16 mile dirt road, so bring a high clearance vehicle if you can. We were the only day hikers out that day, minus two separate men on horseback. Everyone else was backpacking in and going further than we were.

It was a nice hike but we hit a lot of snow and it was difficult to go uphill in it. We made it, but trekking poles or microspikes would have made it a lot easier. It was the first real snow I'd seen this year though and it was fun to play around in. There's been a couple of other hikes I've looked at recently, but they've gotten more snow than I'd like to hike in. Any suggestions for winter hikes to do in the PNW?

Snow Lake

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For a friend's birthday she got a group of us to hike to hike her favorite hike. Snow Lake. 

I was originally going to do Snow Lake Saturday and then Diablo Lake Sunday, but luckily for my knees and feet, Diablo Lake fell through.

Snow Lake wasn't as hard of a hike as I'd been anticipating. It was incredibly rocky, and there were a few places where you had to scramble up boulders, but overall it wasn't too bad. We went one of the days when the wildfire smoke had drifted a bit West, but besides a lingering haze and the smell, it wasn't too bad. 

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You gain about 1400 feet on the hike and then lose 400 to go into the lake basin. So not all of your gain is at once. We hiked partially around the lake to a very exposed overlook where it was pretty cold with the windchill. I ended up breaking out my wool hat, gloves, and Buff that I keep on me in case a hike goes awry and I end up staying out overnight. They helped me stay warmish during lunch. But I'll definitely be buying warmer gloves soon. 

It's a pretty fantastic lake, I can't imagine how beautiful it is without the haze. It's very popular though, so be warned that you'll be sharing it with lots of other people. The parking lot for the hike is huge. We showed up around 8 a.m. on a Saturday and there was plenty of parking, but by the time we returned, it was pretty full.

As beautiful as this was, my favorite is still Lake Serene

What's your favorite alpine lake hike?

Modified Kale and Sweet Potato Hash with Chorizo Recipe

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So one blogger I follow, The College Prepster, had a guest post recently titled "7 One-Pot Recipes to Save the Day." I went through the list and three of the recipes sounded really good. I've made two of them so far, and the Kale and Sweet Potato Hash with Chorizo was FANTASTIC.

I modified it a bit, I used:

  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 8 oz. cured chorizo,  diced
  • 2 medium yellow potatos, diced
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced
  • 1/2 tsp salt, divided
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 3 cups finely chopped packed kale

And I omitted the eggs entirely, I'm not a huge fan of them.

To make, you heat a large non-stick pan over medium heat and add 1 Tbsp. of olive oil, the onion, and the chorizo. Cook it until the onion is browned and remove with a slotted spoon to a bowl.

Using the same pan add the rest of the olive oil, the potatoes, sweet potatoes, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the potatoes are cooked through.

Then add the tomato, kale, and the other 1/4 tsp. of salt. Cook until the kale is bright green and wilten. Stir the onion and chorizo back into the dish.


It ends up being an amazing dish. I think it might be my new favorite. I've been eating it every day for breakfast! What's your favorite breakfast to cook?

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Life on Social Media

I once posted a picture of a hike I'd gone on to my personal Instagram and Facebook page. It was a good hike. Fun. But life at that point hadn't been all that I thought it would be. It had been exceedingly hard. A lot of things had fallen apart. Even the things I hadn't wanted to do but was doing anyways hadn't ended up working out.

The night I posted the picture on Instagram I was crying in bed. And my cousin posted on that photo "You really know how to enjoy life!"

Oh yes, I did. I was in bed at 8:30 p.m., crying about a lot of overwhelming things. If she could have seen me then, she wouldn't have said that I had been enjoying life. She would have given me a hug and tea. I hadn't even been enjoying it that much when I posted it earlier in the day. It was just a cool picture and I wanted to share it.

And honestly I hadn't been enjoying it for the first hour and a half of the drive and hike. I had been quiet and sad. Only getting a little happy when we got out of the woods and into the sun. Then the interesting sites and mountains cheered me up a little.

But social media portrays a false side of life. I can be happy on social media. I can only show the good parts of my life. The interesting parts. The enviable ones. But I don't show the tissues in my car. The running mascara. The donut for breakfast. The stress.

So while I try to enjoy life, there are days that I don't. And I, and others, need to remember that everything we see on social media isn't true. And it's not a competition.

So try to enjoy life, but don't take social media at face value.