After work Friday, I drove up toward Chinook Pass for a hike. The hike up to Goat Peak is beautiful and terrible. It’s steep – about 3000′ of elevation gain in three miles – and the trail is not in great shape in some places. (This is largely due to the fire.) It’d be a good training hike — it’s just under nine miles, so it could be done as a day hike and it has a lot of elevation gain & loss — but the trail is in such bad shape in places I’m not sure I want to do it again anytime soon.Continue reading
I headed out to hike the remaining 74 miles of Section H of the Washington PCT. This was a somewhat impromptu hike, as I’d planned to be hiking Section J with a friend. Alas, she contracted COVID-19. I figured I’d go knock out some miles along the PCT I’d not previously hiked. Land of the Cowlitz, Klickitat, Siletz, and Yakama Nations.Continue reading
I’ve lived my entire life in the Northern Hemisphere, and nearly all of that time I’ve been in the higher latitudes. A fairly consistent complaint I hear from my fellow humans is that they dislike winter. I get it: Not much daylight, and in maritime climates the sky seems grey all winter. The weather isn’t conducive to being outside, and it can make traveling – even just to work – challenging.
I don’t think I’ve ever been a winter-hater. I grew up in Seattle – one of those places where the skies are gunmetal grey from November to April, but where snow was also an infrequent treat. (And we almost never got enough snow to cancel school. Drat!) While I never teased out this thought in my head, I think I recognized the short winter days were a bookend to summer’s late sunsets. Or maybe I just figured there wasn’t much to be gained by complaining.Continue reading
I imagine it’s a symptom of how deeply dissatisfied I am with my current work situation, but I frequently find my mind drifting to the trail. It’s close to an obsession at this point.Continue reading
This topic has been knocking around in my head for a few weeks now. It started on an evening I was standing in the yard of my suburban home – a yard lit by decorative solar lights and a decidedly undecorative & overly-bright street light. (There’s a 4-lane arterial behind our home.) Despite all this human-created light, there was a quality to the darkness that reminded me of night in the backcountry.Continue reading
When people without much experience in the backcountry think of nighttime in the woods, they envision the sounds of predators. I’ve been hiking since I was a child, and even with decades of experience I’m still struck by its silence.Continue reading
My PNT work party was cancelled. I found myself with an open weekend and decided to do some hiking. My initial plan was to hike from Rd 23 to Wind River Road – 49 miles – in three days. That section has more downhills than ups. I took Monday off, and it was my scheduled Friday off*, so I figured I could do it if I pushed myself.Continue reading
Last weekend, I hiked about forty miles of the PCT (Chinook Pass to Tacoma Pass). My original plan was to hike to Stampede Pass – another ten miles – but the shorter trip made for a better weekend.
I left work early Wednesday to get a jumpstart on the trail. I’m glad I did. Jim dropped me off at Chinook Pass about a quarter after seven. Truth be told, if I’d worked until five on Wednesday I probably wouldn’t have gotten to Chinook Pass until near-dark.Continue reading
At this point, I’m planning to return to the Pacific Northwest Trail to complete the section hike I truncated last summer. I have two weeks off, and I’m planning to start where I left the trail last summer (the Ryan Cabin/Big Lick trail). That cuts about 18 miles and 3200′ of elevation gain from the route.Continue reading