My brother and I did a backpacking adventure to the Necklace Valley, which is near Stevens Pass in Northern Washington state. Break ins are apparently common but the only thing that broke into my car was a mouse.
The trail was mostly rocky, rooty, steep and very hot in the exposed areas. Some sections were so brushy that it was difficult to see further than a few steps. Seems like the trail builders were against switchbacks. We camped at Jade Lake and hiked further up the valley over the next few days. Good workouts, scrambling over rocks and boulders but worth it at the end of the day to enjoy my home made dehydrated dinners – chili with extra cheese was my favorite.
With an inspiring environment, we made up a trail song – rules are only to be sung while on trail.
We were on our way out the day the wildfire smoke got really bad and looked forward to burgers and hot showers.
Now that I'm pretty much healed, except for some lingering PTSD, I'm back to hiking and trail running (with a bit of Nordic skiing), armed with a Garmin InReach Mini just in case. Soon as weather begins to cooperate, I'll be back on Alvin and/or Stanley to train up for the next bike tour. A few photos from local winter trails....
I took a few days' road trip to explore the eastern Gorge, and test out my hiking ability and stamina. The scenery is stunningly different from western Gorge and for me all the more amazing. Here's a link to Wikipedia about the formation of the Columbia Gorge. The photos here speak for themselves.
Well, that's because it is. It gets dark too early and stays dark too long. In the hours when daylight appears, to send me into the outdoors, I ponder on the possibilities for next years' adventures and the wonder of being in the woods, listening to the trees breathing.
My hiking friend, Robert from Massachusetts, visited the PNW for the first time and I showed him around. A highlight was a guided hike with Mt St Helens Institute to the Crater Glacier at Mt St Helens.