Other winter play included an adventure to the Grouse Vista TH to snowshoe. Although the road is probably totally clear and not enough to warrant snowshoes or even spikes now, this was an adventure just getting to the TH. It was necessary to have a high clearance vehicle, big tires and even chains at times. I was white-knuckled as I looked over the side of the road and considered the possibilities should we slide off the road. A few obstacles needed to be removed on the way, but we were prepared.
Skiing at Teacup Nordic near Mt. Hood was pretty nice (soon will be time for the annual Blind School Ski Day!) with the birds fighting for every scrap in my hand.
An attempt at Dog Mountain in bad weather forced turn around due to very high winds and deep snow.
Having missed the rain (snow would have been OK) by a few days, we arrived to mild temperatures and mostly blue skies. The Methow Trails System encompasses over 100 miles of groomed trails, most of which were in good shape considering the rain and warm temperatures. The base diminished at about an inch a day during the 8 days we skied but still plenty of coverage in 95% of the areas we skied. I was relieved to know I still can skate ski and thankful to take advantage of the new heated wax hut at the Winthrop end of the trail system. It's a long drive, but very much worth it. On two different days, I ran into some friends from Seattle, Bill & Sheri, and Lissa, a cycling buddy. I think everyone we spoke to was from Seattle, except us.
Half the fun of adventurous travel is figuring out where to go. Although I don't plan to do an international trip in 2020, never say never. A long-time-coming return to the Methow Valley is coming up in February 2020. I wonder if I remember how to skate ski!
Thinking about options for long bike tours - Missouri has some interesting options including the famous Katy Trail, an old rail trail about 200 or so miles long, all of which is a State Park now. A modified Selkirk Loop, previously done by my friend Stasia (click here to check out her blog), a trip from Vancouver WA to anywhere, part of the Southern Tier route? Plenty of time and suggestions welcome via comments or contact.
I've been reflecting on the great times, friends, and shared experiences I've had in the last few (er, many) years. Old friends, you're tagged and not forgotten; you've helped shape me into the person I am today. Walk with me for a moment, down memory lane?
Wishing you all much joy and happiness always!
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.
I volunteer often with Washington Trails Association (WTA) to improve and build new trails. Here, we are at Paradise Point State Park in Washington, preparing to notch this log so that hikers can get over it. Due to the position and size, we could not remove it, as is often done.
I volunteered with the Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) recently, to brush out a section above Stevenson, WA. The rain was bad enough but the snow chased us out.
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.
Stanley and I took the train to Centralia, WA then took a ride to the coast, on the Willapa Bike Trail which is a work in progress but passable most of the way.