February 17th, 2013
For some strange reason, travelling home from the Virgin Islands left me more jetlagged than flying home from Norway ever has. I was grumpy about it for a day or two, but then I decided to just embrace it and keep getting up stupid early.
What’s the best way to celebrate jetlag? A dawn patrol, of course!
Rattlesnake is the perfect place to see a winter sunrise – it’s short (for a slowpoke like me, it takes 40 minutes at a comfortable pace – if you can run uphill, you’ll be there in no time at all), snow-free most of the time, close to civilization*, and it has great views for such a short hike.
Unfortunately the sunrise wasn’t much to speak of this time, but I was so high on early-morning endorphins that I didn’t care.
We put on some tunes** and ran back down to the lake in glorious, glorious sunshine, a special treat after a very grey week.
I felt so good the rest of the day that I think I might attempt to make morning exercise a more regular thing (emphasis on attempt). I guess jetlag can be a blessing in disguise!
It’s slowly but surely starting to feel like spring ’round these here parts – the nutrias are especially excited about the return of sunshine on the deck.
*huh, it just occurred to me that Poo Poo Point would be an even better Dawn Patrol since it’s closer to our house. Must do this before the jetlag fades.
**this might be one of those things I should be embarrassed about, but I’m obsessed with Lana Del Rey right now. I listened to her non-stop on St. John, and hearing Ride or Gods and Monsters takes me right back to the beach. Aaahh.
February 11th, 2013
Last week, JK and I returned from the best vacation we’ve ever been on – two carefree weeks on St. John, a beautiful, laid-back island in the Caribbean. White sand beaches, turquoise water, and fantastic snorkeling. It was perfect, like a second honeymoon.
What could possibly make a vacation like that even better? Well, the fact that it began just a few days after our car was totaled in a hit-and-run.
We were driving onto I-5 when the other car slammed into us from behind from the left lane, causing us to spin around and slide sideways and eventually hit a concrete divider on the passenger side.
It was the single most terrifying thing that has happened in my life. I was looking down at my phone when it happened (JK was driving, obviously), so my brain didn’t really have time to comprehend what was going on. The initial hit sounded like someone fired a gun inside our car, and when I looked up, I didn’t understand that we were actually sliding sideways – I thought we were about to drive straight off the road.
Luckily our wonderful Forester kept us safe, and the cops caught the other driver farther up the road where he had crashed again.
So yes, it was unspeakably wonderful to escape real life for a bit, to let go of all stress and worry, and enjoy our good fortune – we’re really, really lucky.
January 23rd, 2013
After about a year of planning to hike together, fellow nwhiker and hike-a-thoner Janelle and I finally made it happen. The destination was obvious – our beloved Mount Rainier.
Janelle hikes more on that mountain than anyone I know, and like me, she never gets sick of it. We keep returning to the same places over and over again, but it never feels the same.
This time, it felt cold. Really really cold. (This seems to be the general theme of my trip reports lately, especially since I missed out on the latest inversion.)
We climbed up to Mazama Ridge just as the mountain decided to hide behind a curtain of clouds. We sat down for an early lunch and briefly considered just going home. But then, ooh! aah! magic started happening!
The mountain reappeared, and at the same it started snowing perfect, tiny snowflakes, like someone was sprinkling glitter all over us.
Buoyed by the beauty, we abandoned all thoughts of leaving. In fact, it turned into one of those ‘we don’t wanna leave’ days.
Luckily we could feel our toes again now that we were moving, so we were able to hang out in Paradise the rest of the day.
Janelle is usually quite the early bird, so I was pretty pleased with myself when I influenced her to try a more Ingunnesque schedule – staying for sunset.
She seemed to enjoy it.
This was definitely one of my favorite winter trips to Mount Rainier – I can’t imagine a better way to bond with a new friend.
January 21st, 2013
Over Christmas, I finally decided on a my one little word for 2013: present. I tend to waste so much time and energy either dwelling on the past or worrying about the future, so I entered the new year making a conscious effort to focus on what’s happening right here and now.
(Ironically, this trip report is three weeks late. Oh hush you.)
Back on New Year’s Day, the here and now was cold enough to freeze your nubbins off. JK and I drove over Snoqualmie Pass which was socked in once again, hoping to ski above the clouds on Amabilis Mountain.
It seemed to take much longer to reach the sun this time than it did on Kendall, probably due to my total ineptitude on cross-country skis, but once we made it, it was oh so glorious.
I love days like this one, where the sun is out but it’s so cold that the trees are still snowy. I usually only get one trip like a year, but this season I keep getting lucky. Mount Rainier was out along with the prominent Alpine Lakes Wilderness peaks, which made for gorgeous views. We couldn’t see Kachess Lake this time, but we can’t complain since it was replaced by a beautiful sea of clouds.
Even in our ginormous winter puffies, we were cold as the dickens, so we only sat down for a quick lunch before heading down. I was anxious about skiing down right from the start – see why I chose my one little word? – but I needn’t have worried, I only fell six times. Six times. At least they all happened on the ungroomed part of the trail, so I had relatively soft landings…and anyhow, that’s all in the past now.
January 18th, 2013
…although there’s really no such thing as being caught up when it comes to scrapbooking, unless you’re trying to drive yourself mental (or want to fill your entire house with albums). That being said, I do want to at the very least document my favorite trips that I went on during my scrapbooking hiatus, starting with my solo adventure on the Wonderland Trail.
I often copy the journaling straight from my blog post, but this time it was just too long – a list of favorite moments and memories worked better.
One can never have too many Enchantments layouts, so I made a new one for my trip back to the magical mountains in 2010.
I had a hard time limiting the photos on these spreads, so because of the sheer amount of pics and all the different colors in them, I kept the layouts really, really simple. Maybe too simple when it comes to the last one…how can I get a manufacturer to start making wood veneer mountain goats?