Trail Log: Ancient Lakes

I’ll admit to being a bit of a fair weather hiker. Despite living in the Pacific Northwest, I don’t love the rain (do most people who live here?). It means that I spend our late winter/early spring sucking it up or waiting for nice days. I also don’t own a lot of quality rain gear for myself, so its fairly unpleasant if it rains too much. I needed to catch some miles this weekend though, so we chased the sun east, to Central Washington.

I’m not a huge fan of sagebrush country for recreation (I blame being fair skinned and a wuss in the heat), but I do appreciate the geological history of the region. Central Washington has an incredibly interesting prehistoric record carved into its landscape.

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April HiB30: Week 3

Well, I’m missing two goals right now. I didn’t make it to a Hike It Baby meetup this week, and I have a variety excuses for that. The biggest thing keeping me solo is the combination of T being constantly dissatisfied with what he is doing (Walking, he wants in the stroller; in the stroller, he wants to walk), and Si being hit and miss on his pack temperament. The ideal meetups are longer stroller walks, or toddler wanders. But yea, totally doable for me, I am just finding reasons to stay home (traffic, nap time, lunch time, potty training, etc etc). I also haven’t figured out the whole nursing in the carrier thing. Si is a messy eater and I’m not sure that there is a huge benefit over just stopping and taking a break right now. Plus I figure its good for him to get out and stretch and bit.

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Trail Log: Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock is one of my favorite places near my mom’s house. I’m sure that its sort of like saying Mt Si is your favorite place near Seattle, but there is a reason these natural wonders draw people in, and I see no reason to avoid it because its popular. Smith Rock State Park is full of well maintained trails of all difficulty levels, plus spots for rock climbing. I try to visit every time we’re in town. I was hoping to get in 5 miles towards our 30 mile goal for April, but toddler pace struck again.

We started in the late morning on Easter, expecting it to be full of people. While a lot of people seemed to have the same holiday hiking plan as us, the trail never felt crowded. After letting T play around on the little climbing structure near the parking lot, we meandered down to the river. If you are just looking to stretch your legs, you could just hang out down here at a picnic table watching rock climbers then head back up, and still feel like you saw something cool. We brought the pack, so of course T had to be in it almost immediately. As soon as he saw the bridge over the river, he wanted out to run free though. We let him pick the way for a bit but he kept trying to lead us up the summit trail, which I really wasn’t feeling up to. After coaxing him the other way, we made our way down the River Trail, one boulder at a time.

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April HiB30: Week 2

I meant to write this days ago, but we’ve been out of town since last week. My mom lives in Central Oregon, and manages an endurance ride there and I was able to go photograph it this weekend. A few years ago, I was photographing 1-2 rides a month, but between traveling and camping, its been a lot tougher to do with kids. Her ride is probably the only one I’ll photograph this year as we could stay at her house instead of tent camping onsite. Her internet is glacial in speed, so I didn’t spend much time on the computer while I was there.

I did pay myself early though, and I now have a hiking-friendly camera. I opted for the Sony a6000, but I still need to get some kind of belt pack or capture clip for it. Also looking into a small prime lens but that will probably have to wait awhile. It is going to take me some time to get used to, shooting with it feels a lot different than with a DSLR.

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Trail Log: Flaming Geyser State Park

I’ve been trying to post these logs the day of our hike but this week has been rough so far. T got sick, like really gross sick, for the first time ever. Juggling puky toddler with baby wore me out, so by the time I had a moment to post, I just wanted to sit and not think. We did this hike a couple of days ago, on Sunday. I read that the park can be crowded during the summer and I understand why. Its not very far from the highway, and there is an abundance of river access points. But on this mild April morning, it was pretty quiet. Our goal was to get in 4 miles, and we had another little kid and his dad along. Fortunately the trails are set up in a way that brought us back to the parking lot a couple of times because we ended up cutting it short by about 1.25 miles. The kids were at the point where they had fun but were at the end of their reserves for good behavior, so we decided to end on a high note.

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April HiB30: Week 1

One year ago today, the tulips were blooming early and the warm sun was showing its face regularly. We had started our hiking season in January, so when I took on Hike it Baby 30 for April 2016, I thought “Ha, piece of cake.” I went on a couple of short hikes myself, packing T, during the week. We went on long weekend hikes, usually 5-10 miles. We passed 30 miles with a week to spare. In the end, we logged 38.4 miles and 23.5 hours outdoors. And I didn’t even bother counting the days we just hung out at the park, or went to the Tulip Festival.

Now I understand why so many people were just happy to get outside a few days a week, or how hitting 30 miles really can be a challenge, even for people who love hiking and being outdoors.

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