Thursday, December 5, 2019

Friday, November 15, 2019

Dayton Peak West

Headed up to see the furthest west peak.  It was foggy but that was okay.  I'll see the view another day.  My favorite trail in there was logged so I took a different trail on the way down.  The trail I took is getting overgrown and is dissected by logging roads.  This trail will soon be gone too as logging seems eminent.

I was quite tired after this hike, I was just getting over a cold and I was loaded down with about two gallons of mushrooms.

10 miles with 650 feet elevation gain

Tuesday, November 5, 2019


The days are getting short and we just left daylight savings time, so I decided to stay close to home. 
I made it out 10 minutes before sunset.

My walk was 3 miles longer than planned due to having to backtrack to get my cell phone off of the roof of my car.  Widow brain still?

10.5 miles with 600 feet elevation gain

Thursday, October 31, 2019

Spooky trip up Kamilchee Ridge

I was dragging this morning so I changed plans.  I was going back to the Dosewallips to try to retrieve my reading glasses.    I think I left them on a table in the campground when I took off one  layer.

I felt tired this morning and there was frost on the ground.  A bike ride over an hour's drive from home did not appeal so I did the Ridge.  I have been saving the ridge and other close to home hikes for when the days get shorter.

I was grieving a fair amount on this hike and I wondered why, then I remembered this was the last hike I did before my husband died.  I also realized why I have not been able to put my Kayak into the water since he died.  My parking spot for this hike is at the boat launch where I always launched my Kayak.  I have associated my kayak with my husband's death and that anxiety is what stops me.

I feel bad that my Kayak has sat in the dirt for a year now.  I wish I had someone to come pick me and my kayak up and take us kayaking so I can get over this!  I sold the car I hauled it on but I think I can haul it on the car I still have.  But having to put it on a different car that is much taller is holding me back a little too.

I am glad that I have figured out exactly why I can't bear to go kayaking anymore though.  I knew it had something to do with my husband's death.

As I walked up the hill I was passed by several hunters driving trucks on the road I was walking up but I mostly hid in the brush out of sight when I heard them, so they did not see me.  There were so many that eventually I did stop hiding.  It turns out that Halloween is a popular day for hunting and it was the last day of hunting season.  There might be other types of  hunts still going on, I don't know.

I walked to the top then went back down to my favorite lunch spot and had to share my lunch with Sage since I forgot to pack on for her.  I was all packed for the National Park where no dogs are allowed.

Before I could cook lunch I got a phone call about a problem with my credit card and I spent a lot of my lunch break trying to sort that out.  My card was fine, the problem was on the merchants end.

I was unsure of my turn off to get to the mushroom spot on the way down so I had to backtrack while racing the setting sun.  I got what was probably my last batch of chanterelles for the year on this hike.

8.5 miles with 1,000 feet elevation gain

Saturday, October 26, 2019

Dosewallips Backpack

Happy to have made it out on one local overnighter before the snow.  I had to leave my kid home alone to do this and that was a little worrisome, especially after having my house burglarized while he was home.

I opted to take my bike on this somewhat boring road.  I used to dayhike to the ranger station all the time, but now that the road has been closed even further back it feels out of reach for me.  I don't like to do more then about 12 miles on a day hike.  After 12 miles I hurt and I'm not having fun anymore. I also think that it is too hard on my dog and not really fair to her.

So  I won't be going to the Ranger station on foot anymore, I'll bring my bike and use it to reach the real trails behind the old ranger station.  I sometimes wish the Dosewallips road was open, but the I remember how badly I was treated by Ranger Ken Davis and I'm glad that is is all closed.  Who needs to be harassed while legally and respectfully enjoying the National Park?

   I'll never forgive that jerk for ruining my child's dreams of being a  Ranger.  Who wants to grow up to be a jackass mushroom stomper?  Not my kiddo.  Then the way he upset my terminally ill spouse the next day when we went back to look for a toy that my child lost in the confusion of being harassed by Ranger Davis the day before.

It was a very special toy, a souvenir from the Museum of Natural History in Shanghai.  That can never be replaced and Ranger Davis and the chaos he caused is probably why it got lost that day.  Now that my husband is dead that toy means even more, a gift from my child's deceased father from a very special place that is now probably closed.

So yeah I'm kind of happy that I can go to Dosewallips and not have to deal with that level of B.S.   I did see Ranger Davis out there once, but he was more worried about how he was going to stay dry on the hike back than he was about mushrooms.  Also he was probably out of radio contact and all alone 5.5 miles from his car.  I think that took a bit of the swagger out of his walk.

On day one I pushed my bike over the washout trail and wow was that a work out!  I could barely do it.  I was with my oldest daughter and she is afraid of "big bicycles' so she opted to walk and carry her pack the entire way.   We leapfrogged most of the way to the old ranger station.  I would go fast for a bit on the down hills and then stop to take photos or have a coffee while my daughter caught up.  I also had to push my bike up most of the hills.

We reached camp and had our tents pitched just one hour before dark and  at 7:30 we settled in for a long fall nap.  I did not sleep well, I never do when backpacking but at least I was very toasty warm for most of the night.  I have finally figured out how to stay warm!

I could not resist pitching my yellow tent in the middle of  a sea of  fallen yellow cottonwood leaves.  It made for good photos but I was startled a few times when leaves hit my tent in the night.  But with my adult daughter in the campground with me I was much calmer than I could have been.

I really like my MLD Duomid it is so fast and easy to pitch and it looks so pretty.  Also I went the entire night without knocking down the pole.  The main thing I don't like about the duomid is having a pole in the middle of my living space.  Also, the duomid is kind of heavy for a single wall shelter.

My kiddo slept in my Bowfin 2 tarptent that I have only used one time.  It went up faster than expected but it's ugly and takes more time to pitch and to put in its bag and the built in floor makes me feel a little bit less close to the great outdoors. Still it is a great option when there are bugs and when weight is the priority and it is free standing only requiring two stakes and the pole that comes with it.

I'm tired of messing around with fussy tarptents, so I got a nearly free standing one.  If I want to mess around I'll just take my flat tarp that only weighs 4.5 ounces with lines.

I used my market baskets to carry my backpack on my bike.  I don't trust those baskets since they have plastic latches, but so far they have not broken, well at least the latches have not broken.  I need to get a milk crate really.

The next day we left our tents and I locked up my bike and we explored the trails beyond the Ranger station for a bit before we packed up and headed back home.  The trip back to the car was so fast on a bike.  I'm not sure I ever want to hike this road again.  My kiddo ran out of steam on the walk back once she hit the newly closed area past the washout.  The last horrible flat stretch of road is just no fun.  When you are tired it is no good to be able to see that far ahead and walking on a long flat stretch uses the same leg muscles over and over where going up and down a bit gives some muscles a break.

I'm only counting 8 miles of this as hiking.

MLD Duomid and Tarp Tent Bowfin 2  Bowfin 2 set up instructions at the bottom
of this blog post

Bowfin 2 Setup from Tarptent on Vimeo.