Mt. Rainier- Sunrise and Beyond

I’ve gotten in this new habit of taking an afternoon off from the 9-5 to go adventure off in the beautiful Pacific Northwest. With so many destinations within a few hours’ drive, it seems wasteful not to.  It transforms a day from a morning of meetings to an afternoon of outdoor bliss.  This time, I took to the mountain with my favorite adventure and photography friend Mary Jo.    We decided on a simple hike to the Fremont Fire Lookout.  What was supposed to be a casual 5 mile hike, proved to be more difficult for us than expected. Lots of breaks for “photos” and conversation made the trip much easier.  Once we reached our destination, we celebrated with a libation and a lot of photo taking.  Back down was much easier, with many stops to take in the gorgeous Mountain Sunset and wildlife.  It may have been dark when we got back to the car, but we both agreed it was worth the adventure.

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Where the Water Falls

After several weeks of hard work with my day job, I needed to take a few days off to disconnect from the everyday and get some extra adventuring in.   I took to the Columbia River Gorge with my favorite companion and her2 year old (also my favorite) for a day of hiking.

We decided on Wahkeena Falls to get our PNW fix, knowing that half the vertical hike was paved.  This made it “easier” with a little one strapped to my dear friend’s back.  With several switchbacks and several goldfish crackers, we made it to Fairy Falls.  The water was pristine and the moss and ferns were the most beautiful shades of green.  All I could say the entire way up was, “This place is magic- and we live here”.   What could have been made into a large loop hike, we made our finale the falls and made our way back down the trail, since hiking with a little one can be tricky. A quick zip to the Eastwind Drive In for a bite and HUGE ice cream cones for all and we were feeling like the day was the perfect amount of adventure and friendship.

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Up a Creek

I spent sometime in Yakima, Washington for my 8-5 gig this week.  Outside of the 8-5 grind, I make sure to take advantage of my statewide travel by enjoying what the local area has to offer.  I had more freedom this time around since I had my own car with me- so I packed up with my favorite colleague and drove up the Yakima River Canyon.  It had been 104+ degrees all week, so we chose to go near sundown for a quick trip up to Umtanum Creek Canyon.  The parking is easy, $5 for the day, and has picnic spots right on the river. You can take in the views of the canyon and the fly fisherman trying their hand at a naturalist art. We didn’t go far since we were midweek with zero preparations for a deep hike into the sage brush. The few hours we spent were clear, warm, and colorful.

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The Rain Forest

I’ve been feeling stir-crazy with all of the rain in the past few weeks.  I should know better, after all, I live in the rain forest. To remedy the crazy, the handsome and I took to the trails of Burfoot Park to get some much needed green time and a little fresh air. Our dogs were thrilled to play in the sound and splash in the mud.  We were happy to have a little sun-break and the forest all to ourselves.

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