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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A love built for years

I’ve known these two love birds both separately and together for many years.  I have to say that I have been rooting for them for a solid 20 years now.  Being that I’m only 30, that’s really saying something. B & E have been lifelong friends from childhood.  We were band geeks, problem solving nerds, and athletes together through school.  When after so many years had passed after we all “grew up”, I got the sweet news that they were dating. I was ecstatic, as were most in our immediate circle and beyond.  B proposed this fall and I was lucky enough to spend some time with them in celebrating their engagement.  We went up to a favorite old spot up in the mountains back home and had a great time in the snow. It was such good luck to get (my favorite) snow and sun all in the same morning.  Can’t wait for the wedding next fall and wishing them the best in their future together.

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Snow Play

It snowed this week in the near mountains. I think I will have plenty of snow play in my future with over 100 inches of snow that fell in my local mountains over the last couple of days.

I set off for a morning trail run at Lake Easton, hoping for relatively flat terrain after a hit and a miss at Gold Creek on Snoqualmie.

Once I got there, I felt calm, quiet, and honestly a little embarrassed after wiping out numerous times. I’m not the stellar skier I thought I was on the chosen un-groomed trail. Needless to say, the photos weren’t perfect, but the solitude certainly was.

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Grey and Red

Winter has it’s own color scheme around the Pacific Northwest.  This year, the weather has been extraordinarily mild.  It is the first year that I can remember with such little snow in the mountains.  What would normally would be blanketed in snow, is a stark grey or covered in the frozen frosting left in the morning after a clear night. For some reason, the grey makes reds pop for me.  Here are a couple of wandering shots from my mini-break with my favorite – The Natural Ginger  while hanging out at Lake Cle Elum and the always beautiful Ritter Farms.

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Mountain Lakes

I was really lucky to grow up in a place that offered many opportunities to enjoy nature.  That is part of the reason I feel most at home amonst the mountains, lakes, and trees of the Cascades.  I had a few extra moments to enjoy Lake Cle Elum this weekend in between visits to family and friends.  The water was clear, uncharacteristically calm, and quiet.  My toes were happy to take a dip.

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