Lake Byrne via Lost Creek Ridge; a 4-Nighter and Midlife Welcoming.

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This gallery contains 5 photos.

Is 40-trips-around-the-sun the half-way point? The statistics would say so. Forty seems like prime time for reflection, assessment, and projection. A trail-cairn of sorts marking an unclear route where past, present, and future can be measured.So how does midlife feel? Personally, … Continue reading

Why choose? at Anderson & Watson Lakes

November and the high country is still accessible? I’ll take it! It has been a supremely soggy fall, but the temps have not fallen enough to lay down the typical dozens of feet of snow that can make alpine travel so difficult.P1080099 At the last minute I packed a map, and on that map were several 4,000ft jewels. Continue reading

Truly a “mountain” bike…at Cutthroat Pass

I learned to ride singletrack on the sweeping bluffs of NE Iowa. While the network of trails around Decorah, IA were varied, fast, and full of solitude, they rarely offered views thanks to a dense deciduous cover. And until now, foothills in this mountainous West have been where my 2001 mtn bike has primarily traveled. P1070803P1070797

For the past 7 weeks, Ive been interning at a Physical Therapy clinic where panoramic views of the Cascades and poster-size maps of nearby mtn bike trails hang on treatment room walls. My kind of place! The therapists spend their downtime reliving their last adventure or scheming their next one via Google Maps.  Continue reading

“ReWilding” on Hannegan Peak

Having just listened to a couple of interviews of Daniel Vitalis about how to bring some wildness back into our overly domesticated lives, I was primed for a little adventure. In the mountains, that generally means either going someplace new, someplace old in a different season, or choosing a new route to an old destination.

I formulated the latter yesterday and in transcending the healthy discomfort of the unknown, was handsomely rewarded with WILDlife, world-class views, and the type of satisfaction one only finds from DIY (Do It Yourself)!P1020949Goats at left snowfield: Continue reading

Flatlanders in the mountains

This weekend we have family visiting from Iowa who obligingly packed their hiking boots…P1020548Iowa is known more for its depth than its height. Historically, there have been several feet of dark loamy topsoil covering much of the state. Unfortunately, this important resource is dwindling frighteningly fast through our subsidizing of the Big Ag juggernaut with its GPS-driven monster tractors and petroleum-fueled pharming practices.  Continue reading

Ptarmigan Ridge; impromptu reconnaissance

A crystal clear blue sky presented itself yesterday, begging a vantage from some high point. Forgoing my original plan of an easy lakeside stroll, I headed up to the nearest and highest trailhead around – Artist’s Point. This remarkable spot is typically plowed open by early summer, though some years it remains completely buried. P1020496For many folks, this is a destination in and of itself and understandably so. You clearly don’t have to go far to enjoy spectacular views. Summer sledding on consolidated sun-cupped snow is just not my thing, however. Perhaps it is an inherent lack of cushioning to my tailbone. Continue reading

Twisp, WA; home of the Lorax?

I’ve always thought the town of Twisp, WA sounded like it belongs inside a Dr. Seuss book. And truly, the idyllic mountain town always seems like a fantasy-land whenever I visit. Having spent very little time there, my distant vantage probably polishes the tangible charm to a spectacularly bright sheen. panoThe Methow valley is sun drenched, yet green, thanks to its proximity to the Cascade Crest (where: West = wet & East = dry) and a steady supply of snow melt from the high peaks. Surely this area has ranked atop lists of best places to retire for eons. I love to head East from our spongey density to this more sparsely forested landscape. Continue reading

Nettle Pesto

Focusing on my Physical Therapy Assistant program has meant zero income from my side of the equation since last autumn. Gwen and I have a deal: she brings home the bacon…I bring home the “A’s.” Of course, she likes to remind me of this imbalance whenever we are sharing a pots de creme at Chocolate Necessities and there is one spoonful left. nettle

Today, sans test result, I managed to earn my keep.

Not unlike dandelions, “stinging nettle” (urtica dioica), is conventionally considered a pesky weed that really does give a good zap when you are donning shorts and veering from the center of the trail.

Like the bitter green in your backyard, it is highly nutritious and even medicinal.

See this article in Mother Earth News for more benefits and history.

And like the familiar spinach, it makes an excellent pesto! Continue reading