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

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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

“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

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

Salt of the Earth

A few years ago now, I was on an extended backpacking trip; easily a top ten all time for me. We stayed five days in the aptly named “Enchantments” here in Washington State. My spirit soaring, we covered a lot of other-worldly ground in that time, but it wasn’t particularly grueling, nor was it particularly hot. By the end, however, I was kind of a wreck. Continue reading