Saturday, December 26, 2009

Big Rock Candy Mountain

That's the song that was stuck in my head during our Christmas hike. It's got a happy tune, but it's not a happy tune. It's about hobos (song's words, don't PC me) wanting a Utopia where they get free everything.

In the Big Rock Candy Mountains all the cops have wooden legs
And the bulldogs all have rubber teeth and the hens lay soft boiled eggs
The farmer's trees are full of fruit and the barns are full of hay
Oh, I'm bound to go where there ain't no snow
Where the rain don't fall and the wind don't blow
In the Big Rock Candy Mountains

Up on big ol' Tiger Mountain, we took a Christmas hike.

We walked amongst the big trees, and the sun was really bright.

We reached the summit marker to note the mountain's height.

The Big Guy's a goof, but that's all right.

The pups jumped up on everything in sight.

There was snow at the top. It sure was white.

Up on big ol' Tiger Mountain.


I saw Bigfoot.

Dirty Skiing

When winter comes, sometimes we trade in the hiking boots for the xc ski boots and head to the snow. As you can see, there was not a lot of snow on Hwy 410. Thus, we scraped our skis a bit. That made the Big Guy angerful.

Here he comes now. Ski away! Ski! He's angry!

I'm not angry, see? I think skis grow on trees.

Hey, if ya gotta be angry, do it somewhere beautiful, that's what I always say. Ok, that's the first time I've ever said that, but I'm going to start saying it more.

You're Only As Old As You Are

One Big Guy + two dogs = Happy Birthday Hike

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Grand Ridge 2

Uphill Here is an idea of how climbing up goes. If you can't hear me, I say "I'm not clipped in," which means my left foot isn't clipped into the pedal properly. Clipping in means that your bike shoe is literally attached to the pedal, and it helps with control and power since it keeps feet from slipping off. At the very end you can hear me imitate a growly bear. Because it's stinkin' hard.

Grand Ridge Mountain Biking

Downhill. This may not seem all that great until you realize that The Big Guy is filming while holding the camera and riding with one hand! Also, this is the return ride, so we originally rode up this. Don't we make it look effortless? (ha)

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Little Si 10-12-09

Not all hikes are with The Big Guy, you know. I do have a friend or two, thank you. On this day, my friend and I planned to hike up Big Si, but since it was the week for misdirection, we could only find the trailhead for Little Si. So up we went.
This is my friend, Mary. She has been my friend for many, many years, and she was, in fact, with me the night I saw The Big Guy for the first time. This photo is Mary being a "hiking vixen." Mary and I think things like that are hysterical. I love Mary.
This is me. I wasn't trying to be funny, but I kind of am, anyway, huh? I just like that my bottom looks smaller than my top for once, even if it sorta looks like I bit a lemon.

Here's Mary again. This time she's being "pensive." HILARIOUS!

And here we are together. Me and Mary. Mary and me. Freezing our friendship off.

Gold Creek 10-11-09

Sometimes things don't start out great. We had a hard time deciding where to go on this "free" day, and then we had a hard time finding the parking lot even though it's not actually hard to find, then we had a hard time finding the trailhead once we found the parking lot. Sheesh!

This is a view of the lake, which is surrounded by a nice paved trail and many mountain chalets. The trail we took spurs off of this, and once we were going in the right direction, we had one of the most pleasant hikes we've ever had. Isn't life funny?

The colors were as good as the fall colors get here in the Pacific Northwest. It was quite chilly (about 35*) and there was frost on some of the trail, but the sun was warm and the trail was gentle.

A shock of color along the way.

This is fall where I live. It's not the fall of my childhood, which I still think of as "real" fall. It has been my autumn now for 17 years, which is almost as long now as the years I had autumns in Ohio. I'll tell you what, though. Winter here isn't like the winters of my youth, either, so it all evens out in the end. I told you life was funny.

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Snow Lake 09-23-09

This was not our first time on this hike, but it had been many years, and we never did reach the lake the first time around due to..well, snow. Thus, it felt like a brand new hike. For the pups, it was. My favorite part was this:

Not far into the hike, we encountered an older lady by herself who told us that the last time she was there, the rangers were ticketing people who didn't have their dogs on leashes. She seemed tickled by this, as she didn't seem to care for dogs much. We did, at that time, have ours leashed -- we normally do, and we don' t care for those who normally don't. After we had reached the outflow, had our lunch, and were headed back down, I detoured up a small side trail to the TOILET. No, really, on some trails there are actual large boxes with wooden seats set high on hills and marked with trail signs. It's BYOTP, though. Anyhow, The Big Guy stayed down trail and let the pups off leash to splash in the water. Wouldn't you know that's the time this same lady was coming up the trail, and Otter was missing me so he came running down the trail, trying to find me. I heard a loud "huffing" type noise, which I later learned was Otter surprising Trail Lady. (bet she thought it was a bear at first.) Nothing bad happened, which is good, because it gives me the giggles something fierce. I also wonder how Trail Lady handled Old Man With Two Little Poodly Dogs Without Leashes later on. I hope she didn't flick them off the trail with her walking poles...

Saturday, September 12, 2009

Dewey Lake, Redux

Just over a year ago, in August of '08, we set off for a hike to Dewey Lake on the Pacific Crest Trail. Did I mention it was August? Because that's important to what I'm going to say next: It snowed. Not a lot, but it was so cold that we put on everything resembling clothing in our packs. See how cute that made me? If you click on this picture, you can see the snowflakes. In August.
Cut to September '09. Sunshine! Blue skies! And I'm still cute! (tee hee)

Here's The big guy in August '08. When it snowed, although this was the end of the hike that day, and the sun made a half-hearted appearance to give me this gorgeous photo.And here they are the second time around. (That is not Dewey Lake you see there, be patient)

This is Dewey Lake. It was very breezy this time, and the lake had tiny white caps and a little surf.
Otter had a swim, naturally.
Zuli did not, but she enjoyed the view and her balance beam exercises.
I just enjoyed my time in the mountains with these three.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Echo Lake (almost)

Never mind that it was 100* today. I said never mind! We started early, and this hike is mostly under forest cover. The hiking books always seem to be apologetic about recommending hikes that don't offer "sweeping mountain vistas!" but those aren't the only beautiful sights to see, now are they? This was supposed to be a 14 mile hike, but the last mile found us so covered in mosquitoes despite the bug spray, that we turned back. We figured that trying to have lunch at the lake while being lunched on wasn't worth the last 15 mins. It was a little disappointing to not reach our goal, but the first/last part of this hike is the best stuff anyway. We'll probably do this one again another time. 14- miles.

No, seriously, they wanted to hike today.

There were so many pretty bridges...

in so many great styles.

The view down. Eep!
That's one of my new Vasque boots -- like buttah!

The river was very muddy, which was unusual.

But it still afforded some pretty scenery.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Bullion Basin 7-25-09

This was supposed to be a Pacific Crest Trail hike, and while we did get to a section of the PCT, the up (and down) were rough and cranky-making. It was hot, sticky, mosquito-y, and on dusty sharp-rock terrain. I had to eat a packet of Fig-a-ma-jigs to restore my happiness. Once we got to the ridge line (PCT trail) the clouds were rolling in and the breeze was cool. I had to zip my pant legs back on and huddle under my jacket while we had lunch,but there were no more bugs! 7.5 miles

Zuli, Otter, and The Big Guy

Although we hike to get away from people, I always love
this kind of evidence of those who have come
before us. It is both charming and awe-inspiring.

A view of Mt. Rainier as the clouds move in.

The elusive Cascade Blue Monkey.

An old PCT marker being eaten by a Doug Fir.

Red Columbine

One of the prettiest alpine lakes I've ever seen.
I love the soft green shore.

My hikin' Buddy.