Last Sunny Days for a While

Aral and Nathan make it to the border of Wilderness

Last Friday, because there wasn’t any school, I loaded up Aral and his good friend Nathan and meandered my way up into the Cascades. The goal was to get the boys and me out on a trail to enjoy some of the last dregs of sunshine before its gone. We ended up climbing up to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness border via the Pacific Crest Trail northbound from Snoqualmie Pass.

To be sure, this section of trail is a favorite of mine, so it’s no wonder when given an opportunity¬†I gravitate toward it. In particular, I love the ascent up to the Kendall Katwalk¬†because it traverses a narrow face of the mountain and goes through all the different biological regions. I should add that once you’re high enough you get out of the noise pollution of the I-90 corridor. Back in the day, I never had any trouble climbing up and out of civilization. It’s an escape route.

Friday both boys drug their feet from time to time. I’d mistakenly let them pack whatever they wanted along on the trail and so in addition to all the spare clothing and water they had in their bags they were both toating a hefty load of toys. They did this even after I warned them that the extra weight would bother them while we hiked.

Oh well. C’est la vie, non? I was able to coax them both along until we reached the Alpine Lakes Wilderness border sign. I ceremonially stepped into the wilderness and let the sunshine beat down on me for a moment. Ah, momentarily cleaner somehow. Then we traveled back down to the van in good spirits with a healthy load of vitamin-D coursing through our veins.

As I get my van together I’ll also work on building out my go-bag and kit so these trips will become much easier. For the first time, in a long time, I’m excited to get off-island and up into thin air.

WTA Hike-A-Thon 2014

In 2009 I ran nearly every day during the month of August. I don’t recall the exact amount, but I know I raised nearly the most for Washington Trails Associations annual Hike-a-Thon. If I recall correctly, I came in second place. The following year, due to some soft tissue injuries and the pending birth of my second child I ran fewer miles, but with a matching gift from my employer we exceeded the fund raising efforts of the previous year.

Since we left Washington in 2011 I have been unable to locate a trails organization that does even a fraction of the good WTA does every year. These guys mean business, and considering the number of fallen trees and washed out water bars they have to contend with they had better be ready to step up. Personally, I have felt that loss. The years we spent in Colorado were marked by the decline of some of my favorite trails. Beautiful places neglected, or worse, good places used with neglect. That sort of thing happens. When it became apparent that we’d be moving back to the Pacific North West I got excited.

Now I get to work with excited, energized people who care about wild lands. So now our chance to rectify the intervening years. Click on the image above, let’s get this baby rolling. And remember, if you are lucky enough to be working for one of the many excellent employers in the Puget Sound you may have matching funds you can donate toward this cause.