Wine Tasting in the Willamette Valley

After our morning exploring Silver Falls State Park, Emma and I have some free time to explore. So what do you do when you find yourself with nothing to do in wine country? Visit wineries, of course! Fortunately for us, the Willamette Valley is filled with them. Our first stop is Bethel Heights Vineyard. While…

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Silver Falls State Park

Back in August, I had a chance to spend some time in Salem, Oregon visiting my friend Emma for the weekend. When I would mention this to friends and coworkers, I was universally greeted with the same response – “Why would you want to go there?” It’s an understandable reaction. Salem isn’t known for being…

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An Afternoon at the Japanese Gardens

These last couple months have been excellent and extremely busy. I’ve been knocking out life goals left and right, and things show no sign of slowing down. I spent the month of September in the Balkans, exploring a part of the world I’ve long been interested in seeing (posts coming soon!). Last weekend I completed…

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Diving the Edmonds Underwater Park

A few weeks ago, my friend Marissa over at Postcards to Seattle and I got Nitrox certified. It’s something I’ve been interested in doing for awhile since being able to use Enriched Air allows you to dive for longer and you’re less likely to feel fatigued when you’re done. Plus, the course only takes a…

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The Views at Washington Pass

After our glorious morning hike to Blue Lake to see the larches, Adrienne drives us a short distance to Washington Pass for more gorgeous mountain views. Unlike Blue Lake, the views at Washington Pass are only a short walk from the parking lot. The larches here in Washington are alpine larches. They only grow at high altitudes….

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The Larches! The Larches!

Are you ready for Larch Madness?! I’m going to tell you about a place straight out of a fairytale, but you have to promise to keep it between us, OK? Roughly 3 hours northeast of Seattle lies one of the least visited national parks in our country – the North Cascades National Park. Carved out by…

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Stairway to Helens

Since we’re on the topic of climbing mountains, now seems like a good time to share my hike up Mt St Helens with you! Back in 2011, Amy (who I climbed Kilimanjaro with) and I did our first big climb together. Little did we know what we would later go on to accomplish. I’m pretty sure…

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Rainier Day 4: My Personal Summit

I’m just starting to doze off when suddenly the lights come on and Dave cheerful tells us it’s time to get up and get ready for the summit! He even gave us an extra 15 minutes to sleep, it’s 11:15pm! We have one hour to get ready, hot water is being brought in for coffee…

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Rainier Day 3: Paradise to Camp Muir

Much to my relief, our third day of the climb dawns cloudier and cooler than yesterday. After my ordeal last night, I couldn’t be any more grateful. I wake up still feeling weak, and I’m wondering if I’ll even be able to make it to Camp Muir, let alone anywhere on the upper mountain. But…

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Rainier Day 2: Mountaineer School

Before I get into mountaineer school today, I should probably tell you a bit more about this climb. The program Lori and I signed up for is the four day summit climb through Rainier Mountaineering Inc. RMI is the original guiding service on Mt Rainier, and they have an excellent reputation. There are two other…

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Rainier Day 1: Meeting Dave Hahn

Before I get in to the details of my climb of Mt Rainier, I won’t keep you in suspense of how I did. Unfortunately, I didn’t make it to the summit. Words can’t even describe my disappointment at not succeeding a second time, however I did get to 12,300ft, the top of the Disappointment Cleaver…

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Rainier Training Hike: Mailbox Peak

Holy smokes it’s time. We’ve reached the climax of our training. The crux of our hikes. The hardest one of them all. At least until we get to Rainier. Mailbox Peak is practically legend in these parts. Hikers mention it with awe and fear. People speak of it in hushed tones. Ok, maybe not that extreme. But…

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