Monthly Archives

June 2011

Hiking, Issaquah Alps

Summer Solstice Poo Poo Picnic

Guess who’s out of his cone and back on trail? Wellie!

Cone-free and hikin'

He was cleared for hiking just in time for the summer solstice, so we headed up our standard after-work trail to Poo Poo Point. This was my sixth hike to Poo Poo so far this year, which seems a bit silly, but there’s just nothing else that beats the close to home/short trail/great views combo.

Welhouette There's a high-flyin' nerd way up in the sky The face matches the shirt, part two

The north launch point was packed with paragliders and solstice picnicers, so we joined in and devoured our dinner of quinoa with lots of broccoli and Mmmm Sauce (Wellie got to lick the bowl, he’s a great dishwasher) and strawberries.

Poo Poo Picnic

We digested for a bit before walking back down to the south launch point to catch the amazing alpenglow on Mount Rainier…

Summer Solstice Sunset

…and then back up to the north point for sunset proper. Ooh, aah!

Sammamish sunset

We descended by headlamp as usual and were accompanied by millions* of mosquitoes. I guess that makes it official – summer has arrived!


Hiking, Teanaway


Since we (I) all agreed that I deserved a more scenic birthday celebration than the Pratt Mountain TNAB, a group of us drove east the following Sunday in search of sun, views and shrooms.

How Many Small Bottles Does It Take?

Group photo courtesy of Josie

Unfortunately (for everyone except fungus-phobic Tom) there wasn’t a morel to be found on the trail, and we could confirm, yet again, that summer will come late to the mountains this year. %#$@!!

Summit party Pound that cornice!
Mens and Mount Daniel Shiny happy people

Oh well, who needs morels when you can lounge on top of Iron Peak for hours, eating cupcakes, drinking wine, burning your scalp to a crisp (I’ll wear a hat next time), all while taking in a gorgeous panoramic view of the Teanaway!

Even Josie, who had forgotten her boots and was sporting soggy trainers (with cardboard inserts!) from the Cle Elum Farm & Home Store, couldn’t keep a smile off her face.


Thank you, friends (and Jasper), for such a wonderful birthday party. Maybe this whole growing old business isn’t such a bad thing after all.


Iron Peak | 6.5 miles | 2500 feet elevation gain –

Iron Peak

Alpine Lakes Wilderness, Hiking, TNAB

One year older but still a total Prat(t)

A week ago, I turned 29. I could freak out about the fact the fact that I am getting dangerously close to 30, but since I choose to surround myself with really, really old people, I still feel relatively young.

Last year JK organized a surprise hike to Poo Poo Point (along with said gang of geriatrics) on my birthday, and I loved celebrating by hiking. This year there was no sneaky planning needed; my aging would occur on a Thursday and TNAB was headed for Pratt Mountain.

Marvelous birthday views

I felt sprightly and fabulous all the way to Talapus Lake, but then we started actually hiking uphill instead of strolling along on mellow switchbacks. Suddenly all those old folks were miles ahead of me as I wheezed and moaned my way up the ridge.

At long last I reached the summit and was rewarded with views of the vast nothingness. At least the others took pity on me and waited to make sure I made it into the group shot (and got me tipsy at the Pour House afterwards).

To the Pour House! Schmidts navigating the rock step

Did I say that I still feel young? Maybe not so much after this hike.

– Pratt Mountain | 6.5 miles | 2400 feet elevation gain –

Pratt Mountain TNAB

(My birthday present was one o’ them fancy GPS gizmos! It looks like I’ll actually have to read the manual for this thing since that straight line you see in the track extends all the way to Taiwan – presumably the home of the Garmin factory. 18,000 feet of elevation gain? That’s one hell of a TNAB!)

Hiking, Issaquah Alps, The pups

It’s all fun and games until someone ends up in a cone

Purdy Poo Poo All that Poo Poo must be great fertilizer

After spending much of this spring (officially the worst spring of all time, I might add) on the couch due to illness and/or weather-related malaise, I returned from Norway all pumped up and ready to get back in mountain shape and strengthen my clearly inadequate immune system.

Wellie had other plans. The morning after we returned, we had to take him to the vet for surgery to treat an anal gland abscess. I’ll spare you the details, but I can assure you that it’s just as pleasant as it sounds. We had to stay close to home the first five days post-surgery, foiling my Teanaway camping plans. Dumb dog!!

Sensing an impending meltdown, JK volunteered to take over all nursing duties on Saturday so that I could bask in the sunshine with Amy on a short hike to Talapus Lake. It was like chicken soup for the soul. Or phở for the soul, since I don’t eat chicken (but am somewhat obsessed with phở).

On Sunday JK and I went for a trail run (well, a walk/fast shuffle for me) in the Redmond Watershed Preserve. By the time we came back, Wellie had managed to wriggle out of his cone and pull the drainage tube out of his butt. Dumb dog!!

Luckily there was no lasting damage, so the tube remnants were removed on Monday. Wellie has to keep wearing the Cone of Shame for a week and a half, but now it’s tightened and we can at least leave him alone and get out of the house. That’s exactly what we did, hurrying up to Poo Poo Point to catch the last rays of sunshine before the rain returned.

Unfortunately, all I could think about on the trail was how much more fun it is to hike when you’re with your dumb dog.


Get well soon, Conehead!

Europe, Hiking, Norway, Travel

Back in the old country

We’re back from a whirlwind three-week vacation in Norway! We return bearing lots of great memories, an already dwindling (for shame!) supply of Norwegian chocolate, and an obscene amount of photos. I can’t even wrap my head around the idea of processing all of those photos, so here’s a tiny sample for the time being. I promise to have the rest up by 2017. Or 2018.

My heart is beating like a jungle drum

These are from our deliciously self-indulgent layover in Iceland. We spent the entire day soaking our jetlagged bodies in the Blue Lagoon.

Creature from the Blue Lagoon

Since it was a long vacation and our friends and families were busy working on weekdays, we flew up north to Lofoten for five days of hiking and camping.


This didn’t exactly turn out as planned, but more on that later (2019).

Snow moving in...

So yes, check back in 2020 for the full documentation of our trip. Or 2021 at the latest.