Catherine and Ingrid

Our snowshoe to the Grand Junction Warming Hut piqued our interest in the Snoqualmie Nordic System, so JK and I decided it was time to explore the area as Ullr intended – on treacherously skinny cross-country skis.

Look at me, being all Norwegian and such

We had our sights set on the classic Mount Catherine Loop, and chose to do it the cheater’s way by hitching a ride on the Silver Fir chairlift. Our official excuses are as follows:

– We wanted to sleep in.

– We had to be back in town early in time for the Ingrid Michaelson show.

– We have season passes, so it would be silly not to take the lift, right?

– I was so. sore. from my run the day before.

…fine, we’re really just lazy.

So that's what it's supposed to look like!

Avoiding most of the elevation gain by taking the lift up is actually a bad choice for me since I greatly prefer going uphill and, as I have documented before, I should not be allowed to go downhill on cross-country skis. Also, I’ll never know how I managed to get off the chairlift on those twigs without falling in the first place.

I90 with Das Toof and friends

We both LOVED this route. Lots of pretty vistas all around, no steep hills (there was only one fall/pole-impalement incident), and two excellent warming huts – not that we needed them. It was a bit breezy, but the sun kept us nice and toasty during our lunch break.

Sunshine squishy!

(I refuse to carry the camera when I ski – given my perpetual fight against gravity – so most of these photos are of me posing awkwardly in front of things, none of JK in action. He would have been a much better representation of the Norwegian spirit. Even though he’s technically Polish. Whatever.)

Jim Brooks Warming Hut

Did I say it was breezy? Ok, so it was windy as all hell, but this actually worked in my favor as my normally disastrous downhill run was slowed significantly by the headwind, giving me a semblance of control. Success!!

'Twas a bit breezy

– Mt. Catherine Loop | 9 miles | 1000 feet gain (2,200 feet loss!) –

Ingrid Michaelson @ Tractor Tavern

Oh, and the Ingrid Michaelson pop-up show that night was fantastic. Very intimate, low-key, and fans-only. It was refreshing to go to a concert where people actually shut up and listen to the music. I’m looking at you, annoying people behind me at Florence and the Machine!! A concert is not the place for you insipid first-date banter.

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  • Reply Mark Griffith February 20, 2012 at 9:46 pm

    JK is polish! Have you read The Farthest North?

  • Reply Ewa February 21, 2012 at 4:19 am

    XC skiing is so much fun. I wish I could do it better. Going downhill is more than a challenge for me too. I could uses some serious lessons here.
    What a wonderful place to ski! And again, I think you guys got all of our snow. :)

  • Reply Ingunn February 21, 2012 at 5:04 pm

    Dagnabbit, why doesn’t my nesting comment system work??

    Mark: I haven’t read it, but I’ve been meaning to get into the Polar classics. :)

  • Reply Samantha Angela February 22, 2012 at 8:24 am

    I xc skiied once and I didn`t like the downhill parts. I felt like I had a lot less control than I do on actual downhill skis.

  • Reply Alex March 5, 2012 at 11:48 am


    I know your blog is more about hiking now, but I absolutely love your scrapbooking style! I, like you said in an older post, am afraid of looking back at this hobby ten years from now and thinking that the layouts are kitchy, messy etc.. with all the embelishents and things. As a result, I have piles of scrapbook stuff and nothing accomplished because I feel overwhelmed. I really like your clean, simple style.
    Anyway, to help me along, I signed up for the Design Your Life Class. There are some odd picture sizes required and I was just wondering how you printed them out? I don’t have a photo printer. Did you resize them in photoshop? Cut them by hand? I was just looking for some guidance. Thanks!

  • Reply Ingunn March 5, 2012 at 12:39 pm

    Aaw, thanks Alex! We just moved into a new house, and after packing up all my boxes of scrapbooking stuff (sooo many boxes), I think I’m just going to get rid of most of the frilly stuff I never use and just keep the basics!

    You’re going to love Design Your Life, I took it a couple of years ago and it was amazing! I usually lay my whole design out in Photoshop first, then print the text part on cardstock and the photos on photo paper. I try to plan ahead so I’ll have a couple of different pages to print photos for, that way I can squeeze as many as I can onto one sheet of photo paper.

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