Monthly Archives

July 2012

Hike-a-thon, Hiking, The pups


JK, Wellie and I hiked to Thorp Lookout for the first time last summer, and it was one of my favorite hikes of the year. I don’t know if it was because of the trail itself or simply because of the timing – we hiked it on the day after the terror attacks in Oslo and what was to be the day before we learned that JK’s dad had passed away. I’ll always remember Thorp as a safe, carefree haven between unbearable amounts of sadness.

This is exactly why we need access to nature – a way to escape “real life”, clear our heads, recharge our batteries, fit extraordinary adventures into our ordinary lives, and restore faith and hope in those moments when the world doesn’t seem to make sense anymore. And this, in turn, is why we’re participating in this year’s Hike-a-Thon fundraiser.

Hike-a-Thon 2012 Ok, fine, I also have selfish reasons – I want to hike as much as possible this month and maybe even fit into the sausage casing of a t-shirt they sent me by the end of it – but first and foremost, I hope to raise a little bit of dough for Washington Trails Association to support their trail maintenance and advocacy. If you want to help out, click here or on the picture in the sidebar. Any amount is appreciated (and if you want to join WTA or need to renew your membership, $40 will get you a one-year membership and a subscription to the excellent Washington Trails Magazine)!

Anyhoo, back to Thorp Lookout. Exactly one year later, we returned to that wonderful trail, this time with Dani, Jasper, and of course our lovable new nutria, Basil. Just like last year, we swam in Thorp Lake, one of the warmest alpine lakes I know. We learned that Basil is not a swimmer (and I use that term lightly) like Wellie; he prefers to spend his time rummaging through our packs in search of foodstuffs instead.

Shouldn't nutrias be used to water?

Once we were dry and fed, we made our way up to the lookout, enjoying a tremendous wildflower show which I failed to adequately document – you’ll have to go see it for yourselves.

Flowers with a view

We spent what seemed like hours on the summit, talking, taking photos, taking naps, eating human feces (only Wellie. Dig a cat hole, people!!), evading dog kisses (ugh) and taking in the views and the stillness.

= Summer

Turns out Thorp is a great escape even when you have nothing to escape from.

Thorp to ourselves

My boys

Thorp Lake & Lookout | 8 miles | 2300 feet elevation gain –

Basil's first summit snooze

Hiking, The pups

Basil the Buff hikes the bluff

After much nagging from friends, JK and I finally drove to Whidbey Island and hiked the Bluff Trail to Ebey’s Landing, lauded by many as their favorite hike. It seemed like the perfect place to take JK’s mom, who was visiting us from Norway.

Tall grass, golden light

The hike sure was gorgeous, but I found it somewhat difficult to focus on the views when Basil’s disturbingly bulging thighs were powering along ahead of me. Our new furry (well, not so furry actually) companion looks like a juiced-up bodybuilder!

Buff Basil

We adopted the little guy from Italian Greyhound Rescue Northwest, where we also found Wellie in 2009. Basil – British pronunciation, à la Basil Fawlty – is 7 years old and fit as a fiddle, missing a lot of fur and the tips of his ears…but what he lacks in hair and hide, he makes up for in pure snuggliness. He seemed comfortable with us right from the start, and it’s an absolute joy to have two little nutrias running around the house again.

Simuljumping It's a Basellie!

“Me and Wellie was like peas and carrots.”

Dogs on a log

Ebey’s Landing is definitely going on our list of Excellent Hikes for Visitors, since:

a) It’s purdy.

b) It’s doable for anyone, including a guy who was moving so fast that I didn’t even notice until I was right by him that he had a prosthetic leg. What a badass. He even ran after his kids.

c) It’s in the Olympic rainshadow, so chances are it’s sunny there while we’re being massively rained upon in Redmond.

d) You can refuel at Cove Thai after the hike. So that’s what we did. *rubs belly appreciatively*


Ebey’s Landing | 5.6 miles | 260 feet elevation gain –

Wonky Wellie