Our tradition is to snowshoe to Skyline Ridge on Little Christmas Eve (that’s December 23, for you non-Norwegians out there), but since my parents are coming for Christmas this year (yay!), we decided to take advantage of the only sunny day in the foreseeable future and just ring in Christmas a wee bit early.
It turned out we were a little too early – there wasn’t much of a consolidated snowpack, so when I popped through the snow and fell into a perfectly Ingunn-sized hole, we decided that walking through a rock garden full of gargantuan boulders wouldn’t be the best idea.
We retreated and found a suitable, non-treacherous place to enjoy a relaxing picnic and just talk and soak up all the sun we could before heading home to play with the pups.
The only problem with this hike is that I’ll always compare it to the magical, marshmallow world-day we had up there a couple of years ago…but this year’s trip scored extra magic points thanks to the homemade peanut butter cups a friend had made for Thanksgiving. Mmm.
(Did you notice that I’m wearing a human-sized version of Mukmuk‘s toque? Hells yeah! Thanks, mom!)
– Skyline Ridge | 3 miles | 1300 feet elevation gain –
Look, I made things out of paper again! I haven’t shared any scrapbook pages on this blog in a year and a half, but the urge to glue things on top of other things has come back with a vengeance. I apologize to those of you who stop by just to read trip reports.
Anyhoo, upon my return to scrapbooking, I noticed a certain lack of equality in my albums – the hiking album was bursting at the seams while the friends & family album looked positively emaciated in comparison. My friends do pop up in my hiking pages once in a while, but it’s time to give them the space they deserve, from my oldest friend (sorry, Tom) to my very youngest little friend.
There seems to be a movement in the industry now to call what we do ‘memory keeping’ instead of ‘scrapbooking’, and I’ll admit that I’ve never been a fan of the s-word. I agree with Cathy Zielske: “I feel this moral obligation to elaborate – to help vaporize the stereotype of ladies wearing applique sweaters, running amok with decorative scissors and teddy bear stickers.”
Cathy goes on to say (and I hope she will forgive me for stealing an entire paragraph of her excellent book, Clean & Simple Scrapbooking | The Sequel):
See, the scrapbooking of today is really an exploration of life through words and images. It gives people the chance to celebrate that which matters, that which enlightens, that which makes up the very fabric of life. It’s really cool. No, I’m serious. I see you smirking, but I’m telling you: don’t knock it until you try it, and then, don’t come crying to me when you’ve maxed out your credit cards on scrapbook stuff.
I’m sure I’ll keep scrapbooking mostly our trips and adventures – those pictures make me feel happy and so lucky that we’re able to do all of these amazing things – but I’ll try to fatten up my friends & family album a little bit as well. Once in a while I need to remind my introvert self that human connection truly is what matters most.
Since we’re getting close to December and Hike-a-Thon took place in August, I should probably finish up my damn recaps already.
My friend Dani is lucky enough to be in possession of a wonderful mountain cabin nestled in the eastern foothills of Mount Rainier and, luckily for me, kind enough to invite her friends there often. This time, the plan was to have a girls’ weekend, but somehow I ended up staying for five days. That cabin is hard to leave.
Sure, I had Hike-a-Thon miles to cover, but the main focus of the trip was to hang out with friends old and new while marinating our livers in Disaronno. Nevertheless, I did manage to squeeze in two short hikes in the middle of all the debauchery.*
Man alive, Naches Peak Loop was amazing! I had never even considered hiking it before because it’s just so short and so crowded, but the views you get during those quick three miles are to die for – and I think I was too high on the smell of lupine to care about the crowds.
– Naches Peak Loop | 3 miles | 600 feet elevation gain –
The highlight of the trip was seeing Josie released back into the wild after months and months of ACL rehab. It was amazing to watch – first we decided to test her knee on the flattish hike to Sheep Lake…and then she felt good enough to continue up the not-so-flat part to Sourdough Gap…and then she pushed on to the Crystal Lakes Overlook, completing 7.5 miles on her first real walk since March. She’s pretty awesome. And she’s proof that Disaronno gives you superpowers.
– Crystal Lake Overlook | 7.5 miles | 1100 feet elevation gain –
*we’re quite the wild group of old, married bookworms.
Slow-cooking | stews and chilis and Indian food, mmm.
Framing and hanging | we’re finally making our house look like we live there. This is impressive if you consider the fact that we lived in our previous place for five years and never got around to hanging any hiking photos.
Not running or hiking | oops.
Scrapbooking | ehrmagerd, I forgot how much fun it can be! Unless you’re a fellow paper-and-memories person, you’ll probably snort with derision if I try to tell you that scrapbooking is cool, but it really, really is. So there.
Also, back in my day it was hard to find subtle outdoor-themed products, but look here! Veneer feathers! WOODGRAIN CARDSTOCK! I’m in heaven.
It’s the perfect rainy day hobby to get me through another soggy Pacific Northwest winter…but I guess I should go for a run once in a while as well.