Monday, July 30, 2012

Monday's Postcard: Jamaica

One of my cousins sent me this postcard from their vacation in Jamaica. I have been there for work, just flying in and out, but I have not spent any time in Jamaica. Closer to home, I am participating in the Washington Trails Association Hike-a-thon. I start counting my miles in August! Be sure to check out my WTA page and make a donation, every little bit helps! WTA Hike-a-thon So far Ryan and I have raised $365 together! Our goal is $1000.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Monday's Postcard: Tarifa

On the southern coast of Spain, this little spit of land is only a few miles from Morocco across the Strait of Gilbralter. In August, Ryan will be hiking in Northern Spain from France on across to Santiago along the Way of St. James. All his miles and my miles hiking here in the USA will be going towards our Washington Trails Association Hike-a-thon. Be sure to check out my WTA page and make a donation, every little bit helps! WTA Hike-a-thon, many thanks to Sharon for making a pledge!! We are up to $275 donated!
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Friday, July 20, 2012

Wild Card: Nantucket

I love receiving cards as much as I love sending them! This card is from friends vacationing in Nantucket in 2011. Ryan and I are participating in the Washington Trails Association Hike-a-thon during August. I will be blogging about my hikes here in addition to my Monday Postcards. Be sure to check out my WTA page and make a donation, every little bit helps! WTA Hike-a-thon. It has been a whole week with no donations coming in....which has me a little worried. Don't be intimidated by numbers, even $5, $3 or $1 are welcome! If everyone who reads my blogs only gives $1, I would have over $100 from just those people alone!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

Monday's Postcard: Blue Ridge Parkway

The Blue Ridge Parkway stretches for 469 miles through North Carolina and Virginia. I grew up on the coast of North Carolina about 300 miles from Asheville and I was already 12 years old and had seen the Rocky Mountains before I made it up to the mountains of North Carolina and the "blue ridge". Several trips to Cherokee, NC and Asheville, NC when I was younger had been cancelled or postponed. When we were driving up there, I was told by my more experienced cousins that we were going to the MOUNTAINS. I expected something a little more majestic, having been to Colorado the previous year. But the Blue Ridge have their own quiet beauty.
Since then, I have been hiking a lot along the Blue Ridge and it is so much fun. In August, I will be doing a lot of hiking for the Washington Trails Association. Be sure to check out my WTA page and make a donation, every little bit helps! WTA Hike-a-thon

Thursday, July 12, 2012

For Pete's Sake!!

I just went on my second ever backpacking trip!  Ryan is currently on a week long volunteer trip with the Washington Trails Association to help maintain a portion of the Pacific Crest Trail in the back of beyond near Roslyn, WA. I went out with him to do an overnight hike to Pete Lake the day before he was set to meet up with the trail crew. I have posted about Roslyn, WA in the past. There is tons of great hiking around there and it was great to get back out to the Alpine Lakes Wilderness again. I got to plant 5 letterboxes (and found one).
It was a 4 mile hike out to Pete Lake. I insisted in bringing a tent because all reports said that there were mosquitoes at the lake and on the trail. Well, Ryan made me carry the tent. But my pack was still about 10 pounds lighter than his because he was packed for a whole week on the trail and I was only going for an overnight.
I actually forded a river! I took off my socks and replaced my shoes to walk across the Cooper River. It only came up to about mid shin, but boy was that water COLD! So glad I had dry socks to put back on when I got to the other side!! Here you can also see the remains of snow still on the trail. And here is a shot of Ryan going across the river carrying his shoes.
Once we got out to the lake, we found it was over run with boy scouts. Not really the back country peace that we were hoping for, but we continued a few more yards around the lake and found a nice secluded site for our tent.

Unfortunately, when we opened up the tent and started to put it up, we found out that the tent poles were shot, the elastic inside the poles was totally rotted and we could not put up the tent! I had carried it for 4 miles for nothing! Boy was I upset!! I had to start drinking my wine early. Luckily there was a nice breeze that kept away most of the mosquitoes and by the time it got dark it had cooled down enough that they were not a problem. A flock of bright yellow Evening Grosbeaks kept us company flittering around our campsite. We also had a little fire for a bit after sundown to amuse ourselves and with the smoke to keep the bugs at bay. We had fantastic views of the stars and fell asleep stargazing with no tent or tarp or anything to restrict our view. I even saw a meteor!
The next morning, we hiked out. Me to go back to work and Ryan to meet up with the rest of the WTA volunteers and to get started on fixing that trail. Ryan won't be back home again until after the weekend. And was I glad to have a Jacuzzi Tub to come home to!
Don't forget that Washington Trails Association needs our help to keep the trails in Washington State maintained and protected. We will be racking up the mileage in August for the Hike-a-thon. Follow that link to donate to our cause. :-) And check back here to Amanda from Seattle Dot Com for updates on our hikes and mileage in August. I want to thank Krista, Moira, Diane and John, Jennifer and Ann for already donating via the website! We have already collected $185 for Washington Trails.

Monday, July 09, 2012

Monday's Postcard: Yukon

A postcard from my Granny. Fireweed is usually the first flower to appear after forest fires. It is the floral emblem of the Yukon Territory. In Alaska, they make candies, jellies and syrups from fireweed. This postcard came to me when my Granny went on a trip to Alaska. We don't plan any hikes in Alaska this year, But both Ryan and I will be participating in the Washington Trails Association Hike-a-thon again. Ryan will be hiking the Camino de Santiago across France and Spain and I have several international layovers that will provide me with opportunities to do some hiking overseas. Be sure to check out my WTA page and make a donation, every little bit helps! WTA Hike-a-thon

Wednesday, July 04, 2012

Books I read in June 2012

Christmas circa 1975 Holly Hobbie doll, Malibu Ken and a Clue game, but a good book is always the best present!

The Spellman's Strike Again by Lisa Lutz (library) These mysteries are by a San Francisco Author and quite funny
Inflight Entertainment by Helen Simpson (library) great short stories by British author
Nightwoods by Charles Frazier (library) I liked it better than Thirteen Moons, but not as much as Cold Mountain, Like Sharyn McCrumb, Frazier does a good job of evoking the Appalachian Mtns of NC
The Odds by Stewart O'Nan (library) HUGE fan of this man's work. If you have never read anything by him, go now and get something anything by him. Very eclectic, he has something for everyone. Nonfiction, fiction --mystery, drama  READ this Author!!

The Rope by Nevada Barr (library) Much like John Sanford did with his Prey series, Nevada Barr is looking back at an adventure that Anna Pigeon had when she was a new ranger. I think this is a great way for these authors to get some more mileage out of their aging protagonists!
My Long Trip Home by Mark Whitaker (library) the author is a successful journalist and a bi-racial child born in the midst of the civil rights era to a black american man and a white European mother. He was always labeled "African American" but he tries to come to terms with his identity when he is part of both black and white society
Lone Wolf by Jodi Picoult (library) so-so I'm a fan, but I might be getting tired of Picoult
Ghost Flower by Michele Jaffe like the Pretty Little Liars series if you like that sort of thing
A Dog's Purpose by W. Bruce Cameron  recommended to me when I loved The Art of Racing in the Rain so much. Told from the Dog's Point of View, have hankies on hand!!
Hush Now, Don't You Cry by Rhys Bowen (library) the latest Molly Murphy Mystery
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline (library) great fun, if you like 80's pop culture and/or video gaming
Trail of the Spellmans by Lisa Lutz (Library) Opp's last in this series,  now I gotta wait for her to write another one!
Friends Like Us by Lauren Fox (library) love triangle ruins a friendship
Sisters by Nancy Jensen (library) a misunderstanding divides the sisters
The Cove by Ron Rash (library) If you like Sharyn McCrumb  and Appalachian stuff like Nightwoods I read earlier this month! Also reminded me of Summer of my German Soldier
The Lifeboat by Charlotte Rogan (library) Titanic if Rose were convicted of murder because she was the only survivor from her lifeboat, I liked it
The Sense of an Ending by Julian Barnes (library) another love triangle story reminded me of Friends Like Us
This is Your Captain Speaking by Jon Methven (library) super over the top humor like Carl Hiaasen or Bill Fitzhugh
Silver Sparrow by Tayari Jones (library) the story of a girl in Atlanta whose father is a bigamist
Murder Follows Money by Lora Roberts rereading an old favorite
The Shelters of Stone by Jean Auel rereading in anticipation of her new book, The Land of Painted Caves
21 books read this month

abandoned book: Dear American Airlines by Jonathan Miles-I always like airline related stuff even derogatory, but I started this one and in the first few pages, he keeps stopping to smoke or complaining about not being able to smoke at airport (having to go all the way out to the curb) and my sympathies just were not with him anymore. sorry all you smokers out there...

Ryan and I are again participating in the Washington Trails Association Hike-a-thon. Be sure to check out my WTA page and make a donation, every little bit helps! WTA Hike-a-thon We will be doing all kinds of hiking in August and of course I will be blogging about our adventures and progress here :-)

Monday, July 02, 2012

Monday's Postcard: Skerries

Skerries is a fun day trip from Dublin. Lots to do in this village. There are windmills to visit, a lovely walk along the beach with views of a lighthouse and Martello towers. Lots of great restaurants and pubs on the waterfront.
And news closer to Seattle, I am again participating in the Washington Trails Association Hike-a-thon. Be sure to check out my WTA page and make a donation, every little bit helps! WTA Hike-a-thon