Friday, August 26, 2011

Last weekend, I went hiking without the family for the first time since the kids were born. I likewise haven't been on any long bicycle rides, though pulling 100 pounds of kids and their gear to daycare and back every day can be strenuous in a completely different way.

The hike was instigated by John Leo, who was my TA in a theory class when I was a student at MIT around 1986 or 1987. An avid mountaineer, he moved to Seattle and has done a lot of hiking and climbing. He ran across my name when looking up changes to the Java programming language, and he still remembered me. He saw from my webpages that I lived in Seattle and that 20 years ago I had done a lot of mountain climbing, so he invited me to go out with him. We chose to hike/scramble up Kaleetan Peak, which is relatively close to Seattle and non-technical (class 2). I enjoy hiking with my family, but sometimes a bit more challenge and speed is fun. We had a great time walking and talking, and the day wasn't even diminished when my car's radiator cracked on the way back to Seattle.

I still haven't downloaded the pictures from my camera, but John's pictures are most likely better anyway. The captions have a lot of information, too. He uploaded them that very evening.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Summer Hiking 2011.

I haven't posted in forever, and have lots to update about summer travels (HI, NC), but here's an update about summer hiking.

We started with a weekend on Orcas Island with my mom, and did some hiking there in the state park. Just lovely. This first photo is of Maeve and Mom on Orcas.

For Father's Day, 6/19, we hiked up Rattlesnake Ledge. This is close to Seattle and only a 3.5 mile walk with 1000 ft vertical gain. Maeve walked all the way up without really taking a break. This let us know we were up to some longer hikes for the summer.

Next we went for a hike in Cougar Mtn State Park. It doesn't have as showy views, but is also close and relatively quiet. No photos.

For the 4th of July we went car camping near Mt. St. Helens. We went camping once last year with some friends at Dash Point State Park, only 30 minutes south of Seattle and Silas didn't sleep in the tent. This year was much better. Silas still had issues napping in the tent, but sleeping at night was fine. We went on several hikes - one that had great views of Mt. Adams, although we ended up just walking on the forest service road since it was blocked a couple miles from the trailhead by fallen trees. Another day we went up towards Mt. St. Helens and did a short walk with in the blast zone from the eruption. Everything's growing back and timber has been replanted, but it was clearly decimated. We couldn't go up to the visitor center because of snow.

On the way home, we drove the Mt. Ranier National Park. We walked a bit at the box canyon and then went up to Paradise to hike. Paradise was completely snowed in (this was July 4) so we did a snow hike to the Nisqually glacier overlook. The weather was nice and we didn't need jackets, just boots. Very lovely.

We stopped by Longmire on the way out out of the park and did a nature walk and looked at some trees that were in the process of being felled by beaver.

Our most recent hike was last weekend. We decided to do Little Si - about 4.5 miles long so a good hike for Maeve. We made it up with no problems and very little complaining about being tired. At the top is a great view of the I-90 corridor and Rattlesnake ledge across the valley.