Jul. 15th, 2017 08:36 am
lauralh: (Default)
Camping trip photos.

This wasn't the first time Reg and Alice and I went camping together - the first time was to the Yakima River canyon south of Ellensberg. But it was the first time I can recall that we had a full moon. Unfortunately, this time of year there was only one opening to the shore of Dusty Lake, and it was full of hornets. As was our camp site. So it was more of an out-of-town weekend where we happened to sleep out of doors - lots of driving to Crescent Bay on the Columbia River, and a bit of swimming there - than a full on camping trip. Which was ok. I didn't get sunburned!


Aug. 19th, 2013 04:30 pm
lauralh: (laid back)
Summer Meltdown - music festival in Darrington

backpacking near Cathedral Rock - 8 miles total

And I have a bike, too. It's a 1995 Raleigh, but it's in really good condition.

Last weekend Reg and I picked 4 pounds of blueberries at the U-Pick in Bellevue, then we totally lost our shit at Hempfest (literally, my wallet and Reg's bag of "medicine"). I found my wallet at least. Reg found another kind soul to give him medicine.

We're starting up Munchkin nights every Tuesday (or at least something every Tuesday) so Reg doesn't go crazy from me not being around, or something like that.

Reg and I are supposed to go to Colville this weekend but I really have other stuff I'd like to get done, like lead a friend on a vision quest. (Oh yeah, I bought a Djembe at Hempfest.) Also, Slutwalk.
lauralh: (rain)
Pics from camping.

It was utterly serene and calm. We read Sherlock Holmes mysteries - him with his lumpy paperback, me with my sleek Kindle - roasted hot dogs and marshmallows for s'mores, and got sunburnt. Monday morning we woke up and it was gray, and the battery of the car wouldn't start. Fortunately we had a spare in the trunk, hahah.

I wish I took pictures of the truck that got cut up from running into a boat propeller, but I did get a pic of the lady who spun out on the merge from 90 to I-5N.
lauralh: (Default)
I think I broke my toe (or at least sprained it, but the MEDICAL EXPERTS ON FACEBOOK say it's broken - but as it's the 4th toe, a doctor can't do anything I can't for it, except give me vicodin) on Aug 30th at 11pm, I tripped over a cord and it folded back ALL the way to the top of the foot. Woo fun, I stayed off it as much as I could, but then Bumbershoot and oh lord walking all day.

SO I have been gimp-walking, driving (ugh), and using Reg's cane when I feel particularly like House. But it got a lot better the second day, and it's a lot better now. I can almost put my whole weight on my foot (although I have to land on it funny) for a half hour of walking. I expect it'll keep improving, and I really hope that by Friday I can use it properly. I mean, even on the 2nd day, I could outwalk tourists, but I had to use all the muscles in my other leg to do so. I'm used to walking at least 2 miles a day, so I've been kind of grumpy about this. (Also, my period started this Saturday, so I was grumpy all week anyway.)

The weather turned Saturday night, but it's nice again now, and supposed to be for at least another week. I'm super excited to go backpacking again, and then the next weekend, hopefully camping WITH FRIENDS in the desert, and then THE NEXT weekend is Decibel Festival, holy shit ORBITAL and MATTHEW DEAR.
lauralh: (Default)
We were going to do Rampart Ridge at MRNP, but timing being what it was, settled for camping on a forest road on the way to the Summit Lake trailhead. It's about 2.5 miles each way, but the last .75 miles were entirely snow-covered. I was pretty sore the next day, and immediately bought gaiters.

Reg's pics here.

Mine here.
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
There are about 10 separate places where it's ok to leave your car overnight in the Quincy Wildlife Preserve, and I wanted to check out Dusty Lake first, if it had been taken, we'd try another. But at 7:30pm Friday there weren't any cars parked there, so we set up camp as the sun went down. Fell asleep pretty early and woke up around 8am - we hadn't bothered to put on the tent fly so it was still relatively cool. I told Reg we needed to get up early to hike to the lake proper (we were technically camped at the trailhead) before it got too hot.

So we did, about 3/4 of a mile to the lake. It was a really lovely day, and the lake was gorgeous. I washed my feet in it when we got there, 'cos Dusty Lake is aptly named. And I forgot to bring an extra pair of socks, since except for the hike and night I was wearing sandals. After a while at the lake we headed back, and then other people started showing up. Actually, after we started dinner Friday night, some couple showed up to go fishing. They must have left around midnight, just before the cop showed up asking about automatic weapon fire. (We'd heard it earlier but I thought it was fireworks.) But yeah, apparently you hear gunfire all the livelong day out there anyway, but we definitely heard some automatic weapon fire while at the lake too.

After our little hike we set up a blanket for shade till about 4pm, during which time about four cars and trucks came to do the lake hike. It was 92F in the shade, I could not believe people were hiking in that weather, but oh well. I was too lay to walk to the outhouse every time I had to pee, so I went to find a rocky area out of site, and I found someone's old tent and camp chair. (We'd also forgotten to pack our camp chairs.) Reg grabbed the chair and fixed it up and we kept trading off sitting in it.  

At around 6pm we started the fire for dinner, and then it started to rain. Seemed to stop for a minute, then BOOM again woah. I fortunately had brought my rain pants and jacket, so I made our hot dogs and everything in the driving thunderstorm. It was still about 80F but felt a lot cooler, since I had to run to the tent to get my clothes. And after the rain stopped, it was 8pm and still relatively cloudy, so it didn't really feel very warm.

So we fell asleep really early and woke up at 7am. Well, I did, Reg didn't wake up for two more hours. It was 78F in the shade, felt really nice so I read while sitting in the duct-taped chair. Someone rode up in a dune buggy ORV type thang, kids around our age (or I guess mid-20s) from near Seattle after Reg got up. He chatted with them while I packed our stuff up. (Reg had packed everything Friday, so I did this chore Sunday.) I finally finished cleaning the tent out and went for my daypack, where I thought I'd left my trip tunes/CD rom. Unfortunately it was in my main bag, so I had to dig in there. Fortunately it was in a jewel case so quite easy to find. I put on Neon Bible by Arcade Fire, which let me assure you is superb driving music for the desert.

The weather was even nicer Sunday than Saturday, but we could see the Cascades starting around Ellensburg, covered in clouds. And lo and behold it began drizzling just past Snoqualmie Ski Area. Then around North Bend (my first and only pee stop on 90) it just really started coming down. Well, not really that bad, but gross enough that I pulled on my wool hoodie. The McDonald's was packed, so I ran to the Taco Time to pee. No line at all there, whew. Franz Ferdinand started on my CD as we got back on 90, and not long afterwards we were home in the 62F overcast 98004. Dammit.

More pics here.
lauralh: (Default)
It was going to rain at night so we figured sleeping in the car at the trailhead would be the best bet. We drove along 405 to the Woodinville exit, to Monroe to US2. Traffic was terrible on 405 but the rest was pretty much a breeze. We stopped at the 59er Diner in Coles Corner for dinner, then drove the last couple miles to the Lower Chiwaukum Creek trailhead. Settled in after folding the backseat down, alas Reg is too tall to really be comfy in there, but oh well.

We woke up when the car started to heat up, around 7, but after opening the trunk a touch we went back to sleep. I got up before 9am though, and watched as other hikers started arriving. Mostly day hikers but there were a few with loaded backpacks. The weather was better Saturday and got even better Sunday, but Reg had plans that night so we wanted to get back early.

Pics here. We didn't go terrifically far, what with the time constraint and all. But I marked our hike on my smartphone, and we walk a LOT faster than we used to. Granted it was an easy trail, but the weather was just above 60F and Reg was in a short-sleeve shirt and tennis shoes. We went about 2 miles up and then decided the clouds were descending too rapidly. But we gained 1387ft with an average speed of 2.45mph (that's including a 15 minute break), going 3.8 miles in 90 minutes. Well, downhill was fast, about 4.2mph. Next time should rock.
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)

The Perseids hit the same time as the full moon. We drove up near Table Mountain north of Ellensburg, not all the way to the top as the forest was getting intense, and it was already getting dark since we started late.

Anyway, we found a decent pullout with evidence of other campers (broken glass, I hate beer-swilling morons) and got our camp ready. I forgot the silnylon but it didn't matter. We had a thick pad underneath our RidgeRest and inflatable mattresses, then our sleeping bags and down jackets. I also pulled on a light wool shirt over my t-shirt, and wool long johns under my hiking pants. With a wind jacket I was very comfortable. It was windy for sure; we passed a windfarm on the way out, and could see its lights well into the night.

The point was to see meteors, which we did. Unfortunately, because of the full moon, you couldn't see much. It wasn't much better out there than it would have been on a clear night in Seattle (which it wasn't), because the moon was so bright. We didn't need flashlights or headlamps most of the time. The few shooting stars we saw were rather bright, naturally, as we wouldn't have seen them otherwise. But around 3am we decided we may as well head back home. I put the car in 1st gear and started the drive. It's really steep up the mountain, but super flat back out of the FS land.

Anyway, the area is nice, and we plan to camp there again. Also, we wanted to see if we could stand to be out of doors without a tent, and apparently we can. The tarp wasn't necessary at all for this outing, but it's less than a pound so in the future it'll rock. Thanks to the 14mph wind at 40F there were no bugs, but the wind was a bit nippy out of the sleeping bags. Might just bring a little bit of bug netting with the tarp if we want to try that kind of thing again.

last hike

Aug. 5th, 2011 01:10 pm
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)

IMG_1109 Originally uploaded by lauralhb.

So we did this last weekend. Left "early" Saturday morning (still had to park outside of the TH lot) and got started before noon. It was a really nice day, but a bit too hot. We only saw 3 dogs and 2 were off leash (illegal) the whole day. The guidebooks are out of date b/c the trail was totally redone, so the mileages are a bit off. (Reg went on the other side of the trail, the Talapus/Ollalie trailhead, when he was a kid. The first hike his family did, basically.) Anyway we went a little under 3 miles before we found a rather perfect meadow, and after a nap, right next to it was an old campsite. So we set up our tent, then headed to a lake to have dinner.

Sounded like a nice idea, watch the sunset by Talapus or Olallie Lake while eating a boil-in-the-bag meal. We didn't count on the skeeters and deerflies, though. After Reg explained that those things LAY EGGS IN YOUR EYES, I freaked and we ran as soon as we could back out the trail. On our way back to the wilderness boundary, the temps went up another 10 degrees. Yech.

So yeah, a total of five miles that day, and a little under 3 the next as we just went home. The trail had so much water that we didn't bother filling up our bladders till the 6th-to-last creek. (I counted.) The MSR Hyperflow made that a lot easier. We didn't NEED to fill up, but we like drinking mountain water as long as we can. Hell, I still have some right now at work. We decided for non-eastern WA trails, carrying water is for suckers.

The other pieces of gear that made our trip were the Montbell UL down parkas. We each picked one up, large enough that we could wear all our clothes if necessary underneath. It wasn't necessary. Those things are so very nice and warm, and they weigh 8oz or so. Totally awesome, and used as pillows when not being worn.


Jul. 13th, 2011 03:17 pm
lauralh: (Default)
• I cut the bottom off my hair a few months ago, since red dye+bleach== pinkhair. It's growing out though, so I look a bit more like this user icon photo.

• I gained most of the weight I lost last year, due to ice cream and things of that nature, but I've started losing it again, a bit more slowly this time. Once again, eating less and exercising wins. I've actually convinced Reg this time to stop eating snacks constantly, as he is unhappy with his Prozac weight gain. Anyhoo, he's lost about 10lbs and I've lost about 5.

• I'm trying to get serious about backpacking. I've idly thought for a couple years about the Pacific Northwest Trail, but clearly it's not gonna happen unless I condition like a MF. I basically stopped walking every day when I got my job almost 2 years ago, but whenever I go for a walk now, I don't get winded unless I motor. Or if I carry weight, which I've begun doing. I put a heavy wool blanket in my pack, then a water-filled 2.5L Platypus, then a bunch of CDs. Or loose ankle weights. I go quite a bit slower carrying 15 or so pounds on my back. Anyway, at least 30 minutes of that every other day.

• This winter was a little snowier in the mountains, but the spring was REALLY snowy. Which means most of the good hiking trails are snowed under still. (some pics to demonstrate) However, one of the more famous trails, Lake Stuart/Colchuck, is pretty much snow-free. And Leavenworth is going to be 83F Saturday, so that's likely the plan this weekend.

• Reg wants to road trip to CA around Labor Day this year. Hopefully I can get the time off and still afford to pay bills.
lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
I have pretty much sworn off camping in paid campgrounds, except like maybe a few island state parks. Which - coincidentally enough - the last sort of place for to camp. Moran State Park the weekend after Labor day was more empty than I'd thought it would be. We were thinking of doing this one this weekend, as the highs are gonna be in the low 70s there, and low 60s everywhere else. But then we remembered the (re:subject). So we shall wait another week.


Jun. 6th, 2011 04:09 pm
lauralh: (Default)

Jan_7_2000_8848 Originally uploaded by lauralhb.

Reg poses

1) I got a Sylvania Tablet last week for $130, it's not as powerful (ha) as the Nokia 770 I used to use, but it's bigger and has browser and ebook reader. And movie and mp3 playback. So that's about all I want. It needs a stylus too, but that's ok. It's a lot easier on my eyes than the Droid, although that has better connectivity options (3G vs. WiFi).

2) We went on our first camping trip, a backpack on the Monument Creek Trail near Mazama, this weekend. Got started very late so Saturday we only got about a mile in then set up. But the next day I went another 1.5 mile to a creek to get water. So that was 3 miles, plus the mile back. Then another probably 1.5 miles at Thunder Knob.

lauralh: (wisdom tooth bandit)
By some accident of fate, I have ended up with the best boyfriend in the world. Initially I didn't really understand this, I thought he was just some sucker who would have been nice to any girl who took him home and talked to him every day. This was not too far off the mark, but unlike the previous bitches, I thrived under his attention. Which is not to say I thought it was The Real Thing, but that's just because I don't believe in the kind of love that lasts forever. But we've been going on over 5 years now, and even though things haven't always been awesome, the relationship was nearly always the best thing in either of our lives. Because at our worst, we can always have fun together.

I honestly hated the idea of camping before I met Reg, but he turned me into a convert. Granted Washington State helped; the West Coast of America is the best argument for camping in general, and WA specifically has so much variation within a few hundred miles that it's simply astonishing. And there's nothing like kissing your sweetheart by an open fire as you watch the sunset blaze over mountains. Or something like that. Nature is not to be beaten into submission here, but gently acceded to.

Except for mosquitos, those sad bastards should all drop dead right now.

Reg grew up camping all around this state, and his enthusiasm as he talks about these trips and the countryside are contagious. I always liked mountains and beaches - because I never knew what those were really growing up in Louisiana - but those are obvious gimmes. He's even brought me around to the gentle slopes of harsh eastern Washington. The grandeur is more subtle but after hearing him talk, you can't believe you ever disliked it. And the smell of sage is never far. We haven't yet gone to the northeastern corner, but he talks of it fondly, and is quite serious about wanting to retire to a small solar-powered cabin out there. With a lake, and an otter, and a duck.

And me.

coming soon

Jul. 7th, 2009 12:00 am
lauralh: (wisdom tooth bandit)
I think I got some kind of rash from my camping watch (it has a braided band) b/c I have it on the wrist I wore the watch on, and then when I switched it appeared on the other wrist. Dunno if some bug crawled in and lived in it or what, but it hurts and itches and I can't get much relief. Anyway I don't want to do anything but whine about it, so I'm just gonna point you to my camping pics. I'll write up the weekend later.


Sep. 8th, 2008 11:38 am
lauralh: (beach)

The San Juan Islands are lovely, but a real pain in the ass to get to during summer. I don't think I will do that again without my own boat (or perhaps chartered flight). Two ferries filled up on Sunday, so we had to wait 3 hours for the next one. Fortunately there was a restaurant with booze so we got shit figured out.

As for the trip itself, well, it was nice. Got in and made camp and dinner, went to bed, got up, saw a deer, made coffee then went for a walk around Cascade Lake (3m). Then after recuperating from that, we made the drive up Mt. Constitution. It had cleared up a bit by then, although there were still some low-flung clouds preventing our view of Mount Baker and such. Oh well. Reg scored at the giftshop with this great book about fire lookouts. We then got a pizza and ate it for lunch, and that was the extent of our activity. Oh we also went back to the lake to look at the moon and stars after dark.

So it was cool, although I would really like to be there in the winter next time.
lauralh: (Default)
I thought we left early, but I was wrong. I thought taking WA State Road 9 would be a charming backway to the scenic Mountain Loop Highway, but I was wrong. I thought that with 15 different campgrounds scattered along a highway, we'd have easy pickings, but I was wrong. I thought that the Mountain Loop Highway wasn't going to have about 15 miles of gravel in the middle of it but... well, you can see where I'm going. About the only thing I assumed correctly was that the Mountain Loop Highway would be pretty. And even that was a bit off, as you can see over here. Say what you will about logging in the mountains being a great horrible satanic measure, it sure makes 530 to Darrington picturesque in a way that few other roads that I've been on can compare.

We finally saw a campground without an "ALL SITES TAKEN" sign, but that was still a lie. Fortunately it was privately run, and the current attendant informed us that a ways up the road was another campground with a single unreserved spot, Clear Creek. It was supposed to be the group cooking site, but I guess he bent the rules a little for us. That was just fine. The campground was actually a bit more pleasant than the former one, being only 80% saturated with moisture rather than 98%, and we only got bit by mosquitoes once per hour instead of every three minutes. (I might remind you that I am from southern Louisiana, and if I speak on humidity, I know of whence I speak.) Unfortunately this was still too much for Reg, who pretty much just sat in his chair the next 24 hours (when he wasn't sleeping in the tent).

Still, we were enchanted by this site. We assume it must have been built by young men in the '30s with the Civilian Conservation Corps, like most things in the Mountain Loop Highway including the road itself. Why aren't more buildings made of round stones and concrete? Across the way was the Sauk River, which we eventually braved the next day to cool the hell off. The site was paradise when a breeze went, but for some reason when the sun went down, the breeze went with it. Day hikes and exploring were pretty much out of the question, as it was about 90 degrees in the shade.

The drive back Sunday morning was heavenly, compared to sitting around soaking in your own sweat. 88 degrees is great when you're going over 50 mph, which is the legal limit on most of the remainder of the Mountain Loop. And then, I-5N has been resurfaced and expanded near Everett, so even that wasn't the hell we'd come to expect. Our apartment was (relatively) cool as well, and we put stuff away and cleaned the kitchen and drank cold water happily. We normally complain about how dry our place can get, but at last this was a great advantage. And, ah, I see tomorrow brings August Showers and "much cooler" weather. Three cheers, huzzah.

Originally posted on

lauralh: (cynical or sarcastic)
Air stagnation advisory in effect until 10 PM PDT Saturday... Highs in the upper 80s to mid 90s.

I was looking around for camping areas where it wouldn't be as bad, but the problem is the RAIN IS RETURNING after 10pm saturday. Which is nice for bringing down temps, but balls when you're camping. East of the mountains it won't rain, of course, but 100☼ temps are not something I ever want to have to deal with again.

In other news, I was listening to the Depeche Mode song "Agent Orange" this morning and it made me happy. Well, not happy. It dials straight through my soul and syncs up because of its resonant emotional frequency. (If you haven't heard the song, imagine early ultra-gothy Cure done all minimalistic and synthy and no vocals. And then just listen to it, ok, so you can understand me.)

(Contrast: Spacemen 3's first album, and live sets, do make me happy, because it's a place I want to be, rather than a place I'm all too familiar with.)
lauralh: (beach)
Half a mile on this trail hurts.

pics here

I gotta say it's crazy how busy FR 4330 was this weekend. There were probably 500 people camping on that road. Not sure why. Oh sure, it's breathtakingly gorgeous up there, but it felt almost like a state park with all the families and dogs we passed. I wouldn't mind taking a backpacking trip I suppose, but the drive on the one-lane gravel road for 12 miles is pretty annoying, especially if there are two or more cars in line.


Jul. 19th, 2008 11:15 am
lauralh: (HST)
This 60 photo set looks really cool in fast slideshow mode.
lauralh: (Default)

Had a good weekend. Pics here.

The only annoying thing was the setup of the outhouses to allow for, ahem, wind tunnels going out of the toilets. Very weird and annoying. The wind itself nearly killed us the first night, but on the other hand it blew away every mosquito. They were there Saturday night, and now I seem to have West Nile.

Originally posted on


lauralh: (Default)
Laural Hill

July 2017

23456 78
91011121314 15
1617 1819202122


RSS Atom

Most Popular Tags

Style Credit

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags
Page generated Sep. 26th, 2017 12:15 am
Powered by Dreamwidth Studios