The Year in Review, 2010 Edition

What with the pregnancy we discovered exactly one year ago today, the Summer of 2010 didn’t end up being the most productive of hiking times.  But we still managed to eek out a few good ones last year, as evidenced by the book I just received from Apple that contains the contents of those very same 2010 posts (plus more pictures).  So, I better officially wrap it up, and create space for what we’ll surprise ourselves with in 2011:

HIkers on Cathedral's ledge.

1. Cathedral Rock, Sedona, Arizona, 01/02/10

2. Paradise Snowshoe, 02/06/10

3. Oyster Dome, 02/21/10

4. Zion National Park, 05/28/10-05/31/10

5. Carbon River Road and Glacier, 06/12/10-06/13/10

6. Johnston Ridge, MSHNVM, 06/26/10

7. Sisters, Oregon, 07/03/10-07/04/10

8. Railroad Grade via Park Butte Trail, 07/10/10

9. Klapatche Park, 07/24/10-07/25/10

10. Rainbow Ridge, 08/13/10-08/15/10

Hey, we did some really good stuff last year!  Wonder what Adelaide will want to do this year?

2010 stats: ~90 miles of hiking, and a whole lotta pictures.

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Rainbow Ridge, 08/13/10-08/15/10

After a long hiatus, I decided that if I’m to do a proper year-end post, I should probably first make a brief mention of a one-night backpacking trip we took in August with our friends Cameron and Casey.  They’d never been backpacking, and it was something we really wanted to introduce them to, so we’d long planned to go out together on the peak weekend of the Perseid Meteor Shower. With Nicole being pregnant—yes, that is why this summer was a little quieter on the site, here—and with a couple newbies along for the ride, I wanted something short, quiet, and with big skies.  Rainbow Ridge sounded like just the thing—if perhaps a little more adventurous than some participants might be expecting.  It’s a non-maintained trail…

A rewarding view from atop Rainbow Ridge.

Since we’re all now months-removed from the event, I won’t recount how we pulled off to the side of the road late Friday night to throw up some tents, only to find I’d forgotten the majority of our food.  Or our search for that side-of-the-road location.  But the skies from the side of the road that night were beautiful, and softened the blow to my ego a bit.

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Klapatche Park, 07/24/10-07/25/10

When I first flipped through my copy of 50 Hikes in Mount Rainier National Park and saw Ira Spring’s photograph of Klapatche Park, the destination shot to the top of my to-hike list. And like most locations on my to-hike list, it just stayed there. I was reminded of it again last year, while watching The National Parks: America’s Best Idea, which briefly flashed another Ira Spring photograph of the same location, this one from many years earlier.

The problem is, Klapatche Park isn’t all that easy to get to. In the not-too-distant past, one could park their car within three miles of it, but the road washed out twenty-one years ago and left the western side of The Mountain more isolated than most of the rest.

After walking the more recently decommissioned Carbon River Road earlier this year, I decided that it was time to walk the Westside Road and visit the fabled Klapatche. The weekend’s weather would be perfect, and from what I’d read on the Mt. Rainier National Park website, snow levels seemed pretty favorable, too.

This trip would be solo.

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Railroad Grade via Park Butte Trail, 07/10/10

I threw everything in the back of the Forester Friday morning before work, planning to pick Nicole up after work and head to the mountains. Earlier in the week, we’d decided to camp Friday night and hike on Saturday morning. It’d been a while since we’d been up near Mt. Baker, and I figured we’d be able to camp last-minute along Baker Lake somewhere, so I started looking into options. The Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest website promisingly categorized the Park Butte Trail as “partially” open, going on to state that meadows were clear, snow was in the trees, and snowshoes were not necessary. Furthermore, I learned that there were hiker-only campsites at the trailhead. Sold.

Bird in flight, Mt. Baker beyond, from Railroad Grade.

We made good time to the trailhead (I-5 -> WA-20 -> Baker Lake Highway -> FSR-13) and its large parking area. We set up our tent in one of the few single-night-only campsites set aside for hikers and drifted off to sleep early.

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Short Trips in Sisters, Oregon, 07/03/10-07/04/10

Some good friends invited us to spend the extended Fourth of July weekend with them and friends of theirs at a ranch in Sisters, Oregon. We enthusiastically agreed, and had a great time. The area is beautiful—the closest we’d ever been is the also-beautiful Breitenbush Hot Springs, but the environment is a little different on the east side of the mountains.

Three Sisters from The Ranch.

There were wonderful views of a lot of volcanoes and near-perfect weather…

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