Paradise Snowshoe, 02/06/10

Sheer and utter laziness has kept me from putting up this short and sweet trip report until now, but with other reports forthcoming, I decided it was now or never.  And never was not acceptable.

A most excellent coworker of mine had offered to lend me and Nicole snowshoes at any time, and once the weather forecast looked good, I called in the favor.  We’d never been snowshoeing before, but had wanted to forever.  Winter has traditionally been a time of near-hibernation for us.  And while we’ll definitely not be giving up all winter weekends of food and football, mixing in some outdoor activity is something we should do with more regularity.

So it was, a beautiful Saturday morning, snowshoes in hand, that we set off for Mt. Rainier.  Snow levels are low this year, so we went high, where we knew we’d find some: Paradise.  It seemed like the perfect place to try snowshoeing for the first time.  Plenty of snow, easy to get to, plenty of short easy-to-follow trails to choose from, and, of course, The Mountain.

We made our way from Seattle to the Paradise parking lot, put on our brand-new gaiters and other layers, walked off the asphalt parking lot, and stepped into our snowshoes.  For the next two hours, we meandered around Paradise, following short trails just above the parking lot, making loops, and heading down portions of closed roads that, during winter, make fine cross-country ski and snowshoe trails.  The weather was perfect.

Nicole on the snow slopes of Paradise.

A snow wheel.

Sun on snow wheel.

Jeremy in Paradise.

Jeremy in Paradise.

Afterward, we went in the visitor center, warmed up, and ate our lunches.

It was a great morning, and a great way to get out into the snow for the first time.  We intend to do it again, and may buy our own snowshoes for next year.

No stats—maybe two miles.

But, as always, a few more photos at Flickr.


Twin Falls State Park, 02/04/09

Woke up on a Wednesday with an itch to get out for a hike and take some photos.  Since it was a last-minute decision, and it is February, I wanted to find something close.  Since I haven’t hiked in over three months, I wanted to find something easy.  A visit to Twin Falls seemed to fit the criteria.

The Twin Falls.

The Twin Falls.

Twin Falls State Park is just off of I-90 near North Bend, under an hour from Seattle.  I figured I’d take advantage of the morning’s overcast sky and take some long-exposure waterfall photos.  After packing my bag and making a sandwich, I left West Seattle at 09:00.  Forty-five minutes later I was in the parking lot, along with only four other cars–a great sight, made possible only by my midweek day off.  I was on the trail at 09:50.


Read more of this post