Myre – Big Island State Park

Myre – Big Island State Park

As our departure date for the Arrowhead Traverse continues to draw ever closer our shakedown trips are becoming serious business. We need to test gear, pack weight, ways to pack, strength training, endurance training, not to mention the everyday struggles of caring for a mischievous (now mobile) baby girl and a rambunctious and emotional almost 3 year old boy. We set off on a quick overnight backpacking trip to Myre – Big Island State Park, located near Albert Lea, Minnesota about 1.5 hours south of us. We invited my sister Katie, her dog Penny, and our cousin Liam who was…

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Lake Maria State Park

Lake Maria State Park

Often times it is fear that takes the lead in our decision making process. Sometimes the fears are legitimate, others are irrational but in the end fear, uncertainty, lack of confidence, and lack of support will lead to missed opportunities. I have succumbed to a fear of backpacking with kids for the last 2.5 years. This is embarrassing to admit out loud but, I haven’t gone backpacking in 4 years. FOUR YEARS! For four years I haven’t gotten to do my favorite outdoor activity. And why? Fear. I was pregnant, we had a newborn, there was a missile test (seriously),…

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Cispus Basin Loop

Cispus Basin Loop

For my third trip of the summer to Seattle I picked Goat Rocks Wilderness as a destination since I’d heard great things, but had never made it down that way before. Goat Rocks is situated in a pretty awesome location between Mount Rainier and Mount Adams. Our friend Tom had the weekend off of work so he was able to join me on the trip. My plane landed in Seattle around 5:30pm Friday evening and Tom was there to pick me up. We were headed south on I-5 shortly thereafter. After a quick bite to eat at the Naches Tavern (delicious…

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Thornton Lakes and Trappers Peak

Thornton Lakes and Trappers Peak

I was back in Washington for a week for work and was able to get our friends Marie, Wendy, and Jesse together for a weekend trip. My flight didn’t get in until Saturday morning so we made a plan for Jesse and Wendy to pick up permits Friday evening and then Marie and I would meet them at the backcountry campsite on Saturday. I really had my heart set on getting a permit for Cascade Pass and camping at Sahale Arm or Horeshoe Basin, but those permits were all gone by the time Jesse and Wendy got to the ranger station in Marblemount (permits…

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Longs Pass to Ingalls Lake Loop

Longs Pass to Ingalls Lake Loop

Now that I only have a weekend in Washington every other month I’ve had to be really selective about which hikes I do when I visit. Longs Pass has been on my list since we hiked nearby Bean Creek Basin last September and crossed paths with a couple who proclaimed its awesome views. Ingalls Lake is a classic so it’s always been on my mind as a to-do, but we never had a chance to do it as dogs aren’t allowed to the lake. Brainstorming hike ideas with my Seattleite friends we decided to make a loop out of the two premier destinations by following some vague dashed…

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Spider Meadow & Phelps Basin

Spider Meadow & Phelps Basin

Maura and Jack were visiting family in Minnesota for the weekend so I planned a backpacking trip with my friends Marie and Jesse. After seeing the incredible photos our friend Kelly took from Phelps Basin a couple of weeks prior we knew exactly where we wanted to go. At 13 miles round trip (6 miles out to Spider Meadows and another half mile to Phelps Basin) and only 1900 feet of elevation gain, Phelps Basin is a low-key overnight destination. It’s also a jumping off point to an awesome loop hike and a number of scrambles to nearby summits. But with limited time…

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Cutthroat Pass to Snowy Lakes

Cutthroat Pass to Snowy Lakes

Labor Day weekend presents an odd combination of an opportunity and a challenge. On the one hand, we have a long three day weekend to go adventuring in. On the other, so does everybody else. We knew that no matter where we went or what we planned it would be busier than normal. Looking for a hike for the weekend was made easy using Craig Romano’s Backpacking Washington guidebook. This is by far my favorite guidebook we own. It is easily navigable through handy charts at the beginning of the book. One of my favorite places in the world is…

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Noble Knob to Echo Lake to Corral Pass Loop

Noble Knob to Echo Lake to Corral Pass Loop

Backpacking is something we haven’t done a lot of in the past but want to do more of it going forward. Bobby had selected Noble Knob as a possible day hike location, then using our GIS app GAIA he discovered that we could turn the 7 mile day hike into a 21.2 mile loop multi day backpacking trip. The weather looked perfect for the trip that was sure to include incredible views of Mount Rainier and the surrounding Cascade range. I loaded up our packs Friday afternoon for the two night adventure and we set off immediately after Bobby got…

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The Kerry Way: Day 8

The Kerry Way: Day 8

We awoke to unbelievably sore muscles. The short 13 hour break we had from the trail wasn’t nearly enough to rest our aching muscles. With both my feet in complete agony as I hobbled around our small room I began to doubt whether or not we would even be able to go 1 mile today, let alone the 16 we were supposed to accomplish… We made ready and went to get the breakfast being made by our charming hostess, Julia. She had taken our meal orders the night before, mine being pancakes and Bobby had opted for the omelet. We…

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The Kerry Way: Day 7

The Kerry Way: Day 7

Due to not being given the password to the wifi at our B&B we had spent the majority of the evening in town at a small pub that offered free wifi. We had originally ordered drinks, it was only 5:00, and hadn’t planned on eating dinner there. We have had our full of pub food but when our hunger and dinner time rolled around we still weren’t finished creating and fine tuning the latest blog post so we decided to eat there. We got dinner menus and ordered an appetizer and an entree to split. The ‘Bruschetta’ appetizer was crappy…

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