Well, it’s that time of year when one not only looks back at the last 365 days but starts making plans for the next ones ahead in the new year with hope for new adventures. I could make a few comments about how 2017 may turn out to be one wild ride for all of us but for this post I’ll stick to the wilderness kind of forecasting.
2016 was an amazing year! I lost my job and gained another one. I still have to decide if I will be keeping it as I head into the summer, I don’t want it to cramp my outdoor explorations. My son moved out. And then moved back in again. I made SO many new hiking friends and connections and yet had plenty of great experiences with old friends out in the wild. I have spent hours and hours giving thought to the direction of my life as well as learning to let go and follow the opportunities that have come up as I have been pursuing my passions.
Truth is I’m a planner. Spontaneity is NOT my middle name.
I’m working on it, though.
As I continue to keep myself open to where I am being called to go, I am excited to see what lies ahead in the new year. I don’t know where life will take me in terms of work, cause or relationships but here are some of the hikes and outdoor adventures I am already planning for this year…
Take the Alpine Scramble Course with the Mountaineers.
Okay, so some of you may think I already do this kind of thing! Maybe I do. A little. I’m actually a little nervous about this one but I’ve been wanting to do it for a few years. I know it will challenge me in many ways. Mostly because they expect you to wear mountaineering boots which my feet are NOT excited about. I hope, however, it will give me more confidence and knowledge while I am out having fun in the wilderness. Who knows what you will see me climbing next!
Hike and Backpack around the Havasupai Indian Reservation.
Denise and I have purchased plane tickets and now all we have to do is start calling 24/7 on February 1st and try and get those elusive permits. Our backup plan is Zion. After my time in Colorado and Utah this summer, I can’t wait to go back and explore more this part of the country with its stunning red rock and completely different flora and fauna.
Attend the North 350 Blades Trail Skills College in May.
We started planning back in November and I am excited to be a part of this year’s event. I will be beginning my saw certification so that I can be more involved on trail work parties this year! I have come so far with more than 100 hours under my belt but there is so much more still to learn. And I have met the most amazing folks doing it. We are having a social event this month if any of you are interested in joining us on the trail this year.
Return to the Eagle Cap Wilderness.
Elizabeth and I knew as we hiked out last year that this would be our backpacking trip of 2017. Standing on the top of Eagle Cap, I promised I would have to come back with her so she could see it for herself. Looking out from the summit into the surrounding valleys and basins, there so much more to explore. It looks like we will be visiting about the same time as last year due to both our schedules, hopefully it won’t be too high of a snow year!
Lead a PCTA trail work crew into the Glacier Peak Wilderness.
I will be doing more than attending work parties in 2017. I have been asked (and agreed to) lead a log out work party in July to help clear out a section near Vista Ridge. We will be heading in via the Suiattle River Trail and take a week to do what we can to make way for the class of 2017. I will be putting my new trail skills to good work!
Hike the West Coast Trail.
Last year on our girls only backpacking trip, we started talking about hiking the West Coast Trail in the Pacific Rim National Park. My friend Heather says her parents are set to drop us off at one end and pick us up on the other after 77 km on the coast of Vancouver Island. This trail is different from others because you have to factor in tides, wet ladders, boardwalks and bridges and both beach and rainforest elements. Thousands of creeks and canyons. One guide says,
Prospective hikers must understand that hiking the West Coast Trail is not without personal risk: it is difficult and physically challenging. Accidents and injuries are common. This trail is for experienced hikers in good physical condition who are prepared to have a wilderness experience. The trail is not a training or practice area for novices.-WestCoastTrailBC.com
Should be an adventure!
Traverse the Olympic Peninsula on the Pacific Northwest Trail.
Okay, so this has been on my list for 3 years now. I am hopeful this is the year! I have had a goal to spend more time on the peninsula and have been making a little progress. When I was there two years ago on Appleton Pass, I knew I would come back to walk across it. With a different work schedule this year, I hope there will be time at the end of summer to make this one a reality.
Do my best to hike the 2/3 left in the 100 Classic Hikes of Washington State that I have yet to explore.
Craig Romano has revamped this book and 2017 seems like no better time to knock off some of these amazing trails. A few like the Loowit around Mt. St. Helens, summiting Mt. St. Helens, and Mt. Ellinor have been on my list for awhile. This means A LOT of day hikes, hopefully my friends will want to help me!
I have a few other exciting things happening in 2017 that I can’t wait to share with you, too! If you are not already following my blog, make sure you subscribe so you don’t miss any of the adventures, new recipes and life’s ponderings I have planned in the upcoming year.