when stuck in the doldrums of a Seattle winter and in dire need of a respite and some sunshine (Seattle winters can get rather doomy and gloomy) i hopped a quick two hour flight down to my friend Greg’s casa in Palm Springs. it had been years since going down there so was definitely overdue.
is there really an apple capital of the world? you bet your sweet honey crisp there is…it’s the town of Wenatchee! my good buddy Brian recently made the move from Seattle this smaller town located in central Washington, and i finally managed to nail down some dates for a visit.
mystifying. mind blowing. fomo inducing. jaw dropping. it’s easy to run out of superlatives to describe the endless beauty of the Gothic Basin after an unforgettable backpacking trip there.
i had heard about the Basin over the years and the fact it’s one of the tougher places to hike to (let alone with a heavy backpack on your shoulders).
had it really been seven whole years since my last backpacking adventure? to be honest I was a bit nervous about the idea of being out in the woods again, alone with the environment with the unpredictable. maybe that’s the real fear: the unknowing about what may happen, and yet in that unknowing lies the promise of excitement and adventure.
another year, another EPIC Frasier/Casertano/Lucier/Williams/Smith family gathering! we had to switch gears for this trip: the original plan was to head north to Canada for a two week stint in Banff and Jasper National Parks. COVID however had other intentions with the border closed, and when Canada finally declared July 22nd as the opening, our plan was shot given our reservations previous to that date. luckily we had a decent backup plan with some campground reservations right on Lake Quinault on the Peninsula.
it’d had been a few years since visiting the Oregon coast, but my brother gave me an invite to come down to his wife’s family’s amazing home in Cannon Beach, right in front of the iconic Haystack Rock). after loading up the Subaru, Bill, Sheena and I took off on Friday for a long weekend. after some sluggish traffic on I-5 (there’s always a slowdown through Tacoma and the joint airforce bases just south) we headed west on 30 along the mighty Columbia River, then south after Astoria along highway 101 and made it there at dusk.
Over a warm April weekend I pulled together my car camping kit, kayak and SUP (stand up paddleboard) for a fun getaway to the Columbia basin area with my friends Brian and Sarah. After a long, dusty drive to eastern Washington we pulled off highway 26 onto a gravel packed road entering the Columbia Wildlife Refuge Area. About a few miles into the park, we landed at the Overlook camping area, a stunning scrubland full of shimmering clear lakes and waterways surrounded by basalt columns and cliffs.
Living in the Northwest for almost 3 decades and not (I think?) ever visiting the Methow Valley seemed like an absolute crime, so I nailed a couple dates down and made the 4.5 hour trek from Seattle. After cutting up through Blewett’s Pass from I-90 I drove east to Wenatchee, then headed north on I-97 before entering the Methow Valley on highway 153 (part of the Cascade Loop). The warm weather and sunshine made the drive more enjoyable, as well as the scenery along the mighty Columbia river.
There is always something that feels a little magical about a journey up to the Orcas Islands in the San Juans (yep, getting a little metaphysical here). Me and Billy and Sheena piled into the truck and camper and took off for the weekend, in spite of the smokey air from all the raging wildfires. After a delayed ferry (Covid was certainly messing everyone’s schedule, including theirs) we rolled onto the island late on Thursday (the dusk view over the water was amazing) to our friends Dan and Steve’s amazing home on the water, close to the Rosario Resort.