North Cascades National Park (July 2018)

A view on the way up Copper Ridge towards Silesia camp

A much-delayed tale of a multiday backpacking trip around the Copper Ridge loop in the North Cascades National Park – which celebrated its 50th anniversary this year!

Day 1: Hannegan Trailhead to Silesia Camp

8.2 miles by the map

Note:If you want cinnamon rolls on your way from Seattle to, well, anywhere north of Mt. Vernon, I would highly recommend stopping by Calico Cupboard Café and Bakery in Mt. Vernon. They have three or four different kinds of HUGE cinnamon rolls, which looked amazing… and which we didn’t sample (more fools us).

The park ranger who helped us convert our reservation into a permit at the Glacier Public Service Center was super friendly and cheerful. Since he had just finished a loop around Copper Ridge a few days previously, he gave us a bunch of information about the trails ahead of us. He warned us that the parking lot at the Hannegan trailhead was inaccessible to cars, and suggested that we park at the next trailhead down, as parking along the road leading to “our” trailhead might be scarce. Driving onwards from Glacier towards the trailhead, we decided we’d go as far as we could, see if anything was available, and if not, take it from there. We were glad we did! There was a bunch of parking right before the washout that made the parking lot inaccessible, and the next nearest trailhead was two miles back down the road. (No thank you!) Continue reading “North Cascades National Park (July 2018)”

Almost there

Planning for a trip is… well, not as much fun as actually being on the trip, but certainly a big, enjoyable aspect of taking a trip! B and I leave for the North Cascades on Wednesday morning. These past couple of weeks, but this last one in particular, my brain’s been swirling with thoughts of gear and scenarios. I’ve been to my favorite gear shops here in town, and my living room looks like a gear volcano exploded in it. I’ve been visiting the NCNP’s trail conditions page far more frequently than there has been any chance of them updating it, and debating how best to arrange things for the day we depart (when we have to be at the ranger station to convert our reservation into a permit by 11 am). I’ve questioned which of my gear is necessary and which is optional (there are spreadsheets), and thought a lot about trail food. And this, to me, is fun. (Non-backpacking trips have a different set of funs.)

What about for you? Do you enjoy the planning aspects of vacationing, or is it all about the trip itself and you’d rather skip the planning?

Flying visit to the Oregon Coast

Prompted by one too many Instagram photos of Thor’s Well and the unexpected availability of a campsite at Rock Creek Campground, B and I took a quick trip down to Yachats, on the Oregon coast, this past weekend. While Thor’s Well itself was under-well-ming (sorry not sorry), the trip as a whole was marvelous!


We stopped in Corvallis for caffeine and a snack on the way down. I’d never been to Corvallis, and had basically nothing on my mental index card for it. Turns out, it’s got a cute little downtown with at least one marvelous musical instruments store, at least one good coffeeshop, and a nice linear waterfront park with sculptures and a fountain for kids to splash in and a mixed-use path. Oh, and some great murals:


High tide peaked at around 8 pm on Saturday, so we had time to go to the campground in the Siuslaw National Forest and set up our tent for the night before going to see the Well. Continue reading “Flying visit to the Oregon Coast”