The LovedOne is not keen on having her picture taken. I love taking her picture (and her too). This can create a bit of artistic tension when we’re out adventuring. But I have the camera and I’ve learned how to silence its shutter…
JANUARY: We stayed around Southern Oregon, doing some low-altitude dirt hikes, as well as several fun snowshoe hikes thanks to this winter’s “normal” snowfall.
FEBRUARY: We took advantage of a hotel deal to spend a week exploring and hiking in the sunny warmth of Death Valley National Park.
MARCH: We joined Wayne and Diane to circle the U.S. by train (Amtrak). We stopped in Washington, DC and summited its high point (Point Reno ~ all 409 feet of it) with our friend Carol.
APRIL: We ventured to California’s Napa Valley for a long overdue hike with our friends Ken and Julie. We then went a little further south to hike in Henry W. Coe State Park and Pinnacles National Park.
MAY: We flew to Texas to visit Palo Duro State Park – home of the Grand Canyon of Texas – and then circled around to do some hiking in Colorado and New Mexico.
JUNE: Proving that miracles are possible, we got the whole family together for a week of hiking and hanging out on Lake Superior, along with a boat trip to visit Isle Royale National Park.
JULY: Our plan to enjoy some hiking locally was severely curtailed when huge wildfires blew-up in the surrounding mountains. I managed to climb Thompson Peak in California’s Trinity Alps and we were fortunate to backpack the amazing Wild Rogue Loop the week before the wildfires really got going!
AUGUST: We joined Wayne and Diane again for a rafting trip down the Middle Fork Salmon River and the Main Salmon River in Idaho. Despite a few days of smoke from wildfires in the Frank Church Wilderness, it was an astounding trip!
SEPTEMBER: We came home from the river only to find wildfires still pouring smoke into the Rogue Valley. So we waived our planned at-home time and flew instead to smoke-free Nevada. There we hiked in the Ruby Mountains Wilderness and climbed Wheeler Peak (at 13,065 feet, Nevada’s 2nd tallest peak) in Great Basin National Park.
OCTOBER: Some wet weather rolled through and knocked down most of the wildfires, so we were at last able to go hiking locally without respirators. Among other hikes, we did our first one on the Jack-Ash Trail, a newly built trail along the hills west of Jacksonville, Oregon. Sweet!
NOVEMBER: This is usually a time of transitioning weather, so we were anticipating snow and snowshoes. But not enough snow came! So we consoled ourselves with some nice local dirt hikes and explored some trails that would be “Nordic” if there was enough snow.
DECEMBER: No new snow came and what there was melted! So when the weather forecast called for several sunny days on the Oregon Coast (in December!?!?) we headed there to hike some headlands and beaches. The weather was great and everything was cheaper and less crowded! Not a bad way to end the year!
Hiking-wise, 2017 gave us 111 unique hikes, with 758 trail miles and 144,820 feet of elevation gain. Sounds exhausting! But we’ve already started planning stuff for 2018…
Smoke? Sorry, but breathable air is a luxury we can no longer afford, I am afraid we will just have to learn to like it.
It might. Fortunately, she likes frogs. Otherwise that would be about as close to life on the edge as I could get these days.
Talking about taking pictures of the Loved One as a caption to a frog picture might add to the “artistic tension”.
Well, what with all that train travel and rafting there wasn’t time to get in our usual 1,000 miles last year. Not to mention the smoke…
What, only 758 miles of hiking?