Another year and The LovedOne is still not keen on having her picture taken. She has countered by hiking ahead of me (and faster) so as to stay out of camera range. Fortunately, subterfuge and deception allow me to get close enough, from time to time, for a photo.
JANUARY: We stayed around Southern Oregon, expecting to do some snowshoeing. But, despite purchasing a Sno-Park permit, there was no snow. So we contented ourselves with some low-altitude dirt hikes.
FEBRUARY: Years ago, I worked unaccompanied at NAS Key West. The LovedOne always wanted to see Key West too. I wanted to visit Dry Tortugas National Park. So we spent a week in Florida visiting parks and wandering around in sandals. We got back just in time to enjoy the one big snow storm we got this year.
MARCH: We flew south to Arizona for some sunny desert hiking. We also paid a visit to our long-time friends Heidi and Bob, now retired south of Tucson.
APRIL: We did a roadtrip to California to stay in the iconic Majestic Yosemite (formerly The Ahwahnee) Hotel (one night was all our budget could handle), revisit some national parks, and do a little desert hiking.
MAY: We stayed in Southern Oregon, catching up on some of the shorter, but interesting, local hikes we hadn’t done yet.
JUNE: Once again, we got almost the whole family together for a week, this time in Taos, New Mexico. Lounging, sightseeing, art appreciation, and some hiking happened.
JULY: Our plan to enjoy some local hiking was, for the second year in a row, derailed by choking clouds of smoke from huge wildfires nearby and in Northern California. 😥 We cashed in some hotel coupons to spend a few days hiking in clean air on the Oregon Coast.
AUGUST: This month saw our big trip of the year – rafting the Tahshenshini and Alsek Rivers in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alaska. This trip graced us with sunshine, heat, fog, glacial chill, rain, wind, and icebergs! We had great guides and a very congenial group of fellow rafters, which made this a wonderful and unforgettable experience! 😀
SEPTEMBER: We came home from the river only to find wildfires still pouring smoke into the Rogue Valley. We gasped our way through some local hikes and then headed south for hikes in Death Valley and among the Fall color in the Eastern Sierra.
OCTOBER: A little wet weather (too little – we’re still in a drought) rolled through, just enough to cut the smoke from most of the remaining wildfires. So we did a bunch of local hikes that had been preempted by thick smoke during the summer.
NOVEMBER: This is usually a time of transitioning weather and quite a bit of rain (and some snow) arrived near the end of the month. But there wasn’t enough snow yet for snowshoeing, so we carried on with more local dirt hikes.
DECEMBER: A big storm finally arrived, bringing with it enough snow to allow Mount Ashland (our local ski area) to open but not enough for unrestricted snowshoeing. We got in one walk on the snow and some more dirt hikes before 2018 was ushered out by another round of storms.
Hiking-wise, 2018 saw us doing 115 unique hikes, with 802 trail miles and 156,900 feet of elevation gain. Sounds exhausting! But we’ve already got stuff planned for 2019…