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When I was in Berchtesgaden National Park, I came across these two hiking nuns and had to take their pic. I love the expression on the redhead's face. She was trying to figure out if I wanted her to take my pic or vice versa. They were absolutely adorable.

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I need to take the time to get some of this down before I start forgetting.

The quick version...

Day 1, in all its glory )

Und today... )
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I wish I could have stayed longer. I'd love to spend a few weeks in the Escalante/Grand Staircase region. Coming back has been hard. I'll post thoughts and stories later, but here's the general rundown of my trip.

Day 1: Seattle to Vegas to the North Rim )

Hiking Log

Mar. 7th, 2005 10:43 pm
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Hiking log: Tunnel Falls, somewhere in the Columbia Gorge, Oregon.
With: The Intrepid Dianyla.
Mileage: 15

After a fun longhair meeting in Portland, Dianyla and I headed up the Gorge. We'd had a highly entertaining time in the Chinese Garden, wandering about the blooming trees, taking tea in the teahouse and scaring the short-haired tourists. Well, not "scaring," but definitely confusing. We handed a camera to a nice lady who offered to take our photo, since it was obvious we were all together. We responded with a delighted affirmative and promptly presented her with our backsides.

Twenty seconds later. " want me to take a picture of your backs?"


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And there were more adventures... )
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Drove out early to the distant Mt. Rainier, which always looms over the area, seemingly no matter where I go. It's a lot further out than it looks, a testimony to high huge this mountain is. Huge and beautiful and deadly. People are drawn to climb it and die, year after year. It will eventually cap its death toll by blowing its top and burying Seattle. Ah, the Pacific Rim. But I digress...

I was hoping the road to Sunrise Point would still be open, but it was not. You really feel the height on sunrise, through the soles of your feet and tingling in the toes. Going there, hiking there, is almost an ecstatic experience. It's amazing. So, when I saw the road was locked off, I was almost tempted to hike up to the point, but it was around 11 miles one way (uphill, needless to say), and I thought I wasn't quite prepared for a haul like that. Unfortunately, the snow was not deep enough to hike around in my snowshoes, so I veered off to Crystal ski area six miles away.

Crystal area great for skiing and snowboarding. The weather had turned by this point. No blue sky at all. Everything was shrouded by that ashy gray snow cloud. The slopes were steep--much steeper than Stevens Pass bowl, and it was loaded with people. There was simply no good place to go snowshoeing. Either I'd be underfoot of people going way faster than me or it was straight uphill in thick powder. I did set up one unused slope, but in between the depth of the snow (I still sink on powder, even in snowshoes) and the incline, it was not that pleasant. I got a good heart rate going, but finally decided to leave the area to the fast people and returned to a lower elevation. Hiked around a bit down there, but it just wasn't a fruitful outing. There are some good snowshoe places if you approach Rainier from the East instead of the North, so I may try again some other time.

Not a good day for photos. The light was blotted out and absorbed by those ashy clouds. At least they were clouds...trouble with our mountains also being volcanos.


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Jen Kleis

November 2014



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