That's gonna hurt in the morning..."
Mailbox Peak, Washington 98045
With USPS so much in the news, we decided to do something in support of all those great letter carriers out there. We chose something fun and not political.
"When I post the picture of you delivering, what would you like to say about it?" I said as we started to descend from the top of Mailbox Peak.
“Toughest delivery ever. 4000 feet in 2.5 miles. That’s gonna hurt in the morning," Kirk said.
This awesome photo is by Stuke Sowle on the Washington Trails Association website
THE LAND OF COUGARS
POSTED 21 AUGUST 2020
Misha and I hiked Hunchback Mountain Trail two weeks ago. It was physically challenging and also a bit mentally disturbing. We suffered a lot with the relentlessly steep terrain and the feeling that perhaps we were being stalked by a silent someone on four padded paws. Then we saw
a much older couple, deep into the hike. I think they may have been in the late 70's and they were killin' it. Amazing! I hope I'm still hiking at that age...
CLIMBING MT. ADAMS
POSTED 10 AUGUST 2020
Supposedly, somewhere on Piker's Peak, the false summit of Mt. Adams, there is a boulder inscribed by Arthur Jones. No, not the former defensive end who was drafted by the Ravens in 2010. Definitely NOT the Arthur Jones who is not only an American neo-Nazi, but also a frequent, unsuccessful, political candidate.
This Arthur Jones manned a forest service fire lookout on top of Mt. Adams for almost a year before the whole project was abandoned. Piker's Peak, the false summit, was apparently named for Arthur's comment that he inscribed on the rock in August 1923.
"You are a piker if you stop on this summit. Don't crab. The mountain was here first."
Well, he was right about that!
Thanks to Google, I have learned that "Piker" meant cheapskate or coward in the parlance of the 1920's and I can assume with some confidence that our Art Jones meant the latter. Most of the way up Piker's Peak, I was definitely "crabbing" and contemplating joining the Piker ranks. But Kirk and my stubborn Townsend will got me through it.
We are Marea, Kirk and Misha, the Wilderness Chick, Dude and Dog respectively. We are not professional hikers and this is not a traditional hiker blog.
We will share our stories with you along with our thoughts and ideas about life and love and adventure.
Misha and I have been hiking together since he was about 6 months old. Kirk joined us a few years ago.
We love the outdoors and we believe that hiking is good for the soul.
Hope you enjoy and Happy Hiking...
We have finally settled on our big adventure for this summer. In just four days we will attempt the South Climb on Mount Adams. The mountain is 12, 280 feet tall. We will be climbing 6,740 feet in six short miles. On Wednesday, we plan to climb to the “Lunch Counter”, a flat area with rock windbreaks other hikers have built for tents at 9,400 feet. The next morning, we will not get discouraged by the false summit at 11, 657 feet, but will press on until we are standing on the windswept true summit where Kirk claims that he will do victory tap dancing just for you. Don’t worry, if he does, I will record it!
Neither one of us has used an ice axe, and we are hoping we don't have to deploy our theoretical, YouTube skills to save us from too dangerous a situation. Kirk says he feels more comfortable carrying a double-edged razor in his front pocket while running from an angry Weiner dog on his route, than wielding an ice axe.
Pray we don't plant it in a vital organ while glissading to dinner and our hotel room in Hood River.
I was more nervous about climbing Adams than walking the 455 miles of the PCT that we did last year. Now I am just hoping I can drag my body up there, with all that extra COVID 19 stay-at-home weight I have accumulated.
If we survive Adams, we will then hike a 30+ mile loop in wilderness area just Southeast of us. We have been there a few times and like the solitude. It's the perfect place to practice social distancing and get away from it all for a couple of days.
10 MAY 2020
Here in Oregon, the sun is shining, the air is warm, birds are singing and the upper elevation snow is just melting. Kirk and I just received our new shoes from REI. (Our previous shoes were destroyed last summer while hiking the Oregon section of the PCT.)
Kirk, Misha and I are ready to hike.
BUT WAIT...Just like everything else, hiking is closed. Hard to deal with if you are one of those people to whom hiking is "essential".
We were just talking about all the people who had planned to hike the PCT this year, wondering what they would do. So, I went to the PCTA website and read their no nonsense message, Stay Off the Trail. They are not wrong. Until all this is over, we who want to hike will just have to live through our photos and our memories.
Last month, just before the country shut down for COVID-19, Kirk and I traveled to Arizona to visit family. We took the rain with us, so we didn't get a chance to do any real hiking. We had planned to climb the Flatiron, a short, but difficult hike with intense elevation gain and some scrambling thrown in for good measure. Instead we walked towards it during a break in the downpour and took some pictures.
01 FEBRUARY 2020
As I write this, a relentless, torrential rain, (manifesting as high winds and blizzard snow in the mountains), floods the already sodden ground. This morning, just after I got the dogs in, I heard a sharp crack and watched a long, straight fir tree fall across the length of the neighbor's backyard. Over a hundred feet long, it fell parallel to the house so that other than a section of fence, no one or no thing was damaged.
In other words, it just isn't good hiking weather, and with no new hikes to report, I think back to last summer's epic hike one more time. The memories are a pleasant place to be with winter in full swing outside. And in an attempt to blend past with present, as a kind of New Year's reflection, I wrote the following piece.
Ten Things I Learned While Long-Distance Hiking
On July the 5th, we set out to walk 455 miles from the California border to the Washington border, in thirty days. My daughter dropped us off on a forest road in the middle of nowhere, her little black Veloster leaving puffs of dust behind it as she drove off...
"Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit." Edward Abbey