Monday, December 26, 2011

a wilderness year

First, the stats:

Number of backpack trips: 16
Goal fulfilled: Backpacking from Moss Springs to Two Pan,  40 miles, 2 days
Longest backpacking day: 25 miles
Number of bears seen: 3
Number of day hikes: too many to count
Times hiked into Hells Canyon and back in a single day (+ - 5,000 feet or more each way): Afraid to count because it's just crazy
Longest run: 11 miles, on 9/11 (don't run long anymore due to past injuries, so pretty proud of this one)
Favorite trail run: Hurricane Creek trail to Slickrock and back
Lakes jumped into: ten at least
Goal not met: Didn't get to Deadman Lake, darn it.
Best day in the woods: all of them

I didn't run any 100ks, race a planet or finish the JMT like some of my bloggy friends. In fact I spent most of my year right here, in one single place. Somewhere the twenty-year-old me is horrified, but I found I kind of liked it. I also found that there are many more places to discover, even if you think you've been on that trail many times and have seen it all.

Here are some of my favorite places in 2011.
I did a lot of hiking on what I call the "hot ridges"..mostly waterless expanses of sweeping grassy outcrops that go on forever. This one is Cougar Ridge, where we hustled due to a threatening sky.
This was nearing the end of a 19 mile day as I hiked back over Hawkins Pass, surely one of the most magnificent passes in the Wallowas.

In spring Sweyn, John and I hiked from Cherry Creek down to Salmon Bar and back, following a disappearing trail by dead reckoning. Dropping through the elevation zones, we arrived at summer on the Snake River, and climbed back to late winter on top.

Kent, Jon, Rick and I spent two magical evenings over the pass from Copper Creek in an uncrowded lake basin catching fish for a mercury study.

The end of the earth. Love this place.

Ken and Clare showed me a new lake. It was just over the hill from a lake I had visited several times. Just goes to show, you never know.
My favorite new discovery. Frazier Meadows, where I'd love to build a cabin and live forever.

This was late fall and bittersweet, because it was one of my last backpack trips. The lovely middle fork of the Imnaha.

Too busy in August, Mirror Lake was all mine in July.

I can't wait for 2012!


  1. It's funny how we want different things as we get older. My teenage self would absolutely hate to hang out with the person I am now. :)

    It's also funny that I think I have wised up in the whole ten years since my teenage days. haha. Maybe a little wiser, but sooo much further to go, I'm sure.

  2. 16 backpacking trips. That boggles my mind, makes me green with envy and incredibly impressed all at the same time. You are amazing.

  3. This is kind of the reverse of what you asked the other day: They wonder what the 16 year old you would do if she could see your today's Facebook page:


  4. What a year you've had! Can you hear envy in my voice? See, I am a very, very greedy person and I would love to add your 16 backpacking and all day trips to my 2011 resume.
    Now I know you have some (at least one) pretty cool hikes planned for 2012. Can't wait to hear about your preparations.

  5. Hmm, I don't think the 16 year old me would want to hang with me either. Going to bed at 9?!! Horrors! But I think she would like my Facebook page. I think she would think, Granny is still out there hiking, that's cool...

    As for you, Danni, didn't you do, oh, a 50K and a 100K and who knows what else? You are amazing! And Ewa, I think your three week trip kind of cancels out my short ones....But it's all good as long as we are out there.

  6. I am thinking of starting JMT like last year, end of July. Waterfalls were amazing, wildflowers went viral, mosquitoes... well, they loved me a lot. :)
    I will have to decide by mid Feb because this is when I have to get my permit.


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