This August, for my second Hike-a-thon, I decided to set an ambitious goal for myself – to hike 100 miles. It required me to use all of my weekend days for hiking as well as quite a few weekdays, including trail runs, workday park walks, and backpacking trips.
Unsurprisingly, many of the hikes were closer to home, since that’s what made the most sense on weekdays. Highway 2, Mountain Loop, and Rainier were noticeably missing from the hiking map, but I’d done hikes in all of those areas in July.
Highlight: Mount Baker family trip
My love for nature’s beauty is a trait that is shared by my other family members, and most of our family trips now tend to revolve around hiking. My dad was in Washington for a few weeks in August, and we decided to take a weekend trip up to Mt. Baker, where we rented a co-worker’s condo and did some hikes in the area.
Highlight: Hiking with friends
I haven’t had as much time to do group hikes with my friends this year because of Mountaineers requirements and other commitments, but Hike-a-thon pushed me to do more of this. I finally walked through the Snoqualmie Tunnel (aka “Creepy Tunnel”) with a group of friends. I also did a nice weekday evening hike to Talapus Lake with some friends, where we were rewarded by a close up sighting of a barred owl right after sunset.
Highlight: Local parks
I do plenty of hiking trips where I’ll drive 3 hours each way to the trailhead, but I tend to neglect things closer to home. Exploring local parks was a highlight of Hike-a-thon 2014 for me. This year, I didn’t aim to hike new local parks, but I spent a lot of time in familiar parks closer to home. I went through all of the main trails in Bridle Trails, what I consider my “home park,” and I finally made it through the Coyote trail without getting lost!
Trying to make use of all available time, I pulled some co-workers out during the workday for short hikes in parks close to work. We got to see some beautiful scenery, and it was a really nice break from sitting in front of a computer screen.
I had one more scramble to do to complete my graduation requirements for the Alpine Scrambling course I’ve been taking, and I did it during Hike-a-thon on a brutally hot but lovely summer day. We scrambled up a lesser travel part of North Bend and had nice view with lots of wildflowers.
I did two backpacking trips during Hike-a-thon. The second one was at the end of the month, a somewhat last minute solo trip to the Enchantments using Snow Lakes permits that someone else had canceled. This is one of the most beautiful areas I’ve ever hiked in, and it was perfect that I crossed the 100 mile mark for the month in the Core Enchantments, on my way up to Enchantment Peak.
Thanks to everyone who hiked with me and/or sponsored my Hike-a-thon!