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This is yet another incarnation of my personal blog. Here's where you can read about what I do when I'm not at work: hiking, seeing plays and other shows, eating, traveling, etc.

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Hike-a-thon wrap up

Posted by gck Tuesday, September 2, 2014

My first Hike-a-thon is over! I’d call it a success, since I was hiking almost half the days this month, and I exceeded both my mileage and fundraising goals. HUGE thanks to everyone who sponsored me! (Fundraising is still continuing, if you’d like to sponsor me) In this post, I’m including some photo highlights and general highlights of the Hike-a-thon experience, followed by a Tableau dashboard of my hiking data for the month.

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Left: Fireweed and mountains on the way to Kendall Katwalk
Right: Looking down on Mirror Lake on the way to the Palisades

Highlight #1: Exploring regional parks
I usually ignore the stuff close to me, discounting it as crowded, boring, or both. However, trying to get hikes in during the week forced me to look closer to home. I discovered that I could go to Google Maps, scroll around a little, and look for interesting green spots. Most of these were state or regional parks that had well-maintained trail systems with maps online. During Hike-a-thon, I hiked at Bridle Trails State Park, Soaring Eagle Regional Park, Cougar Mountain Regional Park, and Paradise Valley Conservation Area. And there were even more parks I considered but didn’t have time for, like Lord Hill Regional Park, Tiger Mountain State Park, St. Edward State Park (I hiked it last month), etc. The park system here is simply amazing!

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Left: Eagle Lake
Right: Perfection Lake

Highlight #2: More backpacking!
I hadn’t been backpacking since 2011, and I got really excited as soon as I won the lottery for Core Enchantments permits in August. I ended up doing that as a 4d/3n trip, and I did two overnight trips in preparation. One was to Sahale Glacier Camp at the end of July (so technically not Hike-a-thon) and the other one was a quick Sunday overnight to Mirror Lake so my brother could do a last minute test of all his new backpacking gear before the Enchantments. All of these trips were great experiences and has me itching for more. We weren’t in positions for amazing sunsets, but we did get great night sky views on all three trips, complete with Milky Way and meteors. And the bugs were surprisingly light this year.

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Left: Night sky from Mirror Lake (photo credit: Daniel Tang)
Right: Enchantments from Little Annapurna

Highlight #3: The people and the destinations
It’s been really fun being able to go hiking with so many different people this month (including two babies and one person visiting from out of town!). I’ve always meant to do some hikes each year that are accessible to more people than my “somewhere around Mt. Rainier, ~3000 ft elevation gain?” type hike ideas, and this month got me to do that.

And of course, the destinations have been beautiful. Finally made it to Kendall Katwalk, after talking about it for years. Spent some time at Rainier to make use of an annual pass before it expired at the end of the month. And of course, the Enchantments.

Aaand… here’s the data:

Tarn below Panhandle Gap

I don’t know how September and October could possibly measure up to August, but I’m looking forward to the fall hiking! And I’ll definitely be back next year for more Hike-a-thon.



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