Month: March 2015

In the pause between one week and the next


She ran across the sand, long tendrils curled by saltwater mist, trailing wildly. Her oldest boy kept pace with eyes only for her. The littlest one reached – hand over fist – up weathered driftwood. Brothers skipped stones, laughed, and let the words come and go as they pleased. The ocean’s monologue filled the spaces in between.

It was the kind of time that settles you, and we grabbed big fistfuls of it with gratitude.

(Click any picture below to embiggen.)

Bare Mountain


It’s weird to think that I’ve been hiking along the I-90 corridor for almost 30 years and only just realized that I’ve never been up Bare Mountain before. It took us roughly 90 minutes to get to the trailhead, even though the hike starts not too far outside of North Bend. It’s easy to forget that 23 miles of dirt takes a long time to drive.

In the end, we were rewarded with solitude and views of peaks we’d never seen or heard of before. A peakbagger’s paradise!

Click any of the pictures below to embiggen.

New year’s resolution update

Our new year’s resolution was to not buy any wine and only drink what we already had in our collection. So far, we’ve only been half-way successful. Two and a half months in, we haven’t bought any wine. Yay! But thanks to wine leftover after two parties and a generous gift from our realtor, we hadn’t touched the wine in our collection. Boo!

That changed last week, when Nick stopped by Grape Choice, where our wine is being temporarily stored, and brought home a case filled with some real gems.

We tried to remember when we bought the bottle pictured above and concluded that it must have been around the time we got married. As we took the first sip, we were blown away by how absolutely perfect it was. We thought about how some things have to take time in order to be good. They need to be fostered and fermented.

In a few weeks, Nick and I will celebrate 20 years together. (Crazy, I know!) Maybe it’s the nostalgia talking, but I think like wine, relationships get better with age, too.

With the right amount of tending, our hard edges soften and make room for acceptance, forgiveness, and respect. We learn to savor the unique qualities of our friends and partners instead of wishing they were something else. Our patience, loyalty, and connections grow.

Let’s drink it in!

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Peak 5760


I am always suspicious when a fellow climber suggests a peak and describes the route as follows:

It was all lopped out 10 years ago, but I read it’s brushy now.

Who wants to spend a beautiful Sunday trapped in a tangle of spiny branches when so many friendlier-sounding peaks have yet to be climbed?

I’ve come to realize, though, that if we want to “find those places where noise and light are absent and which are so essential to the spiritual nourishment we crave,” we must dispense with artificialities, eschew trails, refuse mechanised assistance, and scoff at gondola access. ( Vancouver Islander)

We must take to the bush.


I will not bore you with pictures of bloodied limbs. The act of self-flagellation with slide alder and devil’s club is a private ritual that teaches us humility.

Suffice to say, when we do finally reach the higher ground we are seeking, our hearts are open to the indescribable beauty that awaits. (Click any picture below to embiggen.)