Preparation or surprise?


In watching this I realized how helpful these kind of videos could be for prepping for an unknown ride — this bike lane had a *lot* of sand on it and I might not want to ride my road bike on it. But it would ruin the surprise of a new ride if you knew what was coming 🤷‍♀️

The male Anna’s hummingbird in our yard was going to town on the red flowering currant outside my living room window, so I was a little distracted from the video 😉 I had forgotten that last year I pushed my bike up to the window for springtime so I could watch the birds and insects and stuff, may be near time to shove the couch out of the way. Maybe after getting my handlebar tape rewrapped…

Outdoors Places

Indoor biking with cows in the fog


Ride through a pack of cute goats at 50 minutes 😍

Read a Guardian “100 tips to make your life better” and most were meh but I liked “exercise on Mondays, nothing happens then” — excellent point. Will try to follow that advice 😉

Outdoors Travel

Biking in the Southwest


Did an indoor bike workout watching this and had a real strong moment of sadness and mild despair that I don’t know when I’ll be able to travel again. Last year we did a desperation mini “road trip” in a rented camper, this year after being vaccinated I thought we’d be able to go somewhere but I haven’t felt safe yet. Feeling dispirited again with this new variant. My sister pointed out that when the pandemic started I was relieved at saving myself all the effort and logistics of planning a trip — I do a *lot* of research and have a hard time making decisions — but I’m feeling like it would be worth it right now.

Have to say after that I kind of tuned it out and focused on the music so couldn’t say if this was a good or bad one 🤷‍♀️


Three Day Backpacking Trip Ideas

5-10 miles (basecamp options):

Lake Valhalla – 7 mi RT, or car shuttle 10mi, 1500′ elevation (Stevens Pass East)

Summit Lake – 6.1 mi RT, 1300′ elevation (NW Mt. Rainier area) – crappy road access

Packwood Lake – 10 mi RT, 600′ elevation (South Cascades) – potential to continue to other lakes

Deep Lake – 5 mi RT, 900′ elevation (South Cascades) – potential to connect with other lakes for multiple days

Skyline Divide – 9 mi RT, 2500′ elevation (Mt. Baker area) – really crappy road access – must carry water

Yellow Aster Butte – 7.5 mi RT, 2600′ elevation (Mt. Baker area) – must pack out poop – very popular trail

10-15 miles:

Mother Mountain Loop – 15 mi RT, 6300′ elevation (NW Mt. Rainier area) – permits requiredtoo much elevation

Flapjack Lakes via North Fork Skokomish River – 15.4 mi RT, 3000′ elevation (Olympics) too much elevation

Lower Big Quilcene River – 12.9 mi RT, 1900′ elevation (Olympics)

  • Camps at 2.6, 4.7, and 6.2 miles (map – pdf)
  • Able to make it a through-hike by doing a car shuttle up FS #2750 (Ten Mile Shelter)
  • Can continue past 6.2 miles to the Upper Big Quilcene River (Marmot Pass is 11 miles roundtrip from Ten Mile Shelter) – first 2.5 miles is old growth to Shelter Rock Camp

Meander Meadow – Dishpan Gap – Cady Ridge Loop – 16 mi RT, 5600′ elevation (Stevens Pass East)too much elevation

Lake Janus and Grizzly Peak – 16.6 mi RT, 2500′ elevation (Stevens Pass East)

Thunder Mountain Lakes – 14.5 mi RT, 3000′ elevation (Stevens Pass West) too much elevation

Spider Meadow and Phelps Basin – 13 mi RT, 1900′ elevation (Stevens Pass East)

Ancient Lakes – 12 mi, 600′ elevation (Central Washington)

Blue Lake via Cultus Creek – 13 mi, 700′ elevation (South Cascades)

Bird Mountain Loop – 10 mi RT, 1875′ elevation (South Cascades)

Walupt Lake – 15.3 mi RT, 1650′ elevation (South Cascades)

Over 20 miles (vetoed):

Eastside Loop in Mt. Rainier area / Sunrise

Cooper Ridge Loop in Mt. Baker area

Sawtooth Lakes Loop in North Cascades

North Fork Entiat River in Lake Chelan area

Goat Creek Loop in Mt. St. Helens area

Hoh River Trail to Elk Lake in Olympics

Food Outdoors

Read A Year of Picnics

Read A Year of Picnics by Ashley English

Everyone loves picnicking—dining in the great outdoors, cozied up on blankets, and surrounded by the beauty of the natural world. Now imagine doing it year-round, where the setting speaks to the foods served, and you’ve got A Year of Picnics!

All it takes is a picnic blanket and some inspiration to take a meal from so-so to sensational. Pair the perfect location with the right foods, and you can take your picnicking to the next level. On mountaintops or rooftops, in nocturnal settings or in daylight, even in winter, this book invites readers to look at picnics in a whole new way. The twenty themed, seasonal picnics are made all the more special with activities, games, and crafts that encourage people to explore the outdoors and connect to one another—over food, perhaps on a blanket, in a special place. Grab a blanket and a basket, get outside, and start experiencing the joy that picnicking provides.

I liked a few of the picnic concepts (afternoon tea picnic and high altitude picnic), but overall a bit too twee for me. Probably best for families with kids – I don’t think my husband would go for most of the activity ideas. A book for inspiration even if you don’t follow the concepts fully.

Cool Fantasy Outdoors

A Real Life Fantasy Bridge

My Windows lock screen today – Rakotzbrücke Devil’s Bridge in Germany.

A perfect reflection forming a circle, framing and framed by fake columnar basalt.

Art and Design Outdoors

Beyond the Iconic

Watched Landscape Outdoor Photography | Going Beyond the Iconic Shots by Scott Kranz from

Many of our natural destinations, whether reached by road or trail, culminate in iconic vantage points where a classic photograph lays itself out for you. A common pitfall for outdoor photographers is to capture the iconic scene and call it a day. In this video, I talk about going beyond the iconic shot and instead working a scene so as to find unique compositions that are truly your own.

Interesting to see how he approaches a shoot and what he’s thinking as he selects compositions. I like his style of talking to the camera.

Art and Design Outdoors

Three Shots of the Same Mountain

Watched Winter Landscape Photography & Aerials by Scott Kranz from

After record snowfall in the Cascade Range, I step into the backcountry for a ski tour to capture some winter landscape images and drone aerials of the surrounding mountains and forest.


Three shots taken at the same spot on the same trip with dramatically different lighting. Really cool to see all three side by side to recognize how much the light changed over a short time and what a difference it makes in the feel of the shot.


Watched America’s National Parks: Grand Canyon

Watched America’s National Parks from National Geographic – Videos, TV Shows & Photos – Canada

America’s National Parks fascinate millions of visitors. This spectacular series will show you what happens beyond the lookouts. More than 3 years in the making will enable the audience to witness moments full of drama, watch stories of life and death and discover hidden gems they never believed could be found in a place they thought they knew. Follow us on an epic journey from the geysers of Yellowstone to the rugged Pacific coast of the Olympic peninsula, from the hot desert of Saguaro to the icy Gates of the Arctic, from the subtropical sea of grass in the Everglades to the world-famous peaks of Yosemite and from the mystic Smoky Mountains to the biggest gorge on Earth: the Grand Canyon


Watched Running Wild with Zachary Quinto

Watched Watch Running Wild with Bear Grylls TV Show – Streaming Online | Nat Geo TV from National Geographic

This show is kind of dumb 🤷‍♀️