Eleven years ago I met Alex. He had just moved from San Jose to Washington, hoping for a change of scenery. Inside his suitcases were broken flip flops and faded t-shirts, but he remembers the weight of the baggage to be a lot heavier. Both of us were working at a coffee shop that boasts … Continue reading Don’t Climb In A Puma Jumpsuit
Washington is beautiful, duh. A little bit of desert, a few peaks splitting down middle, farmland to the east and a coastline to the west. Rivers cut through the landscape carving valleys and dissolving mountains. Dense forests freckle Washington's geography like a red headed step child. It's easy to fall madly in love with this … Continue reading Washington: Not So Secret Lover
Lists are dumb. Not really, but I sure don't make them. Alex insists grocery shopping can only be done with a list. If it's not on the list, he won't buy it. Lists are helpful, there's no denying their usefulness. Me, I prefer the freedom of no Lists; just my shopping basket and my salvatory … Continue reading Valuable Lessons Learned…Sort Of
Is there a store that supplies enormous bags? I am referring to bags so large that one could throw around a peak of a summit, perhaps synch it tightly and then attempt to pull it back to their vehicle at the base of the trailhead. There might also be some sort of pulley system that … Continue reading Stop Putting Bags On Peaks
Broken bones, apparently they happen. For the last eleven years, Alex and I have been upping the ante on our outdoor excursions. More miles, more gear, more pitches, steeper ascents, just more. This is a reasonable progression as skills improve, gear closet expands and route navigation sharpens. That's the hope anyways. Each trip is … Continue reading Broken Bones and Champagne
"I've never seen shoulders like yours on a female figure before," the old man said to me while shaking his head side to side. His body language leaned in as though he wanted to reach out and touch my shoulders but knew enough about acceptable social norms to stop himself. I had just been lowered … Continue reading Are You Wearing Shoulder Pads?
Dear Cas, As I write this, your clammy body lies next to me in bed. Yes, you're four and half and you're still taking up an entire half of a king sized bed. One part me thinks you'll never leave and I'll forever have a set of sharp toenails scratching my stomach in the middle … Continue reading A Letter to My Four Year Old
Standing in the dusty parking lot, waiting for Alex to attach a few straggler items to the outside of his pack, I had a stern talking to myself. "Jenna, while the hope is Cas will hike the entire way in, you need to surrender to the fact that at one mile in, you'll be gaining … Continue reading Sweaty Adults and Miles of Skittles
Climbing, skiing and backpacking with a kid? Heck yes!
The previous owner (Anarchist) of Petey decided not to insulate the bus sufficiently because he felt it was a giant, metal heat box. Perhaps the Anarchist had mutant skin that cold could not penetrate? Regardless of his decision, we chose to insulate the crap out of Petey. The inside panels underneath the windows had a … Continue reading Insulation Across the Nation with No Standing Ovation