Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Denver pics are up at long last

Well it took long enough but I have finially post the pictures from our trip to Denver a few weeks ago. We snuck out to get little sun and check out Monica and Dave's new house. Great trip, lots of loving on their dog Stella and I can't wait to get back.

Pics are here (click me).

Monday, February 23, 2009

Hurricane Ridge at last

Link to all the pics (Click Me).

Well the gang got our act together and got out for a trip this weekend. This was actually the trip that we had planned last year that turned into the camping trip on the Pacific coast.

We snuck out of Seattle around 7:30 Friday and after grabbing a little dinner we hit the ferry over to the peninsula. Everyone was a little leery about the campsite being available after the last fiasco but at about 11:00pm we pulled up to the Heart O’ The Hills Campground at the base of Hurricane Ridge.

Since it appeared that all the campsites were covered in snow we picked the first one and setup camp. After waking up in the morning we realized that in the darkness we had picked the only snowy campsite and that the one next to us was not only snow free but also had a pile of firewood stacked up. Oh well, someone else will be pretty happy about that.

We were not planning to go too far in so we did not rush out of the campsite and ended up getting to the ranger station about 11:30 or 12. After talking things over with the ranger we decided to go ahead with the plan we had and snowshoe in to camp.
Due to the crazy weather on top you are not allowed to park at the visitors center but instead you arrange for a ranger to follow you down the road about 3 miles, where you drop your car, and then they shuttle you back up. We were thinking the process would take forever but about 5 minutes after getting to the top Dan was following a ranger down to the parking area. I should at this point say that we could not have picked the weather any better. The visibility was great, and the temperature was mild.

Every part of the trip seemed to top the next. When we got the visitors center the view was amazing, after we hiked in and setup camp I had decided this was the prettiest spot I had ever setup camp. After we setup camp Dan threw out the idea of hiking to the top of Hurricane Hill which was a few miles away and that way we could catch the sunset from up top. We got camp setup nicely and tightened everything down so it would not blow away. About 3:45 we started heading to the top with packs full of food, extra clothing and headlights.

Wow… I think I said that about every 5 minutes as the scenery just became more and more beautiful. All that kept running through my head was that this was only 3 hours from my house. That is a dream come true.

We got up to the top about 30 minutes before sunset and had plenty of time to check out the view, make some hot chocolate with a little bailey’s to keep us all warm, and chow down on almonds and dark chocolate. Life could not have been any better.

Finally with dusk settling and the temperature starting to drop we reluctantly packed up our gear and headed back to camp. Even the hike back in the dark was great with the last lingering pieces of the sunset fading out over the peaks and the lights from the coastal towns blinking on.

After what seemed like 30 minutes we were back in camp. We started up the next round of dinner, finished off a little port that Dan and Laura brought, and then as the temperature really started to drop we all headed off to the tents.

The wind picked up shortly after we turned in and we woke up to a beautiful snowstorm. The high winds made breaking down camp interesting, to say the least. After learning that if you left a girlfriend in the tent as you broke it down it would not blow away we had broken camp and hiked the short walk back to the visitors center.

I believe everyone agreed that this was one of the best trips they had ever been on. Between good friends, perfect weather, and amazing scenery the weekend could not have been any better.

Friday, February 13, 2009

No real news

Been out skiing a few times so far and managed to get out xc skiing with Dan and Laura last weekend. So far it has been a pretty lame snow year so no real trips to speak of. We have a trip in the works for next weekend so hopefully pics and stories to come.