Monday, October 12, 2015


Imagine a vacation where you don’t need to book a flight, reserve a hotel room or seek out local attractions. All you need to do is simply look around you. No matter where you live, there is always an undiscovered adventure waiting for you. Whether it be a local hike, historic building, activity you’ve never tried or dinner party with friends. There's always a way to make vacation or should I say “Staycation” right around you.
I decided it was time for me to take a staycation in the Columbia River Gorge.
I tried XC skiing for the 2nd time up by Mt. Adams. Thanks to a couple of friends it made for a fun and memorable adventure.
Delicious first experience with fondue... If you've never tried fondue so it's great excuse for a dinner party.
Still attempting snowboarding up at Mt. Hood.
Finished with a hike to the top of Mitchell Point for a sweet view of the gorge.

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Reaching the Summit: Mt. Adams

Ever since I moved to the Columbia River Gorge in 2010, I was in awe at the snow covered mountains - Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams. It dawned on me that I have never climbed a mountain before but now might be the perfect time to try! Known to be one of the "easier" mountains to summit, Mt. Adams tempted me every time I saw this majestic white peak. Standing 12,276 feet tall, it reminded me often of my goal to reach the top. Much to my displeasure, I never did climb it during the 2 years I lived in the Columbia River Gorge. Now, back for a two week visit in September, it was time to make this goal a reality...

Energy for the hike. . .

We hiked 2 hours up in the dark and slept out on the mountain! Lots of fresh air to take in.

Breakfast before we leave camp

A view of the FALSE summit! Getting to the top of this was the hardest part and you weren't even at the top yet.

SUMMIT!!! 12,276' made it :)

Our crew at the top with Mt. Rainer in the background

Start of the descent... long way to  go

Cool snow field we had to traverse.  It looks like a crazy scene from a movie

My first glissading! Yes, you slide down on your butt! I wore a rain poncho to protect my butt.

Another one of the glissading shoots. It was super cold and REALLY hurt if you got too much speed and flew out of the track. I had a bruise to prove it.

Drinking some FRESH mountain spring water! Straight from the source, hard to beat that.

Last snow field before we reach our camp area. You can see one of the camps in the right side of this photo.

A closer look at one of the camps. They build up the rocks to help protect you from the wind.
Well... it took us 6.5 hours to ascend, and 4.5 to descend. Needless to say, it was a long day of hiking! But, my to my pleasure, I finally got to check that off my list! 

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Rogue River: My New Summer Home

This summer I decided it was time to explore the next step in the seasonal world... working on the river! I traded my desk job for life as a raft guide rowing gear boats down the Rogue River. Yes, you read it right, RAFT guide! It's been quite a bit different from being a kayaker but well worth it. It feels like I went from driving a sassy sports car to navigating a school bus on ice. (As the seasoned guides like to say.) Instead of always facing downstream, I can also face upstream and pull downstream. In a kayak I would never think to "back into it" but in a raft its a common way to successfully complete a move.

So far I've been down the Rogue River four times since I arrived in early June. Here are a couple pictures from one of my trips!

JR & I at Dulog Falls, one of the many side waterfalls on the Rogue River.

Misty morning on the river

Me going big... real big! This is the highest cliff I've ever jumped off and I don't plan on going any higher!!

Yes, that's me rowing!

Rowing out of Mule Creek Canyon, one of the most majestic canyons on the Rogue. JR is just happy to be in his kayak!

From the Grand Canyon to the Rogue River - it's fun to be back on the water with Ryan & JR.

Dustin and I relaxing and enjoying the many views of the river canyon.

Dr. Seuss tree! It's a pretty awesome tree that keeps holding on even though the soil under it's roots have been washed away by high water.

Some of the unique polished rocks along the river

JR in one of the best kettles on the river. You can watch people float by and they have no idea you're even there!
My first bear sighting!!

Jeni & I relaxing and enjoying the view.

The entrance to the Flora Dell  flats where there's an abundance of conglomerate rocks. See the little dog? Red Dog came with us on the whole trip!

Our last night camp. This is my favorite camp on the river so far.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Illinois River: Prestine Wilderness & Incredible Whitewater

The Illinois River is an incredible wilderness river in Southern Oregon that demands respect. Known for flash flooding, it's important to make sure the conditions are perfect before entering into this remote river canyon. This past weekend was exactly that... perfect! There were 8 of us that came together to make this a trip of a lifetime! Here are a some photos from our adventure. . .

Me, Liz, JR & Tyson just after launching from put-in

I'm the little blue boat just above one of the many incredible rapids

Rocky canyon nature of the Illinois

First time in my new Dagger Nomad!!

Barefoot Brad = The Best Shuttle Driver EVER! He had pizza and cold beer waiting for us at the take out.

Some of the Crew!

Celebrating Cinco de Mayo with Riveritas!

Tyson & Liz working "hard" on dinner while the rest of us relax

JR's addition to the dinner - fresh sweet corn! Yummy!

Liz & I = Pretty much awesomeness!

Making our way down stream & loving it!

Green Wall = The biggest rapid on the run! So beautiful.

Good people = Good times!

Green Curry, veggies & cous cous for dinner on night 2.

Rigging for another day on the water

Camp on Night 2 - Confluence of Collier Creek & Illinois.

Take out = Mission accomplished! Until next time. . .
If you're looking for more photos and videos from this trip, check out Liz's Blog!

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Weekend Adventure in Northern Washington

Driving Up Tumwater Canyon looking at the snow-covered Cascade Mtns.

Beautiful Drive

Trailhead for our hike... it was so perfect!

Some of the massive whitewater on this section.... Maybe someday.
I spent the weekend with my good friend JoAnne, exploring the Wanatchee River up by the little Bavarian town of Leavenworth, WA. Tucked at the foothills of the Cascade Mountains it was an incredibly scenic area especially with the snow-covered peaks surrounding us. Our goal was simple, to playboat the Wanatchee River and have fun! We arrived Saturday afternoon and headed straight for the river. We had an excellent run and it was fun to be in a play boat again!

Sunday we started with a hike up Tumwater Canyon to admire the quality whitewater above the section we paddled. I wish the photo of this rapid did it justice- It was HUGE! After the hike we headed back to the river to get our surf on! The weather was sunny and hot and we enjoyed several hours on the river surfing, laughing and remembering what it's like to be in a little boat with edges! Needless to say I got a few combat rolls in. Thank you JoAnne for a perfect weekend!!