Honorable Mention in the 2012 Washington Trails Northwest Exposure Photo Contest

coverAfter entering our family photo in the 2012 Washington Trail Northwest Exposure Photo Contest last October, we were excited to hear that our photo of Laura and Ethan hiking on Boardman Trail was selected as honorable mention.

There were 13 winning selections and 10 honorable mentions and editor’s picks. You can view all the selected photos in the January 2013 Washington Trails Magazine or on the Washington Trail Association site. More of our outdoor hiking and camping adventures can be found over here on our site. We look forward to an outstanding year of new and old hikes.

Thanks to the Washington Trails Association for the excellent work they provide to our State, natural environment, and us.

Boardman Trail
Laura and Ethan hike up to Boardman Lake

Continue reading “Honorable Mention in the 2012 Washington Trails Northwest Exposure Photo Contest”

Big Four Ice Caves (without the ice caves)

After being away for 6 days in San Antonio and the family stuck with a rainy week in Seattle, we took advantage of a beautiful Saturday to hike the Big Four Ice Caves Trail on the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest. After a couple months of anticipation on our part, the trail just opened up for the season this past week. I’m thankful we hit the trails early because when we arrived around 9am there were only 3 cars in the parking lot, but when we returned we saw well over 50 cars. This is a popular trail due to it’s 1-mile length, 200 ft. elevation gain, and great views.

We visited this area in the fall of 2010 but experienced cooler weather, fewer people, and we actually saw the ice caves. Today, the snow was still on the top of the trail and the caves are covered. We did hear a couple avalanches in the upper reaches of the mountain (and others viewed them) but there was no danger to us. Nonetheless, it was a great hike that offered plenty of family time!

The Trail
big four ice caves
Views of the hiking area
South Fork Stillaguamish River
Autumn and her Dad
Avalanche Danger!!!
Touch the tree
Snowball Time
There should be a couple ice caves right there
texas longhorn snow
Ethan and his Texas Longhorn
Lunch time, munch time....
Views of the area
More snowballs
Trying to pose for the shot.
Skunk Cabbage
Ethan assesses how deep the water is
Quick rest before our final 100 yards (kids were being silly)
...and the kids zip past Dad making their way for the finish line!

Hiking Season has arrived! First Stop: Lord Hill Regional Park


With the sun shining a bit more than usual, and the temperatures staying above 55 a tad longer, the family is more inclined to hit the trail more frequently. On a favorable hiking day, we tend to do 2-4 mile hikes with the kids. Those miles don’t always work well in the winter or rainy days unless you want to deal with crying, cold kids who never want to hike again. On the other hand, we continue to “break” them in with mild easy hikes that leave them wanting more. Continue reading “Hiking Season has arrived! First Stop: Lord Hill Regional Park”

Boardman Lake on the Mountain Loop Highway

Life’s simple pleasures!

In the San Francisco Bay Area, I cut my teeth hiking in the coastal redwood forest. As a resilient species that deserves respect,  I found solace in their beauty and sheer presence.  They will always be my favorite, especially those found at Sanborn County Park, but cedar and hemlock have a unique beauty that shouldn’t be ignored. They are the giants in the western Cascades. Continue reading “Boardman Lake on the Mountain Loop Highway”