PNW outdoor life goals for 2018

As we are well in the middle of the first month of 2018, Josh and I have been discussing our goals for this year. Most of the focus will find us hiking, so expect to see a lot of Trail Talk here. Not listed here are our farming goals. I know I haven’t written much about our chickens and gardens lately, but promise to pick that up soon.

We love to travel and explore and while we do have a trip to Colorado this spring to listen to Bluegrass in a haunted hotel, we are planning to soak ourselves into as much of this PNwonderful as possible. Much of our goals and plans are lottery dependent, but we’re going to cast our backpacking availability and hope for the best.

Here’s what’s on the list:

Summit of Mount St. Helens

We just booked this through the Mount St. Helens Institute and have started training as much as we can. At the end of March we’ll spend a weekend with MHSI. On Saturday we will hike a couple of miles and spend the day learning mountaineering skills like using an ax to self-arrest and how to properly use crampons in the snow. Speaking of that snow we’ll be camping in it getting some much needed rest before the next day, which weather permitting, we’ll summit Mount St. Helens using our newly learned mad skills.

One Big Packpacking Trip

We are putting our itinerary requests for the lotteries for the Enchantments and the Wonderland Trail. Our backups include a section hike of the Wonderland, the Hoh River Trail, and Canada’s West Coast Trail. Either way, we need to get used to hiking some tough terrain with about 60 lbs on our back.

Give Snowshoeing a Try

A few years ago, I went skiing on Mt. Baker. Traveling in between runs, I took a long cross-country ski path. Snow boarders were nowhere to be seen and there were one or two skiers who passed me. I was surrounded by pristine snowy firs and quiet. Since then, I always felt snowshoeing could be my thing. This winter I want to try it.

Swim Puget Sound/Get More Comfortable

When we moved here, I met an awesome lady who convinced me to join the Master swim group AND join her swim team for the Seattle Swim Across America event where I’d swim a mile in Lake Washington. I tried to swim in Piget Sound, got freaked out, but vowed to go back. So I did my one mile in Lake Washington, kept up with the Master Swim group and last summer I swam the Whidbey Open Water Swim which was 1.2 miles in Saratoga Passage and swam again with Swim Across America in Dallas, increasing my distance to 1.5 miles….but it was in a lake.

This year I want to get more comfortable swimming in Puget Sound. I’d like to get in 3 swims around the island in addition to joining Swim Across America at Lake Washington in Seattle.

Hike EVERY Trail on Whidbey Island

There are so many trails on this island: Deception Pass, South Whidbey State Park, Trillium Trails, Fort Ebey State Park, Saratoga Woods and some others we are just learning about. In our training for the tougher hikes we’ll plan on trying to hit every trail on the island.

It’s an ambitious plan that we’ll have to work around our day job and hobby farming, but I’m up for the challenge.

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