Justin and I have been wanting to go on a Mt Hood trail for a while now. There’s nothing like hiking near the beautiful snow capped peaks of Mt Hood! We originally tried to hike on the North side of Mt Hood but after driving 1/2 hour into the woods across broken roads on the side of a cliff we found a “ranger”/bouncer at the trail head turning people away. He informed us that half of Mt Hood and the surrounding region had been closed off due to forest fires! Close one!! If he weren’t there we would have hiked right into the fire!!
The trail was very desert like in the beginning with surprisingly sandy ground with very sporadic evergreen trees and low succulent-like ground brush. Throughout the trail there were wonderful views of the top peak of Mt Hood, canyons and at the middle destination of the trail, a field of beautiful wildflowers! The smell and sights were amazing!
The challenging thing about this hike was you didn’t just do the classic…up the mountain, look at the view…hike back down the mountain to your car and leave pattern. It started off as steady downhill through the desert-like terrain, down a series of steep switch-backs down a riverbed (which we had to maneuver across…something that totally scares me), up the other side of the canyon to a wonderful view point into the next canyon we would descend into. Down and up out of the next canyon to the wonderful field of wildflowers and then back through everything to get back to the lodge. The last canyon was definitely harder to climb up once our legs were feeling like jello and the “slightly downhill” on the way to the field of wildflowers felt like a not so slight uphill climb on the way back.
Beautiful trail and would be interesting doing it again when there is snow on the trail. We would have to leave a lot more time to climb though since I’m sure we would be slipping up and down those canyons. Now that I think about it, the icy river crossing and non-existent wildflower field might not be as rewarding!
|Paradise Park Hike with Dan and Rachel|
Who ever said wedding planning was easy was lying through their teeth! Luckily, I am still having fun with it but BOY…is it complicated! Satisfying your own needs while being considerate to those of your fiance, family and friends is tricky!!
A word of advise to those of you planning a wedding of your own…DON”T EVER TRY TO PLAN A WEDDING FROM THE OPPOSITE SIDE OF THE COUNTRY!
We have finally picked a location, almost positively have a time for the wedding nailed down and have at least brain stormed ideas for guest sleeping arrangements which is a challenge in a town that has a total of about 7 rooms available within a 20 minute drive. …We’re getting our creative juices flowing!
Engagement pictures were taken yesterday and turned amazing! –It feels good when things start coming together. Save the dates should be out within the next week…if all goes as planned! YES!!Read More
One of the things I have been itching to do since the crisp air of Fall came in is try canning for the first time. The tomatoes that I planted this year started their big burst of fruit a little late in the season which left me with pounds and pounds of green tomatoes. I’m not quite sure if it was because I planted them in the ground too late in the season or if it was just an off season for tomatoes. I’m not super familiar with the growing seasons on the West Coast quite yet so I very well could have botched things up. Although, I see a lot of green tomatoes in peoples’ yards…yes I have been snooping.
What do you do with excessive amounts of green tomatoes?? You PICKLE!!! Our landlord from Cambridge, MA gave us some wonderful little flavor bombs that were pickled green tomatoes from her garden. This is what inspired me to do the same with ours. However, because my tomatoes got a huge dose of rain all at once so close to being at their peak size, a lot of them burst. Once burst I can’t use them for canning since bacteria gets in pretty quickly and would therefore ruin an entire can of pickled tomatoes. SO…I’m also making lots and lots of fresh green salsa! It has been so much fun and it makes it feel a little more like Fall.
The tricky thing about pickling blind is that I have know idea if the recipes that I have followed are good. In baking I can add or remove any ingredient (much to Naomi’s dismay ) based on previous knowledge of how these ingredients act in recipes. However, having never pickled I was completely at the mercy of the recipe. SCARY!! Especially since I now have 30 + jars of pickled green tomatoes using 3 different recipes. In about 3 months when they are ready to eat I will know more.Read More
Wow…we have really been slacking! There has been so much going on with me starting a new job, new growth in Justin’s job, friends’ weddings, fall activities and planning for our own wedding.
I’ll start out by saying Monica (and Tim), your wedding was amazing! You all did such a great job with planning such a big event for so many people. I’m glad I got to experience a super fancy wedding once in my life. Friends…don’t expect that from our wedding. I definitely went home with stomach ache from eating so much. We are all so lucky there are so many of our friends are getting married this coming summer! What a great excuse to meet up with all our friends. It was so nice seeing everyone!
Going to the wedding on the East Coast also allowed Justin and I to visit my family!! We not only got to see my little sister’s very first dorm room but we also had an amazing dinner get together with EVERYONE!! 6 months is way too long to not see family face to face! Family were able to rearrange their schedules to meet for a couple hours…until our waiter at the restaurant was surely sick of all our giggling, strange food requests, chatter and shier size. I guess he wasn’t prepared for a family reunion to happen on his shift!
Though I love my new job, it comes with such high demands that I find myself being very protective of my weekends. Finding time to do things I love…outside of work…has been challenging with what little time I have been leaving myself. I am in the process of finding a balance between work and home life that is a little more fool proof than what has been happening lately. I am a strong believer that creating firm boundaries between work and my personal life is not only needed but is a necessity in being successful in my career (prevent burn-out and not become resentful of my work) and staying happy and healthy at home…which in turn helps Justin stay happy and healthy! The challenge is on!