Posts Tagged With: camping

The Rocky Mountain West; Sept 2017

After resting up at friends’ ranch in Kennewick Washington we drove into northeastern Oregon and one of our favorite places; the Wallowa Mountains. But, before we left Kennewick, we switched our cellular service from AT&T to Verizon and glad we did. Immediately our phone service improved and with Verizon’s jetpack (a small portable router) we could now access the internet using Verizon’s cellular signal even when camping far out in the back country. Continue reading

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Wild Western Washington

Our friends Brice and Aline from France came in August to visit us at our home in Mukilteo, north of Seattle, and they wanted to go backpacking. So together we planned a series of trips into the wilds of western Washington starting with a short overnight backpack trip to Ptarmigan Ridge on the shoulder of volcanic Mt Baker. After that we car-camped a couple nights in the rain forest along the Hoh River in Olympic National Park, backpacked in for a couple nights at Foss Lakes in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, and finally packed along the wild Pacific coast of Olympic National Park although we’d originally planned a longer trip deep into the wilderness of North Cascades National Park to Beaver Pass. Unfortunately, forest fires kept us out of the North Cascades. We hoped for good weather and lots of wildlife and weren’t disappointed except for smoke from the worst forest fires in decades that covered most of western Washington for weeks. Continue reading

Categories: The Pacific NW | Tags: , , , ,


It’s mid-February and a rare few days of sunny weather has hit the Washington State’s notoriously wet and stormy Pacific coast. So I packed my backpack and drove west from our home near Seattle to land’s end – Cape Alava – the westernmost point in the coterminous United States and a remote point in the wilderness of Olympic National Park. (see coastal hiking information at the end of the article). Continue reading

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Volcanoes, Lakes, Glaciers and Sea Lions; Washington’s Cascades and Islands

Our friends Brice and Aline stayed with us in August and September with wilderness backpacking and sea kayaking high on the priority list of things to do. So, we prepared for three backbacking trips and a day of sea kayaking starting with a strenuous trek into the glaciated peaks of the North Cascades (see A Tough Trip Through Paradise in What’s New). After that we backpacked into Mt Baker, at almost 11,000 feet elevation it’s the most heavily glaciated mountain in the United States outside of Alaska. We kayaked into the deep water of Possession Sound off of Whidbey Island north of Seattle seeing sea lions, porpoise and eagles, and finished with a short, but strenuous overnight trip to Rampart Lakes high in the mountains overlooking Snoqualmie Pass, the main highway from the east into Seattle. Continue reading

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August 2014 – A Very Beary Day

The massive volcano, glaciers and forests of Mt Rainier just outside of Seattle is one of America’s oldest National Parks, established in 1899. Since then the Seattle megalopolis has grown closer and closer until now Mt Rainier National Park is only a couple hour drive from the urban sprawl of Seattle. But wilderness it is and besides its glaciers and canyons, it is known for its abundant wildlife – including bears. Continue reading

Categories: The Pacific NW | Tags: , , , , ,

August 2014 – Hell’s Canyon; A Special Place

Tucked into the remote northeast corner of Oregon along the Idaho border is a special place; Hell’s Canyon National Recreation Area. There are over 650,000 acres of canyons, forests and wild rivers and more; to the east the Wallowa Mountains rise abruptly over the Wallowa Valley to almost 10,000 feet, to the east the Seven Devils Mountains tower 9,000 feet above the wild Snake River to form the deepest gorge in the United States. Combined with the Wallowa Mountains and those in Idaho, and the adjacent forest lands of the Wallowa-Whitman and Nez Perce National Forests, there’s millions of acres of public lands to explore. Continue reading

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The Art of Car Camping; An American Tradition

No, . . . not a weekend at the local park. Not cruising in a self-contained recreational vehicle with kitchen and bathroom. In fact, not even staying in a campground of any sort. We’re talking about car camping, . . . loading up the car or pickup truck with camping gear, food, water, and driving deep into the outback to camp for days, weeks, even months at a time. And with hundreds of millions of acres of federal public land throughout the western United States to choose from there are plenty of places to go. Continue reading

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Nine Days in Olympic National Park, San Juan Islands and Mt Rainier

Sonia’s sister and husband along with her nephew and fiancé were arriving from Mexico on July 23rd.. Since this might be their only visit to the Pacific Northwest before we leave for extended travel around the world we wanted to show them as much as we could of the beauty surrounding Seattle. So, contrary to our usual philosophy of slow travel, we planned a trip packed with tours of the best of western Washington State. Hopefully it won’t be too much. Continue reading

Categories: America's Pacific Northwest & Alaska | Tags: , , , , ,

Packing for the Wilderness

Backpacking, wild camping, wilderness trekking – whatever you call it I mean multi-day hiking and camping trips into the wilderness carrying all the gear, clothes and food you’ll need to survive in a backpack. In the United States, particularly in the western U. S., there are millions of acres of wilderness to explore. This article describes the gear for backpacking in temperate conditions, not winter camping, glacier travel, rock climbing or other activities that require specialized gear and skills beyond those needed for hiking into the wilderness. Continue reading

Categories: TIPS & TRAVELLING | Tags: , , ,

Finding the Wild Side of the Pacific Northwest (Beyond the National Parks)

Writer and historian Wallace Stegner called America’s national parks, “the best idea we ever had.” I’d have to agree and most travellers are familiar with names like Yellowstone, Yosemite or the Grand Canyon. America’s national parks are magnificent, all fifty-nine of them, but some of the wildest areas in America are outside of its national parks. Continue reading

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