Yakima and Columbia River Gorge, WA & OR
2021, Sep 22-27
Prevented last year by forest fire, B and I decided to have a go at it again. Thanks to Mika for all the route planning, which we pretty much followed to a T. Lucked out mostly with fair weather, though the ride into Portland was a bit soggy. Tbh, felt kinda good after the nosebleed air of the East side...
Mount Rainier, WA
2021, May 9-14
Freshly back from the summit of Mount Rainier and I'm still having trouble putting my thoughts together. Swirls of memories and emotions interject at random but certain scenes stand out. In a surreal moment, the dawn breaks across the Eastern horizon, lighting up giant towers of broken glacier all around us with that particular soft golden glow, overpowering the headlamps that had been paving our way since hours prior, suddenly making known the dramatic world of steep ice and bottomless crevasses all around us. That was certainly one pinnacle of the experience, but other lessons will remain with me for longer. In and around that moment—the desperate gasp for breath, the tug of rope, trust in your team and tools, cold snow underfoot, the desire to learn and master, and of course, the mountain, alive under us, belching steam and snow and rocks, the main character...
Mount Hood, OR
2021, March 14-17
Have to start somewhere I suppose. And this was definitely a lovely place to start, though maybe a bit closer to the deep end than I expected. The last day I went skiing in 2020 was March 15, two days before the commencement of "Stay Home, Stay Healthy." At the time, I remember thinking it was a somewhat suspect idea, especially since so many of the early COVID superspreader events in Europe had happened on the slopes...
The Olympic Peninsula, WA
2020, September 19-25
The original plan was to circle through Yakima Valley and Columbia River Gorge, but Oregon and Eastern Cascade fires pushed us westward. To be honest, we didn't know whether this trip was going to happen until it happened. The whole trip spanned seven days, six on bike, and was absolutely filled with bike mishaps, unexpected changes of plans, nosy noseeums, rain (and rainbows), and stress. But even mediocre planning and a couple of rainy days can't dampen the beauty of the Olympic Peninsula...
Northern California and Oregon
2020, July 11-18
The only real constant on this trip was a slow, insidious nosebleed; sinuses cracked from the unfamiliar hot dry air, dusty, warm, and inescapable, a taste of high desert in the middle of summer. Over in the southeast edge of the Cascades, where one mountain range peters out and bleeds into the start of the Sierras, the snow has mostly gone. Summer is in full swing...
India: Mumbai, Udaipur, Jaipur, Pune
2019, November 17-29
R+A's wedding brings everyone to Pune; plus a week plus of travel around northwest India.
Sea Ranch, CA
2019, August 3-5
A biking disaster and a half, but a nice weekend in a strange and beautiful architecture community on the California coast.
Salinas to Los Angeles, CA
2019, March 23-28
Over March 23-28, 2019, B and I cycled down the California coast from Salinas to Los Angeles. We largely followed the route given in 2005’s Bicycling the Pacific Coast and route maps provided by the Adventure Cycling Association, bypassing some of the Bay Area riding we had previously completed by taking the Amtrak from Oakland to Salinas, and opting for the inland alternative through the Santa Ynez Valley between Lompoc and Santa Barbara. We camped 3 of the 5 nights in national forest and state park campgrounds, and credit-carded the remaining nights. Over the course of 6 days, we covered 382 miles of coastal roads and climbed approximately 22,500 feet of elevation. Minimal rain, a mix of head and tail winds, and the boundless beauty of the environs made for pleasant riding...
Hong Kong, Macau, Guangzhou
2018, December 6-16
Moody fall, cheap flights, and a certain love for HK brings us to the PRD. A few days on Hong Kong Island and Lama Island, with miscellaneous excursions to Macau and Guangzhou.
Belize and Guatamala (Tikal)
2018, February 5-13
Hot sauce tourism at its finest, plus scuba and a side trip to Tikal.
Nelson Lakes National Park, New Zealand
2017, August 19-20
Only a week ago on August 19-20th, 2017, Bryan and I completed an overnight hike to Angelus Hut in Nelson Lakes National Park in Tasman, New Zealand (our route at the end of the post), where spring is still a half-formed idea on the horizon and fresh snow is still falling in the mountains. Because the forecast had been a blustery 50-65 km/hr winds and well below freezing wind chill, we decided to hike in on the more protected Speargrass Track, which meanders 11.2km along Speargrass Creek, with a first half that is wooded and flat, and a second half that gains the majority of the altitude up to the Robert Ridge junction. From the top of the ridge, we descended to Angelus Lake, and made our way to the hut alongside the lake where we would overnight. The next morning, we descended along Robert Ridge, facing icy traverses and biting winds, and the steep but perfectly switch-backed Pinchgut Track, making it back to the carpark an hour before sundown...