Catching Up: Fall Hikes!

Oofta, I have had the hardest time keeping the blog up-to-date lately. It’s been quite tedious dealing with my photos on my computer and it’s been too time intensive for me to sit down and go through them all. Finally I’m feeling like I have a little more time to use to get some personal projects done!

Alas, I’ll be updating the blog from things I missed over the summer and catching up since I dropped off. I’ll start with some more recent happenings!

Fall is very much here in the mountains. We’re past the peak in the foliage in most places and it’s been dropping down into the upper 20s most nights recently. Drives along the river or on our windy mountain road are extra special this time of year.

I’ve been capitalizing on this and have gone for a number of hikes recently – some alone, some with Alex, others with friends and some with our whole family. It’s been such a special way to enjoy the season.

I wrapped up physical therapy for my hips a few weeks ago and am continuing to get stronger and regain mobility. It’s been a slow ramp up after spending most of the summer incapacitated. My first hike was the first day I dropped Hannah off at school in early September. Since then, I’ve hiked at least once a week.

Mid-September Alex took the week off and we were able to get out together for a tough 6-mile hike overlooking the town of Leavenworth {Icicle Ridge hike}. It was a beautiful bluebird day and I was so happy to have been physically able to do such a challenging hike.

We ended our day-date with a fresh and delicious lunch at Yodelin, where we got to look up at the ridge we had just hiked.

Late in September, I met my friend Joanna for a 7-mile hike to Lake Valhalla, near Stevens Pass, to enjoy the fall colors. It was stunning!

Mixed in there was a very special visit from my brother, John, and his girlfriend, Becky. They spent a weekend with us and we watched Ben’s soccer game, hiked Icicle Gorge and made homemade pasta.

Our family hikes have been relatively un-enjoyable for the most part this fall/late summer. One day we had just a horribly frustrating hike and Alex and I realized we needed to re-calibrate our expectations for family hikes. They need to be short. They need to be flat. We need to be able to carry the kids when they’re tired. And our goal needs to be to have fun, not to complete a certain distance.

We see so many other families with kids of a similar age to ours and the kids are doing 5+ mile hikes without being carried. We lost sight of the fact that just because other kids can do that, it doesn’t mean ours can or will. Ben notoriously has low stamina. His metabolism is lightning fast and his fuel tank goes from F to E really quickly. He’s certainly building endurance, but we have a ways to go.

I’ll do a separate post for my most recent hike, but I went on the most magical hike to Larch Lake last weekend. The scene around the lake feels like it’s out of a fairy tale. More to come soon!