Friday, March 27, 2015

Exist to be happy, not to impress

"When you complain, you make yourself a victim. Leave the situation, change the situation, or accept  it. All else is madness."
-Eckhart Tolle

Life has handed me a few disappointments in the last couple of months. New changes and plans are in progress and I'm trying my best to be unapologetic for my life's purpose to be joy and happiness (rather than money or glamor). New changes. Good changes. Exciting plans are in progress.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Red Rocks Canyon, Las Vegas Nevada

"You have more to do than be weighed down by pretty or beautiful. You are a fiery heart and a wicked brain. Do not let your soul be defined by its shell."

Camping on the Colorado River 

Tyson and I wanted to go on a warm weather climbing trip during Oregon's winter, so we planned a trip to Las Vegas to camp and climb near Red Rocks. I hadn't been to Vegas since I was a small child and never realized that it had some world class sandstone climbing just minutes outside of it. Mother Earth certainly produced a beautiful child in Red Rocks, amazing striations, fading black to red like an ombre painting.

A few friends finishing school in SoCal drove out to meet us. We camped the first night near Red Rocks and just got a small taste of the climbing in the park, with a few routes on the J Wall and Panty Wall. Next, we hiked out to Ringbolt/Arizona Hot Springs, which was perfect in these cooler months. We hiked 4 miles out through slot canyons to be so sweetly rewarded at the end, reaching these hot springs neatly tucked away by the Colorado River. We slept out underneath the stars by the water. It was amazing and therapeutic. 

Ringbolt/Arizona Hot Springs

Red Rocks Canyon State Park

Monday, February 16, 2015

Silver Falls State Park

Tyson has been reading a book on Teddy Roosevelt and often tells me bits and pieces of all of his accomplishments (all before he was 30), like fixing the corruption of the Police Department when they all had deals/payouts with the mob, or creating/designating all our National Parks.

It got me thinking about all of my own accomplishments and to be frank, that list isn't long. I'm financially stable. I found myself a good partner/spouse. My career thus far has been . . . fine. For a second I felt disappointed with myself in comparison, and on the next breath, I realized that I actually, don't give a shit.

I'm happy to live simply. I'm happy to breathe fresh air, sleep every night next to a man I love, enjoy the foliage of my home state, enjoy good food and fill my time with simple hobbies. I'm in love with my life, every moment of it, and that's success to me.

Here's a few quick pics from a hike we did on Valentine's Day. Silver Falls State Park near Salem. Easy hike, 8.4 miles, crowded trail but amazing waterfalls. 

Hiking behind the falls 
Foliage at Silver Falls State Park

Monday, February 2, 2015

Smith Rock State Park

I used to live in central California and I love the ocean.
I now live in Portland, OR and I love the forest, foliage, and greenery.
I have never lived in the desert or intend to, because I don't love the dryness, the extreme temperatures, or the scenery.

But Bend, OR and Smith Rock State Park is a playground for the outdoorsman/rock climber and because it makes my husband, Tyson, so happy, it's become one of my favorite places to visit. The rock formations are so majestic and the views are pretty unbeatable. There are several thousand climbs in the park and more than a thousand are bolted routes. It's on our bucket list to climb Monkey Face as soon as possible! 

Sorry to those avid skiers who were hoping for snow this winter, but I certainly have no complaints about this mild January weather. We camped this last weekend with a few friends and rock climbed. 

Tyson and I at Smith Rock State Park
Winter outdoor climbing in January at The Peanut 
Fun weekend crew / Tyson and I, Kim, Parker & Denny (their Blue Heeler)

 All of these pictures by Kim Pridgen:

Monday, January 19, 2015

Cape Horn Trail

The Columbia Gorge is an important place to me.

Let me give you some context of what it means to me.

My now husband, Tyson, and I were long distance for a year a half. Back in 2011, I was working in Walla Walla, WA and he was in Portland, OR. I commuted several times a month through this gorge during late hours and in heavy rain. We hiked in the gorge. We camped in the gorge. We fell in love in the gorge. We contemplated the difficulty of our distance and took a break from seeing each other, and decided to reconvene and discuss if we should keep working at this. . . in the gorge. Obviously, the gorge convinced us to keep on, because a few months after that, I moved to Portland. And after that, we got engaged . . . in the gorge.

We're married now and live in Portland, OR now (and I've never been happier) and still visit the gorge as often as we can. Here's some pictures of a hike we did yesterday in the gorge, called the Cape Horn Trail. It's a 7.5 mile trail loop and even in January, I couldn't resist getting as close as I could to the waterfall.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Waldo Lake, Oregon

Christmas 2013, my father got us a inflatable kayak. January in Portland doesn't exactly excite one to get in the water, and the summer following, Tyson and I got married, and found that planning a wedding, accommodating family, and getting off work for our honeymoon to Costa Rica and Aruba didn't give us much time for other trips. 

After my dad dropped several comments, like "You haven't used it yet, huh? [sigh] I really thought you guys were going to like it." We decided it was time to make a weekend trip to Waldo Lake in central Oregon in the fall. 

We'd done a bit of research and nothing seemed better than taking it out to Waldo Lake, an ultraoligotrophic lake (having extremely clear water with very little organic material). Apparently, Waldo Lake contains some mineral in the water that prevents it from growing any vegetation, which means no algae, so you can see clear to the bottom everywhere, even at 150 ft deep. Also, all gasoline motors are prohibited, keeping this Lake free from pollution.

By late fall, only one of the campgrounds was still open to the public, so we strapped our food, tent and gear to front, stuffed our sleeping bags in-between the seats and paddled out to a sandy bank where we set up camp. We built a fire, burned a hole in the bottom of one of our sleeping bags trying to dry it on the fire, roasted s'mores, made soup, and slept on the sandy bank under the stars. 

It was magical. We highly recommend this spot to anyone.

Clear water on Waldo Lake 

(1) Setting up camp on the bank  (2) Our campfire on the shore

Waking up in the morning / our view from the shore