Posts Tagged ‘camping


the enchantments.

This July we are hiking the Enchantments! We entered the lottery and we won! Well, my sister Stan actually won, but the permit is good for all 6 of us.  The Enchantment Lakes are located near Levenworth in the central cascades and are a high alpine basin full of lakes, granite formations and breathtaking views. This hike is commonly touted as the most beautiful and scenic in Washington State.  It’s been on our list for a few years and, we’re finally taking the plunge (umm…not getting any younger!).  It’s about 18 miles and the highest elevation point is 7,800 feet…which doesn’t sound too bad until you hear that at one point in the hike there is a 2,200 foot elevation gain in ¾ of a mile. It’s basically like climbing a tree with a heavy backpack on. (Why am I doing this again?!?)  We will take 3 nights and 4 days to complete the hike and we’ll have to pack everything in and out. I’m sure this is no surprise to anyone, but I’m mostly concerned about food. I’m going to have to be able to carry in all the food I want for 4 days (on top of clothes, sleeping bag, cooking stuff, tent, etc), and I’m nervous I’m not going to have enough to eat! I’m not sure how I feel about trail mix and dehydrated food. Eww. If anyone has any favorites or advice let me know.


mt. adams

Last weekend, we wrapped-up the 2009 camping season with a bang! We went to Takhlakh Lake. The views of Mt. Adam are so beautiful. I highly recommend checking it out!



guest blog: camping on the river

Our annual family camping trip was this past weekend and, as usual, memories were made. The nine of us including our kids and the boyfriends, floated the raging Yakima River, engaged in riveting campfire conversation and just about had the whole lot of our tents blown into the river by the non-stop Ellensburg wind.  Such is camping. You never really know if you’re going to get rained out, blown out, bug-bitten out, or campfire-smoked out. It’s funny how we leave our tidy homes, cozy beds and convenient kitchens to live in the woods for a few days like we’re wild people.  Cooking over fire, sleeping on the ground, getting filthy from the dirt and grime you can’t avoid in nature, all the while, longing for a real shower.   And yet, we keep going back for more.  Why? These are the trips that are talked about over and over again.  Every camping excursion seems to have a collection of incidents that are specific to that place and time. The oh-yeah-that-was-the-trip-when stories, and those you-had-to-be-there stories that no one else is even mildly interested in, but laughs or listens anyway to be polite.  This trip, a few of those memorable moments were: 

  • we camped on the corner of I-5 and I-405
  • we had a rough encounter on the banks of the river
  • we were introduced to a man named “Fire”

  See? None of these make any sense to you, but each of us will smile when we read them. I can’t wait until next year! (Sorry, no pictures – Derek is busy this week too!)


deer park.

WOW! It’s been a long time since I posted last – sorry! I hate it when I go to my blogroll and nobody has updated their blogs. It’s such a let-down. I’ll try to be better.

This weekend we went to arguably the most amazing spot in Washington. I’m having an internal battle right now with myself on whether or not I should say where we were. Part of me wants to spread the word, and part of me really wants to be selfish and keep it to myself. It’s so beautiful I don’t want it to be spoiled by too many people. Ok, here it goes (hopefully the pit toilets, limited number of campsites and scary dirt road up the mountain will keep everyone away). Drum roll please….this weekend we to Deer Park. There, I said it.

Deer Park sits in the Olympic National Park and boasts some of the most spectacular views I’ve ever seen – they truly take your breath away. We camped there for three nights with two friends and had a great time: the weather was great, beautiful scenery, lots of laughs and catching up, hot coffee (ohnie ‘n ‘da mownin’), icy cocktails in the afternoon, too much food and a thunder/lightning storm from a tent. It doesn’t get much better than that (Ok, I could have done without the mosquitoes. I absorbed and ingested so much deet I’m nervous I may no longer be able to have children)! Here are a few photos from our adventure.

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Mount St. Helens

We have a book of the best tent camping in Washington State. And it is our goal to camp at every place in the book. This weekend the book led us to Mount. St. Helens. We stayed at a campsite called Lower Falls, near Cougar, WA. It wasn’t the best campsite we’ve ever been to (too many sites and too many RVs), but the area was beautiful! We saw several impressive waterfalls, embarked on couple hikes and walked on lava fields. Unfortunately, Mount St. Helens was under a cloud the entire weekend so Derek wasn’t able to get any prize photos of the famed volcano. Oh well, maybe next time. We did go on a long drive and scoped-out a camping spot we’d like to try in the future.

As usual, we had a great time – here are a few photos.







hart’s pass

This weekend Derek and I went camping at Hart’s Pass. Hart’s Pass is located in the North Cascades (about 19 miles outside of Mazama). It’s a bit of a trek to get there, but well worth it. The dirt road is very narrow and it winds along the side of a mountain that leads you to the highest point in Washington State accessible by cars. I know – crazy right!? Once you get up there, there is a tiny campground (5 spots). The campsite is really fantastic – but the highlight of the area is Slate Peak. Slate Peak is a tall peak and magnificent viewpoint that showcases the North Cascades like you’ve never seen. The 360 degree view will take your breath away – you feel like an ant in the middle of a huge mountain range. And the shapes of the peaks are so interesting; they are sharp and jagged (unlike any I’ve ever seen). We stayed up there for the sunset – it was so beautiful!

We will definitely be back to Hart’s Pass – hopefully sooner than later!


lake crescent

Every year we go on a camping trip with my family. In the past, we’ve gone to Lake Cushman, Mt. Rainier, Kalaloch and Elwha River; this year we went to the Fairholme campground on Lake Crescent on the Olympic Peninsula. It’s always a great time!

Lake Crescent

Lake Crescent

The Walentiny, Donoghue, Brownlee and Reeves clan!

The Walentiny, Donoghue, Brownlee and Reeves clan!


camping – silver falls

Last weekend (on the summer solstice) Derek and I went camping – it was our seven year anniversary. Can you believe it?!? We’ve been celebrating our anniversary by camping for the last four years. We really enjoy camping together- it’s kind of our thing. Some couples snowboard. Or go to the theater. Well, we camp. In fact, we have a book that highlights the best camping in Washington State and our goal is to camp at every place in the book. It’s a lofty goal and will likely take many years, but it will be fun trying!

We prefer small, remote campsites with no RVs and no generators. Generally, I like car camping because I like packing board games, wine and other luxuries that would be impractical to hike-in with. We enjoy making and eating big, delicious meals while we are camping – why not?!

Last year we implemented the “bin system”. As you know, camping can be kind of an ordeal. There is a lot of equipment and it can be a bit cumbersome to pack. To help minimize the work, we bought a “camping” set of everything (utensils, plates, salt & pepper, cups, etc.) and also bought several large plastic bins. We put ALL of our camping gear in them. Now, when it’s time to go camping, we only need to pack our clothes and food. All the equipment is already packed – we just throw the bins in the truck. It’s amazing and it really helps with the short weekend camping trips. I highly recommend the bin system for anyone who likes to camp. I also have created a master list that we reference each time we camp (I’d be happy to share it – just let me know).

Last weekend we camped at Silver Falls, which is in the Central Cascades (about 45 minutes outside of Entiat, WA). It was a great little campsite. The highlights of the weekend include a spectacular waterfall, coffee in the mornings on our private riverside landing, many great meals and several games of cribbage.

Me next to the falls

a blog for anyone, but mostly for me.