Tuesday, July 14, 2009

The last 30 days in a nutshell.........

As a disclaimer I have to say, these pictures are in no particular order. The last month has been such a blur that I'm not sure I could say what happened when, all I know is that this month has been beautiful, inspiring, exciting, crazy and kind of exhausting.
I'll start with the most exciting event of the month, hell the year! Ian and I are engaged! He proposed on a hike up Yellow Aster Butte. It was perfect. Oddly enough I didn't take any pictures of us that day, just the flowers. We were there scouting the area for a class I'm teaching in a few days on alpine plant adaptations. We don't know when we're getting married yet, we'll tell everyone when we sort it out! Which may be next week, or next month, or a few months! Planning big events, in the distant future, isn't exactly my strong suit.

Corn lily along the Yellow Aster Butte trail, kind of looks like an ear of corn doesn't it?

I was a crew leader for one of the first North Cascades Wild trip of the season. It was fabulous. We spent 12 days on Ross Lake; canoeing, camping, backpacking and doing service projects. The students are really great, the weather was beautiful and the entire trip exceeded all of my expectations. I'll eventually write an indepth blog on the entire experience, but for now here are a few pictures.

At Dry Creek we pulled Reed Canary grass, a non-native invasive grass species and chucked wood onto the shore to prevent erosion. We also dug a pit toilet at Hozomeen Lake, brushed trails, helped remove hazard trees from Spencer Island and conducted research on Red Sided Shiners (a non-native fish species that was introduced to Ross Lake a few years ago).

Looking south from the top of Desolation.

We also climbed Desolation Peak. It took us ~14 hours! The hike is 4,600 vertical feet in just under 5 miles. The views from the top were worth the effort. I told alot of stories that day, sang every song I know and was inspired by all of the students perseverance and joy.
Desolation Lookout with Hozomeen in the background.

Roughly half of the trip was spent canoeing while the other half was backpacking. I love my backpack, but I will admit that canoe camping is pretty plush. We had coolers, a Coleman stove, dish soap.......but at heart I will always be a backpacker. There is something about carrying everything you need on your back.

Pyramid Peak has been looming above my for almost a year now, I can see the summit from my back porch. Ian and I thought about climbing it this weekend, it wasn't to be. Weather was moving in (which created these beautiful clouds), I was worried about my ankle, and it's a grunt to get up so I was worried about re-injuring my ankle if I got too tired. So, we didn't summit. But the views from high camp were totally worth the effort.
Looking west towards teh Picket Range and Shuksan.

Pyramid Peak with dark clouds moving in fast.

....the garden! It's doing great, well, that's what Ian tells me. He had new potatoes, out of the garden, for dinner tonight! Sounds like the onions are kind of sad and the carrots are slowly being overtaken by weeds, but all in all considering our crazy busy lives I think the garden is thriving!
Our favorite salad greens, at the Farmer's Market, are EXPENSIVE! Which prompted us to grow our own, which as it turns out is equally delicious and so cheap it's ridiculous.
And finally:
The house hunt. We haven't found one, yet. We are still looking. A few have looked promising but we don't think we've found the perfect one yet, although there is one......I'll let you all know when we find one!

And that's it, the last month. Whew! Maybe next month I'll post more? I'll try.

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