Camping Quotas? Making Time to Sleep Rough

Do you set a goal for the number of nights you’d like to spend under the stars each year?

A lovely dispersed campsite near Stevens Pass.

I find it easy to get swept up in “busy” if I don’t pre-plan my excursions. And if I don’t get out in the wild for some adventuring, I start to feel like a boring person. So I set goals for the number of camping trips I want to take as part of my personal annual review process (usually my goal is 3 trips), and I make reservations. While we prefer dispersed camping, I like the commitment that I make to myself when I pay to reserve a campsite — and the confidence that I’ll have a place to sleep for the night!

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Solstice Camping in the Central Cascades


For the summer solstice this year, my partner and I spent a day in the central cascades, camping off of the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River. My partner’s camped there for years – it’s his River. Right now, the road out is one of the nastiest in the area, riddled with potholes – but the Forest Service is planning to pave it, opening up access to more people. I’m excited that more people will be able to get in there and explore…but we also lament its future overrun state, and that we won’t have it ‘to ourselves’ anymore (not that it’s not already busy!). Over the past few years, we’ve noticed more and more use of the area. The undiscovered has been discovered.

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Mount Rainier in Late Summer

After four years of living in the Seattle area, I finally made it to Mount Rainier this weekend. We were in time for the tail end of the wildflowers, enjoying aster, indian paintbrush, lupine, and others. Enjoy this photo tour of late summer at Paradise in Mount Rainier National Park.

Cascade Mountains Photography Tour: Snoqualmie River Forest Walk

lush early summer plants beneath forestIn early summer, the forest floor in the western Cascade mountains is lush with sprightly young growth. Last week I took a hike on the Middle Fork of the Snoqualmie River, 45 minutes from Seattle. After ten or fifteen miles on a gravel road as pockmarked with potholes as an english muffin with ‘nooks and crannies’ (sorry, car!), I reached the quiet trailhead. I indulged myself and photographed as much as I wanted (oops, 350 photos later…). Experience early summer in the Cascade Mountains in this forest walk photo tour. Continue reading