My hiking companion and I were very excited to hike Mount Storm King on the Olympic Peninsula overlooking Crescent Lake. Unfortunately, we detoured from our original plan just four miles from the trail head. Instead of slinking home, because who does that, we quickly made a new plan, consulted the ranger, and headed to into Olympic National Park to test out Klahhane Ridge. The day did not disappoint or suck in any way. It was magic.
I spent the other weekend in Southern Utah, and it reminded me how much I love the Utah desert.
Otherwise known as Kanaraville Creek, this fun little hike features an exposed tromp up and over a little hill into the canyon and through the creek, revealing a surprisingly beautiful and accessible slot canyon.
We saw quite a few people during our trip, especially for a Sunday. We went past the first ladder, but not all the way to the second ladder, as we were concerned about time. But it’s definitely a spot I’ll return to again and again.
It’s nearly a week later and I still don’t have all the right words to describe this trek through The Enchantments. Appropriately called the “Death March,” this 18-mile slog included 4,500 feet of elevation gain and 6,500 feet of elevation loss. The terrain was tricky, and included boulders, scree, and snow.
It is sufficient to say though, that the scope of my dream adventures has grown. A few key gear additions, and this girl will be ready to climb full-fledged mountains.
Sometimes, I just need a break. The desire to write for myself comes and goes, ebbs and flows. Just as life and happiness and productivity and motivation comes and goes, ebbs and flows.
I’ve been lucky to have time and energy and health to hike quite a bit this summer but this weekend holds an adventure of epic proportions, and it’s about all I can think about these days. Four. More Days.
What I feel like sharing is more than I have the energy to actually relate. So instead, here’s a photo from a recent hike. That will suffice for now.
I kicked some serious book-butt this month. I finished four books, which is the most I’ve read in years and years. Feels so good! My new routine of reading first thing in the morning and right before bed is really paying off.
- “Columbine,” by Dave Cullen. In short, this book was everything amazing and interesting. Tackling non-fiction is a news-ish endeavor for me, but this true account of the 1999 shootings at Columbine was gripping. I could not put the book down. Cullen goes the distance in dispelling misinformation and rumors that have stood the test of time. Cullen himself was part of the vast media coverage of the event, and he does a fantastic job of taking a step back and analyzing the information. He has done exhaustive research to create a well-rounded and complete definitive work of the event.
2. “News Junkie,” by Jason Leopold. I think reading David Carr’s “Night of the Gun” ruined me of all other cocaine-addicted reporters. Had I not read Carr first, Junkie would have been a great read. But alas, I found Leopold’s memoir sorely lacking in secondary sourced and verification of facts. As we learned in Carr’s account, what the drug addict perceives of time and reality is rarely actually fact.
But, “News Junkie” was a quick read and it was interesting to learn of Leopold’s role in covering California politics and events that I have distant memory of. As always, it’s interesting to learn the intersections of media and politics.
3. “Not That Kind of Girl,” by Lena Dunham. I admit to not loving Lena as an actress. I watched two seasons of “Girls” on HBO before deciding I didn’t like it, so I really did give it a fair shot. While I’m not super excited about Dunham as an actress, I L-O-V-E her writing. I read her essay about Nora Ephron and loved it, and it wasn’t for bad writing that I didn’t care for “Girls.” I’ve wanted to read “Not That Kind of Girl” for a while, but didn’t really want to purchase it in case I didn’t like it.
But really, there was nothing to worry about. The writing was great. After finishing the book, which took one week to devour, I spent the next few days recommending it to everyone. I really is great, and Dunham has the perfect ability to put into words the neurosis that captures young women as they hit puberty and then grow into young women in a world that values only their youth and skinny hips and cheerful faces.
I found the words raw, truthful, emotional, and completely relate-able. It was really very good. I’ll definitely read anything else Dunham publishes.
4. “Double Blind,” by Tiffany Pitts. This is the first installment of The Thanatos Rising Series. I thought this would be one of those guilty pleasure reads, like watching teen vampire shows of The CW, but turns out the book was quite funny and smart. For the most part, I enjoyed the characters’ journey and the plot twists. This story was perfect for stepping out of my life and enjoying some adventure for a while. I took it on the plane with me when I traveled to Salt Lake City late last month, and it was the perfect airport read. I’m not sure I’ll pick up the next installment of the series, but if I happen to come across it for cheap, I would read it.