Saturday, November 27, 2010

Winter Wander Land

With our recent White Thanksgiving here in Washington State, I'm preparing for what most meteorologists are predicting to be a colder and snowier than normal winter. That's okay by me. I'm done researching my Backpacking and Columbia River Gorge Books and I won't start researching trails for my Eastern Washington book for a couple of more months. This doesn't mean that I go into hibernation. Not at all! Although it is difficult to get out sometimes in these dark, gray wet days; I still manage to run 4 to 5 days a week and sneak in a bike ride on those rare dry sunny days.

I'll probably get some skiing in too this year. I don't do enough of that anymore. I used to work at ski resorts and downhill skied over 100 days a year back in the day. I miss cross-country skiing too. When I lived in New Hampshire and Vermont I often skied right from my home. But if we get some decent snowfall here in the lowlands of western Washington this winter (like we did two winters ago) I imagine I'll be strapping on my cross-country boards a few times. And since I landed some stories this winter on downhill skiing here in the Evergreen State, I'll be doing a little schussing this year too! Yahoo!

But how about hiking? You bet-I still like to get out and hike throughout the winter. Occasionally I'll snowshoe, but there is some decent hiking in the lowlands that doesn't warrant donning much more than a good pair of trail running shoes. What are some of my favorite places for winter wandering? The nearby Chuckanut Mountains of course; Whidbey and the San Juan Island too and the coast. The coast is particularly striking in the winter with its fire red sunsets and glowing skies. Mind as well throw in a rainforest hike too if you are going to be out at the coast during the winter months. How about you? Where do you like to do your winter wandering? And how? On board, bike or boots?

(photo-winter sunset at Ruby Beach, Olympic National Park)

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