Wednesday, January 28, 2015

The Washington Expedition

Stuart Range
On August 20th, I finished up my Neuroscience final in the morning; correctly answering 96% of the questions. This brought to a close my third semester of Physical Therapy school. To celebrate I hit the trails for one last ten miler in Austin before departing to Spokane, Washington. I ran my favorite route, which is a gravel path that skirts along Slaughter Lane and RM 1826. Post run I departed for the northwestern reaches of the country via a Boeing 747. Apryle greeted me at the airport and we departed in her 2001 Ford Windstar for a city campsite in Odessa, Washington.

The Van

Apryle showed excellent craftsmanship with her makeshift camping van. The van was complete with a comfortable raised cot in the back. The bed frame hinged and lifted to allow for storage underneath. The design maximized the use of space allowing for both comfort and practicality. As a final touch, the van also included some owl print curtains.

Stafford Creek
August 21st
  •  Drove across the south central territory of the state and obtained trail/camping information in the town of Cle Elum
  • Hiked the Stafford Creek Trail and most of the way up the Navaho Peak Trail and where we enjoyed some great views of the Stuart Range.
    • The overall distance was 26 kilometers
    • Four hours.
  • Camped in the tent along Stafford Creek

August 22nd
The van
  • Drove to Seattle
  • Toured the University of Washington Campus
  • Drove to Anacortes and paddled/waded in the Pacific Ocean
  • Had dinner on the shoreline watching the sun set over the San Juans
  • Camped near Washington Park

Washington Park
Apryle paddling

Sun setting on San Juans

August 23rd
Ferry Landing
  •  Walked over to the Ferry Landing in Anacortes
  • Ferried over to Orcas Island
  • Biked about 50 kilometers total into the downtown and into Moran State Park and back to the ferry
  • Hiked to Cascade Falls
  • Ferried back to Anacortes
  • Camped in Mont Vernon
Ferry Ride
Biking on Orcas Island

Cascade on Orcas Island

August 24th
  • Drove to Marblemont
  • Toured the fish hatchery and watched some salmon swimming in the channels
  • Drove into the North Cascades NP
  • Hiked up Lookout Mountain
    • 16.10 kilometer round trip
    • 4000’ vertical elevation gain
    • 2:20 to the summit and about 4 hours overall
  • Rode out a storm in the lookout tower
  • Drove to Johannesburg campsite near Sahale Glacier and set up tent about 200m up the trail
Hike up Lookout

In the Lookout Tower
Rainbow post storm

Lookout Tower
August 25th
Camp at Sahale Arm
  • Hiked to the Sahale Glacier camp; saw two or three black bears; even one swimming in Doubtful Lake
    • 21 Kilometers total
  • Had some lunch near the glacier while a mountain goat attempted to join
  • Hiked down to Doubtful Lake and then back to the Johannesburg campsite
  • Camped in the tent at the Johannesburg campsite again.
Bear in the alpine

Mountain Goat

Sahale Arm

Skagit River
August 26th
  • Drove to Gorge Campground and set up the tent right along the Skagit River
  • Went for a 7 mile run along the Steattle Trail and around Diablo
  • Walked back along Steattle Creek and Diablo with Apryle
  • Camped in the tent at Gorge Campground
Steattle Creek

August 27th
Hike up Sourdough
  • Hiked to Sourdough Mountain; 16.4 kilometers
  • 5100’ vertical elevation gain (8:40am – 3:40pm)
  • Every trail had several raspberries, salmonberries, blackberries and blueberries, but this trail had overwhelming amount of berries.
  • Camped in the tent at Gorge Campground again
Sourdough Hike

Sourdough Hike

Maple Loop

August 28th
  • Hiked the Maple Loop: 17 kilometers (Tangents to Ann and Rainy Lake, as well as a brief scramble toward Frisco Peak)
  • Camped at Maple Loop trailhead

August 29th
  • Hiked up Wallaby Mountain; 6 miles
  • Ran 6.5 miles in about 48:00 out and back on a country road in Winthrop
  • Walked around downtown Wintrop; got a waffle cone and had dinner
  • Camped at Kangaroo Range Trailhead

August 30th
  • Hiked to Cutthroat Pass near the Pacific Crest Trail
    • 17.7 kilometers; Hiked/Ran to the top and Ran back to the van.
    • Traveled to Winthrop and toured the town historical museum
  • Had dinner in Twisp
  • Camped in Omak

August 31st
Downtown Republic
  • Drove to Republic
  • Walked around the downtown area and checked out the Ranger Station
  • Drove over to Ferry Lake
  • Ran 10 Kilometers with Apryle (6.02 mi 1:10:11)
  • Then ran another 6.6 kilometers solo up a steep grade and back to the van (27:32;1600m progressions: 7:30, 7:15, 6:30, 5:38).
  • Camped in the van off the road near Ferry Lake


September 1st
  • Drove to the downtown Republic camp/picnic area and made some breakfast, did some drawing and relaxed.
  • Ran to the Golden Tiger Trail off 21;
    • 10.5 kilometer warm up and headed down to high school track and did a quick workout
    • 800m 2:32, 400m jog, 1200m 3:44, 400m jog, 1600m 5:24, 400m jog
    • 1.6 kilometer cool down run back to the downtown camp
  • Had some dinner and some ice-cream
  • Drove out to 2156/300 junction and attempted to find the wolf call camp; hiked 4.5 miles in the dark but were unsuccessful in finding the camp
  • Camped in the tent off the road

September 2nd
  • Had some pancakes and went for a 8 kilometer run around 300 to 2156
  • Picked up some groceries in Republic and did some work in the library
  • Drove to the Winchester Campground and set up in a little cabin
  • Ran another 8 kilometers down the Golden Tiger Trail along Curlew Lake
  • Had some dinner, Margaritas and watched Rocky I

September 3rd
  • Organized Apryles van and prepared to depart for Austin
  • Arrived at the Spokane Airport and flew to Denver and then Austin
  • Unpacked and prepared to start my forth semester classes on the fourth of September.

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