2018 ~ Adventures with The LovedOne

Another year and The LovedOne is still not keen on having her picture taken. She has countered by hiking ahead of me (and faster) so as to stay out of camera range. Fortunately, subterfuge and deception allow me to get close enough, from time to time, for a photo.


JANUARY: We stayed around Southern Oregon, expecting to do some snowshoeing. But, despite purchasing a Sno-Park permit, there was no snow. So we contented ourselves with some low-altitude dirt hikes.

Hobart Bluff, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
On a snowless Hobart Bluff, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

FEBRUARY: Years ago, I worked unaccompanied at NAS Key West. The LovedOne always wanted to see Key West too. I wanted to visit Dry Tortugas National Park. So we spent a week in Florida visiting parks and wandering around in sandals. We got back just in time to enjoy the one big snow storm we got this year.

Dry Tortugas National Park
Around the moat at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas National Park
Everglades National Park
Hiking in the upland forest at Everglades National Park
Snowshoeing on Mount Ashland
Our only snowshoe of the year – on Mount Ashland

MARCH: We flew south to Arizona for some sunny desert hiking. We also paid a visit to our long-time friends Heidi and Bob, now retired south of Tucson.

Spur Cross Ranch, Arizona
Hiking around Elephant Head at Spur Cross Ranch north of Phoenix
Mount Lemmon, Arizona
Hiking through aspens on Mount Lemmon above Tucson

APRIL: We did a roadtrip to California to stay in the iconic Majestic Yosemite (formerly The Ahwahnee) Hotel (one night was all our budget could handle), revisit some national parks, and do a little desert hiking.

Yosemite National Park
A late Spring snow storm kept the usual crowds away
Joshua Tree National Park
Summit of Warren Peak, Joshua Tree National Park
World Famous Crochet Museum
Fiber is never far from our thoughts (Joshua Tree, CA)

MAY: We stayed in Southern Oregon, catching up on some of the shorter, but interesting, local hikes we hadn’t done yet.

The Big Nasty, Lava Beds National Monument
Actually, it was a pretty nice trail in Lava Beds National Monument
London Peak, Wolf Creek, Oregon
Wolf Creek Valley from London Peak
Geocaching near Vulture Rock, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
Geocaching near Vulture Rock, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

JUNE: Once again, we got almost the whole family together for a week, this time in Taos, New Mexico. Lounging, sightseeing, art appreciation, and some hiking happened.

Taos, New Mexico
John Dunn Bridge over the Rio Grande del Norte near Taos
Rio Grande del Norte National Monument, New Mexico
Hiking in Rio Grande del Norte National Monument

JULY: Our plan to enjoy some local hiking was, for the second year in a row, derailed by choking clouds of smoke from huge wildfires nearby and in Northern California. 😥 We cashed in some hotel coupons to spend a few days hiking in clean air on the Oregon Coast.

Siskiyou Peak, Oregon
Mount Shasta from the summit of Siskiyou Peak (before the smoke struck)
Oregon Coast
On the Beach

AUGUST: This month saw our big trip of the year – rafting the Tahshenshini and Alsek Rivers in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alaska. This trip graced us with sunshine, heat, fog, glacial chill, rain, wind, and icebergs! We had great guides and a very congenial group of fellow rafters, which made this a wonderful and unforgettable experience! 😀

Rafting the Tahshenshini and Alsek Rivers in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alaska
Why we raft
Rafting the Tahshenshini and Alsek Rivers in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alaska
Hiking in view of the Noisy Range, Melt Creek, British Columbia
Rafting the Tahshenshini and Alsek Rivers in the Yukon, British Columbia, and Alaska
Crossing Alsek Lake among the icebergs

SEPTEMBER: We came home from the river only to find wildfires still pouring smoke into the Rogue Valley. We gasped our way through some local hikes and then headed south for hikes in Death Valley and among the Fall color in the Eastern Sierra.

Trinity Alps Wilderness, California
Above Telephone Lake, Trinity Alps Wilderness, California
Death Valley National Park
Death Valley from the Keane Wonder Mine
Mobious Arch, Lone Pine, California
Mount Whitney viewed through the Mobius Arch
John Muir Wilderness
On our way to the Marie Louise Lakes
Lundy Canyon, Hoover Wilderness
Appreciating a giant aspen in Lundy Canyon, Hoover Wilderness

OCTOBER: A little wet weather (too little – we’re still in a drought) rolled through, just enough to cut the smoke from most of the remaining wildfires. So we did a bunch of local hikes that had been preempted by thick smoke during the summer.

Porcupine Mountain, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument
Mount McLoughlin from the summit of Porcupine Mountain, Cascade-Siskiyou National Monument

NOVEMBER: This is usually a time of transitioning weather and quite a bit of rain (and some snow) arrived near the end of the month. But there wasn’t enough snow yet for snowshoeing, so we carried on with more local dirt hikes.

Union Creek, Oregon
Hugging giant old-growth along Union Creek near Crater Lake National Park
Roxy Ann Peak, Medford, Oregon
Medford and the Bear Creek Valley from the summit of Roxy Ann Peak

DECEMBER: A big storm finally arrived, bringing with it enough snow to allow Mount Ashland (our local ski area) to open but not enough for unrestricted snowshoeing. We got in one walk on the snow and some more dirt hikes before 2018 was ushered out by another round of storms.

Mount Isabelle, Oregon
Considering our options near Mount Isabelle, Ruch, Oregon
A walk in the snow near Mount Ashland

Hiking-wise, 2018 saw us doing 115 unique hikes, with 802 trail miles and 156,900 feet of elevation gain. Sounds exhausting! But we’ve already got stuff planned for 2019…

The LovedOne and Mount Shasta
Expect increased vulcanic activity in 2019! ❤ ❤ ❤
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2 comments

  1. Thanks for your many postings and pictures! Ones we haven’t done were noted and we hope to have some of the same adventures as you did in the years to come. Keep hiking and keep posting. Maybe we will meet on the trail again like we did at Prescott Park

    1. Thanks for reading our little stories! 😀 Hopefully you’ll have as much fun doing some of these hikes as we did. We’ll keep hiking as long as we can! 😉 Our paths may cross again at Prescott (once the trails dry out) or maybe at Jacksonville Forest (still some unexplored terrain there). Happy New Year!

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