PNW ?? | Life has no limit if you're not afraid to get in it.
We found this lake in a rocky cirque after 14 miles of hiking and decided it was the ideal spot to set up our tents for the night. An alpine dip and gourmet dinner topped off the star-studded evening, but an unexpected rainstorm sent us packing home the next morning rather than pushing on. Sometimes the weather cooperates, sometimes it doesn’t. That’s the Northwest for ya. 🤷♀️
This is my favorite camp site of all time. I’d scoured beta and maps before venturing out on this climb, but I hadn’t looked at photos. This area literally took my breath away. We traversed a steep, rocky hillside for hours until we found a flat enough spot for our tents, then spent the evening marveling at our good fortune for finding a home away from home with this kind of view.
This morning I locked my phone in the car and went to run a race along the shores of Whidbey Island. At first, it felt weird not to have that electronic leash in hand, snapping photos at the start line and taking silly selfies with @jwabbott03 (his first ever race so go give him props!!). Once we started running, I was grateful to be so far from my phone. I felt free. I paid more attention to the raindrops on my face, how the light rays danced on the water, the shouts of encouragement from the sidelines. I wasn’t counting the miles or checking my time. I was simply out for a fun run with my best friend, present for every moment. Apparently I need to put the phone down more often and focus all my energy on the things that bring me happiness!
I’m starting to plot out trips for the year and already feeling like there’s not enough time to squeeze in all the mountains, backpacking treks and trail runs. Making it a goal to only get to new places this year rather than returning to favorite spots. The one exception will be this lake because I’ve only been once and it wasn’t enough! What’s high on your list for summer?
A day spent dreaming next to golden larches and aquamarine lakes cannot be bettered.
Running is the only time my mind goes blank and I'm not worrying, overthinking or planning. It's my escape. When I broke my leg and had a metal rod and screws inserted, I thought I'd never be able to run distance again. The rod was too long and rubbed into the cartilege of my knee, making it incredibly painful to run or climb steep mountains. I adjusted over the next 4 1/2 years, slowing my pace and heightening my pain threshold but I stopped feeling like a "real" runner. I could only handle eight miles or so before the pain overwhelmed me. I missed the freedom of being able to get up and outrun all my problems. I longed for that burn in my thighs, muddy shoes and my runner's high. Then last year I broke my leg a second time and my insurance company agreed to remove the metal. Exactly one year ago, I emerged from my second surgery cautiously optimistic. I started out with jogs to the waterfront and have now built back up to 18-mile sessions. My first race post-break is coming up in a week. I simultaneously laugh and cry when I pass eight miles now because it feels like a miracle. I finally have a piece of myself back. I’m a runner again. Photo by @outofthewoods on a run above Zermatt!
I can’t help but love the landscapes that remind me how small I am in this great big, beautiful world. And the immensely talented friends who capture these moments. Thanks for the shot, @outofthewoods! Can anybody see tiny me out there?
What if we lived in a world where we asked children who they want to be when they grow up, rather than what? What if we encouraged them to focus on the characteristics they value and the things that bring them joy rather than a checklist of status? I decided when I was young that I wanted to be a journalist. I studied hard, started taking college classes as a high school sophomore and never thought beyond the life steps I was supposed to be taking. A lot of years went by before I realized I didn’t know who I was outside of my job, and I didn’t know who I wanted to be. I look back on little me and wish I would’ve spent more time dreaming about sleeping under the stars and scaling mountains and treating others with kindness than about ticking the boxes. That’s what life is all about.
The first time I glissaded was in the dark, in the middle of a snowstorm, as I plowed through fresh powder to get some distance from the tent and the boy inside. It was my first time snow camping and I knew nothing about what I was doing or where I was going. I had Anna Nalick’s song “Breathe (2 am)” on repeat and cold air burning my lungs and I found myself at the edge of a steep slope. Something in me needed to slide down, a mixture of fear and exhilaration, with the wind blowing back my hair and the biggest smile on my face. I knew then I’d be chasing that feeling forever.
Life may not be perfect, but it sure does have perfect moments.
Cragging with a view. Forget the 30-degree temps — who wouldn’t want to start the day on this route?
What’s the one characteristic you most want people to see in you? When I was younger, physical qualities were what the majority of people complimented. Slowly “smart” worked its way in as I went through school. When the outdoors took over my life, “bad ass” became common. But the one that always sticks out to me, the one that lights me up from the inside and slaps a smile on my face, is “genuine.” There are surely better things to be in life, but being true to myself and real with other people is a good start.
We dragged ourselves out of our cozy sleeping bags at 5:30 am and set out for sunrise... completely forgetting that Daylight Saving Time meant the sun came up an hour later! We shivered in the dark, took a quick nap and were rewarded with one heck of a show when the light finally did rise over the Eastern Sierras.
It’s always a treat remembering how unlonely being alone can be.
Exposure has never much fazed me — until crossing this chossy, mile-long ridge between our two summits. I don’t mind being high. In fact, I love standing at the very edge of a cliff and staring down. But the friable rock crumbled under every foot and hand so we moved slowly, carefully, reveling in the complete solitude and widespread Chilliwack views. I later learned that nobody climbs those peaks unless they’re trying to finish the Bulger list (Washington’s highest 100 peaks), but it was one of the most exhilarating and miserable climbs I’ve ever done. Dare I even say a favorite...
All I’ve wanted for weeks is to be warm. So I booked a long weekend to California with plans to climb and sleep under the stars and soak up that sunshine. My plane leaves tomorrow and the forecast now shows snow and wind. Guess there’s no escaping it and I’ll keep dreaming of warmer days!
I’ve always believed that change and growth can’t happen until you step out of your comfort zone. How can you possibly know your limits unless you’re pushing and challenging what you thought possible? It’s always been in my nature to take things to the extreme, to push hard without pause, to find a sense of joy in the suffering. This winter, however, I’ve found that constantly being outside of my comfort zone has dulled my motivation and stopped me from finding my way. I was fighting myself, fighting my own expectations, fighting my lifestyle. I wasn’t listening to something inside me that was begging to slow down, to heal, to rest, to find joy inside my comfort zone for a change. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in the last few months, it’s that the change and growth come from listening to yourself and what you need in that moment. 📷: @parker_burkett
There’s magic in the air ✨