The only thing you can do in this life is pursue your passions, celebrate your bloopers and never stop following your fear. —Grace Helbig
June had been a busy month for us, from work to all the activities in between. It also signifies a lot of new beginnings and most of all we get to spend some time together. We have a birthday, prom, graduation and short family trip all in the same month.
In this June my son graduated high school, it’s a bittersweet event for us because of what it symbolizes.
He is stepping into adulthood and will be moving out of the house to attend college before summer ends. It is yet another big step for us as parents to let go. We are proud of both our children pursuing their passions in life and hopefully building their own bright future. On the other hand, there is that immense feeling of sadness that our little family will not be living in the same household. The consolation is that they both will still be in Seattle, close enough for now.
With four different schedules to coordinate, I was finally able to plan a short out of town trip to Leavenworth for rock climbing and hiking. Leavenworth is a Bavarian-styled village town in central Washington’s Cascade Mountain. It offers plenty of outdoor activities, good food, and proximities to wineries. The scenery surrounding the area is just unbeatable. It is on the dry side of the mountain which makes it a great place for rock climbing.
My son and I had been climbing in an indoor gym since the beginning of the year. We were exposed to outdoor rock climbing in early June and at the time still not quite comfortable with it since climbing outdoor is completely different than climbing indoor. For this trip, we were more comfortable and able to relax and let go more when climbing. This was my husband first time climbing and even with his fear of height, he was able to make his way up a little. Although, it still might not be enough to get him excited about the sport.
The next morning, we did a moderately long hike to Colchuck Lake. The Colchuck Lake trail is one of the entrances to the Enchantments, a beautiful Alpine Lakes Wilderness area in the Cascade Mountains.
The trail turned out to be a little over 11 miles round trip according to my GPS, and close to 2300 feet elevation gain. We were already a little worn out from the climbing the day before so this hike seemed to go on forever, especially those grueling uphill steps. But, the rewards at the end sure made up for it. For all of us though, the downhill hike was the worst. I felt and heard every creak from my knees. One of these days, we hope to hike the entire Enchantments and I sure hope my joints can sustain the hike when the time comes.
With the start of this summer season, we hope to go on more climbing and hiking trips together. Here are some tips to make those trips more enjoyable;
- Plan ahead for any outdoor adventures, other than the ten essentials for hiking, always leave your itinerary with someone. Check out the parking permits, camping permits or any other permits needed for the places you intend to hike or stay.
- Check out the condition of the trail before you go so you can be prepared. There are many websites or APPs available, locally or nationwide.
- For rock climbing, find a course or route that compliment your ability. Making those initial climbs would certainly give you a boost to move forward.
- Make good judgment and know your limits. I know most of us to like to push ourselves to go further but in the outdoors that can be a life and death decision. So don’t feel disappointed that you do not complete a climb or a hike, and do feel accomplish that you made it that far.
- Lastly just go out there and enjoy!