MLK Weekend in LA (Rocky Peak, Veterans Park, & Claremont 5 Mile Loop)

Rocky Peak at sunrise Dates traveled: 1/12/18-1/15/18
I found out a couple months ago that my friends Melanie and Ken, who live in Germany, were going to be in California December/January, and knew I had to fly down to LA to see them! A quick check of my Alaska miles, and saw I had enough points for a free ticket, flight instantly booked! I also reserved a car on for the weekend when I booked my flight. Which I like doing that on because you don’t have to pay ahead of time, and can pay the day you get the car; but then a few weeks prior I checked Costco Travel, and found a cheaper car rental through them! So I canceled my Priceline reservation and went with Costco, free cancellations too! ($100 for 4 day car rental, tax included. Costco Travel also offers free reservations, pay at time you get car)
The week before my trip, I messaged Mel & Ken, and asked if they would want to go on some runs with me since I am currently training for a 15K. The response…

Winter Car Camping & Artist Point

Mt Baker
I had heard about Artist Point for over a year now, but because of the 3+ hr one way drive to get there, I haven't really felt the need to drive that far for a day hike. But last weekend, we found the perfect weather window to snowshoe Artist Point, then car camp that night nearby.

Location: Mt Baker Ski Area, Artist Point
Distance: 4 miles R/T
Elevation Gain: 1000 ft
Gear used: Snowshoes
Parking: no permit needed
Other Info: Dogs allowed

Cody and I left Seattle around 6:30 AM last Saturday and headed north to meet up with everyone. Sarina and Ryan were coming from Mt. Vernon, and Karen was driving herself, so we agreed to meet at the Wake N Bakery in Glacier, WA. Cody and I had actually been here before this past summer, and I remembered how cute it was! This past Saturday, this place was packed at 8:30 AM. I think everyone there that day were ski bums, snowboarders, and snowshoers ready for a day in the mountains, so the spirit was high and full of excitement! We grabb…

The $10 Christmas Tree

Mt Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest
With Christmas just a few weeks away, Cody and I have been so busy with life, that we haven't had a chance to decorate for Christmas. Let alone, get a tree. So we saw this past weekend as a great opportunity to finally go get one! In the past I have gotten my Noble Firs from the local tree lot or Home Depot. But since I met Cody, he's introduced me to cutting down our own tree in the forest! I mean, is this even allowed in California?! To cut down a tree on federal land?? Well, it's legal in Washington! As long as you follow the rules!

How To Cut Your Own Tree Down for $10
Step One: Obtain Permit
We picked up our Christmas Tree permit from the ranger station at the REI Flagship Store a week before. The permit is $10. Yes, you can get a real Christmas tree for $10! Tree cutting season for 2017 is November 13th - January 5th. You can also pick up a permit from a plethora of other places found in this link.

Step Two: Decide on Location
We hea…

Fall Adventures: North Cascades

Washington Pass - view of Hwy 20 Trip date: October 14-15, 2017
Location: Maple Pass Loop, Lone Fir Campground, Washington Pass, & Blue Lake Trail in the North Cascades Dog Friendly: Yes to everything we did this weekend!
Sarina mentioned to me a month ago how she was planning a car camping weekend with our friend Caitlin in the North Cascades and invited me along. She mentioned doing two day hikes in the area and camping at Lone Fir Saturday night. I am always down for a car camping weekend, so I told her I’d probably join.
The Wednesday before the trip, I called the Methow Valley Ranger Station to get some of my questions answered… are Maple Pass, Blue Lake, and Lone Fir dog friendly? (Answer: yes to all) Is there snow on the ground at the campgrounds? (No) Is there running water? (No, meaning bring all your water) How much is the campsite per night? ($12/night) Etc. If you can’t find up-to-date info online for the area, or it’s unclear, call the ranger station! They always have usef…