Hello friends! Before it gets too far into 2016, I wanted to take some time to look back on 2015 and all of the fun adventures that we had!
I started this blog back in May as a place to keep track of all of the trips we took, visitors we had, and hikes we accomplished. I love taking pictures of everything we do, so I created a place to share my photography and our experiences with others. Hopefully I can inspire you to travel more and explore the outdoors!
Our first hike of 2015 was in April, when my parents came to visit. We did a 5.5 mile hike to Lake Twenty-two, and it was the perfect moderate hike to get us started for the year! We got lucky to have been there right after a light dusting of snow, and it was pretty magical looking!
In early May my best friend and her husband came to visit, and we had another great hike on the Ira Springs Trail to Mason Lake.
Over Memorial Day weekend, we had our first hike to Goat Lake, which is probably one of my favorite hikes that we did this year! It’s a long day trip at 10 miles, and the trail is gorgeous.
Our first big trip of the year was down to California at the end of May/beginning of June, for J’s birthday. I surprised him with a trip to Channel Islands National Park and Santa Monica! It was the perfect combination for us – a couple days of kayaking and camping in the Channel Islands, followed by a couple days of relaxing at the beach! We did a two-day kayaking tour with Santa Barbara Adventure Company (check out the kayaking posts here and here – it was incredible!). We also went snorkeling and did a little hiking, too!
One night after we got back to Seattle, J and another of our friends did a sunset hike up Mount Si – a birthday tradition that J started when he moved out here. It’s a tradition I’m happy to continue!
Shortly after we got back from California, another good friend came to visit, and we went to one of my favorite places on earth, Mount Rainier National Park. We had the most incredible day hiking near Paradise Visitors Center – the Narada Falls to Reflection Lake is a must-do if you are visiting Mt. Rainier!
Next up was a weekend of camping and kayaking with lots of our friends at Lake Wenatchee State Park!
The following weekend two wonderful friends of mine came to visit, and we went back to Mt. Rainier to hike the Skyline Trail (because I cannot get enough of this mountain!!). One of the coolest parts was seeing a bear hanging out in a field near the trail!
Over the Fourth of July, J and I headed back to Goat Lake, this time to backpack! The weather was amazing and I did a lot better carrying all my gear than our first backpacking attempt! (if you want to read about me crying and waking up at 1:30 am to howling coyotes, check it out our Waptus Lake backpacking adventure here)
We got an early start on our trip to Goat Lake, which made for a perfect afternoon of napping and relaxing by the lake – we even jumped in! (This began my new tradition of jumping in all the alpine lakes we visit! J is not so excited about this one 🙂 )
I spent a couple weeks this summer recapping our cross-country road trip that we did in 2014 when I moved out here. August 2 was my one year anniversary of living in Seattle! Check out our road trip posts here:
In August, J and I took a day trip to Mount St. Helens, which I highly recommend visiting next time you are in the Seattle area – it’s an absolutely incredible sight.
My brother and his fiancé (now husband) came to visit later in August, and we took them camping at Diablo Lake in the North Cascades. This is another of my favorite places!! I could’ve sat and stared at that turquoise water forever….
We kayaked here too, and of course I jumped in again!
Our big trip of the year was in September – we took a week-long road trip through Oregon, visiting Portland, Mount Hood, Crater Lake, and Cannon Beach. I am so behind on getting pictures together from that trip, but I’ll be sharing them starting next week, so make sure you check back! Oregon is an amazingly beautiful state, and I can’t wait to go back to visit again soon.
Our October was spent traveling to see friends and family for two weddings – my high school best friend and then my brother!
In November, J surprised me with tickets to a Seahawks game for my birthday!
My parents came to visit for Thanksgiving, and we had an awesome winter hike to Snow Lake.
Then J and I headed back to Mt. Rainier to #OptOutside on Black Friday.
In December we took a two-day trip up to Whistler and woke up to 2 feet of fresh powder on our first morning! We are so thankful for all the snow that’s been falling this winter (in the mountains of course!!) after an abnormally dry winter last year. We have been skiing/snowboarding as much as we can!
We spent the holidays with our families in the Midwest and were glad to see everyone at home! Now we are back in Seattle and are so excited for the new year!
I have already started planning some of our trips for 2016, but I am definitely trying to space things out a little more, unlike last year which was jam-packed (with awesome-ness!). I am a little exhausted just looking at this post and all of the things we did in 2015. I loved every second of it, but we did get a little tired of the constant traveling and never having time at home. As much as I enjoy traveling and seeing new places, it is just as nice to have some time at home to rest!
So, now that I’ve recapped 2015, let’s take a look at 2016….
- We are heading to Colorado in February for a long weekend of skiing with friends!
- We’re also planning another trip to Whistler and probably tons of skiing around here in between. Look for a post on Washington skiing, coming soon!
- I’m hoping to plan a trip to a beach sometime in March!! I love Seattle but sometimes after months of nonstop rain you just need some sunshine, right?!
- We’re hoping to take a bigger (read: international!) trip in September
- Who am I kidding there will be much more, but it’s only the first week of January, so this is all I’ve got so far… 🙂
I am so excited to get a little more serious about this blog in 2016! It is such a great creative outlet that is completely the opposite of my real job. I took the big step of actually starting the blog last year, but I got so caught up in all the things we were doing that I ran out of time to write it all down. So, this year I’m going to plan things out more and be more organized with posting regularly. My goal is to try and post twice a week if I can, and once a week at a minimum. So make sure you bookmark this page and check back often to see what we are up to!
In addition to posting about our travel adventures, my plan is to start sharing travel tips, travel planning resources, and hiking gear recommendations, among other things, in hopes that I’ve inspired you a little to start traveling and getting outdoors! Please let me know if these topics would interest you, and if there’s anything else you’d be interested in reading about – I’d love to hear from you!
You can also get updates by following me on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest! I recently reached over 1000 followers on Instagram, which kind of blows my mind and is so exciting for me to be sharing my photos with so many people!
Finally, one of the things I am most excited about starting this year is the Travels ‘N’ Trails newsletter! If you’d like to receive travel tips, inspiration, and other useful travel/hiking info, please sign up here or in the form at the end of this post!
Thanks so much for reading, and for all of your support for this blog! What are your travel plans for 2016? I’d love to hear from you in the comments below or on social media!