The Olympic Discovery Trail in Washington State

Tales from the Olympic Discovery Trail

The Long Walk Tales from the Olympic Discovery Trail Day 1 – Rialto Beach to Mora Campground Distance: 2 miles Wildlife Seen: Two otters swimming in a dark pool right next to the road. Every journey begins somewhere and mine began at Rialto Beach on the Olympic Peninsula’s Pacific Coast. After setting up camp at Mora Campground, my dad, my dog (Bonnie) and I walked the two miles to the beach in the waning hours of[…]

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A Planning Guide to the John Wayne Pioneer Trail

A Planning Guide to the John Wayne Pioneer Trail   Washington State’s John Wayne Pioneer Trail and Iron Horse State Park is just emerging as a premier long-distance multi-use trail. Built along the old “Milwaukee Road” railroad grade the trail stretches from North Bend to the Idaho border, although the further east you go from the Snoqualmie Tunnel, the worse the trail conditions get. The trail is a multi-use trail open to hikers, bicycles, horses,[…]

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Lake Easton State Park

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail – Day 5

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail Day 5: Around Lake Easton (5.5 miles) I arrived at Easton State Park a day earlier than I had intended and decided to use the extra day to walk around the Lake Easton. I wanted to use my GPS tracker to double check some distances against my estimates from the walk from Roaring Creek to the Lake Easton State Park. Bonnie, my dog, and I set off from the[…]

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Yakima River from the John Wayne Pioneer Trail from Roaring Creek to Easton

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail – Day 4

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail Day 4: Roaring Creek to Easton State Park   The walk from Roaring Creek to Easton State Park was always going to be the longest. The signposts that mark the distance between trail-heads put the distance between Hyak and Easton at 18 miles. By my calculations, that made the distance from Roaring Creek to Easton State Park around 13 miles – not including the walk into the state park[…]

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Along the John Wayne Pioneer Trail from Cold Creek to Roaring Creek

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail – Day 3

Walking the John Wayne Pioneer Trail Day 3: Cold Creek to Roaring Creek (3.5 Miles)   I knew the distance from Cold Creek to Roaring Creek wasn’t far – four miles at the most. Still, I planned day on purpose knowing that I needed to walk the mile or so back up to Hyak to meet my parents for a hug and some supplies before setting out. With the early morning walk up to Hyak,[…]

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Packing Light

A Short Guide to Packing Light

Leave this, Take that A Short Guide to Packing Light   Once upon a time, I thought I packed light. I carried my 50 liter Vaude Brenta backpack stuffed tight with everything I could possibly need for a week-long trip and I usually was the person with the least luggage. Then I went on a trip with a peace corps volunteer who carried only a small backpack for our 7 day trip to Tajikistan. Oh,[…]

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Autumn colors of Aksai Valley near Almaty, Kazakhstan

Camping In Kazakhstan

Camping In Kazakhstan Designated camping areas are almost non-existent in Kazakhstan.  Even car camping is almost entirely wild camping. Rules regarding camping are loose (if they exist at all). Sometimes you have to pay a fee to camp in a national park but sometimes you don’t. Outside of the parks, you just need to find a spot that tickles your fancy and be sure to remain respectful of any local farmers and herders who might[…]

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