Category Archives: Outdoor Adventures

Easy Rambling

This whole week has been grey and I’m more than ready for the sun that’s coming back out to play this weekend. Temperatures are expected to be in the mid to high 80’s in town, so me and the family are escaping to higher elevations and cooler waters. We’re headed north and taking refuge next to Mount Saint Helen’s June Lake.

junelake

The June Lake Trail is an easy 1.3 mile hike that takes you through a young forest, over a little bridge and to a shallow subalpine lake on the southern slope of Mt. Saint Helens. The lake isn’t very big but the scenery is worth the hike. On the farthest shore is June Lake’s waterfall and on it’s southern shore is a small sandy beach for the kids to play.

With┬áso many other famous trails on Mt. Saint Helens, this little trek is often overlooked. If you’re lucky, the day you choose to go hiking only a handful of others will too. You’ll get to enjoy the beauty of the lake without much disturbance.

junelakewaterfallTo get to the trailhead: From Interstate 5 take exit 21 on to Route 503 East toward Cougar. After 35 miles, turn left on Forest Service Road 83 and drive six miles to the trailhead on the left.

Trailhead address: National Forest Road 83, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Cougar, WA 98616
Trailhead coordinates: 46.137203, -122.156568

Happy Adventuring!

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How Nature Helps Us Find a Higher Sense of Self

Nature can help us explore a higher sense of self. It can be a way for us to get back in touch with and live closer to our authentic self. What is our authentic self you ask? It is a part of us that communes with nature and reaps the benefits from living symbiotically with it instead of against it. Unfortunately, because of our capitalistic and consumer-driven society, we have traveled farther away from, and barricaded ourselves from nature, and in turn finding this higher sense of self.

Everyone is a part of nature. We are not separate beings that operate above it. Our authentic self can learn and grow from our experiences with it. We can find clarity, understanding and wisdom in these experiences. However, our connection to nature has become very limited. We aren’t breathing fresh air, feeling the grass, smelling the flowers or feeling natural sunlight on our bodies. Instead we live and work in fake environments that try to mimic the great outdoors, but it can not compare, nor provide the same benefits as the real thing.

By limiting authentic experiences with nature we are limiting ourselves.

By being outdoors and doing more activities out in nature we find that connection that is most beneficial to our authentic self. Our body and mind can be stronger if we provide it with healthy settings. Getting outdoors has us moving, breathing in fresh air, taking in natural sunlight. All that physical activity is good for our bodies. We become healthier, stronger, more confident in our abilities. When we commune with nature, we can relax our minds, take a few restful moments to recharge. This meditation can help us find inner peace, quiet the mind and in turn strengthen our mental capacities.

We must get away from our cluttered lives. Our mental and physical well-being is affected by our unnatural environments. It all has a powerful impact on how we feel about ourselves, deal with our issues and reach our goals. If we continue to ingest this junk, we can’t find our authentic self. By limiting authentic experiences with nature we are limiting ourselves.

With all that said, I challenge you today. I challenge you to put down your media devices, even the one you’re reading this on. Turn off and unplug. Go out. Explore. Get active. Commune with nature. Find the experiences that will help you find your higher sense of self… your authentic self. Then leave me a comment and tell me about it.

The Great Northwest

The Pacific Northwest is a true gem. This beautiful place has so much to offer in the way of outdoor activities. Hiking, biking, skiing, rafting, sailing, fishing, from snow covered mountain tops, to rich coastlines, it is an emerald waiting to be discovered.

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However, like anything in life all the good things are hard to find. Everything that is made valuable in the world is covered and hard to get to. Where do you find diamonds? Deep underground, covered and protected. Where do you find gold? Under layers and layers of rock. You have to work hard to get to these gems. The same can be said about some of the most scenic spots you’ll find in Oregon and Washington. You’ll have to drive long hours, or hike steep inclines, or battle mother nature as she pelts you with rain or snow. Whatever the obstacle, the great outdoor adventure leads you to the most breathtaking places. It is exhilarating, a natural high for me, as I turn that final corner and see nature’s beauty laid out before me.

Whatever the obstacle, the great outdoor adventure leads you to the most breathtaking places.

I appreciate living in Oregon now, however growing up here was difficult for me. I didn’t enjoy the rainy days mostly because I was an active child forced to be indoors. When late Fall, Winter, and Spring came around I didn’t get to run and play outdoor games with my older brothers. That is a considerable amount of the year wasted indoors. The Northwest doesn’t have the amazing 365 weather that the sun belt states get to enjoy, but it doesn’t have the extreme winter’s like the east coast either! It does have all four seasons. I’ve watched the leaves fade and fall before the snow comes, then life reawaken, and blossom when the sun returns and warms the earth. It does have green trees, flowers, rivers full of life… rolling hills, dense forests, high deserts, dormant volcanoes, lakes, rivers, beaches… How could I not come to appreciate this lush, diverse region I get to call home.

Join me every week as I post about locations I’ve discovered and far off destinations that I plan to discover. I’d also love to hear about the places you’ve adventured to, places you think I need to see, or even how you feel about living here in the The Great Northwest. I can’t wait to share my love of the outdoors and travel with you. Let’s get out and adventure together!