2015 Most Grateful Moments

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As 2015 came to a close, I realized that while I wouldn’t call it the best year, it was full of challenges and events which have helped form me into a stronger (albeit slightly wider) person. As an active Oregonian, it was most difficult for me to hang up my snowboard for the season as well as my road bike in order to make way for bodily healing. I’m happy to report that I am on the mend and look forward to sharing more outdoor adventures with you in 2016, but 2015 was absolutely the year of much cooking and a few outdoor memories. Sometimes life throws you a curve ball, and while I didn’t accomplish all my wishes during 2015, I made many other memories that wouldn’t have been possible if life happened the way I planned.

Below is a compilation of the best of the best:

 

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Hello 2015!

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Well, it’s more than halfway through January, and I noticed I haven’t written since Thanksgiving. Oops. Looking back at 2014, my heart is warmed to realize all that I accomplished, and I am so grateful to have hiked over 30 different trails, traveled to various parts of Oregon, Washington, California, Idaho, New York, Texas and Hawaii, try brand new things (mountain biking made the top of the list!), share laughter with friends new and old, and – of course – cook a ton of delicious food. Thank you to all who made 2014 an incredible year!

Now it’s on to 2015, and it has proven there’s no rest for the wicked! New Year’s Day wouldn’t have been complete without a frozen waterfall hike to Triple Falls, and the next days were kept full with whale watching attempts, snowboarding, bouldering, and lots of new recipes! Over the past few weeks, I’ve been pondering plans for the next 365 days, and without further ado, they are as follows (in no particular order):

Mount St. Helens National Volcanic Monument

  • Hike Mount St. Helens – Yes, I’m a native Oregonian and have NEVER been to the iconic PNW mountain. Shameful.

Near the Top

  • Hike Dog Mountain
  • Solo backpacking trip
  • Learn to cook paella
  • Teach a cooking class
  • Hike in the Grand Canyon
  • More mountain biking!

my sandboard

  • Sandboarding
  • Plan for Glacier National Park trip in 2016
  • Bike along the Historic Columbia River Highway

Monkey Face at Smith Rock

  • Rock climbing and hiking at Smith Rock

Mount Whitney

  • And finally, the POSSIBILITY of hiking Mt. Whitney

Synopsis of Summer: Splendid

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With one of the hottest summers on record, I found myself extra incentivized to find ways to cool down and enjoy outdoor time. Hiking is a standard practice for me, but I also expanded my horizons and added mountain biking (a first!), stand up paddleboarding and a Wildlife Safari to my summertime activity.

Write ups are still in the works for some of these adventures, so in the meantime, enjoy this little gallery of my hiking, biking, and paddling over the past three months.

Exploring Muir Woods

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Many years ago, I used to write twitter content for the San Francisco Convention and Visitors Bureau, and one of the sites I would often recommend to tourists was Muir Woods in Marin County (ironic considering I had not been myself). Since my parents moved to Marin last year, I have wanted to see the Woods – a national park created by conservationist, John Muir at the turn of the 20th Century. There are redwoods in Oregon, but none as famous as those in Northern California, so upon visiting at Easter, I declared my #1 tourist attraction would be the Park. It was well worth the wait. Continue reading

Batty in Austin

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I only recently have come to know and love Austin, Texas. Many have told me the likening the city has to my hometown, Portland, namely it’s love of the B’s: beers, beards, bikes, bridges, and, well, tattoos. In addition to these B’s (and one T), there are bats! Similar to Portland’s tradition with the Vaux Swifts, Austin has 2.5-3 million bats that call the S. Congress Bridge home from March to late September. During my trip to SXSW, I had the opportunity to see these bats live and in action.

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Indulge at Sparrow Cafe

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Oh, Haight-Asbury, the great joys you bring to my senses. From vintage shops to naked men wearing nothing but gold sequent socks (and not on their feet), to an impressive array of food options, you never disappoint me.

During my recent Christmas trip to San Fran, my mom and I ventured to the Haight for some shopping and brunching. Continue reading