I spent the bulk of March in the Northwest doing some fun stuff like biking, climbing,
and hiking.

Laurie Hotovy and I decided to go for a bike ride since Portland was so incredibly sunny and warm
for Portland. Of course, we didn't even THINK about snow since it was like 20 C in Portland. The
route we selected was up the Still Creek trail and then down the Pioneer Bridle trail around
Government camp. This is at around 3600 feet that we found snow. In fact, so much snow, we had
to carry our bikes.

After getting down out of the snow, we drove out to Smith to get in some early season climbing. This
is at the climber's dirtbag campground - Skull Hollow.

Laurie climbing on the backside of Smith, near Wherever I may roam. That's Monkey Face visible
in the distance.

Jeff Hemphill decided that since we both really love our Beyond Fleece soft shells, we'd take a shot of us
showing them off while climbing.

Charles Alexander, of climbing fame, shows off the correct way to coil a rope. Charlie climbed with us
at Smith this weekend and delighted us with stories of Navy life.

Andrew North also joined Jeff, Charles, Laurie, and I to do some climbing on the back side of Smith.

And here is Jeff Hemphill, recently engaged. It will now be his fiancee Lisa who makes me cookies when I
return him in one piece from climbing trips.

The next weekend, Laurie and I went up to the Olympic National Park in Northwestern Washington
to do a little hiking in the rain.

Here is Laurie making breakfast prior to our little trek. As it would turn out, seagulls and other birds were
really excited about our breakfast. Laurie just turned away for half a second, and the birds had our oatmeal.

With guidance from my friend Jordan Disko that the Ho River trail was worthwhile, Laurie and I set off on
the 12 mile hike in along the Ho. Here is Laurie next to the Ho river.

Here is a herd of elk that we saw chilling out along the river banks.

One of the herd about 30 feet from us on the trail.

The Ho River Trail is monumental for the variety of terrain that it covers. Beginning in total rain forest, it
rises out of the river valley up to subalpine lakes and eventually to the summit of Mount Olympus. Here, Laurie
and I pose along a moss-covered small bridge in the rain forest zone.

After hiking in about 12 miles, we got to the banks of a small lake, and decided to call it a day.
Partially, the presence of strong rain all day made the thought of a dry tent seem like a good idea.
Also, there was a small shelter at the campsite that made dinner that much nicer. This is my view from
the shelter in the morning as it snowed on us over breakfast.

Here is Laurie trying to cross a snow-covered slippery log atop a swiftly flowing ice-cold river.
I was positive she was going to fall in, so I had my camera at the ready.

Totally unrelated, but these pics found their way to my laptop, and they made me laugh

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