A Very Rainier Weekend

Yodle-ay-hee-hoo!

Spending more than 48 hours in the great out-of-doors makes me feel like yodeling.

As I sit down to type this post of epic proportions, I have to wonder how it went by so darn fast. It seems like yesterday we were at QFC, filling our cart with Bud Light Limes and Hebrew Nats. Perhaps that’s where I should start, n’est pas?

Firewood, beer, hot dogs and bug spray. These are just a few of the supplies Bry and I snagged on Friday in preparation for our first official camping trip in Washington since our September move further west! Bry had mapped out our Saturday schedule which looked a little something like this:

  • 4:00 am – Wake up
  • 4:30 am – Drive to camping ground at White River
  • 7:00 am – Arrive to camp-spot
  • 9:00 am – Begin day hike to Sunrise
  • 1:00 pm – Lunch break at Sunrise Visitor Center
  • 2:00 pm – Hike Wonderland Trail back to camp spot
  • 3:30 pm – Arrive camp spot

The 4 am wake up was just wonderful. Brought me right back to my days working at the Starbucks in the Davenport Hotel. I used to sleep in my uniform.

I rolled myself into the Jeep and surrounded myself with pillows and blankets while Bryan hit the 24-hour Starbucks in Kirkland for a venti misto. I awoke as Bryan pulled into the campsite at White River and marveled at well, the White River. It really is white. Very LOTRish.

DSCN4388

DSCN4322

We finagled our camping spot and Bry Jet-Boiled me up a VIA to combat the low temps. I slapped my face a few times (Harry from Dumb & Dumber style) and completed a set of 25 jumping jacks to wake up my lethargic stems. Then, we hit the tray-tray.

DSCN4321

The spot

DSCN4320

It started off with a gradual incline and after only 15 minutes I inquired as to the length of our excurion. We thought we were in for a 10 mile day which sounded about as good as a soggy ham sammy on a hot day. I got the majority of my complaints out within the first hour of the hike…’my legs hurt’, ‘so how far is it again?’, ‘I wish we could just switch bodies so you knew how I feel’…

DSCN4338

I spoke of the heaps of work I had in front of me – preparing for Megan’s bachelorette party the coming weekend by making a cake, shopping for my LBD (the theme), securing a lunch reservation and buying a gift. OH – not to mention cleaning our entire apartment. No sweat, Nat. It’ll all come together. So, I pulled up my already-above-the-bellybutton gray hiking pants from REI and pressed on.

DSCN4333

DSCN4337

The trail evened out, got steeper, evened out, got steeper. We had traveled 3 miles on our way to Glacier Basin, when Bry decided to bag the idea and just head on up to Sunrise. So, we did an about-face and half a mile later were back at the fork to hike the 5 miles up to Sunrise. I pulled my hair back, made my pants into shorts and got all gangsta.

DSCN4339

Most beautiful girl in the world.

Every time I told myself “This sucks – I want to be at home cleaning out my tub – organizing my sh*t –  watching makeup tutorials  – eating Pirate’s Booty t”, I just had to take a step back, quite literally. Here I was, on this absolutely gorgeous trail with hardly any other people, taking in views of Rainier in all her majesty, eating trail mix and spending time with my favorite person in the world.

Bryan and Natalie Jackson Hole.

I look like a wet dog.

DSCN4330

We reached the top of Sunrise and I was elated at the view, beautiful surroundings and the fact that the uphill portion of the day was DONE.

DSCN4359

Ohhh the white socks.

DSCN4338

Although trekking up the mountain was behind us, it turns out the dangers were not.  We approached a snow field and as we drew nearer, I was realized it was looking a little steep. Bry grabbed my hand and said, “I’ll go first and we’ll go nice and slow.” TWSS. Oh – and might I add that I was wearing flimsy cross-trainers from Fred Meyer? Balls.

DSCN4350

As we crossed the sloping snow field, I looked down to my right and realized that one false step could result in sliding quite quickly down the embankment of snow into a pool of jagged rocks at the bottom. I surmised that falling down the mountain may not result in instant death, rather a most frightening fall. Reaching the other side safely, I realized what I had just done and decided it was a good time to cry a little. So I did…

DSCN4351

We hiked a bit further, played the “last meal” game and wouldn’t you know it? Hit yet another snow field! This one was quite a bit longer than the first. We held hands, steadied ourselves again the snowy mountain and after a 2 minute sloooow trek, had reached the other side.

DSCN4361

Yeah, we didn’t.

After our snow field excursions, my mood was quickly lifted at the sight of mountain goats. You heard me. There were mommas and babies and well, it was pretty cool.

DSCN4357

It wasn’t long after the goats, that we had reached the visitors center! We sat at a picnic table, gobbled down our turkey + swiss sandwiches and Tim’s Cascade chips and then inquired inside as to the quickest way down.

We made our way back down the mile long road to get back to the trail head and then took the famous wonderland trail back to camp. Glancing at the map at the visitor’s center, it looked like a somewhat straight shot back down – we figured no more then a couple of miles. We learned it was about 3.5 after hitting a trail marker a good chunk into it, but obviously we were on our way DOWN so everything was peachy.

We reached camp around 3:30 pm and after changing out of our dirty clothes and applying some Pink Chiffon body spray (or was that just me?) we settled into our camp chairs with PBRs and sore legs. ‘Murica.

DSCN4365

Yes, we put up that American flag.

DSCN4371

No clue how Bry got this pic!

I read my Brides magazine and sipped a vodka + soda outta the Nalgene while Bryan set up our new tent from Targs. We really glamped it up this time by bringing along our air mattress.

DSCN4370

DSCN4381

As the sun fell slowly behind the mountains and the sound of the White River hummed peacefully in our ears, it made me blissfully aware of the reason why I do indeed enjoy putting myself through all this. The grueling accents uphill, the bugs, the snow fields, the unexpected. It is frustrating and annoying, yet also fun. I have to get in my obligatory 15 minutes or so of complaints, tell myself there is about a million other things I should be doing – but at the end of the day, I am always glad I did it.

DSCN4374

DSCN4377

DSCN4378

DSCN4379

DSCN4384

Yep.

We made our dinner of Hebrew Nationals and potato chips, polished off a couple more beers and satisfied our sweet teeths with Rainbow Chips Deluxe.

DSCN4368

Man and Firewood

DSCN4380

Then we hit the air (?) in our respective sleeping bags, mine the -30 degree mummy bag which kept me wonderfully cozy and helped coax me in to a deep, scrumptious slumber within seconds.

Sunday morning I woke up to Bry asking me if I wanted to go on a “nature walk”. I think he was trying to disguise the word “hike” as best he could. I gave me a “heeell to the nah” and promptly turned over for a 45  minute snooze while Bryan eked in his last moments in “neature”.

I emerged from the comfort of our tent at the promise of a steaming cup of VIA and after once glimpse in the car window, realized I literally looked like I belonged in the wilderness. Then we packed up and hit the road early, only stopping in Enumclaw for a Starbucks and restroom break.

DSCN4323

Beautifying

After 2 quick showers, re-packing the cooler with MORE beer and a tub of Boursin – we ventured off to the marina to take out the Nash’s boat.

DSCN4390

Fueling up

We picked up our chummies Kyle, Melissa and their little one in Kirkland and spent over 3 wonderful hours hanging on the boat, watching little M experience her first boat ride and catch up.

DSCN4393

DSCN4395

Little M was SO adorable.

DSCN4400

The day was absolutely gorgeous and Mt. Rainier was clear as crystal. I was battling a little fatigue after our 14-mile Saturday, but the great company and beautiful scenery made it just perfect.

After boating, we hit Chipotle (our new obsession) and went home to collapse after our busy weekend in the out-of-doors. I can’t believe how far I have come! Camping, hiking, being dirty – check, check, check!

Oh – and my biggest accomplishment, peeing outside 🙂 but hold your applause, because coming up is sister Megan’s bachelorette party. You know you’re excited.

Don’t miss a cupcake, unicorn or vodka drink – follow me on Bloglovin’!

MIA, 3rd World Democracy

We got more records than the KGB.

Apologies for being MIA the last week or so. You see…Bryan’s parents are here! Shout out to Mary and Greg! We are having an absolute blast together and I have felt like I’ve been on vacation along with them, well aside from the 8 hours of work per day :-). Dinners out, hiking, trying to spot bears (eek!), drinking wine and amazing conversation is what has kept us busy this week. So awesome ya’ll.

Oh! And last week we went camping again. I’m basically a pro now. Here are some snap shots from that epicness:

Kicking it off right

Essentials: FN Mag, Pink Cards, Citronella Candle, Bug Spray, OFF Fan, Hand Sani

By Slide Lake

M' Drink of Choice

Dinna: Grilled Cheese w/Tomato

Snagletooth

Majestic Tetons

In other news, I leave for San Francisco on Saturday!! Cue toe jumping and mini-claps. I cannot WAIT to visit the city, shop, eat cupcakes, but most of all…see my sister Megan and my mom. I miss my two best friends.

I promise to post pictures of our visit with the Nashs later, but for now, I’ll leave you with some thought-provoking visual treats.

True.

Even though I don’t condone the “B” word I agree. Go Paula.

Source

There’s a First Time for Everything

This was me about 2 weeks ago.

My friends it’s true…I went CAMPING. Don’t cry, everything is fine.

For those of you who know me, you’re already well versed in the Danielson ways of vacationing. Bigger cities (i.e Seattle, Portland, New York), hotel rooms, shopping, Red Robin and the occasional melt-down. An outdoorsy, rollin around in the dirt, sports playin youngin’ I was not. My childhood was all about stirrup pants, Hello Kitty, trading stickers, Barbies and trying to convince my Mom to crimp my hair like errday.

When I started going out with B, I knew I was in for some adventures…hello THE PASS. But I was actually excited about trying this whole camping thing.

Apparently, there are different kinds of camping. For your convenience, I shall break them down in laments terms for ease of understanding:

  • Backpacking – This is when you hike with a really-effing-heavy pack on your back into the wilderness, stop at some point, put up a tent and go to sleep. Advantages – great workout and the scenery might be pretty. Disadvantages – Having to carry everything you need on your person. This means that a 5th of vodka, ipod player, Juicy jumpsuit and 3 bags of Stacy’s Pita Chips are simply out of the question.
  • Car Camping – This is when you drive in the luxury of your own vehicle to the campsite directly and either sleep in your car or in a tent. Advantages – Ability to pack as much as you like, including multiple bags of chips, cases of beer/wine/vodka, ukuleles (why not?) and maybe a teacup yorkie named Professor Snazzypants. Disadvantages – n/a.

To ease me into the whole camping thing, Bryan opted for the car camping option. That’s m’boy.

We departed at around 2 o’clock and Bryan had smartly packed all the essentials.

  • Clothes
  • Tent
  • Sleeping bags + pillows
  • Chairs
  • Cooler
  • Beer, wine, rum
  • Water
  • Food
  • Bear spray
  • Sunblock
  • Toilet Paper
  • Camera
  • Fire Wood

My contributions.

  • Dry Shampoo
  • Blush + Mascara
  • Nerds Rope
  • Chex Mix
  • 2 celebrity gossip magazines and a Food and Wine
  • Hot Pink deck of cards

We drove out to Slide Lake (about 1 hour from Jackson) and claimed a camping spot as we anxiously awaited our friends, Jeremy and Lorie to join us. To pass the time, we ate, drank and played trivia games on Bryan’s phone.

Michelob Ultra, Cactus Lime = Delish

Boxed Wine...Duh

When Jeremy and Lorie arrived, we decided to try and find a more secluded spot along the Gros Ventre River. It didn’t take long for us to find this little gem.

The View

We immediately made a fire and let the good times roll.

CAUGHT!

The next morning B and I woke up around 8:30 and went on a “nature-walk” as I was calling it (SO Bob Ross). But not before I got in a little bit of breaking news:

And dorky faces…

Our Nature Walk was so beautiful and we had a nice little 20 minute stroll.

Check out this arty photo I took of the wildflowers:

I May be Going into Business

When we returned to camp, Jeremy and Lorie were stirring and Lorie brought the ingredients to make breakfast sandwiches. Ingredients included:

  • Amazing organic ciabatta bread
  • Tomato
  • Bacon
  • Homemade Pesto Aioli

Sizzlin Bacon

Can you say holy-yum?

Since my allergies were killin me softly and I forgot my meds (aka Allegra) we packed up camp and hit the road back to Jackson.

Overall, I did a pretty good job at camping. Some would argue that one cannot be “good” or “bad” at camping, but I think you can. The only skills I need to work on are

1.) packing more candy

2.) bringing allergy medicine and

3.) urinating in the woods :-).