Saturday, December 31, 2016

Outdoor Resolutions, Revisited

Last January I posted about our Great Outdoor Resolutions, a twist on standard New Year’s Resolutions.  As is so often the case with New Year proclamations of any sort however, these were met with only partial success.
Yellowstone National Park, August 2016
We set seven goals.  Of these seven goals, I regret to say, that we ticked off only three.
Mount Rainier National Park, July 2016
  • Visit a new national park 
We camped, hiked, and splashed in Olympic National Park and Mount Rainier National Park this August.  This added two new parks to our growing list of national park adventures.  Both were spectacular and unique in distinctly different ways.  We already have arrangements for our next “new park” in the works, too.
Olympic National Park, National Park, August 2016
  • Plan a camping trip with friends/family
My sister, Lisa, and her husband, Alex, came and joined us for a day at Mount Rainier.  We spent a couple days with Hannah in Glacier National Park.  Those experiences were just as incredible and heart-filling as I'd hoped.  Lisa taught us to make torches out of moss and sap.  Hannah was awed alongside us by the glaciers and flowers.
Mount Rainier National Park, July 2016
  • Learn to tie four useful knots
I follow a blog called Root Simple.  I've posted about it before.  Erik and Kelly are sure cool folks.  While I cannot readily find their post now, it was on Root Simple that I stumbled upon a video called The Only Knot You Need to Know.  Of course, with a title like that I was intrigued.  I doubt I could correctly name them all, if pressed, but I now have a handful of knots at my disposal.  I like how they're all linked together, build on each other.
Glacier National Park, July 2016
We failed to fully complete the other four, however.
Yellowstone National Park, May 2016
  • Go backpacking
We "just" car camped again this year.  I don't know why.  I guess we're satisfied with that experience.  Or we've grown lazy and soft and just want more "stuff" out in the woods.  Stuff like guitars, beers, board games, and s'mores.  I am not sure.  I'm going to remind myself of all the reasons I really do want pick up backpacking again.  I like getting away from all other people.   I like exploring new places.    I like the quiet and dark.  I like feeling strong and self-reliant.   But, even if we're just car campers we sure have a lot of good times hiking and traipsing about by ourselves out on the trail.
  • Climb to a new mountain top
We tried.  We really, really did.  Three times, I believe.  One mountain top hike was scuttled due to rain and thunderstorms.  One by deep snow.  Another was thwarted by a poorly marked trail junction and subsequent bad attitudes when we realized how much back tracking we had to do.  So, we'll try again next year.
  • Rent/Camp in a fire lookout tower
We tried on this one, too, but were too late in doing so.  I guess we underestimated their popularity and how quickly reservations for the lookouts would fill up.  The only availability we could find didn’t match up with our schedule.  But!  Refusing to let that happen again I've already got one booked for my birthday weekend this summer.  We did, however, climb an actively used firetower near Glacier.  The view was stunning and getting a closer look at the living arrangements inside was very interesting.    
  • Learn to identify the major features of the moon
I can identify two major craters--Tycho near the south pole and Copernicus, not far above the equator line in the middle of large expanse of black lunar "sea."  That isn't really much given the number of features that decorate the surface of the moon.  I guess it is a start.  Maybe I can add a few more this year and, little by little, get a handle on most of them. 

Yellowstone National Park, May 2016
For 2017 we've got our sights set on:
  • Renting/Camping in a fire lookout tower
  • Climbing to a new mountain top
  • Going backpacking
  • Visiting a new national park (or two)
  • Taking someone we love on one of our Yellowstone National Park adventures
Olympic National Park, National Park, August 2016
Happy New Years!

2 comments:

  1. *cough, cough* Custer National Park is very close to us, and has fire towers, and is awesome and you should come visit us. *cough, cough* :)

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    Replies
    1. I am SO going to file this useful info away. Thanks, Darci. That would be great.

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