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Travel Talk

Warning signs on the trail are there for a reason - mostly

Prepare for the worst, enjoy the best: A few words on adventuring safely…

Travel Talk

I write about trails, mountain climbs and other adventures. While it should be pretty obvious, let me perfectly clear: these are all inherently risky things to do. Under the best conditions, on the perfect day, and with all the right planning, things can still go wrong — very wrong.  If you want to be totally safe, stick to the photos. That’s not to be an alarmist or try and scare you out of an adventure, I’m just being honest. In…

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Camp fires prohibited sign (winter in the gorge )

The West Coast is On Fire and It Sucks

Travel Talk

I promised myself that I would spend this afternoon catching up on stories about the wonders of my Alaska trip last week but as I look through my windows to the haze, smoke, and ash from the Eagle Creek Fire in the Columbia River Gorge, Alaska seems like another world. If you’re not familiar, fires are raging all around the west coast. Here in the Portland area, the Eagle Creek fire (named after the iconic trail where the fire started)…

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Mount St Helens Summit - Summer

Weekend Dispatches: My 20th Mount St. Helens Summit

Travel Talk

Last Sunday, I topped out on Mount St. Helens for the 20th time. Compared to the search and rescue pros and seasoned volunteers, that’s a drop in the bucket I realize. But for a guy who stepped onto his first glaciated mountain just shy of three years ago, it felt pretty damn good. I’ve gone up with first time climbers, watching their eyes light up as they first catch the rim of the crater walls and some of those seasoned…

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Climbers at sunrise on Mount Hood

Who Needs Sleep? Sunrise Magic On Mount Hood

Travel Talk

Skipping out on Saturday evenings with friends and just plain missing out on an entire’s night sleep to go trudging up a mountain in the cold with a loaded pack is not always a fun thought. Making the long drive that’s often involved in getting to the trailhead, I’ll gladly admit that there are plenty of times where I’ve considered flipping a U, heading into that nice campground to close my eyes or dropping into that local bar rather than…

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Mount St. Helens from Coldwater Trail

Dispatches from the weekend: Waterfalls, hot springs, sunset views, and snowy summits on a no sleep, 3 tanks of gas kind of weekend.

Travel Talk

I’ve always struggled with posting stories here rather than more specific articles like trail guides and gear reviews. However, as my adventures have grown over the years, I’ve come to realize that without the regular updates you’re only getting a small part of my world. So, as we roll into summer, I’ve decided to take a page from a few of my friend’s blog and try my hand at sharing the journey…  This weekend has had a little bit of everything. On one hand, it…

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Portland Bridges at Sunset

Spring is finally here and now summer adventures await

Travel Talk

This weekend the sun came out in full force and temps across the Northwest broke the 80 degree mark for the first time this year I believe. Coming down from the 20 degree slopes of Mount Rainier it was quite a shock to suddenly find myself in need a pair of shorts (and a tan) but as I’ve begun to acclimate to warmer days it’s time to solidify summer plans! At the top of my dream list are a few ambitious goals…

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Mount Rainier covered in snow, April 2017

Photos from Mount Rainier’s never ending winter

Travel Talk

It’s almost time to turn the calendar page to May (if you actually still have one of those printed calendar things) but apparently the Northwest missed the memo. Tonight’s forecast alone is calling for another foot of snow on the upper slopes of Rainier and Helens with another system on the way just shortly behind it as well. Crazy! Amazing as the endless snowfall is, it has also made this winter challenging and at times simply frustrating. After all, without many breaks it’s…

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Snowy view on Dog Mountain

Hey Adventurers, Winter Is Coming, Embrace It!

Travel Talk

Sitting inside The Johnston Ridge Observatory at Mount St. Helens yesterday hunkered down for hours in hopes that the storm outside would pass on by, it became pretty clear that “winter” — the concept more so than the actual season — has arrived. Like it or not that’s reality and yet almost from the minute I hit the road to return home I started hearing remarks about how much “this sucks” and how people will “be stuck inside for months” despite all the awesome times to…

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Campground Fire

Skip the Hotel! Adventure Travelers Get to Sleep In Tents & Cars

Travel Talk

When I first started traveling the outdoors I would spend my days getting dirty in the mountains only to return to some local business hotel, sneak my muddy boots past the reception and crash for a few hours before doing it all again the next day. Even with a pile of points from my professional travels and a knack for finding deals (hello Priceline), the classy approach made my trips downright expensive. More than that, I was just wasting it. I’d never be in the…

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10 Travel Tips to Save Time & Money At the Airport

Travel Talk

This week the Hudson Group, who operates convenience “newsstand” stores at just above every airport I’ve been to in the US released a list of the most popular airport purchases. Not surprisingly bottled water topped the charts followed by Sodas (Diet Coke and then Coke), Candy (M&Ms) and the Wall Street Journal. I say no surprise because of course drinks can’t pass through security these days making a little refreshment the obvious choice after you clear the body scanners but water? There’s a better way to…

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