A couple of weeks ago I had the pleasure of climbing Mt St Helens for the first time! I had planned to do it in the summer a couple of years ago with Tasha and a few others but people’s schedules got busy and it never happened. Troy and I had also been talking about doing it in the spring when it’s still covered with snow but we never made any concrete plans. So, maybe a month and a half ago Tasha asked me if I wanted to do it, I mentioned it to Troy and we started making plans. It ended up being an amazing experience. Awesome weather, perfect snow conditions, amazing views, just tons of fun all around. I’m grateful to have a couple of friends who are up for this kind of stuff because without their encouragement and company I probably wouldn’t have done it and I would’ve missed out!
Check out the photos from the trip here: Mt St Helens Climb Spring 2013
About a month ago I got to go backpacking with my good friend Kanako and her friend’s daughter, Chihiro, who was travelling with her as she visited her former host family in Everett, Washington. We ended up doing a three day trip on the High Divide Loop in the northwest corner of Olympic National Park which none of us had visited before. It was a really great trip all around. Even just visiting the Peninsula was a cool experience; I enjoyed getting out and seeing the views from the deck of the ferry from Edmonds to Kingston and driving through the various small towns that were new to me on the way to the Wilderness Information Center in Port Angeles and then on to the trailhead. It felt so different from Seattle or even Everett. Very peaceful and slow paced. Then the hike itself was of course beautiful. The scenery was amazing and I had a great time hanging out with Kanako and Chihiro. I even got to pick up some Japanese that I had long ago forgotten from listening and asking lots of questions, like how to say “be careful!” :) Anyway, I just finished getting my photos up and writing the narrative that goes along with them, so check that out here if you’d like to see/read more. Hope you all are doing well!
My birthday was a couple of weeks ago on a Sunday, and I decided that I’d like to celebrate by having lunch after church with friends and then going on a hike in the gorge. Originally we planned to go to one of my new favorite restaurants, Towfiq, which is only about a block away from my church. It’s advertised as an African and Mediterranean restaurant, but I believe it is owned by a Somalian family–at least when I asked our server that’s where he said they were from. Anyway, the food and the hospitality are wonderful and I really enjoy eating there. What I didn’t factor in was that my birthday fell in the middle of Ramadan, and when we walked over there there was a little note saying that they had special hours during the month of fasting; they would be open from dusk until 3 or 4am. It was kind of cool how they adjusted their hours to accommodate the dawn until dusk fast and to provide a place to eat and spend time with one another late at night/early morning after the fast is over.
Anyway, thankfully another of my favorite places, Sengatera, was only another block down the street. So we headed in there and had a really wonderful lunch. I was glad we did because the owners are super nice and it’s always great to see them and they always make us feel welcome. We pretty much occupied the whole place–I think only one table was left that didn’t get assimilated into our group–and they did a great job getting everyone’s food out in a reasonable time and it was really tasty as usual. I would highly recommend both places!
So, after lunch a smaller group of us–my mom, one of my best friends from high school, Phil, and my very good friends from church Holly and Jelani and Sam–headed out to the gorge for a late afternoon hike. I chose the Horsetail Falls to Triple Falls to Oneota Trailhead loop because there were potentially going to be some first time hikers in the group and this is a trip I’ve done many times and I knew it was super scenic and not too crazy challenging. It was really nice, just being outside and enjoying the amazing scenery with good friends and my mom! Anyway, I took a few photos and just got them up on my site a few minutes ago along with a little bit more about the hike. Check out the photos and narrative here: Triple Falls Birthday Hike.
Anyway, after the hike we headed back to town and had dinner at Mississippi Pizza before we parted ways. It was a really great birthday, but the crazy thing I realized was that just about every Sunday is almost equally awesome. Just about every Sunday I get to go to a great church with people I love being around, and then I get to go out to lunch with some of those friends and have delicious and interesting food and excellent conversations, often continuing late into the afternoon over coffee. Then lately I’ve been going over to Holly and Jelani’s place after that to chill, play video games, have dinner, watch some shows or movies or just talk until late in the evening. I was feeling pretty blessed to have such a great day, but even more so to have such a great community of friends and family that the events of my birthday weren’t even that out of the ordinary, except for perhaps how many people showed up for lunch! So, thanks friends and family!