West Coast Road Trip

If you’re following my YouTube channel, you know that I’ve been posting videos regularly but unfortunately I’ve been neglecting the blog! It turned out that I couldn’t manage to maintain the blog, create videos and hike in the five weeks that I was on the road!

Now I’m back from the trip. Settled into the groove of life. And I’m ready to start blogging regularly again! I’m keeping this one to a short recap of the entire trip and I’ll catch up to the videos with detailed hiking blogs in the coming two weeks.

The fives weeks on the road were phenomenal! I couldn’t have asked for better weather (although West Coast residents would’ve preferred some rain to alleviate the wildfires that were burning all around). I got to visit some of the most iconic National Parks in the West Coast and each one had something amazing to offer! I managed to hike in the snow (Mt. Rainier), sand (Sand Dunes National Park) and even water (Zion National Park).

While some of the wildfires were still raging at the start of our trip, it didn’t impact me much. I did cut short my visit to Glacier National Park. It was too smokey, much of the park was closed and bears migrated away from the fires to many of the trails that remained open. Perhaps I’ll come back here in a couple of years to celebrate a big birthday!

Our next stop was Mt. Rainier. There was a dense fog the day we arrived in the park and I only briefly caught a glimpse of this majesty. The next day I hiked to Camp Muir, the last place you can hike to before using climbing gear. It was foggy, drizzly and cold. However, as I approached the snow field, the fog cleared and the temperature was comfortably warm. Although nine miles seems like a cake walk, hiking in the snow field is mentally and physically exhausting. The last three miles took me about 5 hours to complete and the entire hike took me almost 12 hours! Despite the challenge of the hike and the self doubt I had given its intensity, I was glad that I persevered to Camp Muir. There’s nothing more exciting than sitting above the clouds and I certainly experienced that on Mt. Rainier. My only bear sighting on the trip was in Mt. Rainier National Park!

Next to Glacier, I was most looking forward to my time in Zion National Park and it didn’t disappoint. The deep canyons, the unique landscape and the bright night skies all make Zion a simply unimaginably beautiful place. Of course, hiking in the Narrows in the Virgin River made the trip doubly worth it. Unfortunately, Angel’s Landing was still under reconstruction after a flash flood in July destroyed a part of the trail. Because I’ll be making another trip to Zion some time in the future, I’m not worried about not getting to hike this jewel!

This trip wouldn’t have been a Hiking Misadventure voyage without at least one epic fail. I was excited to visit the Sand Dunes mostly so that I could slide down on the sand board. I rented one (fairly cheap!) started making my way up the giant dunes. A quarter of the way up, I wanted to get an exciting action video of my slide! I put the slide down on a very narrow ledge on a Sand Dune. I sat down and immediately started sliding backwards. After a few seconds the board flew away and I rolled down the Dune. Other than a few sprains and bruises, I was fine. After a long break, I made my way up but could only get about a third of the way before my body started screaming. It was sad to turn around but it felt safer to end the hike without any major or permanent injuries. It’s not the way I’d have chosen to end this epic trip, but it was certainly adventurous and true to the spirit of hiking misadventures!

Of course there are things I’d do differently (bring way less food!) but I was pretty pleased with the planning I did for the trip and they mostly worked in my favor. Look for a future blog with the pros and cons of the trip as well as a review of the gear I used!

It’s good to be back to the land of blogging! Until the next post, please enjoy the picture highlights from the trip!

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