The Long Road to Summiting Wy’east

From humble Midwest beginnings to the summit of Mount Hood (Wy'east) in Oregon, this is a story about patience, perseverance, and commitment to a dream.  The backcountry has a way of speaking to us and if we listen carefully, it will tell us all the things we need to know about ourselves and the world we live in.  Not everything in life is easy.  The challenges we face are there to make us better people and allow those triumphs to be just that much more sweeter.

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2016 Archery Elk

Though it was cut short, my 2016 Archery Elk season was one I'll never forget.  I was fortunate to spend it with close friends and be into elk every day.  So many great memories and lessons learned.  Take a minute to check out what my season looked like and how I did!

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Backcountry Problems are REAL Problems

Backcountry problems are REAL problems.  I came to the realization on a recent backpacking trip that the problems we face in the backcountry have far more weight to them than the ones we tend to make for ourselves in our daily lives.  I think it's important to cherish these problems - big or small - and accept them head on.  For me, they help to baseline myself again and restore in my brain what REAL problems really are.

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Girls Weekend

Never in a million years did I think I'd find myself backpacking alone with a handful of chicks, but that's exactly what happened this past May when four of my friends wives were the only ones to roger up for an overnighter on Mount St. Helens.  Whatever guy tendencies I had going into this trip would need to be checked at the door because I was outnumbered 4 to 1 and I figured that maybe this was a good opportunity to see the outdoors through the eyes of the opposite sex.  As it turns out, it was a trip I'll never soon forget.

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Outdoor Stores - Meet Thy DOOM!!!

I have a love hate relationship with outdoor stores.  The more of them I find on my travels, the more my love begins to fade to the point where though I may enter their doors, I do my best to avoid talking to anyone.  Why?  I can assure you it's not because I'm socially awkward, but rather it's because I regularly know more about the products being sold than the employees do.  The only exception I've found to this is in a specialty store where the footprint is small, the theme is clear, and the owner or employees actually do the activity the store sells gear for.  I hate to say it folks, but more often than not, outdoor stores suck.

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Loowit Trail: 2016 Circumnavigation of Mount St. Helens

Compared to my 2015 Loowit Hike, 2016 was pretty much the opposite.  Instead of low hanging clouds and cool temps, I was met with clear blue skies and 80-90 degree heat.  No matter what the conditions, the Mount St. Helens never disappoints and I think I might be even more infatuated with her now that I have two Loowit Trail hikes under my belt.

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Choose Your Own Adventure

Social media is full of incredible photography, daring adventurers, and beautiful people from all over the world who have a tendency to significantly dwarf my backcountry experiences.  I admit, I sometimes find myself getting caught up in comparing myself to others and when I do, I force myself to take a look around and re-adjust my vision.   While I think it's great to be inspired and motivated by these social media adventurers, I think it's equally important to keep everything in perspective.

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