Last Saturday. Me. Daniel. Olallie State Park.


I’ve told you before about my late bloom in nature-loving. It sometimes feels as though the wild- the forest and all that is earth-toned- is brand new to me. Hiking included. Before my first few treks on a trail, I’d only had experience with camping. A few times with family, but mostly with Girl Scouts. How was that, you ask? Picture a happy camper. Now rain on her. Collapse her tent. Put a spider in her sleeping bag.  She’s getting sour. Then tell her that we’ve run out of marshmallows. Party’s over.

I remember the times my mom came with me as a chaperone. Think Zsa Zsa Gabor in Green Acres. Cute, curious, and cautious. Minus the Hungarian accent. And just as  out of her element as I was. Somewhere between the moths the size of Texas, the nights without so much as a fan, the ultra-friendly mosquitoes, and the curse of small bladders, mom and I need to get the hell out of Dodge.

You see, mom doesn’t like dirt. Not dirt or germs or ticks or bed bugs or…the ball pit at McDonald’s Play Place. Sure, go ‘head and play. If you want lice.

And then there are bugs. Terrifying. But being the fierce woman that she is, mom would sooner be damned than let one single, solitary, spider within ten feet of me or my brother. Growing up, when one of us screamed “BUUUG!!!,” mom would run like mad to our rescue, grit her teeth in a way that I’ve only seen Dobermans do, and in a feigned calm whisper I’d hear, “Youuuuu, you’re not going to get my kids you son of a gun! Oh Jeeesus! Aaahhhhh!!!” A scene most accurately depicted in The Exorcist.

No one tell her that there are something like two hundred million insects per person on Earth.

It’s a miracle we’ve made it this far.

Hiking, though. That’s a different story.

I love it. Love the sticks, love the leaves, love the tree trunks that look huggable. The crackle, the crisp, the textures. And I especially like pretending I’m in FernGully.

Recommended hiking eats:

Homemade Cranberry Coconut Granola Bars



28 thoughts on “Hiking.

  1. Nicole

    Oooh, those pics are beautiful! I love hiking too, although it’s been awhile. Hopefully my husband and I will go during our vacation in October. :) (And maybe we’ll just have to make those gronala bars for the hike). Happy Friday!

  2. Lisa @ Endeavorous

    That looks so nice! I was in a huge L.L.Bean up in Maine last weekend and decided I want to go camping this fall (now I just need to find a car to take me there from the city…) But I’m with you on camping — give me my own bed in a safe, bug-free house!

  3. Maryellen

    Hi Sugar,

    Andrea, on a day that I desperately needed a laugh, you gave me one. I love you so much and miss you very badly.

    PS your pictures are so beautiful!!!!!!!!!

  4. Lu

    What a beautiful place to visit. The pictures are great, but I love love love the way you told the story. Your mom and I would get along famously. That is, until the snakes show up. That would be when I pass out, and she’d have to fend for herself.

  5. Stacy

    These pictures are beautiful! I loved Ferngully and Avatar! The hubby and I got in touch with our inner outdoorsy selves. It was glorious. I feel compelled to get in as many outdoor activities as possible before the blistering cold hits :(

  6. biz319

    That reminded me of when my sister and I went to girl scout camp. We watched our brother pack for camping – it was in the fall, it was cold, they slept in leaky tents, couldn’t start a fire, froze the whole weekend.

    Fast forward to a long weekend in June – my sister and I went to girl scout camp – we had our own cabins, with matching dressers at the foot of each bed – a cafeteria and get this – an icecream and candy shop!

    When we got back my brother was expecting horrid tales of camping in a tent and was mortified when our camp experience was more like a hotel!

    Love all the pics!

  7. Logan

    That is a beautiful trail. I’m not a bug person either. For some reason in the woods I always think a mountain lion or bear will come out and get me. My boyfriend even got me a bear bell as a joke to keep with me when exploring the city parks – haha.

  8. Krista

    Andrea, that trial looks fabulous! I love hiking, especially in the fall when the leaves are all sorts of gorgeous. It’ll be time to get out there soon!!

  9. runrantrealize

    I loved Fern Gully as a kid, watched it over and over again. These pictures remind me of why I love the Pacific Northwest so much. It is so green and beautiful.

    Looks like it was a great day.


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