Archive for Washington State


Posted in pictures, Travel, Wines with tags , , , , , , , on December 20, 2015 by xi'an

"another local red wine with a strong personality, Seattle, Aug. 10, 2015""more details...


Posted in pictures, Travel, Wines with tags , , , , , on November 20, 2015 by xi'an

an enjoyable full-bodied wine from the Pacific North-West (Walla Walla, WA), Seatlle, Aug. 10, 2015"more details..."

climbing in Mazama, WA

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , , on September 12, 2015 by xi'an

We spent the last few days of our Washington State vacations in Mazama, last hamlet up the MethowmadXama Valley and I found upon arrival that one of the four houses there hosted a mountaineering store and a climbing guide company! With too little time to organise a whole day climb of the nearby Liberty Bells, I spent a short morning with Brittany climbing a nearby bolted cliff called Fun Rock. Thanks to Brittany’s efficiency, I managed to climb six pitches, including two chimneys, which I particularly affectionate!, and a slightly more challenging route in the upper fives. I was very glad to work with Brittany, who is an amazing young woman now full time mountain guide and running coach, besides being a terrific climber and long-distance runner. Her website, Magnetic North, is definitely worth a visit….

no country for ‘Og snaps?!

Posted in Mountains, pictures, Travel with tags , , , , , , on August 30, 2015 by xi'an

A few days ago, I got an anonymous comment complaining about my tendency to post pictures “no one is interested in” on the ‘Og and suggesting I moved them to another electronic media like Twitter or Instagram as to avoid readers having to sort through the blog entries for statistics related ones, to separate the wheat from the chaff… While my first reaction was (unsurprisingly) one of irritation, a more constructive one is to point out to all (un)interested readers that they can always subscribe by RSS to the Statistics category (and skip the chaff), just like R bloggers only post my R related entries. Now, if more ‘Og’s readers find the presumably increasing flow of pictures a nuisance, just let me know and I will try to curb this avalanche of pixels… Not certain that I succeed, though!

walking the PCT

Posted in Books, Kids, Mountains, pictures, Running, Travel with tags , , , , , , on August 29, 2015 by xi'an

The last book I read in the hospital was wild, by Cheryl Strayed, which was about walking the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) as a regenerating experience. The book was turned into a movie this year. I did not like the book very much and did not try to watch the film, but when I realised my vacation rental would bring me a dozen miles from the PCT, I planned a day hike along this mythical trail… Especially since my daughter had dreams of hiking the trail one day. (Not realising at the time that Cheryl Strayed had not come that far north, but had stopped at the border between Oregon and Washington.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA)

The hike was really great, staying on a high ridge for most of the time and offering 360⁰ views of the Eastern North Cascades (as well as forest fire smoke clouds in the distance…) Walking on the trail was very smooth as it was wide enough, with a limited gradient and hardly anyone around. Actually, we felt like intruding tourists on the trail, with our light backpacks, since the few hikers we crossed were long-distance hikers, “doing” the trail with sometimes backpacks that looked as heavy as Strayed’s original “Monster”. And sometimes with incredibly light ones. A great specificity of those people is that they all were more than ready to share their experiences and goals, with no complaint about the hardship of being on the trail for several months! And sounding more sorry than eager to reach the Canadian border and the end of the PCT in a few more dozen miles… For instance, a solitary female hiker told us of her plans to get back to the section near Lake Chelan she had missed the week before due to threatening forest fires. A great entry to the PCT, with the dream of walking a larger portion in an undefined future…

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