Weekly Newsletter – Mashley’s Adventures – Snow, Saunas and Shop-keeping

(Pictures are all available in an album in FaceBook.)

Current Location: Bremerton, Washington

The cure for anything is salt water – sweat, tears, or the sea.
~ Isak Dinesen

We’ve had a fun-filled and productive week between working and prepping for our backpacking trip over the weekend. Matthew has been diligently harvesting (and eating) raspberries from the garden and I received some terrific news this week! It turns out Matthew and I are working together! I was offered a job working for Marit, the owner of Bremerton Letterpress Co., as her personal assistant. I had my first day on Thursday and have been happily settling in this week. This is my first ever community-based, non-corporate job with some built-in flexibility and I’m loving it! Plus, it’s a lot of fun to be working together for a local company that we are both so excited to help promote and support. 😀

This week’s dose of adventure began Friday morning, when Matthew, Jackie and I headed in to the Buckhorn Wilderness, just outside of Olympic National Park, for a three day loop hike. The trail started off with a steep trek up and along a ridge line before submitting Mt. Townsend at 6200 ft. (or so I hear, we didn’t actually make it that far). This arduous ridge climb alone was enough to get our lungs burning, so adding in the fact that we were hauling 40 pound packs made for some slow going and much cursing by some (I’m sure those of you who know us can guess who that was :). The rain decided to make an appearance after about 10 minutes on the trail, after which it turned to hail, and by the time we made it to the top of the ridge, we were cocooned in a downfall of huge, fluffy snowflakes. The slush on the ground didn’t make for treacherous footing but the dropping temperatures did give us pause. It wasn’t warm to start with and quickly numbing fingers any time we weren’t moving made us re-think our plan, especially since we still had 1,200 more feet to climb and the mountains ahead looked pretty darn white. After much debate, we all agreed it was best to turn around and head back down. None of us really fancied a night of below freezing temperatures and snow camping. Alas, mother nature strikes again!

Back down at the parking area, we ran into another fellow who had just come down from our intended destination. Based on his comment that it was snowing even harder there and that it was already sticking, we were glad to have turned around. We ended up wandering down a nearby tail where we found a lovely campsite next to the creek for the night. With our original plan foiled and muscles sore from the climb, Saturday morning found us enjoying a short day-hike before heading in to Port Townsend.

  • 1 night spent in our tents
  • A gazillion raspberries picked from the garden, thus far
  • 1 new job started

Grabbing lunch out and then heading to the sauna wasn’t on the agenda for the weekend, but it was certainly a delightful surprise! I was introduced to, and fell in love with saunas while living in Finland, and we always look forward to the opportunity to enjoy one. It just so happens that Port Townsend had a spa/bath house called “Soak on the Sound” offering a community soaking pool and sauna. So we took advantage of a foiled plan and gave our muscles a little love with some steamy heat.

    Lessons Learned (or relearned):

  • Always remember – it may look and feel like summer here, but in the mountains it’s still early spring .
  • There’s always another option available!
  • Saunas are awesome (we should enjoy a sauna after every backpacking trip!)

We may not have accomplished it the way we planned, but the weekend still ended with us dripping in sweat 🙂 Mission complete.

Day-to-day adventuring,

Matthew & Ashley