Blanca Lake

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I don't think I've ever done a hike more unprepared, but it was a hike I'm glad I finished. 

 Some time in October, my Disney buddy Kristina, which you guys have seen a ton of in my vlogs, asked me to hiking. Lake Blanca had been on my list for a long time, but it was also longer & more elevation gain, than any hike I've ever done. I mean let's be honest. Yes, almost every girl in the Pacific Northwest, says she loves hiking, but I'm not afraid to say I'm not obsessed with it. My affinity for hiking stemmed from my love of taking photos, therefore I hike. 

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Let's not forget the fact that I showed up in a tank, mesh yoga pants, and a cotton zip up, AND IT WAS POURING RAIN. I didn't have anything waterproof at all, including my day pack. No trekking poles (forgot) & no advil to start me off. All I had was another jacket I found in the back of Kristina's car (also not waterproof). 

A few hours later, absolutely soaked to my socks with rain, I made it to the top & arrived at Lake Blanca. Just as I came around the corner, the fog was beginning to dissipate (hence the first and last photo).  It was cold, but it was breathtakingly beautiful and well worth it. As it began to rain even harder, we took some pictures & snacked for 15 minutes, and it was time to head back down. I definitely want come back (more prepared) during the Summer, but I wouldn't have been able to do this hike without the constant motivation & patience of Kristina :) - Jen

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Lake 22

My Ankle 1 : Mountain 0

Today I went hiking for the first time since I sprained my ankle earlier this year. I've always had pretty stretchy ligaments (aka double jointed), so I had never sprained anything before. Now that I have, I have to be a little more cautious with that ankle, but I wasn't going to let it stop me!

Summer is finally here in Seattle, so I welcomed it by hiking up to Lake 22, on Mountain Loop Highway. I saw streams, waterfalls, rocky pathways, and slush galore. I wasn't fast, but I made it. I can still feel that my right ankle isn't quite up to par with my left, but I'm getting there. Can't wait to go again! Hope you're all having a great Sunday.

Love, Jen

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Colchuck Lake

Hey loves, it's been ages since my last post, and with good reason. I'm in the home stretch for my Radiologic Technology program, so focusing on studying for my boards, has become top priority. I just wanted to send a huge thanks to all of you who've been sticking by, still reading my sparingly updated blog, and messaging me to make sure I'm still doing okay. It means a lot. :)

Just one and a half more months, and I can finally go back to blogging & YouTubing my heart out. I promise!

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A few weekends ago, though, I was able to break away from my studies and spend a full day hiking up to Colchuck Lake, by Leavenworth, WA. 

This trail is 8 miles roundtrip with about 2280 ft of elevation gain. Technically, it shouldn't have been too hard, compared to my other hikes, like Lake Serene, but this was my first time doing a long hike in 92F weather. Not the best idea, especially since I didn't pack as much water as I should have. Anyhow, I survived, I learned, and I rehydrated myself after. Best of all, the aquamarine glacial water on top, made it all worth it!

As you guys know, a lot of my posts recently, have talked about my journey to rediscover happiness for myself. Through that journey and with the help of the book, The Happiness of Pursuit, hiking has become one of those things that has really helped reinvigorate my look on life. There's just something incredibly satisfying when you challenge yourself physically, go on an adventure,  and succeed at getting that photographic shot you wanted. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to hike as much as I've wanted, because of school, but I can't wait to take on the rest of the Pacific Northwest when I'm done. Anyhow, I'll talk to you guys again soon. In the words of FunForLouis, Live the Adventure! - JEN

Hurricane Ridge

Hello, to my fellow adventure junkies! 

My 26th birthday is a week from today, and despite the crazy stressful month I've been having, I decided to kick off the celebration with a first time trip over to Port Angeles, into Olympic National Park, and up the Hurricane Ridge Trail

Hikes like these are my favorite, because the biggest hiking motivator for me, is the potential for great photos. My favorite types of hiking photos involve snow, because I just love the contrast of the greenery against the reflective qualities of snow. Plus, it's nice to not get overheated on a hike because you're surrounded by snow. 

Lastly, lately I've been in such a euphoric state. Such a contrast to the sadness I was feeling last year, and it feels good. Part of it is the fact that I'm almost done with my radiologic technology program, part of it is the new friends I've made in the last couple months, and some of it is the new adventures I've embarked on since then. This year I've started to hike more and there's something just refreshing & satisfying about challenging yourself physically. Then when you've reached the top of a hike and you get to see the view, it's wonderful. I can't wait to see what other adventures wait for me in the rest of 2015. :) - JEN 

"Climb mountains not so the world can see you,
but so you can see the world." - David Mccullough

Rattlesnake Ledge

Eleanor Roosevelt once said, "Do one thing everyday that scares you." Today, I ventured off on my first hike alone. Now some people would have an entire debate against this, but I've known a lot of hiker girls that have done it (within reason), and have said it can be quite mind clearing, refreshing, and empowering. For me, I've always felt held back by my fear to do things alone, so with great weather in forecast, I chose Rattlesnake Ledge, a fairly busy, but short hike. (4 miles roundtrip. 1160ft. total elevation gain).

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I started my hike at 6:50am, 21 minutes before sunrise. As I hit the one mile mark, the sun was up high enough to peak through the trees. Surprisingly, on my way up, I passed 6 groups of people on their way way down. I can't even fathom how early they started their hikes. By 7:41am, I had reached at the top of Rattlesnake Ledge, and it felt amazing! The view was perfection!

I was just a bit scared on my hike up, but as I saw more people, my fear just went away and it was just about getting a good pace going. I stayed up top about an hour, taking pictures and enjoying a Chocolate Brownie Cliff bar. It started to get really windy & cold, so I headed down. Overall I'm just really glad I went out and did this. I couldn't ask for a better Monday: blue skies & a view.

I hope you guys go out an try at least one thing this week that scares you. What's life, without growth? - JEN

I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future."

 - Jon Krakauer, Into the Wild

Mount Persis

Happy belated new year everyone! I've been keeping busy with school, work, friends, and working out, ever since January 1st and I wanted to make sure my first post of the year would be worthwhile. Yesterday's hike definitely fit the bill.

As part of my new goals in finding my own "Happiness of Pursuit," and going out living a life of adventure, I've decide to go to places I would have never gone to before. My last trek to the Big Four Ice Caves ignited my love of snowcapped mountains & inspired me to push myself physically and go to great lengths, for the sake of beautiful photos. I can't imagine a better motivator. 

We started this hike bright & early, before sunrise at 7:30am. Due to time constraints, we didn't make it all the way to the top of the hike, but I'm still really proud of myself, as this as my hardest hike yet. Despite all of that, I'm really happy with all the pictures I got. My only wish was that I could have gotten more pictures, which was difficult. The hike was short, but had massive elevation gain and required both hands at all times, through very overgrown pathways. I already can't wait till my next hike & adventure. I want to push myself harder and further next time. Too me, it's all about getting the shot and living the adventure.

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All in all, I feel, that I have finally become a true Pacific Northwester. Last but not least, I'll leave you all with my very first photo of the day, taken 30 minutes into the hike as the sun was coming up at 8am. Thank you all for reading! - JEN

"Do one thing everyday that scares you." - Eleanor Roosevelt