Weldon Wagon Road, WA

5/10/2019

We walked Weldon Wagon Trail on a hot day in May. Balsamroot beginning to fade in the heat. I craved the shade, wished for a breeze in the still air, unlike the windblown walk last week at The Dalles Mountain Ranch. Lupine, clarkia, manroot, various parsleys, cutleaf violets, no sasquatch sighting this year. An enjoyable walk with friends. This will likely be my last of the balsamroot hikes this year! (Hike #22, 5.5 miles, 1300 feet).

DSC00039

Lupine along the trail in the lower woodlands.

DSC00041

First view of the open flowered slope.

DSC00044

Our trail ahead across the balsamroot slope,

DSC00047

and a view of Mt Hood across the valley.

DSC00056

Friends ahead.

DSC00057

Balsamroot

DSC00062

Looking straight up at the steep slope above.

DSC00066

DSC00078

Turnaround point

DSC00084

And back the way we came,

DSC00089

Back into the shade on a hot day.

New or notable flowers:

Neighborhood and Garden

DSC00011

Birthday bouquet

DSC00020

Our rhododendron in bloom,

DSC00026

And our native irises.

IMG_2162

Giant camas in a neighborhood garden.

IMG_2163

Local fairy garden.

Knitting

I finished the Frost Slippers. The fit is a bit tight, but they should fit someone! Interesting construction, including stranding, steeking, and seaming, and I used up a lot of the leftover Dr Who Scarf yarn.

DSC00095DSC00097

Yarn for travel knitting!

IMG_0205

((This post has the first photos using my new camera (Sony HX90V).)

Balsamroot, Bitterroot, and a Birthday

May 2, 2019 Dalles Mountain Ranch, WA

On a very windy double birthday, we followed the lure of the wildflowers to Dalles Mountain Ranch, Columbia Hills State Park, WA. We hiked the Middle Loop, from the Ranch, downhill and then back up again, over rolling slopes and across streams. Balsam root, biscuit root, lupine, and filaree painted  gold, yellow, purple and pink highlights on the hills, and neither words nor pictures can really describe the beauty! But I try…

DSC03676

We started from the ranch trailhead, Mt Hood in the distance.

dsc03828.jpg

Down the balsmroot and lupine filled slopes.

DSC03681

As the trail winds down, the view changes from Mt Hood

DSC03690

to the Columbia Hills.

DSC03703

The Columbia River comes into view,

DSC03707

and so many flowers!

DSC03713

Under oak trees,

DSC03720

Down hill, closer to the river.

DSC03724

Stream crossing,

DSC03728

DSC03735

Puffy mounds of phlox,

DSC03747DSC03748

DSC03768

A patch of death camas

DSC03774

DSC03790

Another stream crossing,

DSC03803DSC03815

DSC03827

Back up the last slope to the trail head.

A few less common flowers seen today:

Later, the same day – camas lilies and bitterroot!

On our way home, we took a short hike at Catherine Creek where the open slopes are already beginning to dry out.

DSC03831I was hoping to see swales of blue camas lilies in the vernal pools, and we found them!

DSC03832

Blue camas lilies growing where the vernal pools are drying up.

dsc03849.jpg

A few white camas in with the blue camas lilies.

A bonus was finding the first blooming bitterroots of the year! We completely missed them last year when we were in Cornwall, so I took extra pictures to make up for it.

DSC03835DSC03839DSC03846

The large pink flowers are so delicately beautiful, and yet grow out of tough black lava outcrops.

DSC03845

Bitterroot blooming on the rocky foreground, camas lilies and buttercups beyond.

This was hike #21 for 2019, about 6 miles, 600 feet overall, but a million in flowers.

Even later, birthday cake and new socks

I made the requested traditional chocolate cake. After dinner out at our favorite local Chinese restaurant, Brian blew out XXVI candles.

DSC03853

Dan will blowout his LXV candles on Sunday when he has his party. Both had ‘medical insurance significant’ birthdays this year. Brian was wore his new socks the next day while watching the Portland Trailblazers squeak out a win over Denver in quadruple overtime! I don’t think there is any adrenaline left in town.

DSC00005

I finished these just in time for Brian’s birthday!

Meanwhile in the garden….

Dogwood trees are blooming all over town in glorious pink, salmon and cream colors. And in our yard:

DSC03647

Only one of twelve camas bulbs bloomed.

DSC03650

Chinese fringe flower and phlox still going strong

DSC03649

Iris

Eastern Columbia River Gorge Wildflowers, April 25, 2019

1) Memaloose Hills

A favorite wildflower hike, we found a perfect day – not windy, balsam root fully blooming, lupine and paintbrush just beginning to open. Splendid!

DSC03435

Balsam root, lupine, paintbrush and yellow parsley near the trailhead.

DSC03474

Oak woodlands

DSC03491

Lower meadow with buttercups and balsam root.

DSC03498

Emerging from the woods to the yellow slope of Chatfield Hill.

DSC03511

Mt Hood to the southwest.

DSC03515

More flowery slopes to the east.

DSC03545

Mt Adams to the north near the top of the hill.

DSC03546

So many flowers!

DSC03560

Mt Adams, the river, the northern Memaloose Hill with fewer flowers.

DSC03563

Columbia River to the west.

DSC03565

Mt Hood and Mt Adams bookend this panoramic view from the top.

 

 

DSC03572

Back to the lower meadow, Tom McCall Point in the distance.

DSC03574

Last peek at Mt Adams.

Many other flowers among the showy balsam root!

2) Lower Tom McCall trail at Rowena Crest

We just had time to walk the lower mile through one of my favorite trail sections, desert parsley alley. The upper Tom McCall trail will be in full bloom soon.

DSC03594

View of Tom McCall Point from the trailhead.

DSC03597

Plenty of balsam root blooming here!

DSC03600

Lower Parsley Alley

DSC03598

Columbia desert parsley

DSC03604

Looking back at Rowena Crest viewpoint, Mt Adams on the horizon.

DSC03607

Columbia River and Lyle, WA

From our high point, just past the first switchback, we could see the bright yellow backside of the Memaloose Hills where we had hiked earlier today.

DSC03610DSC03611

We walked back through Upper Parsley Alley, where the fern leaf parsley waves it’s regal flower heads.

DSC03618DSC03622DSC03623DSC03625

Map of our two hikes:

Screen Shot 2019-04-29 at 10.26.33 PM.jpg

Hike #20 for 2019. 4.7 miles and 600 feet for the day.

Knitting

I finished attaching the uppers to the soles on the Frost Slippers. Next to pick up the cuffs and knit upward….

Garden

New blooms in the garden this week:

Crater Lake Snowshoe, Rogue River Waterfalls, Table Rock Wildflowers, and Knitting

 

Crater Lake – April 19, 2019

My husband has been eager to see Crater Lake with winter snow, so we waited for a promising weather weekend, and our friends found a cozy cabin in Prospect, Oregon. Friday morning we drove to the rim of Crater Lake where a small parking area provides access to the rim road, which is otherwise covered in several feet of snow. The views were stunning – the sky, the lake, the snow each so pure of color! We snowshoed about 2.5 miles clockwise along the road, nearly to the base of The Watchman.

DSC02925

First view of Crater Lake from Rim Village

DSC02927

Panorama shot

DSC02936

We were heading toward The Watchman for our destination.

DSC02964

Stopping for views along the way.

DSC02965

DSC02969

Mt Shasta to the south, in California

DSC02980

Mt McLoughlin

DSC02971

Panorama view at our lunch stop

DSC02988

Perfect view of Wizard Island

DSC02997

Closer view of the crater on Wizard Island,

DSC02998

the trees,

DSC03015

and the curvy shoreline of the lake.

DSC03003

Looking back at The Watchman and Hilman Peak before we return.

DSC03018

Mt  Scott and Garfield Peak ahead as we snowshoe back to Rim Village.

DSC03021

Rim Village buildings under snow.

(Hike#17/ 5.6 miles/ 600 feet)

Rogue River/Mill Creek Waterfalls – April 20, 2019

Saturday morning was rainy, but mostly dry by the afternoon. There are several waterfalls along the Rogue River near Prospect, Oregon. We followed a beautiful wooded trail along Mill Creek to Pearsony Falls, and then farther, to a view of The Avenue of Boulders, and then followed the canyon rim to the lip of Mill Creek Falls for a lunch stop.

DSC03140

DSC03073

Pearsony Falls

DSC03082

Avenue of the Boulders

DSC03045

Avenue of the Boulders highway bridge

DSC03103

Lip of Mill Creek Falls

DSC03112

Lip of Mill Creek Falls, lunch stop

DSC03118

Mill Creek Falls and Rogue River

DSC03127

Madrone trees along the trail

DSC03129

We also admired the views from the Highway bridge over The Avenue of the Boulders.

DSC03048

DSC03050

Looking down the Avenue of the Boulders from the bridge.

DSC03056

Perspective exercise

DSC03057

After lunch we went to the Mill Creek Falls Trailhead and followed the path to the viewpoint of Mill Creek and Barr Falls.

DSC03142

Mill Creek Falls

DSC03143

Closer view of Mill Creek Falls

DSC03144

Mill Creek Falls lunch stop was just to the left of the lip.

DSC03161

Barr Creek Falls

We saw many forest wildflowers, lungwort lichen, and moss:DSC03061

Calypso Orchid

DSC03035

Trillium

DSC03065

Snow queen

DSC03033

Pioneer violet

DSC03043

Oregon grape

DSC03087

Manzanita

 

DSC03089

Lungwort lichen

DSC03110

Lungwort lichen

DSC03100

Mosses

DSC03119

We then drove to the Natural Bridge area of the Rogue River near Union Creek. We had to walk in from the highway, as the access road is not yet open. Here the river is supposed to disappear from surface view into a lava tube, but there is so much spring runoff just now that the water is overflowing the top of the lava tube, and the natural bridge is not obvious.

DSC03172

DSC03174

Upstream view of the Rogue River

DSC03176

Downstream view of the Rogue River

DSC03193

DSC03190

Rogue River flowing over the top of the lava tube

DSC03194

Rogue River flowing over the top of the lava tube as well as through it.

DSC03201

The bridge to the Natural Bridge

DSC03204

Group shadow portrait

DSC03216

Lizard

(Hike #18/ 5.4 miles/ 500 feet – for the day)

Lower Table Rock – 4/21/2019

Sunday, we drove back toward Medford to Lower Table Rock, renowned for spring wildflowers. We saw at least thirty one different varieties that I could name. The wide, well maintained trail up the mesa passes through oak woodland that is completely permeated, entwined, carpeted and otherwise overgrown with shiny oily red and green poison oak.

DSC03242

Lower Table Rock – our destination

DSC03236

Swales of rosy plectritis and buttercup meadows

DSC03237

Oak tree

DSC03375

Buttercup meadows under the oak trees at the base of the mesa.

DSC03291

Another view of the Lower Table Rock about halfway up the trail, with fiddle neck and buckbrush in the foreground

Wildflowers in the lower meadows and along the trail to the top:

I was excited to see two new-to-me dramatic flowers:

Tolmie’s Mariposa Lily, also called cat ears –

Scarlet fritillary or red bells were right near the top of the trail, and were the only two stems of these I saw. I literally gasped when I looked over and saw them, they were so beautiful. And I could not get any closer due to the proximity of poison oak!

DSC03296DSC03298DSC03300

Beyond the red bells, we emerged onto the top of the mesa, which was nearly flat with a long trail, formerly a runway landing strip, across the top to viewpoints of the surrounding landscape. The flowering meadows on top were Sound of Music scenic, and lovely to walk through.

DSC03302DSC03307DSC03311DSC03317DSC03329DSC03333

There was a different suite of flowers on the top of the mesa.

We had our lunch at the south edge of the mesa with views toward Medford, the Rogue River valley, and back east toward Crater Lake and Mt McLoughlin.

DSC03357

Crags at our lunch stop.

DSC03341

East view toward Upper Table Rock, also covered with yellow flowers, and the shoulders of Mt Mazama (Crater Lake)

DSC03348

Rogue River valley

DSC03355

Rogue River below

DSC03359

The top of Mt McLoughlin emerging from the clouds

Screen Shot 2019-04-24 at 9.49.02 AM

Location map

(Hike#19/ 5.1 miles/ 750 feet)

Weekend parting shots:

DSC02923

The Cabin

DSC03384

Nearby farm with grazing elk and Mt McLoughlin at sunset

DSC03385

Elk

DSC03387

Mt McLoughlin

The Knitting

I finished the Vintage Prim Hat, pattern by Andrea Mowry! Brioche can be tricky, and I fixed a lot of mistakes – both tinking and frogging.

Columbia Hills, WA, Tryon Creek, OR, and some Brioche Knitting

Crawford Oaks 4/4/2019

We had to drive 75 miles east to the Columbia Hills to find a dry hike this weekend. We started up the road to Eight Mile Falls, then continued on the Vista Loop. It was a bit late for grass widows and yellow bells, and a bit early for full balsamroot display, so we had a bit of each, on a windless day. A lovely hike, and pretty easy, compared to when we hiked here about a year ago and I was less than two months post surgery. Next spring, we will attempt this hike a few weeks later to get the full balsamroot experience.

DSC02566

Bird welcoming us to the trail.

DSC02570

The graphic showing the depth of the Missoula Floods here always impresses me.

DSC02577

Eight Mile Falls

DSC02581

Looking back west toward the river and Horsethief Butte.

DSC02599

One of the scattered early blooming balsamroots.

DSC02606

View to the west, toward The Dalles

DSC02616

View to the east toward Biggs

DSC02617

Looking north to the Columbia Hills

DSC02624

One swale of shooting stars – first of the season

DSC02636

A blue jay near the trailhead

DSC02640

Last look at Horsethief Butte

DSC02643

Hike #15, 5 miles/1000 feet

The wildflower suite:

Sunday dash around Tryon Creek to see the Trillium

4/7/2019   A rainy weekend in Portland, a weather window, so we went:

DSC02663DSC02661DSC02674DSC02681

Trillium in swathes in the woodlands, and individually along the trail.

Version 2Version 2

DSC02686

After a weekend of rain, some flowers were becoming transparent

Other flowers included skunk cabbage in the bogs near the creek.

DSC02665DSC02672DSC02698

Lots of water dripping, but we mostly avoided actual rain.

DSC02680DSC02679

DSC02677

cedar

DSC02646

violets

DSC02644

Oregon grape

DSC02667DSC02684

(Hike#16, 2.2 miles, 200 feet)

Knitting

Progress on the Vintage Prim hat, with brioche:

img_2055.jpg

I will just say that there has been frogging, and use of lifelines. I have even learned to fix one or two stitches, but a big fix is still beyond me with this technique. I do love how it looks!

Spring Break 2019 – Knitting and Cherry Blossoms

Knitting – Frost Slippers

I crocheted the steeks,

DSC02381

and cut,

DSC02398

and cut again.

DSC02412

I have basted the edges, and blocked.

DSC02562

Frost Slippers – uppers and soles, blocked.

Next I will sew soles to uppers, then add cuffs. There is a lot of finishing work in these slippers, but so far I am intrigued enough by the process to keep going!

Lyle Cherry Orchard, WA    3/29/2019

A beautiful day to hike up the cliffs above the Columbia River with friends, and try the new trail switchbacks. There are a few old cherry trees along the uppermost cliff loop that were not in bloom today, but we saw many wildflowers, including some balsamroot. (Hike #14, 5.6 miles, 1500 feet)

DSC02422

DSC02419

We are headed to the top of the cliffs…

DSC02431

The second bench

DSC02435

River cruise below…

DSC02451

One of the vernal ponds along the upper trail

DSC02453

View to the east from the Cherry Orchard

DSC02459

And to the west

DSC02461

One of the new switchback legs – nowhere  near as steep or cliffy as the former trail.

Plenty of new flowers along the way:

DSC02460

Yellow parsley and gold stars

Neighborhood flowers…

Lots in bloom these days,

including poetry:

IMG_2001

Portland Cherry Blossoms –  Sunday, March 31

The waterfront on a sunny day with cherry trees in bloom. Today is a day for embracing the crowds.

DSC02470

We decided to walk up onto the Steel Bridge to look down on the waterfront.

DSC02474

Views from the Bridge:

DSC02487DSC02489

DSC02511

I love the railing shadows.

DSC02502DSC02508DSC02513DSC02517

Wandering around amongst the trees and crowds:

DSC02523

DSC02530

A maple tree budding out, with bugs!

DSC02535DSC02536

DSC02543

White Stag and Old Town Water Tower behind the trees.

DSC02544

DSC02552

View of the eastside of the Willamette River.

DSC02556

And a little Portland weirdness, because it is always here.

IMG_2014

Group-peddled brew cycle.

Spring Flowers, Coyote Wall and Portland

Coyote Wall, WA,  Thursday, March 21, 2019

Up the Little Maui trail, more up on the Old Ranch Road and Coyote Wall trails, then, down the Little Moab trail, with the early flower suite just opening…(Hike #13, 4 miles, 1100 feet)

Hiking up the waterfalls of the Little Maui trail:

DSC02313

DSC02315

Gold stars and Salt and Pepper (biscuit root) sprinkled across the landscape.

DSC02319

Long banked switchbacks to aid the cyclists

DSC02322DSC02324

DSC02328

Lunch stop

DSC02329DSC02331

DSC02339

Columbia Desert Parsley guiding the way

Looking up to our cliff-edge destination along Coyote Wall from Old Ranch Road:

DSC02346

Views from the cliff:

DSC02347

First look.

DSC02353

We go a little higher

DSC02356

Looking back toward Oregon; Mt Hood a faint wisp on the horizon.

DSC02361

Our highest viewpoint for the day.

DSC02364

Starting down – looking east toward the Columbia Hills and Tom McCall Point.

The flowers:

DSC02299

Grass widows

DSC02297

Gold and Prairie stars, Spring whitlow-grass

DSC02306

Spring whitlow-grass, my pinky for scale

DSC02317

Swales of gold stars and whitlow-grass

DSC02293

Yellow pungent desert parsley

DSC02309

Columbia desert parsley

DSC02371

Salt and pepper, and grass widows all the way down the slope.

Knitting

Learning the increases and decreases that make brioche knitting look so magical…with a lifeline!

DSC02378

Vintage Prim Hat, pattern by Andrea Mowry.

Garden – the first tulip! and Star Magnolias!

Better late….flowers are opening in the neighborhood:

IMG_1974

Our first tulip

IMG_1967

star magnolias

IMG_1964

IMG_1975

I don’t remember the name of these.

Late Early Flowers at Catherine Creek, WA, with Robins

March 14, 2019    Bitterroot Trail to Rowland Wall

We hiked a Catherine Creek loop, up past the vernal ponds along the Bitterroot Trail, then down Rowland Wall. (Hike#12, 3 miles, 1000 feet)

DSC02219

Fairy ponds

DSC02230

View to the east from the Bitterroot Trail

DSC02241

The Arch

We saw the first wildflowers just beginning to bloom.

On the upper grassy slopes we noticed robins hopping in the grass all around us.

DSC02247

There are probably a dozen robins bobbing and hopping in this view, though they are hard to photograph as they don’t stay still for long.

DSC02250

Here is one…

DSC02260

And another one in the snow.

The snow level was about 1000 feet, and we could see extensive snow covered landscape in every direction, though it is melting out.

DSC02261

Still looks very snowy out in the high desert

DSC02266

The orchards of Mosier, and Mt Hood

DSC02278

Rowland Wall, Rowland Lake, Mt Hood beyond the Columbia River

DSC02288

Mere

DSC02289

Returning via the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks. Burnt trees on the Oregon Gorge skyline.

DSC02210

Knitting

I finished the soles for the Frost Slippers, but haven’t yet crocheted the steeks.

img_1962.jpg

I have started the brioche patterning on a Vintage Prim hat.

img_1961.jpg

Garden and Neighborhood

The hyacinths finally bloomed out front,

DSC02290

and there was our annual neighborhood St Patrick’s Day parade down the street.

IMG_1950

Klickitat Bald Eagles and the Labyrinth, WA

1/10/2019 Balfour/Klickitat Bald Eagles

We met up with friends in Cascade Locks, then drove to the Balfour/Klickitat wildlife viewing area near Lyle, Washington. Early January is bald eagle nesting season there, and we saw many eagles in the trees across the pond.

dsc00940

Our first eagle sighting – white head in the oak trees.

dsc00982

Two eagles on this branch…

dsc00987

Actually, there are seven in this picture – four on the lower level and three higher up.

I watched these two eagles for a while – as they looked around.

dsc00985dsc00994dsc00996dsc00998dsc01003

For every white head in the trees, there were two or three brown juvenile eagles. They are as big as the mature eagles, but harder to spot because they don’t get their white feathers fully until they are four years old.

dsc01032

Three juvenile eagles in the tree, one flying nearby.

We witnessed a lone salmon struggling up the stream, and then watched as a juvenile bald eagle grabbed it with his talons, pulled it onto the adjacent mudflat, and ate it. Other eagles joined in after a while. It was the circle of life before our eyes – not pretty, but the way of nature.

dsc00938

The salmon

dsc00957.jpg

Juvenile eagle lands nearby

dsc00958.jpg

and pounces

dsc00959-e1547412696919.jpgdsc00962

dsc00963

Drags the salmon onto the mudflat

dsc00965

dsc00979

Joined by other eagles.

We also saw two great blue herons on the nearby cliffs.

dsc00950

Two great blue herons, circled in blue.

dsc01011

A closer view of the herons.

Shortly after this drama, a couple of dozen eagles flew in circles above the area for five minutes. My camera telephoto lens is not quite up to clear pictures of all these events, but I enjoyed watching and marveling at the beauty.

dsc01043dsc01050dsc01055

Labyrinth Trail

After a quick lunch we walked up the nearby Labyrinth trail to the tall Jefferson pine  landmark tree. We saw Mt Hood, the Columbia Hills and eastern gorge with snow dusting, and a few early wildflowers on on this misty, cloudy day. A good day with friends. (5.8 miles/1000 feet/#2 for 2019)

dsc01061

The Old Highway waterfall

dsc01062dsc01065

dsc01071

The upper waterfall

dsc01080

My favorite oak grove

dsc01104

Views of Mt Hood

dsc01089dsc01091

dsc01082

Phlox

dsc01084

Phlox, eastern gorge dusted with snow

dsc01123

Salt and pepper

dsc01113

Oak trees in low light

dsc01119

dsc01121

Columnar basalts

View under the Bridge of the Gods in Cascade Locks, our meeting place.

dsc00931

Happy New Year 2019!

First Hike of the New Year: Ferry Springs Trail, Deschutes River State Park, Oregon – January 5, 2019 

We did this same hike almost exactly one year ago – January 6th, 2018.  It was a beautiful day with blue sky and long reaching views. Today, was a cloud covered day with no actual rain. We saw the effects of the July 2019 Substation Fire that burned both river banks for about 20 miles upstream from the park.

There was a bald eagle near the trailhead, but it flew off as I watched it.

dsc00827

Bald eagle near the trailhead.

dsc00828

dsc00830

Bald eagle – the white tail visible in the center of the photo, flying downstream.

Our trail started along the river, through riparian vegetation, but then we crossed the fire line and saw before us nearly completely denuded and blackened landscape through which grass in now emerging, a green/black palette. In some ways it reminded us of the highlands of Scotland.

dsc00846

From dry grass to burn zone, though the bench is intact, as were the other benches along the lower trail.

dsc00857dsc00868

We passed below, then above the arch as the trail looped back north and uphill towards Ferry Springs.

 

dsc00879

Looking up at the arch.

dsc00888

Looking down through the arch.

dsc00883

I was looking forward to resting on the bench on the upper trail, but it was burned. 

dsc00892

Lookback: Two views from the Upper Trail toward the mouth of the Deschutes River and Columbia River. In 2018 we were walking through dry grass. This year, the edge of the burn is well defined.

dsc00617

January 2018, pre-burn

dsc00890

January 2019, post fire

After crossing Ferry Springs, we headed back to the trailhead, looking down at the fire scars along the way.

dsc00905

This wooden gate survived, though the area around was scorched.

dsc00908

Looking back upriver.

dsc00913

The dry waterfall

dsc00914

More scorched earth, then back to dry grass.

This landscape is renewed by fire. I don’t think all the green grasses emerging are native grasses, but we did see new growth on some of the native plants. It will be interesting to return next year to see what happens. (5 miles, 560 feet, Hike #1 for 2019)

dsc00909

A yellow composite flower

dsc00918

New foliage on burned shrubs.

Crafting

dsc00926

Cross stitch of Jane Austen’s house – I just need to add the windowpanes and french knot flower centers.

dsc00930

I finished the second sock, now I have to find the place in the stripe sequence that will match the place where the knot was in the first sock.

Other Adventures 

It has been a busy couple of weeks of the New Year, winding down from the holidays, and getting my daughter and her things sent back to college. I note that today is one year exactly since my surgery. I am adjusting to all my new medications, and am healthier for not having excess growth hormone secretly running around in my body and creating future problems. I am grateful for my recovery. My husband has just stepped down to half time work, with full retirement planned for a year from now. Thus we will likely have many more hikes and adventures in the years to come, including having just booked a hiking trip in New Zealand for a year from now! I am used to hiking at my own pace, but I will need to increase the difficulty of my hikes as the year goes on to prepare for the trip. A good goal, one of many, for 2019. (2019-1)