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One Night at Second Lake

In January I planned nearly all of my trips for 2017. I knew that permits for some of the places I wanted to visit would be tough to come by so I made sure to secure them the moment they became available. For the long July 4th weekend I had (barely) snagged a couple of permits for a 4 day/3 night backpacking trip through the Ansel Adams Wilderness.

Summiting Mount Whitney

At midnight on Friday, June 9th I awoke from a fitful bout of rest to the distinct sound of my alarm ringing. Instinctively, I reached to snooze it, but when my blurry gaze fell upon the dial that read 12:00am my reality hit me. Snoozing my alarm didn't mean that I wouldn't have time to shower before work it meant that I would delay my attempt to summit the highest peak in the contiguous US: Mount Whitney. Suddenly sleep was the furthest thing from my mind. 

Pinnacles National Park

Last weekend Alex and I headed to northern California intending to complete a 3 day/2 night winter backpacking trip in Yosemite. Unfortunately, a huge winter storm swept through the area the very same days we were there so we were forced to make other plans.

Backpacking the Paria Canyon

The past two years Alex and I have taken the long Thanksgiving weekend to #optoutside and spend some quality time in the national parks. Finding places to go in November that aren't too cold or too snowy can be a challenge but we've found that Utah is a pretty good bet. Last year we hiked in Zion and Bryce Canyon national parks, but this year I wanted something a little more remote.

Night Photography 101

Night photography is my favorite type of photography. I find it the most challenging and therefore also the most rewarding. It requires me to brave the elements, forgo a proper night of sleep, and face my fears of scary unknown noises in the great outdoors past sundown.

Sonja SaxeTravel TipsComment
Gear Review: Deuter ACT Lite 60 + 10 SL Women's Pack

I've had my Deuter ACT Lite 60+10 for an entire summer backpacking season now. Last spring I went into REI hoping to exchange my one-size-fits-all cheap generic pack for a pack more suited to my body. I had gone into the store assuming I would walk out with an Osprey, having only heard stellar things about their packs. However, as I began trying different Osprey packs on it became very apparent that they did not fit me the way I had hoped.

Hike to Lake Serene

We wanted to get one last hike in on our final day in Washington before we had to head to the airport for our redeye flights. Lake Serene, located in the Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forest, seemed like what we were looking for. It was just over an hour from the airport and, at 8.2 miles round-trip, would make for a perfect day hike. 

Sonja SaxeDay HikesComment
Gear Round-Up: Alaska

Packing for a ten day backpacking trip was a logistical challenge (read: nightmare). I needed to pack enough food, gear, and clothing to last me ten days in the wilderness without any sort of resupply. The longest I had spent in the backcountry without heading back to civilization was two days so this trip was about to smash that record.