Silver Forest Trail

Not all hikes are hard ones, or even what might be a “hike”. Silver Forest Trail at Mount Rainier National Park is one of those. It doesn’t go anywhere really (it follows a mostly flatish profile, along a ridge in Yakima Park, at Sunrise). But what it offers is amazing views of the mountain, and a solitude you won’t get on most hikes there.

And we found painted rocks as a bonus, on the way up to the mountains. We didn’t take the cat. But what a cat, the artist who did that is amazing!

I brought a friend and her son along, who had never been to this side of the mountain. He’s small, so I planned an easy day for us. It was also oddly warm, with a hot wind (it is being blown in from the deserts inland).

But does Rainier disappoint? I think not.

The boys in their yearly photography spot. May it never change as they change!

Western Anemone.

My friend’s son is learning to hike. He will be 3 soon, right at that age where they tire quickly still, but the future is there, just waiting in the next year. And big boys really make the kids try harder to keep up!

Recent Food Finds

Recent food finds – perfect for those summer hikes! These have all been happy finds for the tummies here, and 2 of the 3 are on the gourmet side 😉

Plush Puffs were a fun one. We love to make s’mores whenever we can, and I see these as “adult” marshmallows. I hid them from the kids I might add…..oh and look at the ingredient list: no corn syrup or corn starch!

Finding new allergy friendly treats is always a major event – and Freeyumm was a winner for us. Top 8 allergen safe. Eight types to grab and go. Allergy Kid is very, very happy!

Think Jerky is grass-fed beef and free range turkey, and comes in 5 varieties. It’s a soft jerky, very pleasing to the teeth, and tastes great. The Thanksgiving turkey is a fun one!

Cheap Gear Review: Venture Pal Packable Backpack

Sometimes you see a Lightning Deal on Amazon and wonder….is it too good to be true? But you can’t resist checking it out. This was the case when I saw the Venture Pal Packable Backpack on sale a few weeks back.

I haven’t had a lightweight packable “summit pack” in many years, and for less than $21, I decided to take a gamble. It comes in 9 colors, but you know me….I love baby blue.

Once it came, I was actually pleasantly surprised. It has a host of features I wasn’t expecting it to have. Sternum whistle, compression straps, organization inside, and yes, it packs right up. It also has two mesh pockets on the side. While I got it as a pack to toss into the truck as a backpack up, it might even serve as a lightweight daypack, for when I don’t have a lot of gear to carry. But for the price, this was a piece of “cheap gear” I can actually say was nicer than I expected.