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Beach Near Me

The closest pacific northwest beach near me is 10 miles from the mainland, so any visits here are sporadic. It’s not a good place to stay long-term, nor is it a good place to swim. The salt water and the so-called inlet conditions mean it’s a real minefield, too.

The beach comes in three shapes. The grassy area at the northern tip (which will hold the longest beach) was the home of Skarp Brewing in the 1990s, and it has been picked over and many buildings have disappeared. There is a large restaurant serving international food and drink. There is also an Umpire Museum (beach, 1230 Shore Ave.) and a Supercharger network terminal (beach, 12470 Shore Ave.) The new Supercharger network terminal, plus a number of hotels and restaurants, means that the beach and several of the parking lots are saturated. Plus, it’s an expensive day to go there from the mainland – it’s $11 roundtrip to the mainland from here, versus $8-$11 back to the beach from there. The island of Kauai is better, but again, your return trip will be more expensive.

Dog Beach Near Me

The closest pacific northwest dog beach near me is at Sunset Beach State Park. If you are from the the southwest they call it Runaway Bay and it is almost 40 miles away from me. I’ve never been and I didn’t want to be the first one to find out!

I also got this friend request while we were looking for an official thread. This is the closest google maps or another spot I could find to read this article, but if there are more exact locations let me know.

The Pacific Northwest is full of dog beaches. In fact, one of my favorite stretches is the Pacific Northwest. But not all dog beaches are that close together. These two beaches should serve as a good example.

Sunset Beach State Park is just north of Seattle on the coast. People often refer to this place as “Pacenote Beach” after their favorite catfish trap. Here you can find the Tahitian wallaby, the Amur leopard seal and a variety of other marine mammals.

The beach looks pretty isolated but if you are lucky you can get an glimpse of a killer whale and a pilot whale. The Tahitian wallaby doesn’t look that common here, but the Amur leopard seal and the Pacific right whale seem to do well.

One of the nicest things about this location is that you can get nice pictures of the dead humpback whale! There are only 3 humpback whales in the North Pacific (not including Alaska, which is in the Pacific), this is a rare chance to see them in action. Another nice part of this hike is the bay. Not only is it a beautiful bay to see through from the beach, but the fog along the horizon is quite beautiful. This is also a place that reminds me of the Black Rock beach trail in Oregon.

Sunset Beach is about 2 miles from the road. There is a parking area that can accommodate vehicles up to 8 people. The main camping area, at the end of the road is about 10 yards from the shore. There are several options for getting to the beach (both parking area and road). If you park on the beach you can climb up the rocks and walk to the parking area from the back of the park. That option is a little faster but it’s kind of cramped. From the road, the trail starts at the shoreline and is marked with a blue blazer. The trail goes about a quarter mile south on the road and then curves east. It comes to a bend where the trail turns south and continues on an easy, breezy gravel road for about 5 more miles.

In an effort to provide a very detailed hike, I’ve included photos of each step along the way. I tried to keep them to one page for easier navigation. If there are any errors or missing features please let me know so I can add them. Feel free to post a comment and I’ll update as necessary.

Beach Access Near Me

The closest pacific northwest beach access near me is a mile from the parking area. If you follow the red marker you will find the break. You will have the option to walk to the sand and find more sand or to take the small ferry across to the North Shore (there is no restroom or shower facilities). A 4+ mile hike down to the beach is estimated for us hikers.

The island is believed to be part of a larger island group. It has been brought to the surface over time.

If you would like me to let you know what beach is closest for you to me… please tell me what the closest beach is in a comment. This would be useful to know if you want to visit more than one, or especially if you live near a stop.

Beach Camping Near me

beach called the Chipman’s Beach.

Just outside of the town of Flagstaff, it is just a small strip of sand that extends into a backwater. The beach extends for only a few hundred feet as it borders the land of the Little Colorado River, which just happens to be one of my favorite places on the planet.

The Little Colorado River is a super important, but short, river that meanders through northeastern Arizona, most of the year. It is not great for swimming, but is a beautiful place to enjoy an afternoon with a picnic. The Little Colorado River, when dry, is considered one of the cleanest rivers in the world.

It is formed by natural processes at the La Sal Mountains, in northeastern Arizona, as rain falls on the mountains. Instead of being water, it becomes snow. The slopes of the mountains constantly melt and release moisture, forming a drop, and the larger river that gushes down from the mountain out through the region. I guess it’s a bit like the Grand Canyon!

Every winter, the snow that falls in the La Sal Mountains is buried by snow that has fallen in the mountains to the east and released it through groundwater. So, every winter, the Little Colorado River feeds into the Little Colorado River that flows out of the Grand Canyon, and just flows over the Arkansas River to the beach.

Just a few feet of sand stretch out into the surf and on to our little campsite, overlooking the Little Colorado River.

The Little Colorado River is small, but as a storm system moves over Flagstaff, the flow into the river is huge. It is possible to go from 3-5 feet of water, to a foot and a half of water. The lagoon, which is close to the camp, also becomes 2-3 feet of water as the surge passes over the edge of the rock outcropping and down to the beach. I don’t know how long it takes the surge to reach the beach, but it can be quick.

Where Can I Find Beach bars near me

Many Beach bars are open from late October through the end of February. However, most, if not all, nightclubs are typically closed by the end of February due to winter beach weather conditions. Some bars are open for the summer but will close early in the fall. We do not list surf cafes and club bars in our search engine because they are very different from bars. If you do not know what to find, be sure to check out our Bailiwick Coffee & Tea list or the Beach Coffee & Tea list for a more comprehensive beach bar listing.

In the event you would like to rent a bar, you may see many rentals listed but we only accept cash or credit card for rentals in Bailiwick, Cayman, British Virgin Islands, Seychelles, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. If you wish to rent a bar, please call us for specific information and we will gladly offer you a tour of any available beach bar.

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Date Night Ideas

Some great date night ideas are:

Cooking at home for people you know who are vegan

Making a healthy and cheap grilled cheese or vegan taco.

Grocery shopping for people who aren’t vegan.

Baking vegan desserts.

Chocolate chip cookies

We did a whole post on vegan bake shop recipes in 2017, and this post will highlight some of our favorite vegan bake shop recipes for date night. In the 10ish years since I’ve become a vegan, I’ve eaten almost exclusively vegan food. Sometimes I even go to vegan restaurants, but that’s a situation where it feels inappropriate to include a vegan bake shop recipe. I can tell you that I’ve never seen vegan chocolate chip cookies and it was one of the reasons why I wanted to create this post.

It’s not easy to be vegan, especially when you are going out on a date night. It doesn’t really matter how well you are or how delicious your vegan dessert is if you are getting buried in food and aren’t able to take pictures. 

At home date night ideas

Some great at home date night ideas are going to involve mixing things up. In our modern, busy world, getting away to a romantic dinner in one’s own house can be a dream for many.

Among the most popular ideas involves trying out an unusual cooking dish. The older versions of this dish involved marrying a fish and a potato, but modern styles involve combining fruits, veggies and meat.

There are several ways of doing this, all making use of tomato sauce. Most recipes are vegetarian, but a few dishes are explicitly meat-free.

The suggested ingredients are only the bare minimum required to bring home a meal on the table. What do you choose instead?

Cooking Dinner

This is a no-brainer. For some dishes, you don’t really have to add any more ingredients to get a delicious dinner. Try your hand at a tomato soup with lettuce, fresh bread or raw vegan cheese. There are some vegetarian varieties that are completely free of cheese, usually you’ll need a handful of diced tomatoes in addition to the usual roasted veggies.

With season on the way, here’s a hearty recipe for some of the best date night party snacks you can make. Cold meals and snacks are a great way to use up your date night leftover. This chilli eggplant was made by combining two of my favorite healthy food item – avocado and eggplant.

The chilled guacamole recipe with a cilantro vinaigrette has an added kick and is a perfect summer treat. With three grilled cheese’s on the side, you can follow that up with another option of the grilled eggplant.

If you’re feeling fancy and want to keep the size to a minimum, you can serve these warm enchiladas with grilled cheese.

DIY Candle Making

The following DIY candle may not come with candles at all, but you can leave the candles and then a sheet or blanket to add that extra layer of decor to make your special night even more special.

I learned how to make candles from my friend Natalie, who loves to get the kids involved in craft projects. She once surprised us at a party by pulling the zipper off my cozy old coat with a candle in it. Natalie’s mother, Carol, was always into saving other people’s fingers and last night, she had no other choice than to buy two 6-inch candles. (She chose them because they are usually sold out of the same size.)

We gathered around the fire, and made Candle Bunches in the middle of our blanket, which was for sale on eBay. “We were all in love,” Carol explained.

Of course, one of our guests, Natasha, wanted to light up the bunches and had to sneak out the back to light up in a small safe with a coin at the end.

date night dinner ideas

Some great date night dinner ideas are creative slow cook-ups or dinner arrangements that do not rely on a feast day, which is perfect for a big weeknight dinner. It’s so easy to put together dinners for any date night, and to make sure your date has the most memorable meal you’re going to ever have.

Let’s take a look at some of my favorite date night dinner ideas:

The Chicken Shawarma. If you’re still dating someone you met through work, you know it can be hard to skip over the meat and the fattiness that comes with it. This recipe helps eliminate both. In the words of the kids who can’t finish it when they can eat everything, “Definitely meatless!”

This chicken shawarma recipe is simple and amazing. I love that I can create an amazing twist to the standard chicken shawarma recipe that can be eaten with everything from pita wraps to a soft rice pilaf. (If you’re looking for a dinner that falls in between all the other barbecue staples like chicken fingers, ribs, and pulled pork, I recommend trying this!)

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Furniture Repair

If you are trying to learn about furniture repair, furniture turning, cabinets turning, or half-bench operations, it might be helpful to read about the types of shop tools that are available to you.

Most furniture shops will have a variety of tools, including a piano lathe, portable drill press, portable circular saw, a router table, and others. It is a good idea to get familiar with them before you decide whether you want to learn more about them, or whether you might prefer to purchase them.

Note: Before you read any further, it is worth noting that shop tools are referred to by brand names, like Roebuck and Big M, rather than by brand names like Makita and Stanley. Although certain brands of shop tools may be comparable to others, like Dewalt and Stanley, they may not have all of the features that come standard with shop tools, so always read the reviews and descriptions before you decide what you would like to purchase.

Leather Furniture Repair

to begin your leather furniture repair and restoration experience or purchase complete leather furniture repair and restoration services. Please read below for comprehensive leather furniture installation instructions, the stages of leather furniture restoration, tips on leather furniture restoration, and more.

Find More Leather Fixtures, Sofa, and Matching Furniture in Made to Measure

Find Leather Fixtures, Sofa, and Matching Furniture in Our Online Inventory

Standard Setup

Interior Ease

Prepping New Leather Furniture

Pliny Thesis, Archeology, and History

How Leather Functions, and How to Use It

Hand Cleaning Leather Furniture

Raising Your Price

Yardage and Storage

Prepping The Furniture

Installation Work

From The Raw, to Finished Up

Traditional Leather Restoration

Bonded Leather Furniture Restoration

Unclaimed Leather Furniture Restoration

About us

At Joe’s Leather Service, we pride ourselves on expert craftsmanship and understanding the needs of the individual homeowner. We follow proven methodologies and instructions to keep your leather furniture looking new and new-ish.

Like many other companies, we deal with both new leather furniture that is newly purchased and has not been properly cared for, or new, used leather furniture. We work with your furniture to turn it into a working, working piece of leather furniture.

We are dedicated to the task of restoring all your leather furniture. And at Joe’s Leather Service, we bring knowledge, labor, and money together to complete the task. We are an experienced repair workshop dedicated to take a piece of our clients’ antique leather furniture that has been sitting on the shelf in its garage or basement, and turn it into a beautiful working leather furniture.

We understand that repairing and restoring is a time consuming and costly process, but we understand the importance of your leather furniture and with the technology and quality methods we have available to us, we can take your leather furniture to the next level. 

Wood Furniture Repair & Restoration

You don’t have to be a carpenter to restore and repair wood furniture. You just need the skills and time to get the job done. At Mountain Wood Custom Wood Shop, we will give you the experience to work on any style of furniture, as well as the tools to get the job done. With over 20 years of woodworking experience, our staff has the right equipment and knowledge to safely repair and restore your wood furniture.

Wood Furniture Repair & Restoration by Mountain Wood Custom Wood Shop is available for select Asian, European, and Western furniture styles. If you’re in need of a new sideboard, cabinet, or dining table, look no further than our store.

We are now accepting online orders for wood furniture repairs & restoration. Orders are accepted through our e-commerce site, or on-site in our Mountain Wood Custom Wood Shop located at 225 S. Rose St., Herndon, VA 20170. Make sure to visit our store for retail service and free wood-working instruction. If you are in the Herndon, Virginia area and need a wood shop for woodwork, then stop by our store today to learn more about our wood repair and restoration services and woodworking instruction.

Antique Furniture Repair

How much is your money worth? Find out at antique furniture repair parts. Our staff is here to assist you with any repair or replacement needs. Our company was established over 23 years ago in New Jersey, by brothers in arms Gary and Jim Jacobs, the friendly, old-school quality that we preach remains strong. We offer you our incredible selection of antique furniture parts, labor rates that are some of the best in the industry, and the commitment to excellence that you won’t find anywhere else.

The best value on the internet

We have a considerable inventory of antique furniture parts that is unparalleled in the industry.

One of the features that make us superior is our custom size ordering service. We will show you exact quantities for the part you need, and we will price the parts to your exact specifications. We will follow up on your order, over the phone or online. Need a specific part for an antique console or an antique television? No problem. Our artisan engineers will tune up your part and verify that it is your exact specifications before it gets shipped out. In fact, many times, the custom-made part will come back better than the original. Our most highly honored customers include TV shows on VH1 and The History Channel. Call today to learn how we can make your love of antique furniture systems and components your lifelong passion.

Experienced experts

Gary and Jim Jacobs are an experienced team who have given up their careers to build this company from the ground up. They have over 20 years of combined experience and years of being very hands on in the process of repairing antique furniture. Their time on the job is spent repairing expensive historic pieces such as the typewriter at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History, repairing large ovens, and even restoring seats from old luxury automobiles.

Our staff are highly trained and know all of the modern systems that make restoring furniture systems so effortless. 

How To Repair Scratched Furniture

So, it’s taken an awful lot of effort to repair the piano damaged by my wife’s fingernail. When you’ve picked up the piano and removed the shavings of its stained wood surface, all you find is a few screws, one wheel, and a couple of piano keys. Forgive me, but I wanted the old piano to have its good looks.

That’s why, back in November 2013, I took a trip to my local Lowe’s and bought a pair of Ryobi XR-20s with the warranty on them. I purchased these ultra-thick, heavy-duty, geared, sawzall blades for $20 at a local outdoor store, and about two months later, they arrived at my house.

Ryurography staff who repair my computer keyboards and chairs often use these blades when repairing your old furniture. These 25-cent blades are smooth, blade-like pieces of stainless steel with a big, 12-inch handle. It’s not uncommon to buy the XR-20s because they’re built to survive, and they also take a lot of abuse from folks who toss around heavy objects on them, make holes in them, smash things in them with hammers, etc. You don’t have to worry about the blades breaking because the handles slide back and forth, giving you plenty of leverage.

Having used these blades for nearly two years now, I figured it was time to put the damaged piano back together again. The exact procedures I used are given below, with some info about “rust” and “staining.”

Rust and Staining

I started with an anti-rust spray, but I only used it about four times. It’s not necessary, but if you do have to use one, it can really improve the results of the finish treatment by inhibiting the growth of bacteria, spores, rust, and dendrites.

First, I followed the suggestions in the “Stepping-stone” article for getting the old wood straight. I just taped a piece of cardboard over the piano keys (or a piece of scrap wood, if you’re less fancy) and put the cardboard on top of it. This will let all the liquid resin drip off of the keys.

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Hiking. Why You’re Probably Doing It Wrong!

Congratulations! Your curiosity and succinct Google word search has brought you to  me, Shiri Greenwood, your Pacific Northwest expert hiking guide.  

This article will discuss various hiking trails and help you find the perfect hike. 

Whether you are looking for the best local trails, gear-head packing advice, or the ways  in which hiking is a totally hip method of self care, your girl has you covered.  

As I tell the zooglial map that is my Kombucha “mother”, I’m going to nurture the hell  outta you and pave the way for your success, but then it’s up to you to thrive.  

Nature is Calling 

Have you skipped through the woods, nary a thread on your body, only to feel the cool,  open breeze on your tits (you too, guys)?  

When was the last time you took to the trail? A pack on your back, a hydration bladder  full of water, and half a pound of trail mix that’s really just squirrel food but, fuck it, out  here you feel like king squirrel. 

There’s no greater feeling in the world, just ask the multitude of famous hikers who  spend their lives committed to traversing great heights.  

If you can’t quote it, does it really exist?  

A famous hiking quote by Henry David Thoreau quoted in an 1862 issue of The Atlantic states, “I think that I cannot  preserve my health and spirits, unless I spend four hours a day at least—and it is  commonly more than that—sauntering through the woods and over the hills and fields,  absolutely free from all worldly engagements.” 

And let’s not forget the famous quote from Aussie mountaineer Greg Child; “somewhere between the bottom of the climb and the summit is the answer to the  mystery why we climb.”  

I mean, I didn’t even think there was a mystery but this guy’s out here solving it! 

And are we even hikers if we don’t have at least one of these quotes tattooed on our  bodies? I, for one, have both.  

Hiking For Health & Happiness 

Times are tough.  

Mental health is on a steady decline, physical health is getting harder to keep up. The  couches are comfier and the tv shows are more addictive. It’s no easy feat to convince ourselves to get outdoors, but now more than ever it’s imperative we understand the effects this sedentary lifestyle is having on our bodies; and minds. 

Hiking characteristically forces you to work on your cardio, blesses your lungs with a dose of highly concentrated oxygen and gives your body a break from the pollution of the city.  

The benefits of hiking are almost endless. Hiking has also been proven to strengthen your immune system, reduce blood pressure, increase energy, release endorphins, even reverse the effects of diabetes, heart disease, obesity and arthritis.

Here is a fun fact. Did you know hiking is a natural alternative to drinking milk when it comes to promoting increased bone density and slowing the rate of calcium loss?

That’s right; save the environment and strengthen your bones! 

Listen, I shouldn’t have to sell you on how great hiking is for your body and mind. You  know how you feel after spending the day outdoors, away from your smartphone and  the bustle of life.  

You feel great.  

So if you don’t trust me or the doctors, trust your body. 

You can truly fall in love on the trail. In love with yourself. Cue cheesy aaawwws. 

History’s Mysteries 

The history of hiking dates back to religious treks in the 1400s through the Andes by people in the Inca Empire.

Much of the Oregon Trail was laid down by trappers between 1811-1840. And emigrants began the trek across the tumultuous terrain during the Westward Expansion to the wild Pacific Northwest. 

There are still areas of the Oregon trail that you can explore by foot, such as Keeney Pass, named after one such trapper; Jonathan Keeney, who pioneered the trail in 1831.  

Hiking in the Pacific Northwest isn’t as rough and tumble as it  once was.  

We have the knowledge and, more importantly, the high-tech, heavy duty, best that  money can buy gear to protect us and keep the sport of hiking a passion, not a  necessity.  

In fact, in this day and age, there is no reason a Pacific North-Westerner shouldn’t be  hitting the hiking trail.  

I think it’s more of an obligation than a privilege, like voting, am I right?  

Just Start Hiking

Do you know how many people live their entire lives never experiencing the  breathtaking views and mind-numbing glory of hitting the peak on the highest point of  the best Oregon coast trail?!  

Me either, but rest assured it’s a lot!

There are a helluva lot of people who live in flat, boring terrain, with nary a mountain in sight. And here we are, sitting at the head of hundreds of incredible PNW trails and we’re still like, hmm, maybe I should go to brunch instead

Do yourself a favor and stop making excuses!

Anyone can do it. Whether you are an incredibly experienced hiker; say someone who completed the entire Pacific Crest Trail like your girl Shiri here, or the cutest little newb who ever tried on a hiking boot.  

That’s what makes hiking the perfect sport, its inclusivity. 

Where, Oh Where, Will Your Perfect Hike Be?

Spoiler alert, there is no bad hike, so get that right out of your head. 

There’s being out of shape, inclement weather, and poorly fitted gear, but blaming the trail for those things is like spanking a kid for stealing a cookie. It’s not their fault, it’s just the nature of things.

In nature, especially in the Pacific Northwest, there are endless possibilities for choosing a hiking trail. If you’re new to hiking; or were unfortunately born outside of the Pacific Northwest, you might find picking a place to start a little daunting. 

Don’t worry I’m here to help! Below I’ll point you noobs in the right direction and even point out a few spots on the map that you can get started with today!

Multnomah Falls 

For all of you outsiders who have travelled to Portland, you will have likely visited at least one of the three main attractions. I’d guess Powell’s Books, Stumptown Coffee, or Multnomah Falls. 

While the first two are splendid choices; in fact I have an email out to Stumptown about carrying my homemade Shiri’s Kitchen Kombucha ( fingers crossed ), this article is focused on hiking trails for both beginners and experts alike. As such there’s really no better place to start with than with the famous Multnomah Falls. The tallest waterfall in Oregon and the second tallest year-round waterfall in the United States

At 620-feet, this spectacle is open year round and offers a base of the Falls hike as well  as a trail all the way to the top.  

I have hiked Multnomah Falls in the dead of winter and it was absolute heaven to see the ice covered river and snow-topped trees. It didn’t take more than a pair of winter boots, warm pants, and gloves to comfortably enjoy the experience.

While the hike from the foot of the falls to the top is a pleasant one, you may be in the  mood for a less touristy feel. In that case, I encourage you to try out the Multnomah-Wahkeena Loop which is 6.05 miles long with an elevation of 1,525 feet between its highest and lowest points.  

This loop provides the breathtaking views of Multnomah Falls at the start, while  venturing into less populated trails that provide solitude amongst the forest, full of  basalt cliffs, smaller waterfalls, and cascades. 

Shiri says. If you are new to the area this is a must visit, but anticipate being one of the only Pacific Northwesterners as you enjoy the sights alongside overdressed tourists from Los Angeles, rude New Yorkers with superiority complexes, and social media influencers from God knows where teetering on the edge and stomping the life out of endangered plants with their off-trail poses.

Mirror Lake

Within Mt. Hood National Forest there is a heavily-trafficked hike with a spectacular view of Mount Hood and similar hike circling Mirror Lake creatively named; Mirror Lake Loop. 

Be warned, you won’t ever have the Mirror Lake Loop to yourself.  

While there is great snowshoeing in the winter months where you may experience more  peace and quiet, generally this is a high access spot that hard-core hikers don’t  consider a challenge.  

Located near Government Camp, this trail is low-elevation and a perfect hiking trail for late Spring/early Summer due to the great swimming, picnic spots, and clear view of Mount Hood. 

The water is serene and pairs perfectly with a Northwest brewed hard cider and kayaking with my dog, Rogue. 

Please note if you live here for any amount of time and do not have a blow-up kayak it’s probably painfully clear to your friends you have no idea what you are doing with your life! 

Oregon Coast

While the Oregon Coast may not boast great swimming or sane surfing, the coastline is a vision constructed from the iris of Mother Nature herself. 

Without a doubt, if you are exploring the Oregon Coast, you should not miss some of the great hiking trails in the area.

Sunset Beach to Necanicum Estuary 

The Sunset Beach to Necanicum Estuary is an enjoyable, long-distance hike, starting at the Sunset Beach Recreation Park outside of Seaside and ending in Gearhart. 

This is a moderately difficult hike, but the main thing here is the mileage. She’s a long trek, clocking in at about 12.6 miles. It is a must-do for wildlife enthusiasts, as the trail enters the habitats of many shore birds, and the Necanicum Estuary is a nesting area for the Snowy Plover.  

These are a great start to the countless coastal trails to explore. Give it a hike and mark it off your little travel passport with self-satisfaction. 

Tillamook Head

Located between the towns of Seaside and Cannon Beach, Tillamook Head is an almost ten mile hike through protected wilderness with incredible ocean vista views.

Also along the trail one finds views of The Tillamook Lighthouse and World War II bunkers. Take your dad, I’ve no doubt he’ll find it thrilling.

Crater Lake 

The deepest lake in the United States, Crater Lake is a flawless, slightly terrifying pit of  pristine water resting in a dormant volcano. 

Depending on the time of year, hikers will run into an apocalyptic amount of mosquitos. It is actually quite terrifying and almost threw me off my trail game. But, after a half mile walk down the trail, the clouds of mosquitoes part, as if stopped by a hidden curtain of DEET. 

Other than the easy hike to the lake itself, there are numerous other hikes of  varying difficulty to explore in the surrounding Crater Lake Wilderness. 

The above hikes are, literally, just the teeniest-tiniest start to the wonderful world of  hiking in the Pacific Northwest. I’ve really only added them for visitors, because I’d be surprised if you call yourself an Oregonian and haven’t been on any or all of these hikes. 

A Safe Trail Is A Happy Trail

This is getting exciting. Because now that we’ve got some awesome ideas for where to  start on the hiking journey, and believe me there’s much more where that came from,  now we can delve into the important, life-saving shit, the goodies and the goods. 

I didn’t always start out as the queen of the Pacific Crest Trail. I started out just as green as you; maybe even more. 

There’s no shame in feeling trepidation about starting something new. So I’m going to start at the basement level and work my way up, just so I don’t scare you off.  

In the Zone: What to pack in our pack.

I highly recommend zone packing. It’s an efficient three zone packing technique that maximizes the backpack’s potential while prioritizing the items within in order of importance and necessity.

Going through the zones helped me organize my life for the Pacifc Crest Trail, but it also works for simple day trips.

Bottom Zone

Here are bulky items/things that aren’t needed while hiking.

If camping, this zone is where items like sleeping bags and thermal clothing will be stored. The Bottom Zone holds goods that aren’t necessary until a camping spot is reached and camp is ready to be set up.

It is important to add supplies like a well folded tarp, in case an emergency shelter is needed. Also include in this zone the insulation layers. If a storm hits the trail, there may not be an opportunity to start a fire and the insulation blanket will be a godsend. 

Core Zone

This is the midsection, put the heavy stuff here, it balances out.

The Core Zone will house fire supplies like matches and flint. Also store any cooking supplies like a small propane tank, stove, and your food stash, not snacks.  

Hydration supplies will be kept here as well, but more on that later. 

Top Zone

Picture it: you’re hiking a trail, you’ve veered around a steep switchback but you’ve  veered too fast and didn’t anticipate that gooey patch of mud just under your foot. You  slip, ass over elbow, and land hard, with a mighty gouge in your arm to prove it. 

Thank goodness there are so many important items in the easy to access Top Zone. 

This is where the First Aid kit will be stored, fully stocked with antiseptic wipes, blister cream, butterfly bandages, antibacterial ointment, ibuprofen, and other important items.  

Snacks go here, easy to reach for those hangry trail moments. Add a light rain jacket and toilet supplies such as T.P. and a bag. 

Badger Tip: When packing, hope for the best but prepare for the worst.

How Much Does A Gallon of Water Weigh?

8.34 lbs. That’s how much a gallon of water weighs.

There are approximately 3.78 liters in a gallon of water and each liter is about 2 lbs.

It’s incredibly important to maintain appropriate water intake to avoid dehydration. That’s why it is recommended that a hiker drink one liter of water for every two hours of a hike.

Personally, I think hydration should be the number one focus, because even if you’ve never suffered from dehydration, just think about how you felt after a night of heavy drinking — like your guts were human jerky being dried on a hot rock under the sun. 

How Much Water Do You Need To Hike With?

So, total transparency, math isn’t my strong suit. But let’s take a moderate six hour hike  on the coast in 70 degree weather:

6 hours ÷ 2 hours ( 1 liter every 2 hours ) = 3 liters we need to drink for this hike. 

Ok, we’re doing great.

1 liter of water = 2 lbs

3 liters of water x 2 lbs = 6 lbs!

You need to plan on carrying three liters; or about one gallon, that will weigh  approximately six pounds. 

If you are having trouble visualizing three liters let me help. You can plan on packing the equivalent of six PBR tall boy’s! For our readers; six paperback books, or; for the foodies out there, two standard size bags of onions.  

Now that I have painted you a picture; plan on packing the right amount of water and know how it will feel in your pack.

Also, be sure to check the weather, as hot days will require more water. 

Best Way To Pack Water On A Hike

There are options when it comes to packing water. It is valuable to take the time to choose the maximum efficiency of the water supply.

Hydration Bladder

I personally love hydration bladders because they have a straw that attaches to the shoulder and is easy to access without stopping.

They are also better for the environment if the other choice is a plastic water bottle. ← OMG Please don’t. 

Portable Water Filter

These work well for hikes near a body of freshwater. Portable water filters are great because they are incredibly compact and are successful in straining out some, not all, bacterias and microorganisms.  

Don’t ever think that water is potable just because it’s pretty! Microscopic impurities that cannot be tasted or seen may contaminate water. So even if water appears clear and clean, don’t trust that it is. Sometimes the prettiest things can be the most deadly. Just ask my ex. LOL

Portable Water Purifier

It may behoove the germaphobes and virus nuts to look into portable water purifiers, which tend to target smaller bacteria and viruses that manage to sneak past simple filters.

When it comes to gut health, no precaution is too extreme. And when it comes to hydration, proper research and preparation is the sign of a smart hiker.

Mountain Lions & Bears & Snakes & Poison Ivy, OH MY!!! 

Ever had that dream where you’re walking in the woods and you start to slip, but you catch yourself just in time by putting your arm in a bush full of poison ivy?

Whew, thank goodness it was just a dream! Or was it?

In the rough and tumble world of hiking, that shit can be a stark reality. As fun as packing up and hitting the trail is, there are inherent dangers involved. Mother Nature can be a cruel lover.

All you have to do is pop on an hour of David Attenborough to know that nature and the animal kingdom don’t give a damn about your feelings. 

Preparation is the Key to Success

The best way for a hiker to protect themselves from hazards on the trail is mental preparedness and carrying the right tools.  

We’ve discussed dehydration, which is within our power to control.  

Less so are cases of snakes on the trail, bears lurking about, poisonous plants hiding  in plain sight, ticks that fall down the back of your shirt, flash floods…like I said, Mother  Nature is a righteous fright. 

Snakes

This isn’t the old days of uncharted territory. If someone has run across a snake on a  trail, it will be recorded, so read up on the trail. 

Since you are probably not accustomed to hiking or the outdoors at all, I don’t assume you are knowledgeable in snakes, so you should assume it’s poisonous. Don’t touch it, don’t rush it, just give it space. 

If you do get bit, it’s not likely to be fatal, but obviously utilize your first aid kit and wash the area with soap and water and apply neosporin. 

Bears

When hiking in bear country, pack bear spray, avoid wearing scents or perfumes, and don’t leave gear unattended because bears love a good pantry raid.  

I avoid hiking at dawn or dusk because bears are most active during those times. And I hope you at least know to never run away from a bear. 

Ticks

Ticks are common in the wild, and tweezers are a small but crucial item to pack for easy extraction in case you do wander into a heavily bushed area rife with ticks. 

Unless it’s very hot, I wear and tuck long pants into my boots so that there’s no skin  exposed. This is helpful to avoid access to spiders, ticks, snakes and other ankle-level  dangers.  

It also keeps my skin away from what is, in my opinion, the greatest scourge of the trails — 

Poison Oak and Ivy

While these poisonous plants are important to other wildlife, they are the ultimate killers  of a good time for weeks after exposure.  

The oils from the plant genus Toxicodendron can penetrate the skin in minutes, making it crucial to pack Isopropyl alcohol in a first aid kit if hiking in areas where these plants thrive. 

Washing the area with the alcohol as well as soap and water may help stop a rash from  developing, but it is imperative that you burn your clothes when you get home.  

At least, that’s what I’d do! You do what you want LOL. 

A good way to avoid contact with many of these hazards is to stay on the trail.  There’s danger in trying to forge your own path, so stay the course. 

Evening Hikes, Day Hikes, and Weekend Hikes 

This section explores a few options for different times and days of the week in order to give a clearer idea of just who and what a hiker may experience. 

Evening Hikes 

When planning an evening hike, it is smart to hike a familiar trail because the elements will be different and possibly more dangerous than in broad daylight. The evening will be cooler and the wilderness will be wilder than ever.  

Pack the essentials plus extras like a warm layer, headlamp, extra batteries for the lamp, and trekking poles.  

This is not overkill, evening hikes are inherently riskier. Plus trekking poles make great crutches — just in case. 

Additionally, consider that the human eye takes upwards of 20-30 minutes to adjust to the dark. So if you hit that peak just in time for sunset just know unless you’re spending the night, you still have to hike down.

Saddle Mountain

One of the most glorious sights I have witnessed was a sunset crest of Saddle Mountain, a basalt outcropping that is the highest peak in the northern portion of the coast range

Saddle Mountain is a beautiful, high elevation, 4.5 mile hike that offers a trail dotted with wildflowers and Noble firs stretching to the sky. It is a continuous climb, but there are many areas to pull off and rest if necessary  

Enough with the fear of darkness. Face those fears, open your ears to the sounds you can only hear at night, and always stay in the middle of the trail

Day Hikes 

The ability to wake up at 11 a.m. and decide to go on a hike is one of the perks of living in the Pacific Northwest.  

When you live here you should want to blend in, and feeling at home at the foot of any mountain is the first step. And if you aren’t, please stop calling yourself a local, because you are a glorified tourist.  

Invest $30 in a Northwest Forest Pass, available at any Ranger Station and some outdoor stores. This way there is nothing stopping that perfect day hike!  

And speaking of… 

Wahclella Falls is a 2.0 mile round trip flat hike culminating in a killer waterfall.  

Oneonta Gorge was one of the wettest day hikes I’ve been on in a minute. Prepare for some icy submerging because this one mile round trip hike veers into a stream, a narrow gorge, and over a log jam.  

The Monte Carlo-Monte Cristo Hike is located in White Salmon, Washington, and is a 5.8 mile hike that nets views of the snow-capped peaks of the Cascades and is a prime destination for wildflower enthusiasts. 

Weekend Hikes 

Hiking is a part of the culture in the Pacific Northwest. Along with beards and flannel,  hiking is just something that we all do if we aren’t lazy posers.  

Considering the traditional work week of Monday-to-Friday, assume that most trails will be packed on Saturday and Sunday.  

Children

To avoid running into kids on the trail, I suggest choosing a higher difficulty level hike, one that a parent would be crazy to try and do with a kid. This is not a guarantee that there won’t be the occasional hard-core parent who saddles the kid up a hard one, but on the weekend, it’s the best bet to avoid the shrill half-human squeals of a child. 

If you have kiddos and want to explore an awesome hike that will knock their socks off,  I recommend the Johnston Ridge Boundary Trail North of Mt. Saint Helens. It’s a 4-mile hike with only 400 feet elevation and the visitors center overlooks the volcano’s 1980 blast zone.  

Weekend Warrior

On weekend and overnight trips, plan for all possible weather turns.  

Take the time to research the area and the trails to know if it’s necessary to pack extra insulation or special first aid items, and to have the correct amount of food and water.  

The worst idea is to go in underprepared. No one wants to have to go in and save you.  

At the same time, when packing for weekend warrior-ing, remember that everything carried in will be perched on your back, and that everything you pack in you’ll need to pack out.  

So leave the books, take the flask. 

CAMP HERE:

Three Sisters near Bend, Oregon provides breathtaking views, lava fields, and alpine meadows and  streams. This is the perfect area for a weekend trip.  

Camp Lake from Pole Creek Hike is a 35 mile loop by hiking up between the South Sister and the Middle/North Sisters. It leads through undeveloped trails at a higher elevation, and is harder to find fresh water so pack accordingly. 

Aaayyy. Don’t be a Dick. 

It isn’t difficult. I promise.  

Even though our social media feeds are inundated with videos of Karens and Kevins  being major dicks all around the country. Even though we’ve had nothing but dick-like  behavior pouring out of the highest offices for years.  

On the trail, being a dick could hurt or kill someone.  

We are in the wild to escape the burden of everyday life, and so we should all want  what is best for our fellow hiker.  

If you must be an asshole while wobbling around, I encourage you to visit Disneyland. Your people are waiting. 

The National Park Service has a wonderfully polite website with sweet suggestions on  how to maintain a happy hike for you and others. 

They are a good deal nicer than I’ll be.  

Pack It In, Pack It Out

I shouldn’t have to say this, because even Boy Scouts, tiny little boys who are barely yet people, are taught the importance of keeping their refuse out of nature’s can. 

This goes for every little thing you pack in! On the trail, there is no one to pick up after you so pick up your trash, all of it. 

If there is an outhouse on the trail or at the trailhead, use it. It’ll smell like Golgothan the  Shit Demon, but it’s better than risking contaminating water sources and will minimize  the possibility of spreading disease by doing your biz on the trail; and no one wants a repeat of 2020!

That said, on longer hikes or overnights, bring a bag to pack out used toilet paper, and appropriately bury or bag feces. 

Think about how it feels to see dog shit on the sidewalk. Not cool. 

The most common thing left behind is food waste and water bottles.  

It takes a banana three to five weeks to disintegrate. A cigarette butt sticks around two to five years. And a plastic six-pack holder has a life expectancy of 450 years.  

Think about Snow White’s friends limping out of the trees to greet her with their head in  a holder hole, mouth full of cigarette butts, slipping on a banana peel.  

You think about that. 

Only You Can Prevent Forest Fires… 

Smokey the Bear knows his shit. There are things out of our control that cause fires, but mostly, we have the power to preserve forests for ourselves and future hikers, if only we are aware and not stupid. 

As many as 90% of wildland fires in the US are caused by people as a result of campfires left unattended, burning of debris, negligently discarded cigarettes and pure human-scum arsonists.

A part of the fun of setting up camp after a good hike is the fire to rest our feet at. But  this is a privilege, and it is important to follow proper guidelines concerning fires.

  • Follow the regulation that is set in the area.
  • If there is a fire ban in the area it is because the risk is high. Don’t be an asshole and decide to do it anyway. Bad news, smokey bears.
  • If there is a fire pit, use it. If not, build one out of rocks.
  • Use the matches packed in and make sure to fully extinguish them when used.
  • Look around for firewood. Don’t pack in firewood because using what is in the forest eliminates risk of outside wood that may be detrimental to the area. 
  • Watch the wind. Those beautiful sparks that soar into the sky are thousands of tiny matches waiting to light the woods on fire with the right wind gust. Remember, you  are lighting a fire in the woods, everything is kindling. 
  • Put it out properly. This is a consideration for overnight hikes. Plan on using water to full extinguish fire at the end of the night.

Following these rules may save an entire forest from being burnt to the ground.

No. You may not shoot your guns. 

It isn’t obvious, apparently, that shooting guns in the woods is a big no-no. I would think it would be very obvious, but I underestimate the love affair that people have with their guns. So I’ll keep this short and sweet.  

You don’t know where in time and space another person is on your trail. It is not the time to have a hootenanny yeehaw, skittle-di-do-good time with your AK-who-gives-a shit or your Bolt Action Big Boi Rifle. Hiking is not the time for hunting. Don’t bring that weird compensating shit to the trail!

Short-Cutting is for Assholes. 

Trails have been cut for hikes. They are developed by people who plan efficient and safe  hikes, and minimize the damage done to the natural habitat of plants and wildlife. 

Some steep mountains or hills have what’s called a “switch-back”, which is a trail that  moves in a zig-zag pattern which protects the trail from excessive erosion. 

“Short-cutting” is what assholes do when they think they’re above the rules.  

Hiking is about the journey, not the destination, and “short-cutting” is ignoring the  switch-back trail in an attempt to get to where you’re going quicker.  

This is bad trail etiquette that kills vegetation and speeds up erosion which will  eventually cause the trail to be un-hikeable.

Again. Don’t be that asshole. Nobody is impinging on your freedom by asking you nicely to stay on the trail.  

Love on the Trail 

Ah, romance. It’s great, everybody loves love.  

And hiking is a wonderful idea for a date, as long as you’ve fully vetted the person and  know they aren’t a psychopath. You will, after all, be in the middle of nowhere.  

I think there’s nothing more stimulating than a long hike with a lover. Plan on the extra  weight of that bottle of champagne (pack it out!), bring that flannel blanket, oh so good.  

BUT—  

If I see your naked asses humping away on the hiking trail I will not hesitate to  designate you unfit for decency, take your picture, and put it on the internet.  

There is a time for everything, choose wisely. 

Shaming is Good 

On the hiking trail, shame can be a great motivator. So if someone tosses an aluminum can, tell them you saw, make them pick it up.

If you come across a group of boys lighting firecrackers and throwing them into a  canyon, yell at them the way your Grandma did when you put your fingers in the pie.  

When an influencer ducks under a do-not-enter fence to get pictures in a wildflower  field, feel free to take their picture and tell them you’ll be posting that online along with  the stats of all the wildlife they’ve murdered by being selfish.  

Shame can be good. You just have to know how to use it. 

Dress for the Hike You’re On. 

This isn’t a day at the beach. I’d understand lookie-loos up from Cali who think flip-flops and shorts are perfectly fine hiking attire. But this is the Pacific Northwest. 

The weather here is unpredictable and moody.  

Even a day at an Oregon beach requires thoughtful consideration of what to wear,  because the weather channel is not always accurate. 

Hot Hike

My favorite season is around Spring and Summertime because of the blue skies and fresh air. But there is also sweltering heat, blistering sweat, sporadic rain showers, and terribly uncomfortable boob sweat.  

An experienced hiker has a greater understanding of their body and how it reacts to hiking in the heat. I choose my clothing as carefully as I can while keeping all of those issues in mind. 

Above the Neck

A brimmed hat is imperative when hiking in the sun. Even in the shade of the forest the strong rays of the sun can get through and burn the scalp. 

Sunglasses help keep the harmful rays out of eyes. 

Always apply and reapply sunscreen to the exposed parts of you including your face, ears and neck. 

It’s 2020, the year of the plague, so I advise carrying a mask. A buff (or neck gaiter) is easy to quickly pull over the nose and mouth when passing other hikers. 

Below the Neck

Wear a shirt that feels comfortable under your heavy pack. I’ve found that synthetic shirts — polyester or nylon — work best for me because they allow ventilation, along with a breathable, wicking undershirt and strong sports bra.  

Some people may prefer shorts on these hikes, but every part of the body that isn’t covered will be exposed to the sun, backpack straps, the whipping tendrils of branches, and those pesky snakes and ticks.   

Don’t forget that the PNW is full of surprises so it’s a good plan to pack a light  windbreaker or rain gear just in case.

Cold Hike 

Layering is a blessing when planning a hike in colder temperatures. Choosing what to wear on a hike will be determined by the research of the trail and the weather. 

Keep in mind that layering is perfect for hiking because it allows the versatility to remove layers as needed. As a hiker gets warmer in their layers, they are able to stop and strip off bits as needed, so they aren’t sweating their asses off in a cocoon of fabric.  

To start off, pack a fleece or wool hat and lightweight gloves with insulated liners. 

A mask is all the more important, not just for the safety of others, but also to protect the face from icy winds. 

It is also an option to pack snow goggles and microspikes, but the need will depend on if the hike is in higher elevation and in the snow.  

From there, work into layering. 

Base Layer

This layer sits closest to the skin and helps keep the body dry and chafe-free. It may include long underwear and fabric that wicks moisture away from the body. 

The base layer is important during cold weather hiking because the energy expended will cause the body to sweat, and it is imperative to avoid hypothermia by keeping moisture away from the body to avoid chill and maintain body heat.

Mid-Layer

The mid-layer insulation can include one or more of the following:

  • Fleece jacket
  • Insulated vest
  • Softshell jacket 

Outer Layer

For the outer layer, which is the first line of defense against the elements, choose a puffy waterproof jacket with good insulation. Take time when purchasing this jacket, as it will provide the versatility that is needed for a good cold-weather hike. 

Over the base layer long johns, choose water-proof and wind-proof pants with zippers up the sides to provide ventilation.  

I have found that layering works best as I tend to be a sweaty hiker and have dealt with being unprepared to stripping down when the air warms up. 

The answer to perspiration is preparation!

How Should Hiking Boots Fit?

This area deserves special attention, as the footwear a hiker chooses will make or  break their hike. 

Boots are a hiker’s most important purchase and should consider comfort, durability,  stability, weight, warmth, and water resistance.  

I recommend finding a boot fitter to help with the perfect fit so that the process is done correctly the first time. There are countless sporting goods stores that could help with this, or try a hiking specific store, as they can provide a more hiking-focused fit.  

There are different types of boots depending on the degrees of intensity of the hike, but since I doubt I’m talking to advanced or even competent hikers, I’d like to focus on a basic boot fit. 

The Fit

Look for a snug fit at the heel with wiggle room in the toe box.  

Take into consideration that feet swell during a hike and so there needs to be room for the swell while still ensuring that the heel stays in place, avoiding a floating heel, the  cause of most blisters. 

A bad fit can lead to blisters, plantar fasciitis, bone spurs, and other equally painful  issues. These things are avoidable but require time and testing out several pairs.  

Concentrate on the material of the boots as the wrong material may force the foot into a hot-box with no ventilation.

While I prefer high-cut boots because they provide the maximum balance and ankle support, ankles come in all shapes and sizes, and no boot is one size fits all. If the high-cut is too binding or tight on thicker ankles, try for a mid-cut, which still provides support and debris protection without crowding the ankle. 

Try on the boots with the same socks that you’ll be hiking in, and keep in mind that the  socks you choose will also have an effect on your comfort within the boot. 

Don’t skimp on buying boots. This is an investment into the health of your feet; they need love and care if you want them to carry you over rocky terrains. 

Sexy Hiking? 

Did you know that there is no federal law banning nudity in the Federally owned U.S.  Forest Service? I didn’t, but I never thought to ask. 

There are people who have begun to embrace going au natural on the nature trail. It is a risk, as there is still the possibility of being ticketed for indecent exposure if a ranger catches someone in the buff, but for some, that risk is worth the reward. 

Living in or around Portland, you may have witnessed the Naked Bike Ride. Once a year throngs of nudies on bikes pedal through downtown in all their exhibitionist glory. 

Naked hiking appears to be an extension of that desire to rid oneself of protective gear and challenge oneself to ultimate vulnerability.  

Maybe you have a deep-seated fantasy to hit the trail in all your glory. I won’t begrudge  you that pleasure.  

Just please, wear sunscreen. 

Hiking with Dogs 

Dogs tend to have massive amounts of energy.  

Hiking is a brilliant, bonding way to expend some of that energy while exploring new  terrain. A dog is probably bored of the same four block walk, so what is more exciting than the new and interesting smells and sights of the trail?! 

If a dog is well-trained, there is no greater joy than taking them hiking.

Be aware that the health and fitness level of a dog will determine the types of hikes they will enjoy, as opposed to those they will endure. They can’t tell us when they are hurting, so making sure that they are properly trained is imperative. 

Don’t expect that he will be able to pick himself off the couch and hike ten miles no problem.  

Hiking with a pup is an inexpensive way to beat the doldrums. Without shipping the dog off to an expensive day care to hike alone, his company on the trail can be wonderful for all spirits involved. However, there are trails that don’t allow dogs, and getting caught breaking the rules can lead to a pretty hefty fine.

It is also good to have a dog’s alertness and intuition on the trail, and can help a hiker hone their own internal alarm bells.  

The health benefits of hiking will also be provided to your dog through hiking, helping cultivate a strong heart and bones, possibly extending his life span! 

Pup Packing 

Packing for two holds wholly different issues than packing for one. Luckily, there are some great hiking packs for dogs that can help them carry some of their own supplies. Plan ahead and have the pup wear the pack around the house for a few days to acclimate. 

Water is just as essential on the trail for dogs, and they will need clean water to drink,  so pack a collapsible water bowl and enough water for two.  

Expect to take about 50% more than their usual food portion for the day, as the energy they expend will need to be replenished. 

Speaking of energy, watch the dog for signs of fatigue and be sure to rest when  needed. If they’re limping or panting extra hard, check the body for any splinters or cuts and be sure to offer water. 

There are booties made to protect the paws, but, as with the pack, plan on giving the little guy time to get used to them before hitting the trail. 

Always properly identify the dog, ideally with both a tag and a chip. He’s a good boy, but he’s still a dog, and if he sees a squirrel he may just dart off into the wilderness.  

Pick up every poop along the way. It is a hike-ruiner to step in dog poop on the trail and very bad hiking karma. Pick up the poop.  

Your good boy or girl is an animal, and you want to be aware that other animals may be interested in your animal. There’s no telling how your dog will act when they come into contact with a big cat, so prepare yourself to protect your animal as he protects you.

Yes, leashes matter.  

Bring a leash. This is the don’t be an asshole doggie edition. Just because you think your dog loves everybody it doesn’t mean everybody loves your dog.  

People are on the trail to enjoy themselves, and like it or not, seeing an unleashed dog  careening down the trail is pretty terrifying.  

I love dogs, especially my dog Rogue, but I was bitten across the face when I was a kid  and still have that gut reaction of fear when a strange dog bounds at me. 

Consideration is key on the trail. Keep your dog on a short leash, this ensures other hikers that you have control of your dog and are not relying on them to avoid a problem. 

Be sure to keep your dog on the trail, as he can trample wildlife or be exposed to ticks  and ivy plant oils if he is allowed to wander in the higher grass.  

It will be up to you before you ever hit the trail with your dog to make sure that he is  properly trained and ready for the challenge. 

Summary 

Well, newbie, I don’t know about you, but I’m feeling the pull.  

Do you feel it? The magnetic pull of the path. The come-hither call of the trek?  

Are your feet itching to get fitted into the perfect boot? Are your legs tingling, desperate to start the climb to your next heart-pounding obsession?  

You are ready for it, friend. With the guidance I’ve given you, you are more ready than  you’ve ever been to respond to the call of the wild.  

So get out there. Climb every mountain, crest every peak.  

You’ll thank me for it later.  

If you’ve enjoyed this article then please subscribe to my newsletter. I’ll see you on the trail.

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Rubber Badger Hits The Radio Airwaves

Rubber badger hit the radio airwaves. In a stunt to promote our website on the pacific northwest lifestyle we played our web-only first single in the “radio sink”. In this mode the music being played is not tuned in to a radio station, it is digitized in the most crude of formats from cassette tapes and vinyl records, fed into the amplifiers and then cranked up to a semi-permanent 40,000 watts output at a frequency of approximately 145.95 MHz. Our tiny piece of radio-subterfuge was featured on a local Seattle radio station along with some heavy metal bands playing a gig at the Warfield theatre. As well, we were offered a spot as an invited guest on the on air commercial showcase. Many call this radio site the “Music and Media Blog” as it acts as a “collective music experience” and updates its followers in real time. We write a lot about the Pacific Northwest music scene, and also write about what is happening in music today.

pianodhatch has just returned to his home state of Oregon. He and a friend were lucky enough to sit in with L.A.W. to give an impromptu acoustic set. Check out his clip below:

L.A.W. played a few songs, including Hellz Yutz, a fan favorite, which he and rad played live in 2013. It’s great to see him and his band perform after a long hiatus. He’s recently been in the studio recording another new album, called At the Traffic Light.

Last night, I shared some tunes from our “Rubber Badger Radio Spot” with Josh Feeny, aka Foxy on Portland’s Q95.9. He liked it so much he decided to play the rest of our album on the station this morning. I can’t tell you how much this means to us and we are honoured. We were totally blown away. We hope to have a new video up on our site and our following continues to grow, as well as the new album being released.

I also started to become excited about our next album a few weeks ago. Here is the first cut from the new EP:

As I finish up this post, I am off to DJ a classic rock program on the mid-day time slot. Later today, Josh Feeny and I will be playing the album in sequence, followed by our new song for an acoustic set.

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Rubber Badger is Here

The rubber badger is here! We are excited to launch our new Kickstarter! We’ve been working on this since 2012.

The Concept

Resembling a slightly deformed raccoon, the rubber badger is packed with electronic features that let you experience the five senses in a whole new way. This vibrantly designed device is highly versatile and portable. It easily fits in your pocket and can be used on the go. The product comes with custom molded foam inserts, a USB charging cable and a carry case that fits your phone and tablet.

What does it do?

The rubber badger is a lightweight, flexible device that adapts to your personal tastes and senses. It has three sensory options: haptic vibration, LEDs and sonic vibrations. At each touch point, different stimuli are felt and the rubber badger responds accordingly.

Touch Response

The rubber badger reacts to touch. A little bit of pressure on the device will make it vibrate. Try shaking it lightly, or tap it on the table and you’ll get a different vibration. Each button has a different shape, vibration frequency and resistance that vibrates according to the button.

The LED Response

Some buttons light up with different colors to alert you to different things. At press, a gentle tap lights up the square button. Another tapping will make the round button light up. A gentle press and quick press both light up the letter “B”.

Sonic Response

One button causes a musical sound to sound, while the other three buttons create a different sound. Clicking the square button will cause a soft click. Flipping the round button will cause a sharp zapping sound. Each button also has its own soft vibrations. Clicking the square button will make the rubber badger move forward.

How it works?

The device is portable and can be used anywhere. With the motorized buttons, the rubber badger is surprisingly easy to use. At any time, you can bring your preferred stimulation experience with you. Since the device has three positions, each button can be placed anywhere: vibrating, flashing or flashing fast.

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Services

Here at the rubber badger we offer extensively researched satirical article writing on topics pertaining to the pacific northwest and the man made climate change.

By Paul Mundy / Contributing writer / Global warming and the man made climate change is all the craze these days and many are willing to believe in the so called “97% of scientists,” who have expressed the fact that “global warming is a proven fact,” and “climate change will ruin us all,” if we do not immediately change our lifestyle as we are leading the planet to destruction.

This is of course hogwash. This is not science. This is a hoax. The only proof for the 97% of scientists is by being able to find a few scientists who agree with them, and many scientists can simply be found “anti-global warming,” people who have a personal axe to grind, most of which are unqualified to even speak about climate change. The most egregious of these “scientists” is University of Alabama, Huntsville geophysicist Dr. Richard Lindzen, who has been vocal of his position on climate change as being the result of natural cycles.

What is even more outrageous is that we have shown before that Lindzen actually has no scientific credentials at all, but rather a PhD in meteorology. As we have shown before, Lindzen is well known in the scientific community as being a creationist, and has received thousands of dollars from groups like the anti-religion Discovery Institute, who just so happen to be running a slate of board of election candidates in Alabama which includes a person by the name of Bob Maxwell who is running for senate, a position he feels is vital to stopping the tyrannical rise of the “Al Gore trained” Senator Richard Shelby, the man that was primarily responsible for approving the massive greenhouse gas reports that effectively kill people’s jobs and lead the country to ruin. Yes, we are referencing that time Senator Shelby received $4.1 million in funding for his 2004 re-election from a bill in which he declares global warming to be a fact. Not a proven fact as Lindzen states, but a proven fact nonetheless

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Pumice Stone

The Almighty Pumice Stone!

You probably stumbled upon this site while asking your magic Google machine something like  “Google, Google on my desk, tell me which pumice stone is the best!” And you were probably hoping to read some lame review about what makes one pumice stone a little scratcher than another. We’ll you won’t get that here!

I mean you are talking about the AMAZING PUMICE STONE not just some silly little foot grater. 

A rock so magical the Greek thought it was a gift straight from the gods themselves. That’s right a gift from the gods! I bet you didn’t know that. Well in this article, I’m not only going to show you how to use this magic little rock but I’m also going to teach you some crazy campfire facts to impress your friends. 

Ok So What Is A Pumice Stone Anyway?

I’m sure you all probably remember pumex is Latin for pumice; because well you know, everyone studies Latin these days, and that’s just common knowledge. Well, did you also know it got that name because pumex actually means “foam”? In fact, Europeans used to call it “Spuma Maris” meaning froth of the sea, because it actually floats on top of the water. 

Why? Because when volcanoes explode lava is hurled from the bowels of the Earth into super cold water (or air) causing it to cool so fast the gasses from the lava are trapped into thousands of little tiny bubbles peppered through the stone. 

Yep! You heard me right it’s FLOATING LAVA FOAM bitches! 

When did we start using this wonder rock you ask?

Well that’s a little unclear, but there are some really old legends talking about floating rocks or “witch candy” that date way back to the dawn of civilization. Ancient Greeks; because they love to make up elaborate stories about everything, even had a whole crazy story about ‘kienpie’ (greek for pumice) origins. Want to hear it? 

Ok, here is the quick and dirty (or maybe I should say sexy) version.

It all starts when Vulcan; the god of fire, and Venus; shatterer of all glass ceilings and original women’s rights activist, got together and oh I don’t know spilled sex juice all over the world! Then for some reason the Greeks thought they should eat this stone the gods gifted them!??! WTF! I don’t know I could be paraphrasing or misinterpreting ancient mythology a bit here. The point is old Greek dudes are weird and don’t eat pumice stones; or anything else dripping after sex for that matter! Gross! 

Ok moving on! Anyway eventually some brilliant progressive ape had the idea to start scraping hair off their bodies with a rock and guess which one it was. That’s right, the ever so versatile pumice stone! 

While that probably led the Greeks into the modern day use of using a pumice stone for dead skin removal it was actually the Mayans who first started using it for callus removal. Well, first they used it to clean their animal skins, but since they didn’t try and eat it first I’m just going to give them this one. 

So, there it is. 

The origins of the modern pumice stone use was another gift from the Mayans. Yep, legend has it they wanted to make up for the broken calendar they gave us by making sure we have someone to give our $50 a month to. 

Now Let me Tell You How To Use A Pumice Stone

As I am sure you have deduced by now I derive most of my power from the pumice stone. 

Not just because I can go for a 3 day long barefoot hike on Friday and have silky soft heels for my date on Tuesday. 

No, No, No, No. 

I use my pumice stones for everything from an oil diffuser to exfoliating my face! Below you will find a few ways to use the pumice that you might have never known without a little advice from a badger 🙂 

But, first lets make sure you’re using a real pumice stone and not a glue stick mixed with fake stuff. Sadly, loads of pumice stones you find at Target and CVS are fakes. 

Being from the Pacific Northwest I think I would be insulted if you told me I didn’t know the difference between corporate pumice goo and real pumice; but the sad truth is, these days most of us probably don’t even know the difference. But it’s easy, really, It’s all about buoyancy and shape. 

So, here’s a quick lesson: 

Pumice has an extremely low “specific gravity.” Yeah, Science Girl here. Anyway that’s basically a fancy way of saying if it doesn’t float, it’s not a pumice stone, but more likely a mixture of glue, chemicals and ground up pumice or pumicite. 

Yuck! 

Another good way to tell if your pumice stone is real is the shape. It should look like a rock!!! Not a perfectly shaped manufactured cut-out! Again painfully obvious to me, but you would be surprised at how many people think Artemis created millions of perfect sandal shaped pumice for us to buy at Target! Well she didn’t and those are not real pumice! 

For DIY Pedicures

Now that we all have our real pumice stones in hand let’s talk about how to use it. First it’s been a long day. Let’s fill up a basin with hot water, let our feet AND pumice stone soak. 

Badger tip: Take your electric tea kettle and keep it plugged in next to you. It works perfect to add a little heat to your water as it starts to cool and you don’t want to get up. Just make sure it doesn’t fall in the water – ZAP!

Now just relax. I like to imagine a sexy little man is just ever so softly massaging my toes, but maybe that’s just me. 

When you’re ready pull out a foot from the water bath. Pat it dry and then rub the pumice stone in a circular motion. Too much pressure might cut you so be sure to apply as much pressure as you need, but let the stone do the work. It’s a little tickley. 

Most callused skin on the feet tends to build up around the heels and sides of your toes so be sure to pay extra special attention to those areas. As you scrub you will probably notice some super yummy looking white muck build up on the pumice stone. Personally I keep a separate water container to rinse my stone in when that happens, but you can use your same water bath, it won’t hurt ya. After about two or three minutes of this switch feet then rinse, dry and apply your favorite oil or moisturizer. 

When you are done rinse your stone really well. Scrub with an old toothbrush if necessary. Then let it air dry. This is by far the most common use for pumice stones, but as you will read below it’s not the ONLY use. That said it’s important to note any rock you have used on your feet should probably stay reserved just for your feet. 

FOR DIY Manicures

Sometimes, you have to do your own nails. Most of us just do a quick polish change, but if you have calluses and dry cuticles, this could be an easy and slightly luxurious addition to your DIY mani pedi

A lot like the little DIY pedi you did for your feet, you can also do for your hands. Shocker, right!?! 

Lay down a towel,fill a little bowl with warm water and a dab of soap, and have a seat. Soak one hand for 3-5 minutes then use the dry hand to pumice your cuticles, calluses (from all those outdoor activities we love!), and anywhere else that feels a little rough. 

Then dry and switch hands. The trick is to keep your skin and the pumice super wet so you don’t scratch yourself. 

After you get your paws all cleaned up, file and paint (if you’re feeling perdy) and dab a little cuticle oil to keep your cuticles from drying out. 

FOR All Natural Hair Removal

If you’re one of “those” girls that wants to remove all the hair on your body, but hates shaving, then I’ve got the jam for you.

A pumice stone can actually be used for hair removal. Like smooth as a baby’s bottom; hair removal. But there is a pretty specific way to go about this and it’s a tad involved. 

Step 1: Exfoliate in the shower, you can use any sugar or salt scrub you have on hand, or whatever is on sale. Since it’s for body (not face) don’t use a face exfoliator, the grit is too fine. This gets off all those rotten dead skin cells and body oils that will get in the way of Step 2. 

Step 2: Dry your body off, get your pumice wet, and go to town! Using small circular motions, you just rub the pumice repeatedly where you don’t want hair anymore. Try to be gentle, you don’t have to rub very hard

Step 3: Rinse off in the shower (at least I do), dry off, and use body lotion. You might have to repeat this process a few times to get the full baby bottom effect. 

Bring Back Your Old Jeans To Life

Ever buy a brand new pair of jeans only to wish they were as awesome as that comfy pair you picked up from the thrift shop last year. Well don’t fret. Pumice Stone to the rescue!  

Turn them into super destructed jeans with your handy dandy pumice stone! It’s really as easy as it sounds. Just wash and dry them, then rub that pumice wherever you want to add style. Knees and thighs are a good choice. When you’re done, wash and dry them again before wearing them out. 

As An Essential Oil Diffuser

Yes, it even works as a diffuser. But, you probably want to use a different one than you use on your body and clothes. Also, grab a pumice-sized mesh bag or one of those little breathable bags for closet potpourri, to stick it in. 

Put about 20 drops of your favorite essential oil, my faves are lavender, frankincense, rosemary, or citrus, on the pumice and drop into the little mesh bag. You can hang it in the closet, bathroom, kitchen, your man’s shoe closet, pretty much wherever. It could even go in your bra and underwear drawer to add a bit of class to your underthings. 

It will slowly dry out after a few days, depending on the humidity in the air where you live, so just keep an eye on it and do it again when it stops smelling nice.  

To Clean Your Oven or BBQ

It’s one of my least favorite tasks: cleaning super dirty greasy things. I hate that oily feeling it puts all over my hands and how it takes so long to wash off! I usually try to con someone else into doing this, but if you’re forced, there’s an easier way. 

First, wear rubber, latex, or plastic gloves. I always forget to buy them and in the moment I end up just wanting to get the task done. But it will save you from that miserable 1-2 days oily residue thing.

Second, spray Oven Cleaner in the oven and BBQ cleaner on the BBQ. If you really hate chemicals, white vinegar or Dawn dish soap is an option but, come one, those nasty things need a powerful chemical-laden degreaser once in a while! After it’s set for the amount of time it’s supposed to, instead of using a rough sponge or brush, your very versatile pumice stone will work wonders. If you’re a glutton for punishment, I hear you can do this without any chemicals and just a wet pumice, but I’ve never actually tried it. 

The key is to get your pumice stone soaking wet and scrub the oven or BBQ all over. It won’t scratch, don’t ask me why! Pay special attention to the super stuck-on spots and when you wipe off all the goo, it will shine like the sun. 

It goes without saying that this pumice stone shouldn’t be used for anything else! It’s full of grit and chemicals now, yuck!   

To De-Pill Your Sweater

The little “pills” that crop on clothes look like tiny thready balls. It happens when you put delicate fabrics in the washer (or dryer) and weren’t supposed to. I’m notorious for ruining my favorite sweaters with this lazy way of washing clothes. Who wants to go to a dry cleaner on the regular or handwash in the sink anyway?!?

Once the damage is done, you can use your ever-versatile pumice stone on it and get your favorite sweater looking good again. I swear, if you take it to a professional to do this (i.e. the drycleaner) they will use something that looks suspiciously  like a pumice stone on it as they scowl at you for not bringing it to them to clean instead of ruining your clothes. But, whether it’s actually a pumice or not, I’m not sure, and I’ll probably never have the guts to ask! I’ll just pumice stone the pills myself and save the embarrassment!

It’s really easy and the process almost doesn’t even need explaining. Just use a DRY pumice (yes, this is the first use we’ve mentioned when it isn’t wet!!) and rub it where the pills are. This will give you a feeling of total control and accomplishment in a world filled with chaos. 

When you’re done, shake it out, put it away, and swear that you’ll never ruin your sweater again! But if you’re like me, you will end up being lazy and washing it wrong again, especially because now you know how to fix it !

To Clean Your Toilet

So gross. You’re probably picturing your hand in the toilet bowl with a sad little pumice wondering what he ever did to deserve this kind of existence. I mean, didn’t someone invent toilet brushes already?!? And those come on a long stick keeping you at least a foot away from the yuck in that toilet bowl!

But, use for the pumice stone is more for scrubbing off mineral deposits than using it for the whole toilet bowl. You literally just scrub off the deposits or any nasty stains that bleach and Scrubbing Bubbles couldn’t handle. 

To Help Plants Grow in Good Soil

Your handy dandy pumice stone can also be used in gardening. It helps retain water and nutrients and it’s all natural (as long as you have real pumice stone!), so you can use it in soil for indoor and outdoor plants. 

You chop up the pumice and put 1 part pumice to 4 parts soil and drop the plant in. You can do this with potted plants or in an outdoor garden. It’s especially good if you’re the type that forgets to water plants, live in a dry climate, or the rainy season is over where you live. 

If chopping up a pumice stone sounds like a great way to lose a finger, you can find pumice pebbles at gardening centers or even better, order online where you can find anything. 

So Now You Know Everything About The Miraculous Pumice Stone. Or Do You?

Ok so we’ve gone though just about every DIY and practical application of pumice stone we could think of. So just to raise the bar, we’ll go a step further and get into the medical and health applications of this amazing little rock. 

Did you know it was used in ancient Chinese Medicine?

I don’t know much about ancient Chinese medicine, so this next part sounds a little crazy to this modern woman, but here goes. 

The ancient chinese people would grind up pumice stone, fossilized bones (bones!), ground mica (yes, the rock!), and tea (for flavor?!?) and have a nice cuppa. Apparently it would ‘calm the spirit’ and help relieve a number of medical problems. It’s said to have reduced stomach tumors, relaxed an upset stomach, helped nausea, dizziness, and even insomnia. 

For the record, I’m not suggesting you try this delicious recipe. Times have changed and we don’t make it a habit of drinking rocks and bones, even if it’s flavored with tea! Who knows what other problems they may have been creating with this little concoction. 

In the 18th Century, ground up pumice was used for gallbladder cancer and urinary diseases. It’s also been used in Western medicine as a powder used on skin and corneal ulcers. 

Did You Know it Was Used in Dentistry?

The people who came before us had pretty gross teeth before Colgate, Crest and Listerine came along. Again, I’m so glad we live in a modern world! Thank you minty fresh toothpaste!

They sucked on sugary fruits or candies to make their breath smell good which in turn caused more cavities and bad breath. It was a vicious cycle.  

Then a super smart group of Egyptians decided to use pumice powder on their teeth. We know now that doing this actually gave them antibacterial benefits which fights cavities and bad breath. They probably only noticed the super white smiles they were all getting because of how well pumice polishes surfaces, even teeth. 

When tooth enamel is rough it stains easier and catches bacteria more than when it’s smooth. Pumice powder basically sands down the surface and makes teeth whiter and cleaner. It is actually so fine that it doesn’t harm the enamel either. 

This actually sounds pretty great. I wonder why we don’t have pumice toothpaste in stores now?!?

But what we do have in modern dentistry using pumice is called enamel microabrasion (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4126832/ ) and the American Dental Association  thinks it wonderful. 

Did You Know it Was Used For Water Filtration?

These days, we have clean water in first and second-world countries. I’m ashamed to say I kind of take this for granted. 

Some of us are lucky enough to drink water straight from the tap and for everyone else there’s Brita, Pur, and Zero. Or even better, reverse osmosis hooked up to the kitchen sink. But, back in the day, having clean, drinkable water was a serious global problem.

Enter the pumice stone. 

It’s actually a really good and all natural water filtration (https://www.zmescience.com/science/pumice-uses-structure-feature-geology/ ) device. Basically, it works by absorbing impurities in water into it’s little tiny structures and keeping them there. Since it’s a natural mineral rock, it doesn’t add impurities to the water or take away the natural minerals. Poof! Clean water.

These days, pumice filtration devices have been replaced by charcoal and reverse osmosis for drinking water. But pumice is still used in wastewater filtration.   

Did You Know It’s An Essential Part In Brewing Triple Hop IPA’s?

Ok so maybe this one isn’t true, but after writing this MEGA pumice stone article I think it’s about time to sit on the porch with a nice cold Portland brewed Space Dust! Hopefully you enjoyed this article and have all sorts of fun telling your friends while you do the same. 

Thank you for reading. 

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North Star Bistro

Have you ever been to the north star bistro? If not, we highly recommend it. We went on a Thursday for their specialty combo — chicken parm and the jumbo jalapeño poppers.

Not to mention the cake that sits on the table every week with a famous lighthouse picture on it! They also have another type of yummy snack on Thursdays called Thursday Runway — we skipped on that one, though.

When we entered, the outside patio was full of families. This made me feel really good, since I had forgotten all about Valentine’s Day! (Apparently not everyone gets my procrastination disorder!)

Once inside, we realized that we were seated inside a room. It reminded me of if you went to a fine dining restaurant and they seated you in a semi-dark room, instead of at the bar or buffet. There were dim lights and people eating at the tables in the room.

We sat down, and a server immediately came to take our drink orders. We started with a mixed drink called the Delores, which was delicious. I don’t usually order mixed drinks, but this one was pretty good.

The waitress brought out the bread basket first, which was then followed by the salad. I had the seafood Caesar salad.

They had a special sauce for it, but it tasted like vinegar, so I didn’t love it. For my main course, I decided to get the chicken parm. I’ve never had a chicken parm with cheese on top before.

The waitstaff brought it out, and the cheese was melted into the bread! It was amazing. It was covered in sautéed onions, garlic, and a cream sauce. It was served with spinach. I don’t usually eat pasta, but this one was really good.

Not to mention it was on the house. This was followed by the jumbo jalapeno poppers. They looked interesting, but I’m not sure about the jalapeno.

The waitress set them down, and then took the lid off of the popper. I was really excited to try this — I love jalapenos, but never eat them.

My initial thought was “holy jalapeno!” I couldn’t wait to try the inside part. But after looking at it, I realized that it was really hot.

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North Star American Bistro

Why I love the Northstar American Bistro Menu

It was last month when I first thought to try my hand at this restaurant; having already ordered more than one meal and been assured that the food was delicious. It all started with a slice of bacon-cheese stuffed pizza. In hindsight, I should’ve known that I wouldn’t be able to resist bacon and cheese stuffed pizza – it’s about the easiest thing on earth to order, especially when one is dining alone. I ordered the eggplant parmigiana with alfredo sauce (no cheese) and a side of bread. I was happy that I was the only one in the group to go all out and order the Alotta Fagioli soup – it was big enough to share, and I knew I’d be well rewarded. That said, I went to the wrong table to order it – but was happy to wait because there was an extra bread basket to soothe my thirst. Upon being served my alfredo, I wasn’t surprised by the level of cheese that was packed into this dish – I was expecting it, given the name. I enjoyed my soup and returned to my table, where it had been a while since my friends arrived. Since I’d already ordered the eggplant parmigiana, I decided to order one of the individual pieces for my other friends (they wanted the same as me). I did so eagerly – having spent several years as a staunch bacon-and-cheese lover. The appetizer was golden-brown on the outside, and stuffed with gooey melted cheese – quite the mouthful. As the waitress placed it in front of me, I reached for it – but then thought, ‘hold up, this isn’t cheese.’ And then I remembered the hard boiled egg, laying alongside. I reluctantly took a bite, and was pleasantly surprised by the egg yolk nestled into the piece of tomato, along with the creamy cheese. Although the pizza was delicious, the eggplant parmigiana was the star of the show. It was warm and almost melted in my mouth – a nice change from the cold-doughiness of other pizzas. All in all, the meal was excellent, and I’m happy I ended up at this restaurant (I’ve become obsessed with it).