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Archive for the ‘Planning’ Category

P7120430My annual gal’s trip into the mountains got weathered out. After a glorious hike in, we spent an exciting evening in a fire lookout with an electrical storm flashing all around us. Then it rained. And stayed gray for two days.

We hiked on anyway, but the traverse and the glacier travel we had planned wasn’t such a good idea in such low visibility. Eventually, we elected to head home early and I tried not to be disappointed. It just works out that way sometimes. So now, I’m studying maps, watching the weather, and trying to get out again.

Meanwhile, we’re also looking at maps and weather for the next family trip. We’ll plan as best we can, but have to stay flexible and know we can change our itinerary if the weather, terrain, or people dictate. It is good practice to balance our plans and what develops. And to remember that the weather is beyond our control, and that’s a good thing.

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P6270326Our bicycle adventures have had the benefit of using the train to support the trip plan. Last summer, we got on our bikes at our house and rolled to our train station, then hopped on and rode to Eugene, Oregon, where we then started our 1500-mile west coast trip to San Diego.

This summer, with Tom cycling 2500-miles to Michigan, the rest of the family used Amtrak as the support vehicle. We followed his route along Highway 2 across Montana and North Dakota, and got to see places he had called us from just a couple weeks before. The train was a fun mix of people and places, very economical, and we even managed to sleep in our coach seats.

I was worried about feeling trapped and sedentary, but we got out when we could (like in Minot, North Dakota above), each read a couple books, and followed our progress on the train schedule. Amtraking was rather fun, and a great way to support the bicycling.  So if you want to do a one-way trip, consider adding a train section to loop yourself back home. Or use the train to get to your destination and ride home. The possibilities…

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100_2315_1 With both parents educators, you would think we would have a wide expanse of  summer in which to plan backpacking, bicycling and kayaking trips. And while we do, already it feels like not enough as I draw lines through sections of the calendar for events and trips.

There’s two weeks penciled out for a bicycle trip with our Canadian tandem pals, a five-day stretch for my gals’ backpacking trip, Tom’s Dadventure, and two 3-4 day trips we plan to do with folks new to family adventuring. They’ve never done a bike or backpacking trip before. We get to introduce them to it, which will be double the fun.

And we haven’t even planned anything involving our kayak yet.

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p8140741Since meeting our Victoria, British Columbia friends on the Kettle Valley Rail Trail in 2002, we have been trip buddies almost every summer. Back then, Mark was intrepid on his single bike complete with a bear-scaring air horn mounted on his handlebar, and on the tag-along behind him was his six-year-old daughter. She was our son’s age and glad to see another girl on the trail, so hit it off with our then four-year-old daughter as well. We liked them immediately, camped one night together, and exchanged contact information.

In the years since then, we have shared backpacking overnights in the North Cascade Mountains and skiing overnights in the Mountaineers’ lodge at Mt. Baker. They joined us in the adult-kid tandem bike world and we’ve done bicycle trips in the San Juan Islands, Europe, and last summer on the California coast. Sometimes finding trip partners can be difficult; we feel very lucky to find have found another family interested in adventuring and so compatible with us.

We’re off to visit them in Victoria this weekend, to bicycle their city and perhaps play some rousing games of Quiddler. I’m also excited to be bringing maps and a calendar to see if we can determine some more adventures to have together. Lots of ideas are floating about within our family, time to see what might interest our trip buddies.

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100_1488Actually, with the internet being what it is, I’m everywhere, but I’m happy to now be a part of my English friends’ website, The Family Adventure Project. They have posted my article about planning family adventures, and I encourage you to check out their inspiring site. You’ll find my article listed as a feature on their right hand “What’s New” box.

This photo appeared with the article when it was originally published in Adventures Northwest magazine. That’s us with the books we used to plan our 2006 month-long bicycling trip in Europe, and the atlas we still get out to page through and dream, or use to learn more about the locations of other adventuring folks. For example, my English friends are planning to bicycle across France and into Italy next summer. Time to reach for the atlas and check out their route.

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