Soak in Golden Rays on Kelso Dunes

When we eventually emerged on top of the dunes after the 3 miles trek, the sun was almost near the horizon. We waited until the sun disappeared and the setting colors danced across the sky. Before long, the vast blueness got colored golden orange and purple, and the dormant sand dunes underneath in various shades of gold. It was magical.

Climbing Red River Gorge

Known as one of the best sport climbing crags in the world, Red River Gorge (aka The Red, RRG) is a sandstone mecca I have heard about countless times ever since I was introduced to the sport. The routes in RRG span across a vast area of national forest land and privately-owned acreages: Muir Valley, Pendergrass-Murray Recreational Preserve (PMRP) and Miller Fork Recreational Preserve (MFRP), so The Red is wildly regarded as a place with lifetime of climbing opportunities for all skill levels.

The Perfect Gateway: Steep Ascent up North Cascades

Eager to check out views of the glaciated mountain backdrops that had once inspired many poets, I dragged my tired feet one in front of another, from one gruesome switchback onto another, and slowly made my way up the steep slopes of Sourdough Mountain.  The route up was no joke; the trek undertook 3,000 vertical feet within the first 2 miles, and eventually made 5,116′ gain in 6 miles (12 miles RT) .  The major hurdle though, was how out of shape I had become.  My physical body was already exhausted from a 2,791′ gain in 10.2 miles hike the day prior, and I could barely lift my legs off the ground without feeling the muscles tightening in my legs. Gravity was absolutely in action.

Views of 7+ Alpine Lakes in Central Cascades

Interested in hiking a trail with 7+ beautiful lake views?  Check out Alpine Lakes Wilderness!  Over the Labor Day weekend, my friends and I hiked the West Fork Foss Lakes Trail in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness area.  We saw eight lakes on our 2 days hike and each one offered water so clear you could see the plants living underneath the surface.