2018: A Review

2018 has been an eventful year for my family and I. Subsequently, now that it’s coming to a close, I wanted to reflect on some of my family, hiking, and writing adventures.

Family Adventures!

My wife’s, favorite place to visit is the Pacific Coast. Whenever we can, we like to take little weekend trips to visit.

On one of these trips we spent a weekend in Forks, a small remote town out in the west side of the Olympic Peninsula. (You know, that town with all of the glittery vampires.) There isn’t much to the town itself, but it is surrounded in natural wonders. These include mossy rain forests, remote beaches, and mountain views.

Earlier in the year we attended the Deming Log Show. Highlights ranged from logging competitions to pit fired chicken with all of the fixings. The show has a long history, and the money raised goes towards helping families of injured loggers.

The Great Outdoors!

This was also a great year for hiking. I did a number of amazing day hikes.

First, I finally made it to the view at the end of the Heliotrope Ridge trail. It took 4 attempts, but I finally did it. And it was worth it. At the end of the trail, standing at the top of a cliff over looking a large audibly popping landscape of ice, is something that will never be captured fully by word or photo.

I took my son up the Skyline Divide trail, but it ended up being a cloudy day. Due to the clouds we did not see all of the surrounding Alpine-like mountains and glaciers. However, he loved hiking inside of a cloud after complaining most of the way up the first two miles to the treeline.

I have two contenders for my favorite hikes of the year: Ptarmigan Ridge and Park Butte. Ptarmigan Ridge started as another walk in the clouds, making everything look like some otherworldly landscape. The clouds burned off before I turned around to head back. I didn’t make it to the point overlooking another glacier, but took a little side trek to a blue glacier-fed lake. The path was a little perilous, but the edge of the lake made for an amazing spot for lunch.

Park Butte was another astounding hike. This one rounds a southern section of Mt. Baker (our local super glaciated volcano) and treks up to a small ridge with an old fire lookout perched on top of the rocks. I will be returning to this trail again in 2019, maybe for a bit of camping.

2018 Writing Achievements

And then there is my writing.

I still have not given up on this pursuit. So, here are a few writerly things that have happened this year:

  • Created, and am still running, the second open fiction work-shopping group at our local independent bookstore, Village Books
  • Attended my first ever writer’s conference, The Chuckanut Writer’s Conference
  • Took a professional course on writing through Lit Reactor
  • Was published in a locally produced anthology (which I helped to edit)

Because of all of this, my writing has advanced leaps and bounds in just the past year. I hope to continue that progress. Hopefully, in the near future, I will have fiction I feel is of high enough quality to start submitting to professional zines or independent presses.

To sum things up, this year was a success. No, I was not able to achieve everything I wanted. But who does? Anyways, I did have a handful of amazing accomplishments and experiences. And that’s what really counts. Until next time, I wish you all a Happy New Year and hope that it will be filled with your own successes. And don’t do anything I wouldn’t do as the clock ticks over tonight. 🙂

What accomplishments of yours from 2018 are you particularly proud of? I’d love to read about them in the comments below.

See you next year!

Joe

  2 Replies to “2018: A Review”

  1. January 1, 2019 at 6:28 pm

    I don’t think i knew you were running one of the VB groups. I am mostly wary of open drop-in groups, which have a tendency to attract people who want to “loot” the group, but i am superglad to find out someone kind and earnest is running that one.

    Your favorite hikes are also mine. Take a kid up Winchester Mountain, and forget kids on Excelsior, that one is STEEP, but it’s worth the pain. :3

    Happy New Year!

    • Joe
      January 1, 2019 at 6:49 pm

      I completely understand the wariness of open groups. But I do my best to keep tight control of things in order to discourage “looters”. I’ve met a lot of interesting locals in the VB fiction groups.

      I would love to take my son up to Winchester, but I don’t want to risk the drive to the trailhead again in my car. Without 4 wheel drive it’s a little scary on that road. Also, you’re the second person to recommend Excelsior to me, though I’m really out of shape and don’t know if I could do it yet. I’ve heard that the Canyon Creek road has been repaired, hopefully it will hold together once the snow clears. I think there is less elevation gain to Excelsior from that side. I’m dying to check out the trails over there.

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