Category Archives: By Region

Europe, July, June

Planning the Tour du Mont Blanc

We recently returned from a fantastic ten-day hike of the Tour du Mont Blanc through France, Switzerland, and Italy. We’ll eventually add detailed posts about the actual hike, but we want to share some notes on planning the trip and logistics with our trip fresh in our minds.

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Europe, June

Picos de Europa part 1: Three-day hike to Vega de Urriellu and Collado Jermoso

The Central Massif of the Picos de Europa contains a mix of steep-sided canyons and ravines, green pastures, limestone peaks, and rocky, barren landscapes. To start our hiking in the Picos de Europa, we went for a three-day, two-night tour of the Central Massif. From Fuente Dé, we hiked to Refugio de Urriellu below the spectacular Naranjo de Bulnes, then to Refugio Collado Jermoso, and finally back to Fuente Dé. Despite encountering thunderstorms, rain, and snow, we loved the spectacular scenery.

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Europe, July, June

Picos de Europa: Overview

In June and July 2017, we spent a week hiking in Spain’s spectacular Picos de Europa. The jagged limestone peaks, verdant green pastures, delicious food, and a pleasant stop in Bilbao made for a fantastic trip.

Read below for our notes on planning a trip, getting around, and where to stay, or jump right into our description of the trip:

  1. Bilbao and the drive to Espinama
  2. A three-day, two-night hike on the Central Massif
  3. A rainy stop in Covadonga and Arenas de Cabrales
  4. Hikes from Camarmeña, including the Cares Gorge, back up to the Central Massif, and a bit of the Western Massif

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Ask us, June, North America, Roundups

Ask us: Good bases for late June day hikes near Seattle?

Friends are visiting Seattle from late June to early July. They recently asked:

I was wondering if there were a few places that you could recommend for some epic hiking. Your flickr account is filled with gorgeous photos of spots that are easy to get to from Seattle, so deciding based on photos seems daunting. We’re thinking of doing three days of hiking (and we’d stay in a cabin overnight) in one or two locations. We’ll have a rental car also. We’re just looking for gorgeous scenery, and up to a moderate level of hiking difficulty. Are there 4 or 5 favorite hikes that fit this that you’d recommend?

This is a challenging time for planning a hiking trip. Some years, the northwest will have warmed up months earlier and the snow will be gone. Other years, many of our favorite trails may still be covered in snow. So, unless you are prepared to deal with snow, you need a base with some different options. There are a few that should fit that bill. Read on for some suggestions of areas to stay and corresponding hikes.

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February, North America

Kauai – A February Long Weekend

In February 2017, we spent a long weekend on Kauai, splitting our time between Princeville and Poipu, with hikes along the Nā Pali coast, near Princeville, and in Waimea Canyon State Park, a visit to Kilauea Point, and lots of good food.

We picked Kauai as our February break from Seattle’s rain and grey, we picked Kauai. Kyle had never been and I had not visited since I was a kid.

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Europe, February

A Winter Weekend in Budapest

We made a last-minute decision to visit Budapest on a winter weekend in February, to enjoy some of the city sights without the crowds (or in some cases, entrance fees) of high season. Low season apparently began that weekend, if you use the “hop-on-hop-off” tourist bus schedule as a metric. This a brief overview of our 34 hours in Budapest.

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Europe, January

Paris in January

Paris can be crisp in January, and Paris can be dreary in January. Regardless, it’s wonderful in January. The city is quiet yet alive. Christmas crowds have gone, but lights and decorations remain. It’s a perfect time to go, bundle up, and walk, and walk, and walk, stopping in at sights or for un chocolat chaud.

Rather than summarize any one trip, I’ll mention a few of my favorite highlights, both in the city and day trips, across a few trips.

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