Miscellaneous Adventures 2022

Note: Click on any photo to get a larger version.

The last few years, around the end of the year we have been making posts with some notes and photos from adventures that we didn’t write up as individual blog posts. We’re a bit late this year, but I (Jennifer) decided late was better than never, so here goes!

Early in 2022, Zach decided he really wanted to attend “PPCon”, a small board-gaming meetup that happens every March in Virginia. PPCon is named for “Piranha Pig”, which is the mascot of the Blue Peg, Pink Peg board game podcast. Zach first attended PPCon in 2019. His trip to PPCon in 2020 was just as the COVID-19 pandemic hit the US; PPCon was cancelled in 2021. In early 2022, Zach didn’t want to get on an airplane, so he decided to drive to PPCon; since he was going all the way to the east coast, he extended his trip to visit some friends and family members in Virginia, Georgia, and Florida, and he also took a short backpacking trip between PPCon and visiting folks (partly to isolate in case he caught something at PPCon).

Crab du Jour restaurant in Roanoke, VA
Zach visited his friend Matt in Roanoke, Virginia for a couple of days before PPCon. They went out for a meal (which came in bags?!?) at Crab du Jour
McAffee Knob, Virgina
Zach went for a 2-night backpacking trip on the Appalachian Trail in Virginia after PPCon. This is McAffee Knob, the most-photographed spot on the Appalachian Trail
Hummingbird sculpture made of Lego at Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville, GA
The Atlanta Botanical Garden in Gainesville had a display of Lego sculptures

Zach’s trip was six weeks long, and I decided I didn’t want to sit around the house the whole time he was gone. So, in mid-March I took a two-week road trip south to visit my sister in Bend, Oregon, my friend Melissa and her mom in Sacramento, California, my friend Katrina in San Francisco, and my friend E.V. in Portland, Oregon. I did some hiking and walking, and camped one night on the Oregon coast near Coos Bay on the way back. This was my first solo road trip in my all-electric car (which takes a bit more planning and navigation than traveling in a gas car), but after two trips with Zach, I had the process down pretty well.

Bend, Oregon
Walking near where Alice lives in Bend, Oregon
Hiking in California
Hiking with Melissa in California

Right after I got back from that trip, our friends Glen and Judy (whom I’ve known since I was a kid and they were my parents’ friends) invited me to join them in a time-share condo in Port Townsend, Washington, so I drove over there for a week. I spent two days of that week backpacking at one of my favorite places, the Ozette area on the coast in Olympic National Park, with two other family friends, Gwen and John. The other days, we all enjoyed hiking around the Port Townsend area. I also got to go for walks with my friends Cindy and Julian on the way there, and Bruce and Amanda on the way back.

John and me at Ozette (photo courtesy of Gwen)
Elwha River Road
Gwen, Glen, and Judy hiking on the Elwha River Road (which is closed to cars due to a major washout). We hiked up to where they had removed a dam about 10 years ago, very interesting!

In early May, Zach and I got together with my sister Alice and her partner Paul for a backpacking trip along the Rogue River in southwestern Oregon. It was a four-day trip, which involved a long car shuttle — we drove to the downstream trailhead and hired a company to drive the car to the upstream trailhead, then hiked through and picked up the car. We had very rainy weather the first few days, and I ended up getting a lot of blisters on my feet due to wet socks. There was also a ton of poison oak along the trail (which we somehow managed to avoid getting on our skin), and Zach got a nasty tick bite on the last day that got infected (he had to get antibiotics)… But it was definitely a beautiful place!

Rogue River
The Rogue River is pretty popular for rafting, so we often saw rafters going down the river (we were hiking up-river).
Waterfall along the Rogue River
There are some pretty waterfalls along the Rogue River trail.

Since 2020, I’ve been doing a “language exchange” with Audrey, whom I met online; she lives in Paris. We try to meet every week or two, and typically spend 30 minutes or so speaking English, and then switch to French for another 30 minutes (or vice versa). In May and June, Audrey was between jobs, and she decided to take a trip to the US and Canada. She started her trip in San Francisco, and then in late May, she flew up to West Yellowstone, Montana, and we drove over to pick her up. We camped there and visited Yellowstone National Park for a few fairly cold days; we saw a lot of wildlife (including black bears, wolves, bison, pronghorns, a fox, deer, and moose) and of course the geysers and other thermal features of Yellowstone. Then we drove home with Audrey, spent a day doing laundry and drying out, and drove out to Seattle for a day or two. Then we continued to the Olympic Peninsula, where we visited several places in Olympic National Park. Finally, we dropped Audrey off in Port Angeles so she could take the ferry up to Vancouver Island; after a few days there, she continued on to Chicago and New York City before flying home.

Mammoth Hot Springs
We had a rainy day when we visited Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone National Park.
Washington coast
It was more misty than rainy on the Washington coast.
Hoh River area, Olympic National Park
It was raining (of course) when we visited the Hoh River rain forest in Olympic National Park

Zach did a “BCRT” trip with the Washington Trails Association (backpacking with trail work) during the summer, but I was stopped from doing much uphill hiking and trail work by Achilles tendon issues. We did get to see my friend Heidi when she was visiting her dad in Pullman in April, and I drove over to the Seattle area in July when my friend Melissa was house-sitting for her son in Bothell; we also got to see my friend Kathleen, who lives there.

Colfax Trail
We met Heidi for a walk on the Colfax Trail, along the Palouse River, in April.
Balcony in Seattle
Kathleen, Melissa, and I decorated Kathleen’s deck with flower pots in July.
Large hailstones
We had a hailstorm at our house in August, where we got pelted with the largest hailstones I have ever seen — I also had no idea they came in such pretty shapes! Luckily, our cars were in the garage and our house didn’t suffer any damage.

Other than the 2022 trips we already blogged about, I think that’s about it! We’ll have to wait and see what 2023 brings…

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