Wow, what a year. 2012 was a great year in my book. I took 2012 off from a lot of the professional development activies that have taken up my adult life thus far, and really focused on personal development. I think I did a great job with that, and I have a pretty awesome list of things I accomplished this year. I think I also started to get the full enjoyment out of Oregon this year, in all its seasons.
The biggest achievement of the year has to be the Petal Pedal I did in June. That’s a 100 mile bike ride through the Willamette Valley in Oregon. I trained for it through most of the spring with rides that started out around 20 miles and ended up in around 70-80 miles. Previously the longest bike ride I had done was probably around 10 miles. The official ride also had 5000 ft of eleveation gain, which added another element of difficultly. The ride was beautiful though, and went through a bunch of flower fields and Silver Falls State Park.
Earlier in 2012, I also started taking up skiing again. I went up to Ski Bowl for night skiing a bunch. I went ahead and bought a season pass for Ski Bowl for the 2013 season.
As summer came to Portland, I was outside pretty much all the time. It was a most excellent summer weather-wise and I took full advantage of it. I did a bunch of backpacking up on Mount Hood, with a number of weekend trips to various places including Carin Basin and Paradise Park. I also went car camping a bunch, including at Rock Creek in the Santiam State Forest, and Trillium Lake on Hood. I also stayed in a Yurt on the Oregon Coast for the first time at Cape Lookout.
The summer also included a couple fun road trips. I got down to see Crater Lake, the only national park in Oregon. We camped there for a night and drove around the rim. It is one of the most amazing places I have ever been. It’s a crystal clear blue lake, but it’s in the rim of an extinct volcanoe, at around 5000 ft elevation. It’s a really amazing geological place and highly recommended. After that, we drove up to Bend, and camped at Lava Lake, which is also a beautiful place. We saw tons of ground squirrels and other wildlife there. We also went through Bend and walked around, and checked out Smith Rock. The trip concluded with a sunset walk up to Mirror Lake on hood, and a race against the sun to get back to the car.
I made it back home for 2 of my good college friends getting married (to each other) in DC and visited family in Virginia. I got some surfing in down in Virginia Beach, which was great. It’s something I miss about Oregon, because the water is so cold here. Made it out to the Oregon Coast, but it’s mainly just good for looking instead of swimming in.
The summer also included some awesome hikes and other activities. I went out to Hood River a couple times, and actually Wind Surfed and Paddle Boarded for the first time. We also drove around the east side of Hood to the Fruit Loop and gorged on cherries and other delicious fruit. Speaking of fruit, I ate a ton of berries again this year, with Oregon having some of the finest summer farmers markets in all the land.
Hiking was a big draw this year. I went on a number of hikes including the PCT from Timberline Lodge all the way to Cairn Basin on a couple different days. Eagle Creek, Angel’s Rest, Dog Mountain, and a few more in the Columbia River Gorge. I hiked the Wildwood trail through Forest Park a number of times, however I didn’t thru-hike it’s 30 miles, will have to save that for next year.
As fall came around, things started to slow down. I still did a bunch of hiking through the fall, and riding my bike. I started rock climbing around this time to keep up the activity level, and have been progressing nicely at indoor climbing at the Portland Rock Gym. I can’t wait to test my skills outside, but I already noticed my balance and confidence improving on the hikes I did in the fall.
As winter came into view, I escaped down to the Turks & Caicos islands for Christmas. Where I did 7 dives, got my Advanced Open Water cert, and did a bunch more snorkeling. It was great hanging out with my family in the warmth, and spending time in the water. When I got back, I went on my first snowshoeing adventure ever on Hood. I really like snowshoeing, it’s basically just like hiking in the snow, just it takes a lot more work!
This year was also full of Ping Pong. We have a table at work, and it’s rekindled my love of the game. I played some when I was a kid, but we have gotten pretty good and serious at work, and it’s been a pleasure upping my skills again.
A list of firsts for the year:
Things that I love that I did more of this year:
Things I love that I didn’t do so much of:
New things I want to try next year:
I’m sure I missed some stuff, but it was a year full of firsts, and I think I have gotten the most out of Oregon that I could. I chose to focus on my personal life this year instead of my professional life, and I think it’s worked out for the best. I have had an amazing year full of excellent activies outdoors.
I also saw a bunch of music this year, and met a bunch of awesome new people, and did a bunch of great things professionally, but I think the points worth remembering will be the parts above.
As a wise man once said: Work to Live, Don’t Live to work.