It's always fun to take a look back and remember all the wonderful adventures of the year!
We did a lot of hiking during the summer, along with a dozen visits to our local wildlife refuges here in Northern California. All of our trips in 2019 were special in their own way and I cherish the tons of photos and video we took, so it was tough to narrow it down to just ten!
Here they are...
10. Hat Creek Rim Overlook. Not only was this a beautiful drive, but when we arrived, there were colorful wildflowers growing everywhere and incredible views of Shasta and Lassen. What a lovely stop along the Pacific Crest Trail!
9. Paradise Meadow. Even though we hiked this trail a little too early for the wildflower bloom, the payoff was pretty and I enjoyed how the path followed along the creek.
8. Sheepy Ridge Wildlife Trail. This was our second time trekking up Sheepy Ridge and the views at the top were just as wonderful as I remembered.
7. Ridge Lakes. We also did a return hike to Ridge Lakes, and were able to compare how the different seasons transform the scenery. I swear, this lake has some of the most incredible reflections in all of the park!
6. Manzanita Lake. The walk around Manzanita Lake never disappoints. This year we had our first-ever Western Tanager, Pileated Woodpecker and Evening Grosbeak sightings.
5. Speaking of sightings, our Beaver sighting at the Codora Unit of the Sacramento River NWR was something I'll never forget!
4. Manzanita Creek Trail. This trail had a lot of wildflowers and the views at the end made the steep 7 mile round-trip hike totally worth it.
3. McCloud Falls. Oh boy, this was an awesome trail! We took the 5 mile round-trip hike and saw all three of the waterfalls, Upper, Middle and Lower McCloud Falls.
2. Brokeoff Mountain. This bad boy was a total beast and I still can't believe we made it all the way up to the top! There's definitely some truth to the whole "the higher you climb, the greater the views" thing.
Before we get to the Number One adventure of 2019, here are a few Honorable Mentions:
→ The purple wildflower superbloom at the Sacramento NWR
→ Driving through snow-covered Lassen VNP, right after the road opened
→ The Gray Lodge Wildlife Area wildflowers (what started Wildflower Wednesday)
→ Walking the Logan Creek Trail for the first time
All right, that brings us to my favorite adventure of the year! Drumroll please...
1. Mt. Harkness Fire Lookout Trail Loop. I loved the payoff of this hike, even more than Brokeoff! The views at the fire lookout were absolutely spectacular and I'm so glad we stuck with it and made it all the way to the top. Standing up there at over 8,000 feet made me feel more on top of the world than I've ever felt in my life.
Well, after this little trip down memory lane, I've got to say that we definitely made the most of 2019. I literally took thousands of photos and I'm so proud of the videos I made for my YouTube channel. Most of our hiking goals were accomplished and I'm thrilled to have made these memories with the love of my life. He definitely pushed me to climb higher, hike further and be the kind of strong, fearless woman I've always dreamed of being.
As for 2020, well, the sky is the limit...