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2017 in Review

by Amanda Phillips

I love the opportunity that a new year brings to look back and reflect on the previous year. This year has been a  big one in many ways, lots of time spent outside, the birth of this blog and with challenges like shin splints and moving. I put together a little timeline of our year, plus a few of my favorite highlights. So long 2017!

Best Of

Best Swim: Marten Creek Waterfall

Best Reading Spot: Boulder River Trail

Most Accurate Backpacking capture: Dome Camp

Worst Blisters + Best Nap: Copper Ridge Loop

Best Mountain Selfie: Artist Point

Best Bridge: Copper Creek Loop

Best Instagram Vs. Real Life Moment: Glacier Basin

Best Overnight Campsite: Shi Shi Beach

Shi Shi

Most Valuable Gear: underwood wine in a can

Best Self-timer Fail: Middle Fork Snoqualmie River

Year In Review 2017


Source Lake

  • We started with a New Years tradition of snowshoeing and talking about our year.

Glacier Vista

  • I took my lovely mother to Paradise at Mt. Rainier for her first visit. We wandered around snowy fields and were treated with splendid views of Mt. Rainier. It was so lovely to spend the day with her outside and show her somewhere that means a lot to me. Excited to share the outdoors with more people in 2018!

Hex Mountain

  • Michael and I did Hex Mountain in Salmon La Sac. With a huge inversion layer, the lake was covered in a mist and the views from the top were fantastic. This goes on my list of favorite snowshoe trips so far!

  • We participated in the women’s march in Seattle. While a bit different from our normal hikes, this was an incredible moment in history and felt wonderful to stand up with so many inspiring women against the injustices waged against women by this current government.

  • Our last trip of the month was to Valhalla–our second attempt to make it to the lake. We did officially make it to the saddle above Valhalla, but the weather was so poor and visibility close to zero that we didn’t realize we were looking at the lake until we returned home and consulted our maps. A long road walk in the rain made this one of my least favorite snowshoes to date.


  • I caught a cold in February, that managed to stick around for much of the month. Add to that my cousin’s wedding and we didn’t manage to get outside once in the month of February. Still, it was a lovely month of wonderful life events.
  • The plan for Every Two Pines was born and I spent most of February building this site!




Lake Kelcema

  • We managed to sneak in one last snowshoe for the season to Lake Kelcema.


  • Our first backpacking trip of 2017–we went to Shi Shi Beach. Despite pouring down rain for the entirety of our drive, we managed to hit the trail the moment the rain stopped and enjoyed the perfect sunset.

  • We spent a weekend on the Olympic Peninsula with my entire family in one big cabin. A big chunk of the day was spent reading Harry Potter aloud to each other as we sat on the porch watching the rain fall on the water.
  • I began running again, and my shin splint issues began to build


  • Our second backpacking trip of the season to Lily Lake brought my shin splint issues to a head. We were happy to be spending the night outside, but in a whole lot of pain for such a short trip.

  • The next day I left for a week at on a boat, surveying the Puget Sound for work. It is my favorite week of the year, and despite needing to ice my leg every hour, it was a wonderful week.

  • We continued to try and find outdoor activities to enjoy Seattle’s amazing May weather, without impacting my shins, so we did a little kayaking on South Lake Union
  • Unable to complete a three-day backpacking trip as planned, Meg and I took a three-day road trip around the Olympic Peninsula instead. We enjoyed hanging out on uncle’s dock, more kayaking and a day at Lake Cushman–plus so many oysters!


  • One of my goals for 2017 was to boulder outdoors for the first time. When Never Stop Moving had an outdoor bouldering clinic, I jumped at the chance to learn the (lack of) ropes in outdoor climbing!

Waterfall over mossy rocks on Boulder River Trail

  • Near the end of June, after 1.5 months off of the trail from the Shin Splint Injury, we went to Boulder River. I was only able to hike 2-ish flat miles, but was so thrilled to be outside hiking again.

Thanks for the photo Phil!

  • I had the outdoor bouldering bug! I took a few friends to Leavenworth to work on a few boulder problems.


  • Enjoyed a relaxing 4th of July with friends and fireworks.

  • We went to Glacier Basin for a slightly longer hike. With incredible views of Mt. Rainier, it was amazing to see such dramatic landscapes even when I couldn’t hike very far.

  • Meg and I went to Marten Lake and Otter Falls for my first backpacking trip since Lily Lake. The swimming was amazing and we had the whole lake to ourselves. We were even able to use a waterfall as a waterslide at Marten Creek.

  • We took two friends on their first backpacking trip at Cispus Basin and I returned to one of my favorite campsites.  


  • Spent some lovely summer days with family

  • We managed to visit Mt. Rainier another time to see the wildflowers at Summerland. We climbed up to Panhandle Gap for some incredible views. 
  • Michael and I managed to go on our first backpacking trip with just the two of us since Lily Lake when we went to Waptus Lake. Despite feeling sick, we had a lovely time with a bunch of rainbows. 
  • Meg and I took a mid-week backpacking trip Mt. St. Helens.

  • Michael and I did the biggest route we have done so far when we finished the Copper Ridge Loop in three days. We saw our first bears up close, Michael’s first time seeing spawning salmon and lots of lovely views. It also came with some rather extreme pain as a body spent recovering from shin splints all summer was not quite ready for a trip of this magnitude.


  • We took a trip to ocean shores with my grandparents. 
  • We were looking for a short hike after the long copper ridge loop at the end of August. 4-mile Blue Lake in the North Cascades was perfect! With azure water and larches that were just starting to turn, for such a short hike, it was spectacular.


  • Hoping for more larches, we went to Colchuck Lake. The larches did not disappoint! Despite the crowds we found some solitude and sunshine.
  • After a few months of apartment hunting, we moved! We found a lovely apartment in Ballard and most of October involved packing up the old place and unpacking the new.


  • We took a hike to Melakwa Lake. This was to be our last hike before snowshoe season, but with the heavy snow, it could have been a snowshoe! With icy waterfalls and monochrome snowy vistas, it was a great introduction to winter.

  • I participated in Discover Science at the Seattle Aquarium to teach kids about marine research. We brought our remotely operated vehicle and let kids simulate driving it underwater.



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  • For our first proper snowshoe of the season, Michael and I headed to paradise to hike Mazama Ridge. We had poor visibility and managed to get off route. With Narada falls as a consolation prize, things were still pretty great!

  • Meg and I went to Artist Point for a sunny snowshoe with views for days.
  • We fully moved into our apartment and finished our gear closet. I love it desperately.

  • We celebrated our Christmas Eve (two days late) snowshoe to Commonwealth Basin.


Happy New Year!


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Meg December 29, 2017 - 7:19 pm

In retrospect: Wow.

Amanda Phillips December 30, 2017 - 6:28 pm

Seriously. It was a good year, can’t wait for 2018!

Kattie December 29, 2017 - 9:09 pm

This blog post was Gigi’s bedtime story tonight. Thank you for sharing your adventures and beautiful photography, Gigi wants to join you on a hike as soon as she is big enough! Xoxox

Amanda Phillips December 30, 2017 - 5:57 pm

Awe I love that! I would love to bring Gigi on some hikes!

Kathy December 30, 2017 - 2:37 pm

Exquisite photography! What an amazing wonderland we live in!

Amanda Phillips December 30, 2017 - 5:57 pm

Thank you so much! It truly is a wonderful place.

Harpreet December 31, 2017 - 11:58 am

So much of awesomeness!! Happy New year!

Leimomi December 31, 2017 - 12:58 pm

Inspiring. Thank you for introducing these trails to explore.

Ashli January 1, 2018 - 2:34 pm

Great post! I love how you have the infographics at the top. Also, if you don’t mind me asking – what camera do you use?

Amanda Phillips January 1, 2018 - 5:26 pm

Thanks so much! I use a sony a6000 with the 16-50mm kit lens. I love it!

Hilary January 2, 2018 - 11:33 am

Looks like a fun year! I can’t wait to explore my new Seattle home and perhaps follow in some of your footsteps!



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