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| | |-+  Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
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Author Topic: Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style  (Read 3917 times)
ryanl
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Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
« on: 12/26/11, 02:00 PM »

It's been a few weeks, but I thought I'd post something since valuable lessons were learned. (photos are from a variety of people)

As most of you who knew her know, Monika would blossom each year right around the time snow began to fall in earnest. Her spring was everyone else's autumn, and spending time with her during this time of year was akin to watching a sunflower turn towards the sun. So it was with mixed emotions that I watched freezing levels drop and storms approach this year. I talked with friends, with family, with coworkers. I tried to keep myself busy. I read a book called "The Places that Scare You"  and promptly put a trip to Spider together.  Along the way I realized that one of the outcomes of Monika's death has been the sprouting and deepening of tremendous friendships.  A "fallow soil" sort of thing, I guess. In a gesture of cultivation I sent an email out a few weeks ago to various friends who have offered their shoulders, couches, and ears in the past year. I wanted to celebrate them. Word somehow got out that it was my birthday as well, and with my friends being the friends that they are, plans were made unbeknownst to me to celebrate in style. Sweet Stephanie making sweets:



Not surprisingly, not everyone could make it. Very surprisingly, 12 did. We assembled the Birthday Train at the Gare du Alpental late morning on Dec 11.



I've heard it said that people tend to adopt the mannerisms of the costumes they wear.



Or in my case, the cupcakes they eat. Me and Mini Me:



We'd originally planned to ski Roosevelt but opted instead to head up the Commonwealth. Like Autumn, the Commonwealth and Monika have become indelibly linked for me.  Pulling into the parking lot I shed a hidden tear in memory of that bluebird Tuesday in February.  But as the train left the station I couldn't help but embrace the magnificent comedy unfolding before my eyes:



I remember taking horse packing trips in Wyoming as a kid. One of the things I remember most about those trips were the lunch spots and campsites we found. Finding room for horses, mules, and people was no small feat. I bring the memory up because I couldn't help but think of that as our train made it's way up the Commonwealth:



Large trains require large quantities of fuel. We were prepared:



However, as surprising as it may seem, it took my 39th birthday to learn two lessons that many of you perhaps have learned already. The first being,

THIS



Quickly leads to THIS



And when continued unchecked invariably leads to THIS



The second lesson was more geographical than experiential. The Commonwealth lies south of Snoqualmie's East Sumnmit. Whereas the Middle Fork lies to the north. This second lesson took roughly 2000' to learn, and came at around 4 pm. 

Gregg took the news particularly poorly:



4 hours later we recrested Snoqualmie and I took my first sip of water for the day. My energy cocktail of hot spiced wine mixed with Canadian Whiskey had run dry. Perhaps not coincidently, the nausea that had developed during my stint at breaking trail quickly went away. I guess I learned a third lesson that day.

Luckily for us we had a spectucular moon, stars, low lying clouds, and not quite bitter cold to pair with our icy and treed descent back to our car. Only a few tears were shed, and I think I'm the only person who whined. Other than that we were all smiles. Thanks to everybody involved for making this a birthday I won't soon forget.

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Jason_H.
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Re: Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
« Reply #1 on: 12/26/11, 02:21 PM »

Even with the lessons, it was a good adventure and a great time out. Thanks for the write up.



More pics from the adventure: Ryan BDAY pics
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Zap
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Re: Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
« Reply #2 on: 12/26/11, 03:03 PM »

Great BDay gathering with friends.  Lesson 1 and 2 jogged a few memories.  Plus once we experienced lesson #3 - someone in our group realized as we were experiencing lesson #2 in the dark that they have a GPS buried in their pack.  Wink
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ron j
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Re: Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
« Reply #3 on: 12/26/11, 04:02 PM »

Looked like a fun bash Ryan. Good on ya. Wink
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"When I stop having fun I'm turnin' around"
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Gregg_C
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Re: Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
« Reply #4 on: 12/26/11, 06:08 PM »

My lesson was to always follow a Hummel and never a local or even a collection of locals.
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ryanl
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Re: Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
« Reply #5 on: 12/26/11, 07:12 PM »

My lesson was to always follow a Hummel and never a local or even a collection of locals.

Agreed. Make that 4 for me.
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Jason_H.
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Re: Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
« Reply #6 on: 12/26/11, 08:36 PM »

LOL. I don't know guys, I think the phrase, "Never follow a hummel," was introduced when I was the leader of one misadventure or another. Although, I do have a soft place for the opposite sentiment. It's one I could get used too.
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daveb
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Re: Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
« Reply #7 on: 12/28/11, 10:28 AM »

We laughed after reading this - the photographic evolution is great.  I'm going to laugh about this trip for a while.
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Vince Lamphier
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Re: Dec 11, 2011, The Birthday Tour- Snoqualmie Style
« Reply #8 on: 12/28/11, 05:43 PM »

Very funny! Thanks!
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