I had the good fortune to get back to my old stomping grounds of the Pacific Northwest, and the better fortune to still have a great group of friends ready to get outside and see the world. With the winter winds a blowing and a generous amount of snow on the ground, the best thing to do was to strap on some skis and see where the took us.
The Tahoma Trail Association is National Forest gem, located just before Mt. Rainier National Park. Its sits at relatively low elevation (great for quick trips), and has an extensive network of ski-able fire roads and trails. But its shining grace it the sleep system, a number of well-equipped yurts and huts that are open throughout the day for snacks, and if you're lucky to snag a reservation, to spend a cozy night. An aggressive, mostly uphill ski through fog, snow flurries and some fresh pow left us at the Yurt, stoked to find a fully equipped kitchen, propane stove and couches. Beer time!
Libations and laughter ensued. My least favorite part of winter camping has always been the camping part, so to have a true destination was a treat. Nothing feels better than taking off your boots at the end of the day, and not only did the yurt make that easy, but it was quick to boil water, and stock full of card games, and the best game to go with good company and cheap beer, Jenga. The Jenga was even National Parks edition Jenga, with fun facts written on every piece...
They say you sleep better outdoors, I can now attest that the translates to yurts as well. We awoke with a hankering for fresh air and expansive views. Luckily, the grey skies of the day before had cleared, leaving only a low-hanging fog below impressive snow-capped mountains.
A hearty breakfast of strong coffee, pancakes, bacon and eggs (seriously, yurt life and kitchen is the real deal) and we were on our way. A rain and freeze the day before had left the snow a bit crusty for our rental not quite backcountry skis, but that wasn't enough to stop the shred. We cruised until the snow turned to ice then to mud and finally kicked out the skis for pb and j's and the shockingly short drive back to Seattle. Another good getaway in the memory bank.