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My adventure season is officially over for 2018, which in no way means adventuring is over! But it’s time to differently prioritize. And really, it’s all adventure. I have returned to weekly 24-hour visits to my second home in Seattle for a one-on-one day with the littlest Little. This week’s day was so much fun.

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My women’s writing circle begins on Wednesday (legacy writing) and I’m going to a writing workshop on Lummi Island next weekend (legacy writing). When the rain begins (and it had better), I will return in earnest to slashing 50,000 words from my memoir as well as begin my next project: reading and transcribing three 3-inch binders of letters my aunt wrote to her folks during her years as an overseas nurse during WWII. Then figure out what to do with them and the hundreds of letters from my father. When my sister finishes transcribing my mother’s taped life stories, I will finish her book too. All of this is legacy work, the task of the phase of life I am in. Putting it all together, honoring my ancestors, may be mine.

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Meanwhile, oh my, the outdoor work that needs to happen to get ready for winter. So, you see, adventure of the traveling variety must play second fiddle for a few months. But not before I go to North Carolina in a week and a half to visit the Bigs and travel some familiar byways to see old friends.

It was an epic adventure season. In the past 26 weeks, I took 24 explores of my vast little corner of the country, including 13 hikes—11 of them new to me. I am pretty pleased with the achievement. Thank you for traveling with me; it wouldn’t have been the same without you. Next year, with a freedom I hadn’t been expecting this summer, I plan to begin expanding into a larger corner. Another winter project…making lists! Camping in the Redwoods is already on it.

I took a last unplanned hike after my trip with Mama to Paradise this week: I drove out the Stevens Canyon Road to Reflection Lakes and hiked the Lakes and High Lakes trail. I was only going to the Louise Lake overlook (it was my second hike of the day, after all), but when I got to that high spot, I realized I had done the hard part of the trail, and—what with my 4:30am start—the day was young. What the hey, I did the whole loop.

It wasn’t a top ten trail, but it was lovely, with Herself peeking in and out, small meadows and ponds. I startled a doe and two babes. I watched them a bit then moved on. One little one cut solo through the woods and met me around the corner. Like the chipmunk at Paradise, we stood silently heart-to-heart for several moments. The spirits of our loved ones are everywhere, when we are paying attention.

Au revoir extrovert summer, welcome introvert winter.

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Louise Lake

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Stevens Canyon

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