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Summer adventures

Four items off my summer bucket list

Exhilarating zip line/challenge courses run through Northwest Trek's breathtaking tree canopy and zip liners surge through the sky. It’s a wild adventure for the entire family. Photo courtesy Deep Forest Challenge

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You know that friend? The one who comes over for a party but doesn't have a clue it's long past time to leave? Having had too much to drink, they rant about some mean ex and keep raiding the fridge. No. End. In. Sight. Well this week I'm on pins and needles waiting to see if the great ankle fiasco of 2016 will be this friend or will leave nicely at the appropriate time. In the mean time, I've been compiling a list of things I wanted to do this summer - a summer to do list. A few of them are do-able with the ankle, and I promise to write about them when I do, but many will have to wait until next year. Pretending this is how I'm going to spend the rest of my summer helps me cope.

Whitewater Rafting: On the Olympic Peninsula, of course. Olympic Raft and Kayak offers guided rafting trips down the Elwah and Sol Doc rivers. The rapids are only Class II-III, but the Olympic Peninsula is one of my favorite places on the planet, so sign me up. Their prices are pretty affordable too. Complete information at

Northwest Trek and Zipline: I haven't been to Northwest Trek since I was a kid on a field trip. But the new zipline course they opened last year is supposed to be awesome. Animals up close and personal, plus zipping through the canopy like a bird in flight? Count me in. Bonus? If you go to the Point Defiance Zoo & Aquarium first, your used ticket is good for a buy one get one free entrance at Northwest Trek. Be prepared though. The zipline isn't cheap. Complete information at

Mt. Saint Helens: Confession time. I've lived here all my life and never been to Mt. Saint Helens. Scandalous I know. Besides hitting up the visitor center, I'd like to do some hikes. A good one to see the crater, and the Ape Caves/Lava tubes. Yes people. You can hike underground, in pitch black, through lava tubes. Be sure to read up, take flashlights and extra batteries, and take your spirit of adventure!

The Gondola at Crystal Mountain: This one I've done but it's too good to pass up. Crystal Mountain runs their ski lift/gondola in the summer months, providing access to the upper area for lunching, viewing of Mt. Rainier, and some great hiking. I went with family so I didn't get to hike but I've been itching to go back ever since. It's a terrific introduction to our corner of the world and the views are unbeatable. Complete information at

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