Hike | The Wallowas

Trail: Wallowa River Loop (West Fork to Lake Basin to Glacier Lake)

Dates: 9/1 to 9/3 (3 days, 2 nights)

Milage: 28 miles, round trip

Day 01. West Fork to Lake Basin, camped around Horseshoe Lake (11 miles)

Day 02. Lake Basin to Glacier Lake, camped at Six Mile Meadow (11+ miles)

Day 03. West Fork out to trailhead (6+ miles)

Pre-hydration: noodles, sauce ‘leather’ & fresh basil from my garden, and ground turkey.

I’ve had some really great backpacking trips this summer and this is most likely my last trip before grad school starts!!! 

Ever since we picked $80 worth of peaches last month, I’ve been on a dehydrated food kick (it takes almost 36 hours to dehydrate peaches!!). From my bike camping days of bringing fresh produce and making miso soup and also because there’s all together too much sodium in camp meals for me – I wanted to try making my own. I found ‘’ to be really helpful and I used their spaghetti how-to as a guide. I opted for lean, ground turkey instead of beef. It was super easy to cook and dehydrate, but next time I’ll add breadcrumbs to the ground meat, as it’s suppose to help rehydration (both time and texture). The biggest challenge was getting all the noodles to fit in the pot. I was using a fairly small, lightweight pot and adding the noodles in small handfuls. But, I will note I’ve never seen noodles rehydrate so quick (capellini noodles ftw)! Definitely adding spaghetti into my camp food rotation.

Another food win was Tea Drops pepermint tea. I love tea, I always want to drink it and especially after an all day hike. Tea Drops dissolve in the hot water, so there’s no wet tea back to hike out with! Also, they’re delicious (which is more than I can say for most of the instant coffees I drink in the morning).

Pasta success! Don’t forget the parmesan cheese.
Hammock, how have I camped so long w/o you?!

I got a hammock via REI outlet at the start of summer. The first time I took it out, I failed to have the suspension straps, oops. But, this time I purchased suspension straps, bringing the total weight of the hammock to just over a lb (6.5 oz + straps at 11oz). Why haven’t I been hammock-ing this whole time?!! Super easy to ‘set up’ and it is pretty amazing to lay down without enduring rocks, weird angles, and general discomfort out in the woods. Also, it’s the perfect way to watch the stars on the rare occasion that I can stay awake to see them. On a friend’s recommendation, got a packable down blanket that is perfect for hanging out in the hammock.

Moccasin Lake, also perfect for a dip.

The route is great, as there’s diverse scenery to pass through — from meadows, mountains, basins, and lakes. I would recommend doing the loop in the direction we did, as the second climb to Horseshoe is a bit steep, but short and probably way less fun to descend. There are also quiet a few stream crossings, but nothing wild at this time of year (late summer/fall). We encountered less than a handful of bugs, thank goodness, and they didn’t interfere with our dinner or stargazing. Didn’t even need to use the bug spray. The only drawback is the abundant horse shit peppered along the start of the trail, but as far as that goes — it’s tolerable. Also, there’s no potable water or toilets — so bring a water filter and tp (and practice good etiquette!).

I definitely want to come back. There are so many beautiful lakes to swim in, by which I mean do like two strokes and a quick head dunk and then get out because it’s cold AF. Dogs are allowed on the trail and everyone had their doggies with! We met the chillest 4 year old blue heeler and their owner reassured me that when he was a pup, he destroyed everything, but calmed down and stopped chewing around 1 year. Whew! Next year, Tepals will hopefully be ready to go on an adventure like this and I look forward to maybe doing 4 days, with one day fully dedicated to swimming, fishing, and laying in the sun. If you backpack with your dog or backcountry fish – please tell me everything you know!

I love this handmade swim suit by Lily Smith, out of Olympia, WA.

Raelyn and Reed hanging out on the trail.
Here we are!

Doggie Bandana

I love Wildebeest‘s doggie collar bandanas, especially the use of the Arroyo fabric collection! I snagged one on sale for Teeps … full grown, future Teeps. In the meantime, I want her to get use to wearing a bandana. Tepals has outgrown her puppy harness, and with little resale value, I cut off the arms of the harness, leaving me with a buckle collar. Here are the following steps I took to make the bandana piece:

  1. I traced the Wildebeest bandana and then took off 1″ on all sides, to make the total width 10″.  I had to redraw the angles to make the 10″ width work.
  2. This is a good project to use up some fabric scraps. I decided on a chambray solid for one side and an illustrated meats fabric for the other (from Cool Cottons). Tepals is a little sausage shaped dog, so it seemed fitting. Cut each fabric to size — make sure that you cut out opposite sides to allow for the right-sides to face out on the finished bandana.
  3. Hem the raw edges, folding over once about 1/4″.
  4. Put the wrong-sides together/facing in and edge-stitched, leaving 1″ on the flat sides to allow for the collar to be ‘threaded’ through. I chose not to attach the collar to the bandana to make it easier to remove + wash, as needed.
  5. Sew a horizontal line across the bandana, below where the collar sits. This helps the bandana to fold in half, as well as keep the 2 pieces of fabric attached at the fold.

I wanted to note that I’m not including a PDF or pattern, as I based this off an existing design that is available for purchase from an awesome, small business — which I would encourage you to support, if you have the means. There are also a lot of free patterns on Pinterest (search ‘dog bandana’). A free pattern or just the measurements is a great jumping off point for drawing up your own pattern, too.


Ogden Cami | No.1, No. 2

Pattern: Ogden Cami by True Bias

++ No. 1 ++

Fabric: Medium weight, white linen from Fabrics-Store

Size: 4

Modifications: none

The pattern is clearly written with great instructions and diagrams. It was a breeze to work with and easily a project that can be sewn in one sitting, if desired. I’ve really been enjoying completing garments over several days – with one day for tracing the paper pattern (because I work with digital patterns) & washing/ironing fabric, next cutting the fabric, and then day by day sewing a page or two of instructions until the garment is done.

The finished product is a bit tight across the shoulders and chest. This might be because I was working with a medium weight linen and the pattern recommends a lighter weight fabric. But the piece is still comfortable and easy to wear.

++ No. 2 ++

Fabric: Black silk noil from Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics

Size: 6


  • Retraced a size 6 pattern for added ease/width, but kept size 4 neckline, as I didn’t want to increase the v-neck height
  • Used size 6 straps, but ended up removing a 1/2″ from the length. Will use size 4 straps next time around
  • Finished seams with ‘false’ french seams

I went up a size, in hopes of having more ease for movement in my finished garment. I mainly wanted increased width, and so I decided to keep size 4 for length both at the neckline and bottom hem. Overall, I’m really happy with the fit – especially because I didn’t make a muslin either time, but this time I was working with fabric I considered precious.

I was a bit intimidated to sew with silk noil for the first time. Both because it has ‘silk’ in its name, and also because the price tag is a bit higher than on other fabrics I work with. That said, I still went for it because I own a couple other pieces (hello all things Jamie + the Jones), the size modifications I was making were minor, and I love the feeling/quality/elegance/durability of wearing silk noil. This Fiber Friday post from Fancy Tiger reassured me that it’s like sewing with a sturdy and easy cotton. And, I found that to be true! I didn’t have any issues working with the fabric — it was as easy as could be and now I have a tank top that would easily be $100 retail for the cost of fabric, my time, + the pattern. Worth it!

Also, wanted to mention not only does Stonemountain has an awesome selection of fabrics, but they even refunded me half the amount of shipping because it ended up costing less than what I had originally paid for shipping!


Hike | Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainer

Trail: Wonderland Trail, Mt. Rainer N’tl Park

Dates: 7/20 to 7/23 (3 days, 2 nights)

Mileage: 20 miles

Alpine glow

Day One: Box Canyon Trailhead to Indian Bar (7 miles)

Day Two: Indian Bar to White River Campground (10 miles)

Day Three: White River to Sunrise Visitor Center (3 miles)

This hike was beautiful and I cannot believe that it’s taken me this long to visit Mount Rainer. There’s definitely some elevation gain that was strenuous on this route, but overall so worth it!

Bugs were minimal – I made it thru with only 3 bug bites, which has to be a record! We ran into the most bugs as we were just starting to ascend out of the forest around Box Canyon trail. I did come prepared this trip with 30% DEET bug spray, that I only had to use once along that section of trail.

Indian Bar group campsite
Mt. Rainer cloaked in clouds.
Day 2 – view after climbing something like 1,500 ft in elevation
Mama + baby bear!!
Wahoo – we did it!
Stephen and Margo and my ice cream cone.

// Plant List //

Listing everything I remember seeing in bloom, since I didn’t have time to take a photo of everything, sadly. Also, Mt. Rainer has this awesome wildflower guide!


  • American Bistort – In my head, I always call it ‘buckwheat’ even though it’s not | Polygonum bistortoides
  • (pictured) Avalanche Lily – whole fields of it!! | Erythronium montanum (Liliaceae)
  • Bear Grass | Xerophyllum tenax
  • Bracted Lousewort, more commonly Wood Betony – really understated and beautiful green, tallest lousewort spp. at Rainer | Pedicularis bracteosa (Orobanchaceae)
  • Broadleaf Lupine | Lupinus latifolius
  • Elephant’s Head – only a couple in flower | Pedicularis groenlandica (Orobanchaceae)
  • Gray’s Lovage – kept seeing this one, but wasn’t sure which carrot fam. plant it was | Ligusticum grayi (Apiaceae)
  • Jeffrey’s Shooting Star | Dodecatheon jeffreyi
  • Orange Paintbrush – usually this is the one I see, but only saw a handful | Castilleja miniata
  • Pink Paintbrush – so much, esp. at Sunrise, but also Indian Bar | Castilleja parviflora
  • Sitka valerian | Valeriana sitchensis (Caprifoliaceae)
  • Thistle | Cirsium edule
  • White-flowered Sickletop Lousewort | Pedicularis racemosa, ssp. alba (Orobanchaceae)
  • (pictured) ‘Yeti’s Toe’ or common name, Pasqueflower or Western Anemone – saw this in flower & seed (looks fluffy like the toe of a yeti) | Anemone occidentalis

Trailside / Mid-lower elevation

  • Bunchberry | Cornus canadensis
  • Candystick | Allotropa virgata () – pasting this from Mt. Rainer’s guide because it’s so cool!

Completely lacking green leaves, this plant grows as a single stem marked with red and white stripes. Each flower has red-brown sepals but no petals, and underneath each flower is a small scale-like leaf. Candystick are mycotrophic, which means instead of using photosynthesis to get energy, they form a complicated three-way relationship with fungus and coniferous fir trees to survive. The candystick draws energy from the fungus associated with its roots. The fungus in turn derives energy from tapping into the roots of fir trees. With no need for the sun, candystick can be found in shady, deep woods.

  • Crimson Columbine | Aquilegia formosa
  • Devils Club | Oplopanax horridus (Araliaceae)
  • Foamflower | Tiarella trifoliata
  • Goat’s Beard | Aruncus dioicus
  • Kinnikinnick or Bearberry | Arctostaphylos uva-ursi
  • Pippsissewa | Chimaphila umbellata
  • Pinesap – also a mycotrophic plant | Monotropa hypopithys
  • Slender Bog Orchid | Platanthera stricta
  • Tiger Lily | Lilium columbianum (Liliaceae)
  • lots + lots of Vanilla Leaf lining the lower elev. trails | Achlys triphylla
  • Western Coralroot – a saprotroph plant, I’ll have to pay closer attention between Candystick, Pinesap, & this plant next time I’m out | Corallorhiza mertensiana
  • Wild Strawberry | Fragaria vesca (Rosaceae)

You can also check reported wildflower statuses at Rainer’s website too – the coolest!

Avalanche Lily in bloom and seed.
Western Anemone ‘Yeti’s Toe’ and Paintbrush

Esther Shorts | No. 2

Pattern: Esther Shorts by Tessuti Fabrics

Fabric: Super soft, lush rust colored corduroy from Bolt

Size: 8

Modifications: none

Finished these back in April or May, but just getting around to posting now.  I bought this fabric on a whim, essentially dragging my visiting sister in to check out Bolt (local fabric shop) with no intentions of purchasing anything. But, immediately upon spotting this corduroy, I knew I’d have to make up some Esther shorts. I’m always amazed that you can find matching thread, buttons, + zippers for whatever color fabric you might be working with!

Button + Zipper detail | Cropped tank by Simka Sol

I always get tripped up on steps 9 and 10 – so I made this lo-fi drawing to help my future self + some directions.

Step 9: Take a front and back panel piece that is already joined at one vertical/side seam. Fold it in half, with the right sides facing. This will leave the two short vertical/side seams aligned => this is the seam you want to sew together (just like the instructions say “Sew from crotch to hem …”). You will still have two separate leg circles at this point. do not sew the left + right leg panels together to create a mega tube!!!

Step 10: Now that you have 2 legs, keep one inside out/wrong sides out and one right sides out. Take the right side out leg and but it inside on the wrong sides out leg. Now align the J shaped seam (ie. the seat/crotch seams) and sew these together.

Me + Tepals. Here she makes a smiley winky dog face.

Also, meet Tepals, my blue heeler pup. She’s about 4 months old now, though she came home with us at 7 weeks! She’s a goofball/lovebug/pigwolf. I’ve been thinking about writing a post about what it’s like as a first time dog owner getting a puppy because I know I researched the shit out of it before I got her. Really I just wanted to now how fiscally irresponsible it was to get a dog when I was about to make a big life transition from full time work to full time student. We’re making it work and I can’t think of a better time to watch her grow and learn and train.


Next projects:

  • I want to revisit 100 Acts of Sewing Pant No. 1 and make matching top and bottom in an ikat or print of some sort.
  • I’m also curious about the Persephone pants and always wanting to make ALL the dresses (so many to choose from – how will I ever decide?!!)
  • Currently + finally, I am making my first Ogden Cami in white linen. Inspired to loosely recreate this outfit, I’m looking for a classic a-line skirt with a button front to pair with my Ogden


Hike | Santiam Lake

Trail: Santiam Lake

Dates: 6/23 to 6/24 (out & back, one night trip)

This was a really nice/approachable/easy one night backpacking trip. We drove down from Portland, leaving the city around 8A and arriving at the trailhead at 10:30A. We hiked in and set up camp by 2:30/3P. The start of the hike is through an old burn (see bear grass photo below) and with elevation, it transitions to open forest and sub-alpine meadows. The snow pack is almost completely melted out. There were only a handful of snow patches ‘obstructing’ the path, as we reached Santiam Lake. The lake is most likely a shallow one, as the water was warm by Oregonian standards (those of us use swimming in what feels like recent snow melt or the Pacific Ocean). I loved swimming in this lake. The only downside was the hordes of mosquitoes that follow you once you get out of the lake/set up camp/try to sit in camp and enjoy the view of Three Fingered Jack. So bring a swim suit, towel, and a bug net (seriously, or a bee keeper suit). Also, open to recommendations on how other hikers, dog owners, herbalists, anyone deals with the ever increasing presence of mosquitos on their camp trips.

The hike is dog friendly and we saw a lot of happy dogs hiking and enjoying the swimming, too. Once Tepals is ready for an overnight trip, this will be one of the first we get her acclimated on.


Featured photo credit: Reed Lehto


Xerophyllum tenax | Myself + Reed (photo credit: Margo)

A whole, glorious meadow of Dodecatheon alpium or what I call rocket ship flower | I think this is a baby Pediucularis groenlandica, but id help appreciated 😀


++ Plant List ++

  • Alpine shooting star | Dodecatheon alpium (Primulaceae)
  • Pedicularis spp. – most likely Pedicularis groenlandica + racemosa
  • Beargrass in bloom | Xerophyllum tenax (Melanthiaceae)
  • Pink mountain-heather | Phyllodoce empetriformis (Ericaceae)
    • Genus is named for a sea nymph, custom started by Carl Linnaeus, father of the binary naming system for plants
  • Hellebore | Veratrum viride (Liliaceae)
    • So many ethnobotanical uses but one to be very aware of as it is extremely poisonous. Ingesting a small amount of this plant can result in loosing conciousness followed by death – eek!
  • Sitka valerian | Valeriana sitchensis (Caprifoliaceae)
  • Lyall’s anemone | Anemone lyallii (Ranunuculaceae)
    • Not a 100% on this id, but seems likely based on visual id & sub-alpine ecology
  • not pictured & not in berry yet – Littleleaf huckleberry | Vaccinium scoparium (Ericaceae)


Also, not sure on this one, but I think it’s Anemone lyallii | Valeriana sitchensis

Veratrum viride | Phyllodoce empetriformis



Maya Top | No. 2

Inspired by the Hackwith Designs’ Chandler Top and having some extra fabric on hand from my Wiksten tank dress last summer, I decided to sew up another Maya Top.

Pattern: Maya Top by Marilla Walker

Fabric: cotton stripe from Bolt

Size: 4


  • Size up two sizes for the sleeves, to size 6 (redrew lines with a french curve)
  • Straight, cropped hem
  • Added a pocket
  • No facings for neck or sleeves – used 22″ bias for neck


Close up of neckline bias

The Maya top in all it’s glory.

After a month of wearing this top, sizing up wasn’t necessary. It makes the shirt feel a little boxier than it needs to, especially when layering a sweater or jacket on top. Overall, I’m really happy with this shirt. It’s easy to wear and I always love the addition of a striped shirt in my wardrobe.

Future Maya Top Projects: If I find a fabric that is a bit closer in design to the Hackwith inspiration, I will probably do a size 3, add extra length to the hem (about 3-4″), & keep the size up for the sleeves while also, increasing the sleeve length (2-3″).

I’m interested in trying Named Clothing’s Inari Top. The dress version looks elegant & a little slimmer in profile than the Maya top dress. It might be the excuse I need to finally purchase some silk noil from Stone Mountain Fabrics.

A bonus – put the garden beds to rest for winter today & harvested the last of our summer produce.


Summer of Basics | City Gym Shorts

My third and final piece for the Summer of Basics line up. I didn’t follow my plan to the T, but instead adjusted to what I found myself wanting to wear or wishing was in my wardrobe on all these hot summer days. These shorts have been on my to-make list for a few years now and are so cute! I was hopeful they’d be my new go-to for lounging at home, running errands, trying to live in this new Portland 90+ degree weather, as the whole west coast goes up in flames, etc.

Pattern: City Gym Shorts by Purl Soho

Fabric: various scraps (Robert Kaufman chambray, ikat, cotton dots) from Bolt & Fabric Depot

Size: 33-34″

I really wanted these shorts to work out, but unfortunately, the fit is perfect in the elastic waist and too tight in the seat. I didn’t make a muslin and jumped straight in cutting & sewing from fabric scraps I had from other completed projects. I probably wouldn’t have had enough to accommodate a larger size, if I chose it. Sizing up and then adding darts to back panel to narrow the waist to 34″, might have yielded a better fit. Or possibly keeping the front panel at the 33″ size & the back panel a size up to 35″ with a custom length waistband.

I really like the panels & bias in this pattern. It’s a great opportunity to play with color & pattern, which I usually shy away from. Also, this was my first time making bias tape from scratch. I learned via YouTube how to fold fabric to easily cut lots of bias tape. I loved how quickly these shorts sew up, but I’m still hesitant to try again sizing up and modifying. Mostly because I hate having finished garments I can’t wear when I have so much anticipation to finish so I can wear it immediately!

But maybe after I finish my next project, I’ll size up and give these shorts another go. Also, if you want these shorts – they’re yours 😀 Comment or message me.

Inspiration: @notaprimarycolor

The moment of truth – once I threaded the elastic thru the waist band I tried the shorts on. They looked kind of tiny the whole time I was sewing, but since I went off my low hip measurements, I was hopeful. No luck this time.


Summer of Basics | Esther Shorts

I’m really happy to have these shorts as part of my summer wardrobe! For my next pair, I’ll choose a slightly heavier weight fabric, maybe linen, in either chambray or black/patterned.

Pattern: Esther Shorts by Tessuti Fabrics

Fabric: Robert Kaufman Kona Cottons from Fabric Depot

Size: 8

Modifications: none

The fabric is lighter weight than what I envisioned, resulting in some front-butt. But, hey, check out that button detail!


This is the first time I’ve ever made shorts, so I didn’t make any modification and followed the pattern as precisely as I could. I’m pleased with the overall fit without any alteration. I did struggle with the directions—without diagrams I found myself re-reading thru all the directions often to make sure I wasn’t absent-mindedly missing a step or working on the wrong pattern piece.

Initially I sewed the back darts the same on both back pieces because there is no wrong/right side to the Kona cotton fabrics. So when I went to connect the two back pieces, I realized I needed to take out and re-do one dart.

I also learned how to use a zigzag stitch in place of an overlocking stitch, which I don’t have on my sewing machine (a Bernette Seville 4). I used the invisible zipper, button, and button hole feet all for the first time! It was pretty rewarding to watch how-to’s on YouTube and find it was as easy to reproduce on my own. Overall, the Esther Shorts come together quickly and are great for sewists of any skill-level.


Finally, I have shorts to go with my crop tops!

Have you sewn up some Esther Shorts? I’d love to hear about what modification, questions, challenges, etc. you ran into in the comments 🙂


Hike: Mt. Adams


North Ridge – North Cleaver, Mt. Adams, Washington



Karl at basecamp


Night Before. Drive to Trout Lake, WA. Get permits ($15 ea. for the weekend) + poop bags. Camp off road for an early start.

Day 1. Drive to trailhead + park (Divide Camp). Hike to basecamp at 8,000 ft – it’s a long 4+ miles.

Day 2. Wake up at 4A. Summit to 12,000 ft. Pack up. Hike out. Drive home. Eat pizza.



Karl + Flint at Killen Meadow



  • Crampons
  • Ice axe
  • Stiff-soled hiking boots (I have Asolo Fissures)
  • Gators
  • Trekking poles
  • All means of sun protection (sunblock, sun or mountaineering glasses, brimmed hat, light weight long sleeve, buff/neck cover)
  • Chapstick (preferably with SPF)
  • Hydration pack or water bottle(s) – at least 2 liters, gotta stay hydrated!


Everything Else

  • Rock climbing helmet
  • All the Shot Bloks
  • Loads of trail bars, snacks, calorie-dense dinner
  • Sleeping bag + pad
  • Tent
  • Day pack
  • Hiking backpack
  • Stove, fuel, cook wear, spork
  • Head lamp
  • First aid kit (inc. moleskin, athletic tape, ibuprofen, hand sanitizer)
  • Clothing (2x wool t-shirts, light weight long sleeve to block sun, hiking pants, 2x wool socks, 2x underwear)
  • Shell jacket – preferably Gore-tex 3L to block harsh winds (loves my Marmot Spire)
  • Down puffy jacket
  • Gloves/mittens
  • Toothbrush + paste
  • Utility tool or knife
  • Toilet paper + priority mail envelope (pro-tip from Andrew. To keep shit from leaking on your other shit.)
  • Camera + extra battery



View of Mt. Adams glacier from 10,500 ft and Smelowskia ovalis at 8,000 ft.


Mt. Adams was an awesome and exciting, perhaps too exciting, first venture into mountaineering. I learned how to glissade, self-arrest, and use crampons. The diverse terrain of the summit route along the north ridge keeps it interesting. At points, I self-belayed with an ice axe on a steep snow field, bouldered and scrambled the higher rock ledges, and generally had a hard time keeping my breathe once we hit 10,500 ft elev. At this point, strapped for time and air, myself, Ray, & our guide-in-chief Andrew (who’d already summited this route a few years ago) decided to start our descent back to camp. Reed and Karl, fueled purely by shot bloks, pushed on to the summit & descended about 2 hours behind us.

There were definitely moments of extreme discomfort where the terrain pushed my comfort level to various degrees. Mainly, looking behind/below me and seeing only a steep drop. The idea of sliding off a mountain became a real possibility in my mind. Tongue in cheek, we kept saying “hashtag celebrate discomfort.” While I find this obnoxious, the point isn’t lost on me. I can’t think of another time or activity that has forced me to practice mindfulness, tested my physicality, and involved so much calculated risk, all simultaneously. While my internal mantra was, “You never have to do this again, so do it now” I realize now, at home, that I will do this again and again.

Lessons learned – I’m always grumpy on the hike out & questioning why I do this to myself. Also, I need to cut weight in my pack, which weighed about 32lbs. My Costco bargain (a High Sierra pack) has treated me well, but it’s time to shed a pound and get a pack that fits. Even more so for my current synthetic sleeping bag – which weights 4lbs, but could weight 1lb if I throw down $200 for a new down bag. And not least, everyone’s butt chaffs – so there’s a fun thing to trade stories about with your friends.

Andrew at golden hour

Rachael + the lavender mt. range

I only care about sunset photos


Bye sun!