When Hikers Travel

This last weekend I rendezvoused with my friend Sam B. in Yakima, WA. Sam is from Idaho and wanted to get together and do some wine tasting, so we split the difference at met for the weekend in Yakima (although she had a much longer drive to be sure). 

Although the focus of our trip was to hit several of the numerous wineries in central Washington, Sam is also a big fan of hiking and the outdoors and knew that I would want to explore as well, so both days incorporated some exploration outside of wine tasting. I guess that’s what makes you a hiker and not just someone who enjoys hiking–the draw to find new trails and get some mileage under your boots is a constant presence, especially when traveling to new places. In hindsight, I don’t think there has been a recent trip where I didn’t find some excuse to get out to a park, hillside, or legitimate trail for at least a little while. Not only is it wonderful to stretch your legs after being in a car or on a plane for so long, but it also lets you experience the climate of the new place and engage more of your senses (taking in what you feel, what you hear, how the temperature and humidity impacts you, the differences in plant life, how the local community engages with nature, etc). Every new place deserves adequate pre-work to know the risks and beta on where you might want to explore, but if you do your homework, getting out and seeing a new place via your boots on the ground is something I would always recommend. 

As for Sam and I, we trekked out to the infamous Palouse Falls and spent some time exploring the hillside and edges of the canyon. The Falls were roaring with the intense rain and snowmelt they’ve been having lately. A little unnerving to see how close to the edge people would go for pictures, but still beautiful and worth the visit.

On Saturday we stayed a little closer to Yakima. Sam had found a few wineries that boasted hiking trails, so we did our homework and found Cowiche Canyon as a good spot to explore. Although we didn’t do the whole Canyon, my tracker logged us at around four miles and I scurried up and down the hillside a bit to get my heart rate up. Not an expedition by any means but a nice break in our wine-filled day. 

We concluded the trip with a visit to the local arboretum around sunset, then had to call it quits as we were both quite tired from the many miles and vine products that had occupied our day. Overall it was a great weekend of friendship, wine, and new trails. Looking forward to the next adventure!

To follow our trail…

Palouse Falls
Cowiche Canyon
Yakima Arboretum


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