So, I hear you spent a lot of time at home during the quarantine. Same here – I was getting out, though, here and there. Chatting with neighbors, planting flowers, even travelling via plane – all from the comfort of my own home!
Like the vast majority of Nintendo Switch owners, I’ve been playing Animal Crossing New Horizons since it released back on March 20th. While I can say without a doubt that no one is enjoying living through a pandemic, finding little social loopholes like Animal Crossing has made it a little more bearable. For those who aren’t familiar, Animal Crossing is a franchise started by Nintendo in 2001. Since then, the franchise has had 4 additional main titles, 3 spin offs, and even an animated movie. Much like The Sims, Animal Crossing is considered to be a “social simulation” game. However, unlike The Sims, you and the friends you may be playing with in the game are the only humans. All the non player characters are anthropomorphic animals.
Since 1973, the Iditarod Trail Sled Dog Race, has united mushers, dogs, and spectators for a 938 mile run from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska. This can take anywhere from 8 days to over 15! I’ve heard of the Iditarod, but it wasn’t until my husband started following Blair Braverman on Twitter a few years back that I really started getting into it. I read her book and started looking into other female mushers like Aly Zirkle and the Berington twins, Anna and Kristy. And the dogs – they have this amazing way of making you feel so happy and alive and grateful. They are pure energy and joy!
Winter has always been the time for me to slow down, to cuddle up, to pause and recharge, especially after the holidays. But that slowing down doesn’t stop me from enjoying the season.
Winterlust: Finding Beauty in the Fiercest Season by Bernd Brunner. In winter I’m not hiding out until the sun comes back–if anything I’m more present and taking full advantage of the season. This book offers essays on the meditative quality of winter and all that it has to offer us, such as the magic of snow and the activities it provides, as well as it’s ability to turn us back into children again. Winter is also the season of comfort, along the lines of the popular hygge movement of warmth and contentment. As you embrace the season, that in turn slows you down to be here and now–instead of the go, go, go. Continue reading “For the Love of Winter”
Spring is sprung, friends, and if that means you’re looking to start hiking then we have guides to help you find trails. From urban hikes to nearby national parks, there’s a little something for everyone. Most of the guides below include information on length and difficulty of hikes, elevation gain, best seasons to hike each trail, tips for staying safe, and even assessments on how stunning the views are.
The Urban Trails series focuses on trails in or near urban areas, making it more feasible to take a few hours out of your day to get some hiking in. Check out installments for Seattle, Everett, Bellingham, Olympia and more. This series includes information on whether trails are ADA-accessible or suitable for wheelchairs, and if they’re family-friendly. Continue reading “Let’s Go Outdoors”
This Saturday, March 2 the 47thIditarod will begin. 52 mushers and their sled dog teams will run 1000 miles of rough terrain from Anchorage to Nome, Alaska, contending with mountains, frozen rivers, sub-zero temperatures, and sleep deprivation. The route roughly follows historic mail routes from the early 20th century, when gold came out and mail and supplies went in via dog sled, and which in 1925 was crucial to supplying diphtheria antitoxin to Nome. If you enjoy following extreme or endurance sports, love working dogs, or just want to know more about the event history and types of people who run this race, check out these items.
The Cruelest Miles by Gay Salisbury
This is the full story of the serum run that gives the Iditarod its legendary route. In the winter of 1925, Nome was isolated and on the cusp of a deadly diphtheria outbreak, with a desperate need for antitoxin. Airplanes still couldn’t consistently handle cold temperatures, and nothing else could make it through. So the serum was taken by rail from Seattle as far as it could go, and then dog mushers transported it the final 650 miles over 5 days. If you’ve only ever heard of one sled dog, it’s likely Balto, the lead dog of the last team. Continue reading “Read along: Iditarod 2019”