Tuesday, February 23, 2016

The Best Winter Shirt You'll Find

A good friend of mine was bragging up a shirt she got for Christmas: the 32 Degree Heat women's long sleeve scoop neck. It began with the typical compliments good clothes get; "It's soft", "It's stretchy", "It's warm", "You can layer it with so many things"... but what really captured me on this one?

"It's moisture wicking."

Fine. I have to admit it for this article: I can be a sweaty waterfall from time to time. Cringe with me.

So, that in mind, I was instantly curious about this article of clothing. I have a lot of fantastic shirts of that type for the summer time, but I had yet to get one I could use in the cold months. I went ahead and picked it up to see if it was all my friend had said it was.

24 hours later, 
I bought one in every color I could get.

Typically I am a total cheapskate, but this shirt is just that good.

It's everything I was told it would be, and more: soft, warm, comfortable, stretchy, figure-flattering, and best of all, it dries super fast. Plus, even though I was told it is meant to be a base layer, it looks nice enough to wear it by itself with jewelry. Five stars and two thumbs up from me!

  Support Adventure of Sair - buy the shirt via this affiliate link!

PS: These come in men's sizes and styles too.
 Check it out, dudes:

Buy the Men's 32 Degrees Heat Long Sleeve Crew Neck

Sarah Iddings loves hiking, especially if she can look stylish doing it.
She also enjoys writing and social media-
Follow her on Twitter & Instagram @Adventureofsair,
and check out her photography blog, Captured Yet Fleeting.

She can be contacted at sarah@adventureofsair.com

Happy trails!

Friday, February 12, 2016

Wishlist Destination: The Enchantments, WA

Who needs a fairy-tale to get themselves enchanted?
This gorgeous gem is here in my home state of Washington. How had I not heard of it before? No idea. But someday, I look forward to checking this place out- hopefully on a week day when I can get some solitude away from the crowds that this natural beauty draws to the area.

The Enchantments.jpg

In The Enchantments...
“Nature has carved one of the magnificent places of this world--an alpine paradise of granite worn smooth by glaciers, larches manicured by wind and cold, and crystal blue lakes strung together by a creek that tumbles and thunders between them. Seemingly everywhere, herds of mountain goats calmly wander by. Superlatives simply don’t suffice, and you quickly find yourself resorting to otherworldly comparisons, just like the early visitors who bestowed place names like Aasgard, Sprite and Leprechaun on the fairytale surroundings.” - Washington Trail Association

To camp in The Enchantments, you MUST have a permit, which may be applied for between February 15, 2016 @ 12:01 am PT and March 2, 2016 @ 11:59 pm PT at http://1.usa.gov/1ZRKrGH. Be sure each year to check back on the website, because the application dates change from year to year just slightly.

Due to the popularity of the area, the permit holders will be determined by lottery, and therefore you are not guaranteed a pass. To increase your chances of getting a pass, shoot for days that are in less demand, such as weekdays early in the season. Weekends in August are the most popular dates that people fight for, so I would stay clear of those. A smaller number of additional permits are available on a walk-in basis from the Ranger Station daily except Sunday when the Ranger Station is closed. Since demand for these walk-in permits also usually exceeds availability, a daily lottery is also held at 7:45 am daily except Sunday, to distribute these permits.

On the flipside, if you wish to only day hike in The Enchantments, you are in luck! Day users need only fill out a free day-use permit, available at any of the three trailheads accessing The Enchantment Permit Area. It has potential to be busy, and you will not get to see as much of the area as one would on a backpacking excursion, but ambitious day hikers will be richly rewarded for tackling all 20 miles (round trip, out-and-back trail) in a day, but don’t feel too pressured! Taking in only part of this trail is still splendid. Do what you are physically able to.

Check out the link below for locations of campsites, toilets, and trail heads/intersections.

Full trail map of The Enchantments

*Please note that dogs and campfires are prohibited year-round in The Enchantments.

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Photo credit: Laffertryan @ Flickr 

Getting There:
To get to the Lake Stuart trail head from Leavenworth, WA, follow US-2 West for 0.8 mile, then turn left onto Icicle Road for about 8.5 miles. Turn left on Forest Road 7600, then stay right on Forest Road 7601. Follow Forest Road 7601 for about 4 miles to the trailhead. WARNING: Parts of this are dirt roads which frequently contain deep potholes and washboard. Be sure to get to the trailhead early to get a parking, as it is popular and fills quickly.

Lake Stuart Trailhead co-ordinates: 47.5277 -120.8210

Visit here for more trailheads, peaks, & photos.  

A $6.00 non-refundable Application Fee is required for each Lottery Application or Permit reservation. Application Fees are used to finance the on-line reservation system.

 [If you win the lottery] A $5.00 per person per day user fee is charged for your group when reserving an Overnight Permit for entry from June 15th to October 15th each year. Fees are charged per day, not per night, so the minimum visit is 2 days. Use fees are utilized to finance the on-the-ground management of the Enchantment Permit area.

 Contact Information
Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest
Wenatchee River Ranger District
600 Sherbourne
Leavenworth, WA 98826
Phone: 509-548-2550
Fax: 509-548-5817


Tuesday, February 2, 2016

An Unexpected Journey

Most of my greatest adventures happen outside...

... But not all.

This adventure began roughly two and a half years ago. On the internet. It began when a good friend of mine showed me the video below:

The guitarist is Jordan Taylor, better known as the host of the weekly Youtube show, Messy Mondays, from the channel Blimey Cow. I was rather blown away; I was used to seeing him as a sarcastic host and actor in skits. I instantly fell in love with this song, and soon after was thrilled to find that he was starting up a Kickstarter campaign to raise money to record a full length album.

Immediately, I tossed some money in the fund. 

In the end, he got $11,598 donated when the goal was $5,000.

And then, the waiting game happened. Every month I would get an email update on what was happening. Sometimes it would be a lot (photos and even in studio video at one point!) and sometimes it would be a little (Jordan got slammed with finals before graduating college, which slowed stuff up a bit).

Along the way, I always left comments on the updates. One day, out of the blue, I log onto Facebook and find I have a friend request from Jordan. WHAT?! I immediately click "accept". In the end, I got to preview the lyrics he wrote to the revamped version of the song above, he asked for input about the title, and we chatted a bit before we had to get offline. 

And that's when it all started, really.

It sounds silly, but until that point, Jordan (and his co-stars on Blimey Cow- Josh and Kelli) were fun to watch online, yet were almost thought more of as these nebulous invisible video makers. People who looked like they could be a ton of fun to know, yet were far enough away to almost seem imaginary. But suddenly the wall was broken. I had a conversation, and it reminded me that yeah, these guys actually do exist. Not long after, I jumped onto Patreon.com and started sending the trio a few bucks a month to support the great work they do.

It seemed so basic. I set aside a small amount of money for them each month, get to have fun with an exclusive podcast and interact with my favorite creators and toss around video ideas...

...But it turned into so much more.

Long story short, not only did I get to know them because I chose to help them out, I also got to know a lot of the other people who support Jordan and the Blimey Cow trio too. We'll video call one another apart from the monthly live chats that the Taylors do with us, and we have a continuous stream of messages going. If one of us happens to be near the town of another, we always meet up if at all possible. And it all started because we wanted to help someone else.

Today marks the day that Jordan's Kickstarter is officially over for me- two and a half years after the project's start, I got the hard copy of his album, Long Drive in the mail. When it began, I just thought it would be cool to help the host of my favorite web series and get myself a signed CD while I'm at it... 

...And it is cool to have a signed CD- but it's not just special for that. It's special because it's what started it all. Getting to know my favorite Youtube creators, making a boatload of fantastic new friends, great conversations, starting creative projects together, playing games, joining video chats, and plotting how we are going to meet up in person sometime. It's almost like summer camp all over again.

It just goes to show,
you never know what will happen when you help someone out.

The album was aptly named Long Drive. It was a long drive for Jordan to create it, and it has set me off on a journey I never anticipated happening with a lot of fantastic people I never imagined meeting.

When Sarah Iddings isn't outside, she loves 
doing web chats and Google Hangouts with all the friends
she has made because of Jordan & Blimey Cow.
She also enjoys writing and social media-
Follow her on Twitter & Instagram @Adventureofsair,
and check out her photography blog, Captured Yet Fleeting.

She can be contacted at sarah@adventureofsair.com

Happy trails!