Northwest Bucket List: New Years Resolutions for More Adventure

by Lauren Braden on January 11, 2019

in Trip Ideas

Northwest Bucket List: New Years Resolutions

January. The month of resolutions, new beginnings, fun planning, and fresh starts.

This month, our bucket list is all about infusing your 2019 New Years’ Resolutions with sustainable, local Pacific Northwest adventures. Read on for a bunch of great ideas, and Happy Exploring!

2019 Northwest Adventure Resolutions:

Northwest Bucket List: New Years ResolutionsWatch more wildlife: Bald Eagles are year-round residents throughout western Washington and Oregon and it’s not uncommon to see one. But what if you want to see 100 of them? There’s just one place to–the Upper Skagit River Valley in January, where throngs of the majestic birds gather to feast onto feast on dying salmon after spawning. Get Skagit Eagles trip details here. More resolution keepers: In spring, watch passing whales on the Oregon Coast. In summer, head to the beach to explore tidepools.

Camp more often. Although it may be six months before you actually roast up plateful of s’mores, the time is now to reserve your summer weekend campsites so you’ll camp more often. See more at Plan Now, Camp Later. More resolution keepers: Get organized for spontaneous camping, and amp your camp for a modern campsite so you won’t miss a single comfort of home.

Hit the trail every season. If you think hiking season is still months away, it’s time to get out your boots and pile on some layers–we’ve got you covered for year-round hiking this year! In January, start with our picks for Rainy Day HikesMore resolution keepers: In early spring, try these Waterfall Hikes and Wildflower Hikes in the Columbia Gorge. In early summer, try these Desert Hikes and in late summer, hike these Epic High Country Trails.

Forage for your dinner. The tide sets the table! Digging for razor clams on the Oregon and Washington coasts is a quintessential Pacific Northwest activity in the blustery winter months. Anyone can do it, and the starter gear is minimal.  More resolution keepers: This spring, take a Wild Edible Plants course from Trackers Portland and learn how to gather berries, leaves and roots for safety, sustainability and self-sufficiency. Check out these Dock to Table Trips for every season.

 

 

BONUS: Government Shutdown Resolutions!

Northwest Bucket List: New Years ResolutionsDo your New Years resolutions include some Pacific Northwest outdoor adventures? Mine sure do. And perhaps like yours, my resolutions include spending plenty of time of federal public lands… sledding at Mt. Rainier’s Paradise, a ranger-guided snowshoe hike at Snoqualmie Pass, a rainy day hike in the Olympics…and that’s just for this month!

Unfortunately, with the federal government shut down and most federal lands closed or with restricted access, these adventures have been postponed for the moment. It’s a minor inconvenience for me, but for federal lands workers and the gateway communities that sit outside national parks and forests and depend on tourism, this shutdown is rough.

With impacts of the shutdown in mind, here are some New Years resolutions to consider adding to your list:

Travel locally more this year. Gateway towns like Forks, Ashford and Port Angeles are seeing far fewer travelers this month to their inns, restaurants and shops, and are taking an economic hit. Local tourism is the economic engine for many of our rural communities, so your local trips help offset their loss from the shutdown.

Volunteer to repair hiking trails. You’ve noticed the intense winter storms that have downed trees and knocked out power this winter. Those same storms hit our public lands, and while forest rangers would ordinarily be planning recovery efforts right now, they are furloughed. Plan to help wit the maintenance backlog once the snow melts by volunteering with Washington Trails Association or Trailkeepers of Oregon.

 

 

 

Photos:  Eagle photo is by Dr. Ron Sterling.

 

 

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