11:11 a.m. Oct. 25, 2011

That title above. It’s a weird statement. I was just checking my Twitter feed, which I’ve pretty much neglected this summer and fall due to just being barely having enough time to check Facebook (well, obsessively trolling the FB for pictures of my new nephew anyway).

So I checked in on Twitter, where most of my climbing/outdoor friends live. I clicked through to a few blogs I’ve missed reading and skimmed over articles about friends climbing this, biking that, hiking this, offering various philosophies on the outdoor lifestyle and mindset. It took me back to 2009 and 2010 when I was reading them consistently and embracing it all.

Then I thought: “Wow. I feel like I don’t get out anymore.”

This year was supposed to be the year of getting outdoors – or rather, focusing more on backpacking as much as possible. The past few years have focused on rock climbing and training for big-to-me mountains. I missed just putting on the pack for a Friday-Sunday excursion in the backcountry. No expectations, no training, no ego. I wanted to try and do it on a regular basis, not just sporadically.

The last time I think I backpacked was May, in Untanum Canyon. MAY. At least that’s the one that sticks out the most, for many a reason. Or rather, I think that trip may go down in this year’s book as one of the most epic.

The other thing that I told myself this year would focus on would be my yard. I’d pretty much neglected it since I purchased my house in 2008 and was antsy to finally get my hands in my own dirt, rather than in the dirt of the  mountains.

So these two desires butted heads often. Halfway through the summer I settled with myself – if I wasn’t packing, then I’d be at home in the garden one day and biking the next.

So, here it is, end of October 2011 and I am literally knee deep in a digging project at home, trying to eradicate as much bamboo from my property as possible. What started as a simple digging project has escalted into fence removal, possible retaining wall replacement, french drain installation and a whole list of anxiety-driven projects for the backyard.

And I’m trying to recall what I did this summer. I did a lot of good things in my yard. It still looks like a construction site, but bamboo, ivy, old tree stumps and blackberry bushes are gone. I have a general plan of what to do for short-term and long-term landscaping projects.

Outside the yard, I think I went on a few day hikes. I know I biked a lot in May, June and July. OH I did the Warrior Dash. I held a birthday party in the park for a friend. Hosted and attended many BBQs and family dinners. But that’s all that comes to mind.

(Looking in calendar for any possible meet-my-outdoor-requirement-outings that I did.)

OK, here goes – Between May and October 2011:

Mt St. Helens 1.5 times (failed ski attempt, successful climb later)

Sasquatch Road Trip with Sara – oooohh that was awesome.

Mazama RockFest

Ozette Lake Trail hike

Rock climbing at Exit 32 with Sara and Charlie (oh that was NOT a good climbing day. Body and head were JUST not into it. Starting to acknowledge the painful history I have with that sport.)

Mt. Rainier Cabin with Seattle Girls – Skyline hike one day, then run up to Pebble Creek the next day.

The fantastic Lena Lakes-Scout Lake-St. Peter’s Gate-Putvin Trail trip (that ranks up there with the May trip).

The Backpack Retrieval Trip on Putvin

Failed attempt to hike to Royal Basin (felt icky and sick and turned around)

Failed attempt to hike up Mt. Vesuvio in Naples, Italy (got to the park too late).

Huh. OK. Between all that I did at the house and around town, plus what I did outside of town, that’s not too bad. Since it is October now, and backpacking season is closing down, or rather, I use that as an excuse to catch up on housework before the rains come, it’s time to focus on winter.

In November, there is a bike birthday trip to the San Juan Islands. Hopefully snow will come early and I can start warming up the legs on some easy little snow patches near Hurricane Ridge. I need to hit up Barnes and Noble to find a good book on classic ski tours in the PNW and start planning for when the snow really hits.

I think 2011 is going to go down as a success.

11:34 a.m.