It was a busy February with some warm beaches in Cuba and some cold trails and rivers in Washington. Read on for more…

Cuba Libre

The intention of going to Cuba was to escape the cold and gray winter days of the Pacific Northwest, to celebrate a big birthday,  and to visit my mother and step-father who were living in old Havana.

Many of the people live a hard life, but the horses live an even harder life.
The trip was short, just five days. It was my fourth visit to Cuba and my first time really escaping the gravity of Havana and breathing in the clean air in the countryside.


Seeing so many farm animals reminded me of Nepal. We had a minor fiasco with some dogs who followed us and then decided they would like some lamb for lunch, but fortunately we talked them out of it and peace prevailed.


And on our last day we said goodbye to the sunshine, Mom and Rafael (who I never got a good picture with sadly), and headed back to the Pacific Northwest for some cold adventures.

Slogging Sedro-Wolley

We returned to snow snow and snow.  After some cabin fever, the Sedro-Wolley Run looked like a good chance to get out and catch up with my friend Scotty.

Scotty and I originally signed up for the 50k; but we ended up walking and talking so much and decided that a half marathon made much more sense. Organized by another friend, Terry Sentinella, it was a really nice low key, old school run with a lot of familiar faces.

Ellen was more determined to actually run than we were, she started an hour after us and passed us about 8 minutes after we hit the turn around point. If we started at 8:00am and she passed us at 9:55am while maintaining a constant speed, what time did she finish?


The landscape along the way reminded me of Northern New York where I grew up. Suitably agricultural, predictably poor, but with some kick-ass tree forts.


Finishing my first half marathon seemed to call for hands raised in the air.


Plenty of Marathon Maniacs at this old school event


After the run, we went antiquing and then birding in the Skagit estuary. Thanks Scotty!

Paddling the White River

The end of February called for a little river adventure.  Our friend Jessica Kelly and a new friend Nathanael Krancus invited us to come along for a little pack-rafting adventure on the White River north of Wenatchee, WA. We walked four miles up a snowy road with our rafts deflated and rolled up, tucked away in our packs. And then we drifted and paddled for the rest of the day down the wiggly river with its banks piled high with snow. Two log jams added slow-motion portages through the deep snow. All in all, a winter wonderland on the water and a great day.

Making tracks up the road


You inflate the packraft by filling a bag with air and then squeezing that in – it is faster and easier than it sounds!


Smiles on the water!


A snowy winter wonderland


Portaging around a log-jam was far from easy. Next time we will pack snow shoes!


Jessica happy to be back on the water


Hard to capture how beautiful it was!


When our journey was done, we did a little snow-whack to get back to the road. Our vehicle was just around the corner – and so were dry clothes and warm car heaters.

4 thoughts on “From warm to cold, Cuba to the White River

  1. Wow Seth! The raft trip looks awesome! I’m jealous of these winter river adventures. Great pics of Woolley too–makes me smile ( :

    1. It was pretty magical. Also a very convincing argument for buying a dry suit (which I now own!). Woolley was fun, Lost Lake has been on my mind! And I just picked up a couple bird books from the library. I used the post card you sent me to validate my address for my new card 🙂

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