Sports & Outdoors

The hottest summer plans are no plans at all

Pictured: The Puget Sound along Ruston Way — Photo courtesy of Flickr

While most Loggers leave town come May, a few stick around to bask in the elusive sun, swim in the Sound and hike the flower-laden mountains.

The Washington Trails Association (WTA) and REI Tacoma offer a lot of summer hikes and courses that pull students away from their research and into the great outdoors. If you haven’t spent a summer in Tacoma yet, many students will be quick to say that it is the best part of the year, and that every Logger ought to stay in town for one summer during their college career.

WTA suggests the Pinnacle Saddle loop at Mt. Rainier National Park, a 2.5-mile with 1000 feet of elevation and a beautiful view from the top. Their website details longer hiking and overnight trips as well, such as a 19-mile backpacking loop in the Olympic Peninsula (High Divide to Seven Lakes Basin) or a 38-mile loop in the North Cascades (Bridge Creek to Mcalester Pass to Stehekin).

The Washington arts and culture scene during the summer is thriving too. Music and arts festivals like Summer Meltdown in Darrington, Timber! in Carnation, and Doe Bay on Orcas Island provide Puget Sounders with great music and a good excuse for a weekend getaway. WTA lists good hikes near each of the music festivals in case students want to get their arts/culture and outdoor fix at the same time.

Junior Abby Gustke is one such student that is going to spend some of her summer in Tacoma, working for the Yellow House. While here, she hopes to get in some surfing on the coast, climbing in the nearby crags and camping in the Cascade mountain range.

New summer expeditionary staff member sophomore Sam Dickerson also hopes to get in some trips in the Cascades.

“I’m stoked to be able to enjoy the long days and sunny weather without having to worry about having papers to write! And I hope to climb as much as possible in and around Leavenworth,” he said.

REI Tacoma offers some comprehensive outdoor classes for everyone interested in spending their summer days on a bike, a raft, a kayak, a wall or their own two feet. Just in the first two weeks of June they are offering a class in hiking basics (for the burgeoning outdoorsperson), an introduction to map and compass navigation class and a class in kayak basics.

Junior Alaina Geibig is another one of the Puget Sound students lucky enough to be staying in town this summer. When she isn’t doing summer psychology research, she plans to get outside as much as possible.

“Trip-wise, I’m planning on going up north to the Cascades and Squamish for climbing and backpacking. … I’m also thinking about some Olympic trips and maybe trying to snag wonderland permits for August,” she said.