High Rewards on the Beartooth Highway

The pressure builds in your head, your ears feel tight, the air gets thinner; these are the signs that you are gaining elevation quickly. Increasing, the only relief is a hard swallow or blowing your nose, “popping” your ears and releasing the pressure. This feeling is one of my first memories. I was four years years old, flying back from California and I was crying. The elevation gain was too much for my tiny head to deal with and was incredibly uncomfortable. I had my favorite stuffed animal clutched to me tightly as my parents and the flight attendant tried to reassure me that it would be alright. I was given a drink and some peanuts and the pressure was released.  For years, I loathed this experience. Now, it is a sign that great adventures will soon be had. 

Singletrack 47: ‘A Little Backyard Adventure’

Huge announcement, folks! Your Singletrack crew is directing a trail race. Right here in Olympia. Come join us August 10th at LBA Park for a Little Backyard Adventure.

Mathias also announces his candidacy for US representative for the International Trailrunning Association.
And Douglas reviews the Tigertail foam roller and muscle care tool. Listen up, you could win one!

Grizzlies Are Now Active in Yellowstone National Park!

We can “bearly” contain our happiness with this news! The first official grizzly bear sighting of 2019 has occurred in Yellowstone National Park! Despite a ton of snow and ridiculously frigid temperatures, the inevitable return to warmer weather is showing signs of occurring. We are a ways from wildflowers and open roads, but the bears are “waking up.”

Why I Run

“He’s Running.”

Hereby I declare my candidacy for National Representative to the United States to the International Trail Running Association.
I mean, I’ve been running for many years now, and I’ve been pretty vocal about it. I’m one of those guys, I guess.

Every Single Street In Olympia

Over the warmer months this year, I completed some incredibly fun projects on trails in mountains I love dearly. I climbed Mt. St. Helens, ran up to Camp Muir, raced the Broken Arrow Skyrace at Lake Tahoe and completed a double peak project running up Mt. Rose and Mt. Ellinor in one run. I’m a mountain runner.

Running, especially on trails and up mountains, is what gives me life. This activity, this hobby, this passion, inspires me to be the best human I can be. In recent years, this life has given me a health body and a strong mind. Discovering running a few years ago has completely changed my life, all for the better.

Singletrack 46: ‘Those Cowbells do spark Joy’

Your hosts shares their epic aid station adventure at the Mountain Marathon & Hillbilly Half last weekend. Mathias announces his new book: ‘Adventure Running – Exploring Olympia’s Trails’ Pre-order it today!
And they conclude with a deep dive into some some of the gear they’ve been testing over the last few weeks.

Native American History And Public Lands: A Short Discussion

It was the 1980s and I was a little kid when I first heard about Native Americans in Yellowstone National Park. I was told, by a ranger at a visitor center that Native Americans didn’t live in or even visit the lands within the boundaries of the park. I was told they were scared of the unexplainable and the area was avoided. I was told lies. 

Why Is Olympic National Park Losing Popularity?

Looking at visitation stats is nothing new for me. For the past decade, I have been analyzing trends and looking at visitation statistics to National Parks. My focus has always been on Olympic, as I grew up and reside next to the Park’s boundaries. I started researching visitation statistics for Olympic in 2010. It was then that I learned Olympic has consistently been one of the most-visited National Parks in America since 1979. In the last 39 years, it has never dropped out of the top 10, but that may soon change. 

2018 Was Mount Rainier’s Most-Visited Year Since 1992

Despite the smoke-filled skies of summer, the whiteout winter months and the endless drizzling rain of spring and fall, 2018 Was Mount Rainier National Park’s most popular year since at least 1992 and the 13th most-popular year in Rainier history. 

America’s Most-Visited National Parks of 2018

Every year, we compile a list of the most-visited National Parks around the country, and aside from a few jumps and dives, not much changes. In 2018, the National Parks of America had another popular year, inspiring hundreds of millions with nature, history and culture. While some parks, like Olympic, continue to plummet in visitation compared with other popular parks, places like Rocky Mountain have surged upwards over the part few years, reaching new heights. Give this list a glance and see how many of the country’s most popular parks you have visited.

Olympic National Park Wilderness Backpacking Permit Reservations Available Online!

Finally, trips into Olympic National Park’s incredible backcountry are getting a little easier to plan. Officials at Washington State’s most visited National Park have announced that on March 18th, 2019, those interested in heading into the roughly 750,000 acres of wilderness can reserve backpacking spots for their trips online. 

Happy Birthday, Yellowstone National Park!

Happy 147th Birthday to the first National Park!

On March 1st, Yellowstone National Park turned 147 years old! While the land has been around for millions of years, the region now known as Yellowstone National Park was formally protected by the United States Government in 1872. Signed by President Ulysses S. Grant, the Act of Dedication helped create the world’s first National Park and helped inspire a love and protection of Public Lands around the nation. 

Singletrack 45: ‘Beachballs on Mt. Adams’ with Special Guest Katja Hurt

This show is a little dangerous. With special guest Katja Hurt of the newly formed Wilderness Chaplains, the team takes a deep dive into the emotional toll on everyone when things go wrong outdoors. It’s a serious show. Well, kind of.

The Beauty of Beargrass at Black and White Lakes

It was late summer of 2015. The snow had melted by February. There was a fire burning in the Queets Rainforest. It was the driest year on record and was my first glimpse at the extremes of climate change.

I had already racked up more miles in the Olympics than I had in the previous three years combined, and decided to take a trip up to the often-overlooked Black and White Lakes in Olympic National Park. It would be another glorious day in the wilderness of my backyard park and while expectations were high, what I encountered is still an event on Public Lands that I look back on fondly.

Sacajawea and Hardscrabble: A Double Montana Summit Adventure

Nearly every hike I complete on our Public Lands becomes a favorite. From coastal treks past stunning sea stacks, to rainforest runs, canyon crusades and mountain top meanderings, every mile hiked is a memory I want to relive over and over again. These trails nourish my struggling soul, bringing back meaning and calmness to my normal anxious and worried state. With each step, I find balance and happiness, remembering why I walked away from my old life and started over in nature. No trail is a favorite for long, but some remain classics that I return to again and again. One of those is found out in Big Sky Country, where mountain summits await.

Singletrack 44: ‘Bacon-wrapped Shrimp’ with Special Guest Mike Ehredt

Running legend, coach and race director Mike Ehredt joins the show to discuss the challenges of Hard Rock 100, adventure running in foreign cultures and the pure bliss of letting our legs carry us mile after mile. Oh, and how many Mocha Frappuccinos it takes to cross America on foot.

Open Relationships and Our National Parks

Relationships are tough. They cause pain and heartache, but also bring happiness and love. They give us incredible highs not found anywhere else, while still having the power to completely destroy us for days, weeks, months or years. They come and they go, leaving us forever changed, for bad or for great. They take and they give, they inspire and they crush. If healthy, they allow us to love and be loved.

True love, soul mates, an irrational infatuation- no matter how you define it, most of us want it. 

Singletrack 43: ‘There will be Wigs and Cowbells’

Good news! Your Singletrack team will be hosting an aid station at the Hillbilly Half and Mountain Marathon this March. It’s one of the most fun and gnarliest races in the area that you definitely should sign up for. And we’ll be there, so of course it will be wild.
Also on this week’s show: Doug is testing chafing balms, Mathias needs new shoes, again, and the crew discusses the film ‘Free Solo’, finally. We also get quite silly and serious, so just a normal day with your two favorite co-hosts. 

Singletrack 42: ‘Challenging but never Brutal’

The crew retells their latest fun-filled adventure at the boggy North Slope of the Capitol Forest.
Weather-related race cancelations are discussed and what a lobbying group for trail runners would focus on. Deep stuff.

The Groundbreaking Women of Yellowstone National Park

John Muir. Edward Abbey. Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt. Ansel Adams. Aldo Leopold. These heroes of public lands have many things in common, including being old, white men. While the history of America’s Public Lands seem to be only filled with members of the patriarchy, there are hundreds, if not thousands of others who deserve the same credit and attention. One of those is Herma Albertson Baggley, who lived from 1896-1981. The other is Marguerite Lindsley, who lived from 1901-1952. 

Made in the great Pacific Northwest

By Douglas and Mathias in Olympia, Washington and Livingston, Montana.

Join the adventure