Jessica Cutter-Leonard

Cutter

Jessica Cutter-Leonard

Camping and backpacking in National Parks in the Pacific Northwest and Alaska!




We arrived in Alaska under a curtain of rain and cold but it didn't "dampen" our spirits or excitement for fulfilling an over 10-year dream for me (Jamey) and Jessica's Honeymoon. Though, admittingly, the 7 hours of sleep shared between us didn't broaden our smiles during the drive. We spent 5 hours driving to Denali with all of the Alaskan beauty hidden behind clouds and fog. We stopped and picked up our Bear spray, bug spray and stove fuel (all of which are not allowed even on check bags on a airplane, total BS). We even perused the gun counter, partly jokingly and partly not, and considered acquiring a louder form of bear protection. This after we found out that we could, in the great state of Alaska, legally acquire a firearm in 20 minutes. We ... read more
Denali National Park
Denali National Park
Denali National Park

North America » United States » Washington » Mt Rainier July 30th 2011

From B-E-A-U-tiful Crater Lake we made our way up to Bend, OR and enjoyed the town who's reputation as being a really great city was definitely earned in our short time there. Because of the need for rest, laundry and tending to personal hygiene we, unfortunately, spent much of our time in the motel. We got to Mt. Rainier NP late on Friday after a long day of state highway driving enoying the variety of Oregon geography, from forest to flat fields to deserts to seeing Mt. Hood and Mt. Adams on the horizon. Arriving at a NP in July late on Friday evening without a campground reservation is stupid at best, particularly with our knowledge of pay camping learned so far. Oddly all the campgrounds we checked were FULL, hmmm, who'd expected that? Luckily the ... read more
Mt. Rainier NP
Mt. Rainier NP
Mt. Rainier NP

North America » United States » Oregon » Crater Lake July 28th 2011

We enjoyed an evening out in Ashland, OR and then moved on to Crater Lake National Park. What a beautiful drive up the mountian. The first moment we got to the top was wonderful, the view is awesome! We lucked out and found a great camping spot at a place called Lost Creek Camp. I just wish the mosquitos would have stayed lost. Those lil' blood suckers were swarming. Thank you again, Sara Lindey, for the mosquito coil knowledge. We talked to the ranger about which trails would be good to hike on. I asked about the Lightning Spring Trail and her response was that there are small patches of snow on the trail, but not to worry because there are reflectors in the trees to follow the trail. We thought that sounded good enough so ... read more
Crater Lake NP
Crater Lake NP
Crater Lake NP


On Friday we woke up to a splendid sunny morning and (once again) slowwwwwly got ourselves motivated and out the door. The fun was cleaning up a soiled and damp motel room from our previous nights camping, aka soaked tents, muddy shoes and general gear disarray. We were out the door with a spare 30 minutes before required check out time. Heading into Tillamook, Oregon, the sun was hidden behind the clouds typical of the NW, grey and cloudy but, come on, it's the NW coast. Cheese factory visits to both Blue Heron (a glorified but enjoyable gift shop) and Tillamook were enjoyed. Tillamook offered free icecream at the entry so I(Jamey) was simply blown away, the factory was plugging along and the free samples of cheese where worth the 5 minute wait, most amazing was ... read more
Blue Heron Cheese Co
Blue Heron Cheese Co
Tillamook Cheese Factory


We were lucky enough to receive a warm welcome into Jenny Slater's condo for a comfy floor to throw our air mattress on and a local to show us a fun little local dive. Jenny worked with me (Jamey) at Flat Branch back in the day (round 1998/1999) and knew Jessica through the Moss Creek crew. Many old stories of Columbia, MO days of old were exchanged and enjoyed through out the evening. I was also lucky enough to get a hold of Jonty Barnes, a Brit, I knew as my London contact when visiting back in the 90's. He answered my call in his strong British accent "I went to a music festival with a Jamey Leonard" referring to our last time hanging out at Glastenbury in 1997. After a couple beers and a pleasant ... read more
NOAA
NOAA
Fish Ladder

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle July 17th 2011

Here are some pictures for the last blog we did.... read more
Coeur d'Alene
South of Moses Lake, WA
tent site

North America » United States » Washington » Seattle July 17th 2011

After driving thru some luscious apple and cherry orchards and checking out the Gingko Petrified Forest, we have arrived in Seattle. We had some coffee, (tea for me), walked around Pike's Place Market in the rain, ate some prawns and clam chowder, sat by Puget Sound and are now relaxing/napping at the Green Tortoise Hostel. I, Jessica, have never actually stayed in a hostel before. We are sharing a room with up to 10 other people. We do have the upper bunk and a nice window view of the Corner Market on the corner of Pike and 1st. It is a good experience and a cheap way to stay downtown, however, it is our honeymoon and I might just push for a hotel next time! Haven't made it to the ocean proper yet, hoping that will ... read more

North America » United States » Montana » Kalispell July 15th 2011

After backpacking 6 miles into the desolate northwest corner of Glacier NP we found ourselves at Akokala Lake. It was beautiful and all was right with the world. Except for the mosquitos, i could have done without them. We woke at 5am and decided to come on down the mountain. A wonderful early morning hike, with no bears. From there we took the Going-to-the-Sun-Road thru Glacier and wow. Waterfalls, lakes, rivers, mountains, snow!! Glacier's Going-to-the-Sun road is truly something amazing, one of the places in this world where beauty can trump itself. We took pictures at the beginning, seeing towering rocky moutains painted with snow and waterfalls only to find these views getting grander and more astonishing to the point where you can't take enough pictures. Every turn and direction is awe inspiring and unbelievable, then ... read more
Akokola Lake
Tent site
Bear Grass

North America » United States » Montana » Butte July 13th 2011

Jessica and Jamey's Alaskan Expedition Adventure has entered it's 3rd day, we've made it to Butte, MT, the tore-up road capitol of the country as far as we can see. We're leaving shortly for Glacier to see what the heck we're going to do up there until Friday morning, hopefully it will involve an overnight backpacking trip in the park. We'll have to wait and see. We've seen Casper Mountain, the Grand Tetons and Old Faithful, in Yellowstone NP, and we've only been on the road for 48 hours... read more
leaving Denver
Casper, WY
first night camping




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