Rowerowa sztafeta, jakiej jeszcze nie było. Dookoła świata!

Mark Jenkins climbs

Kid CrushersKid Crushers

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ladzinski: “ @j0ekinladzinski: “ @j0ekinder pulling down on some painfully technical holds in…

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Learn This: How To CLearn This: How To Climb Finer Cracks

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“Leavenworth is an adventurer’s nirvana,” says Leslie Schipper. “You can visit any time of the year because all seasons offer a variety of outdoor activities and the small town has a young, welcoming, vibrant community feel.”

The yogi, outdoor blogger, and Hawaii-transplant behind Forever Stoked, Schipper knows a thing or two about the Pacific Northwest. She may live in Seattle, but nowhere feels more like home than Leavenworth, Washington, just two hours away. Here, she shares her favorite local spots for a summer day in her mountain-shadowed home-away-from-home.

The Season


I personally love visiting in the summer because you get the most sunlight and even when the sun sets around 9:30-10pm, it’s warm enough to remain outside and star gaze.

What To Pack

Hiking boots or trail shoes, a bathing suit for river fun such as kayaking, rafting, tubing, or swimming, a road or mountain bike, a daypack filled with sunscreen and water, and a grolwer to fill up on your way out of town at Icicle Brewing Company.

The Rental


If you want to stay close to the action in town, the Bavarian Lodge has rustic styled rooms, a micro-pub, friendly staff and is a stone’s throw away from main street. If you’re looking for a quieter, mountain- retreat type experience, you can book cabins through VRBO and AirBnb.

The Campsite


Pitch your tent at Lower Johnny Creek, Eightmile Campground or Nason Creek (about 20 minutes from town). Keep in mind all campsites are first come, first serve.

The Morning Cuppa

Head for Argonaut Espresso. The power couple of Noah and Lindsey started this sidewalk espresso bar out of their love for coffee and adventure, and they recently expanded their hours and menu to include lunch and have added my absolute favorite: avocado toast.

The Morning Run

Ski Hill, which is primarily used for Nordic skiing in the winter, is great place to run once the snow has melted because of the numerous routes to choose from. It’s wise to take a look at the trail map before you go to plan out your mileage.

The Eateries


The Hunters Wife serves nourishing juices and smoothies, and the family who owns and runs daily operations are super passionate about health and sharing it with the community.

Sulla Vita is great for groups and sharing tapas and a bottle of wine out on the patio. For a locally sourced, farm-to-table dinner, try Watershed. It’s great for date night, and they have two-seating reservation times so call ahead to book. 

The Watering Holes

Icicle Brewery for beer. Need I say more? Not a beer drinker? Fear not, Leavenworth has multiple tasting rooms in town. Bordeaux is one of my favorites and has a great Cabernet Sauvignon.



Visit Posey Handpicked Goods for adorable curated goods, Leavenworth Mountain Sports for outdoor needs and I never leave town without stopping by The Oil & Vinegar Shop to pick up a few bottles for my house and as gifts for others.

The Greatest Hits


Hike: Colchuck Lake is one of my favorite hikes in the entire state and one of the most popular for good reason. At eight miles roundtrip and an overall elevation gain of 2,300 feet, the hike is accessible to most hiking levels and at the top you’re left gazing into a majestic blue lake with Dragon Tail and Colchuck Peak towering above you. The trail continues to Asgard Pass, a 2000-foot climb in just three-quarters of a mile, and gets you to the Enchantment Lake Basin. If you are lucky enough to have the time, but more importantly the permit, you can stay overnight in this rugged, magnificent alpine paradise. The Forest Service has limited the overnight permit season to help manage the increased visitor use and keep human impact at a minimum. Permits for overnight stays are required from May 15th through October 31st.


Climb: Named one of the top ten climbing cities in the US, droves of climbing enthusiasts come to Leavenworth each year to enjoy the experience. I would recommend picking up a Leavenworth Rock climbing guide book and/or stop by Leavenworth Mountain Sports for advice and gear.

Bike: Leavenworth is a great spot for mountain biking adventures (classic rides include Freund Canyon, Rosy Boa, Devils Gulch, Xanado) and road biking with my favorite being the Chumstick-Chiwawa loop.


Kayak/Raft/Tube: Tumwater Canyon or Wenatchee River. A few years ago a group of friends and I booked a trip with Osprey Rafting Co. to experience world-class whitewater and rapids with the safety of a guide.

Tourist: In the early 1960s, town leaders decided to change Leavenworth’s appearance to help draw visitors and somehow decided on a German Bavarian theme. Inspired by countryside of Bavarian Germany, architecture, specialty shops and festivals have revived the town and bring over one million tourists a year.

The Itinerary


Wake up early with the sun, ride your bike into town and grab a coffee and breakfast sandwich at Argonaut Espresso and get on a trail. Refresh with an acai bowl or smoothie from the Hunter’s Wife before changing into swimsuits to float or paddle board down the Wenatchee River. Post up in a hammock while the sun is still out and chill with a good book.


Then, go to locally sourced, farm-to-table restaurant Watershed and allow your server to order you food. Everything on the menu is fantastic and changes with the season. Grab a nightcap brew at Icicle Brewing Company and then head a few miles out of town for darkness to lie down on the grass and look at the stars.

The Local Know-How


There are festivals almost every weekend. From a Blue’s festival to Bird Festival, Oktoberfest to uber popular Christmas Lighting festival, campsites, hotels and vacation rentals fill up quick!

Leslie Schipper is a weekend warrior who has made proximity to nature a top priority. With an insatiable desire for travel and adventure, her free time is spent hiking mountain ranges, camera always in hand, and writing about it on her blog Forever Stoked.

The post Local Living: Leavenworth, Washington with Leslie Schipper appeared first on Dirtbag Darling.

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This is a guest post from contributor Lauren Mamola.

It was roughly 5:30 p.m. on the day before New Year’s Eve 2015. I had just put in a 12-hour shift at the restaurant I worked at in Ketchum, Idaho, and when I checked my phone, I saw a list of urgent text messages from my family: “Call me when you get off work.” It didn’t register with my overly exhausted mind that anything would be wrong, so I called my grandmother and she told me that my dad was in the hospital. It wasn’t good.

My dad has ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and since his diagnosis in August 2015, his body had taken a downhill turn. On December 30, he went into extreme oxygen deprivation. We didn’t know if he was going to survive, and if so, what his quality of life would be like. So I hopped on the first flight from Boise to Spokane and went straight to the hospital. Our lives were forever changed. My dad survived, but had to have a tracheotomy. We were happy because he was alive; he was angry because who he was—Jeff, the active dad, the talkative dad—wasn’t there anymore (at least not in the same way).

Losing to Gain

When Dad was stable again, I flew back home but I don’t remember most of the following three weeks. I didn’t deal with my dad’s extreme life change well. I felt guilty for leaving him, for not doing more of the things I wanted to do, for relying on my boyfriend for so much. So I did the thing I knew how to do: pretend like nothing happened.

Then, my boyfriend broke up with me. I was suddenly alone, dealing with one of the most devastating things that had ever happened to me. We had been together for more than two years and I thought we’d spend the rest of our lives together. We were ski buddies, adventure partners, and we loved each other. So I did the thing I knew how to do: I packed up my things and left the next day.


I knew I had to go home and take care of my dad, and for the next two months that’s exactly what I did. I went from ski bum to nurse Lauren; I learned to clean the trach, suction his throat. I was living two very different lives: In one life, I was a heartbroken girl who just wanted to crawl into her bed, watch ‘30 Rock’ and cry, and in the other I had to be strong, take care of things, cook dinner, take my brother to school, take the night shift for my dad’s care. It was at this point that I started to reevaluate my life: What the heck had I been doing for the last 24 years?

I decided I would see the world, do all the things I’ve always wanted to do, turn these difficult situations into opportunities. I would live life more. I wouldn’t wait on a guy or anybody else to teach me or show me new things—I was going to do them for myself and on my own.

Everyone knows the saying, “When one door closes, another opens,” and that’s quite applicable at this point in the story. A few months before this hurricane of events occurred, I had applied for a few jobs in the Boise area and never heard back from any of them. Then one day I checked my email after I had moved back home and there sat an email from this job that I applied for, and one I thought I would never get.

Losing to Gain

On March 10, I picked up a moving truck, named her Bertha, and packed up all of my belongings once again—this time to take to my new big-girl apartment in downtown Boise, Idaho, where I’d soon start a fabulous new job. I spent closing ski weekend in Park City and Sun Valley. I skied down a mountain naked. I went to Moab and biked trails I thought I wasn’t skilled enough for. I bought a plane ticket to Puerto Rico. I backpacked in the Sawtooths. I have made some amazing new friends. I bought my own fly fishing setup, and most recently, I entered a mountain bike enduro race. Why? Because life is short, and sometimes we have to go to hell and back to really start living it.

Lauren Mamola is an Idaho native with a love for tall men, blues music, and red wine. When she isn’t working in the city you can find her exploring the mountains, burning rubber on two wheels, or traveling to far-off destinations. Her next goal is to restore a van and get on the road.

The post Losing to Gain appeared first on Dirtbag Darling.

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Mark Jenkins climbsMark Jenkins climbs an overhanging wall into a dark ice chimney inside the Langjokull Glacier,. The black striations are layers of volcanic ash deposited over centuries of eruptions.

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Morning bouldering cMorning bouldering climb

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My First Catch

My First Catch

My First Catch

My First Catch

My First Catch


My First Catch

My First Catch

My First Catch

My First Catch


My First Catch

My First Catch

Ernest Hemingway once wrote that “somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl.” While the Pulitzer Prize-winning author may have known a few things about both wooing the ladies (he had four wives in his lifetime, after all) and fishing, I know very little about either.

But I am familiar with fishing in the Florida Keys, the tiny stretch of islands south of Miami that Hemingway himself called home during the most prolific writing period of his life. He found solace and inspiration in the sport. But he also excelled at it. In 1938, he caught a world-record seven marlin in one day; another time, he landed a giant 468-pound marlin in just 65 minutes. In fact, his sport-fishing escapades inspired one of his most famous works: The Old Man and the Sea.

“My relationship with fishing is, to put it diplomatically, a tumultuous one.”

My husband has been going to the Keys since he was a child, his father before him, and his grandfather before that. My own dad is a sailor, but this is different. It’s hot. The humidity is so thick it’s almost oppressing. It’s tiring. It’s salty—so much so that an hour on the sea leaves a layer of thin yet impenetrable crust on every surface. My fishing shirts soak up the smell of the ocean in minutes, never to recover, no matter how many times I wash them.My relationship with fishing is, to put it diplomatically, a tumultuous one.

But there’s something that invades your spirit when you’re out on the ocean. Marlin, Tarpon, Sailfish, Hammerheads, Bull sharks, Yellowtail, Mahi-Mahi, Goliath grouper so gargantuan they can dwarf a VW van.  Trolling through the turquoise waters, life teeming just below the surface, your line in the water—the simplicity of the catch is suddenly so clear, like it’s the only thing that really makes sense. Catch, reel, clean, eat, repeat. It’s some salt-encrusted front row seat to the circle of life. Or something like that.

“Ernest Hemingway once wrote that ‘somebody just back of you while you are fishing is as bad as someone looking over your shoulder while you write a letter to your girl’.”

So this year, I put in the effort to become part of the tradition. I baited my own hooks, reeled in my own fish (and released my marine friend more often than not), cleaned the meat, cooked the fish. I snorkeled through living-coral reefs, fell asleep with an anchor line for a pillow, and jumped off the bow of the boat. Not only did I catch a few keepers—I caught the boating bug, too.

If all of this feels inaccessible to you, like some far-off adventure only people brought up with the tradition can experience, consider this: Did you know you can charter a boat with your friends for a day for way less than you’re probably thinking? I’m partnering with to help spread the word about fishing and boating because, guess what? Girls fish, too! Maybe this time next year, it’ll be you reeling in the big one.

You never forget your #FirstCatch. One minute. All the feels: Watch for yourself and leave a comment below telling me about your experience with fishing and boating (or the one you want to have!).


Thanks to our partners at Take Me Fishing™ for helping to support Dirtbag Darling.

The post My First Catch appeared first on Dirtbag Darling.

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