Joe Schmitt writes a weekly blog called The Good Life, featuring information about the region’s history, culture, climate and economy. The blog also showcases new residents, clubs and organizations, outdoor recreational opportunities and local events.
If you live in the Yakima Valley there are so many recreational opportunities at your fingertips it can be a little overwhelming. Do not worry though – allow me to introduce to you the Cascadians. When it comes to hiking, biking, skiing, backpacking, snowshoeing, golf, climbing, or mountaineering they’ve got you covered.
The Cascadians are an outdoor recreation and conservation club that was started in the 1920s with the aim to enjoy, promote, explore and preserve the Northwest outdoors.
“I hike twelve months of the year. We live in an area of the state, accessible in a 360 radius to all environments (desert, foothills, mountain ranges, peaks and national parks), it’s easy to check a weather forecast and head into whatever area of the state that looks good,” said seasoned Cascadian, Kim Hull.
From year round activities, overnight trips, to volunteering on highway clean-ups, this group doesn’t let the grass grow under their feet.
“I participate in day-hiking, snowshoeing, skiing, backpacking, mountain biking and mountain climbing. I’ve gained the friendship of some awesome and very active people who have encouraged me in many ways over the years,” said Hull, who’s first experience hiking with the Cascadians had her joining the club and never looking back – despite the 3,600 uphill feet she climbed in the first four miles of an eight mile hike.
“My fondest memories include the full moon outings which another member and I have co-led for the past few years. We schedule unique and special trips, including day-hikes and backpack outings around a full moon; every outing has been different and very well received by many club members,” said Hull.
The Cascadians encourage individuals interested in joining to participate in an activity of their choosing. You can choose up to three activities to try for free, and annual membership fees are a bargain at $25/single to $35/family.
Outings consist of a trip leader, an assistant and anywhere from 4-15 member participants. The outings are posted ahead of time in their monthly newsletter, in an Activities email sent twice per month, and in the Yakima Herald each Tuesday (you must be a member to receive the newsletter and email). Trips are scheduled year-round and range in all levels of ability. They even have a “Pokies” group that is geared more towards those who like to, “stop and smell the flowers”.
“I enjoy the camaraderie of the participants, the beauty of the back-country, sunsets, moonrises, sunrises and solitude,” said Hull who is just one of 300 active members.
To find out more about the group, you can attend one of their general meetings which are scheduled on the last Wednesday of every month from 7:00-8:30 PM at Living Care on 40th Ave. The meetings include announcements, business, and an hour presentation of interest by area experts on topics like mountain climbing, national parks, wild animals, plant life identification, conservation, resource management and more.
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