Written by Panorama resident, Sandy Bush. September 2014.
We moved to Panorama as new Washingtonians and were intrigued to find all the opportunities afforded to research and discover the area around the South Sound. We got lost a lot in our cars, some roads have historical names alongside the new names and many old hands know where they are and where they lead.
There are wonderful activities that Panorama offers for exploring the area with knowledgeable guides who know little quirky and lovely day hikes, hidden parks, walks, and strolls. New comers, even if acquainted with the area might well take advantage of these outings to meet a wonderful gang of active retirees.
The effort levels are outlined in the monthly Newsletter along with descriptions of what will be encountered. Lunches, water and a walking stick or two are great ways to experience scenic and historic areas. There are often lesser side options on the hikes if the trail system permits it. Our leader often has a few helper hikers who can help with different ways to be on the hike.
Having said that, let me expound on hiking in general. Keeping bodies toned and in shape for those of us that are active here in this lovely community is important. Living in single story homes, we are getting less stair-walking for exercise. Therefore I had major issues with the post-Crystal Mountain ski area hike down from the Gondola at the top at 7000 feet to the parking lot at 5000 feet! So lovely, but quad muscles in the thighs took days to be useable without stiffness and pain!
All outings are nicely outlined in the Activities Listing every month. Residents should pay attention to the “difficulty” or other delimiters to be expected. The unexpected happened on that hike as they were blasting near the usual path down, and we had to take a detour with skittery gravel on the dusty service road for part of it. Surviving that bonded many of us!! Add the altitude and we had a challenging but gorgeous day on the mountain! Perfect weather and views across to Mt.Rainier were fantastic!
So my newest program for legs is going to be doing the five or six flights of stairs in the stair wells of the Quinault building. I plan on a couple of repetitions in fairly quick order and of course will wear my SARA pendent, though I don’t expect any issues. This along with our two days of laps in the pool should help in preparation for the San Juans hiking trip in October. Just smile if you see me huffing and puffing in those stairwells!
Panorama has been innovative in making available different levels of activities and I hope to see new folks on the upcoming outings. A new outline of dates and times to sign up for specific hikes and walks is on the Bulletin Board and either the volunteer signing up folks or Grace at the LIR desk can help you decipher the newest system. It seems we always have more people wanting inclusion than there available seats on the bus, but it IS doable and you will enjoy the outings.
The hikes close for the winter months probably in late October or November depending on when we get rains and coolish weather. I do hope you will join in and see some wonderful places.