Archive for the ‘Hike-a-thon’ Category
Monday, December 17th, 2012
…actually, HaTers gonna run this time.
Missing 4.5 miles to reach 100 for the Hike-a-Thon, I was hoping for an evening hike on Tiger Mountain. Unfortunately, Wellie had other plans – we had to take him to the vet to have surgery on a growth on his leg, which left us with only enough time for a quick* run in the Redmond Watershed.
(This was what got me into running again, actually – a month full of hiking had left me with strong legs, conditioned feet, and a somewhat lighter self, so running felt like skipping along on happy, fluffy clouds and endorphins. How is that whole running thing going now, you ask? Not well, I tell ya, not well at all. More on that later, for now let’s finish my Hike-a-Thon recaps since it ended almost four months ago.)
4.7 happy, fluffy miles later, I had reached my 100(.2!) miles – woohoo! More importantly, I had raised a bunch of buckaroos for Washington Trails Association, thanks to my wonderful sponsors. Thank you again to everyone that donated and helped me surpass my goal, all while enjoying one of my best months ever. I hope to come back for more next year!
– Redmond Watershed Long Loop | 4.7 miles | 340 feet elevation gain –
*you all know my pace, so take this description with a grain of salt.
Thursday, December 13th, 2012
Our participation in TNAB this year was pathetic. We made it to one. (We had a chance to redeem ourselves at the TNAB Turkey Burner after Thanksgiving, but we elected to sleep in and eat leftover pie in bed instead.)
But aah, the one we did join, Mount Margaret, is one we seem to make it to every year – and it happened during Hike-a-Thon, which seemed appropriate.
At this point I had realized that I would be able to make it to 100 miles for the month, so JK, Dani and I ran down to Margaret Lake for extra mileage.
Remember how Josie had made her ACL kneehab trail comeback just a couple of days before? Well, since she’s mental, she chose TNAB as her second hike. That trail is fine until you get to the end, where there, well, is no trail. And it’s steep. And you go down in the dark. Mental, in the very best way.
(group photo stolen from Scott Lykken)
Otherwise it was business as usual for TNAB. Drinking…
…a beautiful sunset…
…and a vow that next year, next year we will make it to more of these.
– Margaret Lake & Mt. Margaret | 7.1 miles | 2800 feet elevation gain –
Monday, November 19th, 2012
Since we’re getting close to December and Hike-a-Thon took place in August, I should probably finish up my damn recaps already.
My friend Dani is lucky enough to be in possession of a wonderful mountain cabin nestled in the eastern foothills of Mount Rainier and, luckily for me, kind enough to invite her friends there often. This time, the plan was to have a girls’ weekend, but somehow I ended up staying for five days. That cabin is hard to leave.
Sure, I had Hike-a-Thon miles to cover, but the main focus of the trip was to hang out with friends old and new while marinating our livers in Disaronno. Nevertheless, I did manage to squeeze in two short hikes in the middle of all the debauchery.*
Man alive, Naches Peak Loop was amazing! I had never even considered hiking it before because it’s just so short and so crowded, but the views you get during those quick three miles are to die for – and I think I was too high on the smell of lupine to care about the crowds.
– Naches Peak Loop | 3 miles | 600 feet elevation gain –
The highlight of the trip was seeing Josie released back into the wild after months and months of ACL rehab. It was amazing to watch – first we decided to test her knee on the flattish hike to Sheep Lake…and then she felt good enough to continue up the not-so-flat part to Sourdough Gap…and then she pushed on to the Crystal Lakes Overlook, completing 7.5 miles on her first real walk since March. She’s pretty awesome. And she’s proof that Disaronno gives you superpowers.
– Crystal Lake Overlook | 7.5 miles | 1100 feet elevation gain –
*we’re quite the wild group of old, married bookworms.
Friday, September 21st, 2012
For the last year and a half, I’ve been experiencing pretty significant pelvic pain. At first it was only for a couple of days of my cycle, but at this point I have the joy of dealing with it 2-3 weeks out of every month, complete with nausea when the pain is at its worst. On Monday I had laparoscopic surgery where my doctor removed some adhesions, which will hopefully help. If not, at least I am now in possession of gross photos of my innards.
I’ve spent the week recovering on the couch, having my wonderful man slave cook and do all the housework, but I’m hoping to feel good enough to walk and maybe even go on an easy hike soon. In the meantime, here’s a report from when I was dumb and went hiking during “peak pain week” in August. Exercise usually helps when there’s just pain (yay, endorphins!), but when there’s nausea involved, it’s better to just stay scrunched up inside and drink buckets of ginger tea. But, you know, I had Hike-a-Thon miles to cover.
The hike started on a promising note with coolish temperatures and, to Wellie’s excitement, our first full-sized Greyhound sighting on trail. I’ve seen a surprising number of Italian Greyhounds out there, but never a big one.
Snow Lake was its usual pretty but crowded self, even on a weekday, so I stopped briefly for a photo and then went straight on towards Gem Lake, where I planned to spend the afternoon reading, drinking lake-chilled Pepsi, eating Ginger People chews, and moaning quietly to myself.
As I was soaking my feet in the cold water, I noticed that my socks just happened to have the words WRIGHT SOCK printed on them (even the wleft one), so I pretty much had no choice but to drag my nauseous self up to the summit of Wright Mountain, just so I could take photos of my dirty sock.
Then I went back home, curled up into a ball, and drank a bucket of ginger tea. The end.
– Wright Mountain | 11 miles | 3400 feet elevation gain –
Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
In honor of National Fight Procrastination Day, I hereby resolve to resume my Hike-a-Thon recaps. <- HAHAHA! Naive sentence I wrote last Thursday.
As I mentioned in my Hike-a-Thon summary, 45 of my August miles were hiked solo. This might sound boring (or scary?) to some, but I really, really love my alone time. I have known that I am an introvert ever since I took the Myers-Briggs personality test in college, but it wasn’t until this spring, after reading Quiet: The Power of Introverts in a World That Can’t Stop Talking by Susan Cain, that I realized just what being an introvert means.
It turns out that many of the quirks I’ve viewed as my personality flaws (and which I’ve honestly thought of as symptoms of depression), are just typical traits of an introvert. I prefer staying home with a book instead of suffering through awkward small talk at a party, and the mere act of being social makes me so exhausted that I have to be by myself and recharge for a couple of hours afterwards. I need quiet alone time to really think and be creative, and I can happily wander around in the mountains for days without talking to another human being. (I do like to share some deep thoughts with Wellie, though.)
While I hate being the center of attention in real life, this section from Quiet resonated with me:
Studies have shown, that, indeed, introverts are more likely than extroverts to express intimate facts about themselves online that their family and friends would be surprised to read, to say that they can express the “real me” online, and to spend more time in certain kinds of online discussions. They welcome the chance to communicate digitally. The same person who would never raise his hand in a lecture hall of two hundred people might blog to two thousand, or two million, without thinking twice. The same person who finds it difficult to introduce himself to strangers might establish a presence online and then extend those relationships into the real world.
Yay for blogging and over-sharing on Facebook!
So, welcoming another day of quiet enjoyment, Wellie and I hiked to Melakwa Lake, an old favorite, and onward to Lower Tuscohatchie Lake and Pratt Lake. The last time I hiked this loop, the trail between Melakwa and Tuscohatchie sucked donkey balls (a technical term), but it must have been shown some tender love and care – this time, it was a soft, runnable path lined with pretty moss (except for the one section where I slipped and fell, which was lined with Devil’s Club).
I only saw two other people between Melakwa Lake and the Granite Mountain junction, and not a single mosquito – now that’s what I call quality alone time.
This is the kind of hike that leaves me blissed-out for days. I love spending time with friends in the mountains (and it’s so easy to bond when you’re out there), but when I’m alone, I get into this awesome state of flow where I focus on nothing and everything all at once. I get physically tired, of course, but mentally refreshed.
– Melakwa to Pratt Loop | 14 miles | 3500 feet elevation gain –