Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My book is filled with gratitude

As I close this year's book of my life, I realize that it was a very good one. Each chapter filled with tales of adventure, hope and love. Thank you to my family and friends for your input. It will be put on the shelf with gratitude. This one is sure to make the #1 best selling book list of 2014 :-)

Wishing you and yours a Happy New Year!

"We will open the book, it's pages are blank. 
We are going to put words on them ourselves. 
The book's called "Opportunity" 
and it's first chapter is 
New Year's Day." 

Edith Lovejoy Pierce

*I shared this on Facebook and enjoyed it so much I thought I'd share it here as well.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

Twas the night before Christmas

A "different" version of Twas the night before Christmas...

T’was the night before Christmas all along the Northwest
Not a creature was stirring; even the marmots lay in rest
The stocking were hung by the campfire, from Olympia to Neah Bay
In hopes that St Nicholas would soon be on his way;

The hikers were nestled under their blue tarps and tents
While their dreams had visions of glissading and safe descents
With my lady in her North Face mummy bag and I in the same
Trying to stay dry in the forests, famous for rain

When out in the Hoh, there rose such a clatter
I sprang out of my tent, to see what was the matter;
Out to the Elwha, I flew up the ridge like a Hurricane
Looking and searching across the peninsula in the driving rain.

The moon broke through the clouds, showing Mount Ellinor
I saw the entire Olympic Peninsula, from rainforest to sea shore
Out of the corner of my eye, above the city of Forks,
I saw a red and white sleigh with eight tiny Rain-Deer pulling serious torques

With a little driver, dressed in rain gear and a beard full and thick
I knew in that moment, over the Olympic Peninsula, it must be St. Nick
More rapid then the Quinault River, flowing down to the Ocean
He called out names of Rain-Deer, causing quite a commotion,

Now Olympus! Now Elwha! Now Shi Shi and Dungeness!
On Constance! On Crescent! On Buckhorn and Skokomish!
To the top of the Mountains to the rainforest trees
We must visit everyone that understand the Olympic Beauty

As the sleigh got nearer, the winds blew the cedars and firs
The trees were too thick, I could see nothing but blurs
Until above my tent, the Rain-Deer finally flew
With a sleigh full of gear and St Nicholas too!

Then the sleigh set down on the nearby snow shelter roof
I heard the prancing and pawing of each Rain-Deer hoof.
As I peered toward the noise I heard a small hoot
Out of the ferns was St Nicholas, in Gore-Tex boots

Dressed in Outdoor Research Gear, from head to toe
He looked like he could handle hiking in rain sun and snow
A backpacking bag was flung on his back
He looked like he had hiked across Anderson Pass with that pack

A shine, deep green, like the forests, came from his eyes
His cheeks were red, like a Winter Hood Canal sunrise
His smile was inviting, like Marymere Falls Trail
And his white beard was the color of a spout from a Gray Whale

He held a pipe, burning just cedar, between his teeth
The smoke rose around his head, like a decorated wreath
He had a big broad face and a round little belly,
That shook, when laughed like a bowl full of jelly

He spoke not a word, but laid out new supplies and gear
Even an Exotic Hikes tour package, plus a Rainier Beer
As he finished he came over, and shook my hand
Thanking me for sharing the most beautiful land

As he walked away from our camp, he gave a whistle
And the Rain-Deer flew down, scaring a bear from the thistle
As he flew away he looked to me and the following he blessed
“A Merry Christmas to the Olympic Peninsula and the Pacific Northwest”


Wednesday, December 17, 2014

2015 TrailRunner calendar

2015 TrailRunner magazine, Grand Canyon. 
Ken Etzel is the amazing photographer.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Picture of the week ~ Samish Overlook Sunset

Click to enlarge the panorama

Stomach bug served with a head cold chaser

Sorry for the illness humor. 
I just thought it sounded like some of the cutsie alcoholic drink names served during the holiday season. 
I have pretty much been sick ever since we got back from our Arizona vacation the 14th of November. Maybe my body is telling me it's happier in Flagstaff. Hmmmm
I was pretty bummed to not attend the last Trailblazer hike on Thursday. We had scheduled a surprise after party for our fearless leader Pat. Owen and Penny put together a book of thanks for him and it was to be presented at the party, The book is to be full of photos of Pat leading us on our various hikes. I can't wait to see it.
Here's one of him getting ready to lead us on our Clayton beach hike in February 2012. Always ready to lead, with a good attitude, lots of information of the area and if you listen an awesome laugh. He is the heart & spirit of our group, 
thanks Pat.

I'm also thankful I stumbled on Djan's blog back in 2011. It was through her blog that I learned of the Trailblazer group. I'm glad I acted on my impulse to join these hearty senior hikers. They are such a fun group to share my love of hiking with. The Senior Trailblazers are split up into 2 groups. I had originally started in April of 2011 with group 1, Al's group (and the group Djan hikes with). Then after a long rehab from injuring my calf in June of 2011, I started back with group 2 led by Pat. My first hike back was at the February Clayton beach hike in 2012 and I've stayed with this group ever since. It just feels like a nice fit for me to be with this group. This is where my Ruby Red slippers take me to, hee hee (referring to Dorothy in the Wizard of Oz, when she clicks her heels together and repeats - "There no place like home").
I have been looking into drinks and foods that can help boost my immune system. I know this is sugar coated BUT it's super yummy and full of Vitamin C.
Since it's the holiday season and it's traditional to indulge in sweets, here's this years first attempt at making a seasonal treat. Candied Orange peel
As I sit hear with a still drippy congested nose/head,
I raise my cup of Ginger tea to you as a toast to the season!

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Red mountain, Arizona - hike

Blue skies everyday, hmmm a person could get used to that! 
We took our annual fall trip to Flagstaff the first 2 weeks of November. 
We found when we got back home, that the temps had really dropped here at home. While we had chilly nights in Flagstaff the days were pleasant with temps. mostly in the mid 60's during the days. We enjoyed walking to Red Mountain, we'd never been there before even though it's just a short drive north of Flagstaff.
Here's an excerpt from the Red Mountain link above: 
"Red Mountain, located in the Coconino National forest of northern Arizona, 25 miles northwest of Flagstaff, is a volcanic cinder cone that rises 1,000 feet above the surrounding landscape. It is unusual in having the shape of a "U," open to the west, and in lacking the symmetrical shape of most cinder cones. In addition, a large natural amphitheater cuts into the cone's northeast flank. Erosional pillars called "hoodoos" decorate the amphitheater, and many dark mineral crystals erode out of its walls. Studies by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and Northern Arizona University scientists suggest that Red Mountain formed in eruptions about 740,000 years ago."
The area really did remind me of Bryce Canyon in Utah.
The trail is very easy, flat and short -

Our destination
nice ladder step over the wall

We enjoyed climbing around and through the rock formations

panorama (click to enlarge)

There was quite a bit of scenery besides the rock formations too -

;-) more scenery
We flew this year instead of driving so we could stay more days there. We flew from Bellingham to Vegas and then the same thing in reverse to return home. The return flight was interesting. A young woman across the aisle from us didn't seem to be drunk, but she was definitely using her airsick bag ALOT and went to the restroom and stayed for lengthy periods of time. We assumed it was the typical person coming home from Vegas that had partied a bit too much for their system, but after we'd been home just a few days my husband and I both developed all of the fun symptoms of the stomach flu. We quickly decided she probably wasn't suffering from her "What goes on in Vegas, stays in Vegas" activities, but that she just might have exposed our whole plane to this unpleasant bug. So, now after 5 days of being sick and losing 5 lbs. I'm finally well enough to share some of our trip fun. Whew.....and back to my daily routine that I love -
and that explains why I'm not posting about our weekly Trailblazer hike.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Picture of the week ~ A blue bench

My husband and I were walking along the Squalicum-Harbor trail yesterday and I spotted this lovely blue bench near the Hotel Bellwether
It was such a bright spot on an overcast day.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Little Cranberry lake from Avenue A, Trailblazer hike

As I packed my things last night for today's hike, I put in my rain gear. It was pouring outside and the forecast for today was looking pretty wet.
I was shocked to see 15 people at the Senior Center for the day's hike to Little Cranberry lake. After some discussion one of our members decided it was too wet and went back home. Frank and Marjan decided to hike Fragrance lake instead. So our group of 12 headed towards Anacortes, and yes it was very wet when we left.
Wet drive looking down I-5 south
We were cautiously optimistic about the weather, many times it is drier in the Whidbey Island/Anacortes area than here in Bellingham. The sky did lighten the farther south and west that we travelled.
We started our hike with a few showers that soon gave way to just a cloudy sky.

As with last weeks hike, the mushrooms are plentiful along the trail.

We were treated with the appearance of the cutest little Salamander.

We found a nice little knoll with a small view of the lake to eat our lunch.

Of course now that we were in the open and settled down to eat the rain decided to come down. 
You can see the water running in a small stream down the trail....

and then the sky opened up to......SUNSHINE!

Enjoying the view
We went a bit off our route and enjoyed going in to an old Copper mine.

Joe (thinking optimistically) came prepared for today's viewing of the partial eclipse of the sun that was supposed to happen today. He brought a piece of cardboard with a hole in it and a sheet of paper for us to see the eclipse.

Joe and Owen working together
I cropped the above picture, so you could see the image of the eclipse better. If you click to enlarge the below photo you will be able to see the partial eclipse crescent image.

What a day, I would never have dreamed we would have had such glorious weather for today's hike. Then as I turned into our driveway at home....behold, the frosting on the cake!

I know I have an abundance of photos in this posting, but can you blame me considering what we left in Bellingham this morning ;-)

Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 6.95 miles
Minimum altitude - 226 feet
Maximum altitude - 528 feet
Total ascent - 829 feet
Total descent - 797 feet

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Come and run 8 miles with me

I thought I'd take you on my run today :-)
We live in northern whatcom county, where the landscape is dairy farms, corn fields and raspberry fields. I have the pleasure of getting to take my runs, walks and bike rides in this beautiful place.
It was a nice day so I took some pictures so I could share my route with you.
Here we go!

at about 1/2 mile & a dairy farm
at about 1 1/2 miles, a corn field
long straight stretch at about 2 1/2 miles, and more corn fields
still long straight stretch, 3 miles and the same corn fields
luscious green fields of the dairy farms
4 miles & another dairy farm (on a less cloudy day Mt. Baker is visible just over that hill)
Almost 5 miles & more dairy farms (if you enlarge the photo you can see the Twin Sisters peaks in the distance)
7 miles and raspberry fields
Almost home! 
The below picture is the same field where we began. 
I took the beginning photo here over my shoulder.

and back where we began!
It was a great run, hope you enjoyed it as much as I!