Thursday, February 27, 2014

Finally snow!

No hiking for me today, I seem to be getting a cold :-/, so instead of doing a post about our group hike today I'll share some of my favorite pictures of our snow event this past weekend.
 While I do sympathize with the areas that have been really hit with snow this year, it's an exciting event here in the Northwest when we get any accumulation. I am a huge snow fan, so when it began the window shades came up and I began my snow flake falling watch in earnest.
I was glad that most of our accumulation (about 12 inches) fell before the Northeast wind began, so that we would get a nice flat blanket. My husband and I went for several walks after the Northeast wind came just because we like to feel how strong it is. We live in a tree sheltered area, but with just a half mile walk we can be in the open and feel just how strong it is. 
Here is a short clip of one of our walks and we weren't to the corner yet.

My husband & our dog "Lexis" walking with the wind at their backs, a bit better but still very cold. 

as you can see our dog is very happy &
me in the photo below looking equally happy in our winter wonderland.

In the photo below you can see how the wind caused the snow to drift in front of our house.

Best snowfall we've had in quite a while, but I hear spring is on it's way ;-)

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Embracing 60

What to do for my 60th birthday? 
As my 50's decade was coming to a close I began to feel an urgency to start my 60's on an inspiring note. My husband and I began brainstorming ideas and finally settled on a long hike as I haven't hiked anything farther than 10 1/2 miles for several years. We decided to do a point to point hike. We dropped his car off at the North Chuckanut trail parking lot and my car at the Fragrance lake trail head across the road from Larrabee State park. The distance he came up with after looking at the trail maps of the area would be between 12 and 13 miles. Sounded good to me.

Ready to go!
We started hiking at 8:45 and began the uphill trek towards Fragrance lake. The vewpoint is always a must for us. The timing was right so I posed at 9:50 - the time of my birth!

At 9:50 am 60 years ago today I  became me!
We've had a lot of Southeast wind storms lately, so some areas of the local trails have some downed tree branches on them. My husband brought his trusty hand saw and did some trail work for us.
before -

and after.

after hiking around Fragrance lake we continued up the trail to a cleared logging area for a quick rest stop. A fun side note, we spotted Marjan and Frank from our Senior Trailblazer hiking group coming towards us and  we had a nice catch up chat before heading on our way. Marjan informed us that the faster group of Senior Trailblazers was just ahead of us on the trail. Small World!
(click to enlarge the panorama below)

My husband told me to look away for a bit and then said "ready, go ahead and look", and he had brought up a pink frosted cookie for my birthday complete with lighted candles. He then sang Happy Birthday to me. Such a sweetie pie.

After the birthday fun we continued our hike up the logging road to look out at the view looking towards the east. Dick is already there looking for our trail down.

If you click on the picture below you will notice Lake Samish in the valley on the right and Lost lake in the valley on the left. 

We hiked down a very long, steep and narrow trail off of the logging road to head down to eat lunch at the north end of Lost lake. I was so glad that I hike with trekking poles. It would have been very difficult for me to hike this section without them. It felt like a long way, but it was only 7.6 miles total at this point.  Apparently the steep trail down took more energy out of my than I realized, by the time we reached the lake I realized I was really tired. We brought a stove for cooking soup and tea, boy did that taste good. Just what I needed. Since we didn't know exactly how long it would take us to hike today we had packed warm clothes, extra food, headlamps, etc. in case the day got long and we had to hike out in the dark.

After lunch we marched off with renewed energy.
We passed so many signs on this hike they almost began to blur together.

We did manage to finish our hike quite abit before dark, with a total of 12.6 miles for the day!
 Here is the screenshot of our day, if you wanted to see it.
(click to enlarge)

All in all the perfect way to break in a new decade.
Yes, I shall embrace my new age - Today I am 60!

Endomondo stats:
12.6 total miles hiked
68 Min. altitude
1776 Max. altitude
3870 Total ascent
4261 Total descent

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Picture of the week - Valentines bouquet

from my "Sweet Babboo" 
White represents "true love". Red represents "love", Yellow represents "friendship"

my Valentines bouquet

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Fragrance lake Trailblazer hike

16 of us carpooled from the Bellingham Senior Center to the Cleator road.

I was told that we were starting on the Two Dollar trail and would be joining the Fragrance lake trail.

We noticed pink ribbons on the road and trail as well as yellow signs alerting all trail users that there was to be a Trail Running event on the upcoming Saturday,

The trail today had quite a bit of down trees and branches. We stepped over this one near the trail head. Owen, Ed and my husband Dick in this photo, did their trail work duties on our way out and cleaned it all up. Way to take initiative! 

Here and there we got a glimpse of Bellingham Bay through the trees.

We all stopped to admire some one's great trail work.

and as I said earlier my husband Dick was able to join us today -yay!

Some of the sights along the trail today -

Eagle Scout benches
Wondrous Trees and Roots
After a nice walk around the (still lightly frozen) lake we stopped for lunch -

Cindy's great lunch spot
Before we left the Senior Center this morning Frank announced that it was his and Marjan's 49th wedding anniversary today. 
Happy Anniversary to the lovebirds!!

Endomondo stats:
5.15 total miles hiked
526 Min. altitude
1211 Max. altitude
1635 Total ascent
1719 Total descent

Saturday, February 8, 2014

Seahawks Superbowl Victory Parade

It all started for me with a text message - 
The day started just like any other day, my husband had worked an excessive amount of hours over the weekend so he took Tuesday off. We were in Bellingham running errands and going for a relaxing drive when I got a text message from my daughter Melissa. Would I want to go to the Seahawks Victory parade with her and her girls? How could I pass that up, being the huge Seahawks fan that I am. Of course I said "yes"!! We drove home and I hastily packed for my trip and drove to Snohomish. When I got to Melissa's house we formulated a plan for the next day. We needed to make sure that everyone stayed warm as we've been having a cold snap and the forecast was for temps in the high 20's.
We packed blankets, hats, scarves, gloves, enough food and Tp ;-) just in case the traffic to and from was epic. Our plan was to leave her house by 6 am, even though the parade was scheduled for 11 am. Since we were taking her girls we wanted to make sure we could get a front row seat.
We got up at 5 and grabbed a quick breakfast and got everyone in double layers and wala we were out of the house by 5:30. Yahoo!!
The traffic wasn't any worse than a typical rush hour flow, so we got in the carpool lane on the freeway and cruised on in to town. We were concerned about where to park since we didn't want the girls to have to walk too far, luckily we found the Pike Street Market parking garage was open. They have a $23 dollar all day fee. Things were definitely going our way!
 We gathered up our armload of blankets and put the food etc. in the pack that I brought to wear and off we went. After stopping off at Starbucks to get the girls hot cocoa's and coffee's for us, we walked up to 4th avenue to find just the right spot on the parade route. 

We were surprised to see that people had put out chairs and blankets the night before to save their places.
 We finally found an empty spot on the curb, between Stewart and Virginia streets. At 6:30 am we staked out our spot, it even had a port a potty just across the street - bonus!
Melissa waving at me across the street!

I handed out the hand warmers that I had brought -

yay for the hand warmers, brrrr it was 18 degrees when we got there.
Then we settled in to accomplish our mission: stay warm and enjoy our front row spots for the parade.

Luckily there were plenty of coffee shops nearby and a hardware store was open just across the street. So my daughter and I took turns walking with the girls to get their blood flowing again/to visit the port a potty and to go into the store for a bit of warmth while the other part of our group saved our spot on the curb.
My granddaughter working on staying warm.

Eventually the crowds started pouring in and pushing us forward. We started on the curb and ended up standing almost on the white lane line.

The parade had a one hour delay because some of the team members couldn't get to the parade start area. So we spent about 5 1/2 waiting for it to begin.
Here's some of my favorite pictures from our day -
The first vehicles that came by carried the players family and entourages.

Marshawn Lynch on the Duck tour vehicle that carried the Sea Gals. He was definitely enjoying himself. 

Then the Seahawks fan band, enjoy my video -

Then coach Pete Carroll -

Russell Wilson - 

Golden Tate -

Golden Tate is the one in the back with his left arm up
and my favorite "Richard Sherman" looking right our way! -

We found out that my nephew from Olympia was heading up to watch the parade. He was leaving from Tacoma on the Sounder train. I texted him and told him we'd save a spot for him. He made it with plenty of time to spare (since the parade had been delayed).
Our happy group!

We found out when we got back to the parking garage we had arrived early enough to get the early bird fee of $6!
Our luck held for the drive home, since the rally was taking place after the parade in the Century Link stadium and overflow in the
Safeco stadium the traffic wasn't too bad.
We got back to my daughter's house by 4pm, no traffic delays whatsoever!
I immensely enjoyed doing my part to represent the 12th man at the day's parade.
So to wrap it up I'll end with this video - 
"What does the Hawk say? - Win, Win, Win, Win, Win, Win, Win"!

thanks for the text message Tuesday, Melissa!