Monday, April 28, 2014

Breaking Free

I haven't written about personal life issues for awhile, so thought I'd update my progress. I last wrote about my past history of anxiety and panic attacks on this post -

The above picture of the Sculpture "Breaking Free" is very meaningful to me, as the first image in the sculpture is how I felt for much of the time between 1999 to 2008, when I was in that period of my life.  Afraid to move, afraid to do anything because my demons had such a tight grip on me. As I took my courage in hand and was weaned off of my anxiety drugs I began to slowly feel alive again, just like in the photo. I am so grateful for the life I have now. Even when there are bumps in the road, I have learned ways to cope to get me through.
The only area I still seem to have anxiety at times is when we camp :-( 
I am confident that the anxiety I feel in these circumstances will also drop from my shoulders and I shall run in the meadows once again, as I plan to embrace my long lost friend - Camping,
Whether it's in our backyard

or in the wilderness (it's been much too long)

I read this phrase from a blog post recently -

Here's an excerpt from the post - 4. "Say hello to fear. Switch your thinking about obstacles and barriers into considering them as opportunities for growth. Instead of dreading these situations and catastrophizing any outcome, think instead of what it would be like to walk up to the fear,  say hello, and decide not to feed the fear monster. Acknowledging fear without giving it power is one of the most useful strategies for overcoming obstacles. Here's an example of what you could say to your fear: Oh, hello fear, thanks for coming and trying to protect me today, but I don't need you now, I am going go this yoga class to help me feel better and grow as a person. Now please step aside. Essentially you're challenging what you think of who you are and what you're capable of. Once you break down one wall, your mind continues to open up doors for personal growth and a shift in self-esteem."

I think I'll adapt that phrase -

Hello fear, thanks for coming and trying to protect me today, but I don't need you now. 
Didn't you hear I'm savoring my sixties and breaking free, 
now please step aside ;-)

*note for the Trailblazers that read this blog, I will be out experiencing the great opportunities of life (including camping!) and won't be posting our hikes for a bit. Until then - Happy trails!

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Picture of the week - Vegetable Garden

Half planted today!

Edible Pea Pods, Lettuce, Radishes, Beets, Carrots, Zucchini, Bush Beans, Kale

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Little Mountain Trailblazer hike

It was a dark and stormy night, with lots of rain pounding on our roof. I wasn't sure how many of the faithful would be willing to go on today's scheduled hike. When I checked our forecast for the day it said a 90% chance of rain. Oh well, if it's one thing we know here in the Pacific Northwest don't trust the weather report ;-). If we did, we'd never go anywhere!
9 hardy souls showed up at the Senior Center to drive just south of Mt. Vernon to hike Little Mountain. The rain really came down on our drive down the freeway heading south.
When we arrived at the east trailhead it was just sprinkling, so on went the rain gear. Our fearless leader "Pat" had planned a lollipop hike (just picture a lollipop...part of the trail is the stick then it loops at the top so you'll do a loop at the end but will be walking back along the portion of the trail by the trail head.) for us today.
Poor drenched Trillium -

The forest was full of wonderful dark and light greens, Trilliums and Bleeding hearts,

as well as unfurling ferns -

 & wonderful trail signs on the trees.

As the sun was burning through the trees we were treated to these wonderful misty views.

I was excited to see the little hand made water way to help ease the erosion of the trail.

I spied a tree peeking at me. 
If you click to enlarge the picture below you will see a stump in the distance with 2 notches in it. There is a small light colored bark tree just between the eyes. It looked eerily like eyes peering at us.

Do you see the eyes?
Once on top, we ate our lunch at the picnic tables, great views and no rain but a bit of a breeze. 

On the way back I just had to get a picture of this sign. Our chief correspondence person "Ginny" wasn't able to be with us today but she was definitely with us in spirit :-)

How wet has it been here lately? Here's proof, the snails are happy "out" of their shells!

I'd say after hearing the day's weather forecast, we came out pretty well with just a shower at the beginning of our hike.

Endomondo stats:
5.35 total miles hiked
357 Min. altitude
957 Max. altitude
842 Total ascent
713 Total descent

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Ferry Terminal Trailblazer hike

SAY WHAT.......???
We were scheduled to go to Baker river/Sulphide camp. Our chief communication person Ginny sent us all emails this week that our fearless leader Pat felt like there might be snow on that trail still, so he made other plans to go to Maple Grove and hike along Baker lake. Maple Grove would be a mostly forest walk and a long drive for us from Bellingham, Our weather for the day was predicted 100% rain all day, so after a discussion at the Senior Center this morning we all agreed that we could hike in wet trees here closer to home ;-) An alternative hike for the day was to be a walk from the Senior Center to the Alaska Ferry Cruise Terminal in Fairhaven and back. It would be mostly on trails, that sounded good to us. 
Not a large group today - just 9.

We headed down the Whatcom Creek trail 

and down through Maritime Heritage Park, where we had a great view of the Historic Old City Hall.

To link up with other sections of trails we needed to walk a few streets, we were definitely Urban hikers today.

and finally on the trail again, headed towards Boulevard Park.

Couldn't help taking a picture of this beautiful Currant bush -

and my favorite - Bleeding Hearts.

The South Bay Trail  & Taylor dock is one of the best places to walk in Bellingham (in my opinion).

and lunch with a view, something we wouldn't have had if we'd hiked the Maple Grove trail. Thank goodness for our flexible leader & agreeable companions. Today couldn't have been better.

Endomondo stats:
8.46 total miles hiked
-13 Min. altitude
88 Max. altitude
238 Total ascent
247 Total descent

Monday, April 14, 2014

Kayaking at Lake Padden

The first kayak trip of the year is always the best, and with yesterday's balmy weather we decided to go for it. It's been awhile since I'd kayaked myself. Last year I was having rotator cuff issues with my left arm, so I was being a faithful Physical Therapy patient. Yesterday was to by my tester to see if I could Paddle for an hour or so without any lingering issues. Thankfully as I sit here typing this post today, it seems to have passed the test.

Our day at Lake Padden - 

My spouselet always looking for ways to make it more fun!

loving this day in my kayak

Just what the physical therapist ordered!

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Goose Rock Trailblazer hike

A new hike for me, I have never hiked to Goose Rock on Whidbey Island. What a wonderful place! 16 of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves in the sunshine today. Good times with good company & too many pictures to post them all, but here are some of my favorites of the day.

We started at Deception Pass State Park.

First view of the bridge from the trail.

A very large Sitka Spruce -

A look back - wow!

Such beautiful large trees.

The perfect place for lunch, if you click on the picture to enlarge it you can see the Olympic coastal range in the distance.

Indian Paintbrush

Cornet Bay

Walking along the beach and back to the cars.

endomondo stats:
5.2 total miles hiked
-2 Min. altitude
494 Max. altitude
680 Total ascent
702 Total descent

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rock trail from Gates overlook

Sunday we did a fun family hike to Fragrance lake and then drove up to the Cyrus Gates overlook. I've been itching to hike the new Rock trail, so my husband said sure let's go for it and see what it's like.
I tracked our walk with my endomondo app, because I wanted to know how far it was from the parking lot on top to the south Lost lake trail junction below. From sign to sign and back it was just over 2 miles. We'd heard that there had been about 100 steps put in when they built this new trail. My husband decided to count them as we hiked. He counted wood and hand placed rock steps. The actual number according to my most excellent step counter was 189 steps - one way.

I'd heard it was pretty difficult to go up and down, but I was pleasantly surprised that it really wasn't that bad. I really enjoyed it. Here are some of the views along the trail.

This is wonderful trail (WTA project) to a beautiful place, put it on your hiking list.