Tuesday, December 22, 2015

Give the gift of a smile

While I've been laying low with my annual cold turned into a sinus infection, I've been pondering the news of the day. Our world has taken an ugly turn. Fear, paranoia, hate, mean spiritedness & these are just a few of the prevailing attitudes that are around us everyday now.
I "choose" to look at the world through rose filtered glasses, no I am not in denial of what is going on around me but I do choose to not let it change my attitude or spirit.
In this season of giving I ask that you give the gift of a smile, let's do our part in making this world a more attractive place to be around. One smile at a time :-)

A smile
A smile costs nothing, but gives much.
It enriches those who receive, without making poorer those who give. 
It takes but a moment but the memory of it sometimes lasts forever. 
None is so rich or mighty that he can get along without it, 
and none is so poor but that he can be made rich by it.
A smile creates happiness the home, fosters goodwill in business, 
and is the countersign of friendship. 
It brings rest to the weary, cheer to the discouraged, sunshine to the sad, 
and it is nature's best antidote for trouble. 
Yet it cannot be bought, begged, borrowed or stolen, 
for it is something that is of no value to anyone until it is given away. 
Some people are too tired to give you a smile. 
Give them one of your friendliest smiles 
and win blessings of smiles in return.
~ Anonymous

These are some of the things that made me smile this month.

I hope something that you saw or heard recently put a smile on your face, and I hope you shared that smile with those around you.

I wish you a very merry christmas and a happy new year.
~ Kim

Monday, November 9, 2015

Alternate Incline trail run

When I went to bed Saturday night I thought we were all set to run the North Lake Whatcom trail for our Sunday - fun day outing, but when my husband laid out our Happy Trails Chuckanut Mountains map on the dining room table Sunday morning I knew he had other plans.

We have signed up for two road races this spring besides the Montana Spartan race in May. In April we'll do the Whidbey Island half marathon & in June we'll do the NODM (North Olympic Discovery marathon). We'll be in the walking division for the marathon, we'll be walk/running the event. I'm too slow to make the running cut off time. The walk cut off time is 7 1/2 hours, hopefully I'll be able to complete it in that amount of time. My husband will be doing all 3 races with me.

Sunday morning we drove to the Blanchard Hill trail head off of Barrel Springs road to begin our run. We started walking up the road to get to the Alternate Incline trail head, as I have mentioned before I use the walk/run method for my training. I've found it works the best for me.
We came to the trail head after about 1 mile. Then we began running UP. We ran as long as we could then walked till we caught our breath. We did this until we reached the trail junction sign.

We took a left on the Lizard/Lily lakes connector trail and ran for about 1/4 of a mile to add a little more distance to what we thought we'd go for the day. The trail was beautiful with moss, ferns, mushrooms and huckleberry bushes lining it. We then returned to the junction and followed alongside Lizard Lake. We tried to go right along the shore for a short distance but there really wasn't a trail so we went up a short distance through the brush and over a few downed trees to join the real trail. We then continued on to the British Army trail running as much as we could and only walking to catch our breath or manage our way down some tricky areas.
The British Army trail connects to a logging road that takes you down to the trail head parking lot. We ran around 4 miles on the logging road to the first parking lot. It was a bit tricky because of the size of rocks used on the road. They are larger than the usual logging road gravel and we couldn't look around much because we were trying to finish without spraining an ankle.
We have switched to Hoka running shoes and boy was I glad I had them on, the extra cushioning really helped on those rocks.
The road was covered with Big Leaf Maple leaves. I took a picture with my feet to show how large the leaves were. I wear a size 8 shoe.

When we got to the parking lot my husband stopped where our car was parked. He had completed 8.35 miles. I continued running to the lower parking lot, he drove down and picked me up. My total was 9.55 miles. 
A very good day on the trails with my training partner.

Endomondo stats:
9.55 total miles
Maximum altitude - 1991 feet
Minimum altitude - 643 feet
Total ascent - 1307 feet
Total descent - 1618 feet (farther down because I continued past our starting point)

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Fragrance Lake Trailblazer hike

 The weather has turned & Artist point road is closed.
No more to the mountains we'll go, it's the lowland hikes for us till spring.
14 of us joined together for today's hike to Fragrance lake. We carpooled up the Hiline/Cleator road to begin from the Two dollar trailhead. We did this hike in February of last year, you can read that post HERE.

It was the perfect weather for a hike, not too cold and not too hot. Just a slight misty fog as we began.

I really liked the picture below, it really captured what the hike was like to me.

There were still a few leaves on the ground for us to enjoy as we walked along in the forest.

We walked until we got to the lake and then stopped for our lunch. The reflections are usually really nice along the lake and we weren't disappointed today.

As we hiked out I happened to look up and saw this wonderful view.
I love our lowland forest hikes, it seemed the forest was welcoming us back after our summer away.

by Elsie N. Brady
How Silently they tumble down
and come to rest upon the ground
To lay a carpet, rich and rare,
Beneath the trees without a care.
Content to sleep their work well done
Colors gleaming in the sun.
At other times, they wildly fly
Until they nearly reach the sky.
Twisting, turning through the air
Till all the trees stand stark and bare.
Exhausted, drop to the earth below
To wait, like children, for the snow.

Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 4.79 miles
Minimum altitude - 591 feet
Maximum altitude - 1121 feet
Total ascent - 958 feet
 Total descent - 956 feet

Friday, October 30, 2015

First Swans of the year

It's always an exciting day for me when the first flock of Swans is in our local area.
I took these pictures from the road with my iphone, not the best quality on the zoom, but they're here!!

Monday, October 26, 2015

Ptarmigan ridge

My husband picked Ptarmigan ridge trail for our "Sunday -fun day" hiking activity.
We had "tried" to hike this last year on Oct. 12th. We hiked a total of only 5.3 miles and were turned around due to inclement weather. Here's a couple of photos from that day's hike. 
Beginning our hike in clouds, we weren't too optimistic.

Then we saw Mt. Baker and our spirits lifted. 

We hiked on past the Chain lakes junction.

As the clouds, wind and rain really settled in we sadly turned around, vowing to come back and try again.

Yesterdays forecast looked abit better so we decided to give it another try. We were hoping to get farther on the trail and to get some views. We did pretty good, we made it to just below the Portals. We stopped for lunch about halfway between the end of the trail and the camp Kiser (or is it Kaiser?) area. It was really windy and cold, so we tucked in behind some rocks to eat our meal. We contemplated going on up to the end of the trail. We thought about our concerns while we ate: we were both really cold (my temperature gauge said it was 42 degrees, not counting wind chill), the wind was terrific, clouds were beginning to swirl around the top of Baker and we wanted to get back to our car before dark. Even though we were very close to finishing we decided it would be in our best interest to head back. After we got around a couple of ridges on our way back down, the clouds continued to move in and out, but it really was nice when we were out of the wind. I'm so glad we were able to go as far as we did, 
next time - all the way!!

We were lucky to see this Falcon? hunting overhead, he stayed around us for quite awhile unfazed by our presence.

I had done this hike with my husband about 30 years before this, and the view below was the farthest we got. Every step from here on out would be farther than I'd ever hiked on this trail.

As we turned the corner on this last ridge, we spied Mountain Goats below us. My iphone zoom didn't help too much either.
click to enlarge, can you spot our Goats?
iphone zoom
Then up the last section toward camp Kiser.

A nice view of the Portals.

 Heading up.

We tucked in behind some rocks for a windbreak and ate our lunch.
Our lunch view of the glacier and part of the Portals. 

Happy hikers!
Mt. Baker and Coleman pinnacle behind me
Mount Shuksan behind my husband
I love this panorama of our day's hike.

We did a little cross country hiking on our return, very fun!

Endomondo stats:
total miles hiked - 10.6
total ascent - 1892 feet
total descent - 1908
maximum altitude - 6192 feet
minimum altitude - 4985 feet

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Aldergrove Park BC Trailblazer hike

Today the group 2 Senior Trailblazers start their winter schedule. We'll meet 1 hour later at the Bellingham Senior Activity center

I tried something different today. 
Since our group hike today would be heading into British Columbia, Canada I called our fearless leader to see if I could get picked up in Lynden. Our meeting place is the Bellingham Senior center, and since I live in the county it would give me a considerably shorter drive & it's on the way to our destination. It was agreed, they would meet me in Lynden on their way to the border. It was a very foggy drive up to the crossing.
18 of us piled out of the carpool cars, anxious to enjoy the day on the trail, the fog had diminished by the time we got to the park.
The hike today was Aldergrove park, we usually hike this in the fall and it is a great place to see the beginnings of fall color.

The trails meander through forests, marshes and fields.

Near the pond, I noticed this rock with a plaque on it. It recognizes the youth that worked together on the park rehabilitation project in 2002 - 2003.

There were a few ducks swimming away from us today, but I loved the reflection of the trees in this pond.

We stopped for a break to take the time to look at this rock, it had rock climbing bolts drilled into it.

I looked up the wall of the rock and caught a glimpse of blue sky!

We sauntered on enjoying the gentle rolling trail. 

This log was covered with mushrooms.

Time for lunch. 
The picture doesn't do the large tree in the center justice. It was really beautiful with the green field in front of it for contrast.

After lunch the sun came out even more. 
It was a pleasant day for us to be together in Oh, Canada ;-)

Whenever we do this hike we stop at Edaleen dairy for ice cream cones. 
This lovely lady was sitting by the door!

I'm glad I made the phone call, it was really nice to drive just a short distance home after the day's hike.
Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 5.07 miles
maximum altitude - 294 feet
minimum altitude - 99 feet
total ascent - 375 feet
total descent - 399 feet