Thursday, March 26, 2015

Hoypus/Ala Spit Trailblazer hike

The first part of today's hike was fairly familiar for me, I had hiked Hoypus hill in 2011 with group 1.  That is the group I had originally started hiking with, but after a calf injury that had a long rehab, I've settled in nicely with group 2 of the Senior Trailblazers. Our group of 16 carpooled to Cornet Bay to begin our days hike. It had been awhile since I'd been here and they have completed quite a bit of landscaping and constructed a new restroom facility.

The hike begins on an old road bed.

We hiked out beyond our trail intersection to a point that our "fearless leader Pat" told us was the old ferry landing, that connected Whidbey Island to Fidalgo Island. I found an interesting website that describes the history of the Deception Pass bridge. In the article I found this interesting passage -"From 1910-14, a prison rock quarry operated on the eastern side of Fidalgo Island with barges taking the quarried rock to the developing Seattle waterfront. In the 1920's, the military sold its land to Washington state who set it aside for a park in 1923. Small boats ferried travelers between Fidalgo and Whidbey Island over the swirling waters of the Pass. To call the ferry, they banged a saw with a mallet, sat back and waited." The photo below is looking towards Mt. Erie on Fidalgo Island from that old ferry landing.

We then headed on to the trail.

Skunk Cabbage
Baby Fern coiled and reaching for the light
Slime mold
I did manage to get in front of everyone for a nice trail hiking picture -

After a short walk along a road, we found Ala Spit.

Our view for lunch, not too bad :-)

Crystal clear water
Close up of some barnacles
Back to the trail again -

In the photos below you can see that there was just a wee bit of mud on the trail.

a rather steep & slippery muddy downhill section
After the hike "Pat" gave me a copy of our route on the trails.

I'd never hiked to Ala Spit before, but I do believe it is now one of my favorite places. 

Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 8.20
Minimum altitude - minus 3 feet
Maximum altitude - 418 feet
Total ascent - 699 feet
Total descent - 687 feet

As I stated in this post, I am training for a Spartan race that takes place in May and in Montana. I found this video that recaps some of the 2014 race and introduces the 2015 race. It shows just "some of the fun" I will have on my day as a "Spartan"! 
*If you're not able to view the video below on your device, click on THIS LINK to view the video.

Monday, March 23, 2015

Skagit Valley Tulip bike ride

Sunday is our (my husband and my) long activity day, we decided to check out the Tulips in Skagit County. The Skagit Tulip Festival is April 1 - 30, we wanted to see how far along the Tulips were in bloom. We began our trek from the north end of The Padilla Bay Shore trail.
It was overcast most of the day with a little wind and drizzle after lunch, but pretty nice for biking.
Some of the Daffodil fields are getting past their prime, but there were enough that were in full bloom that it was pretty spectacular. 
Click on the panorama photo below to expand it.

We rode past RoozenGaarde's and Tulip Town, but didn't go into their display gardens on this trip.

There was a small flock of Trumpeter Swans just beyond this red Tulip field. They don't show up in the two photos below unless you really enlarge the pictures.

We rode to LaConner for lunch, it was nice to sit on a bench along the channel while we ate.
I managed to get a picture of my husband below the banner on the lightpole ;-) hee hee.

If we would have paid to park near the field of Tulips in the photo below, I could have gotten a better picture of the many colors of this large field. Since we were on our bikes we didn't want to pay to park. The picture was taken from the shoulder of the road, it really doesn't do it justice. It was a very large and colorful field. Not all of the Tulip fields were in bloom yesterday, so maybe another trip down for us.

As we were heading back, wave after wave of Snow Geese flew overhead. With the cloudy sky it may be hard to see them in the photo below, it you click to enlarge it that my help you find them in the clouds. 

I got one more picture of a field of sunshine, before we headed to our car.

We went a total of 30 miles on our bikes, a most EXCELLENT way to see the fields of Skagit County.
Who needs the sun when you can see it shining fully from a large field of Daffodils :-)

Thursday, March 19, 2015

One Hundred Acre Woods Trailblazer hike

Wow, 20 hikers today for our Trailblazer hike into the One Hundred Acre Woods
It was a bit grey looking for our start today at Marine Park.

We connected with the Interurban Green way trail system and walked towards Fairhaven Park.

The trail was in pretty good condition, only a few muddy places. I had hiked this area once before in 2012 with the Trailblazers (click here to read that post) and it was quite wet & muddy that day.

As you look at the photo below, which trail would you take - the one to the left or the one to the right?

If you chose the left, you chose wisely. 
That's just what we did :-)

There were a lot of Holly trees amongst the Cedar and Douglas fir in the forest.

The best part of the day......we spotted our first Trillium of the year.

Our fearless leader "Pat", didn't want us to be caught in a downpour so he led us out of the forest and back on to the Interurban trail to make our escape while it was still fairly pleasant out.

We ate our lunch in a civilized manner, at real Picnic tables. Hurray!

There were several tables to choose from, so we broke up into groups and enjoyed our lunches before heading back to our cars. 
It was a light drizzle at this point, just enough for us to need our coats and hats.
Excellent decision, fearless leader :-)

Endomondo stats:
Total miles hiked - 5.65 miles
Minimum Altitude - 3 feet
Maximum Altitude - 261 feet
Total Ascent - 223 feet
Total Descent - 291 feet

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Spartan Race training

A couple of weeks ago I posted that I had signed up for my first Spartan Race. I already have a consistent exercise schedule going on, I hike with the Senior Trailblazers every Thursday and on the other days I run & do some exercises at home. Even though I'm a consistently active person I still felt like I was going to be sick when I clicked on the finish the transaction and paid my entry. I had watched my daughter and son in law compete in the Pac West Spartan Sprint Race, in Washougal, Wa. last August so I have a fair idea of what's in store for me. 
 I'll be doing the Montana Sprint
There are 3 levels of Spartan racing: 
Each level has it's own distance & number of obstacles to be completed. A "Trifecta" is when a Sprint, Super & Sprint are all completed in one calendar year.

 If you click on the photo below to expand it you will see that some of the obstacles are classified, some of the details are left out :-) to be discovered as they were on the course. All Spartan Races are this way, they leave some parts a mystery. The course below was for the Pac West Spartan race in Washougal, Wa. 

To up my training for the Montana Sprint I follow the Spartan Workout of the day or WOD. Here is a screenshot of what I did today. I'm following the workouts one day delayed so that it will work out with my existing hiking/running days.

I'm really lacking in upper body strength, but I'm really enjoying the workouts. In a Spartan Race each non completed or skipped obstacle has a 30 BURPEE (or squat thrust) penalty. So I'm trying to do burpees "often" throughout the day as well. Every day is a new adventure in training for me, who knew when I was watching that race last August that I would be signed up for one the following May!