Saturday, August 26, 2017

Picture of the week ~ 46 years

"To have and to hold from this day forward, for better or for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish; from this day forward until death do us part."

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

Portland Sprint Spartan Race 2017

The Spartan are coming!

This past Saturday we participated in the Portland Sprint. The race venue was at the Washougal MX park in Washougal, Washington. Our wave start time was 9am.

Course map and obstacles, some of the obstacles we can have help with but others we cannot. For every obstacle failed there is a 30 burpee penalty.

I was off to a good start this year. I was able to get over the start wall by myself, Hurray!!
The course began with a nice forest trail with blackberry bushes along the way. Yes, I did stop and pick a few. Yummy!
The first obstacle was the 2 over walls. They are shorter walls like the start wall. I got over those again by myself, that's a huge improvement from the other races I've been in. The course went up and down quite a bit in the next section. We had 2 hurdles to climb over.  Up and over, thanks to the boost from my husband. Next was our first water obstacle. A moat: mud slide down and back up the other side. We then came to the 7 foot wall. I always need a boost up and a spot coming down the other side. After that we had the inverted wall. For some reason this one always freaks me out. I was determined this time to not be so fearful when I got to it. I still needed help on it, but my attitude was much improved and I even think I may be able to get this one by myself in the future. The next obstacles were: the altas carry, the bucket brigade, the sandbag carry and the plate drag. When we got to the sandbag carry I told the photographer that we were married (this is our 46th wedding anniversary week).

The next obstacles were the monkey bars, olympus, rolling mud (in and out of water from steep banks - in and out) and the slip wall. My first 30 burpees were at the monkey bars. My husband succeeded in doing them. I was able to get help on the olympus, so no burpees there, whew!

The slip wall came right at the end of the rolling mud obstacle. We had so much mud on our shoes, the slip wall and rope were also covered in mud. We both tried it but we decided it would be unsafe for us to attempt. As far back as I had to lean to keep from sliding down, I felt like I would fall headlong backwards if I lost my grip on the rope, so we both bypassed the slip wall and did our 30 burpees. 
Next came the vertical cargo, hercules hoist, the twister, multi rig and the barb wire. 2 more sets of 30 burpees for me from the twister and multi rig. My husband almost finished the twister before he fell off, but he did complete the multi rig. So he only had 30 burpees from that section of the course. The barb wire was a crawl up and slide down low rollers (like an otter for me), while they sprayed water on us. I don't have any pictures of us going through but here's one from Spartan of what it looked like.

We then got to enjoy a nice part of the course through a park like setting. I really enjoyed walking through this area. It was nice transition. When we got to the A frame cargo net, I heard our friend Gretchen call out to us. She thoughtfully took some pictures of us going through this obstacle. Thanks Gretchen!

Next the tire flip. My husband hadn't been able to flip the tire at the Seattle Super in April, but this time he did! I flipped mine too, but no photo ☹

Three obstacles left: the rope climb, spear throw and dunk wall.
I failed the rope climb and the spear throw, my husband only failed the rope climb. So 30 more burpees for him. At this race, the starter gave us a different speech at the beginning. He said that if we can't perform our burpees we could substitute 30 of any other exercise we wanted, but we still had to do 30 of them. Burpees at the end of the event are huge leg cramp inducers for me, so after the 125 (5 were mandatory with the atlas carry) I'd already done, I decided (after getting approval from the obstacle supervisor), that I would replace my last 60 burpees with 60 jumping jacks. 
Finally the last obstacle - the dunk wall.

We didn't get any pictures of the finish water jump. 
*They didn't have a fire jump because of the fire hazard.
Again, A Spartan finisher!

I really enjoyed my free beer at the end.

We were part of the biggest team at this event, "The Beast OCR" team. As part of the biggest team perks you get the tent, free bag check, and a free spectator pass. They are a really great group, very supportive and encouraging.

Such a fun day.

Obstacles - 25 counting the start wall
penalty burpees for me - 185 (60 of which were jumping jack substitute): monkey bars, twister, multi rig, slip wall, rope climb, spear throw
penalty burpees for my husband - 95: twister, slip wall, rope climb + 5 mandatory at the Atlas carry

Garmin stats;
total miles - 5.04 miles 
(the course was around 4 miles, but my garmin kept tracking distance while I did my burpees 😁)
total ascent - 1781 feet

Monday, August 21, 2017

Mon Oeuvre - Dogs in Sweaters quilt progress: Completed!

"Oeuvre" (the works of a painter, composer, or author regarded collectively: "the complete oeuvre of Mozart" a work of art, music, or literature: "an early oeuvre" ORIGIN late 19th cent.: French, literally ‘work.’ - Oxford Dictionary.)

Last week I had finished my quilt sandwich
This week was very productive. I learned a new skill. I haven't done any free motion sewing with my Pfaff yet, so I decided this quilt would be my first experiment. I did practice a few on scraps first. 
Dog bones!

I cut the binding.

I sewed all of the strips together, folded it in half, then ironed it.

I sewed the binding to the quilt sandwich.

There, now the quilt sandwich has all of the binding machine sewed to the edges. Then I trimmed the batting to 1/4 away from the binding edge.

Time to hand sew. The corners are mitered. I also am getting better at hiding my stitches, when I hand sew. This is the best hand sewing I've done on a quilt yet.

I got up this morning and took my completed quilt picture before the eclipse, just as the sun was rising.

Here's another look.

What a fun project. The directions were easy to follow. Now I think that if I do another one, I would make all of the blocks much smaller and have more little weenie dog blocks on the lap size quilt.

Progress links for this quilt:

Monday, August 14, 2017

Mon Oeuvre - Dogs in Sweaters quilt progress 3

"Oeuvre" (the works of a painter, composer, or author regarded collectively: "the complete oeuvre of Mozart" a work of art, music, or literature: "an early oeuvre" ORIGIN late 19th cent.: French, literally ‘work.’ - Oxford Dictionary.)

This week I got all of the sashing. spacers, borders cut and sewn.
I took a picture of this "sun-dappled" top or "flymsy" outside. All of the piecing of the blocks were sewn on my Singer "Betsy" as in "Betsy Ross". If you remember, Betsy was the 1955 Singer 99k that we found "free" in someone's yard. Yes, I named her & she is a girl.

I also completed the quilt sandwich - which is the backing, batting and top. I put the layers together with spray adhesive. next I will machine stitch through all of the layers. The binding fabric will need to be cut into strips and sewn together. The last step will be to sew the binding to the quilt.

As you can see, I tweaked the pattern abit. I spaced the dogs more equally on the quilt. The "small sized" quilt pattern had them all to the right.

My quilt measures 46" x 60" without the binding.
I think the scrap fabric from my en Provence mystery quilt is working out just fine for this "Dogs in Sweaters" quilt pattern.

Progress links for this quilt:

Friday, August 11, 2017

Baker Lake trail Backpacking trip

In July we backpacked the northern end of the Baker Lake trail as far as Noisy creek, you can read about that trip HERE. On Tuesday we began our backpacking trip at the southern end and hiked towards Noisy creek again. Our purpose for doing this was to complete the entire length of the Baker Lake trail this summer, linking our two separate trips. Our plan for the first day was to hike as far as Maple Grove. I'd only been there once before, it was so many years ago and I didn't really remember much of it.

Day one -

I like this bit of info. from the Forest Service website. "This trail leads into a majestic stand of Douglas fir that regrew after Mt. Baker erupted and started a forest fire in 1843. You can still see the burned snags of the cedar trees that once dominated the area." 
The trees were magnificent.

The Anderson creek bridge had been repaired this summer, and it was a treat to cross such a well made bridge across the creek.

We headed down to Anderson Point for lunch. 

I happened to glance over at my husband as I was eating and noticed he looked like a silhouette. I love this picture.

Then it was on to Maple Grove.

It was warm when we got to camp, so after setting up the tent we went for a cooling swim. The water was perfect.

The haze in the air from the B.C. fires cast a pink glow around us. We walked over to the dock to watch the sunset behind Mt. Baker.

The photo below is from our campsite. I loved our little rock island with it's tree just off shore.

Day one Garmin stats:
total miles hiked - 4.72 miles (this includes our wandering in and out of Anderson point)
total ascent - 449 feet

Day two -
Wednesday's hike would take us to our connect location, Noisy Creek. If you've read my blog much you'll know that I love wilderness toilets and think that there really should be a 5 toilet roll rating system for them. The two at Maple Grove were great. The one by the campground was surrounded by a wonderful "grotto" feeling forest scene.

Near the trail junction there is a newfangled conveyor belt toilet. It was interesting. Here, I'll give you a look inside. After you do your business, you push the foot pedal down 5 times and it's all gone. Amazing! I give this a 5 star toilet roll rating.

Leaving Maple Grove and heading to Noisy creek.

Rest break and trying out the timer on my camera.

Just before Silver Creek campground we came to the bridge that I took a picture of in my first section blog post. In that post I wondered what was beyond the bridge and here we are crossing it from the other direction. 😎

We ate lunch at Silver creek and then made our way to Noisy creek.

Noisy creek is the point in the distance in the photo below.

When we got to camp we set up our tent and went for a swim. I rinsed out a few of our sweaty clothes and hung them on a line to dry. We ate our dinner on the lake shore.

I really enjoyed the campsites that we had at both campgrounds.

Day two Garmin stats:
total miles hiked - 6.34 miles (including our lunch at Silver creek campground)
total ascent - 768 feet

Day three -
Thursday was to be a long hike day. Our plan was to hike all of the way out.
I took a morning photo of the lake before we left. It couldn't have been prettier. As you can see the sky had really begun to clear, we even saw a white moon and stars in the night. Since the haze has been in our air we haven't seen stars at night and the moon has been an eerie red.

Coral root

A nice mossy trailside chair courtesy of mother nature.

We had lunch at Maple Grove, and enjoyed the dock view again.

Anderson Creek bridge again.

Day three Garmin stats:
total miles hiked - 10.33 miles
total ascent - 1306 feet

Well our three day backpacking trip couldn't have been better. The trail in it's entirety is wonderful.
Now we are thinking of driving down and leaving our bikes at one end. Do a thru hike, when we get to the other end get on our bikes and pedal to our car at the other end. 
Now that would be an adventure!

When we opened our car doors to put our packs in, we were met by quite the surprise. "MANY" mice had partied in our Van while we were away. There wasn't any food in the car, so they must have just used it for a cozy place to play at night. Poop was everywhere. Ugh, but now I'm happy to say it's all vacuumed and washed out. I hope they had fun, because they sure left a mess. I picture them with little party hats on their tiny heads, and one of them playing a Ukulele while they danced the night away.