#hike19 - Little Backyard Adventure - Olympia, WA


Date: Saturday, August 10, 2019

Location: LBA Park, Olympia, WA

Distance: 3.6 miles

Trails: The LBA loop

Miles from Home: 2,105

Weather: Cloudy, cool, moist


I signed up for this trail race on a whim, thinking “why not?” back in May. August came pretty quickly and I did not train enough for this race, but I still met my goal of hitting about a 15 minute mile - which is not a big deal for many, but is for me. As the temperatures wind down here in Texas, I’ll run more outdoors. For now, I’m still on a treadmill.

The LBA Park is operated by the City of Olympia, which is a wonderful town south of Seattle filled with amazing city parks, great food, and excellent beer. I arrived in the area on the Friday evening before the race and went to the the REI to meet the organizers and pick up my number. I was issued 101, for which I was pleased, and enjoyed meeting Mathias in person after interacting online for quite some time. If you ever get a chance to interact with the guys from The Outdoor Society, do it! They are both great and put on one hell of a trail race extravaganza.

After the REI visit and packet pickup, I went to the LBA park and walked some of the trails out there. I am not usually one to prepare too much for anything, but I wanted to get a walk in anyway and figured why not explore the trails I’d be running on tomorrow.

The trails are soft, with roots, and lined with plenty of lush foliage. The morning of the race was foggy, misty, and very moist. It had rained overnight but the trails weren’t muddy, but the whole place felt wet and very Pacific Northwest. It was perfect. The smells were fresh and everything just felt right.

I started the race strong, doing a quick (for me) first mile but I started to lose steam. I found a running buddy, who was running her first race, and we kind of stayed together for the second mile or so and it was great. We talked as we alternated between hiking fast and running. I soon felt that I was going too slow and wouldn’t hit my 15 minute mile goal, so I had to run more. I really surprised myself in how long I could run, and how much easier it was in a forest on a natural trail versus the treadmill I was using back home.

I made it up a big hill, interacted with some of the friendliest people, and finished the race well before some people in my group. I was pleased.



  • Trail runners are a good group of people, despite my preconceived notions of runners in general

  • Trail running is SO much easier than running on a treadmill - at least to me it was (maybe just more enjoyable?)

  • I can do it, I just need to stick to it


  • Running in trees

  • Camaraderie among runners

  • Doing something out of my comfort zone completely

  • Running as an enjoyable activity

  • Meeting new people and a person I’ve admired from afar

  • Visiting the PNW

#hike19 - Dinosaur Valley State Park

"The old standby, always there for me when I need a good hike!"

Date: May 27, 2018

Location: Dinosaur Valley State Park - Glen Rose, TX

Distance: 5.0 miles

Trails: Cedar Brake, Paluxy River

I was visiting my family that lives near Glen Rose and decided I needed a morning hike, at least once, this weekend.  I stayed up way too late the night before, but eventually made my way to my cousin's place to pick up her fiancee and we hit the trails.

The parking lot at the entrance was a bit crowded, and the trailhead parking was busy because of group campers but the overall trail experience didn't include seeing more than three people in five miles.

The river was noticeably low and was not too difficult to cross.  We started around 8 am, in order to try and get a few miles in before the temps skyrocketed into uncomfortable territory.  We saw gorgeous flowers in bloom, cactus flowers, yucca flowers, and of course plenty of insects pollinating.  We hiked at a steady pace, had good conversation, and an overall enjoyable morning.  This hike was just what my body needed.

Overall, it was a satisfying hike with a new hiking partner.  On our way out, the line to get in the park was damn near 50 cars long, so I'm glad we got there when we did.  Here's to you, old standby, your views and trails are always worth it to me.  Happy trails!