Pacific Northwest

#MondayMotivation - Trail Run?

I’m not a runner, not really.

I haven’t ever run more than a mile at once, and I haven’t done that since high school. I have done the Couch 2 5K for about 4 weeks, before petering out. I’m not a runner, but I’m trying it on for size now.

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So… I signed up for the LBA - Little Backyard Adventure trail race sponsored and hosted by The Outdoor Society in Olympia, Washington. It is Saturday, August 10 and I’m going to train until then in hopes of coming in better than last place. It’s a simple motivation today - try harder, work for it, and don’t come in last place in August. I’ve already started incorporating little spurts of jogging into my daily dog walks and I don’t hate it.

Observations:

  • My dog maxes out at about 16 minute miles - if we REALLY hustle. He’s more comfortable around 17-20 minute miles. He’s kind of holding me back, but I love him so I’ll have to train separately or just drag him.

  • I am to the where walking fast is more annoying than just running slowly. Yeah, I run slowly, but I am still in the motion and it’s still running.

  • My self-centered notion that people are judging my running ability is just silly. EVEN if they are, who the fuck cares? Not me, from this moment forward anyway.

  • Running on a treadmill is absolute horse shit. I hate it. I was like, why do I hate running? It’s because I did Couch 2 5K on a treadmill and that was the dumbest thing. I mean, not THE dumbest thing, but dumb enough for me. Running outside, though probably slower, is just so much better feeling in my body. I will save the treadmill as a last resort, when it is storming or I am unable to go before triple digit temps for the day.

  • I sweat a lot. I sweat walking through an air conditioned building, but running really soaks me. I’m also coming to terms with the fact that this doesn’t matter either. Re-hydrate and move on, Mike.

As someone WHO never did ANY sport or any fun running, this is kind of cool. I know, so many of you ran in high school or run for health. I just never did, and it is kind of exciting for me. I have a goal, a real motivator, and I’m ready to commit.

#ForestFriday - Northern California!

ALRIGHT, I have a few minutes so I thought I’d throw together some of my favorite photos from the 2009 road trip we had in Northern California. Now, I’ve revisited in 2016 and it’s still (or more) magical and again in 2017 with the same feelings. Enjoy some sun streaming through some big, green trees! Happy Friday, Happy Forest Friday, and just Happy Day. Find the joy, find the forest, and have a good one.

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#WayBackWednesday - Olympic National Park

I’m working on being more positive and upbeat so here are some photos from my trip back in March to the beautiful Olympic National Park in Washington State. When I need a moment at work, or anywhere else, I just try to remember my three glorious days in the trees and on the beach in the Olympic Peninsula. What do you do to take mental breaks? Where does your mind wander in a daydream? Feel free to share your magical places. Have a great Wednesday and week ahead. You’ve got this!

This is currently the background on my work PC… Helps me stay calm! (Quinault)

Rialto Beach - a peaceful evening watching the sun set

In the Hoh Rain Forest… with the sun peaking through the mossy trees

At peace among the trees on the trail to Sol Duc Falls

#WayBackWednesday - Texas to Oregon and back

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It was August of 2013 and my other half had a little time before starting back at college so we took off for the west coast. The drive from Fort Worth to Portland is about 31 hours so we decided to break it up a little with a stop in Arches National Park along the way. We set out in my car on a Tuesday night so we could breeze through Texas and make it to Arches in the daylight. We hit Albuquerque at dawn and enjoyed a quick stop for coffee and food. On the way to Arches, we stopped at Wilson Arch to get our first taste of red rock in Utah.

Arches was amazing, as always, and welcomed us with sunny skies and plenty of wind. We drove to the scenic sights and did the little trail by Balanced Rock. We didn't spend a lot of time at Arches, but the little we did was beautiful. Onward! Our next stop was for dinner and coffee in Salt Lake City. We visited Temple Square before heading out for our last leg to Portland.

Our first time in Portland, back in December of 2012, we stayed a classy downtown hotel and and ate at nice restaurants. This time, we stayed at the Howard Johnson (the Ho-Jo) out towards the airport and ate at medium to low level places. We were trying to keep it cheap and interesting all at once. I purchased a Groupon for a beer tasting at a local pub and we enjoyed dinner there. The Portland Japanese Garden was a gorgeous space to visit and was one of the highlights of the trip.

From Portland, we headed west towards the coast with a stop at the Tillamook State Forest center along Route 6. It was neat to learn about the forest and walk up to a forest tower. Our destination for the night was Coos Bay at a Super 8. We stopped at a few spots on the way to the hotel including Cape Lookout State Park, Devil's Churn, and a few roadside viewpoints. The hike at Cape Lookout was longer than we though, as we didn't really plan well for it, and we managed to get confused going back up from the beach. The weather was misty and gray, but finally cleared a little as we neared Coos Bay. Once at the hotel, we ordered pizza and crashed after the long day.

We woke up and headed back north towards Portland. We were going to explore the city a little and then attend a concert the next day featuring two of our favorite bands together. The concert was a Mississippi Studios and the concert was one of the most memorable of my life.  Said the Whale and Kopecky (known then as Kopecky Family Band) were two indie rock bands that played their hearts out ending our days in the northwest. We left after the concert to head back to Texas, with a detour through Colorado just for fun.

#ForestFriday - the Ozette Loop

Earlier this year I was lucky enough to visit Olympic National Park up in NW Washington. I was referred to the Ozette Triangle because it is a spectacular trail with a mix of forest and beach hiking that gives you the perfect mix.  It is about a 9 mile trail that can be done in one day as I did or one that can be done with an overnight stay along the beach, just get a permit.  Here are a few photos from the forest portion.  Happy (Forest) Friday and I hope you can get out this weekend - I know I'm going to try!

#ForestFriday - Ossagon Trail (Redwood NP)

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Today's Forest Friday is going to look at a trail I walked on 10 years ago vs. 1 year ago.  Ossagon Trail is Redwood National & State Parks with the Prairie Creek State Park area.  When I was looking through the photos I noticed a few things... Anyway, enjoy the forest and I hope you get outside this weekend if you want!

March 2008

March 2008

August 2017

August 2017

August 2017

#ForestFriday - Cape Flattery

"Walking through the forest on the west coast will always be a treat to me"

Today I'm looking back on a 2009 trip to the northwest tip of the contiguous US.  Two of my best friends and I were on one of our cross-country road trips and decided we needed to see Cape Flattery - if for no other reason than to say we went to one of the most northwest tips of the US.  The forest was lovely, as forests are, but I can still remember being amazed by the turquoise water crashing on the rocks below more than anything else.  I've attached a few photos of the trail and the views.

To park in the lot with the trailhead, you need to obtain a permit from the Makah Reservation.  I've included a link to get more information about where to find that pass and a little background on the Makah Tribe.

Makah Tribe Website // Cape Flattery Trail Information

The platform with all the views...

#WayBackWednesday - My first visit to the Pacific Coast

In 2007, I saw the Atlantic Ocean for the first time.  Two of my friends and I were on a road trip to see the country because we grew up in Northern Michigan without many trips out.  When I tell stories about adventure or finding my passion for public lands, they all start with this road trip in 2007.  I was 23 years old, didn't know what I wanted to do with myself, and was STILL in school because I was afraid to move on/got real lazy towards the end.  The trip of 2007, that had me seeing mountains, deserts, and the ocean for the first time really did change my perspective on life. 

Since the 2007 trip was adventurous and successful, we wanted more for 2008.  In 2007 we planned a bit, but much of it was improvisation.  For 2008, we planned a bit more and added thousands of miles to the itinerary to include a variety of landscapes.  In 2008, I saw the Pacific Ocean for the first time.  Ten years and one month ago, I was driving south on US-101 from Washington to Redwood National & State Parks.  To this day, I can remember one of the morning drives and the smell of the sea air.  My first visit to the Pacific Northwest/Pacific Coast was memorable to say the least.  We stopped at many little beaches, got our feet wet, and watched the sun dance on the water.  Here are a few photos from that time in 2008 that continued to change my outlook on life, one gorgeous rest stop after another.  Is it any wonder why I've been obsessed with the Pacific Northwest since 2008?