Sunday, August 28, 2011

Cascade crest 100, I opted for 33 miles

August 27-28 
CCC 100. 

Picked up Bob Combs at the sea-tac airport, headed to REI, pikes market and then to Easton WA.  It was great to see some of the VHTRC crew, awesome event great trails, but my heart and my head, both not in it.  By mile 3 I wanted to stop and every step to mile 33, it became very evident in my mind that I didn't feel like suffering, throwing up, pushing myself all night.  This is an odd place for me to be in because in the past i have almost always been able to shut that part of my brain down and push on.  I Have had a lot on my mind lately regarding life, structure, where I want to live, work, etc. And normally on long runs like this I figure it out but today I wanted nothing to do with it.  I thought about steak dinners, a good night sleep,  milkshakes and waking up not completely trashed.  The morning after, I expected regret for stopping so early but yeah, not so much.  heading back to Colorado.  

Seattle area

August 20-26

The summary of the week in Seattle with the Childress family.  Great food, thanks Brenna, great music, thanks sterling loons.  Bike ride and fun on Orcas island with Paul. Didn't get to see any Orca whales.   Jack and Molly- we went to the park and picked huckelberries, played soccer, played catch, rode skateboards, read bed time stories ( don't tell a three year old " don't let the bed bugs bite" if she doesn't like bugs. ) pikes place market for good Mac n cheese and chocolate,  canoeing. picnics,  playing on the playground and throwing rocks.  Molly was playing with a friend she met on the playground named Lucy sliding on the sliding board and at the bottom Lucy went pee,  her father says "Lucy you don't pee in the park". Molly "yeah Lucy don't pee in the park, pee in the pool". 
August 18-19, 2011

Left RMI base camp around noon, secured our climbing permits and headed to camp muir, which is about 4.1 miles and mostly snow fields.  Arrived at the camp around 5 ish and dropped some gear, repacked and laid out what we would need for later that night/next morning.  Heated up some water for mountain house chili Mac and beef and went to bed around 8 pm.  Hiking into muir a cloud covered the entire mountain and it was near whiteout conditions but as the night wore on, the clouds started to lift, the temp rose and the stars were visible. I was amazed at how fast the weather can change up high. We got up around midnight and was surprised how comfortable sleeping on a glacier can be.  I slept great.   Our goal was to get started ahead of the big guided groups and move fast up the mountain.  climbing with a harness, roped up to other people was new to me and took a little bit to get used to.  The glacier was glowing a vibrant blueish green from below.  There were a few crevasses to step over, some small a few others large, one required a ladder. Most of them I couldn't see the bottom.  I read about these in a book and it was very cool to experience these first hand.  We reached the summit around 5 am and it was still dark.  I could see Seattle, Yakima, mt Adams, mt baker, mt st. Helens all big, all glowing.  I kept thinking people are down there, tucked in there beds and I just climbed a mountain.  We skipped the cliches of that was only half of the climb or getting up is optional, getting down is imperative, took a few pics from the top.  It was a little windy, somewhat cold but not unbearable.  Heading back down, I tried to offer words of encouragement to the groups climbing up, most people looked trashed, focused and quiet.  We ended up at camp muir without incident, got to watch the sunrise while climbing down and I got to lead a section while roped up.  I hung out at camp muir for about an hour and a half, packing up some things we left in the tent and moved down to the parking lot pretty fast.  It is amazing how I can move when I want to get out of the uncomfortable plastic boots.  Got back to the hotel in time for a shower and a late lunch before driving to Seattle.  Climbing mountains seems to put my life in perspective,  it makes me feel very small and reminds me that 1. The mountains don't care.  2.  The world is a big place 3. They help me reflect on what is important in my life, the people. My values and beliefs and 4. They act as a kind of reset button.  The views aren't to bad either.  
August 17, 2011

Rest day and repack all my stuff.  Rented pants and plastic climbing boots.
August 16 , 2011

Climbed to camp muir, very light pack, running shoes, shorts a t shirt.  It was fun glissading down the mountain.
August 15 2011

Picked up a woman I met a few years ago in Cincinnati at the Seattle airport and headed to Ashton WA to meet up with her brother, who is a guide on mt Rainier. First viewing of this mountain, my thoughts are oh shit, this is a big one.  I also took a step back and thought tons of people climb this yearly so why not me. What one  man can do so can another.  figuring out my gear, what to take, what to leave behind.  Tomorrow morning heading to camp Muir for a fun, easy 10 mile hike at altitude on non-technical trails.  

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Thumbs, bikes and soap. Lots Of racing.

August 09-14th, 2011

Spent a little under a week at a friends house, living in my own little cave(her basement) in Oregon.  Went for a really fun run on Tuesday and Thursday in forest park which had some awesome trails.  Monday we ate a place called sizzle pie, great tasting pizza.   Tuesday after our run, we met at the lucky lab for libations, good food and thumb wrestling championships for oversized zucchini.  Most of my Portland trip consisted of hanging out in the neighborhood I was residing in and enjoying the local shops.  Friday 
Night we went to check out the Twilight Crit, a professional bike race in downtown Portland.  These boys closed the gap on the break away race leader in a quick, fast hurry.  Saturday, I went to the adult soapbox derby.  Very cool energy and a great scene.  Headed down to the local track and ran the beer mile and had a chill night at the house.  Awoke Sunday morning to the smell of banana pancakes and fresh fruit.  What a great way to wake up.  All in all, my stay in Portland was great but my only downside, I probably should have ventured out of the comfortable little neighborhood but this only gives me a reason to go back.    Very cool city, scene, filled with stylish, fit hipsters and world class athletes.  Great food great people.  I could live in Portland.  Got caught up on a lot of sleep and was introduced to the blog called " the oatmeal". If you are not familiar take some time and enjoy the humor.  

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Ocean size

August 08 ,2011

"Once in awhile you get shown the light in the strangest of places if you look at it right" scarlet begonias 
What I learned from driving up the coast is that the waves, earth and life doesn't stop.  Wave after wave continues to crash up on the beach and continues to do so every few seconds forever.  Pretty amazing to think that no matter what is going on in the world, your world , this is what will happen and it continues and you cant stop it.  

In Oregon it is illegal to pump your own gas, who knew.  Portland is great.  

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Whale of a headache

August 06, 2011

Slept at bunny flats trailhead in my car and the climb must have put it to me, I went to bed at 8:30pm and got up at 10 the next day.  Drove to clam beach, hung out in arcata and redwood np then crossed over the Klamath river and observed a slew of people on the bridge.  A 45 foot grey whale was swimming back and forth under the bridge.  Pretty spectacular to watch how elegant, fluid and massive this whale was.  You can see it on YouTube as it is pretty well documented. Suffering a migraine and got my laundry done.    Last day in California, heading north to Coos bay.  

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Shasta not the drink

August 05, 2011

Mt Shasta(white mountain)  14 ,179 ft.
Departed my car at 1:00 am,  it was a calm, cool starry night.  I wore shorts and a t-shirt with my Montrail boots. The first 1 .6 miles is easy hiking with little elevation gain to the Sierra hiking hut and fresh spring water.  From there I hiked over a few moraines and passed lake Helen on the left side.  Lake Helen isn't a lake, no water  This is the typical bivouac site for people doing a two day hike.  The snow was hard and cold which after I put on my crampons and helmet turned into a kick step, kick step breathe and repeat over and over.  Not being able to see, I stayed on the high side and traversed just below the heart and passed it on the right side.  From there, it was a long climb up to red bank chimneys, two people were in the one to my right and Patrick the English teacher from sacremento was on my left so I went up  the middle chimney.  I caught Patrick who had started from lake Helen just below misery and we knocked out another 1000 foot elevation increase.  Now the summit was in view and we passed some hot springs where according to John Muir's book he used to camp out on.  It smelled like sulfur and I don't know how anyone could smell the rotten egg smell for nights on end.  The steam coming from the ground was interesting to see.  We were the first to summit for the day and the sky was blue, no wind and sunny.  I hung out on the summit for about 1/2 hour,   signed the log book with something sentimental and something funny to me.  Go check it out.   and then I  began a fun descent.  From the chimneys to lake Helen is a 2000 foot drop in elevation and I glissaded down the whole thing at what felt like break neck speed but I'm sure it was slow.  Uneventful, slow climb, summit and return back to the car.  This I will take over epic almost die anytime.  No headache, no nausea, legs feel great, got two blisters on my heels.  Btw, does anyone want a pair of Montrail hiking boots.  I wore them four times and that equals 8 blisters. I'm done with those boots.  


August 04 2011

Set my alarm for 4:30am for an alpine start, hit snooze a few times and then turned it off, rolled over and went back to bed, only to be woke up by the warm sun in my face.  That mountain will be there tomorrow. Went into town, updated my backcountry permit.  Back to my camping spot.  Feeling very small looking at this mountain and a little intimidated. First climb with crampons, helmet and ice axe but I guess their is a first for everything right?   Glad i decided to sleep in because I would have made a big mistake leaving so late.  After talking with a few people what I thought would be a four to five.hour adventure is more like eight to ten.  We will see tomorrow.  I need to be heading down by 11:30 am is my turn around time summit or no summit. By noon clouds covered the entire top.  

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Dance on you fire dancers dance on

August 03, 2011

Hung out at the pool and spa until my car was fixed which was around midday and headed to mt. Shasta.  Got my permits take care of, you need two of them.  A summit permit which costs $20 .00 and a backcountry permit which is free but you have to have both on your person or you get a fine and they make you turn back wherever they catch you.  Got all my stuff packed up at the trail head.  Couldn't fall asleep and tossed and turned all night.  The stars were vibrant and everywhere,  the people camping next to me put on a laser show and fire dancing which was very cool to watch with the stars, mountains and trees  backdrop

The wheels on my Subaru go round and round

August 02, 2011

San Fran to Napa valley( the hard way)

Visited the Presidio and China beach area.  Hung out on the beach with views of the golden gate bridge and read for a few hours.  Mapped out my route to mt. Shasta through Sonoma and Napa wine country.   Driving through Napa my back tire fell off and rolled down the highway.  My road angel named Leona was two cars behind me, saw it happen and pulled over to see if I needed help.  She is an account executive for the valley yellow pages and knew who to call, gave them directions and got them there in ten minutes.  Thank you Ms. Gonsalves.  They got my car to the Subaru dealer just before closing and I got a shuttle to a hotel. Everything worked out as it always does.  

Please don't ever poop in front of me again. Ever

August 01 ,2011

San Fransico (day two)
Got up early for me 8:00am headed to pier 33, which was about a 40 minute walk.  Along the way, I got to see a large number of homeless.  One in particular stands out since he decided to defecate in front of me and then wipe his ass with his hand.  It was like a train wreck, I would look away and then back and then away and repeat.  I think I was in a state of shock.  Still am.  Arriving at pier 33 to obtain a ticket for the Alcatraz tour. Sold out until august 15.  Denied again,  way to many people on this planet.  Walked to fishermans warf and hung out to watch the sea lions for awhile as well as some of the street performers and panhandlers.  My favorite panhandler sign read " why lie, I need weed". Stopped off at Jacks,  had  a great lunch and better dinner and started to walk back to get my car and almost got threw up on by a homeless projectile vomiting all over the place.  Visited Toronado brewing Co. On haight, just blocks from the corner of haight/ashbury which both were on my to-do list, hey it was Jerry Garcia's birthday  Slept in my car on the side of the road

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

3 frenchies, an Aussie and a dumb american walk into a bar.

July 31, 2011

 San Fransico:  
Entered into this city by way of the bay city bridge, parking was terrible, everything is so tight and tons of people due to being Sunday.  Went to five different hostels to find a place to sleep but all were booked solid.  Stopped into a hotel to see if they had any rooms but couldn't see spending $275.00 a night.  Decided to get something to eat and got lucky with the sixth hostel that had two rooms left.  My room mates (3) we're from south Korea and were flying back to Korea and stayed up all night ugh, they were somewhat quiet, after 4:30 am , when they left I finally got some real sleep.  Buying earplugs for my next hostel stay.  I ended hanging out with three guys from France and a girl from Australia.  It was fun translating words from French to English and many times we told the very little  English speaking French guy the wrong words on purpose.   He wanted to purchase a California flag but didn't know the word for flag, so I told him it was "slut". Going into a gift shop he asked the worker for a California slut. Fun night of culture and learning cultural differences and I now have a place to stay in France when I go. Sweet.