Monday, July 16, 2007

The next trip

...will be to the Sierras and the John Muir Trail!! Ohboyohboyohboy!! The JMT stretches over 200 miles from Mt. Whitney, highest point in the lower 48, to Yosemite Valley, along the way climbing 10 high-altitude passes. There are no road crossings. I've been wanting to hike the JMT since... well, forever it seems, and finally it's going to happen. First, though, theTahoe Rim 100 is this weekend; honestly, however, it's the Sierras and fastpacking a long trail again that I'm *really* looking forward to.

In preparation for the rest of the summer, this week has been one of catching up on mail, errands, unpacking, laundry, repacking, and, least fun of all, treating Fillmore the cat for fleas and tapeworms (ick!)--he had a new nickname, "Fleamore" (hah!) until he was weighed at the vet's office. Now he's "Porker" because he's increased from 12 to an impressive 16 lbs. in 7 months. At this rate, he'll be Guinness material in a year and a half or so.

This morning I ran the La Jolla-Ray loop and encountered a 4-point buck whose antlers were shedding their velvet. He looked straight at me with the red-tinged velvet hanging so long and scraggly off the bottoms of his antlers that they looked like dreadlocks. Really cool to see!

Sunday, July 15, 2007


Aah, Hardrock. My favorite race of all. And what a race this year! (How many times did YOU hit "refresh"??) Most amazing finishes and new course records in arguably "the harder direction" by Krissy and Scott, but also FIVE people under 30 hours, and NINETY-EIGHT total finishers, also a record by a huge margin! Emily, 2nd place girl and 8th overall, had an awesome run as well, PR'ing by several hours. Emily and I both ran Hardrock for the first time in 1999, she at 23, still the youngest ever Hardrock finisher. It was nice to see Betsy N. and Betsy K. on the finishers list yet again, as well as previous winners Karl, Paul, Ricky, Blake, and Kirk (and Mark until he unfortunately had to drop). Finally, a special congratulations to my friend and Montrail teammate Diana from PA--you did it, Girl! :)

Sunday, July 8, 2007

Crater Lake & Lassen National Parks

After another run in the Columbia River Gorge area--the groovy Eagle Creek/Tunnel Falls Trail, where one actually goes through a tunnel behind the waterfall--the next stop was Crater Lake National Park. How's this for impossibly blue water?

Being the consummate peakbagger, a hike of the park's high point, Mt. Scott, elev. 8,938 ft., was in order. After a memorable Fourth of July celebration in Klamath Falls, the next-to-last destination (last being Home Sweet Home), was Lassen Volcanic National Park, including Lassen Peak, and a very hot (100 degrees??) 11-mile run in the Park. I'm calling it heat training for Tahoe Rim. Lassen Peak, over 10,000 ft. high, was surprisingly very easy, only 5 miles round trip, with a couple thousand feet of elevation gain. A couple of snowfields and this bit near the summit are all that's left of the snow. Climbing the mountain in the cooler early evening hours made the hike much more enjoyable than my earlier run.

Home again, home again, for a few days at least!

Sunday, July 1, 2007

Mt. Hood

Internet access has been limited for the past week as I continue to play in Washington and Oregon. Four of us--Doug, Deborah, Alex, and myself--climbed Mt. Hood last Monday. The few inches of fresh snow made for a beautiful climb... although arriving at Timberline Lodge on Sunday afternoon in the midst of a miserable snow/rain shower certainly had us questioning our sanity for even considering an attempt. Sometimes, however, the weather gods are on one's side, as was the case for our Mt. Hood ascent. We got a relatively late start and after noticing other parties seeming to struggle on the regular route just below the summit, we opted for the old "crater route." Here we are descending:

It was a bit steep! (O_O) Here are myself, Alex, and our awesome leader (and great pacer), Doug, on the summit, where we hung out for over a half hour. It looks cold, but it was really a nice day up there. What can I say? I have major COLD ISSUES! Because of our later start, we actually had the summit to ourselves!!

These photos were both taken by Deborah. More photos at T'was a great day with some great folks!

Unfortunately, the weather gods were not on our side for the intended Rainier trip on W-Th-F. In fact, the weather forecast was SO dismal that our group of nine decided to not even start up the mountain, so sure we were of not reaching the summit. Everyone made the best of a disappointing situation, some opting to try for Mt. Adams, others returning home, etc.

As for myself, I chose to get in some badly needed training for my next hundred miler, Tahoe Rim, which consisted of nice runs on the PCT, Cascade Crest 100 (one of my faves!) course, and Mts. Si, Little Si, and Teneriffe, where I was able to get in almost 9000 feet of elevation in ~27 miles. Okay, so it wasn't exactly like Mt. Rainier's 9000 feet of elevation gain but was more enjoyable in the sense that I was carrying a 3-4 lb. pack instead of a ~50 lb. one (yikes). While the weather was not great, I actually got rained on for only ~5 miles.

Yesterday I started heading south once again... under sunny, blue skies. Mt. Rainier was standing out in all her glory. It felt very wrong to be driving away from one of the mountains I came up here to climb, but it's my philosophy that things happen for a reason and usually work out for the best. I'll be back another day to try it again.

This morning I got in a great loop on Dog Mountain in Southern WA--what a cool peak!--then drove to Hood River and consumed the most humungous "Alaskan fish" burrito I've ever eaten in my life. Oink! (What in the heck is "Alaskan fish" anyway??) Until next time..........