Wednesday, August 31, 2011

20110828 Alki Beach 5K Walk & Run

From Hiking & Walking

A few weeks ago a friend asked me to join them in the Alki Beach 5K Run & Walk and I agreed to go. Five kilometers isn't a difficult walk and I knew the route would be flat as it was along the shore of Alki beach.

Due to spending the two previous days at PAX the alarm on Sunday morning went off way too early. Yet I still made it up and over to meet my friends in time. It was a very foggy morning and as you can see from the photo I didn't see the sun or a lot of water during the walk. I finished the walk with an official time of 1:03:37. I am going to work on lowering my time for future 5K walks, but am satisfied with my results.

This was the first walk on a new pair of Brooks Beast running shoes that I had bought the week before. In the end the shoes were great as they didn't cause me any discomfort during the walk. Having high arches I like that the Beast comes in wide versions. I believe these are going to be a great pair of shoes for hiking on sidewalks and lighter trails. I'm considering buying another pair to use in the gym.

Finally, I have to say I look damn good in that picture! I don't feel like I've lost that much weight but looking at pictures like that compared to some a few years ago and I can see a positive difference. I win!

Monday, August 29, 2011

Whoops!

I've kept hiking and walking on a regular basis. The problem is I haven't been good and keeping up on blogging about it. Sorry folks.

This weekend while participating in the Alki Beach 5K I thought about the issues I have with gear while hiking and possibly blogging about how I find solutions and work arounds. For example, where can you buy base layer clothing to fit my larger frame. I figure that information could be useful to other big hikers. So I will start to include that on my posts here along with the rest of my life.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

20110811 - Lake To Lake Trail (Partial)

Before I get too far I want to spend a moment to define a couple of words. Those words are "hiking" and "walking," which are similar, but to me mean the following:

walking
Moving on foot with the goal of going from one place to another. Walking mostly involves paved sidewalks and roads. For example, last night I walked from the restaurant to R.E.I. and back.
hiking
Moving on foot with the goal of viewing the scenery and enjoying nature. Hiking mostly involves trails whether they are gravel, bark dust or bare earth. For example, tonight I hiked around Mercer Slough.

With that out of the way let's get on to tonight's adventure. I had an appointment in Bellevue tonight after work and instead of driving to Seattle and back I decided to spend the time exploring the Lake to Lake Trail, which is close to my office. So I grabbed my camera, phone and headed out to find the trail. Finding the trailhead wasn't difficult as it is located at the Winters House. The trail wanders through the Mercer Slough. Not far down the trail I found my "dream home," an old joke between me and my first wife, and had to snap a picture.

I was making good progress thanks to the well maintained trails when I spied a pedestrian bridge ahead of me. Picture time again!

From the bridge I took two pictures of downtown Bellevue. The first was a regular shot. I used the optical zoom on my camera on the second time to give a better idea of the skyline from the bridge.

I was making good time but not knowing exactly how long it would take me I started to focus more on making progress than looking at the bushes around me. It was a nice easy hike because the trails are well maintained in the slough. The only hitch was when I came upon a split in the trail with no sign indicating which way I wanted to go. I chose the sinister trail (Was that a surprise?) and continued along my merry way.

In the end I think both ways would have gotten me to my goal. In the end I made it through and back to the main road. I continued around the edge of the slough and made it back to the Bellefield Office Park with enough time to have some water and rest before my appointment. On the way to my office I came across some painted stones. They could be art or some sort of therapy. Either way I took a picture for you.

I'll have to find a way to track some statistics about my hikes but for now you just get a lot of pictures and my short descriptions. It was a good way to spend 90 minutes and I'll have to hike the slough again because there are many branches and other trails I didn't take.

Finally, I'll leave you with one last picture. Working in a slough has some disadvantages in a rainy area. The parking lots sink into the soft soil and flood often. In fact the parking lot at my office has been underwater most of the year. I noticed today that they've mounted signs warning about the deep water. After the floods have receeded and the aspalt is dry. As a note all the asphalt you see was completely submerged not long ago. I guess the signs will help next spring when the snow melts again.

The next hike I've planned is on the Iron Goat Trail this Saturday.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Plans at Dinner

Just had a very nice evening with my friends Jenn and Lacy talking about hiking, backpacking, camping and life in general. I'm very excited about our plans for adventure. The plan was for me to talk to them about equipment and preparation for extended backpacking trips. The problem was it has been so long since I went on more than a day hike I'm not sure what is the current state of backpacking equipment. Instead we talked about camping and hiking trips we would like to do.

Part of that is a plan to hike the Iron Goat Trail. I don't know if they will be able to join me but I'm going to hike it this weekend. Maybe twice as my brother also wants to hike the trail but he's booked on Saturday. No matter what else happens I'm going to get out on two hikes this weekend. I can't always get out both days but I'm going to take advantage of them when I can.

I am also going to try some urban hikes in the evenings when I don't have other plans. For example last night I didn't drive. I walked from home to the library, to dinner, to a coffee shop and then back home. I think it was about 4km and a nice stretch of the legs.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Beer on Bainbridge

My brother has a good write up of our adventure last weekend, so I'll let him tell the tale.

Flatlander In Seattle: Beer on Bainbridge: “Last Saturday my brother and I took the ferry from downtown Seattle over to Bainbridge Island...”