lost in the woods

I’ve been reading probably the most inspiring series of blog posts, ever, for the last week or so.  Any spare moment I would open up Brittany’s homepage and update myself on her adventures through the Pacific Crest Trail.  Around day 51 she starts posting lots of pictures… but the posts leading up to it are definitely worth the read.

The Pacific Crest Trail runs over 2600 miles from Mexico to Canada along the Pacific Coast – through the desert, the Sierra Nevada and the Cascades.  It’s a grueling hike at every point, due to climate and altitude, or usually both.

I got this bee in my bonnet that I wanted to do some longer hikes… two day… three day… a week.  Build up to a point where maybe one day I might be able to do the Appalachian Trail.

I shared this information with Kristina who was equally enthusiastic about the longer hikes.  Then we took a walk on the trails behind my house on Sunday.

Um!  It’s a 1.2 mile trail that loops.  Loops.  And yet somehow we walked for an hour and a half, looping back and forth, being completely confused by the maps that were posted all along the trail.

Eventually we figured out that if we just turned around we’d be walking on the road that I live on — so the trail spit us out just in time for a thunder/lightning storm.  Luckily, Derek had his phone on him but Kristina and I were completely unprepared – so he called Jason to come rescue us.

Dripping wet when we finally made it back, we rewarded ourselves with an ice cream and fried food at the burger joint down the street.

So saying we have a long way to go is an understatement… but there’s nothing we can’t do if we want to.  Just needs a little… little bit of work.

Hiking Log: Speckled Mountain

A sunny hello to everyone!  I’ve been quite busy climbing mountains, preparing for location shoots, going on location shoots, filling orders and designing new products this week — I wanted to recap a little from last weekend.

We climbed up Speckled Mountain last weekend to kick off a series of Autumn hiking trips.  Ahh, the perfect season for sweating your way up a mountain.  As I type, I’m watching a squirrel hide something yummy in my neighbor’s flower bed.  Definitely getting colder!

Speckled Mountain is about 1.5 hours away by car, and be sure to bring $3 with you to donate/get a parking pass for the day.  The elevation is not bad at 2,906 feet, but the first hour or so of the hike is GRUELING.  I’m a good long-distance hiker, but endurance climbs over steep rocks and lots of leg-lifting is NOT my thing.  Ouch.  Once we made it past that point, though, I about stopped swearing and was able to enjoy the exercise, pace myself, and stop for delicious blueberries on the trail.

At the top of Speckled Mountain we were joined by some hungry/curious gray jays (see end of video!) that will eat out of your hand if you stand really still!  Rondo (the dog) doesn’t stand very still so that was an issue.  We were also joined by a friendly couple from Maine at the summit who just passed through, and a homophobic man and two pre-teens he had brought with him who were also fans of the other ‘f’ word and one of whom was referred to as a ‘Nancy’ when he got scared when a gray jay flew at him.  Nice parenting, guy!

As usual, the walk/run down starts out awesome until your neck starts to hurt from watching the ground and your knees start to weaken from the impact.  Don’t forget to stop for water on the way down, even though you don’t feel like you need it as much.

The hike was 8 miles covered in 6 hours (or a little less) and T and B had a crock pot full of chicken and goodness waiting when we got back to Portland.  Yessss.