WRITING

What Happens out West?

We were recently in Boise, ID for the NXR Northwest Regionals cross country meet. Really good race, good course, teams from all over the mountain west. My daughter’s team did well and she ran a great race. We spent about 24 hours in and around Boise driving over from Portland on Friday, then returned home on Saturday night after the race. I haven’t had a good road trip in a while and it’s always a…

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October Snow

There were a couple of ski tracks leaving Cloud Cap and heading up the trail toward Cooper Spur. Someone got the early goods on Mt. Hood. Probably a little bony skiing back out. We went up to Cloud Cap for the day to play in the snow, try out the new sled, and get the tarp set up to measure where the stove jack will be sewn in. We’ve used this tarp in the past…

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Endless Summer

Short overnighter to take advantage of the summer weather. As a result of climate change, the temperatures in mid-October have been closer to what we would see in late August / mid-September. This was the quietest place I’ve ever slept. I’m not sure if it’s because the lake is in a valley, or if the wind was calm (probably both). Usually I can hear running water, or birds or other animals at night and sleep…

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Granola & Biscuit

Some of my backcountry lessons include taking a trail name (like thru-hikers do), making sure to check the stars if you get up in the middle of the night, and taking every opportunity to put your bare feet in a cold stream on a hot day. Like many parents, I’m horrified by the devices and the screens and how addictive staring at a screen can be – and worry that kid’s brains are being rewired…

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The nature of things

I remember backpacking in the Carter Range in New Hampshire – it’s one valley over from the Presidentials in the White Mountains, and there were trails there that were so rocky, and the footing so unstable, it was such difficult hiking – I was tired, my pack felt heavy, the light was fading – and I got so angry at the trail. Why would anyone make a trail here? This trail is just boulders, why…

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The Top is Halfway

The amount of snow on Mt. St. Helens is closer to what we normally see mid-winter. Chatting with a Mt. St. Helens Institute ambassador(?) at the summit, he said there is about 60 feet of snow on the Swift Glacier (at about 7,000 feet). Fun fact I learned from the very same guy: The glacier in the crater is the only glacier in the US that is growing. Wind blown snow and collapsing cornices accumulate…

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Aloha Nui Loa

Spent last week visiting my family in Maui. My brother sailed solo overnight from Oahu and anchored in Lahaina. My family flew from Portland and set up base camp in Kihei where my mom lives. I’m grateful that I could see my mom, brother and niece and tour around the island with my wife and children and have these experiences with them – we often get so caught up in our day to day lives…

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4th Wave

Last week I had 2 threshold workouts on the trainer, and one hard running hill workout, max HR. Thursday my watch was telling me “Your current training load is going in the right direction, but your fitness is declining. Try reducing stress and get more rest.” Weird. I knew something was going on. Friday I was tired. Afternoon nap tired… then my lower right lumbar started to feel sore. I thought maybe it was from…

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Range Life

I’m planning to explore central Oregon more in the coming months and took a short overnighter down to the Pine Mountain Observatory east of Bend, Oregon. The past few weeks have been shoulder season weather in the PNW – rain in the valley and snow in the passes. Once you pass the Cascade crest that runs north/south in Oregon, the landscape changes dramatically to open range and a much drier (and browner) environment. If there…

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Carbon

The IPCC report on climate change was released last week and the takeaway is that we are clearly on track for an unlivable planet. Mass extinction, climate disasters, economic and food security crises have already begun. Is that sobering? Does it make you sit up and pay attention? Scary enough to change behavior? I’m not so sure. Behavior change is a tough nut to crack. Consider Covid mask requirements over the past 3 years –…

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Reality Check

How has my combined mileage changed over the years? I did some digging in Strava to find out what my cycling and running mileage has looked like over time. These charts are from the last 10 years. * I can’t believe I’ve been using Strava for 10 years, but that’s another post. My highest volume training year was 2018 (2nd chart), my lowest was 2012 (3rd chart). The lowest year was most likely because I…

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Sufferfest

So I bought a smart trainer. I was checking Fedex on the hour to see where it was and yesterday it finally arrived. I’m trying not to go crazy $$ on setup, so I didn’t buy a second cassette to put on the trainer (it’s a Saris H3). I spent last night getting my gravel bike cleaned up and ready to ride indoors. I pulled the cassette off (11spd, 11-32 Ultegra), degreased it and installed…

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Plan Accordingly

I’ve been thinking about this the past few days. I never had any expectation of any return to what things were like before, but I guess I hadn’t really internalized the “plan accordingly” part. Funny enough, it’s manifested for me in not being on my bike. I used to commute to an office every day, go running at lunch, participate in meetings, hang out in the work kitchen catching up with people. What I miss…

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Day One

Lately my pull has been toward finishing up major projects. I keep a running to-do list in Notes and only add the next 2 or 3 items I need to do. I woke up Sunday and wanted to make a push to get closer to completion on the portico project. When I’m focused on projects, my running miles plummet. I can’t go for a long run, then eat, change and reset to start working. I’m…

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Trades

Roofers, drywallers, framers, plumbers, flatwork(concrete), finish carpenters, masons, cabinetmakers, tile setters, electricians. I think that’s it. The trades in order of skills required. I only put electricians at the end because I hate doing electrical work. Mostly from renovating old houses and having to deal with ungrounded wiring, knob and tube, asbestos insulated wiring, etc.. And I would never do a job like replacing an entire panel – too easy to make a mistake and…

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