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Just another Saturday

Posted by joeabbott on July 17, 2016

It’s Monday and I’m feeling beaten up by the weekend. It was a full-body workout: hiking and weed-pulling on Saturday, everything else on Sunday. Today’s post will capture my Saturday.

P7090053I haven’t been hiking in a while; obligations on the property up north are eating a lot of my time, but as we labor on uneven terrain, getting in our “step count” well before noon, and carrying heavy loads, I cajoled myself into thinking I was getting an equivalent work out. When my friend asked me to join him on a rainy Saturday, I agreed … we planned a middling 8+ mile hike and I felt ready.

P7090052The hike was up Mt Washington, which is a very different Mt. Washington than the New Hampshire version. About 4.25 miles to the top and some 4000’ of elevation gain, it’s a good outing but one you can climb and still be home for lunch.

Out Highway 90 toward Snoqualmie Pass, it’s a short 40 minute car ride and Heath, my hiking partner, and I met at 6AM … he did the honors of driving.

While the hike is fairly straightforward, the trail does break up a couple times as it intersects old (suspected) logging roads on the way to the top. We also seemed to time our climb on a day there was a biking event of some kind, meeting a number of bicyclists (plying the logging roads) on our way down.

But, the morning was overcast and the leaden skies kept most folks away: the trail up and summit were ours alone and we only met other hikers on our way back to the car.

When we parked we went through our respective final preparations: an extra layer of socks, getting boots on, stripping off extra layers, and the like. I was leaving the car a bit warmer than I usually am but, as I usually leave the car quite cold, it felt like a nice change. What that does mean is that as soon as you do start to warm up, you’ll likely be sweating like a fiend. And I did.

But, out of the car the trail goes up. I was in the lead, set what I thought was my usual pace, and was immediately out of breath. My “exercising” while working clearing the lot did less for my hiking fitness than I’d thought. Alas.

Over the next couple hours we zigzagged up and through the light canopy. across a couple logging roads, and past open stopping points on our way to the top. Unfortunately, the weather was such that we never got much for views, but we did stay dry save for our own sweat until we hit the summit.

Here’s a GPS trace from on our way up and back down:

image

At the summit, the weather turned a bit chilly and winds came in. Sure enough, just off the summit, the skies opened and we got rained on enough that putting our waterproofs on was our response. But the trip down was otherwise uneventful: a couple dozen hikers on the way up, a few bicyclists, and we were at the car before noon.

This one fed my soul, folks. It’s been too long since I’ve been out and it felt good to feel a trail under my feet, enjoy the company of my own breathing and footfalls, and enjoy nature. It was a great outing and I’m grateful that Heath suggested we get out and enjoy it.

However, upon returning home, I felt spent. Hips were sore, I had brought an insubstantial pack that rode mostly on my shoulders, and my legs felt curiously deadened. But, a long shower, a little time reading as I recovered, and I was ready for a pasta meal that Suzy whipped up. But then there was the weeding.

Long ago I fought the Battle of the Blackberry bushes and I felt they had been defeated from our property, but recently some insurgent spikes were coming over from the vacant property and our neighbors yards. When I had said something to the neighbor about hating the blackberry invasion, he made it clear I was welcome to pull them from his yard but, insomuch as they affected him, he didn’t mind them. So, up and over the fence I went, spending the better part of an hour pulling, hacking, and piling brambles in an attempt to keep our hard won yard blackberry-free.

I also had put in a few new posts for our fence and it was time to trim the tops, so out came my chainsaw … and, ZiiiiiP, the tops came off. Love that tool.

But that was it for Saturday. I spent the evening in front of my Xbox playing a little something called Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor, cleansing a few orcs as I tried to determine the identity of the wraith who is guiding me through the game.

Thanks for dropping in and sharing one of my Saturdays.

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