Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Mt. Rainier Hike

A couple of years ago Kent and I discovered a beautiful hike up on Mt. Rainier to Berkeley Park. The wildflowers were in incredible. We decided to return and hike a few miles further into the park to Grand Park.

Once again we were not disappointed! Granted - there are a lot of hikes that I've not taken in Washington State but I have to believe that it would be difficult to beat the hike to Berkeley Park for the wildflowers. Our total hike was about 12 miles but that's because we chose to go all the way to Grand Park.

The exciting thing this time was the sighting of three bears! I've been to Mt. Rainier many times and this is the very first time I've seen a bear let alone three! Pretty cool.

Here are a few more pictures from our hike. I'd highly recommend it!

It's hard to tell from this final picture bit there is a near in the lower right and upper left corners. I did not have my camera with me so all these pictures were taken with my iPhone.

Later - Jim

Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 19, 2013

Missoula Marathon

Well it's been nearly a week since we were in Missoula for the marathon and half marathon. I have been waiting for the race pictures to be posted so I could share a few. We had a great time - I completed the marathon in 3:55 and Kent completed the 1/2 marathon in 2:12.

The race itself was very well organized and everyone was very nice. The challenging part was the race started at 6am and we had to take buses to the start and with the hour time difference it made for a very early morning!

We have been to Missoula many times and always have a great time. It's a great place to visit!

Here are a few pictures from around town.

We took in a baseball game while in town. Me and the Osprey!

The dogs had a great time on their road trip! The bear picture is on the campus of the University of Montana. Kent and I have hikes up to the big M on the hillside on a previous trip to Missoula.

Taking a few weeks off from running to fully recover. Today we went on a 23 mile bike ride to give our legs a rest.

Have a good one!


using BlogPress from my iPhone

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Baby Seagulls

For years now my office has faithfully followed the hatching of a pair of Seagulls that nest on the roof of a near by building.

The eggs faithfully hatch on or near the 4th of July holiday. We have a pair of binoculars and a telescope set up for viewing and send out weekly updates about their progress. It makes for good office fun.

Here are a few pictures of "our" babies.

These great pictures were taken by a Seattle Times reporter who heard about our babies and stopped by to take a few pictures.


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

I could not resist

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Friday, July 12, 2013

Missoula Bound!

It's Friday afternoon and we are hitting to road headed to Missoula! Marathon is very early on Sunday morning. Driving as far as Spokane tonight and will then arrive in Missoula Saturday late morning. Looking forward to a great run. First marathon in Montana!

Later - Jim

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Living the Dream

I have to say I've never enjoyed Seattle more! We had the most incredible weather this spring and summer is starting off spectacular! We are loving our new neighborhood (Center of the Universe post coming soon) and our house is coming along. We have been working on updating the garage which is nearly done including a new garage door. As soon as the new door is installed I'll have to add a post about the project - it turned out to be a bigger project than we expected but its looking great!

With the weather being so nice and there being so many things to do in the neighborhood, aside from having to go to work periodically its like being on vacation! We are totally exhausting ourselves!

Last night we took the dogs for a walk. We have a pair of nesting eagles just 4 houses away. The two eaglets as they are called both have fallen out of the nest so the area is all fenced off and we actually saw one of the baby eagles on the ground near a large tree. Pretty cool. Apparently they are very close to being able to fly and should be fine. I was surprised how big it was!

After taking to dogs for a walk we took the kayaks out for a nice long run from Belvoir Park to Madison Park. It's just over a mile to Madison Park. The life guards were gone so we were able to put the kayaks up on the dock while we took in a swim. Pretty awesome! You can see by the map that our house is located very close to the park where we put the kayaks in the water.

I love this picture - although Kent and I are pushing 50, I feel like the two little boys in the background when we are out and about on one of our adventures!

To get to Madison Park we have to kayak under 520. They are putting in new pilings for the new bridge under construction.

It's kinda hard to tell - these pictures were taken with an iPhone after all, but there was a eagle watching is from high in a nearby tree. We have seen him several times when we go out in Union Bay.

I hope the fun we are having this first summer in our new home never ends!


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

Sunday, July 7, 2013

Chronicle of a 20 Mile Run

Well next weekend is the Missoula Marathon and I completed my final 20 mile training run this morning! Yeah - only a few short runs left this week! Following the marathon I'm taking a few weeks off from running, perhaps as long as a month and then begin training for a late fall or early winter run. On today's run I took a picture at my starting point and every mile along the route to share. We live in the best place in the city for running! I'll start with a map that shows the route. It's pretty cool to see how much of the city you can cover in a 20 mile run.

I left the house just after 6 am and planned on running nice and slow since the marathon is next week. So here we go - Starting Point - Our house or more precisely in this case our front porch.

Mile 1 - From there I made my way over to the new soon to be open Husky Stadium which is basically within walking distance from our house which is pretty much why we moved to the neighborhood 10 months ago! Notice the countdown to our first game in the new stadium - 55 days! We will be there - can't wait!

Mile 2 - I love running on the waterfront trail. It's one of the prettiest place to run. The only problem is the trail is frequently muddy. This morning was not bad - I've definitely seen it worse but I still had to tiptoe around to avoid muddy shoes! The pay off is a run along the Mont Lake cut and on floating walkways with beautiful views of the stadium and Lake Washington.

Mile 3 - The Arboretum is another great place to run. It's beautiful year round but early spring and fall are my favorite. I love the trails in the park. Early in the morning is best - there is no one around and I've the entire place to myself!

Mile 4 - From the Arboretum I head east on Madison St. towards Madison Park. It's mixed commercial and high end residential. Our favorite Teriyaki place in the city is near by. The mile four picture is the Russian consulate - it's a beautiful old building. I'm not sure why its here in Seattle - I'll have to look that up sometime. I do know we have a high percentage of Russian immigrants so I suppose that could be part of the reason.

Mile 5 - Yeah, a quarter of the way complete! Ironically as I draft this post I'm back at my mile 5 destination - Madison Park. When we finally narrowed our search of houses to two, the other house was her in the Madison Park neighborhood. It too would have been a great place to live. There are three great swimming beaches near our house - Matthews Beach, Magsuson, and Madison Park. Madison is our favorite. We have been coming here for 15 years! It's the unofficial gay beach in Seattle. We love it. In the past 4 days we have been here 3 times!

Mile 6 - From the park I head to Lake WA Blvd. for a long stretch along Lake WA. It's really beautiful and relaxing - very little traffic - and as he picture shows, lots of big beautiful homes.

Mile 7 - There are some terrific lake access points along Lake WA Blvd. Some are large parks and others are just small simple paths. This is one of the large parks - Leschi which has swimming and picnic spots.

Mile 8 - Time to head west towards Puget Sound. I run along the lake until I come to the Leschi shopping and restaurant area and then it's steep uphill running until I reach Martin Luther King Way. I love this particular route because it goes through park land with little traffic. Even if it is very steep! I get a lot of hill training in Seattle which is great. I actually enjoy the challenge of hills.

Mile 9 - This is the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center. I've been to performances of the Ham for the Holidays and we have rented it for work training events.

Mile 10 - Half way done! I arrive in downtown Seattle at last! When I started out this morning it was sunny - now the marine layer has moved in and it's cooler and cloudy. It's hard to make out but my office is centered in this picture. Depending on the route our house is 5 miles from my office. I frequently run home from work - a time I would other wise spend commuting. It works out pretty good.

Mile 11 - Okay this was a first and I may well have discovered the key to getting though a 20 mile run with a smile and some extra energy. I stopped at mile 11 for a triple latte! It was delish!

This is the official mile 11 photo - I just could not resist the pic with the latte!

Mile 12 - I run along the Seattle waterfront a lot since its a great run from my office. The only challenge is the number of tourists down on there during the summer. This morning was early enough that it was nice and quite. This is a picture of the Seattle Art Museum (SAM) outdoor exhibit. Pretty cool!

Mile 13 - The run along Myrtle Edwards Park is awesome! Once you get that far most of the tourists have thinned out and it's runners and bikers. It's beautiful unobstructed views of Puget Sound ferries and harbor seals. Summer also brings on the huge cruise ships headed to Alaska. This is the same terminal that we departed from when we went on the Alaska family cruise a few years ago - that was a great trip!

Mile 14 - This area is a fairly busy area traffic wise that I needed to run through to get to the ship canal trail. Not much to take pictures of but right when I hit mile 14 a Brown Bear car wash happened to show up so this is the mile 14 pic!

Mile 15 - okay 3/4 of the way done! This is probably the least interesting part of the run so when mile 15 hit there was nothing too exciting to take a picture of so I took a picture of a nearby exit sign.

Mile 16 - I was running along the Ship Canal Trail when mile 16 arrived just in time for me to capture a couple of great pics - so for mile 16 you get two shots! I love the houseboats here in the city.

Mile 17 - The folks in Fremont call it the center of the universe - and it's a pretty cool place. Truth be told I think Kent and I live in the center of the universe, but that's a different blog post! Fremont is cool enough to warrant two picks - one a famous self portrait with JP Patches and the other a houseboat under the bridge that I'd love to live in someday.

Mile 18 - This is along the Burke Gilman Trail which runs within 4 blocks of our house! Along with being next to Husky Stadium being near the Burke Gilman was another reason we moved here. This picture was taken at the same spot that Kent and I rode our bikes to on July 4th to watch the fireworks. We had a great view and an easy ride home with no traffic. It's kinda hard to tell but the city is located behind the tall tower and the Space Needle is in the far distance behind the Lake Union.

Mile 19 - one more mile to go! This is on the main campus of the UW - we are so lucky to live so near the campus. It's a beautiful campus and we love the energy that the students bring to the neighborhood.

Mile 20 -Yeah! Final 20 mile run before the marathon! I have a couple pictures to share - these are both from the same bridge, one looking each way. I thought they were both cool.

This is about .5 miles from our house. I walked the rest of the way home as a cool down. So there you have it. 20 miles is a long run but its also a great way to see the city. I do believe I'm ready for Missoula - bring it on!

Have a good one -