Saturday, May 27, 2017

Blanchard Mountain

Feeling really good. I got up early on the Saturday morning of a three day weekend and hiked and jogged around Blanchard Mountain. I threw in the British Army Trail, and looped back via the logging roads. Just an absolutely terrific morning on trail.

I have an old phone, and I'll replace it one of these days. It doesn't capture the best pics, but I'd rather throw these up here and have them then not. These pics are like rumors of the full view. The temps were in the 70s, not a cloud in the sky, and the trails were not too busy, because of the early start.

I've only taken the British Army Trail a couple times. It seems like t lot of work has been done on the trail in the last couple years, and the white scrapes suggest to me that it is part of the Pacific Northwest Trail. It's a less-traveled gem, and the logging roads back to the upper parking lot was a quiet, solitary experience--just how I like it.  On the logging roads, the view of Mount Baker was tres magnifique at one point. A "Well, hello there! Sweet view!" kind of moment.

Mount Rainier was out too. Sitting square in the middle of the view, from the Overlook, looking down across the Skagit Valley flats and Bow. I do this loop all the time, but don't typically see it. The white capped Olympics Range was also in full view, over Anacortes. All here, said the mountains.

The State Legislature is wrestling with whether or not to protect Blanchard Mountain from logging, and for recreational use. It's a ridiculous debate, but politics are that way sometimes, I guess. Frankly, it looks like a lot of logging has already occurred up there, selectively. The trail is quite a bit different from when I first started running and hiking up there, so many years ago.  Also, there is four to five times the foot traffic. The place is very much used and appreciated. Blanchard Mountain needs to be preserved as it is.

Off the mountain for now. Might go up again this weekend; the weather is good. Cueing up the barbq now, with some Bob Marley beats kicking. Might have to be a homebody, and garden, roof care, and all those sorts of things. Lively up yourself, says Bob.

Train rolling around the corner on the waterline

I promise--Mt. Rainier sits large in the middle of this photo, if you squint. Click to enlarge.

Bow, Chuckanut Drive and the Skagit Flats

Skagit Flats in the foreground, than March Point, and the Olympics Range beyond

Another shot of Bow/Chuckanut/Skagit Flats

Lilly Lake

Lizard Lake - fish were hopping

Here's a fail picture of Mt. Baker.  The lighting didn't work. But the view is special, from the logging roads retiring to the upper Blanchard parking lot.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Beat The Bridge

I ran the Beat The Bridge 8k this morning. The race benefits Diabetes research, and is hosted by Nordstrom. The course runs over the Montlake Bridge by Husky Stadium in Seattle, and then the bridge to beat is the Roosevelt Bridge, which lifts about 24 minutes into the race.  I beat the bridge, but it was not a rout.

The best part of today, by far, was it was a family affair. My wife and I got up at 5 AM or so, with the help of an outlaw rooster. We made the drive down and met her daughter, husband, and others. In particular, Deb's 5 month old granddaughter participated, in a stroller. So very cute, so very cool.

I think Beat the Bridge was my first for fee race in Washington State. I ran it in 1986, 31 years ago! I remember being really excited with the idea of a challenge--Beat The Bridge!--and then finding that it wasn't all that tough to beat. I talked a couple roommates into joining me. Not my first fee race--I did a few in Washington DC before that.