Thursday, October 26, 2017

Out of Balance, Out of Whack

Despite this misleading header photo (a throwback from maybe March or April), my adventures have come to a temporary standstill here in Seattle city, Planet Earth.

For the first time in my young and mostly sedentary life, I am struggling with shin splints. Nay, shin splinT, as it's literally just my right leg.

This damn right side, I tell you what....... Every issue I have in my body is always on the right side. My chi must be so low or blocked on this side of my body. My back and knee injuries were on the right side. Both kidney infections I've had in my lifetime were in my right kidney. I used to suffer from pretty bad TMJ on the right side of my jaw, which vanished mysteriously one day. Not to mention the crazy rash I had on my right cheek for months on end!! The migraines I started developing this past year always emanate from the right side of my cabeza. Etc. Etc.

If you're reading this and nodding in agreement from a similar experience, please don't bother Googling anything along the lines of "why are all my health issues on one side of my body?"

You will reap a few thousand pages of results concerning fibromyalgia, MS, and other debilitating diseases. Fucking WebMD!; The crutch and crucifix of hypochondriacs everywhere.

Perhaps stress, and therefore immune deficiency, manifests on one side more than the other. The google underworld doesn't seem to have any realistic answers to this imbalance, and neither do any of the medical professionals I have seen recently. So far I have treated the irate shin with acupuncture, massage, hot bath soaks with epsom salt, and compresses. I'm also taking a bunch of magnesium and calcium and eating plenty of (ba)nanners to treat my aching muscle cramps.

Ugh, as a stubborn and hard headed person, its no surprise that my physical body is just as stubborn as my mind. I have always been prone to sickness and injury, and at times it feels like I am in the midst of a constant battle against one part of my body as it revolts against the rest: be it limb, organ, or other. These fuckers will simply not cooperate peacefully.

In this instance, I'm simply hoping for the best and not letting my anxiety take over the forefront of my mind as it tends to do in times of dire stress or pain. I leave for Utah in 6 days, and I'll be damned if this stupid injury gets between me and Zion or Bryce. I plan to drive straight to the infamous Mystic Hot Springs after I fly into Salt Lake City. These healing thermal waters should set the tone for happy shins and happy trails.

Although I have spent a pretty good amount of time in the Southwest over the years, I have never been to Utah. I am so incredibly excited to experience the skeletal beauty of the desert once again, not to mention the painted hills and red rock canyons that the great Mormon state has to offer.

Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Larch March

The hike homies drove out to the North Cascades this past weekend to see the LARCHES! Here are a bunch of glorious photos from the Blue Lake trail, with little to no commentary.

First views

Approaching the lake

Larch Madness

Found a quiet spot at the water


Photo by CJ

Pure Beauty

Gettin stoked for snowshoe season!

Liberty Bell Mountain 

Photo by CJ
After the slippery, icy Blue Lake trail we did Thunder Knob: a quick 4 mile out and back that offers great aerial views of Diablo Lake and Highway 20 snaking through the Cascades.

Diablo Lake


Tuesday, October 3, 2017

Green Lake and Grannie

Last weekend I flew to Bend, Oregon to celebrate my Grannie's 80th Birthday. The festivities were lively but bitter sweet since we lost my Grandpa last Spring. The last time I was in Bend was just under a year ago for his Celebration of Life ceremony. We poured scotch on his casket just the way he wanted followed by a large party at their local country club. Afterwards I felt guilty and weird for not getting up and speaking at his memorial. In the moment I felt too shaky and awkward and just not able to express what his support meant to me. I'm a pretty confident person but public speaking is still not easy for me. One of those small regrets that I can't seem to rectify now.

No hikes were done last year but we did float the Deschutes on a screamingly bright and sunny day. A few days later I flew to Iceland on my first solo trek to enjoy the exact opposite in weather.

This time around my Uncle planned ahead and found a hike he wanted us to do together. When I checked it out on AllTrails it reported Green Lakes as one of the most trekked trails in all of Oregon. We must have gotten lucky because the 9 mile out and back trip was not overly crowded on a Saturday morning.

The mellow yellow days of Fall were on full display as we walked upwards through the Deschutes Wilderness Area just outside of Sunriver.

As you can see in the pictures below, the mountain views were absolutely epic. We had full frontal visuals of South Sister as well as Broken Top once we reached the lake. Although the forecast was sketchy that morning, we had crystal views and good weather up until the last 20 minutes of our return trip when it finally started to rain.

Plenty of water crossings and log bridges

South Sister summit peaking out

Uncle Ed with Broken Top behind


Clear views of South Sister

Two hours later we were in our fancies for Grannie's big dinner party at a nice restaurant on the Deschutes River, right in the middle of downtown Bend. Really crazy to see what a huge hub of outdoor industry (and breweries!) Bend has become. When we were young annual visitors there was seemingly nothing to do except for biking around the neighborhood and swimming at the pool. I remember how excited my grandparents were when their little town finally got a Red Robin.

If I could transport Bend two hours North or West I would seriously consider living here. As it is, it suffers from the main problem I keep finding in every place I temporarily fantasize about as my next home base: too hot of Summers and too cold of Winters. I have been blessed with a somewhat temperate weather palate my whole life and now I am spoiled beyond repair. I don't want 105 degree days three months out of the year. Though the snow I can make peace with, I think...

This coming from someone who has had legitimate sun stroke way too many times to count. I am not built for the sun, y'all.

Juliet and Juliet

During this trip my Uncle asked us how long we expect to live until. I immediately answered "108!" I have no idea where that came from but it was my natural response. Why the hell not...