The Great Outdoors

Snowman

Posted by on Jan 19, 2012 in The Great Outdoors | 1 comment

We have been so grateful to work from home for the past two days amidst all of the snow and ice. Yesterday we built this massive snowman! He stands over 6 feet tall, and people have been stopping to take pictures of him as they pass by.

We’re currently cat sitting Polar Bear, in the window above. He’s a fluffy Himalayan that was born for this weather! Goa, on the other hand, has been spending her days like this:

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The Long Walk: From Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls

Posted by on Aug 1, 2010 in Hippie Stuff, The Great Outdoors | 0 comments

The Long Walk: From Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls

Last weekend Ray and I participated in The Long Walk, an open-source art project commissioned by 4Culture and the Seattle Department of Parks and Resources.  Basically, it was a 3-day walk from Seattle to Snoqualmie Falls using the King County trails system.  But also, the project leaders hoped that The Long Walk would “clear a path and provide a trail, as it were, for you (as a part of our temporary collective of itinerant, playful, trail trampers) to autonomously create an interstitial culture and engage in poetic reciprocity with your fellow walkers, the Regional Trail System, and the diverse surroundings we will be traveling though.”

Yeah.

The group consisted of about 50 people, ranging from young to old, from artsy/theatrical to well, me.  Ray and I were mostly interested in doing the walk because it was so unusual.  Who knew you could walk to Snoqualmie Falls?  How cool would it be to say we did?

And we're off! The walk started on the Burke Gilman around 145th.

I’ll just come out and say it.  The walk was fucking hard.  I can typically hold my own in these types of situations.  I’ve hiked until I puked.  I’ve ridden my bike from Seattle to Portland.  Twice.  C’mon, I thought.  I can walk for three days, no problem.  We didn’t even have to carry our camping stuff!

The supply van.

The walking became a problem right around when the blisters started appearing.  For some people the “hot spots” sprouted within the first few hours.  For others they came on more gradually throughout the weekend.  A few people never developed any blisters, like Ray, whose feet are practically hooves after playing Ultimate in tight cleats for so many years.  I had baby blisters by day 2 and angry papa blisters by day 3.

Jacob gets some treatment from Jed, who introduced himself to the group as an expert in all things feet. Later we realized that it was all just performance art. But still, his foot care tools were well needed!

Parts of the walk were pretty disappointing, such as the hours we spent trudging along the highway with the sun beating down and cars roaring past.  At times these highway portions were outright dangerous, and other times just plain annoying.  The asphalt hurt our feet and the surroundings hurt our spirit.  But there were also hours upon hours of beautiful, shaded trails, river crossings, and good company. Not only were our good friends Nathan, Morgan, Jacob and Ryan along for the walk, but the rest of the walkers were generally fun, funny, and interesting people.

We got a ride through one section of highway deemed too dangerous for walking.

Home sweet tent.

Our campsite on the first night, Farrel McWhirter Park, had a petting zoo!

In the end, all but 3 people made it to the falls on foot, and I was one of those 3 people.  The group had stopped at a diner in Fall City, 2 miles out from our final destination.  We had to hike about 1.5 miles off the trail in order to get to the diner, and with each slow, blister-squishing step, my determination dwindled.  I had blisters on the balls of both feet and one pinkie toe, and two bug bites the size of small children clinging to the back of my leg.  I know I wasn’t the worst off out of our entire group, but for me, it was enough.  After lunch I caught a ride to the falls with the other 2 quitters and it was one of the best decisions I made all weekend!  To put it into perspective: the car ride took about 8 minutes.  But the trails were so circuitous and the walkers were so worn down that the first walkers didn’t start arriving at the falls for two more hours.  So I got an iced coffee, stared at the falls, dog-watched, lost my sunhat and just chilled out.  It was amazing.

Our ride home was an off-brand party bus – the outside looked like Metro but the inside had a dance-floor area and neon lights stretching down the insides.  I really wasn’t in the mood to party but it was a weird and ultimately fun way to end the weekend.

Finally!

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