snowshoes

Hello January 2013

Long ago, I used to make monthly goals and post them here. I was usually pretty successful in my goals and accomplished (most of) what I set out to do each month. I think the biggest component of that success was choosing goals that were realistic and attainable. If I made a goal of “lose 5 pounds this month” I would not achieve that because I don’t really have 5 pounds to lose. My body seems to like where it is at and I rarely see a loss on the scale anymore. Yay for maintaining!

Despite that success, I stopped doing monthly goals in 2012. Part of the reason was that I chose to do the 32 Things List. While that was (mostly) fun, it was also a lot of pressure to have a huge list of things to accomplish in a year. I realized I preferred the monthly goals better, so I’m bringing it back for 2013!

 January Goals

1. Limit alcohol intake to 1-2 nights a week only.

2. Go snowshoeing (if knees allow).

3. Focus on positive emotional health: thinking positive, ignoring negativity, and work on being HAPPY!

I chose these specific goals because two of them are timely. I would really love to be able to snowshoe a lot in January and February and I hope my knees allow that. The physical therapy I was doing for months seemed to improve my situation; unfortunately it didn’t cure it completely. Time will tell. I may be limited in the miles I can run for a long time.

The alcohol goal is just a continuation of the goal I made to myself after Thanksgiving. Limiting the liquid calories is a pretty easy thing for me to do and I think it will help the weight loss goal as well!

Another January tradition I’m bring back is the “work out at home” a few times a week. The gym is always flooded with new people January 1st. I’m happy people are trying to get healthy and lose weight, but I’m less happy about the small percentage of those people who ignore common sense and etiquette. Those people make the gym experience miserable. So I just start doing some home workouts to save my sanity.

First Workout of 2013!

My first workout of 2013 was on Mount Hood! Michael and I headed up to the mountain on New Year’s Day to go snowshoeing for the first time of the season. I was nervous how my knees would hold up. I was anxious that we’d drive 90 minutes up to the mountain and two steps in I’d be riddled with pain and we’d have to turn around. Thankfully, that was not the case.

It was a GORGEOUS day on Mt. Hood! The sun was out, the weather was nice and crisp, the snow was fresh. It was picture perfect up there.

We went to White River to go snowshoeing. It was a new-to-us place and on the other side of the mountain from where we usually go. I didn’t want to do Trillium Lake because that’s where we usually go and I was honestly worried about the big hill at the end of the trail. I didn’t think my knees would like that much. What I read about White River was that it was a popular place for sledding, but if you kept going it wasn’t that crowded. That was most definitely true.

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The entire trail was facing the beauty of the mountain and it was the perfect backdrop for a picture. Someone needs to paint this. 🙂

Robyn's Birthday

Because of the perfect weather and holiday, the place was packed with families enjoying their holiday and sledding with the kids. It was super cute to watch. Parking was packed but we had no issue finding a spot in the huge lot. The only complaint: the line for the bathrooms was a mile long. Other than that, it was a great place even on a crowded day.

We got our shoes on and with a few stops to make adjustments, we were on our way. It was freakin’ cold up there–I think about 21 degrees (which is nothing compared to the 11 degree day a few years ago). I mistakenly put on way too many layers and about 5 minutes in I had to take off the gloves and jacket. When will I learn? I ALWAYS get too hot.

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The snow was magnificent, soft and fresh and shimmering like diamonds. I am so glad my camera was able to capture even a fraction of how glittery it was.

Robyn's Birthday

The trail had a lower part and then up on the ridge in the tree line for whichever you picked. We went the low route. Again, I was being safe with my knees. I’d wrapped them up like crazy beforehand and that helped a lot. We trudged along and passed other snowshoers and some cross-country skiiers. Lots of them had adorable dogs who were loving the snow. It was cute to see them frolicking.

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Michael ran up and down the side of a hill, I was a party-pooper and stayed on the trail for the most part. I was much more concerned with having a successful snowshoe hike with zero pain and I didn’t want to tempt the gods.

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The trail goes along side the river, which was mostly hidden but had some sections where you could see the fairly fast-moving water. Because the entire valley was covered in a thick, mostly undisturbed snow mound, it was hard to tell where the river actually flowed. We stayed on the trail as much as possible since neither of us new the area very well.

 

We trekked along the trail at the base and then turned a corner and went up on the small ridge. The tree-line was nice and there was a bunch of different trails we could have taken. I felt like I was so close to the mountain I could reach out and touch it.

Robyn's Birthday

The decision was made that it was probably time to turn around. The sun was starting to dip behind the trees and neither of us wanted to be on the mountain in the dark.

The hike back to the parking lot was easier and slightly downhill. About half a mile from the trailhead my hip started to hurt but thankfully neither of my knees gave me any trouble on the trip. I was really, really happy about that!

Who is that creep in the background?!?! He looks like a total psycho lurking in the woods. 😉

Robyn's Birthday

We made it back to the car in no time at all, spent a good 15 minutes getting out of our snow gear, eating pickles and homemade Chex mix as a snack and then we said goodbye to a lovely day to drive home. I don’t know how many miles we did–I’m guess around 2 or 2.5?

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Unfortunately, it seemed that everyone else on the mountain had decided to leave at the same time, too, and the one lane road down the mountain was a parking lot. We’ve been stuck in that before and it’s not fun. Michael decided to turn around and go down the other side of the mountain. The drive down from Government Camp is a scary one in the dark and neither of us wanted to sit in traffic for hours. Driving the other way was 39 miles out of the way, but neither of us had ever gone that way before so it was a nice change. The traffic was slow because the roads weren’t as clear, but at least it was moving.

The above picture was an accident we drove by. It was really scary. The car was upside down. I’m hoping that since we didn’t see ambulance or police or lots of remnants on the accident that everyone involved was okay! I really really hope so because it was scary to see. PSA: drive safely in snow and ice!!

Taking 35 dumped us out in Hood River and we decided to stop at Double Mountain Brewery for dinner. I got the Hop Lava IPA (it was dang tasty) and we ordered the pizza with capicola and Mama Lil’s hot peppers. The pizza was really good. It was a bit chewier than I’m used to but the crust was thin and smokey just like Apizza Scholl’s.

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I ate two slices and we hung out for a little while to relax before driving back to Portland. Double Mountain was packed to the rafters with people, 90% of them also wearing snow gear. It was a good little spot to rest, eat and drink after playing in the snow. I definitely recommend it!

I also highly recommend White River. It would be an especially perfect place for a newbie snowshoer. There wasn’t anything too strenuous about the hike, there were tons of people there in case anything happened, and it was beautiful! Don’t forget your camera!

QUESTION: What are your goals for this year/month? What was your first workout of the year?

72 Inches in 72 Hours

Saturday morning we woke up to sunshine and snow falling! I was glad it wasn’t raining. The flakes falling were light and fluffy. I turned on the gas fireplace (I loved that thing) and made us breakfast. Thankfully I packed a bunch of food for us. I love staying in places with kitchens!

 

Breakfast was bagel thins toasted with cream cheese and smoked salmon. We split a large navel orange and then got dressed in our snow gear.

From Sunriver it was only about 12 miles up to Mount Bachelor. The snow was heavy and covered everything in a blanket of sparkling white.

We parked at the Edison Butte Sno-Park and that’s where we went snowshoeing. The snowshoeing book I bought recently discussed this particular trail and recommended it. It was classified as “easy” and around 3.5 miles long total.

It was a popular place for snowshoers. There were a bunch of different trails and loops to choose from.

A few days before we arrived in Bend, Mount Bachelor got 72 inches in 72 hours! They even shut Bachelor down for a day or two.

There was SO much snow! I’ve never seen so much. It was fresh snow too–soft and deep, not compacted or frozen. We discovered quickly that we sank into the off-trail snow pretty much to our knees!

A trail had been forged in the fresh snow but the trail was narrow and barely wide enough for snowshoes. Michael struggled a lot because his shoes are bigger than mine. We set out on the trail. It was a lot of up and down hills. We trekked through the trees and were dwarfed by them. I love the Ponderosa Pines and how they look in the snow.

The sky was a cornflower-blue-gray but it was clear. It didn’t snow much while we were out there until we turned around.

I’m not sure how far we snowshoes on Saturday. We ended up turning around and doubling back instead of completing the loop.

The trail was getting very difficult and the snow was so soft we were sinking into it. We turned around. It was mostly uphill the way back.

We got back to the parking lot. I was feeling good and could have gone further on another trail but Michael’s hip was bothering him so we called it a day. It was better to cut it short and be able to snowshoe the next day than have him crippled!

Stats:
Time: 1:50
Calories Burned: 570
Distance: ? No idea–maybe 3 miles total?

We returned to Sunriver to clean up, change and eat leftover pizza for lunch. Then we went to downtown Bend to walk around and shop (mostly window shopping).

We also walked around Bend and Mirror Pond, then grabbed a beer (Boneyard IPA was my favorite beer of the weekend).

We went to Amalia’s for dinner. It was a Mexican place in Old Town. It was packed! The food was pretty good. I had a pork enchilada. I was good– I wanted to eat it ALL but I ate half and saved the rest! Go me! Michael got the chorizo and steak tacos.

We got back to our rooms at Sunriver and Michael went to bed. He was hurting pretty bad. I stayed up for a few hours editing my book by the fireplace. It was a great day.

QUESTION: What’s the most snow you’ve ever been in?