Category Archives: Outdoors

Confession

So, I have a confession to make: I haven’t been healthy, or particularly happy as of late. This blog was supposed to help me be accountable with my healthy, cross-fitting lifestyle, and I’ve totally let it slip away from me over the last 3/4 of a year. It started when I had to quit the box due to my “lack of funding.” I told myself I would go to LA Fitness, which I did, but irregularly, because let’s be honest, I HATE big-gym atmospheres. I should love it, because I can be anonymous, but I find them lonely, and there’s no one to hold me accountable for anything. I went to water aerobics for a while with my friends, which was fun (and a great workout) and put in some wogs (walk/jogs) at the park over my lunch break, but not with any consistency. We didn’t get a Portland to Coast team this year, so I didn’t have that to train for.

Then, we went to Montana. And I remembered how I love hiking. And hubby and I wondered to ourselves, “Why the hell aren’t we doing this more?”

We’ve spent all the time since we’ve gotten back trying to gather our motivation to get healthy again. We’ve created a bribe reward system for ourselves for losing poundage (I’m getting close to my pedicure and makeup shopping spree). We’ve been taking Ramsay on long walks and running like crazy with him in the backyard. We’ve been avoiding fried foods, my nemesis. We’ve been gently reminding each other that we probably don’t need that second (or third) helping. And, we cut out beer (save for the occasional pint at certain social gatherings and baseball games). And I think it’s starting to work. Hubby really wants me to sign back up for CrossFit (and I’m going to when I finally decide which box I want to go to). I’m nervous about going at it alone, because I have gym co-dependency issues, but I’m willing to try. Please cross your fingers that we get it together. Neither of us is obese, but neither of us is healthy at the moment either.

This was the hike that really inspired me in Montana (Glacier National Park, to be specific):

Highline Trail

The Highline Trail was 11 miles of pure amazing. Actually, the first 8 miles were amazing, and the last 3 were just hot. We followed the cliff you see behind me for a long, LONG time, but I surprisingly wasn’t terrified. The path was wide enough to feel OK, even when we were fording glacial waterfalls. We saw tons of marmots, and some bighorn sheep (from a distance). No moose. Seeing a moose is a DREAM of mine, and has been since my last trip to Glacier in 2002. Gives me an excuse to go again at least.

This hike, which we did with two of my cousins, my aunt, my dad, and my uncle, took us about 8 hours, including a lunch break at the Granite Park Chalet, and LOTS of stops for water. It was hot as Hades the entire time we were there. Apparently Montanans need AC for 10 days of the year, and we somehow managed to catch all of them.  Up to the chalet, it’s all picturesque alpine meadows and cliffsides. After the chalet, it’s a burnout from a forest fire, no shade, and a lot of donkey poo.

When we finally finished, we couldn’t WAIT to go wade in the glacial waters of Lake McDonald. So the “youngins” hopped the shuttle down the Going-to-the-Sun Road and told the adults we would meet them lakeside. We bought a six-pack of beer, headed to the rocky beach, and walked right into the 40 degree water for a lake beer. It was awesome. Plus we all slept like babies that night (though the beer shotgunning contest we had may have contributed as well).

After our trip, we really were ready to refocus. I want to refocus on less laziness, more productivity. I want to blog more, clean more, and do things other than watch Chopped marathons on Food Network. I want to be my best self at work, and at home, and that means being healthy, active, and happy. I’m back at it, blog world. Can’t wait to be Happy and Healthy in PDX once more.

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Montana Dreaming

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So Shayne and I just spent a wonderful week in Glacier National Park with my family (sidenote: I LOVE VACATION). We drove out on a Saturday, and came back the following Sunday. The days in between were jam-packed with hiking, soaking up the sun, thrifting, drinking, and laughter. The weather was incredible, and my cousins had really done their homework, so we went on some absolutely beautiful hikes. I 100% recommend that you visit Glacier sometime in the next 10 years before the glaciers disappear. And then I recommend that you hike the Highline Trail up to Granite Park Chalet, then down the Loop Trail (about 12 miles total). It was singlehandedly the most incredible hike I have ever done in my life.

You start out basically scaling a cliff (don’t worry, there’s a wire you can white-knuckle grip). You ford a bunch of cliffside waterfalls. You see marmots, everywhere, and beautiful wildflowers, and bighorn sheep. You have these amazing, amazing views the whole time, all  miles up to the historic chalet, which proved to be a beautiful spot to eat lunch. I have never seen such incredible views. Shayne and I did this with my two cousins, my dad, my uncle, and my outdoorsy aunt (the moms stayed home), and we all had a fantastic time, and were so proud of ourselves for finishing. The “kids” took the shuttle from the end of the trail down to the lake, bought a six-pack of Big Sky Summer Honey ale, and waded in glacial waters while waiting for our family to come pick us up. It was a fantastic day, and we all slept like babies afterwards.

This hike made me remember how much I love nature. I have a tendency to whine and complain when I start sweating (I know, I know, this makes me sound like a complete ass), but honestly, this trail was such a natural high that nothing could have gotten me down (though the second half of the hike was through a burned out forest and was a tad less picturesque).  The whole trip rekindled my love of the National Park system, places I’ve been visiting my entire life but probably started taking for granted in my cranky teenage years. I’ve vowed to get more hiking in locally while the weather remains decent, because there’s a bunch of hikes near the Portland metro area that I’ve been too lazy to get to. Plus it’s a damn good workout. My cousin was tracking our hikes with an iPhone app, and kept updating us with estimates of calorie burns. Shayne and I are both happy to be out in nature, so why haven’t we been doing it more often?

We spent the last night of our trip camping in the Apgar Campground near Lake McDonald, staring at the millions of stars through the roof of our tent. It wasn’t backcountry camping by any means, but it was amazing. I hope to do it again soon.

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