Sunday, October 20, 2013

The Furlough Diaries

Aside from completing a bunch of errands around the house and being dismayed with Republicans on a daily basis, I was able to get out for several enjoyable outings during the government shutdown.

Day 1: Doug and I ran the Post Creek/Eagle Pass loop in the Missions.  After a remarkably beautiful jaunt up Post Creek, fresh snow and encroaching brush had us soaked and cold.  We made a short push toward Calowacan, but were thwarted by fresh snow and slippery conditions.  The run out was great, except someone has thrown a bunch of slash on the Eagle Pass trail.  It would be easy to re-clear the trail.  Public service day, anyone?
Doug, running down from Eagle Pass.
Doug:  "I think this looks like prime Grizzly habitat"
Brian:  "Yeah, I've seen bear tracks every time I've been up here"
Doug:  "HEY BEAR!"
Day 2: Ran the Double Dip course in 1.49.  Feeling great, even with the longish run yesterday.  I strained my lower quads running hard downhill, which would plague me for almost two weeks.

Day 3: AM - biked the Snowbowl Overlook loop.  I have been trying to go under an hour on this loop for a while, but missed it by about 5 minutes.  Next time!
Bundled up for a frosty downhill on the Overlook trail.
PM - Easy 2- hour run around Blue Mountain with Leah on a gorgeous fall afternoon.  Running with Leah is really fun.

Day 4: Cider Press in Kalispell

Day 5: Jewel Basin Hike with Leah.  We did a fairly long loop, ending with Mount Aeneas, and didn't run a single step.  It was great.  We saw several parties whose Glacier National Park plans were derailed by the government shutdown.

Day 6: The Furlough Memorial tour.  Blue Mountain, Point Six, Sheep Mountain, and University Mountain in a day.  Fantastic day.  See blog post.  The only downside was that I re-strained my left quad, and set the stage for a cold.
Not even noon and looking haggard during the Furlough Memoroal tour.
Day 7-10:  Off due to sickness.  Did a bunch of errands, cooked squash minnestroni soup, and drank endless cups of tea.  Ran a short and gorgeous North Hills loop on Friday.

Day 11:  Bike Woody Mountain from the house.  I rode up from Bonner, which, in retrospect, is impossible without trespassing for about 100 feet.  I also rode up through the West Riverside fire, which was fascinating.  The ride down to Marshall Canyon was enjoyable, and it would be worth returning sometime to run Woody Mountain from Marshall Canyon.  I re-strained my left quad, which was demoralizing.

Leah and I drove to Leavenworth.  On the way, we stopped at Lookout Pass and ran a short loop in the St. Regis Basin.  Spectacular fall colors, and did I mention, running with Leah is really fun?

Days 12-14: Leavenworth climbing with Leah.  Neither of us have been climbing much, so we just climbed a bunch of moderates.  The best day of the trip was a jaunt up the standard route on Careno Crag (10 b), followed by a trio of quality easy 5.10 pitches in the vicinity of the upper buttress.  The weather was stellar, and it was nice to get out of town.

Day 15: Not wanting to re-aggravate my strained left quad, and still feeling the after effects of the cold, I went for a moderate, gorgeous fall run in the Rattlesnake.  I ended up running Wallman/Spring/Curry/Turn and burn/Ewok in a casual 2 hours.

Bonus round:  On Saturday, Doug and I attempted a Glacier peak to East Saint Mary's Mission traverse.  We were thwarted by ice and snow on the ridgeline, which was too bad, because with a light axe and crampons, it would have been a long, engaging, and rewarding outing.  We ended up trying to bypass north Glacier and Mountaineer peaks on the east side, but were thwarted by deep snow slogging and exposure.  We ended up retracing our steps, arriving back at the trailhead over 9 hours after leaving.  I kid you not, the run down from Lucifer lake was a blast, and I would recommend Lucifer lake as a 2-5 hour run for those who enjoy steep trails and adventure.  Fortunately, we were able to hitch a ride back to our car, which saved us over 10 miles of road running.
Doug bailing in the Missions.  Lake of the Clouds and McDonald peak in the background.

Also, I am doing time trials on Sentinal, in preparation for the hill climb, if I sign up.  I went out on Thursday and tied my record of 23.45, using poles, before continuing out to University and Hellgate.  While not competitive for the podium, it would be a great challenge to try to push it under 23 minutes on Sunday.

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