Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Workout: climbed Flattop



And just like that, my fear of winter driving is gone. I have no idea what happened, I only hope this new mindset is here to stay. Today I was cruisin' around like a drag racer (at least, my version of a drag racer, which is someone who drives responsibly and maybe 5 miles over the speed limit), makin' turns and takin' names. I predict this will last until I inevitably crash into the back of someone's car while makin' said turns and takin' said names.

It was another gorgeous day, so Bailey and I went to Flattop. I actually wasn't nearly as sore as I thought I would be from THE CORE (not sure why I feel the need to capitalize that, it just makes sense). That thing killed me the last time I did it, but at the time I was living in New York, which is flatter than Kelly Ripa. Looks like mountains do a lot to beef up your thighs (just what I need!). I was only using 5 pound weights, so maybe it's graduation time.

Anyway, beefing aside, since I didn't feel that sore I took the steep route. Also, turns out the steep route is "difficult and abandoned." Whoops. I think they meant to say "Only for badasses," although I don't qualify there either. Whatever. They can't take it from me when I've only just discovered it after all these years!



It really wasn't bad, even with the snow that fell Monday. I was breaking trail (or, technically, I guess Bailey was, but she's got biddy feet) but I had kahtoolas on and didn't feel at all unsafe.

This route's steep,



but it gets you most of the way up the mountain in probably half the time. I wore my garmin in an attempt to measure just how steep it is, but it stopped working within 10 minutes. Typical.


We made it to the top, and it was beautiful.














This guy I passed reminded me we won't be able to do this much longer, and I wanted to punch him in the face. He's right, of course. Once more snow falls and it starts getting dark at like 2:00 p.m., it'll be harder to figure out how to get up there. But as someone who likes to live in denial, I didn't appreciate it. On the bright side, I guess that when it happens I'll finally start focusing on running again.

And now to hand out candy to little kids! Despite my cold, cold heart and lack of enthusiasm for Halloween, I love giving little kids candy (and not in a "come with me to my unmarked white van!" kind of way). New York doesn't really seem to do the candy thing and in college we were too busy getting shwasted to even think about it, so it's been a while since I got to participate. Oh, suburbia.

Happy trails!

The Day I Stopped Fearing Winter Driving (and Flattop Fun)

Workout: climbed Flattop



And just like that, my fear of winter driving is gone. I have no idea what happened, I only hope this new mindset is here to stay. Today I was cruisin' around like a drag racer (at least, my version of a drag racer, which is someone who drives responsibly and maybe 5 miles over the speed limit), makin' turns and takin' names. I predict this will last until I inevitably crash into the back of someone's car while makin' said turns and takin' said names.

It was another gorgeous day, so Bailey and I went to Flattop. I actually wasn't nearly as sore as I thought I would be from THE CORE (not sure why I feel the need to capitalize that, it just makes sense). That thing killed me the last time I did it, but at the time I was living in New York, which is flatter than Kelly Ripa. Looks like mountains do a lot to beef up your thighs (just what I need!). I was only using 5 pound weights, so maybe it's graduation time.

Anyway, beefing aside, since I didn't feel that sore I took the steep route. Also, turns out the steep route is "difficult and abandoned." Whoops. I think they meant to say "Only for badasses," although I don't qualify there either. Whatever. They can't take it from me when I've only just discovered it after all these years!



It really wasn't bad, even with the snow that fell Monday. I was breaking trail (or, technically, I guess Bailey was, but she's got biddy feet) but I had kahtoolas on and didn't feel at all unsafe.

This route's steep,



but it gets you most of the way up the mountain in probably half the time. I wore my garmin in an attempt to measure just how steep it is, but it stopped working within 10 minutes. Typical.


We made it to the top, and it was beautiful.














This guy I passed reminded me we won't be able to do this much longer, and I wanted to punch him in the face. He's right, of course. Once more snow falls and it starts getting dark at like 2:00 p.m., it'll be harder to figure out how to get up there. But as someone who likes to live in denial, I didn't appreciate it. On the bright side, I guess that when it happens I'll finally start focusing on running again.

And now to hand out candy to little kids! Despite my cold, cold heart and lack of enthusiasm for Halloween, I love giving little kids candy (and not in a "come with me to my unmarked white van!" kind of way). New York doesn't really seem to do the candy thing and in college we were too busy getting shwasted to even think about it, so it's been a while since I got to participate. Oh, suburbia.

Happy trails!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Workout: Walking a bit, and THE CORE

And now for Random Shit Tuesday, where this dumb gal tells you dumb things.

I didn't work out today. I usually use the time between classes on Tuesday and Thursday to do so, but today I had an assignment "due" so needed to make absolutely sure I did it. Turns out the best way to ensure you don't run is by not bringing any workout stuff with you. Fancy that. It also turns out that due dates mean different things to different people. To some, "due on Tuesday" means "I won't post the assignment and then when you ask me about it I'll change the due date to Thursday." Big waste of time. Long story long, I didn't work out. And I'll be damned if I'm going to do a legitimate workout after work. That shit may have flown in New York, but not here. Instead, I'm going to take another stab at Lauren's killer weights workout. Be still, my heart, weights won't kill you.

This sweet lady I work with has started giving me a bag of M&Ms every time I do something she approves of. I guess she's trying to encourage a Pavlovian response? Whatever the case, I can't eat any more candy. Every time I try to say no she gives me the most disapproving look. Let's hope we never go out boozing together.

Speaking of work, I've got a nice view:



I have a walnut problem. I put them on my oatmeal every morning (I will never, ever force a picture of oatmeal on you, never you fear, my reader), but it's gotten sort of out of hand. Initially, aware of the mega calories they pack, I used them sparingly, but as time has gone on I've had a "just one more" mentality that has led to a nutsplosion. I've made no effort to do anything about this, but admitting the problem is 90% of the work, right?

I have the least festive family ever. We fought each other over who would carve the pumpkin, but here's the thing - we were all trying to not do it. My dad bought the pumpkin thinking I was some pumpkin carving freak. I'm not sure where he got that idea. In the end he just ended up doing it, but I cooked the seeds to perfection so I'll call my job done.

The most boring pumpkin ever

My lack of Halloween spirit is nothing new. Last year I went as a sippy cup.

Sippy cup.

Fun fact: Alaskans are not the hardy people we make ourselves out to be. Most of us are just as wimpy as you are about the cold. It's been in the low-twenties for the past couple of weeks, and people stare at me in shock when they see me walk into my office building with *gasp* exposed legs?!?! The horror! Thing is, exposing your parts to twenty-degree temperatures for five minutes isn't going to kill you. It won't even do any lasting damage. Given the choice between wasting time piling on the layers and just putting up with it, I'll choose the latter almost every time. Don't quote me on that. We Alaskans like to toot our horns but hey, we're just like you!

We seem to have lost an hour of daylight in like two days. It's been getting dark around 7:15, and today it was dark at 6:30. Not a huge deal, just weird. It will be a big deal once daylight savings rips another hour from us. And it'll still be dark when we wake up! What's the point, I ask? Not a lot of farming going on in these parts. We have been getting some nice skies recently though.


Steve Jobs kills me. I'm reading is biography (I'm not trying to sell it to you, I just don't want to get sued), and that man was certifiable. An excerpt:

"An early showdown came over employee badge numbers. Scott assigned #1 to Wozniak and #2 to Jobs. Not surprisingly, Jobs demanded to be #1. 'I wouldn't let him have it, because that would stoke his ego even more,' said Scott. Jobs threw a tantrum, even cried. Finally, he proposed a solution. He would have badge #0."

He also used to soak his feet in toilets to relax. My kinda guy.

Happy Tuesday, folks!

Random Shit Tuesday

Workout: Walking a bit, and THE CORE

And now for Random Shit Tuesday, where this dumb gal tells you dumb things.

I didn't work out today. I usually use the time between classes on Tuesday and Thursday to do so, but today I had an assignment "due" so needed to make absolutely sure I did it. Turns out the best way to ensure you don't run is by not bringing any workout stuff with you. Fancy that. It also turns out that due dates mean different things to different people. To some, "due on Tuesday" means "I won't post the assignment and then when you ask me about it I'll change the due date to Thursday." Big waste of time. Long story long, I didn't work out. And I'll be damned if I'm going to do a legitimate workout after work. That shit may have flown in New York, but not here. Instead, I'm going to take another stab at Lauren's killer weights workout. Be still, my heart, weights won't kill you.

This sweet lady I work with has started giving me a bag of M&Ms every time I do something she approves of. I guess she's trying to encourage a Pavlovian response? Whatever the case, I can't eat any more candy. Every time I try to say no she gives me the most disapproving look. Let's hope we never go out boozing together.

Speaking of work, I've got a nice view:



I have a walnut problem. I put them on my oatmeal every morning (I will never, ever force a picture of oatmeal on you, never you fear, my reader), but it's gotten sort of out of hand. Initially, aware of the mega calories they pack, I used them sparingly, but as time has gone on I've had a "just one more" mentality that has led to a nutsplosion. I've made no effort to do anything about this, but admitting the problem is 90% of the work, right?

I have the least festive family ever. We fought each other over who would carve the pumpkin, but here's the thing - we were all trying to not do it. My dad bought the pumpkin thinking I was some pumpkin carving freak. I'm not sure where he got that idea. In the end he just ended up doing it, but I cooked the seeds to perfection so I'll call my job done.

The most boring pumpkin ever

My lack of Halloween spirit is nothing new. Last year I went as a sippy cup.

Sippy cup.

Fun fact: Alaskans are not the hardy people we make ourselves out to be. Most of us are just as wimpy as you are about the cold. It's been in the low-twenties for the past couple of weeks, and people stare at me in shock when they see me walk into my office building with *gasp* exposed legs?!?! The horror! Thing is, exposing your parts to twenty-degree temperatures for five minutes isn't going to kill you. It won't even do any lasting damage. Given the choice between wasting time piling on the layers and just putting up with it, I'll choose the latter almost every time. Don't quote me on that. We Alaskans like to toot our horns but hey, we're just like you!

We seem to have lost an hour of daylight in like two days. It's been getting dark around 7:15, and today it was dark at 6:30. Not a huge deal, just weird. It will be a big deal once daylight savings rips another hour from us. And it'll still be dark when we wake up! What's the point, I ask? Not a lot of farming going on in these parts. We have been getting some nice skies recently though.


Steve Jobs kills me. I'm reading is biography (I'm not trying to sell it to you, I just don't want to get sued), and that man was certifiable. An excerpt:

"An early showdown came over employee badge numbers. Scott assigned #1 to Wozniak and #2 to Jobs. Not surprisingly, Jobs demanded to be #1. 'I wouldn't let him have it, because that would stoke his ego even more,' said Scott. Jobs threw a tantrum, even cried. Finally, he proposed a solution. He would have badge #0."

He also used to soak his feet in toilets to relax. My kinda guy.

Happy Tuesday, folks!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Workout: 3 jogged miles on Powerline

As much as it pains me to say it, that stupid saying is true: "All good things come to an end."

No, I'm not talking about the East Coast (too soon? Way too soon*), I'm talking about Anchorage's perfect weather. It's over. Move over, sun, it's snow time!

Things started out great, and it was shaping up to be a beautiful day. When I left work, it looked like this


although far off in the distance there was a very slight hint of what was to come. All I had to do was make it through class, though, and then I was free to shoot on up to Powerline and hope I made it down before shit got too crazy.

When I got out of class I was bummed to see it was snowing. Don't get me wrong, snow's wonderful and I'll run in it any day of the week, but the road up to Flattop is seriously steep. For someone who doesn't have 4-wheel drive, it can be kind of a nightmare. But hey, nightmare away, I don't care-I'm going to Powerline!

I know you're on the edge of your seat bursting with anxiety, so spoiler alert: I survived. The road was pretty treacherous, but when you're moving in first gear at a blazing 5 miles per hour, the likelihood of getting crushed is pretty minimal. 'Sall good. Seems I'll live to jog another day.

So, running. I didn't do much of it because I got out on Powerline and it looked like this:


Beautiful, but clearly there was some snow moving in so I decided to stick with my idea for a "cutback week" (is it considered cutting back when you're only running 15 miles a week? Can you run negative miles?!?!) and keep it to three miles. No one will ever know my splits because Runkeeper conked out just after the terrifying disembodied voice informed me I had been running five minutes, but I assure you those three miles were faster than anything you've ever seen. Trust me on this.

THERE ARE USUALLY MOUNTAINS BACK THERE

Snow's a-brewin'

I was rockin' these guys

Yes, even terrible blurry pictures are instagrammed. It's an addiction, truly.

and was pleased with their performance. I've decided I need to wear them more.

After a short but sweet run, we put the car in first, laid back, let the car do its thing, and enjoyed smashing the world record for slowest trip down Toilsome Hill.

And now, off to sell my soul for some calculus knowledge.

*In all seriousness, I hope you're all safe and downing some brews while you wait out this wench

Race Down Toilsome Hill

Workout: 3 jogged miles on Powerline

As much as it pains me to say it, that stupid saying is true: "All good things come to an end."

No, I'm not talking about the East Coast (too soon? Way too soon*), I'm talking about Anchorage's perfect weather. It's over. Move over, sun, it's snow time!

Things started out great, and it was shaping up to be a beautiful day. When I left work, it looked like this


although far off in the distance there was a very slight hint of what was to come. All I had to do was make it through class, though, and then I was free to shoot on up to Powerline and hope I made it down before shit got too crazy.

When I got out of class I was bummed to see it was snowing. Don't get me wrong, snow's wonderful and I'll run in it any day of the week, but the road up to Flattop is seriously steep. For someone who doesn't have 4-wheel drive, it can be kind of a nightmare. But hey, nightmare away, I don't care-I'm going to Powerline!

I know you're on the edge of your seat bursting with anxiety, so spoiler alert: I survived. The road was pretty treacherous, but when you're moving in first gear at a blazing 5 miles per hour, the likelihood of getting crushed is pretty minimal. 'Sall good. Seems I'll live to jog another day.

So, running. I didn't do much of it because I got out on Powerline and it looked like this:


Beautiful, but clearly there was some snow moving in so I decided to stick with my idea for a "cutback week" (is it considered cutting back when you're only running 15 miles a week? Can you run negative miles?!?!) and keep it to three miles. No one will ever know my splits because Runkeeper conked out just after the terrifying disembodied voice informed me I had been running five minutes, but I assure you those three miles were faster than anything you've ever seen. Trust me on this.

THERE ARE USUALLY MOUNTAINS BACK THERE

Snow's a-brewin'

I was rockin' these guys

Yes, even terrible blurry pictures are instagrammed. It's an addiction, truly.

and was pleased with their performance. I've decided I need to wear them more.

After a short but sweet run, we put the car in first, laid back, let the car do its thing, and enjoyed smashing the world record for slowest trip down Toilsome Hill.

And now, off to sell my soul for some calculus knowledge.

*In all seriousness, I hope you're all safe and downing some brews while you wait out this wench

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Workout: 3 miles jogged 'round the neighborhood

Two more photos from yesterday's hike, because today's run wasn't that pretty (I'm referring to both me and the scenery):


 Taken from the same bridge. It's funny what a little sun will do.

Exercise is weird. How is it possible to go from wanting nothing more than to sit on your ass all day to suddenly wanting to RUN ALL THE MILES? I'm pretty sure this has happened to us all at one point or another. It happened to me today.

I felt pretty blah for the first part of the day. I have a semi-important calculus test on Tuesday and decided I needed to start studying, so I spent the first six hours of my day with my butt glued to my desk chair learning the ins and outs of series (sidenote: why don't professors tell you you'll need limits later on? When we learned derivatives we all said "Well fuck limits! What a sham! These things do the same thing with a fraction of the effort!" Turns out limits COME BACK AGAIN. It's like an even dumber sequel to the dumbest horror movie you've ever seen). Anyway, I love calculus and I've done well in my calc classes, but it does not come naturally to me. At all. I have to spend hours staring at it before it finally clicks.

As I sat studying the wonders of math, I wanted nothing more than to curl up on a couch and read Steve Jobs's biography (SO GOOD. Read it). Working out was the last thing on my mind. But I kept looking outside at the perfect weather we continue to have, and knew I should take advantage of it, even if only for a few minutes.

I put my stuff on, grabbed the mutt, and headed out for a jaunt around the neighborhood.




My stats are only notable because midway through mile 1 until about 2.5 miles, we managed to pick up a dog that decided it needed to run with us. Guys, I LOVE dogs, but this thing was a pain in the ass. It was wreaking havoc everywhere we went, shitting on lawns, harassing other dogs, terrifying my own antisocial dog. Bailey kept getting herself tied up in the leash trying to flee this dog, and I was having to stop to untie her and to apologize to the people the dog was pissing off. Finally, I decided I was done with this dog, and ran up the disgustingly steep hill back to what I believed to be its house. Fortunately it ran ahead, got into a tussle with yet another dog (why are there so many random dogs milling about my neighborhood?), and I peaced out before it knew what hit it. And that, my friends, is why mile 2 came in at a whopping 11:25.

The only mountain on this run was the Sleeping Lady. WHY ARE YOU SO LAZY, LADY?!

Although I initially didn't want to run, I suddenly got this crazy motivation to exercise as soon as I got outside. When I got back to my place I was all, "I'm going to strength train, take a ride on the stationary bike that's not set up properly, do a million sit-ups, and go run another 20 miles." But, as tends to happen, this motivation evaporated the second I stepped through the door. She's a fickle mistress, exercise.

----

People always say you should write what you know, right? Well, I know how to complain, so here's one for you: I am having major issues responding to comments. There are two possible reasons for this: 1) I'm dumb as a rock, or 2) Blogger is conspiring against me and the rest of the human race. I'm talking about, you guessed it, human verification and the impossibility of entering those codes to Blogger's liking. Of course, as those from my generation are wont to do, I figured I must be the first to have suffered such injustice. A quick google search told me to sit DOWN because this is a common issue. But, like, how am I ever supposed to be a successful blogger if I can't prove my humanity to Blogger? Like, I can't. Ever. I nail those things time after time and yet, time after time, I get marked wrong. I don't often get things wrong. The system must be rigged, I tell you! Fortunately the comments aren't blowing up just yet, so I think I'm going to be all right.

Hey Neighbors

Workout: 3 miles jogged 'round the neighborhood

Two more photos from yesterday's hike, because today's run wasn't that pretty (I'm referring to both me and the scenery):


 Taken from the same bridge. It's funny what a little sun will do.

Exercise is weird. How is it possible to go from wanting nothing more than to sit on your ass all day to suddenly wanting to RUN ALL THE MILES? I'm pretty sure this has happened to us all at one point or another. It happened to me today.

I felt pretty blah for the first part of the day. I have a semi-important calculus test on Tuesday and decided I needed to start studying, so I spent the first six hours of my day with my butt glued to my desk chair learning the ins and outs of series (sidenote: why don't professors tell you you'll need limits later on? When we learned derivatives we all said "Well fuck limits! What a sham! These things do the same thing with a fraction of the effort!" Turns out limits COME BACK AGAIN. It's like an even dumber sequel to the dumbest horror movie you've ever seen). Anyway, I love calculus and I've done well in my calc classes, but it does not come naturally to me. At all. I have to spend hours staring at it before it finally clicks.

As I sat studying the wonders of math, I wanted nothing more than to curl up on a couch and read Steve Jobs's biography (SO GOOD. Read it). Working out was the last thing on my mind. But I kept looking outside at the perfect weather we continue to have, and knew I should take advantage of it, even if only for a few minutes.

I put my stuff on, grabbed the mutt, and headed out for a jaunt around the neighborhood.




My stats are only notable because midway through mile 1 until about 2.5 miles, we managed to pick up a dog that decided it needed to run with us. Guys, I LOVE dogs, but this thing was a pain in the ass. It was wreaking havoc everywhere we went, shitting on lawns, harassing other dogs, terrifying my own antisocial dog. Bailey kept getting herself tied up in the leash trying to flee this dog, and I was having to stop to untie her and to apologize to the people the dog was pissing off. Finally, I decided I was done with this dog, and ran up the disgustingly steep hill back to what I believed to be its house. Fortunately it ran ahead, got into a tussle with yet another dog (why are there so many random dogs milling about my neighborhood?), and I peaced out before it knew what hit it. And that, my friends, is why mile 2 came in at a whopping 11:25.

The only mountain on this run was the Sleeping Lady. WHY ARE YOU SO LAZY, LADY?!

Although I initially didn't want to run, I suddenly got this crazy motivation to exercise as soon as I got outside. When I got back to my place I was all, "I'm going to strength train, take a ride on the stationary bike that's not set up properly, do a million sit-ups, and go run another 20 miles." But, as tends to happen, this motivation evaporated the second I stepped through the door. She's a fickle mistress, exercise.

----

People always say you should write what you know, right? Well, I know how to complain, so here's one for you: I am having major issues responding to comments. There are two possible reasons for this: 1) I'm dumb as a rock, or 2) Blogger is conspiring against me and the rest of the human race. I'm talking about, you guessed it, human verification and the impossibility of entering those codes to Blogger's liking. Of course, as those from my generation are wont to do, I figured I must be the first to have suffered such injustice. A quick google search told me to sit DOWN because this is a common issue. But, like, how am I ever supposed to be a successful blogger if I can't prove my humanity to Blogger? Like, I can't. Ever. I nail those things time after time and yet, time after time, I get marked wrong. I don't often get things wrong. The system must be rigged, I tell you! Fortunately the comments aren't blowing up just yet, so I think I'm going to be all right.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Workout: another bomb-ass hike - 9-10 miles

Boulder City

We've had an unbelievable streak of good weather. I think we're now on day ten of sunshine, zero precipitation, and temps in the teens-low 30s. In other words, perfection. Apparently the streak's set to end on Tuesday so I obviously have to enjoy it while it lasts. Today, that meant spending six hours hiking near Eagle River with my dad.

First off, the people who live in this area are lucky as hell.


This is a bad picture, but you see that square on the left? THAT'S A HOUSE. There are more below. Like, these people get to wake up every morning and look at that. The hell. Of course, there are many practical reasons against living here (SO MUCH GAS, a good hour or so from Anchorage, where most people work, bad weather conditions preventing you from driving down the narrow, winding road to civilization), but come on. This is paradise.

Initially, the hike was kind of boring - you walk up the valley on a wide, well-traveled path for 2+ miles before you reach anything interesting (it's all right, yell away, I am so spoiled). My dad may or may not have called it the Bataan Death March on our way back.

We hit a river and I was interested to see what Bailey would do. Most dogs are very cautious about river crossings, especially when the water is partially frozen. Bailey, however, is special (in that adorable dumb-as-a-rock way), plus she loves water. Well, as soon as we were within sight of the river, she went SPRINTING towards it and before we could stop her, she leapt onto the partially frozen ice in the middle of the river. Obviously the ice collapsed, as partially frozen ice tends to do when abnormally heavy weight is applied, and Bailey spent the next fifteen seconds or so frantically trying to figure out how to claw herself out. She made it, of course, and I'm pretty sure she forgot about the experience within fifteen seconds.

We continued on our way, encountered some ice


and moved on up the valley. We were drooling at this


the whole time, which lead to some minor stumbling and more than one "holy shit, where did that ice/branch/moose come from?" Within no time, we were there!

THE BIGGEST CAIRN YOU'VE NEVER SEEN

These crazy ice crystals were EVERYWHERE. 

We chilled for a while, ate lunch, tortured Bailey with salami (and eventually gave her some), and once we couldn't feel our fingers, started back.


Hiking to a lake is never quite as satisfying as summiting something, but this was a nice, relaxing afternoon spent with my dad. He's got two fake hips and a bum knee, so extreme vertical is mostly out of the question for him these days. It's nice we can get out there at all! We hiked a good 9-10 miles so while my legs are feeling it, I don't think I'll be sore tomorrow. 

I spent the whole way back convincing my dad this area would be the perfect place to retire, and I think it worked. At least, I'm pretty sure he misspoke when he said "We're moving to California-deal with it."

Come on hypothetical dad who doesn't know this blog exists, you could look at this EVERY DAY!!!

Jeano & Pops Hike Symphony

Workout: another bomb-ass hike - 9-10 miles

Boulder City

We've had an unbelievable streak of good weather. I think we're now on day ten of sunshine, zero precipitation, and temps in the teens-low 30s. In other words, perfection. Apparently the streak's set to end on Tuesday so I obviously have to enjoy it while it lasts. Today, that meant spending six hours hiking near Eagle River with my dad.

First off, the people who live in this area are lucky as hell.


This is a bad picture, but you see that square on the left? THAT'S A HOUSE. There are more below. Like, these people get to wake up every morning and look at that. The hell. Of course, there are many practical reasons against living here (SO MUCH GAS, a good hour or so from Anchorage, where most people work, bad weather conditions preventing you from driving down the narrow, winding road to civilization), but come on. This is paradise.

Initially, the hike was kind of boring - you walk up the valley on a wide, well-traveled path for 2+ miles before you reach anything interesting (it's all right, yell away, I am so spoiled). My dad may or may not have called it the Bataan Death March on our way back.

We hit a river and I was interested to see what Bailey would do. Most dogs are very cautious about river crossings, especially when the water is partially frozen. Bailey, however, is special (in that adorable dumb-as-a-rock way), plus she loves water. Well, as soon as we were within sight of the river, she went SPRINTING towards it and before we could stop her, she leapt onto the partially frozen ice in the middle of the river. Obviously the ice collapsed, as partially frozen ice tends to do when abnormally heavy weight is applied, and Bailey spent the next fifteen seconds or so frantically trying to figure out how to claw herself out. She made it, of course, and I'm pretty sure she forgot about the experience within fifteen seconds.

We continued on our way, encountered some ice


and moved on up the valley. We were drooling at this


the whole time, which lead to some minor stumbling and more than one "holy shit, where did that ice/branch/moose come from?" Within no time, we were there!

THE BIGGEST CAIRN YOU'VE NEVER SEEN

These crazy ice crystals were EVERYWHERE. 

We chilled for a while, ate lunch, tortured Bailey with salami (and eventually gave her some), and once we couldn't feel our fingers, started back.


Hiking to a lake is never quite as satisfying as summiting something, but this was a nice, relaxing afternoon spent with my dad. He's got two fake hips and a bum knee, so extreme vertical is mostly out of the question for him these days. It's nice we can get out there at all! We hiked a good 9-10 miles so while my legs are feeling it, I don't think I'll be sore tomorrow. 

I spent the whole way back convincing my dad this area would be the perfect place to retire, and I think it worked. At least, I'm pretty sure he misspoke when he said "We're moving to California-deal with it."

Come on hypothetical dad who doesn't know this blog exists, you could look at this EVERY DAY!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Workout: jack shit

And so we conclude a 6-day exercise streak. I figure I'll summarize my workouts on Friday from now on because I have nothing else movement-related to talk about.

Saturday: All day hike in Eagle River
Sunday: To the dog park! Three jogged miles
Monday: Five slow, moose-disrupted jogged miles on Powerline
Tuesday: Three jogged miles around an ice rink
Wednesday: Showed Flattop who's boss
Thursday: Five miles along a surprisingly scenic road

Total: 16 miles jogged, plus an additional 9+ hours hiking

Not bad. The running's still pitiful, but I'm happy with the overall time.

----

So what's my outdoor calendar look like for this weekend? Well, tomorrow I'm going here with my dad, where I plan to take pictures nowhere near as nice as that one. It won't be as intense as last weekend's hike as we won't be summiting anything, but those views don't suck.

I've got a new story for the ongoing "is my dog dumb?" chronicles.

This is my parents' fault-I hadn't moved back yet

Usually when I'm in my room doing homework (read: blog stalking), I've got my door cracked a bit. Bailey derives immense joy from figuring out I'm nearby, rushing down the stairs, and bombing through the door into my room. I don't know what she's expecting to find in there (a mountain of bones! All the toys she can fit in her mouth! Infinite walks!), but each time she comes bursting in with the same unbridled enthusiasm. This routine works flawlessly when the door's open. However... you already know where this is going. Tonight, I could hear her coming, looked over, reached out, and before I had a chance to, you know, open the door with my thoughts, heard her crashing into it. When I opened the door, I don't think she knew it had happened. Such is the life of Bailey.

Here's today's Anchorage-y photo:


This is on the wall outside of Anchorage's hippest running store. Basically, if you don't shop there, you're fat and slow (this, obviously, fully explains my running).

Friday Round-Up & Weekend Plans

Workout: jack shit

And so we conclude a 6-day exercise streak. I figure I'll summarize my workouts on Friday from now on because I have nothing else movement-related to talk about.

Saturday: All day hike in Eagle River
Sunday: To the dog park! Three jogged miles
Monday: Five slow, moose-disrupted jogged miles on Powerline
Tuesday: Three jogged miles around an ice rink
Wednesday: Showed Flattop who's boss
Thursday: Five miles along a surprisingly scenic road

Total: 16 miles jogged, plus an additional 9+ hours hiking

Not bad. The running's still pitiful, but I'm happy with the overall time.

----

So what's my outdoor calendar look like for this weekend? Well, tomorrow I'm going here with my dad, where I plan to take pictures nowhere near as nice as that one. It won't be as intense as last weekend's hike as we won't be summiting anything, but those views don't suck.

I've got a new story for the ongoing "is my dog dumb?" chronicles.

This is my parents' fault-I hadn't moved back yet

Usually when I'm in my room doing homework (read: blog stalking), I've got my door cracked a bit. Bailey derives immense joy from figuring out I'm nearby, rushing down the stairs, and bombing through the door into my room. I don't know what she's expecting to find in there (a mountain of bones! All the toys she can fit in her mouth! Infinite walks!), but each time she comes bursting in with the same unbridled enthusiasm. This routine works flawlessly when the door's open. However... you already know where this is going. Tonight, I could hear her coming, looked over, reached out, and before I had a chance to, you know, open the door with my thoughts, heard her crashing into it. When I opened the door, I don't think she knew it had happened. Such is the life of Bailey.

Here's today's Anchorage-y photo:


This is on the wall outside of Anchorage's hippest running store. Basically, if you don't shop there, you're fat and slow (this, obviously, fully explains my running).

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Workout: 5 miles at 10:11 pace (but actually faster)

So, apparently my desire to exercise is stronger than, well, a lot of things. Having a towel to dry off with post-shower, for example. Homework. Talking to a professor about grad school (so basically, MY LIFE).

This morning, I attempted to sabotage any plans to run between classes by DELIBERATELY not bringing a towel with me to school. The logic is flawless: no towel = no shower = no run. Well, I conveniently forgot that I don't really need a towel to take a shower. All I really need is a handful of paper towels. Oh, it's uncomfortable, extremely so, but still possible. I had been planning to run after work, but by the time my first class ended, all I could think about was running, so that's what I did. No willpower whatsoever.

Whenever I drive to school, I'm pissed that I'm that paranoid driver who cannot handle taking her eyes of the road even for a second. A safe driver, if you will. Therefore, I decided I needed to run along this road so I could check out what I've been missing once and for all. It was quite nice, actually, despite the fact that I was basically running next to a highway. Let's take a look!

There are bunches of cars right behind me, but you can't tell by this picture, can you?

Mounts.

This is where the moose hang

I was surprisingly speedy on this run. My stats may beg to differ,


but each of miles 1-4 includes some sort of obstacle that held me up for, like 45 seconds. Initially, I hit THE LONGEST STOPLIGHT EVER. Actually, it was the scene of this heinous crime, so I had a full minute to reminisce and get hopped up on adrenaline (that's sarcasm) before I moved on. The other miles are slower mostly due to me taking pictures. Hey, I have no readers, I NEED these! Sacrifices sometimes have to be made in the name of blogging.

So yeah, I'm guessing my average was more like 9:30, which isn't bad considering I was deliberately keeping it slow. And when I finished, I seriously felt like I hadn't done anything. I guess that's a good sign? It would be better if my shins weren't assholes. Like, what's up with that? How is it I've never had shin splints in my life and now I have them (it?) from running less than 15 miles a week? Amateur hour.

Sabotage Fail

Workout: 5 miles at 10:11 pace (but actually faster)

So, apparently my desire to exercise is stronger than, well, a lot of things. Having a towel to dry off with post-shower, for example. Homework. Talking to a professor about grad school (so basically, MY LIFE).

This morning, I attempted to sabotage any plans to run between classes by DELIBERATELY not bringing a towel with me to school. The logic is flawless: no towel = no shower = no run. Well, I conveniently forgot that I don't really need a towel to take a shower. All I really need is a handful of paper towels. Oh, it's uncomfortable, extremely so, but still possible. I had been planning to run after work, but by the time my first class ended, all I could think about was running, so that's what I did. No willpower whatsoever.

Whenever I drive to school, I'm pissed that I'm that paranoid driver who cannot handle taking her eyes of the road even for a second. A safe driver, if you will. Therefore, I decided I needed to run along this road so I could check out what I've been missing once and for all. It was quite nice, actually, despite the fact that I was basically running next to a highway. Let's take a look!

There are bunches of cars right behind me, but you can't tell by this picture, can you?

Mounts.

This is where the moose hang

I was surprisingly speedy on this run. My stats may beg to differ,


but each of miles 1-4 includes some sort of obstacle that held me up for, like 45 seconds. Initially, I hit THE LONGEST STOPLIGHT EVER. Actually, it was the scene of this heinous crime, so I had a full minute to reminisce and get hopped up on adrenaline (that's sarcasm) before I moved on. The other miles are slower mostly due to me taking pictures. Hey, I have no readers, I NEED these! Sacrifices sometimes have to be made in the name of blogging.

So yeah, I'm guessing my average was more like 9:30, which isn't bad considering I was deliberately keeping it slow. And when I finished, I seriously felt like I hadn't done anything. I guess that's a good sign? It would be better if my shins weren't assholes. Like, what's up with that? How is it I've never had shin splints in my life and now I have them (it?) from running less than 15 miles a week? Amateur hour.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Workout: Flattop-conquered! With Bailey in tow.

Another magical day. I don't know what's up with this weather but I'm down.


This makes, like, six days of sun. IN A ROW. That doesn't happen in Alaska. Oh, how's the five-day forecast looking, you ask? SEE FOR YOURSELF:

Sunny for miles

Incredible. I was sitting in class just itching to get outside, and once we got let out I flew to my car, stopped by my house, picked up that lovable mutt of mine (she's not a mutt, she's a golden retriever), and hauled ass up to Flattop.

I was actually kind of tired so was planning to take it easy, but the lure of that seductive Siren (Flattop, duh) was too strong. I was wearing my Pace Gloves, which aren't totally ideal for steep snow hiking, but I made a deal with myself to keep moving until shit got slippery, at which point I'd turn around. Fortunately, that never happened! Today's conditions were a complete 180 from last week's attempt. There's still snow, but it's been packed down and there are tons of footprints to walk in.

In no time, we were at the top! We said hi to the welcome stick

Welcome stick

and moseyed around the top for a while. Bailey was in paradise, and I was feeling pretty swell myself. Oh, you want a couple more photos? Can do, my friends!


These are two similar photos but it's okay because I used different filters, thus creating the illusion of two entirely different scenes. Plus, in this one you get Bailey's ass. A win for all!

We hung out up top for fifteen minutes or so before heading down. Bailey did a super job descending.


She was so much faster than me, in fact, that she felt the need to chew on this stick for long periods of time just to show me SHE HAD THE TIME TO DO SO.

After a quick 'n easy descent and a quick photo of these cool ice crystals,


we were at the parking lot and our job was done. And by job I mean playtime.

----

A friendly PSA: go out and vote early if your state allows it! There are tons of reasons for doing it early: they've still got all their candy; the volunteers aren't pissed off yet; you don't have to nod politely as someone with totally opposite political views goes on at length about who they're voting for; you can make sure there's not something up with your voting eligibility (or whatever); and, most importantly, this sticker:


Who'd I vote for? The better candidate. Duh.

Flattop Redemption

Workout: Flattop-conquered! With Bailey in tow.

Another magical day. I don't know what's up with this weather but I'm down.


This makes, like, six days of sun. IN A ROW. That doesn't happen in Alaska. Oh, how's the five-day forecast looking, you ask? SEE FOR YOURSELF:

Sunny for miles

Incredible. I was sitting in class just itching to get outside, and once we got let out I flew to my car, stopped by my house, picked up that lovable mutt of mine (she's not a mutt, she's a golden retriever), and hauled ass up to Flattop.

I was actually kind of tired so was planning to take it easy, but the lure of that seductive Siren (Flattop, duh) was too strong. I was wearing my Pace Gloves, which aren't totally ideal for steep snow hiking, but I made a deal with myself to keep moving until shit got slippery, at which point I'd turn around. Fortunately, that never happened! Today's conditions were a complete 180 from last week's attempt. There's still snow, but it's been packed down and there are tons of footprints to walk in.

In no time, we were at the top! We said hi to the welcome stick

Welcome stick

and moseyed around the top for a while. Bailey was in paradise, and I was feeling pretty swell myself. Oh, you want a couple more photos? Can do, my friends!


These are two similar photos but it's okay because I used different filters, thus creating the illusion of two entirely different scenes. Plus, in this one you get Bailey's ass. A win for all!

We hung out up top for fifteen minutes or so before heading down. Bailey did a super job descending.


She was so much faster than me, in fact, that she felt the need to chew on this stick for long periods of time just to show me SHE HAD THE TIME TO DO SO.

After a quick 'n easy descent and a quick photo of these cool ice crystals,


we were at the parking lot and our job was done. And by job I mean playtime.

----

A friendly PSA: go out and vote early if your state allows it! There are tons of reasons for doing it early: they've still got all their candy; the volunteers aren't pissed off yet; you don't have to nod politely as someone with totally opposite political views goes on at length about who they're voting for; you can make sure there's not something up with your voting eligibility (or whatever); and, most importantly, this sticker:


Who'd I vote for? The better candidate. Duh.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Workout: 3 miles around UAA's track


Welcome back to another edition of Random Shit Tuesday, where I tell you what's on this broad's mind.


  • I decided to post pictures of Anchorage-y things on days I don't have a lot of photos to share. What qualifies as Anchorage-y? That's up to me. It could be mountains, it could be a moose, it could be a prostitute getting into a minivan (which, for whatever reason, is a thing). Today we get an adorable boat downtown.


  • In case the recent snow wasn't obvious enough, there are a couple other things signaling the changing season. Number one: it's getting dark in the mornings. How dark?
THIS DARK. Bet you're glad I XL'd this one. And no, it's not instagrammed.
I spared you this one time.

This was taken on my morning walk with Bailey. It was 7:30 a.m. Was it actually this dark? Well, no, not really. This is just what my iPhone saw. But it's really fucking dark at that hour. I wouldn't be too worried, only it's come to my attention that Bailey is the least effective human protector on this planet. Guess it's time to spring for a flashlight.

Number two, I've had to resort to scraping ice off my windows with an expired credit card in the morning, open condom style. Word's still out on when I'm going to buy an ice scraper.

  • This morning while on my way to school I watched the slowest car accident ever. I couldn't look away. I was at a stoplight and the woman one lane over backed up a bit. Then, she backed up a bit more. I was staring at her in disbelief as the dude behind her honked and honked while she looked straight ahead and continued to back up. Obviously, she hit the guy. When she got out of her car, I saw she had dead eyes and didn't seem all there. This woman should not be on the road. I'm one to talk, though, because as I drove off with a smug look of superiority on my face, I switched lanes and almost hit someone. Looks like karma was trying to tell me to SIT DOWN.

  • Like I said up top, I ran today. Three miles around UAA's ice rink. I know that place is a shithole, but in some sick twisted way, I like it. I did a slow mile in the Pace Gloves and an additional two barefoot, with an average of about 9:45/mile. It seems I'm quite the circus freak because by the time I was done there were no fewer than four people staring down at me. Whatever, those last two miles felt damn good. The best part about running around an ice rink is not getting sweaty. I sweat a lot. This came in handy, actually, when I found out what I forgot this time-my towel. Forgetting things seems to be a sort of a reoccurring theme, and not having my towel kind of blew. I took a shower-ish, attempted to dry myself with some paper towels, and called it a day.

  • On a similar note, is it just me or do many runners seem to have impeccable hygiene/clothes/makeup? How do these people have time to both work out and spend a million hours grooming themselves? I feel like even dousing myself in water before dashing off to wherever is a huge accomplishment, never mind drying everything properly (see above) and covering it all with magic skin paint. I live in the alleged worst dressed city in America, yet these people look fresh off the streets of New York! Hell, I couldn't hope to be that put together when I lived there. I mean absolutely no offense to these people (what do you mean by these people?!, someone will inevitably think), I'm simply in awe.

  • It's been a veritable comment bonanza over here at JJ-o (my evil hope is that an unsuspecting soul trying to find the masterful podcast JJ Go will stumble upon this blog instead. Anything for a buck view). Mary got the ball rolling and was soon accompanied by none other than blogger extraordinaire RoseRunner. To say I'm a fucking creep for being TOO EXCITED about receiving these comments is most certainly an understatement, but I imagine blogging is more fun when you've got folks reading along.

We'll conclude today's thoughts with another picture:


Happy Tuesday!

Random Shit Tuesday

Workout: 3 miles around UAA's track


Welcome back to another edition of Random Shit Tuesday, where I tell you what's on this broad's mind.


  • I decided to post pictures of Anchorage-y things on days I don't have a lot of photos to share. What qualifies as Anchorage-y? That's up to me. It could be mountains, it could be a moose, it could be a prostitute getting into a minivan (which, for whatever reason, is a thing). Today we get an adorable boat downtown.


  • In case the recent snow wasn't obvious enough, there are a couple other things signaling the changing season. Number one: it's getting dark in the mornings. How dark?
THIS DARK. Bet you're glad I XL'd this one. And no, it's not instagrammed.
I spared you this one time.

This was taken on my morning walk with Bailey. It was 7:30 a.m. Was it actually this dark? Well, no, not really. This is just what my iPhone saw. But it's really fucking dark at that hour. I wouldn't be too worried, only it's come to my attention that Bailey is the least effective human protector on this planet. Guess it's time to spring for a flashlight.

Number two, I've had to resort to scraping ice off my windows with an expired credit card in the morning, open condom style. Word's still out on when I'm going to buy an ice scraper.

  • This morning while on my way to school I watched the slowest car accident ever. I couldn't look away. I was at a stoplight and the woman one lane over backed up a bit. Then, she backed up a bit more. I was staring at her in disbelief as the dude behind her honked and honked while she looked straight ahead and continued to back up. Obviously, she hit the guy. When she got out of her car, I saw she had dead eyes and didn't seem all there. This woman should not be on the road. I'm one to talk, though, because as I drove off with a smug look of superiority on my face, I switched lanes and almost hit someone. Looks like karma was trying to tell me to SIT DOWN.

  • Like I said up top, I ran today. Three miles around UAA's ice rink. I know that place is a shithole, but in some sick twisted way, I like it. I did a slow mile in the Pace Gloves and an additional two barefoot, with an average of about 9:45/mile. It seems I'm quite the circus freak because by the time I was done there were no fewer than four people staring down at me. Whatever, those last two miles felt damn good. The best part about running around an ice rink is not getting sweaty. I sweat a lot. This came in handy, actually, when I found out what I forgot this time-my towel. Forgetting things seems to be a sort of a reoccurring theme, and not having my towel kind of blew. I took a shower-ish, attempted to dry myself with some paper towels, and called it a day.

  • On a similar note, is it just me or do many runners seem to have impeccable hygiene/clothes/makeup? How do these people have time to both work out and spend a million hours grooming themselves? I feel like even dousing myself in water before dashing off to wherever is a huge accomplishment, never mind drying everything properly (see above) and covering it all with magic skin paint. I live in the alleged worst dressed city in America, yet these people look fresh off the streets of New York! Hell, I couldn't hope to be that put together when I lived there. I mean absolutely no offense to these people (what do you mean by these people?!, someone will inevitably think), I'm simply in awe.

  • It's been a veritable comment bonanza over here at JJ-o (my evil hope is that an unsuspecting soul trying to find the masterful podcast JJ Go will stumble upon this blog instead. Anything for a buck view). Mary got the ball rolling and was soon accompanied by none other than blogger extraordinaire RoseRunner. To say I'm a fucking creep for being TOO EXCITED about receiving these comments is most certainly an understatement, but I imagine blogging is more fun when you've got folks reading along.

We'll conclude today's thoughts with another picture:


Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Workout: 5 slow, moose-interrupted miles at Powerline



I spent my afternoon at this pretty li'l place. The plan was to run 3-4 miles out, finish 5 miles on the way back, then walk the rest of the way to my car.

The run was on track until I ran into three moose. Now, moose aren't a big deal. This is Alaska. I mean, I'm not going to do anything stupid, but if you leave them alone and use some common sense, you'll probably be fine.

I continued past these three moose, and somehow Bailey didn't see them. Either that or she doesn't understand that they're alive. I'm starting think it's the latter. Bailey is a sweet, sweet dog, but I'm realizing she may not be the smartest canine ever. This suspicion was further strengthened when we ran into another group of three moose and she galloped right by them, continuing on her merrily stupid way. It's okay, Bailey: you've got other qualities.

I went a bit further and hit another obstacle: ice.


I had to walk over this stuff because, duh-I've had enough injured body parts this year. This was only a short stretch of what I walked over.

At this point I was kind of wondering whether it was worth it to continue on. It was a beautiful day, though, so I figured I'd give it one more shot. That shot went to hell almost immediately when I looked down towards the river and saw a pack of probably twenty moose. Guys, I'm cool with a few moose here and there, but I'm not too keen to be running near a pack of horny moose with my clueless dog. It's mating season, folks!

Anyway, I turned around and was wondering if I should just cut my run short when I decided to head north on Powerline (I always go south). This section of Powerline is pretty, but since it's descending it gets more and more overgrown, so I tend to steer clear of it and any bears it may be hiding. Well, there's that and the fact that it's steep as hell.


This doesn't look steep, BUT IT WAS. Especially when you're two days removed from this.

I did a half mile on this, turned around, and almost died coming back up. It was horrible. Not gonna lie, there was some walking in there. Deal with it.

I moseyed back and forth along a two mile stretch until I finally hit five miles, then walked the last .6 back to my car. My splits? Let's take a look!



Not much to see here. I ran, it was hard, I was slow and encountered some obstacles. Overall, a huge success!

Apart from the five minutes I was considering calling in a helicopter to pick me up, I felt strong during this run. My legs seemed mostly recovered from this weekend, and I definitely think I could have kept going. Had those pesky moose not been milling about, I might have considered it. I'm still determined to run up to Powerline Pass once mating season's over.

Eating a stick and totally failing at protecting me from potentially dangerous animals.

On an unrelated note, DING DING DING, we have our first commenter! Major props to Mary for dropping by the comment section. And my parents didn't even have to pay her! Not much, anyway. I attempted to respond to the comment but don't think I managed it completely. You know something's gone horribly wrong when you're asked to verify your human-status on your own blog. But despite my #commentfail, I really appreciate anyone taking the time to leave a comment, whether complimentary or insulting, mundane or fucking weird. This is an all-comments welcome blog! Well, within reason. I'm just relieved my first comment wasn't left by a sexbot. Here's to milestones!

Mating Moose Make Running Hard

Workout: 5 slow, moose-interrupted miles at Powerline



I spent my afternoon at this pretty li'l place. The plan was to run 3-4 miles out, finish 5 miles on the way back, then walk the rest of the way to my car.

The run was on track until I ran into three moose. Now, moose aren't a big deal. This is Alaska. I mean, I'm not going to do anything stupid, but if you leave them alone and use some common sense, you'll probably be fine.

I continued past these three moose, and somehow Bailey didn't see them. Either that or she doesn't understand that they're alive. I'm starting think it's the latter. Bailey is a sweet, sweet dog, but I'm realizing she may not be the smartest canine ever. This suspicion was further strengthened when we ran into another group of three moose and she galloped right by them, continuing on her merrily stupid way. It's okay, Bailey: you've got other qualities.

I went a bit further and hit another obstacle: ice.


I had to walk over this stuff because, duh-I've had enough injured body parts this year. This was only a short stretch of what I walked over.

At this point I was kind of wondering whether it was worth it to continue on. It was a beautiful day, though, so I figured I'd give it one more shot. That shot went to hell almost immediately when I looked down towards the river and saw a pack of probably twenty moose. Guys, I'm cool with a few moose here and there, but I'm not too keen to be running near a pack of horny moose with my clueless dog. It's mating season, folks!

Anyway, I turned around and was wondering if I should just cut my run short when I decided to head north on Powerline (I always go south). This section of Powerline is pretty, but since it's descending it gets more and more overgrown, so I tend to steer clear of it and any bears it may be hiding. Well, there's that and the fact that it's steep as hell.


This doesn't look steep, BUT IT WAS. Especially when you're two days removed from this.

I did a half mile on this, turned around, and almost died coming back up. It was horrible. Not gonna lie, there was some walking in there. Deal with it.

I moseyed back and forth along a two mile stretch until I finally hit five miles, then walked the last .6 back to my car. My splits? Let's take a look!



Not much to see here. I ran, it was hard, I was slow and encountered some obstacles. Overall, a huge success!

Apart from the five minutes I was considering calling in a helicopter to pick me up, I felt strong during this run. My legs seemed mostly recovered from this weekend, and I definitely think I could have kept going. Had those pesky moose not been milling about, I might have considered it. I'm still determined to run up to Powerline Pass once mating season's over.

Eating a stick and totally failing at protecting me from potentially dangerous animals.

On an unrelated note, DING DING DING, we have our first commenter! Major props to Mary for dropping by the comment section. And my parents didn't even have to pay her! Not much, anyway. I attempted to respond to the comment but don't think I managed it completely. You know something's gone horribly wrong when you're asked to verify your human-status on your own blog. But despite my #commentfail, I really appreciate anyone taking the time to leave a comment, whether complimentary or insulting, mundane or fucking weird. This is an all-comments welcome blog! Well, within reason. I'm just relieved my first comment wasn't left by a sexbot. Here's to milestones!