Sherman – Kettle – Wapaloosie Loop

Prior to this hike, I mapped out a roughly 18 mile loop. The hike starts at the Sherman Trail TH on the west end of the loop. That short trail climbs to a junction with the Kettle Crest Trail. I left the KCT at the Wapaloosie Trail, hiked the road to the Jungle Hill TH, then up the Sherman Pass Trail to the KCT. My initial plan included the Columbia Mountain loop, then back onto the KCT to the Sherman Trail.

Continue reading

Thinking in the Woods

I hiked a short section of the Kettle Crest Trail this past weekend. It’s part of the Pacific Northwest Trail, a 1200-mile National Scenic Trail. This area has a reputation for not being as crowded as trails in the Cascades, and I’ve decided I want to explore more of it. Having touched a small piece of it, I’m ready for more!

Continue reading

Adjusting to the Pandemic

How are you doing, friends?

I’ve had drastically alter my expectations, and not just because my races have been cancelled. Initially, not being able to travel to work on my parents’ house was a blessing, as I could resume training. I’d missed about a month of long runs, but I still had four months until my “A” race – Millersylvania 50K. (As of now, the race is still on the calendar. However, I cannot imagine the Washington State Parks will allow the race to happen as it’ll be a sizable gathering of people, and they’re still not allowing camping in state parks.)

The week before Washington enacted its stay-at-home orders, I started feeling sick. That illness stayed with me for about a week, meaning I lost even more training time. That, combined with making food & drink choices based upon my stress levels rather than good fueling choices, pretty much doomed training for a June 50K.

In the year since my parents’ automobile accident, I’ve gained about fifteen pounds — most of that has come in the last seven months. I don’t mind being fat, and even at 180 pounds I’m lighter than I was ten years ago, but the extra weight puts too much stress on my joints. I had a few runs during which I really struggled.

I finally admitted to myself that I needed to scrap training for the 50K. I’ve started doing shorter runs and just running, not doing prescribed workouts. My intent is to start preparing my body for hiking Section K in August. (That is dependent upon the US Forest Service opening recreational access to the Okanogan-Wenatchee and Mt. Baker-Snoqualmie National Forests. I’m hopeful it’ll happen.) I can do that by continuing to improve my cardiovascular health by running and by hiking. If Millersylvania isn’t cancelled, I’ll offer to volunteer in exchange for deferring my race entry to next year. (We have reservations for a site in the campground, and I’d love to go camping that weekend.)

Last weekend, I hiked in the Juniper Dunes Wilderness with a couple of friends. We used the north entrance, which is only open to the public March-May, and only for day use. Fortunately, none of us went in with a pace or distance agenda. It was slow going, but that was largely due to us stopping & chatting a lot. I’m heading out there again this upcoming weekend, but I’m going to spend the night in the wilderness. That means parking in the ORV area at the southwest corner & hiking in through the ORV area. I’m excited to finally get to spend a night outside, even if it means sleeping on the ground like a primitive.

I’ve noticed over the last week or so that my left ankle can be a bit balky. I suspect I twisted it during a run and didn’t notice it at the time because it didn’t hurt. Alas, that’s another penalty of being 180 pounds. I may have to focus more on walking & hiking than running for a while.