Thursday, September 5, 2019

Skokmish River Trail

A leg stretcher that left me tired, I must be out of shape.  Only 7 miles with a little elevation gain.  The hot weather did not help.  I really don't like the heat.

Fall berries and mushrooms are out!  So far this is a great mushroom year.  I got some chanterelles  and some chicken of the woods.  I never normally get chanterelles on this trail, so this really is a good mushroom year.

I saw the biggest red huckleberries ever and there were a lot of the high bush blueberries.  The blueberries were very sour though, so I did not enjoy eating them.

Lunch was a cold grill cheese sandwich with pepperoncini slices on it and a raw but very ripe plantain and a cup of coffee.

Sage had a bag of dogfood that looks like hamburger, that is her special high calorie hiking treat food.  I seemed to have her trained to lay down and wait for her food too.  She was in the habit of barking loudly and incessantly the moment I sat down for lunch.  I started waiting to giver her food until after she had laid down and shut up.  It worked, on both breaks she just laid down without any barking and just a bit of whining, so she got to have her lunch fast.

Sage got her hair cut this week, so she was a bit more comfortable in the heat, but she started shivering during lunch.

During lunch I dug out my key chain and wondered if these two people have any right to be on my key chain.  They both treated me very badly and then abandoned me early due to their legal drug habits, one alcohol the other tobacco.  I'm well into an anger cycle in my grief and it feels good to not be afraid to be angry.   I've been too afraid of my mother to allow myself to feel anger, what if she harms me from the grave or something.  I was not as scared of my husband because he was always frail.  I was still afraid of his yelling and arguing, but I was not too physically intimidated by him. 

My new love treats me so much better, the way I deserve to be treated and that is actually fueling some of my anger.   How refreshing and eye opening it is to be treated the way I deserve to be treated.  It's like I've had to wait all my life just to be treated like a human.  Maybe I just needed to go over to the other side all this time.

I forgot to pack a camera but the I remembered that I had one in my car, my old D90 equipped with a nifty fifty.  Not my first choice for a hiking lens, but it got the job done anyway and it did not weigh much.

7 miles 700 feet elevation gain

Thursday, August 29, 2019

Green Mountain with the Peninsula Wilderness Club

This telephoto view from the summit rock of Green Mountain shows Seattle with the Cascade mountains in the background.  In the foreground is East Bremerton, and the Warren ave Bridge..  Three Washington State Ferries are visible in the Puget Sound in front of Seattle.

My nefarious plot worked, everything has come to fruition.  I got paid to go hiking and take pictures.  

I consider Port Orchard to be my hometown, but I grew up all over western Washington moving around so much, that it difficult for me to peg down one town as the one I grew up in.  My family almost all lived in Port Orchard and my parents lived in Port Orchard on Sidney road when I was born.  I was however conceived on Lafayette ave in Bremerton and I was born in Bremerton.  

When I was in my mid 20's I moved to Port Orchard and stayed there until my divorce and my subsequent exile to Shelton.  I could not afford a new house in Port Orchard.  But when I did live in Port Orchard I joined the Peninsula Wilderness Club and I became an avid hiker shortly after joining the club.  I met my boyfriend on my first hike with the club and then never really hiked much  with the club again.    I broke up with that boyfriend when I met my late husband.  Where are you now Paul?

Anyway I knew about the Peninsula Wilderness club in spite of living and Shelton and I have been given one photo assignment per week in North Mason, so I picked Green Mountain.  Not quite North Mason, but close enough.  Here are the photos I turned in.

I'm going to delay publishing of this blog post until a week or more after these photos are printed.

From the back Marti Howard  and Alisa Blitz-Seibert of Seabeck, walk up the Vista Trail with their dogs Wilson and Kelly. 

From the left Alisa Blitz-Seibert of Seableck  sits down while Ron Martin of Belfair  helps himself to cheese and crackers at the summit potluck.

Members of the Peninsula Wilderness club have a potluck on the Summit of Green Mountain.

Sunlight filters down through the clouds with the Olympic Mountains in the background. 

Members of the Peninsula Wilderness Club hike back down the Gold Creek trail after having a social on the summit.

Sunlight filters through the Green Mountain State Forest and highlights Isothecium moss hanging on a Douglas-fir branch.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Twin Harbors

Back to my favorite beach hike / walk.  The mountains are too hot, but it usually is nice and cool at the beach. Also on June 21, I scattered my late husband's ashes the beach in Westport.  The beach has a name, but I don't care.  I call it Bob's beach.  He died near the winter solstice and I spread his ashes on the summer solstice.  I used to feel guilty when I left him home with his caregivers while I went to the beach,  but not now since I left him at the beach forever.  He was very clear that he wanted his ashes spread in the Pacific Ocean.  He was British and seeing the Pacific Ocean for the first time was a big deal for him.

I brought a larger camera and a mediocre long lens today.  I won't bring my best and heaviest long lens on this hike and subject it to the elements.  I wanted to get some shots of brown pelicans.  I did not find them where I expected them near Bob's beach.  Instead though, I saw my first ever Great White Pelican. Wow, they are huge!!

The air was hotter than predicted, so I did a fair amount of wading and got sandy and salty.  I went to have my lunch on the Jetty near the surfing area, but on the side that overlooks Bob's beach. It was so hot there that I went out into the water up to my waist.  Maybe I got some of my late husband's ashes on me?

I was so devastated when he died.  I had no idea that it would be so awful.  I suffered from 6 months of pure misery that was only just starting to relent when I went to New Zealand.  I went because Bob never wanted to go there and I have not traveled since 2012 due to having to stay home with him to watch him slowly wilt and die.  I found him dead on the dining room floor just a bit after midnight on December 10th.  Did he die on the 9th or the 10th?  He was born in England so he died on the 10th in his time zone.

I love my morning coffee, but every morning I have to walk past the spot where I found his corpse so I can get to the kitchen and have my coffee, I also have to walk past where for 14 months his hospice bed was set up in the dining room.  Every morning before could even get out of bed, the first thing I though about was his death.

New Zealand fixed all of that.  I could have my tea and coffee without walking past that awful spot and I had a lovely friend to share it with me.  I was going to come back in a much better head space no matter what.   Then something totally unexpected happened.  I fell in love with my friend in New Zealand and it is mutual.  I intend to go back to New Zealand in December and as often as possible after that.

Back to today, the plan for today was to have lunch at a spot overlooking Bob's beach, but I accidentally dumped my lunch, just a meager can of clams onto the rock that Sage had just licked all of her dog food off of.   I scraped all my clams off the rock and then wondered, was I going to eat it?    I had packed very little food, I'm trying to lose weight as usual, I really needed those clams but now they were mixed with dog food and dog saliva.   As I pondered if I was going to eat my clams  my phone chimed.  Was it my friend in New Zealand?  I set my can of clams on a log and reached for my phone and then my clams all spilled out and onto the beach rocks for a second time.  Well at least my mind was made up then, I was not going to eat my clams.   Sage enjoyed them fully though.

After my lunch of just coffee and beer  I looked out at the spot where we went out on a boat and spread Bob's ashes and wondered why I did not feel sad and then  I felt a sudden surge of rage.  Bob was not always nice to me.  He enraged me at least once a week when he was alive, but this was the first rage that I felt towards him since he died.  Wow, what am I going to do with this rage now?  Hate him forever, forget all the good things?

 So much to process, new love, new grief and old rage.   I'll have plenty to think about while I am out hiking for the next few years.

After my not a lunch, I remembered that I had packed a beer in my beautiful kiwi water bottle that was given to me by my Kiwi friend.  Well beer has calories in it so that would be my lunch I guess.

Surprisingly I did not get hungry on my hike back.  I got a bit tired and took a coffee break.  Then a freaking family came and sat down right next to me.  A full mile of empty beach on either side and they had to set up 30 feet away from me.  I hate it when people use me as a landmark.

If I wanted to sit with people I would have sat with people instead of picking a spot a full mile from anyone else.. I got up and left in disgust.  I'm sure they were perfectly nice people but I had just hiked 6 miles in the heat and on an empty stomach except for a can of Corona and two cups of coffee.  I was not feeling social and neither was Sage.  But at least Sage was well fed.

7.5 miles with 50 feet elevation gain.  That is 12 kilometers.
My total mileage for the year is 265 miles or 426 kilometers my total for all of last year was 292 miles or 469 kilometers, so I'm closing in on last year fast.