27 Jan 2010

East Sooke Park Trail Run

This is for my buddy Greg, who got me back into running three years ago. With another AT&T Wireless buddy, Tim, we were going to do a half marathon in Port Angeles back in 2007. Sadly, Greg broke a toe three days before

Still, I'll share running stories with Greg (possibly he's the only who cares). Such as the 10K I ran Sunday in Cobble Hill. My fastest run in at least 7 years...and I still came in 265th


Anyways, this is one of our two favorite runs (Pike Road) here in the Sooke area, at a very large provincial park (3,500 acres) on the Straight of Juan de Fuca


The only downside is there are cougars and bears (although the latter should be sleeping right now)

East Sooke is a bit more rugged. Last time we stayed over here I was in the General Store and someone had a baby deer's head in his hand to show, assuming a cougar had killed it. Anyways...

The first mile out is through dense forest. Hudson generally gets to be off-leash and zip around

This is at the end of the first mile...a quick run down to the ocean (straight)...

...and then off to the more challenging trails to the left...

Hudson's water break...

Some difficult terrain makes the second part of the run more like climbing and hiking...

Which is why Hudson's on leash...

Views of Washington State

We are here until Monday, when it's back to Seattle for a few weeks, including a visit with Boss Hague...

22 Jan 2010

Back in God's Country

Tuesday we went back to Redmond; both of us had Wednesday appointments with our superstar dentist Dr. Danforth (and my beloved hygienist). Below is a shot of coming off the ferry from Victoria to Vancouver (more or less)

Wednesday evening I went to an Everett Silvertips game with my buddy Gary and one of his pals. The Silvertips are a good time in a good blue-collar town north of Seattle. Good game versus the Vancouver Giants, two top teams. Everett won 3-2. Highlights included the police taking Gary away for about 5 minutes just before the second intermission puck toss (closest to Center Ice won money) and the usual late night visit to Denny's. Below is a view near Everett, taken the next day on our way back up to Sooke

Here are two shots on a nice winter day on the ferry ride back to Victoria (well, Sidney actually)

So the wife is seeing this month why Canada is a top pick for our next place to live. Here is a box of Honey Nut Cheerios sold up here - complete with a hockey fold-out game (with Iginla in his Team Canada jersey):

Here is Canada's $5 bill - hockey!

Last Saturday we went into Victoria. I was wearing my "Hockey Night in Canada" sweatshirt. We walked into a fancy cigar store. The two guys working in their fancy suits were jazzed:

"All right!"
"Nice shirt, that's great"

Then we went next door to Munro's, a historic book store:

"Da da-dada Da da-dada"

Yup, an employee walking by singing the Hockey Night in Canada song

Today we went to the grocery store:

"Da da-dada Da da-dada"

Same thing, an employee singing the song. And then a 5 minute chat about the Canucks and Kovalchuk maybe being traded to the Flames for Phanuef

And of course Canada has some very explicit warnings on cigarettes:

Sunday I'm cruising up to Cobble Hill to run in a 10K...

15 Jan 2010

Rainy Vancouver Island

I think it's rained every day since we got here 10 days ago. It's been stormy all through the Pacific Northwest

Still, great times here in Sooke (maybe 35 minutes from Victoria)

The rain has stopped enough to get some good runs in. We are a mere 3 minute run from an entrance to the Galloping Goose, a 55km old rail line now a trail. It's helped me get off to a decent start for my 2010 goal of running 1,000 miles; now at 35 miles as of January 15th

Here is the trail where we access it most days. The first pic is the way I go if Hudson is with me and the 2nd is if I'm going myself

Below is sunrise from our kitchen

So far two highlights here.

First, I ran a race Sunday, the Prairie Inn Pioneer 8K (http://pih.bc.ca/results/Series.php?race=170). I ran a fast race, for me. I didn't win. I came in 365th

Second, Maureen found an auction in Victoria and we did good. Mostly we bought art from an art house that went bankrupt. The company's info/price tags came along...

This first paining, rather large (maybe 36" x 16") was retail $1,750 and we bought it for $80

This one was retail $695 and we got for $50

These two are actually originals and were retail $590 combined and we got them for $50 (pic is fuzzy)

It was an excellent time and we spent maybe $500 with the auction house's 20% premium and taxes

Today Maureen was running around and Sooke - there is only one road to this part of the island - was temporarily cut-off due to this accident

We head to Seattle Tuesday for the dentist and a hockey game (me) before coming back for the rest of the month...

5 Jan 2010

Freezing Montana & Back In Sooke

It's been awhile, no good reason. Last update we were leaving Jackson, WY. Jackson itself and the house we stayed at was OK but down the list on places we've been to. Also, the snow wasn't great for skiing at Jackson Hole

On to Bozeman, MT

The drive was a bit sketchy, especially the areas in and around Yellowstone. Beautiful, but snowing

After cruising through very white Idaho we arrived in Montana

Our place in Montana was about 5 miles outside of Bozeman on 40 acres

These are our neighbours across the street

It was great for running from the house. The driveway itself was 0.3 miles and the road was 1.7 miles long. Here it is running towards state land

It was bitter cold much of the time. I ran half the time with Hudson, including a Hudson record 4.2 miles. The other half the time it was too cold for him. Many mornings I was running in -9 degrees (Fahrenheit). Sometimes I'd have to take a break to let the ice in my hair melt

Christmas was fun! Since we're on the road, we decided to keep stress low and buy for ourselves and have the other unwrap the other's presents. Maureen bought herself a Kindle and some Kindle accessories. I bought myself The X-Files, DVD Seasons 1-4 (huge bargain, $18/season), The Haunting Complete DVD Collection, some books, some running touques and some official Canada Olympic gear from The Hudson's Bay Company

As you can see Hudson "loved" his new collar and leash

Here's a beautiful shot of the full moon setting from our porch

And a glorious sunset

And our car in a ditch, whoooops!

We went cross country skiing at Bohart Ranch 3x and had a blast! http://www.bohartranchxcski.com/

I wish we could go more often. The first time we took lessons and had a superb instructor. Here are a few pics from the New Year's Day

Sadly it was time to leave - and even more sad back to work after 2 weeks off. We decided to spend January on Vancouver Island in Sooke, my favorite place in the world. First we swung through Seattle for a night to drop things off at the Father-in-Laws

We packed up Grumpus and started the 550-mile drive...


...snowy Idaho...

...and finally the great state of Washington...

When we finally arrived at 10pm...it was raining

We arrived in Sooke today and began fulfilling my 2010 Goal of 1,000 miles of running, up here on the great Galloping Goose Trail. It's like the Burke-Gilman except through the woods on the water. 997.2 miles to go...