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    HILLSLUG98239   27,228
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A little down time is a good thing!

Wednesday, September 04, 2013

We camped with our friend Richard last weekend. We went to Lake Takhlakh, near Mount Adams. Jim & I brought our mountain bikes. I mapped out a 12-mile course for us. Most of it was on forest roads, but there was a 4-mile section that was a multi-use trail.

Saturday, we hiked the Takh Takh Meadows trail. We deviated from the trail for a bit a scrambled around a 3500-year old lava field. The views of Mount St. Helens were amazing. The weather was great. One meadow we wandered through was a field of huckleberries. We sampled a few, but I never followed through with my plan to come back with a small bag and pick a cup or two. I love huckleberries, but I know berries are the primary source of food for bears. When there's a bad berry year, the number of human/bear encounters go up. I don't mind denying myself for the sake of making sure the bears are healthy and well-fed. (I also ate bunches of thimbleberries.)

I made chicken cordon bleu for dinner Saturday night. Yeah, I'm kind of a rockstar when it comes to camping & hiking food. We all ate too much, but it was delicious!

On our way to the campground, we stopped at a private campground to buy nightcrawlers for bait. The man who owns that place suggested a lake other than Takhlakh for fishing. Jim & I went there Sunday morning. Jim got a hit on his bait within moments of his first cast. (I don't have a fishing license, so I don't fish. Even when I have a license, I don't seem to do any "catching" when I'm fishing.) A short time later, we had two trout in our possession. Jim decided that was enough for the three of us for lunch. I plan to send a thank-you note to the man at the private campground. The fish at Tahklakh were tiny - I doubt Jim would have caught one we could keep.

After our fried trout lunch, Jim & I headed out on our bike ride. Even before we got out of the campground, I knew I didn't have enough gas in the tank for a 12-mile ride. Within a half a mile, we both gave up on the idea of even riding to the five miles to the next campground. My legs were tired, but I couldn't get enough air. Jim's legs were wiped out from our scrambling the previous day, and his lungs were burning. (He has diminished lung function.) We live at about 400' above sea level, and we were camped at about 4500'. I guess it made more of a difference than I realized. We rode up the forest road to a trail that took us back to the campground. My technical skills are pretty limited so I was occasionally terrified, but it was a fun ride. (One section of the trail had lots of roots. It was like riding down a staircase.)

After a short break, I went for a swim. Using Mt. Adams to sight where I was headed during my swim was delightful - lots better than staring at the lines on the bottom of a pool! And this lake did not have weird plants brushing up against me, which I greatly appreciated. My jumbo beachball was a great safety device. People in boats and fly fishermen could see where I was. More importantly, the Hubs could sit on the shore reading his book and still keep track of me. I'm still struggling with the breathing. I do okay just holding my head in the water and breathing, but as soon as I start moving I really struggle. I guess I've accepted that this is a new behavior I have to learn, and that's going to take time.

So I got to hike, bike, and swim all in the same weekend. Yeah, that was awesome!

I did not walk/run Tuesday morning, and I decided against riding my bike home Tuesday evening. We got home around 8 Monday evening to find unhappy cats and two very full litterboxes. After unloading the car, cleaning the cat boxes, starting laundry, and spending much time consoling the cats, we were both pretty tired. I didn't need my Tuesday morning to include the added stress of packing lunches & suits for the rest of the week and my bike gear.

I wimped out on the walk/run this morning, too. So I'm fixing to go do that at lunch. And I brought my bike stuff, so I can ride home tonight. My legs were tired after the hiking/scrambling and swimming, but I think they've had enough time to repair.

Oh, and my body weight & body fat stayed pretty reasonable, even with several days of drinking wine and eating too much.
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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EBRAINK 9/7/2013 7:49AM

    Wow, that sounds like a really wonderful vacation - so cool to be able not only to look at the lovely surroundings, but to get in the thick of it and hike and bike and swim in it. And I'm sure the bears would say "thank you" if they knew of your sacrifice! emoticon

Camp chicken cordon bleu, eh? Nice! We like non-standard camp food, too - I may have to try that in the dutch oven. Hmmmm.

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OWL_20 9/6/2013 7:17AM

    Your trip was awesome! When hubs and I go camping, we like to stay active, too. Good on ya for taking the bikes out there--I think the altitude can be killer hard to exercise in (and I'm a flatlander, too). Lovely trip, though!

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HILLSLUG98239 9/4/2013 3:49PM

    That workout sucked. It's only 80, but while I was running it felt like it was 100. That's what I get for not working out in the cool of the morning!

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