ALIHIKES's SparkPeople Blog ALIHIKES's Blog on SparkPeople, home of free diet plans and a healthy living community Two Beautiful LONG Hikes! Yesterday I hiked with Don and Hanne from Riley Nature Preserve to Tumalo State Park -- and back. About 7.5 miles, plus some good elevation! It was a beautiful day for a hike, clear and cool. <BR> <BR> Me on the catwalk over the rocks <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Don on the trail <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Red-twig dogwood... Sat, 17 Feb 2018 21:31:36 EST Otter Bench Hike! And New Vacation Plans! Today, Hanne, Jan and I hiked the Otter Bench trail at Crooked River Ranch in Oregon. It was BEAUTIFUL, and we had the magnificent vistas to ourselves! <BR> <BR> The huge rock formations that towered over our heads are classic columnar basalt. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Looking down into the Crooked River Canyon was the highlight of the hike! <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 13 Feb 2018 21:13:11 EST Two More Hikes! And coping with allergies (ah-choo!) On Wednesday, I led a hiking group on the obscure pedestrian trail from Juniper trailhead. It was a lot of fun, and everyone enjoyed it. Ten hikers and three dogs. <BR> <BR> The upper section of the trail traverses juniper and sagebrush, over sandy rocky soil. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Don't these Canada geese look like they are enjoying the view? <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 10 Feb 2018 15:45:44 EST Suttle Lake Hike It's early February, but our snow levels in Oregon are really low. Today we hiked around Suttle Lake. This mountain lake would normally be very snowy and inaccessible at this time of year -- but there was NO snow today. It was a beautiful, but windy and cold. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Me on the trail <BR... Tue, 6 Feb 2018 21:19:04 EST Three hikes this Week! I met my goals this week. I averaged over 10,500 steps, and I climbed hills at least 3 times. The weather was glorious for hiking (NOT so good for Nordic skiing!). Here are a few photos from my hikes. <BR> <BR> Hike at Pilot Butte State Park <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Motivational rock along the trail <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR... Sat, 3 Feb 2018 19:09:15 EST January Results, And February Goals! JANUARY RESULTS <BR> <BR> I did really well in January! I mostly followed my plan and met my goals. Goals and results are: <BR> <BR> Use fitness tracker, and build daily steps to 10,000 daily by end of February. I MET THIS GOAL EVERY DAY IN JANUARY WOO HOO! <BR> <em>311</em> <em>244</em> <BR> Lose 6 pounds in January. I LOST SIX POUNDS! <BR> <em>193</em> <BR> I added light strength training. Probably just did it once a week, but still that is an improvement. <BR> <em>23</em> ... Wed, 31 Jan 2018 12:49:05 EST Yesterday's Hike! And On-Line Learning I enjoyed another great hike yesterday at Riley Nature Preserve. I took a new loop trail by the river; and ascending back up to the plateau was a good workout. Here are a few photos. <BR> <BR> Deschutes River <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Selfie by a basalt boulder that is taller than I am <BR> <BR> <img s... Tue, 30 Jan 2018 14:41:16 EST Sugar Challenge, WOO HOO for Chores, and Gratitude! I completed the sugar challenge and this time it was really much easier for me. I over-indulged during the holidays, and I needed the challenge to BREAK the sweet tooth habit. <BR> <BR> Message to self: Eat this! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Not that! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> (of course a single slice of buche du noel i... Sun, 28 Jan 2018 14:17:13 EST Yay! Great day Skiing! Yay! Our mountains FINALLY have enough snow for skiing! Pat, Jeanni and I went cross country skiing. They are faster skiers who ski farther than me, but I LOVED skiing today! And they are good friends; we enjoy each other's company. <BR> <BR> Tangent loop trail <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Tiny tree covered in snow <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 26 Jan 2018 23:03:37 EST Cross-country Ski Vacation in Methow Valley I spent a great week in Washington at Methow Valley, with our local Nordic club. I really enjoyed skiing! The area is so beautiful. <BR> <BR> This is me on the trail, with all my ski gear on. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Some views while skiing <BR> <BR> <img src=" Mon, 22 Jan 2018 19:06:23 EST Oh, Deer! And a new trail! The deer are even more bold than usual (or just hungrier). About 10 of them this morning, but these two were REALLY close! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I was excited to hike a new trail that is close to my home, along the Deschutes River at Tumalo State Park. There was a short section of river trail previous... Sat, 13 Jan 2018 21:21:55 EST Ripped Off :( (then catching a break) Early this week, my car needed an oil change. The dealer was too busy, so I took it to a drive through oil change place. There they replaced the air filter and rear differential fluid, along with the oil. <BR> <BR> Then I noticed (while sweeping the garage) that there seemed to be new oil leaking ... and what appeared to be differential fluid on the floor of the garage. I took the car to the dealer this morning, where they discovered: <BR> <BR> 1. The gasket in the oil tank had not been rep... Fri, 12 Jan 2018 16:15:23 EST Adventures Hiking! I enjoyed a longer hike than usual with my friend Martina and six dogs. It was a beautiful day, and the hike was great. At least, it was great until we got LOST. Here are some photos of the beautiful part of the hike. <BR> <BR> Me above the Deschutes River <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Martina and her dogs headed down. Martina has 3 rescue dogs, and she was caring for 3 additional dogs. <BR> <BR> <img src="... Wed, 10 Jan 2018 00:27:15 EST Visitors, mom's items, hidden sugar Some of you know that I decided to fence my yard, because this past summer I had four incursions of unwanted visitors (nosy neighbor twice, and two total strangers wandering through). So when I caught a reflection in the window of someone running through the yard, I went to check. Here are the unapologetic culprits! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> When I was in California, my brother Greg said he had been conta... Fri, 5 Jan 2018 16:03:17 EST 2018 Goals! Last few months of 2017 were very challenging for me in terms of health, and my fitness journey was NOT a smooth ride. I am making plans for 2018 with anticipation! I will set short term goals, and long term goals! Plus short term actions, and long-term actions! And I will blog monthly about my goal progress. <BR> <BR> LONG TERM GOALS: <BR> <BR> Health: Lose 50 pounds. <BR> <em>193</em> <BR> Improve hiking and skiing endurance and distance. <BR> <em>329</em> <em>295</em> <BR> A... Tue, 2 Jan 2018 23:19:49 EST Holiday Visit to California! (Museums, hikes, family, friends!) I spent a wonderful Christmas holiday in California, with family and old friends. Highlights for me were spending time with my sisters, visiting great museums, and hiking! <BR> <BR> I had great weather for my drive. We don't have much snow. Mt Shasta was beautiful as I drove! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> W... Mon, 1 Jan 2018 14:16:15 EST Hiking and Christmas! Merry Christmas, everyone! I will be heading to California for the holidays, to spend Christmas with my sister and her family in Oakland. I’m looking forward to seeing everyone! And my hopes and prayers for you to have a happy holiday and a relaxing time with your family. <BR> <BR> I am extremely grateful to be able to hike again. My wrist has healed fairly well, and my cracked rib is totally healed. Yesterday, my friends Martina and Becky hiked with me above the Deschutes River at Wildcat... Fri, 22 Dec 2017 16:57:09 EST Twice More Up the Butte! Linda and I have hike up Pilot Butte twice! We are very thrilled that we are able to hike it again (both of us had health set-backs this past year), and it is a very good training hike. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Today we went up the harder traiI, it was noticeably more difficult. I liked this twisty juni... Tue, 5 Dec 2017 20:30:21 EST Thanksgiving with Family in Arizona Very nice Thanksgiving holiday in Arizona with my brother Geoff and SIL Mary (plus my sister Mindy from Houston)! The weather was very warm, mid 80s during the day (about 30 Celsius), and I LOVED seeing flowers blooming, and beautiful cacti and trees! <BR> <BR> Mary, Mindy & me setting out for a walk <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Bougainvillea <BR> <BR> <img src=" Tue, 28 Nov 2017 15:35:53 EST Being Thankful! Over the past weekend, I dealt with some minor frustrations. I found the perfect Christmas gifts at a holiday crafts fair; and I promptly dropped (and broke) the most expensive item as I was getting out of the car trying to juggle too many packages. I went to a party and spilled water all over the floor. I came home discovered that I had knocked over a bottle of lotion in the bathroom drawer, and it had spilled all over everything. These are just minor frustrations, mostly related to trying t... Mon, 20 Nov 2017 16:06:26 EST WOO HOO! Hiking Goal Met! I'm thrilled that Linda and I made it to the top of Pilot Butte today! Here we are very happy to be at the top! (sorry I'm not too good at taking selfies. But at least you can tell we are happy! <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> I have wanted to make it to the top for several months now. I made it in July -- then I got pneumonia, then asthma, then broke my rib and my wrist. I tried in September and I couldn't mak... Sat, 18 Nov 2017 20:59:51 EST Slower Eating. And Larch Trees! SparkCoach suggested blogging about slowing down the pace of eating; consciously slowing our tendency to inhale large quantities, and enjoying and savoring the tastes of healthy foods. I have had a LOT of practice at slow eating for the past 5 weeks! I broke my right wrist, and because of the cast I am eating with my left hand. It is much harder than I thought. I DO enjoy my meals more eating slower; but I don't enjoy how messy I am! I thought I would be more coordinated than I am, instead I ... Wed, 15 Nov 2017 14:07:45 EST Beach Walks and Celtic Music Festival in Yachats I went to Yachats Oregon with several friends, to hike along the beach and attend the Celtic Music Festival in Yachats Oregon (pronounced yah-hots; which several of the Irish musician found confusing or amusing!) <BR> <BR> We stopped at beautiful Ona beach to hike. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src="ht... Mon, 13 Nov 2017 13:30:24 EST Nice hikes in Columbia River Gorge My college friend JR & her husband invited me to spend a few days at their home on the Columbia River Gorge. I am SO glad that I went! Fall colors were lovely. And she has become a master gardener, her garden is very lush and prolific. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 29 Oct 2017 19:04:35 EST Fall Color at Home Here are a few photos of fall color from today, beautiful clear day! All these photos are taken from my yard. <BR> <BR> Barberry <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Vine maple <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Pin Oak and Mountain Ash ... Mon, 23 Oct 2017 18:35:14 EST Making Adjustments (to Make Life Easier) I fell and broke my wrist and a rib less about 2 weeks ago. The wrist is in a hard cast; unfortunately it is my right hand and I am very right hand dominant. The fall was in my own back yard; I was carrying a large sack of pine needles down the rock garden hill, and I tripped. Rock is harder than bone! Lucky I didn't crack my head or break a hip! <BR> <BR> So I learned very quickly that I cannot cook or eat quite the same way. I can't chop vegetables with my left hand, and cutting and cookin... Sat, 21 Oct 2017 14:56:24 EST Kerby and Mill Creek Falls. And SparkCoach Today's SparkCoach lesson is about talking to ourselves the way would talk to a friend using Support, encouragement, and strategies for success -- NOT negative name calling or frustration. I think this is one of the most important lessons I ever learned here at Spark! When you are trying to succeed at something difficult (like weight loss), DON'T beat yourself up when you have a lapse. Think how you could successfully handle the situation the next time, and MOVE ON! Don't break your long ter... Sat, 7 Oct 2017 13:59:54 EST Fall Hiking at Oregon Caves National Monument My friends Barbara, Don, H & I enjoyed a mini-vacation at Oregon Caves National Monument in Southern Oregon. It's about a 5 hour drive from our home in Central Oregon, and Don drove us in his big truck. <BR> <BR> On route we stopped for a short hike at Rogue Gorge, where the Rogue River shoots through a chasm of lava rock. <BR> <BR> Fall color along the Rogue River (where the chasm ends, and where we started our hike) <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 6 Oct 2017 15:10:09 EST Fall hike along the river Linda and I went for a nice hike along the river yesterday, it was wonderful to get out and exercise with a friend. I'm still struggling a bit with coughing, but I am over the pneumonia, WHEW! Doctor thinks my continuing cough is due to allergic asthma and she is sending me to a specialist. I am having trouble with my prescription drug for asthma getting approved by my insurance, so I still don't have it and I am really getting frustrated with HOW OFTEN they turn down normal commonly accepted... Sat, 30 Sep 2017 14:22:46 EST Adjusting Financial Plans I've been spending TOO much time thinking about money lately! <BR> <BR> First of all is the whole Equifax debacle. It is outrageous that a company that you never hired or did business with -- can track your financial data and then LET IT GET HACKED! And they don't even have to notify you of the breach! I am (so far) one of the lucky ones. My friend whose data was breached is just sick with worry. She NEVER had any dealings with Equifax, but apparently someone else fed her data into the Equi... Wed, 27 Sep 2017 14:46:02 EST Getting Back on Track! Well, I always hate to admit I need to change things up to get back on track. But getting back on track is a LOT better than being totally derailed! I think the key is recognizing WHEN I need to get back on track, and to take the baby steps I need to correct my course! <BR> <BR> EXERCISE <BR> <BR> <em>311</em> <em>295</em> <BR> <BR> I had ambitious goals for hiking and fitness this summer. I am needing to reset those goals. Massive wildfires led to poor air quality ... but more impo... Sun, 24 Sep 2017 15:04:34 EST New Profile Picture? I'm debating changing my profile picture and would like your input. My earlier photo (below) isn't that old; it was taken in February. But it was right when I stopped coloring my hair. I look different now. (And I've lost a bit a weight, probably not enough to show up in the photos, but still ... I want every pound lost to show!) <BR> <BR> Previous photo <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> And below my current prof... Thu, 21 Sep 2017 13:52:33 EST Newfoundland/Labrador, and Home! Our final cruise destination was St Johns, Newfoundland/Labrador (these two provinces have merged into one). I have always wanted to visit the east coast of Canada, and St John's was wonderful! <BR> <BR> Before we reached there, we cruised across the Atlantic ocean. We went over the Arctic Circle, and in the wee hours of the morning the captain announced that the aurora borealis were out. (We couldn't hear the announcement, but our friend Mary Lou called us because she knew we would want to ... Mon, 18 Sep 2017 13:45:41 EST Iceland Wonderland: Part 2 From Reykavik we sailed to Akuryeri through a fjord Ejiafjordur; very beautiful. And the captain announced two whales off the port bow! What a treat to see whales in the distance. Our excursion guide said the two whales are frequent visitors. <BR> <BR> Linda and I took and excursion to explore Iceland's diverse landscape -- it was AMAZING. And again -- our local guide was GREAT. I loved that she told stories! <BR> <BR> Driving around the end of the fjord <BR> <BR> <img src="http://photos... Sun, 17 Sep 2017 12:44:11 EST Iceland is Beautiful! We cruised to Reykavik, Iceland. It was cloudy and cool. We toured the city on the hop on/hop off bus. I rode the bus around once, then went back to rest (I was trying to recover from a cold virus). The others cruised the city and got off a couple of destinations -- most notably HallgrimsKirkja, the Lutheran church with very innovative design (sorry I don't have a photo! I must have accidentally deleted it after I used it to make a sketch in my journal). Oh heck, here is a photo that is publi... Sat, 16 Sep 2017 13:35:54 EST Scotland! Cawdor Castle We arrived in Invergordon, Scotland in the middle of the morning. This was not on our original itinerary, which listed the Shetland Islands (Lerwick) instead. But the captain explained it would not be possible to be processed through immigration quickly enough to be able to go on excursions at the Shetland Islands. At Invergordon, which is a larger port, the cruise line was able to get a large number of Scottish immigration officials to process our passports on board the ship. (The young man ... Fri, 15 Sep 2017 14:19:14 EST Stavanger, Norway and Lysefjord Stavanger Norway was our next port. It's a beautiful city, and included an old part of the city with historic multi-story wooden homes all painted white. We saw lots of evidence of the formerly thriving oil extraction industry, now silenced by the downturn in oil prices; we also sailed past a couple of Norwegian salmon farms. <BR> <BR> Linda and I signed up for a cruise to Lysefjord. It was the only excursion that we purchased through a separate vendor (not through our cruise line), and it w... Thu, 14 Sep 2017 13:59:29 EST Skagen, Denmark and Kristiansand, Norway From Copenhagen we sailed to Skagen, Denmark. Skagen is Denmark's northernmost city. It was founded in the middle ages. The smell of fish reminds us that it is still an active fishing village; it is also a charming tourist destination. All of the stores were open and everyone was cheerful and happy -- a local told us it was the first sunny day in over two weeks. <BR> <BR> The homes are mostly yellow colored plaster with red tile roofs and white trim; there are also some brick homes. The old... Wed, 13 Sep 2017 12:33:06 EST Great Cruise! (rough return) I've been away on a great cruise to Scandinavia. We started in Denmark, then onto Norway, Scotland, Iceland, and across the Atlantic to Newfoundland. The destinations were wonderful, and I was able to see some wonderful sights that couldn't be captured on film (the aurora borealis, whales!) <BR> <BR> I got a mild cold/cough while traveling. And I got REALLY sick on the journey home. Now I am home recovering from pneumonia. BUMMER. I've never had pneumonia before and it is miserable. But I am... Tue, 12 Sep 2017 14:35:33 EST Updating My Goals I thought I should update my goals from earlier in the year, and report on my progress so far. I'm following a very generous grading system (used by a local health system when they are giving wellness bonuses to employees): <BR> <BR> Achieved or exceeded Goal: A <BR> Made progress toward goal: B <BR> Maintained prior level of fitness, but no improvement: C <BR> Gained weight/lost progress: D <BR> Dropped out: F <BR> <BR> I am nowhere near the amount of weight I wanted to lose -- but I HAVE ... Thu, 17 Aug 2017 21:49:25 EST Orcas Island: relaxing and inspiring My week at Orcas Island in Washington was relaxing and inspiring. I attended a creativity workshop for one week, and my friend Martina and I enjoyed exploring the island for an extra couple of days. The Northwest has been covered by smoke from wildfires; I was grateful it was cooler and less smoky on the island. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> Martina and I on the ferry from Anacortes to Orcas Island <BR> <BR> ... Sat, 12 Aug 2017 17:36:26 EST Hike to Benson Lake Today H, Lisa and I hiked to Benson Lake. It was beautiful! We started out at Scott Lake (in the Central Oregon Cascade Mountain range). <BR> <BR> Scott Lake, looking across to North Sister and Middle Sister mountains <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> The hike to Benson Lake was not too hard -- it's uphill most ... Tue, 25 Jul 2017 19:41:07 EST Canyon Creek Meadow Hike Yesterday I hiked a loop trail in the Three Fingered Jack wilderness area (Central Oregon Cascades) with my friend Jean. It was a beautiful hike! And the wildflowers were just starting their magnificent displays of blooms in lower Canyon Creek Meadow. <BR> <BR> Me, with Three Fingered Jack mountain in the background <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> This was Jean's first hike in 5 years; we used to hike together ... Wed, 19 Jul 2017 15:13:34 EST Oregon Coast I had a great mini-vacation at the Oregon coast. We stayed in the small town of Yachats. The weather was ideal (60s - 70s) and a welcome change from the heat wave here in the high desert. I enjoyed hiking a Cape Perpetua, we visited the tide pools at low tide, and features such as Devil's punchbowl. Unfortunately I had a problem with my camera, so I only have photos from my first evening. So some beautiful scenery has to remain a part of my memories. <BR> <BR> <img src=" Fri, 14 Jul 2017 19:40:42 EST Hot weather Hike, and Visitors! My friends Beth and Bruce visited, and to be honest getting enough exercise was a challenge. Bruce and I usually hike; but the hot temperatures were not very conducive to exercise. My guests mostly wanted to stay indoors where it was cooler. But we finally did get out on a beautiful hike along the river. (Beth has bad arthritis and has not fully recovered from her hip replacement; she does not hike. I enjoyed playing music with her) <BR> <BR> Photos from my river hike along the Deschutes Riv... Tue, 11 Jul 2017 20:18:03 EST New Adventure! I invited Jeanni and Pat to join me on a new adventure hike, to a cave in the desert. It WAS a real adventure! The directions I had were not good; we never found the trail to the cave or the side road that led to the trail. BUT WE FOUND THE CAVE! The entire hike was cross country (off trail), through sagebrush and bunch grasses, and over rocky and sandy terrain. <BR> <BR> Wildflowers among the rocks <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sat, 1 Jul 2017 21:18:55 EST Weekend Camping This past weekend, I was camping in the Ochoco Mountains. It was a lot of fun! I enjoyed the hiking, meeting new people (about 40 attended), learning about the history of the area, and singing around the campfire. <BR> <BR> I led a 8 mile hike. My co-leader was new to the area, and he said it was one of the most beautiful hikes he had ever been on. I was pleased that the group enjoyed our moderate pace. Really my moderate pace hike got the MOST interest (12 hikers); 3 signed up for the toug... Tue, 27 Jun 2017 15:36:28 EST Ochoco Mountain Wildflowers I hiked a difficult but beautiful trail in the Ochoco Mountains today (difficult for me, that is!) -- about 9.4 miles and 1550 foot elevation gain. My friend Micki who planned to hike with me was unable to come -- she broke her ankle and had surgery yesterday. I went anyway, because I will be leading a group on this hike at a weekend campout this weekend (my co-leader will be from out of town, and I promised him I would pre-hike the route). I enjoyed meeting another solo woman hiker on the tr... Thu, 22 Jun 2017 01:19:45 EST Wildflowers, Walks, and Wild Horses The Steen's Mountain area (where I visited my friend H last week) is great for hiking. And we were lucky that the wildflowers were blooming! <BR> <BR> Here are a few photos from vistas along my hikes in Steen's Mountain. The first 5 photos are of hikes on the Riddle Ranch property; the final 2 photos are of a hike to the Blitzen River. <BR> <BR> <img src=""> <BR> <BR> <img src=" Sun, 18 Jun 2017 14:16:16 EST Riddle Brothers Ranch I spent last week at a remote historic ranch in the Steen's Mountain area of Oregon, Riddle Brothers Ranch. Three bachelor Riddle brothers farmed in this area from about 1900 to 1950; the last surviving brother sold the property in the 1950s to the Clemons family, who sold it to the Bureau of Land Management in 1989. The farm buildings are original and are maintained as an open air historical museum. My friend H was the volunteer caretaker for the month of June, and she invited me to stay wit... Sat, 17 Jun 2017 23:03:33 EST