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BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
5/23/12 12:08 A

I do continue to rack up the miles, though it's an eclectic mix of actual walking, recumbent bike, elliptical, treadmill walking, all mashed together to get numbers like these:

Week 15 (4 Mar 12 -- 10 Mar 12) = 28.58
Week 16 (11 Mar 12 -- 17 Mar 12) = 26.13
Week 17 (18 Mar 12 -- 24 Mar 12) = 28.76
Week 18 (25 Mar 12 -- 31 Mar 12) = 25.45
Week 19 (1 Apr 12 -- 7 Apr 12) = 26.28
Week 20 (8 Apr 12 -- 14 Apr 12) = 27.44
Week 21 (15 Apr 12 -- 21 Apr 12) = 26.74
Week 22 (22 Apr 12 -- 28 Apr 12) = 27.78
Week 23 (29 Apr 12 -- 5 May 12) = 29.63
Week 24 (6 May 12 -- 12 May 12) = 27.42
Week 25 (13 May 12 -- 19 May 12) = 31.77

That said, it has become too much of a chore for me to try to calculate the miles each day and Google Maps is horrible with as many lines as I end up with. So I've decide to drop it. I'm still going to keep track of the miles, but solely in a spreadsheet - seeing my total and the total miles to get there.

Total Distance = 1,520 miles
Traveled to Date = 594.79
Remaining = 925.21

Not bad, really. I'm over 1/3 of the way there in 25 weeks (6 months almost).

However, as I won't be trying to map this, I'm going to drop from this Team. May you all have great Virtual Journeys to go with your very real journeys to a place of greater health and fitness.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
4/6/12 1:49 A

Yikes, I really need to catch this up. I got a little behind and then I left the SparkTeam that had a Team Challenge to record miles ... losing the tracking on my Other Goals page. So now I not only need to figure out where I am on my walk, but I have to manually go work out miles for every day. This may take a bit.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
3/4/12 3:47 P

Week 14 (26 Feb 12 -- 3 Mar 12) = 26.31 miles

Broke my combo of having .22 miles every week in February.

Continue into and through Reno. I'm not a gambler, so the casinos were just pretty lights to ooh and ahhhh at along the way. Within a couple days I crossed from Reno into Sparks. Similar to the large metropolitan area I live in, there's no more than a little "City Limits" sign between the two.

On my left I could see the Sparks Marina Park Lake. This is a gorgeous little spot with beaches, all kinds of water sports, and from what I understand it can warm to a balmy 70F degrees in the summer. (Of course, given it can get up to 100-108F in the summer ... that lake must be very busy with people trying to cool off.)

By mid-week I'm beginning to forget what trees look like. Once I left Sparks behind, the land to either side of the road is low brown and brownish-green shrubbery and much dirt. As I approach the next small town, Lockwood, there's a few small trees - but being winter they look as brown and barren as the rest of the ground.

Then, mysteriously, toward the end of the week I see a little creek appear seemingly out of nowhere and come very near the road, then edge away again. There IS water in this land. A little further along are a few small ponds (little small to call them lakes, I think), the third of which my map actually calls Tracy Pond. On the far side of one I can see an industrial complex, perhaps power generation, perhaps manufacturing - I'm not sure. What most catches my eye about that is a large domed building. It seems it might be water storage which was then fed over to the train tracks behind, possibly in the days of the old steam engines.

The week's travel ends with what looks like a virtual oasis in the midst of so much brown. Green and trees on one side of the road, water on the other. I feel like settlers of old finding such a resting spot and stopping in the shade to wonder whether I want to keep going or just stay in this little paradise.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
3/4/12 3:15 P

Week 13 (19 Feb 12 -- 25 Feb 12) = 28.22 miles

This week really didn't have much to talk about at first. The trees remain more sparse, patches of snow or winter "dead" plants, and long stretches of road were the main things to see. Just past mid-week, after dancing closer and further, I finally reached the Nevada border. The "Welcome to Nevada sign is certainly bright and colorful - a large miner upon the mountain, the sky either sunset or sunrise with colors from deep violet down to yellow.

Within a day, I am on the outskirts of Reno and can see the city in the distance - night or day. Once, over a decade ago, I actually took it upon myself to drive to Reno. I started mid-day and it was near evening when I arrived. It's right around a four and a half hour drive.

Mostly I remember having a pretty strong headache by that point. I drove through downtown, found a convenience store to get some Advil, then a nice little steak restaurant to eat. (Headache was part tension from sitting still so long and part low blood sugar from not having eating for many hours.)

Reno is known as "The biggest little city in the world" and is home to many casinos. While the casinos are interesting to drive past, the one thing I thought at the time would have been more interesting to attend were the rodeos. The steak restaurant I went to helped with that interest as the walls were covered with rodeo related information. I was just there at the wrong time and wasn't sticking around.

I'd been considering a move to Nevada to get away from high housing prices in California, but my EX had a hissy fit about the idea of the kids so far away even though I was literally talking about driving them every weekend to visit. So it didn't happen. Funny to wonder what would have been different if I had.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
2/20/12 2:30 A

Week 12 (12 Feb 12 -- 18 Feb 12) = 25.22 miles

I started off this week between two big lakes - Lake Spaulding on my left and Lake Valley Reservoir on my right - though the trees and rugged mountain terrain keep me from seeing either as I continue along. The trees are continuing to thin out and much snow can be seen. The elevation is close to a mile above sea level at this point.

For a few days, to my left following a similar path as the highway is Donner Pass road, named after the well-known Donner party. Following the same theme, as I reached the small town of Soda Springs, I took a walk through stopping to dine at The Summit Restaurant and poke into the Donner Summit Historical Society. If I had time to ski, I could certainly check out the Soda Springs Winter Resort.

Coming to the end of the week, I get a beautiful view of Donner Lake and walk alongside for most of Friday and half of Saturday. As the lake recedes behind me, I enter Truckee.

While we modern people might look at the name and think it has to do with trucks driving through the pass, it actually has nothing to do with that. The stories I found have two common ideas - that it is named after a Chief of the Paiute tribe, and either his name was understood to be Tru-ki-zo or that he greeted the first Europeans to come that way saying what sounded like "Tro-kay" meaning everything is alright.

Truckee gets an average of just over 200 inches of snow each year. The most snow recorded in a day was only 34 inches (just under 3 feet) ... which is less than half the most recorded in the U.S. (78 inches in Alaska or almost 76 at Silver Lake, CO). I think I'd better keep walking just in case - with chances of snowfall, I don't want to get trapped!

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
2/18/12 3:00 A

Week 11 (5 Feb 12 -- 11 Feb 12) = 22.22 miles

I've left most civilization behind - well, not the cars and roads, but the city after city feeling. Moving up into the mountains, the road is bounded on both sides by many evergreens. Here and there I can see a small local road or a peek at a home and there's the occasional rest stop.

The first thing that really caught my interest this week was a little exit I didn't take called "Drum Forebay". Looking that up, it turns out to be a reservoir. Of note, it was the first electricity plant built after the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. Drum was the name of the company's president at the time.

Next up was a single runway - the Blue Canyon-Nyack Airport. No planes were taking off or landing. Seems they have no way of removing snow or ice, so it closes down over the winter.

Then I came upon the Emigrant Gap historical marker. Most of us learned about West-bound wagon trains and the Donner party when we were young. Well, the Emigrant Gap is where many came through the mountain ridge. The marker reads:

******************
The spring of 1845 saw the first covered wagons surmount the Sierra Nevada Mountains. They left this valley, ascended to the ridge, and turned westward to old Emigrant Gap. The wagons were lowered by ropes to the floor of Bear Valley. Hundreds followed before, during, and after the gold rush. This was a hazardous portion of the overland emigrant trail.
******************

I have such a hard time imagining the effort it took to lower a wagon down what was pretty much a cliff face, a wagon likely filled with a family's possessions, not to mention getting the people and horses and other animals down as well.

(( An interesting thought there ... if we think our weight loss journey has trials and tribulations, my gracious but what those hardy settlers went through makes our modern difficulties pale by comparison. ))

Continuing on a little further, I'm noticing that the trees have seriously thinned out and snow can be spotted here and there. It is COLD up here.

Looking at my map, I can see Truckee a good ways ahead. Wonder if I'll make it this coming week.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
2/7/12 12:49 A

Week 10 (29 Jan 12 -- 4 Feb 12) = 21.54 miles

Early on this week I entered Auburn, CA. Like Roseville and Secret Ravine, the more "recent" history of Auburn revolves around the Gold Rush in 1849 (the year 49 being where the San Francisco football team got its name). French gold miners stopped on their way to another location, discover some gold and stayed.

Archaeological finds place prehistoric peoples in the area and later evidence shows a permanent settlement of a native people.

After a short amount of nosing around, I continued on my way. Nature is far more vibrant along here, with only sparing homes or roads often tucked out of site. The road is definitely inclining, as these are the foothills of the Sierra Nevada mountains and I have quite a climb ahead of me.

Second to last day of the week I came to the City of Colfax. Very small population (just under 2000 according to the 2010 census), but a fun little bit of California history for being the site of the first stagecoach robbery in gold country. This little place has had quite a few names such as Alder Grove and Illinoistown. The name Colfax comes from Ulysses S. Grant's Vice President who came through to view construction work on the western arm of the first transcontinental railroad.

I've stopped along near an even tinier community known as Cape Horn in a spot where I can view Rollins Reservoir - apparently good for fishing, camping, and boating. The mountains call, though, and I won't be handing around here for long.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
2/1/12 2:45 A

Week 9 (22 Jan 12 -- 28 Jan 12) = 20.14 miles

Very first day of this week brought me alongside a cemetery. Maybe it would seem morbid to some, but I find them fascinating places to explore with a hushed peace.

A couple days later I was delighted to discover a wooded area to my right around a stream/river called Secret Ravine. During the Gold Rush this was one of many rivers along which apparatus was set up to sort gold from the gravel and riverbed. Later, Chinese workers who were laid off by the railroads mined along there. They were driven out, but the area (and a side road I see along my way) were subsequently called China Gardens.

After leaving Roseville behind, I finally felt like I was getting out of constant city into a more natural environment. Sure, there were buildings all along, but there were also thicker areas of trees.

Without ever consciously deciding, I've ended up following I-80 which will take me up near Tahoe and over to Reno, Nevada. I remember taking a road trip there once just for the heck of getting away. That many hours behind the wheel? I had such the headache, got water and Advil and went to eat, napping in the car before driving all the way home in the night.

Anyhow, back on track I am and moving along nicely. A few more weeks and I'll be leaving California behind.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
2/1/12 2:11 A

Week 8 (15 Jan 12 -- 21 Jan 12) = 21.19 miles

Entered Sacramento proper for some sightseeing in this week. I took the time to stop and check out the Leland Stanford Mansion. I enjoyed two school field trips to Stanford University in my high school years. If college had been a direction my parents aimed me toward, I'd have loved to study something math/science related there. In addition to the creative minds there, the land and the arts were incredible. So a mansion that Leland Stanford lived in fascinates me as well.

Once I'd had my fill there, I moved on to do the tourist thing and walk along Capital Mall, wander the grounds of the State Capitol building and view the trout pond, park, and rose garden. From there I stopped by a small park named after John Muir, the naturalist. Was expecting more than a common neighborhood park, but just the name had me thinking about visiting Yosemite.

I thought about swinging by to see how McLellan AFB looks these days, but that would have been more back-tracking than I wanted to do, so I settled into an easy walk north and east from Sacramento. Looks like I have several connected cities to get through before I get back to more natural surroundings.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
1/17/12 11:04 P

Revision! I've discovered that there is a conversion for miles on the bike to miles walked - based on dividing the calories burned biking by 100 (based on burning 100 calories per mile walked). So, Week 7 is adjusted to 12.21 miles.

That means I haven't actually made it into Sacramento City yet. Instead, I'm walking alongside farmland. There's actually a very surprising variety of crops grown around Sacramento. One I learned about a few years ago, that was rather a shock, is rice. In fact, in the year 2006, California had the second largest rice crop, the vast majority grown in the Sacramento Valley area.

Of course, being mid-January, I didn't get to see much in the way of crops - just empty fields with a few winter crops here and there. I'm going to have to keep an eye out for a farmer's market while I'm in the area. Fresh veggies are nummy!

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
1/16/12 12:38 A

Week 7 (8 Jan 12 -- 14 Jan 12) = 23.91 miles

At the end of this week, injured my calf (very minor sprain - I've sprained it before, bad enough to require a week of crutch us). So one day had no miles at all and the next day has a LOT ... because I used the recumbent bike at the gym with great caution and attention to the calf which responded well.

However, in the process realize that babying the arch wasn't really doing it and have been reading up on plantar fasciitis which has convinced me that I'd dang well better stop walking on it now if I have any hope of R.I.C.E. helping. So going into the next week, I'll be biking for a while. Not sure how to adjust to the crazy increase in miles - but for now I'm just going to use them for my walking trip.

This week's travel finally brought me out of farmland as far as my eye could see into the capital city of California, Sacramento. Actually, I'm in West Sacramento right now - and stopped at a little place called River Otter Park to review the maps and decide what I want to see while I'm here.

I could tour the government buildings. I could check out McLellan Air Force Base, well ... from afar. I doubt they'll let me just walking across. But I love the sight of jets taking off. Or I could head north instead, never entering the actual capital. I think with the biking I'll have the miles to cruise around the capital a little and still make good time on this trip.

We'll find out when I finish this week just how much I got to see.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
1/8/12 12:35 A

Week 6 (1 Jan 12 -- 7 Jan 12) = 19.54 miles

Put in more miles than expected without particularly trying. Still babying the arch, but had several days I split up the walking into several stretches.

In spite of all those miles, there really wasn't a whole lot to see - mostly rivers of different sizes I traveled along and crossed and vast tracts of farmland. I'm coming up on Sacramento, CA -- our state capital -- and should reach it easily this coming week for a lot more to see.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
12/31/11 5:22 P

Week 5 (25 Dec 11 -- 31 Dec 11) = 13.64 miles

Had to ease up a little. Arch and sole of left foot have been sore and I'm taking care to avoid injury while still getting in a reasonable amount of walking.

Quickly left Brentwood behind and aimed for the Antioch Bridge. Had to pay a toll since I was headed North bound. =P Actually, the Antioch Bridge has a little bit of amusing story to it. The original bridge had a lot of troubles which culminated in a collision in the shipping canal below in 1970. The bridge got stuck in the raised position, and worse, the poor man in the toll booth was stuck. It took three days before local firemen got to him and he promptly quit.

The new bridge has a bit of an upward slope to it and, amusingly, I ended one day right about in the middle of the bridge - much as I might make it up the slope and take a quick breather before heading down the other side.

The far side takes me into Sacramento County, in which the city of Sacramento (California's State Capitol) lies. Not sure if I'll stop in to see the government offices yet. For now I'm taking a short break at the Brannan Island State Recreation area. Being winter, it's a bit cool, but nothing a good jacket, scarf and gloves can't handle. I suppose it's a good thing I'm not sticking around camping ... budget problems have campgrounds pretty much closed right now.

But wildlife don't listen to closures and I've heard there's beaver, river otter, and mink, so I'm keeping my eyes peeled. Night's soon enough to open the map and plan the next leg.

Edited by: BLUE48DOWN at: 12/31/2011 (17:22)
Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
12/26/11 12:42 A

Week 4 (18 Dec 11 -- 24 Dec 11) = 15.14 miles

Sure enough, I got a little rubber-necking scenic look at Round Valley Regional Park, but not enough to really take it in. Another year, another trip.

Instead, I aimed toward and entered the city of Brentwood, CA. I followed Walnut Boulevard a good ways, getting a look at the tallest "building" in the city, their water tower. That was of interest to me, as the city I grew up in in my younger years also has a rather well-known water tower and even the city I live in now has the Del Monte water tower maintained as historic.

I had considered heading toward Bethel Island, but ultimately chose to pull a bit west to check out the piece of the bay and Sherman Lake.

Most amusing bit along my last couple days were all the little streets I was passing. Many cities have a variety of naming schemes. I've seen streets named after states, trees, birds, presidents, and so on. These were all named after herbs and spices: Marjoram, Poppy, Carraway, Tarragon, Paprika, Mint, and so on.

No pictures this week (unless someone wants to see the water tower - just look up the Wikipedia article on Brentwood, CA).

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
12/18/11 3:17 P

Week 3 (11 Dec 11 -- 17 Dec 11) = 16.2 miles

Took me a few looks at the map to figure out which way I wanted to travel this time. Too much straight freeway was not appealing, and I felt like I wasn't seeing much, so I took a smaller road more directly North, ending this week's travels with a brief layover at the Los Vaqueros Reservoir.

I don't eat fish, so I think I'll avoid the marinas and rented fishing boats and hit the trails to see if I get any glimpses of the wildlife.

www.ccwater.com/losvaqueros/wildlife
ph
otos.asp

I'd have had to turn north earlier or cut cross-country rather than follow roads to hit a couple other points of interest, Morgan Territory Regional Preserve and Round Valley Regional Park. Morgan Territory is within the traditional homeland of the Volvon tribe and the some trails are named based on the First People of folklore, Coyote, Eagle, and Fox. Round Valley is thought to have been a meeting place of several tribes.

For this trip it looks like I won't get to head through either, though the road I'm on borders Round Valley for a significant way, so I will see what I can see.

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
12/11/11 3:05 A

Week 2 (4 Dec 11 -- 10 Dec 11) = 16.2 miles

Moving right along. I pushed in a couple more miles trying to make some progress on the December 2011 challenge and still need to push some more, so it's certainly getting my trip off at a good pace.

Latter half of this blog has my virtual walk comments:

www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
ur
nal_individual.asp?blog_id=4620909

Edited by: BLUE48DOWN at: 12/18/2011 (03:12)
Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
FINFIN2 Posts: 7,448
12/5/11 2:16 P

Great!

“Always remember you're unique, just like everyone else” ~ Alison Boulter

www.flickr.com/photos/36569004@N06/

ktalley.blogspot.com/

 current weight: 230.0

 230 214.25 198.5 182.75
167
BLUE48DOWN Posts: 4,429
12/5/11 12:29 A

Starting in San Jose, CA (United States)

Week 1 (27 Nov 11 -- 3 Dec 11) = 13.36 miles

I blogged that with some pics at:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
ur
nal_individual.asp?blog_id=4612638

Blue, Lethie or Jennifer
- I answer to them all

 current weight: 254.0

 257 232.75 208.5 184.25
160
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