Saturday, November 8, 2014

Poo Poo Point, Chirico Trail

Alright, get the giggles out.  Yes the trail is called Poo Poo Point.

The name comes from the sound that the steam whistles would make back in the logging days.

We good now?

I grew up in this area so have hiked this trail many times.  It is one of my favorites because it is short, yet challenging.  At only 3.8 miles round trip, it seems like it would be a beginner trail.  But since you go up almost 1,800 feet in elevation in that short amount of time, it is pretty intense!

This spot is also a launch pad for paragliders.  In the summer time, be careful walking through the lot to the trailhead....as the sign says, Look Up!!

Parking is tough.  They have one lot that holds about 30 cars and it is almost always full on nice days by mid morning.  You used to be able to park on the street, but the city put the kabosh on that one (and when you go there, you understand why...lots of cars and not a big shoulder!).
My advice....if you can, get there at sunrise and you will be able to park, use the one porta potty, and get up to the summit to watch the world wake up.

Other option for parking is to continue north on Hobart road and park at Issaquah High School.  There is a trailhead there that will meet up with the main trail (it is over by the athletic fields and I am told there is a sign there now....I haven't been there in a few years).

Carpooling is recommended as well!

At the trailhead, you may find walking sticks that other hikers left.  Feel free to use them if you forgot yours.  In the fall, when the trail is full of leaves and wet, you may want some more stability if you forgot your sticks (like I do all the time).



Once you start the hike, you will notice the incline.  No, it will not flatten out anytime soon.  It does about 3/4 the way to the top.  There are some benches (not very many) for breaks.  But if you are 5'2" like me, the benches make you feel like you are sitting on a high chair.


You will see several "shortcuts" that are carved in the trail, try to stay on the main trail.

Your first look out is a peekaboo glimpse of Mt Rainier.  Continue up the trail towards the left.

Next stop is the South Landing.  This is sometimes used by paragliders, but I never see them launch from this point.  A lot of hikers turn around here, thinking it is the top.  I mean, the view is spectacular, but there is more to come!


You will see a sign (well, nothing is in the sign, but maybe there will be later) and a trail to the left of it and a gravel road to the right.  The gravel road on the right is for service trucks and leads the the Tiger Mtn HWY 18 entrance.  Don't hike on that!  Take the trail on the left to get to the North Lauch point.   It is only 1/4 of a mile more!

Once you get up here, watch for the paragliders.  Stay behind them.  Do not walk across the green lauchpad if they are getting ready to launch!  Seems like common sense, but I have seen people who have no idea what is going on do that and it is dangerous.

Pack a snack and sit and enjoy the view of Squak Mountain and Issaquah right below.  Further along is Lake Washington and Lake Sammamish.  On a clear day, you can see some of the Seattle Skyline.  Here is a pic on a foggy day....still pretty neat!


Thursday, October 9, 2014

Camping at Crystal!

This summer, we have had a few adventures of the camping kind.  It is nice to have a trailer to pull around the great state of Washington with us.  It makes life a lot easier with the kiddos!

Nick and I rarely get a night alone, let alone a whole weekend.  So, we decided to leave the kids with the Grandparents and go for a long weekend and do some hiking in the Mt Rainier National Forest and camp in the Crystal Mountain Ski Area parking lot.  Not super glamorous but the view can't be beat!

Our accommodations in the B lot are primitive for trailers.  There are 40 electrical hookups for trailers and RVs. In the month of August, there are about 10 spots taken, so you can be sure that there will be a spot (now in the winter, you have to get there on Thursday for the weekend crowd.  It fills up fast!).
Also, it is first come, first served.  I believe the cost was $37/ night.

One thing that was cool was that in the lot was the old chair lift that collapsed last winter.  Kinda creepy, but since Crystal is our home ski area, very cool to see.

On day one, we decided to hike UP crystal mountain towards Henskin Lake and to the summit house.  It was a pretty climb, but also very rigorous in the last mile.  Part of the trail was closed due to rock blasting so we had to take a detour that gave us switchbacks up a service road to the summit. 








And we were sopped in with fog when we got to the top.
Sigh.
At least the ride down the Gondola is FREE!  That is right!  You only pay for the ride up. 

So, if you have the strength, I recommend the climb.  Just bring the bug spray.  Those mosquito's were relentless!

Day two, we went to the Sunrise Visitor Center in the Mount Rainier National Forest and decided to do a little trek towards the glorious mountain.  I am planning on climbing Mt Rainier next summer and Nick had never been to Mt Rainier, so it was a good excuse to show him what I have been dreaming about for years.

Here is the Mountain from the Sunrise Parking lot....beckoning me to climb that sucker!
We then headed off to the trail, not quite sure how far we were going to go.  As you see in the picture, the weather was glorious, but something to be weary of anytime you go to Mt Rainier....that mountain makes its own weather.  So, we jetted off to the trail marked to Frozen Lake. It was only a couple of miles and if the weather turned, we could easily turn around.


Once we got to Frozen Lake, there was a park ranger sitting there, looking up at Mt Rainier.  We decided to ask him what our best course would be to get close to the Mountain but we were starting to get concerned about the clouds coming in.  He said since we made it this far and we seemed in good shape, we need to get to the Second Burroughs to have the best view.  He then asked why I had the backpack on and Nick only had a camelback.  I had to explain to him that I was trying to train for my climb in a year and I had 15 lbs in my pack, just to see where my baseline was at.  He smiled and said "Good.  Because I was about to tell this gentleman to carry your bag!"

That is when I realized that we probably had a lot of side eye looks coming up the trail!

The hike up to the first and second Burroughs was steep.  You go up to almost 8,000 foot elevation which if you aren't used to, does do a number on your lungs.  I realized that I am grateful that we will be spending more time up at higher elevation during my Rainier climb to acclimate.





The views from the ridge were spectacular!


Once we got up to Second Burroughs, the view did not disappoint at 7,828 feet.  It felt like I could touch the mountain!  We sat for a little while, eating a snack, watching the squirrels try and eat our food (and hitch a ride in our pack) and caught our breath.  Then the clouds rolled in.  We watched them swirl around the mountain then down into the valley.  Our perfect view turned into a the peekaboo game.  We wanted to get a pic with the mountain in the background, but every time we tried, the clouds swirled again.  I love the pic we did get.  It just means that we have to come back and get another one.







We took a different route back, saw some Marmots and a Mountain goat.  We didn't get many pics on the way back because we were cruising!

Here is the trail map of Sunrise, the red was our hike that we took.

Our route was a total of 6.43 miles and a 2,077 ft elevation climb.

Then we came back and hit up the Snorting Elk for a well deserved beer!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Younique 3D Fiber Lashes Review

So, last month, I bought the Younique 3D fiber lashes system.  I had been seeing them around for a while and was curious.  My cousin was hosting an online party, so I decided to bite the bullet and get them.
At $29, it was an awesome deal
Here is a pic of me with one eye done (one coat) and one eye not done:

Here is my review video!




UPDATE: video of me applying the lashes



Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A letter to my former self

Dear 22 year old Katie*,

I am writing this letter to let you know that everything turns out ok.  In fact, life is amazing.  Your children love you, your husband adores you and you have finally found your purpose.  But you may need reassurance at times.

Some advice to you:
-Don't worry about the drama.  In the grand scheme of things, it is nothing.  And you will learn to laugh at it.
- Don't listen to what everyone has to say is best for you.  Follow your heart.  You know better than everyone.
- You have a good heart and you are probably aware that people take advantage of your kindness.  Karma does exist.  You will find that kindness always wins out.
- You are beautiful, no matter what your size.  Trust.
- Your husband finds you beautiful, no matter what your size (and he has seen you at every size....trust again!)
- Family is everything.  They will be there for you through it all.  They love you unconditionally.  As long as you are happy, they are happy.  Keep them close
- When you start getting overwhelmed with your duties as a Mom and Wife, remember, you are always Katie first and Mom/Wife second.
- Be you.  Always.  Unless you can be a Unicorn.  The be the Unicorn. (Trust me, it will make sense later).
-Friendship is truly measured once you become a Mom.  Remember....it is quality, not quantity.
And finally...

-You ARE doing a fantastic job!

*I wanted to write this letter to my younger self to remind myself today that I have come a long way.  I had a lot of self doubt in my 20's.  I wanted to follow my heart in everything I did, but it did not make my life easy.  Now, I get to enjoy the "fruits of my labor", so to speak.  I have the life I always wanted.  Even though some days are tougher then others, I am so happy with the now.  I love my Husband dearly.  I love my children dearly.  

I am blessed.

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Jumping out of buildings. Ya know, a normal Friday afternoon.

In June, I went to Vegas for my sister in laws birthday.  It was epic!
There was drinking, dancing, day at the pool, laughter, shows and so much fun.  But the best part?

I jumped off the Stratosphere.  On purpose.  For fun.  and even better?  I got it on video!
Here is the video with the Go Pro that was attached to my wrist.

And here is the view from 855ft below.  Taken by my hubby....he wouldn't do it.  In fact, he felt nauseous just thinking of ME doing it.

Six of us total jumped.  I was the only girl.



Because, I am Wonder Woman!!

Next up....jumping out of a plane!!!


Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Just finish!

I read a great article on Runners World today about a woman who ran her first 5k and came in last.  It reminded me a lot of myself!

I am not a natural for long distance running.  I am short (5'2"), I was a sprinter starting at age 9 and the mechanics for sprinting are different then a longer distance. I was also really out of shape when I began my running journey (more about that here).

But the thing that stood out from me in this article was this:
(about finishing last in the authors first 5k)

"It's not a huge, unspeakable embarrassment. In fact, no one cares. Not one of the other runners remembers I was the one who finished last. And all my friends and family remember is I said I'd run a 5K and I did it."

This is so true.  

It doesn't matter your time.  It doesn't matter how pretty you look.  It doesn't matter if you have the greatest form or the coolest running shoes.  What matters is that you do it.  You work hard.  You finish.

I am so proud of myself for being able to finish.  Even if it is dead last.

For the full article, go here!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Healthy Corn Salad!

As some of you know, I have been on a fitness/weight loss journey.  I have been running and also doing the Focus T25 program.  I have lost 30 pounds in the last year and have been feeling the best every!  I am able to keep up with my kids and my mind is so sharp.
I have also been trying to eat more healthy as well. Shaun T (creator of T25) passed on this recipe on his Facebook page and I tried it once and was hooked!  I make it almost every other week!  You can add other ingredients like sundried tomatoes, bacon, chicken or basil!

Here it is!
Grilled Corn and Jalapeño Salad
This recipe gives grilled corn bold flavor by adding zesty jalapeño, cilantro, and feta.
Total Time: 30 min.
Prep Time: 10 min.
Cooking Time: 20 min.
Yield: 4 servings
Ingredients:
4 ears of corn, husks removed
1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. olive oil, divided use
1 medium jalapeño
¼ medium red onion, chopped
¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
¼ cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
Preparation:
1. Preheat grill to medium.
2. Bring large pot of water to boil; add corn. When water returns to a boil, remove corn.
3. Brush corn with 1 tsp. oil. Place corn and jalapeño on grill, turning frequently, for about 4 minutes, or until corn kernels are lightly browned and jalapeño is browned but not charred. Remove from grill.
4. When corn is cool enough to handle, slice kernels off the cob; place kernels in a medium serving bowl, discard cob.
5. Slice jalapeno in half, discard seeds, and finely chop.
6. Add jalapeno, onion, cheese, cilantro, remaining 1 Tbsp. oil, vinegar, salt (if desired), and pepper (if desired) to corn; toss gently to blend.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Calories: 192 Fat: 7 g Saturated Fat: 2 g Cholesterol: 8 mg Sodium: 183 mg Carbohydrate: 31g Fiber: 4 g Sugar: 6 g Protein: 6 g