Climbing Mount Si

imageI climbed Mount Si this past weekend. I’m sure you are wondering about it, so I will refer you to Washington Trails Association’s (WTA) website where they have a write up about this climb. WTA is the nation’s largest state-based hiking non-profit organization. They do a great job of promoting all the different hikes in Washington.

Mount Si is a 8 mile hike round trip. I wanted to challenge myself by climbing a mountain, but this was a tough climb. Some of the reviews referred to this hike as a “challenge,” I thought it was more than that, at times, “tortuous.” I guess it depends on what shape you are in, and if your boots are working properly. Some people were whizzing by, obviously having done it before.

The picture I took is of the view from the top. It was spectacular and a perfect day. I even got an interesting bird in the photo.  Anyone know what it is?  There was a cute chipmunk who was running around, not afraid and hoping for food along with some small birds.

chipmunkThe climb took us about 3 hours up the mountain. Going down was tough, because it was steep and my shoes were not cooperating. I didn’t have enough cushion in them and my feet kept moving forward. There were a few times that I hoped a rescue team might come by, my feet were hurting so much, but that miracle did not happen. My friend made a joke that I was not going to be able to manifest it. So, I gave up on the wishing, and focused on getting down.

There were quite a few hikers with dogs and even some who were carrying babies in their packs. I hoped they were in good shape climbing up, because it could get rocky and one stumble and over the cliff you go. One poor dog was so little and panting furiously. I wasn’t sure he/she should have been on the climb. For sure this dog needed some water and “fast.”

Last night, I was sore and stiff and not able to think about my next hike. Now, it is a day later, pain in the legs is subsiding and I am READY for the next challenge. Although, other hikes at 4 miles round trip are going to be easy compared to Mount Si. I hear Rattlesnake Ledge is a good one.

Mount Rainier, the BIG HIKE, that will have to wait!

The Red Quill Pen

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With my red quill pen in hand, I can officially say, “it is time to write.”

My daughter recently asked me how my children’s book was coming along. I told her I was at the cliff hanger part… “You know, where you think the character is doomed and won’t make it out alive, so you sit at the edge of your seat, KNOWING there is ALWAYS a way out, but HOW?! This is a James Bond situation.”

So, I made a joke with her that it was the computer that was holding me back from being creative. If I “just had” a red quill pen, I could think like a Pirate!

I was missing the days of the old typewriter where you had to really THINK of every word you typed; otherwise, you would be yanking the page out of the typewriter constantly, crumpling it up and throwing it in the waste basket only to start again.

So… I was pleasantly surprised when my daughter gave me a red quill pen for Mother’s Day!

NOW, you can write, she said. I really laughed, but where was the ink well and the thick paper that makes a scratching noise when the Pirate writes? Can’t have everything at once, right.

THE UNIVERSE IS AT WORK!

Another interesting thing happened last week. I was laid off work, so it would appear that the Universe is setting me up to write the end of my children’s story “in between job searching,” of course. No excuses now!

I’m following a few good writing Blogs. Visit “A Writer’s Path,” and this weekend on “Live to Write – Write to Live,” there was a wonderful Blog about facing our inner critic for any topic in our lives called, “Weekend Edition – Battling the Writer’s Inner Critic,” by Suddenly Jamie.  You’ll read that and be inspired!

So, with quill in hand I write… “You dare to touch the nose of a sleeping tiger!?”

Climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro

imageNot long ago, I wrote about finding the Dragon Boat Racing group on Meetup.com. Well, a few weeks ago I received a message about a NEW Meetup called, “Climbing Kili.” I immediately knew what that was. I opened the message to learn more about the group. I have always thought of climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro, so I found it interesting that this message came to my email.  Destiny?  Timing?  I decided to go and find out.

imageIf you haven’t used Meetup.com, you should try it. If you find a Meetup you like, you RSVP that you are attending. Meetup.com sends you a “reminder” message of the meeting date and people comment like they do on Facebook. For example, 12 people scheduled to attend and about 2 hours before the meeting time, people sent messages on “why” they couldn’t come. That was a bit annoying, but I still decided to go hoping a “few people” would make it.

Turns out it was great. The Meetup organizer was a very nice Australian woman who had climbed Kilimanjaro a few years ago and said it was fantastic. She was also a travel agent and has been to Africa many times. She started to fill us in on the trip. She climbed with two ladies who were in their 60s and one woman in her 30s. They ALL made it to the top. They were all in good shape, but not hard core athletes. As they were in different parts of U.S., they communicated by email regarding training. The organizer did long hilly walks on the weekends and in the gym used the stepper a few times a week. She used a normal type of hiking boot, nothing super expensive. She said they didn’t use or take expensive clothes with them either, they get so dirty. At the end of the trip, they left their hiking clothes and boots with the carriers – they appreciated having these things. They don’t have good shoes.

imageThe best time to climb Kili is Sept/Oct, Jan/Feb or early March. This is a 7 night / 8 day package. She said you hike 6-8 hours a day. While you need to be able to hike, Kili is more about acclimating to the altitude. The men in the photo carry your main baggage, the camping equipment and food. You just carry your very personal belongings as you hike. There are different types of packages, so you have to investigate online the cost of what “you” might want to do, i.e extra days, hiking a more secluded trail with less people, etc. She told us about the Machame Route, nicknamed the Whiskey route.

Great group of women at the meeting. One had just climbed Mt. Everest Basecamp, which was exciting. Two others talked about climbing Mt. Rainier in Washington and Machu Picchu (lots of stairs) in Peru. Turns out Mt. Kilimanjaro is one of the Seven Summits. Fun to meet like minded adventurers.

We are considering September 2017, she said there will be a full moon at that time.

If you’ve done the climb, share your story!