Saturday, July 14, 2018

Williwaw Lakes

I went on a beautiful hike with the Walkabouts hiking group today.  It was raining at home and the forecast was also for rain.  I really was prepared for the worst.  But instead, when we got to the Williwaw Lakes trail head, there was no rain, only some clouds.  It was a little chilly at times mainly due to fairly strong winds.  But it was lovely up there all day.  It's a gentle uphill climb for nearly 9 miles and my GPS showed 16.71 miles when we returned to the cars.  It really was just what I needed today.  I'm planning to run a 50K race in Arkansas next weekend, so it was a good workout in preparation for that. 

We saw huge bull moose resting in the grass along the way.

Here are three of us huddled behind a big rock trying to stay out of the wind.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Gold Mint Trail

I spent most of today cutting a fallen birch tree with my chainsaw, then dragging it through the woods with my plastic sled. After about 6 hours of that, I was ready for a break. 

It has been a beautiful day, too nice to waste cutting wood and cleaning up the woods. So I drove up to Hatcher Pass and went on a spectacular hike on the Gold Mint Trail. It was so green with wild flowers everywhere. It was great to be in the woods without needing to cut out all the dead and fallen trees.  Just an afternoon to enjoy nature and get in 4 miles of exercise.

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Twin Peaks Trail

I was so tired from the last two days but couldn't pass up the chance to go for a hike with my friend Diane. I figured we would just walk the flat Lakeside Trail but it can be kind of noisy on Sundays because they allow 4-wheelers on Sundays.  So we elected to do the steep uphill climb to the overlook.  It was beautiful as usual.  Lots of flowers, but also lots of wind and very cloudy. Our beautiful week of 80 degrees is over and we are expecting a week of rain.  We did have a few sprinkles on the way down.

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Hatcher Pass Marathon

What a tough Marathon!
I finished last but somehow I did manage to finish.  It's an uphill marathon, 25 miles up to the 4000 foot pass then a little over 1 mile downhill to the Independence Mine parking lot. There were only 39 full marathon finishers.  Everyone else was doing the 3 person relay.  It was my 4th time to run the race, and it was also my slowest.  It probably didn't help that I kayaked down the Little Susitna River for about 6 hours the day before.  That was fun but lots of work to avoid fallen trees and sweepers.

But I'll probably be crazy enough to try it again next summer.

Staggering to the finish!

Saturday, June 23, 2018

PBOC Fun Runs

Today was a gorgeous day!
We had fun runs again today over at the Prudhoe Bay Operations Center at 6 am and 6 pm.  An official ID is required to get through the security gate.  I've never had one before but this month we were issued security badges from the DOT (Department of Transportation).  So I was told the badge would get me through the gate.  But as I approached the gate the two guards started frantically waving their hands signalling for me to immediately turn around. There were several vehicles stopped at the gate so I assumed there was some emergency preventing anyone from entering.  As I drove away I saw two more trucks pull up in the line, and noticed they were not being turned around.  I called over to work to see if I could find a clue, but it was a mystery to them too.  They suggested I just try again.  On the second try there were no other vehicles at the gate.  The guards still both came out and were staring at me through binoculars.  That made me feel a bit odd!  When I reached the gate and showed my badge they let me right through.  It seems they turned me around because they thought I was a tourist because they didn't think my filthy dirty muddy SUV looked like it belonged there with all the filthy dirty pickup trucks!  I was apparently 'car profiled'!

Since I spent too much time fiddling around with all that, I only had time to run the course once, and logged 3 miles.  I went back for the evening race with a friend who had a more official looking vehicle, and we got right through.  I did have time to run it twice for another 6 miles. In spite of the morning nonsense it was a really fun run and a beautiful day.  Only 35 but calm in the morning but 48 with a bit of wind for the evening race.

Gorgeous Morning!
Morning Run

Evening Run

Thursday, June 21, 2018

NSB/ICE Fun Runs

It was foggy and cold and windy and 34 degrees, but I dragged myself down to the North Slope Borough pad to do the fun runs. As usual, I do the morning one at 6:00 am twice and the evening one at 6:00 pm twice. I got 4 T shirts but they didn't order any smalls this time so I didn't even get one for myself!  That's OK because I really don't like T shirts!  But I did get some for my friends.  I really felt good during the morning race, but the evening one was much colder due to the 20 knot wind. 

It was a good workout in preparation for the two upcoming marathons I have on my July schedule. 

Morning Run

Evening Run

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Beautiful Day!

Finally, a day that isn't snowing.  It also wasn't raining or blowing 30 knots.  37 degrees and there was even a little bit of sunshine.  Lots and lots of migratory birds starting to return to their summer home here in Deadhorse.  I ran my usual 5 miles around Colleen Lake.  There is a lot of standing water and mud in many places, but it was still a very pleasant day for my favorite run up here.