Monday, September 29, 2008

Fishing Olalla

Saturday morning Chris and I loaded the kayaks on the car and headed out for an adventure. We took the ferry from Fauntleroy (about 1/2 mile from our house) to Southworth. We then followed some back road south to Al's gas station in Olalla, WA.

We put in the kayaks in Olalla Bay and headed out into the sound for some fishing. From the bay we peddled north along the beach until we came to a grouping of houses. That is where the fun began.

We ran into a huge school of cutthroats that were itching to bit. We each caught and released at least 8.

After a while we decided to head back to the car. Along the way I decided to troll for a bit. We had seen some huge silvers jumping on our way out and I thought I might be able to get one to bit, by chance. All of a sudden I had a huge strike and I was sure I'd enticed one so I set my hook and began to turn my kayak to fight the fish. As I turned I saw something that made my heart stop. It wasn't a fish that took my lure, it was a bird.

Needless to say I freaked out. I didn't know what to do and I began to panic. I started yelling for Chris and at the same time let the line out of my reel almost the entire way. I had so many fish just fling my lure out of their mouths that day, since of course we use barbless hooks, that I was hoping the bird would do the same thing.

No such luck.

Finally Chris caught up to me, told me to get as close as possible as I could to the bird, reeling in, and then cut my line.

So I did that. I got within about 5 feet of the bird, cut my line, and cried. I still feel pretty awful about the whole thing. Think I'll take some time off from fishing for a while.

On a brighter note, Olalla was beautiful. You can view my pictures (no bird pictures!) here: Olalla Fishing.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Not The Sharpest Tool In The Shed

I had an interesting experience on the way into work this morning.

I was merging from the West Seattle Bridge onto I-5 north, one of my least favorite things to do, and noticed a car in the lane to my left trying to move into my lane, right into me! So I gave a little honk and she quickly corrected herself.

For a short while she stayed right next to me, then all of a sudden fell back quickly and pulled in jerkily right behind me. And when I say right behind me, I mean RIGHT BEHIND ME. Had I even tapped the breaks at that moment she would have ended up in my backseat. Luckily the car in front of me moved to the left and I was able to pull ahead of the crazy person.

However, as soon as I pulled forward, she sped up so she was right on my tail again. Did I mention how much I hate tailgaters? Yep, big time.

By this time we were merging onto I-90. As soon as we rounded the turn and were on I-90 she zoomed out to the lane of my left and sped past me until she had to slam on her breaks again and was tailgating someone else.

And here is where I was in total shock. She was driving a small sedan covered in advertisements for Molly Maids. Covered. What sort of advertisement is that. Hire me, I drive like a spaz! I'll clean your house the same way, fast and crazy with little attention to detail or my surroundings.

Up until today I had actually considered calling this company for an estimate, we are in the market for new house cleaners, but there is no way I'll be calling them now!

Strange Looking Dog

fail owned pwned pictures

Monday, September 22, 2008

Saddle Rock Hike

Saturday morning in Wenatchee. What better way to enjoy the muggy weather than to hike up the hill behind my parents house. My dad's buddy Ron showed up around 8am and we took off. It is a nice short hike with some pretty quick elevation change. I coughed and wheezed the entire way up (the tail end of this 3 week cold!), but the view from the top was worth it. Boy I miss being able to walk out my back door and into the hills. Fun times.

Dad and I at the top:

Lonely Tree:

I love this landscape:

Friday, September 19, 2008

Country Roads

Tonight I will make a trip that I've made more times before that I can remember. I will leave after work and head over the passes to Wenatchee for the weekend. Chris has to work so I'll be making this trip alone.

And here is where I insert a confession.

When I am driving alone to Wenatchee, and I crest the summit Blewett Pass, I always have an urge to change the music to a Country Music station. And, 9 times out of 10 I succumb to that urge.

Country Roads here I come!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

2008 Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day - Day 3 Recap

Day 3 started just as early as Day 2. Again I woke up around 4am freezing cold. I'm not actually sure I slept more than 2 hours during the night. I was just way too excited for Day 3!

We had to get up, eat, get ready, pack up our bags, take down our tents, tend to our blisters and get on a bus. Luckily for our team, Hottie Ann showed up at 5am offering to take down our tents for us. It was like the best gift anyone has ever given me! I ran over to the self-help medical tent to get some coverings for my blisters and the line was about 40 people long. Luckily, as I was standing there, Melissa & Dennis walked by and had some unused supplies and I was able to skip the line. I'd probably still be standing there.

Finally it was time to go get in line for the buses that were to take us to the Arboretum. And boy was that line long!

So we waited, and waited, and waited some more. Then we applied temporary tattoos to each other and waited even more. Finally we were on the bus!

The bus took us over the 520 floating bridge and dropped us off at the Arboretum. And then we were walking once again.

And we walked, and walked, and walked, and walked. We walked through the University of WA campus and it was BEAUTIFUL. I was great to be back on campus. I hardly ever go there anymore, now that I live in West Seattle and all.

Then we walked through Frat Row. And they were having some sort of crazy rush party music yelling competition. I'd like to think they were all out there for us. But I'm pretty sure that isn't true.

We wound around along Ravenna and eventually made it to Greenlake (where we started every single one of our training walks this year!!!!). At Greenlake there was a cheering station and Chris and Brandon were there holding up a sign that Brandon had made for us! It was soooooo wonderful to see them.

We also ran into many of the Hottie team members from last year, and my friend Christy was even out there to snap a few pictures of us! And then we were past the cheering station and we had to keep walking, and walking, and walking some more. Around Greenlake, up onto the 99 around the zoo, down through Wallingford to Gas Works Park where we stopped for lunch.

I decided that at this point it was time to switch back to my Keens. My feet were tired, and my blisters were getting big again. I changed my socks and put on my Keen sandals and prepared to hit the road. We were only 6.7 miles from the end (or so they say!) and I was ready to GET ER DONE!

So, we took of from Gasworks into Fremont and over the Fremont Bridge to Westlake. We followed Lake Union along Westlake past the floating homes and the huge yachts. We passed the Seattle Parrot Heads who handed us Gatorittas and sprayed us with hoses. By this point it was really getting hot out and the water sprayed on us felt great! We had a Grab-and-Go near the AGC building, sight of many of our training walk pit stops and home to Argosy Cruises Lakes Division (!!!), and then began our trek into downtown.

The route took us down Steward St and then down Pine, right passed Pacific Place, Nordstrom, and Westlake Center.

Then the route took us down to the waterfront where we walked past Ivars, then past Argosy Cruises (!!), we had a pit stop under the viaduct, and eventually walked up through the Sculpture Park. The sun was beating down on us but the people out to cheer us on kept us going that last mile. As we made the last turn onto 1st Ave you could see the relief on our fellow walkers faces.

And then we were there. We pulled out our Hottie flags and marched into the Seattle Center towards the finish line.

There were cold drinks to be had and smiles on the faces of everyone. We had made it!

We gathered up our team and prepared for the Victory Walk into Memorial Stadium! Once there Jenne welcomed us back and gave the play by play as the walkers, then the crew, then the survivors streamed into the stadium.

We all took off one shoe and raised it as a salute to the survivors.

They brought the flag bearers up onto stage, along with those the flag symbolized. Many tears were shed.

Then the flag was raised in the middle to signify the end of the 3-day.

And it was over.

The training was over, the fund raising was over, the camping was over, and the walk was over. It was time to go back to the world outside of the 3-day. A world where you're on your own to cross through a crosswalk, where you make your own breakfast and where you don't shower in a truck. A world that looks a little different, but luckily has the same great people in it!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

2008 Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day - Day 2 Recap

Day 2 started even earlier then Day 1 for me. I woke up at 4am and I was freezing. Whose idea was it to camp outside in mid-September. Sure the days are nice and hot, but boy does it get chilly in the night! If only Angie had let me cuddle up with her *grins*. Luckily I had brought a heat wrap with me so I threw that puppy on and ventured out to see what was going on. After grabbing some breakfast and getting dressed the sun finally began to rise and we were ready to hit the road.

As usual we had to get all of our Hottie swag on before we could hit the trail.

We took off from Marymoor, past the Whole Foods Market where we had held our 5% day WAY BACK IN MARCH. Seems so long ago, probably because it was! Then we continued on through downtown Redmond where many of the businesses had signs of support out for us.

Again we saw many sights along the way including this bike that belonged to a crew member there to help us cross the streets safely.

And this mother and daughter walking together.

And pretty soon we were back on the Sammamish River Trail, this time heading towards Kirkland.

Again we walked, and walked, and walked some more. I was feeling pretty tired after my breakdown the day before and not sleeping very well during the night. Not wanting another breakdown, when we reached Grab-and-Go A I decided that maybe I should take the bus to lunch. Angie took off walking and I walked over to the bus. I asked the woman how long until the bus left for lunch. She told me it would leave as soon as it was full. There were quite a few other people coming over to the bus so I figured it wouldn't be too long and sat down to take my shoes off.

I tended to the few blisters that I had acquired and put on my Keen sandals to air my feet out. Pretty soon the bus crew lady walked over to me and told me that she'd just gotten a call. The bus would be staying at the Grab-and-Go until 1pm and would not be going to lunch. I was confused and heartbroken. But, I stood up, got my gear together, filled up my water reservoir, left my Keens on, and prepared to walk the 2.4 miles to lunch.

Lucky for me I ran into Barry. Barry is amazing. He's walking all 14 of the walks this year and he has to raise $31,000 in order to do so (so far he has raised about $15,000 so if you're looking for something amazing to donate to, think about donating to Barry!). Barry was in Seattle to walk with the Warming Hut Hotties. I told him what had happened with the bus and asked if he would walk with me to lunch, and he did. We walked, and talked, and sang the Hottie cadence, and before I knew it we were at lunch. And I was BEAT!

After lunch I gathered up 5 other Warming Hut Hotties who were also done for the day, mostly due to blisters and fatigue, and we hopped on the bus and headed back to camp. After we showered and grabbed a soda we all gathered on the grass by the end of the course to cheer in the other walkers. We sat there for 4 hours cheering in probably 2,000 walkers. It was so fun to see all of the amazing outfits and signs, the smiles and the tears. And we cheered in our fellow Hotties!

After our entire team was in for the day we headed over to dinner and got ready for the dance party. During dinner two survivors got up and told their stories. They were both courageous and really made it hit home exactly what we were out there to do. Then they held the finals for the 3-day Rockstar competition. I had missed the first round the night before so it was really fun to catch the last 3 acts. And then, the dance party. You would think after walking over 40 miles in two days no one would want to get up and dance on Saturday night. But almost everyone gets up to dance on Saturday night!!

And then, already again, it was time to head off to bed. Only 1 more day left!

2008 Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day - Day 1 Recap

Day one started EARLY. My alarm went off at 4:20am. We didn't need to be up until 4:30am but I knew that it would take me at least 10 minutes to wake up Chris. By 5:10am we had the car loaded, including one kayak on top, and we were headed to Bellevue. Chris dropped me off around 5:50am, the line to get into the drop off area was insane, and then he headed out for a day of fishing and I went to find my team.

After I dropped off my bag at the A truck I headed into the holding area and easily spotted the Hotties with their deeley-boppers on. Angie was a little worried that I wasn't going to make it:

We then stood around and chatted for quite a while before the opening ceremonies began.

Pretty soon the sun began to rise and it was time for opening ceremonies. Jenne welcomed us to the event.

And then we were on our way. As we rounded one of the first corners outside of Bellevue Community College I snapped this picture of walkers in the sunrise. It is one of my favorites.

We walked, and walked, and walked some more through the neighborhoods of East Bellevue and eventually made our way into downtown Bellevue via Bellevue Way where we stopped at the 10.1 mile mark for lunch at the Bellevue Downtown Park.

After a nice relaxing chicken sandwich lunch on the lawn we headed out once again. We headed North from the park and then turned East up and over 405 and into the Bellevue Redmond area. We walked, and walked, and walked some more and met up with some fellow Warming Hut Hotties at a pit stop.

We saw some great sights along the way.

The day seemed to keep dragging on and eventually the fact that I had been sick for the past two week with a head cold finally began to take its toll. At the last pit stop of the day I had to lay down in the shade and rest. My head was splitting and the sun was really starting to get to me. According to the route card we were only 2.9 miles from camp. Personally, I think that was a big fat lie. That last 2.9 miles seemed to take FOREVER. At one point we rounded a bend and there was a park sign that stated 0.9miles to Marymoor Park. That seemed about right. Then, 20 minutes later, we came upon another sign that stated 1 mile to camp. I about passed out right there. I had a splitting headache, I was exhausted, my feet were tired, and I was devastated.

Eventually we made it to camp and I broke down. I called my mom and whined, and then I called Chris and said "Please come pick me up, I'm done". Luckily, Chris knows me pretty well and said "Courtney, I want you to think about it, if you really want me to come pick you up I will, but think about it for 10 minutes and call me back". So I sat there and thought. And the Tylenol I had taken was beginning to kick in. And everyone was getting their tents set up and having fun. So I called Chris back and told him I'd be staying.

Of course I was staying. There were still 2 days left!

Monday, September 15, 2008

2008 Seattle Breast Cancer 3-Day Route

More on the weekend in a bit. Trying to collect my thoughts and reflect before spitting it all out again. Wondering what 60 miles actually looks like? Here is a graphical representation of the route we walked the past 3 days. It was amazing, but boy am I glad to be home.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Front Yard Update

That is George. He's really starting to grow up, isn't he?

I just realized that I haven't posted a yard post in quite a while so I went out in the front yard and took a couple of quick photos of the side bed. It is really coming together and the fall colors are beautiful. The last pictures I posted can be viewed here. You'll see quite a difference between those and these. I love our yard!

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