"Training" in the City!

How do I find time to train for the PCT?! I don't even know where to begin, so I'm making baby steps. I have a pretty healthy fitness level currently but not sure that's enough for what I'm going to endure on the trail... So I'm doing what I can!!

On the "PCT Class of 2014" page on Facebook, some people seem to be doing a lot of training and it's making me nervous... but then the common PCT term HYOH - hike your own hike- pops in my head and I realize every thing is ok!

Portland has had some wacky weather lately. One day will be super windy, cloudy, and rainy and the next will be beautiful and sunny. 

I've been doing lots of yoga lately which will hopefully help prevent tight muscles after our long days. (We are also doing a yoga photo series on the trail, so stay tuned!!)

Seth's family was in town the other weekend, and it happened to be really nasty out the whole time. We did some walking up near Forest Park and one rainy morning, Seth and I went on a run with his brothers dog. Really the dog, Rio, pulled me for 6.5 miles but I felt great... the next day, not so much! Now I'm incorporating more running into my weekly routine. 

The top picture and this amazing picture of the Portland Waterfront was taken on Sunday during a wonderful bike ride with my two amazing friends, Abby and Chelsea. We rode along the waterfront, down to Sellwood and back, about 18 miles or so. Biking is one of my favorite things to do when it's nice out here. There are so many beautiful paths and its a fun way to get a little exercise! 

I nanny a couple times a week so I've been having the kids walk with me. The pictures below were taken about a week ago on a beautiful day that felt like spring. It's nice to be able to walk the kids but really it ends with me carrying two 2 year olds half the way... I guess that's great for strength training. 

It feels so nice to have most of our gear figured out and be almost all done with our food purchasing, now we need to package it.  
I've already started having really weird, anxious dreams about the journey. Apparently last night I woke up and told Seth, "I just bought a blue hat for $10"... I'm obviously way too consumed with our gear purchases that seem endless. :)


Humboldt Adventures

Humboldt Adventures
                      I have had some wonderful time for reflection here in Humboldt and I have been blessed with the time and space to adventure on my feet as well as on my bike. I rode my bike to the trailhead where I wandered around the logging road trails up off Jacoby Creek all afternoon. I spent a lot of time exploring these logging roads and trails when I used to live here. Brought back lot of good memories. I rode around Arcata and then rode home. Great day! 

Here are some more small adventures in "training" for the thru-hike! 

Sunset over the bay!

Crazy Old Victorian house. Arcata, CA
Another Beautiful house I would not mind living in at all.

I found one of my dream homes on my ride. It has a wrap around sun room! Beautiful redwood house.

                     So after my knee trouble on the Lost Coast I came home yesterday and put some Deep Blue Rub on my knee (similar to icy hot), it felt great. After the effects of the cream wore off I went about my day and forgot it ever happened. I went to sleep last night and woke up at 4 am because my knee felt as if it was being burned by an over heated battery or something. At first I thought I had left my computer charger under the covers and it was overheating and burning my knee. I ripped off the covers and felt my knee and nothing was there. It was still burning, but there was nothing I could do...or at least nothing I was willing to do at that hour. So I faded back into the dream world where I had an incredible dream. I dreamed that the spirit of the owl blessed me with a burn on my knee. In the dream the burn was in the shape of a talon.....an Owl talon. I was very confused in the dream, but at the same time I knew that this was important and I felt blessed to have had such a beautiful burn on my skin. 

                     I work at a wilderness therapy program where last week we had our clients pick random cards from a deck of medicine cards. When the deck came to me I picked an inverted OWL! Here are some excerpts from the book that describes the medicine cards. "Owl medicine is symbolically associated with clairvoyance, astral projection, and magic, both black and white. Owl is called Night Eagle on several medicine wheels used by Amerindian teachers. Traditionally, Owl sits in the East, the place of illumination. Since time immemorial, humanity has been afraid of the night, the dark, and the unseen - waiting fearfully for the first crack of morning light. Conversely, night is Owl's friend." And if the owl is upside-down: "If you have Owl upside-down in your cards, you have been greatly deceived by either yourself or another. Perhaps witch-craft or black magic is being used against you,
or maybe you are using witchcraft or sorcery to aid you when you should be praying and
asking the Great Spirit for guidance. The message is to befriend the darkness inside
yourself. Look deeply, and soon the bright light of dawn will illuminate you. Then ask
yourself what you are in the dark about. How and by whom are you being deceived? Are
you being greatly deceived, or just slightly deceived? Owl tells you to keep an eye on
your property and your loved ones. Remember that Owl is always asking, "Who?""  

                    Owl's medicine is the medicine of wisdom, silence, and the seer of truth. The owl is the wise elder of the forest who observes all that tries to be hidden. Owl sees the lies we tell ourselves and others and gently reminds us of a brighter path of honesty and integrity. In the dream I was going to get a tattoo of an owl talon and I got into a very heated debate over science and spirit with my family, something I have been joyously and lightheartedly discussing with many people in my life recently. It was a beautiful dance between the intellect and the heart. Owl says to honor intuition and in my life right now I cannot sense that anyone is trying to deceive me. I may need to look a little more honestly at my own self-deceptions to understand the lesson Owl is trying to teach me. It looks as though Owl has some lessons for me on the trail and I can't wait to learn.......I also need to start designing my owl tattoo hahaha......

Flight booked!!

Today we purchased our flight to San Diegooooo!!! 

We leave Portland at 7:05am on April 15th (day before Amy's mom's birthday!!)

We will spend some time with our friend, Morgan, and then continue on our way down to Mexico on the 16th or 17th.
Hopefully we will have time to kick back on the beach, share a beer or two with friends and relax!!!

I'm ( a little) nervous. 


More "Training"

Lost Coast Adventures!
"Not all who wander are LOST"-J.R.R. Tolkien

My good friend, DJ and I started off in the rugged mountains of the King Range and descended upon the Lost Coast Trail. The grade was steep, the views were spectacular and the silence was loud. Our bones are strong, spirits high, and wits sharp as we make our way back to the source....the expansive pacific ocean.

                 When we reached the beach we decided to walk down to the next drainage to set up camp. We busted a fire using our bow drilling kits and proceeded to spend the rest of the night discussing the infinite. A wood cache was discovered and we built our fire into a giant furnace, throwing each "supporting cast member" on the flames in praise of their outstanding role in our play. "Here's a good piece a stick!" We performed for Sasquatch, watching us from his invisible perch; it was a drama of a giant pulling a small fellow out of his miniature world and stretching him into an expansive existence. Shadow theater. Orion kept watch on us all night as he strolled through his cosmic patrol. Vibratory utterances were expressed in a multitude of frequencies as we tried to agree on our subjective truths. So many beautiful ideas were thrown onto our fire! The ocean's roars, the fire's crack, and stream's trickle were welcomed guests in the conversation. All vibration, all eternity. 
                It was a short trip full of very large lessons. On the hike down to the beach I experienced a lot of pain in my right knee. At first I was very upset that my 26 year old knees were giving me trouble, but then a new approach came to me. Instead of resisting the pain I allowed it to lead me down the trail, the pain became my teacher. I learned that I need to practice more yoga and that pain is a friend trying to show me a better way. I am now even more encouraged to have a regular practice of yoga on the PCT and look forward to walking with an old friend to see what other lessons it has to teach me.

              Other lessons were learned as well, like what our needs truly are as humans. I didn't eat the entire time I was on that trip except for a couple pieces of chocolate. I felt great! It was only a 2 day journey, but we were expending a lot of energy each day. I discovered food to be less of a concern when the spirit is fattened by the meatier frequencies of a raised awareness. We discovered our abilities in shadow theater and our fluency in the tongue of the ocean's roar. So many magical metaphors can be found when we stand on that thin sandy line between ocean and land. Past, future, present; source, sustenance, and flesh, all beautiful tools used to evolve as beings of light. I take this medicine and reflect it back to you!

Wish I took more pictures.........