Hiking Rattlesnake Ledge

2017:

I have already done this hike before, but this time it seemed there was something different this time around. It might have been due to hiking in a small group of students at Northwest U, or I just knew the outcome of this hike. Either way, it was a better view this time. Last time I went it was in the middle of summer (the hottest on record), the lake was almost non-existent, and there were people doing stupid stuff up on the ledge. This time, there was none of this!

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The hike started out around 10am in the morning, and ended around 1:30pm. It took us two hours total to go up and down the trail; and hanging out on the ledge taking Instagram worthy pictures (most of the others are out-of-state people who never been, and so worth being a part of this for them).

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Then a few minutes hanging by the lake to cool off before heading back home.

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2015:

What to do when you don’t have a reason to be at Sea Fair? Beat the Interstate 90 bridge closure and go hike Rattlesnake Ledge trail with a friend. Early on Saturday morning a friend and I went on an adventure up Rattlesnake Ledge on a hot summer day (90 degrees!) to experience the view everyone talks about.

Boy was we in for a great view, just look at this view!

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The Ledge View
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Mt. Si View

We started our adventure with a forty-five-minute drive from Seattle towards the outskirts of North Bend. After a few minutes going around in circles in the small town of Tanner looking for the road leading up to the trail with a GPS that was having dumb movement, we finally got to the parking lot of the trailhead around 9am.

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Dry Lake Bed

Since the whole state is in a state of drought, there was a section of the lake bed that had dried up and you could trek across the lake bed to the head of the trail without going all around the lake. Starting up the trail at 9am is a good time because there was not a lot of people going up or down at this time. There were a lot of pauses along the trail for some water after the heat of the day started to come through the canopy of trees. The trail going up had switchbacks, steep inclines in areas, rocky and tree roots on the trail. There were times when my friend had to help me up with the steps made out of tree roots. Overall I made it up the trail without any incident.

I reached the ledge after an hour of hiking two miles up the trail. The view did not disappoint at all, and the sun made the perfect reason to bask on the rocks looking out over the valley below. The lake below was a beautiful bluish- green color with the banks very visible from the ledge showing how dry the summer has been. From the ledge, you could see Mt Si, North Bend, Tanner/Riverbend, Chester Morse Lake, Christmas Lake and Iron Horse State Park Trail.

11145235_10207759989504698_4474455020043415380_oAfter spending an hour on the ledge people watching and resting for the trip back down, I started to see groups of people starting to get crowded the ledge. We decided to start back down the trail after a few people started to push others out-of-the-way on the ledge. While coming down there were a lot of people starting up the trail to the ledge and a few people who were struggling with the heat as they hiked upward. I am so glad the both of us decided to go earlier because marching up the trail with people crowding behind you would not be a fun experience and the weather was getting warmer the longer I was on the trail. When we drove out of the area there were a lot of cars parked on the shoulder of the road and lots of people on or by Rattlesnake Lake.

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I hiked All The Way Up There!

After finishing the hike we stopped in North Bend to refuel ourselves and then head back home to cool off from the Ninety-degree weather.  Now I can check this one hike off my bucket list and try next time to hike up to Upper Ledge which is another 3.8 miles past the lower ledge.

 

Sing Me A Song Of A Lass That Is Gone….

…..say could that lass be I? Merry of soul she sailed on a day, over the sea to Skye. Billow and breeze, islands and seas, mountains of rain and sun. All that was good, all that was fair, all that was me is gone.

~Robert Louis Stevenson‘s poem Sing Me a Song of a Lad That Is Gone. Modified Version From Outlander’s Theme song.

You may have noticed this is the opening theme song to the wildly popular Outlander Series by Dannia Gabaldon. It is true that I am a huge fan of the book series and the Starz TV series, and I believe the love story between the two main characters is better than the love story told by Fifty Shades of Gray. But this not a post about me being a huge fan of Outlander, more of a post about why this song is stuck in my head for the past twelve months. Am I the lass in this song? I could be.

 Being Walked Away From…..

I’m so sick of that same love old love, that sh*t it tears me up, I’m so sick of the same old love, my body had enough, that same old love. Feels like I’ve blown apart, I’m so sick of the same old love the kind that breaks your heart. That same old love. -Selena Gomez Same Old Love.

 It seems like ages ago when I last saw or talked to him. I believe it was never meant to be, and other priorities took the place of him after he walked out of my life forever. I had other plans with my life, and things I needed to accomplished for me without him being around to hinder the progress. Yet him being selfish was truly the best thing for me in the end. Looking back I realized I was not really putting myself first enough times in the relationship and he never full there for me. He was just passing through my life, and never really meant to stay long. Another lesson on the path to finding the person I meant to be with. Making the choice to not be friends after the breakup is and always be the best decision I have made after the breakup. I wanted to move on without him hanging in the background. As I said in a post, I wish him the best of luck in his life and that he find happiness along the way.

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 Finished A 5k Run…..

The best feeling as if you are invincible and breaking all the limitations you put on yourself come right off after crossing the finish line. Seeing the numbers of how well I did for a beginner still amazes  me. I did that? WOW! After this, there was no stopping me from enjoying running and participate in fun runs and other races throughout the year. Running has tough me a whole lot about myself and how to deal with life’s disappointments. I am thankful for a friend in telling me of this fun run. Made all the difference in healing. I am hoping to run my first half marathon soon. Will have to see!

Must Be Something In The Water….

In front of family, friends and a whole congregation, I gave my life to Jesus. After three years attending church I decided to be baptized and I thank a dear friend of mine who helped me see I was ready to do this. I will not lie it did change parts of my life for the better and paved the way for a very wonderful thing to happen later on in the year (scroll down to see what it was). A new life has begun.

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 Beautiful Smile Is Born Again…..

I have had braces in the past, and over the years my teeth have decided to move on their own accord. Now as I write this my pearly whites are now straight! Adult braces are not nearly as bad as I thought they would be. I believe it is starting to become more common for adults to have braces, and having them on even gives you better confidence then when a teenager. Not to mention the fact that I had to go through countless job interviews smiling with them. Thank goodness for advancement in braces since I had them as a teenager. Instead of two years of metal in my mouth, I had them for only eight months! Time to flash those beautiful teeth!

 Accomplished Whole30 and Began Paleo….

I think I fell off the wagon two times before the third time stuck with me (you can thank having braces for getting me to finish!). Just getting a hold of the book It Starts With Food from the local library and The Whole30 Cook Book spelled out more about how to be successful then just reading pins off of Pinterest. Just seeing other people’s results was just amazing to drop all that bloating weight on Instagram. In the end I managed to stay on the diet for thirty days on the diet and lost a lot of health problems I had after completing the program. Was not easy to do, but I am glad I stuck through with it for as long as I did.

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 One Career Door Closed, Another Will Open…..

There are times where you can no longer ride the roller coaster any longer. At the beginning of this year that was as true as ever. For the past three and half years I had been riding the ups and downs at a company that was struggling. One day it sold to another larger company. Walking into a job every day and not knowing what will become of you is the most stressful situation you could possibly be in. In the end I was laid off and in itself was a blessing for being let go, I was moving on was for the best. As heart breaking to leave people who became like family to you for three and half years, and knowing the team built through those times will never be the same. I will never forget what each and everyone taught me while working with them.

  Went Back To Finish My Bachelors Degree….

If you had asked where I would have been twelve months ago I would never had said I went back to school. After being laid off from Dendreon and going through a string of disappointing interviews,  I decide on a whim to apply to Northwest University’s biology program. To the surprise of me I was accepted to the University two weeks before classes began. In this a new journey began, and a new beginning was starting to take shape. I’m still amazed at what has transpired over four months studying, and learning what it means to realize a long-lost dream was about to be accomplished. Three years are going to go by fast, and judging by how fast time flew when at Dendreon, it means this too will past quick. Maybe this time I will continue to reach higher in my career with the completion of my dream.

Sophmore At Northwest University Fall 2015
Sophomore At Northwest University Fall 2015

Life takes us to unexpected places we never thought we would go. Plans we thought we had go to the wayside, while other plans are made. Dreams happen, old goals are reignited and most of all, things we thought would last forever or awhile come to an end. In one year everything in life changes and you are never the same again.

The more I reflect on what has all transpired over the last twelve months, there has been a lot of changes and a lot of new beginnings happening all at once. I never thought I would be where I am today as I am right now.  “For every new beginning comes from another beginning’s end” The Closure. I guess that is what being in your twenties is all about and learning to be the lass that is gone. Gone to become something more then she has ever been before, and new adventures to go on.

Thanks(Friends)giving Week Adventures

What?! No cookbooks this year?! This is what my dear mother said at Costco on Black Friday when she realized there were no cookbooks to be passed out this year. Honestly Costco you could have announced it to all your members before Thanksgiving. So another Thanksgiving tradition has come to an end after a few years. RIP Costco Holiday Cookbook, RIP. And that is just be beginning of the Thanksgiving week of disappointments. Yep after only having a laptop for three months before the dark screen of death happened,and the laptop gave out. Now into the final two weeks of classes, what a suck this is. Then again you get what you paid for, if it is a $200 Chrome book, then yes it is going to be a piece of crap! So I bought myself a proper laptop this Black Friday, and it is a Christmas gift to myself (also can write it off for taxes since it is a school expense). The third thing as the cherry on top of the above happenings, the FDA has stopped all shipments of English fruit cake from Australia. WHY?! It was the only fruit cake worth eating! Not the American disgusting, radio active cherries on top and what the heck filling type cake! Seriously why? No go on the only fruit cake worth eating during the holiday season. Such a disappointing realization.

But the weekend was not all gloomy and depressing…..

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Beautiful Thanksgiving Day!

I don’t know what compelled me to do this, but I blame it on Pinterest and reading a post off of Anderson Ever After. I decided to propose the idea of Friends-giving for our church’s young adult group get together. This meant rounding up people to bring stuff for the dinner and to make sure we had a feast at the end. It was. We ended up with sweet potato casserole, turkey, cranberry sauce, rolls, apple pie, pumpkin pie, mash potatoes, stuffing, and all the other fixings. By the end the night we all where stuffed and ready to go home happy-full. Next year there will be another Friends-giving, and it will be epic (do they still use this word?).

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the whole group

Thanksgiving was a small affair since my Nana came up from Oregon to visit. Thanksgiving was at my parent’s house which meant we all chipped in to help with the small feast. Ham, turkey breast, cheese scalloped potatoes, cranberry sauce, salad, rolls, and sparkling cranberry juice for a feast. But…. we celebrate Thanksgiving with English Christmas crackers! Yep during desert we open or more like pop, crackers full of paper crowns, cheesey jokes and some surprise gift inside. I love wackiness of wearing a brightly colored paper crown and eating chocolate! Not the typical American Thanksgiving at all.

I have posted before I do not do the Black Friday thing at all. After spending three Christmas seasons in retail, I no longer partake in this crazy tradition. Black Friday is spent going to Costco for their free cookbook (which as you can tell didn’t happen this year), hunting for the famous European fruit cake (another disappointment) and relaxing. I did shop for a new laptop in the comfort of home, and will be getting a Surface 4 Pro tablet for Christmas.

Saturday morning I rounded up the gang and went to decorate the Church for the Christmas season. Like the two years before, our group was assigned front lobby tree decorating duty. This time we out do ourselves again with the trees.

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Church Lobby Trees

After tree decorating, I decided to make a huge batch of Butter Shortbread Cookies from a recipe I found on Pinterest. Oh my goodness the best homemade shortbread I have made and tasted! I will be using this recipe from now on.

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Homemade Shortbread Cookies

Later in the evening we all hopped into the car to stand in the cold to Edmonds Tree Lighting Ceremony to see the tree in the town square light up. I froze my butt off standing there waiting, and wishing I had stopped at the Starbucks on my way to the event. Oh well next time I will stop. Nice clear crisp day and evening made for a beautiful display for the lighting of the Christmas tree.

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O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree!

Well Thanksgiving has come and gone! Now on to Christmas and seeing what the end of the year brings. Two weeks until finals, and three and half weeks until Christmas!! Time has flown by!

Unexpected Door Opens

Each day is a new beginning. Yesterday is gone...never to return. Close your old doors, look to the future and live your life with love and compassion.

I have stared too long at a door to my future that was not supposed to open anytime soon for the past five months. While looking hard at the door closed in front of me, I saw out of corner of my eye another door opening slowly to reveal a place I never expected would happen to me again. For the past five years I wanted to be accepted to the University of Washington to complete my bachelors in biology, and every time I applied for admissions I was rejected (at total of six times). I gave up on the dream of one day finishing my bachelors degree until I received an acceptance letter from Northwest University. After enduring six months of interviews with no outcome and given the advice of going back to school, I decided why not apply to this small university and see where it would take me. Surprise! An unexpected door opened. Within two weeks I was scrambling to get ready for the first day of classes and new student orientation. The whole acceptance took me by surprise in a very good way!

To those who have never heard of this small Christian university in Kirkland Washington, it is a college where there are small classes, and lots of friendly people who want to see you succeed in the classroom as well as the field of choice you have embarked on. Northwest has an excellent Biology program that is small enough for the professors to know each student by name and this is the main reason I choose to accept admissions here. Also I will be applying to their summer research program in the biology department for helping with oncogenic viruses which create cancer tumors when they infect cells. With my background in cancer research I am hoping to learn something completely new in cancer research.

Sophmore At Northwest University Fall 2015
Sophomore At Northwest University Fall 2015

A new journey has begun for this eagle (schools mascot), and in three years I will be back to being a research associate in the Seattle biotech industry. The possibilities that await me are endless. Cheers to a new adventure and realizing a dream come true is just beginning.

Volcano + Roman City = Pompeii Exhibition

Just imagine what would happen if Mt. Rainier ever decided to wake up one day and take out Tacoma. Even to this day after Mt St. Helen’s erupted back in the 1980s, we in Seattle live within the shadow of a four deadly volcanoes in the in the Pacific. This past weekend I visited the Pompeii Exhibition at the Pacific Science Center and looked at all the traveling artifacts from the site.

IMG_1264[1]The morning started off with a Seattle monsoon downpour. By the time I arrived at will call at the Pacific Science Center I was soaked to the bone! Getting to the exhibit was a challenge since I forgot that the Seattle St. Paddy’s Day Dash/Run was going on early that morning ( now looking at how much fun the runners where having, I wished I had signed up for it. Oh well I can always run it next year!). There was not that many people starting at the 10:30am time slot for the exhibit which was great since large crowds make it more difficult to see the displays.

Majority of the exhibit was devoted to how the city of Pompeii and Herculaneum came to be a famous thriving city in the Roman Empire. Most of displays were done up to show how life was like leading up to the mass eruption from Mt. Vesuvius.The exhibit opens into a room with a large marble statue ( the statue I later found out, was naked just like Michelangelo’s David with out the leaf!) and walked you through the daily life of Pompeii.

After the eruption, artifacts were the plaster casts of the bodies they had found when the city was excavated. I was disappointing about this since I was expecting much more from what happen after the disaster, how the city was discovered, and what it took to raise the city from the ashes. The casts on displayed were found together in the same area with a very tragic story like most of the bodies found in Pompeii.

After walking through the gift shop to the other side, there was an exhibit about the volcanoes in the northwest and how their eruptions would impact the locals and the cities in the area. There were maps of where each of the volcanoes are located, and the evacuation routes that would need to be taken in case ever one of them blew. One of the maps was missing. The map where Seattle and the surrounding communities. One man said the possibility into why it was missing is the map was causing people to become very scared so they took it away. I can tell you, if Mt Rainer went, parts of Seattle would be effected, but majority of it would have the massive ash clouds rain down on it. Glacier Peak and Mt Baker are the ones I need to worry about more since those two are closer to home for me.

I guess I will have to travel to Italy to see the real Pompeii and all the real artifacts that come out of the excavation, and get a real sense of what it was like to walk the streets of Roman city. I should see it soon before Mt Vesuvius erupts again.

 

Did It For the Hot Chocolate- First 5K Run

Sweetest race on earth was in Seattle this past weekend, and I rocked it! Ok I rocked my first 5k run and that in itself is an accomplishment for me. Don’t judge. Having a huge mug of hot chocolate and all sorts of editable to dip in chocolate fondue was worth it. Instead of saying “I did it for a Klondike bar,” I more or less would say “I did it for the European hot chocolate.” To top it off, I did this all with two wonderful friends. After all the sore muscles and getting up early was all worth it in the end.

For the past six weeks I have been training for my first 5K race. Running around Eastlake/South Lake Union during lunch got me to where I needed to be able to run the whole thing without walking the whole course. Saturday afternoon before the race a friend and I picked up our racing packets and sampled what would be in our finisher’s mug. We did raided the Larabar stand of all the flavors. They are coming out with a new flavor, and it is a good one too.

Race day started with me getting up at 4:30am on a chilly 37 degrees clear Seattle morning to get ready to rock this race. At 5:30am hopped into the car and drove down to the Seattle Center. The 5K part of the race didn’t start until 6:45am and we all got there just in time to line up at corral E with all the other runners in high spirits.

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Chilly morning with the Space Needle. Photo Credit: Kristina

We started off, and down the street towards Elliot Ave towards Pikes Place Market. As I was traveling down the hill on Broad St, there was a aw inspiring scene of the Puget Sound below and the sun casting a beautiful sight on the Olympic Mountains in the background.Looking around while running the course made a wonderful experience.

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Running down the hill. Photo Credit: Kristina

In the Battery Street Tunnel was the hard part of the race for me. The claustrophobia feeling, the loud noise from all the people running through along with cars passing overhead and the heat from all the bodies in motion made it one part of the run I really wanted to turn on the after burners, but could not. I walked/jogged/run through the part trying to get out of the enclosed space in a short amount of time as possible. The only fuel stop had lemon flavored water and chocolate chips. I will be honest I stuffed majority of the chips in my pocket and kept on running. I think I wanted the lemon water more than chocolate at that point and trying breath and swallow at the same time just wasn’t happening. Having all the spectators, volunteers, and even the Seattle Police cheering you onward was crazy in its self. People you don’t even know are telling you how proud they are of you and you have just one more turn left until the finish line.

I never thought I would ever finish a 5K race, let alone run 3.1 miles. This has been a goal of mine for a while now, and when I crossed the finishing line there was this amazing feeling of OH MY GOODNESS I DID IT!  I finished a 5K, I finished 3.1 miles, and I accomplished this goal! Something three months ago I though was a crazy idea and not possible for me. Complete excitement and one massive runner’s high! I completed this with two amazing friends who also were their first 5Ks too. End result of the race, I ran the 5K in 37.12 minutes at a 12:00 minutes per mile pace. I am very happy with this result!

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We did it!

Since this was the 5K race instead of the 15K, I didn’t get a medal, but I received a finisher’s mug with an overload of chocolate after running 3.1 miles on a chilly day. A banana, hot chocolate, rice crispy treat, marshmallow, cheese crackers, pretzel and dark chocolate fondue to dip all the stuff in. OMGoodness it was the best thing to eat after all that training, and a great breakfast!

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Finisher’s Mug

Going back home we all three were in high spirits about accomplishing the race, and decided to rock out in the car in downtown Seattle traffic. To onlookers it must have been quit a show, but to us it was letting loose and celebrating to old school music (circa. late 90s early 2000s). I chalk it up to the runner’s high. For the rest of the day it was taking a nap, and just relaxing (pigging out on chips).

After this experience I am running more races. I have found another hobby, and the runner’s high is the best feeling ever!