Memorial Day marathon

Not quite, but almost.

Ava, current and future Spray Rodeo princess

On Saturday, I ran the Spray Half to the tune of 1:48:22.

It was a great event and I was really happy with my performance. Notably, I hit faster and faster splits in the last five miles: 8:19 (mile 9), 8:02 (mile 10), 7:44 (mile 11), 7:51 (mile 12), and 7:23 (mile 13).

We left Spray on Sunday but we weren’t done yet.

Leah and Charlie walking the shores of Timothy Lake.

On Monday, Leah and I subjected Ava and Charlie to a grueling ~14 mile hike around Timothy Lake.

For better or for worse, this is the epitome of our marriage — “should we turn around now?” is left unanswered and we keep going. Fortunately, our kids are more hardcore than we are.

An A+ Memorial Day weekend for the year in review book.

Status

Yesterday: First day of skiing for the year! Did a full day at Timberline with Ned, Leah’s dad. He’s a ski patroller, and it was a fun day tagging along to see what that’s like. 21k feet of vertical over 17 runs.

Today: Hiked Dog Mountain with Spittle. Gorge-ous day in the Gorge, but bitterly cold. Saw a few other brave souls.

Now: Just about the perfect time for a hot bath.

Once upon a time in Maui

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At the first fundraiser auction I ever go to, one for FACES Foundation last October, I end up with a week’s vacation at condo in Maui. I remember the setup clearly: a strong Pisco Sour to kick off the evening, red wine flowing throughout dinner, and the discomfort coming from being the youngest, and least formally dressed, person in the room. So, when the first item went up on the block, I ended up in a bidding war with the couple sitting beside me. And won.

We got to look forward to the trip for months. Spittle and Leah would be joining us for eight days at the end of March; a good ol’ fashioned, computer-free spring break in between lives of craziness. We had no plans other than plenty of sun, bananagrams, reading, and hanging out.

Considering we managed to hike and snorkel too, I think we were successful. Highlights include:

  • Hiking Haleakala’s crater, particularly the walk out on fog-shrouded cliffs.
  • Winning that one time at bananagrams.
  • Touring every fro-yo shop on the island.
  • Dinner on the last night at Star Noodle. Delicious.

Pro tip: groceries are unreasonably expensive unless you end up at Costco, where they seem to be the same price as stateside.

View from the top

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Spittle and I climbed Table Mountain today – this was our view from the top. Fun, challenging walk up Heartbreak Ridge had me essentially front-pointing the entire time. And my calves are a bit sore. The ridge we took down was so windy we had to squat a few times to keep from getting blown off our feet.

Now we’re at East Wind Drive-In getting soft serve. Pretty sweet way to spend the day.

180 degrees south

It’s easy to lose sight of the bigger picture in the smog of every day busyness. Constant emails and things to do can point you in a direction you simply assume is progress.

Project shipped — on to the next one. Always working towards more, better, faster. Busy, busy Baxton.

In some senses, I think connectedness makes us a surrogate for the goals of the network. We lose our individuality. I have always been a wanderer, and even I have been subsumed.

Tonight, I’m flying down to Peru to meet up with Leah and do some good old fashioned trekking. She’s been in-country since last week, working up a storm. I hear Belen Hospital may even soon have a website on WordPress.com. We’ll meet in Lima and take a bus to Huaraz.

Huaraz is known as one of the best launch points in South America for outdoor adventure. It sits at 10,000 feet in a valley nestled between two of the tallest mountain ranges in the world. We’ll spend a day or so getting our gear together and adjusting to the altitude. Once we’re ready, a three or four day trek on the Santa Cruz trail awaits.

For reading material, I have William Hertling’s AI Apocalypse (sequel to the epic Avogadro Corp.), Vikram Chandra’s Sacred Games, and Cutting for Stone by Abraham Verghese. To occupy the hours of walking and dinners made over a camp stove, I have the best traveling companion in the world.

The unexamined life may not be worth living, but I find it harder and harder every day to put aside time to examine it. Fortunately, there are still many adventures to be had. In those adventures I can find the opportunity to wander.

¡Hasta luego! See you all on the 29th.