Saturday, October 30, 2010

A few milestones

Everyone has milestones in their life, points in time where something significant happens.

  1. My wife and I recently celebrated our 14 year wedding anniversary.  Its been a fun 14 years as we've changed together and built a family.  I love her dearly.  I'm looking forward to many, many more.Kissing under the cherry blossoms
  2. After a travel swim meet, my daughter went to the mall with some friends of hers.  My daughter is 11 years old and some of her friends are a few years older.  My daughter came back with a bag from Victoria's Secret - and a small bag at that!  On the good side, she just bought some perfume, but I'm not ready for my daughter to be shopping at Victoria's Secret.
  3. My MINI has over 100,000 miles!  Since Kid 1 sits in the front seat, he noticed that it was getting close a few days ago.  It was a great exercise in critical thinking, we estimated when it would roll over.  We were off by a day because I ended up driving to an additional swim practice.  Since there were no kids in the car at the time, I snapped a picture.99,999 miles

PS. If you're involved in project management, a milestone cannot be a date range. A milestone is still a point in time.  That would be a project phase.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Hiking to Melakwa Lake

This weekend, I had a backpacking trip planned, but it was canceled as it was going to be rainy on Saturday and Sunday.  Friday, however, was still to be a pleasant day, and since I already had the day off, I decided to go hiking.

I headed to Snoqualmie Pass and to the Denny Creek trail head and to Melakwa Lake. I feel comfortable solo hiking there as I'm familiar with the terrain.  I think, though I've not confirmed it, that AT&T has some coverage at least a few miles into the Alpine Lakes Wilderness Area.

I was ready for a two night backpacking trip, so I just had to downsize my gear for a day hike.  I have the tendency to to pack heavy and even getting rid of a bunch of gear, I still packed heavy.  I did however bring my water filter in lieu of a 3rd liter of water - I would be able to refill at the lake when I stopped for lunch.
It is the season of mushrooms here in the Pacific Northwest.  I saw all kinds of cool looking ones and it felt like I took more pictures of mushrooms than scenery this trip.  At the start of the trail, there was a couple just picking mushrooms and throwing them into a Target bag.  They asked me what I knew about mushrooms because, "one of their co-workers picked a bunch of mushrooms and sold them for $100."  I know enough about mushrooms to know that I'm no expert and wouldn't be picking them without someone who really knows local mushrooms.  I hope that they find an expert rather than a mark.

I only saw three other groups while I was out - the solitude was quite nice on the trail.  I was passed by one lady on the switchbacks to Hemlock Pass, both of us headed to Melakwa Lake.  When I go there, I saw her on one side of the lake and then went the short distance to Upper Melakwa Lake.  She could have her lake all to herself, and I had mine.
Upper Melakwa Lake
As soon as I sat down on one of the large boulders to cook and eat my lunch, a light rain started.  For some reason, this typically happens to me. I'll stop walking and then the weather starts.  I moved to the side of a large boulder to have a little shelter and boiled some water for my lunch and hot cocoa.

I refilled one quart of water with my water filter, treated it and packed up to head out.  My water filter is so cool.  Its smaller and lighter than a quart of water and living in Western Washington, there are always plenty of water sources.  I can safely get away with carrying less water (recall that I like to pack heavy) than I would normally carry.  Had I not brought the filter, I would have carried 4 quarts of water (I know, probably overdoing it)!

I finished my lunch and surprisingly the sun came out.  I was expecting the rain to continue for the rest of the afternoon, but I was glad to not hike in the rain.  In fact, I debated a few times actually putting on my sunglasses!

All in all, it was a nice hike.  Looking out the window as I type this, its raining, which would have made for a less pleasant backpack.  I'm glad I was able to still get outside!