February Beach Day

Hey Everyone!

I love going to the beach. Lately though, I haven’t gone as much as I used to, as work and the pandemic have put dampers on travel.

I had been able to get to the beach once last spring, and then it would be almost another year before going again.

I had been wanting to go to the beach so bad, I was keeping an eye on the weather forecast on my days off, and there were a few days last month that it was just too nice not to go.

It had turned out to be a perfect beach day. It was mostly sunny, not too cold and hardly anyone around. Other than going into the resturant and leaving, nobody needed a mask.

Every time I go to the beach, my allergies go away, and I always feel better.

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Cold Weather Test

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I figured I would share about how my MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Deluxe worked in below Freezing Temps.

We had a snow and ice storm back in February, that took out the power for several days. I don’t remember it getting below 20F / -6C during that stretch, just down in the 20’s (-4 / -5 Celsius). A few of the mornings, when I was up before everyone else, I used my little stove to make tea.

Beings that the snow and ice was bad enough to take out the electricity and make leaving the house a no go, but not so bitterly cold (it was still only in the 20’s), that I couldn’t use my stove.

I was actually pleasantly surprised. I used it several times, and considering it was below freezing outside, as I had gone outside to use it, for safety, it still boiled water pretty quick. I also still have a bit of that 3.9oz canister of fuel left.

I currently only have the 1.0 litre GSI outdoors tea kettle, I might invest in the 1.8 litre kettle at some point. The 1 litre only squeaked out enough hot water for about two short mugs of tea. It would be nice to be able to have a bit more water for a couple more mugs of tea or to make a cup of tea and do some pour over coffee.

I should also mention that when I wasn’t using my stove, I broke it down and brought it back inside where it was between 60 and 65 degrees (Fahrenheit), to store it between uses.

While it performed great when I needed it to at temps just below freezing, I don’t know how well it would do if you were out backpacking and it was just below freezing.

I would definitely recommend it for any hiking trips where it is going to be above freezing, and the times when it is below freezing and you need to cook when the power is out as long as you can bring it back indoors when you are done cooking.

St Patrick’s Day Beach Trip

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I finally got to go to the Beach yesterday! It had been a good year and a half since my last trip to the beach! First having had Bell’s Palsy, then the Pandemic and everything shutting down! it felt so good to be back!

I went to Lincoln City, since I figured it would be the most “open” of the places I normally go.

My first stop in town was to get Salt Water Taffy from Read’s.

I grabbed some burger king drive thru for lunch since restaurant dine in was still closed.

I then had to go to the actual beach and go get my feet wet.

That was the best part and the whole point of being there. I did spend some time there before heading for home.

Heading home, I hit traffic, and ended up stopping at Target in Salem, to use the bathroom and grab snacks.

I got home way later than I was planning on, but it was totally worth it. It was an amazing day.

Adding to my Day Hike Gear

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Over the past several months, as the COVID-19 Pandemic restrictions have forced many of the hiking spots to close. I have been working building up my gear stash for when I am able to get out again.

Besides having a daypack, I have my hiking boots, I also have silk liner socks to wear under my hand knit wool socks. In my day pack, I keep a hoodie, as well as hand-soap, hand sanitizer, toilet seat covers, an overnight case with some first aid supplies, and I also keep my little Winnie the Pooh and Tigger in there as well.

Over the course of the pandemic I have gotten a pair of Trekking Poles, as well as a backpacking stove, a couple of collapsible cups, a backpacking tea kettle, and a couple fork/spoons.

There are a few more things I want to get to keep in my day bag / overnight bag / hiking pack, to kind of complete things, besides what I would add when on the day of the hike.

Today, I tested out my stove once I got home, and had picked up a fuel canister. Since I have never used a backpacking stove before, I definitely wanted to familiarize myself with it before being out. I did get the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe stove that has it’s own lighter built in, so no need to use a separate lighter or matches.

My best friend, who was also my hiking buddy when she still lived out here, gave me a hiking journal, which is pretty cool, I also picked up a travel journal to be able to journal more about my longer / multiple day trips.

First Hike of the Decade!

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It’s been not quite three months since my last hike, and today’s hike was the first one of the year, as well as the first one of this decade.

I feel like going hiking more has been on my bucketlist each year for the last several years running. It is still one of my goals to spend way more time out on various local trails.

For right now though, my biggest goal is to just get outside and go walking more, especially on my days off, and work on losing some weight, and building up some endurance.

Today, I went across town, and hiked at Cooper Mountain Nature Park. It is definitely one of my favorite places to go hiking.

I finally got to the point recently where I have had enough of being sick and tired all the time, so I am trying to do something about that, and work on living a healthier lifestyle. Part of that is getting out and either going for a walk or a hike on my days off (since I walk a fair amount at work, the days that I go to work). Going for a hike everyday really isn’t feasible or reasonable at this point (even though I wish it was), I am definitely going to try to go for a hike every couple of weeks, and go for a walk around the neighborhood the other days.

It was definitely a good day for a hike, since it was partially cloudy, but didn’t rain.

After Work Hike

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I had a rough morning at work (I work early in the mornings anyway which is rough in and of itself). It wasn’t just the typical early morning stock crew kind of rough, it was the end of the season is near, nothing wants to go right, one of the seasonal hires was a no call no show on truck day, no amount of coffee or tea in the world could fix it kind of morning.

I have also been wanting to go for a hike for several months, despite this past summer being hot, then working like crazy, sharing a car (so I can’t just go where I want when I want kind of thing), I haven’t been hiking for a while.

After having one of those days, and checking with the person I share a car with, to see when they needed to leave for work, I went for a short, but much needed hike.

I already had on the right kind of shoes to go hiking since I wear a pair of Danner low jag shoes for work. I was already dirty and sweaty from work, and had on work clothes, so it’s not like a bit of mud would hurt either.

I went to Mt. Talbert, since in was closer (than Cooper Mountain), and a tad bit shorter (since I had to be home by a certain time). Mt Talbert is not the same as Mt Tabor. Mt Tabor is over off of SE 60th Ave and SE Division St in Portland, where as Mt Talbert is over off of Sunnybrook Rd and 97th Ave, which is off of Sunnyside Rd, somewhere (I don’t know what “town” jurisdiction it’s technically in) in Clackamas County, not far from the Mall.

It was raining a bit on my way up the trail, but it wasn’t that bad, at least not for someone like me who likes the rain. The heavier rain didn’t start setting in until after I got home. Beings that it was early in the day on a week day, this time of year, and it was raining I knew it wouldn’t be super crowded, and I don’t like to hike at super crowded places, especially when I just need to be left to my own thoughts.

I have hiked Mt Talbert a few times in the past, all of when I wasn’t working, or during the retail off season, so the hike has seemed more challenging. Today, I did have to stop a few times, but it seemed way easier than I had remembered it being. I attributed it to being a little more in shape from having worked this season.

I have definitely missed hiking so much, and I was definitely worried today, since I have been having issues with my knees. I was worried how they would handle an actual hike after what I have been putting them through the last couple of months. I have missed being in the woods, and on a “mountain”, whether it is an actual mountain, or an overstated hill. Today’s elevation changes were well under 500 feet.

I definitely want to get a pair of regular Danner Jag boots (rather than just the low shoes that I wear for work). I love the shoes, but could use a little more ankle support for hiking. They are also not waterproof, as my feet did get wet today.

I am definitely wanting to go out hiking more. I am definitely tired of being stuck inside so much, and I want to see more places, and experience more things. My bucket list includes hiking in Alaska, section hiking part of the PCT, particularly the John Muir Trail (while not all of it is part of the PCT, a good chunk of it is), through the High Sierra.

I absolutely love the ocean, but I definitely feel more at home in the mountains.

Preparing for Upcoming Trips

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July, I started planning a trip for next summer, since a friend of mine had told me about the Jane Austen Festival she had gone to, near where she currently lives.

I have also been wanting to go to Colorado for many years now, and I am going to attempt to make it happen next year.

I am, and have been wanting to get out and see new places for years, but really have not had to opportunity. With housing prices / property taxes ever on the rise, as well as lack of entry level jobs outside of the tech world, things have been a struggle. Part of why I want to go visit my friend is to get an idea of the area.

Yesterday, I had gone out to run some errands, and while I was out, I picked up some toiletries, since I don’t have much in the way of travel toiletries, as I don’t go away overnight very often. I haven’t flown anywhere since I got back from New York, eight years ago.

Since I want to do some more hiking, some of the things I picked up have more to do with hiking.

Switching Up my Sunscreen

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I had heard that the active ingredients in mainstream sunscreens can cause cancer. I had also been bearding and reading that these same ingredients are not good for marine life. Ya’ll know me, I am the biggest fan of the beach, and I am super fair skinned and pasty white which means I need sunscreen.

I have also had some issues with some of the mainstream sunscreens beings that I have sensitive skin. I have to be careful about what I use. And things with fragrances and interactions that can occur when Salt Water and the bugs in the outdoor places I go to recreated.

I would not consider myself a hard core environmentalist by any means, but I am well aware of the environmental impact I, and the rest of humanity has on our world. I know that Hawaii’s ban on sunscreens that contain these harmful chemicals (it will go into effect in 2021), and I wouldn’t doubt that more states, and countries start cracking down on the use of these chemicals.

I had picked up a tube of Badger Sunscreen last year, that I am going to give another try. There are a couple other brands I am going to have to give a try next year. I plan to do a bit of traveling and more adventures next summer, so I will probably be spending as much time as possible outside. That will allow me to put some more sunscreens to the test and see which one I like and will be my go to sunscreen.

Working On My Tan Lines

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Yesterday, my parents and I went to the beach for the day. Beings that I didn’t have to work this morning, we got to stay a bit longer at the beach (I typically start work at 5 am on days that I work, so I have to go to bed super early the night before).

I absolutely love being at the beach, it is definitely one of the few places where I feel at home, and can’t get enough of.

I had applied some sunscreen before we left this morning, and I took it along with me, so I could reapply it before going down on the beach, then ended up not reapplying it like my inner pasty white kid brain told me to. So now I have the beginnings of tan lines on my feet, and a sunburn on the parts of my upper body that were exposed to the sun. I definitely should have reapplied my sunscreen.

We had gone to why has become my favorite spot at the beach, that a friend of mine had introduced me to five years ago. It’s crazy to think that it has been years already that I have been going to that spot. At the same time it feels like I have known about it forever.

Catching Up

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I know my posts here are few and far between. I am definitely in a different stretch of life, where adventures aren’t happening like they once were. Life is an interesting thing, and the phases we go through are what keeps us going.

Since the last time I posted, I went downtown a couple of times to go to the Chinese Garden.

Going Downtown is an adventure in and of itself, downtown Portland is crazy, and I am really not a fan of going down there unless I absolutely have to.

I don’t know when I will be getting back to regular adventures, like I was able to do a couple years ago. If and when that happens, I definitely will be reviving this blog with a passion. Until then, I will post when and what I can.