Saturday, June 30, 2012


I know, I know. I promised multiple blogs about my trip last week. But really, who has the time to write blogs during the week!  But here I am, ready to produce a blog about my trip - not that my first one produced much excitement.

Anyhow, aside from seeing old friends, the very best thing about my trip was hiking!  Since I had the dog, I had decided ahead of time that I would seek out some hikes. They started slowly, but by the time I hit Colorado I was a hiking fool.  A brief (or not so brief) run down of hikes.

My first hike was in Portland with my friend Steve and his kids. I wasn't up for too much extra car time and kids were in tow (including one who had spent the morning at a swim meet), so we decided to hike in Washington Park. It was pretty, sunny and low key.  Best part?  Kids who fought over holding the dog leash! I already posted the two kids and Otto together the other pictures aren't great.

Taking a break after some hard core city hiking.
A couple days later, frustrated and tired of driving, I decided to find some hiking on my own. I did a google search and came up with Malad Gorge State Park (Idaho). I thought some google posts commented gleefully on the hiking there, and maybe they did and I just never found the perfect hiking spot. My hike was a little lame. First, I was the ONLY person in the park for a good chunk of the time (and yes, it felt creepy), at one point I saw a truck with a ranger leaving the park, shortly afterwards I saw maroon sedan with three men entering the park (I'm not sure what they were doing, but it wasn't hiking and probably not taking in the view). Anyhow I found a scenic drive and just decided to walk that. There was this really cool gorge. At some parts it was extra narrow and extra deep and Otto did his best to give me a heart attack, running full speed up to the edges.

Perhaps you thought I was exaggerating when I said I was the only one in the park. (My car there at the far end) 

It's was pretty cool, even though I was walking on a road.

Here's where Otto tried to kill himself.

A small rodent popped it's head out of the hole, it was exciting. (You'll note the leash, added after the near death plunge above. )
This was how I knew to walk to the edge and look at the view - signs telling the drivers where to pull over. Also where creepy maroon car men parked.

Well, after this, things got serious. Colorado!  After a bad day in Wyoming on Wednesday, I drove two hours Thursday morning to Boulder. I drove straight to Chautauqua (which is right in the middle of Boulder) and hiked up to Royal Arch. It nearly killed the two of us. First of all, it was 90+ degrees, second of all, I parked in the wrong spot, so we walked an extra three miles or so, third of all I didn't really understand what we were getting into (it's a park in the middle of a city, how tough can it be?) so I didn't have enough water or any food, and fourth of all, the hike is essentially a mile long stair climb.  Oh, and fifth of all we got up to over 7000 feet and we're sea level mammals. Anyhow, it was a great hike - challenging and fun - but we were dragging on the way back. The last mile or so, I wasn't sure Otto was going to make it.

The royal arch!

You can't really see, but there is a creek there and Otto has decided he needs to hang out in the creek and the shade for a while.

Apres hike, standing up to drink water is much too challenging.

Next stop Golden, my friend Nicole has this mellow (pretty flat) but beautiful hike right outside her door. It ends in an insane view. Again, warm and 7500 ft!

Insane view.

Otto wondering why we don't live in a place with such an excellent morning walk!
Stay with me, two more to go. Steamboat Springs. I went for a hike with my friend Carol. Again, this hike was about 2 miles from her house. We took a friend of hers and 2 crazy labs that Otto didn't get at all (Addie and Maddie - not related).

One of the labs carried a HUGE stick the entire hike.

Carol and Otto!

Otto checking out the view.

Otto and the labs getting some refreshment.

Otto and shoe.

Completely gratuitous, but so cute!
 Okay, last real hike of the trip. I met up with my friend Jonathan in Salt Lake City and after we did some pull ups and dips (yep and BTW I did 49 pull ups and 36 ring dips), we headed out to hike from 8000 feet to 11,000 at the Steamboat ski area. Otto had to stay home because between the rocks in Colorado and the 100 degree sand in Utah, his poor paw pads were pretty blown and he needed some rest.  Can I just say holy crap. This hike was STRAIGHT UP A VERY STEEP HILL! Fortunately for me, Jonathan is recovering from a knee injury and we moved very slowly.
I took pictures of the hill, but they didn't really give a sense of how steep.  

Snow, it's been really dry in Utah and Colorado. I think typically there would be a lot more snow in this picture.   

Finger tip.
So that was hiking on my trip. It was awesome. I need to hike more. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Road Trip!

 As many of you know, Otto and I just returned from a 2 week road trip!  In an effort to share my wildly exciting photos, I thought I would do a series of blogs about the trip over the next week.  Wow. A blog series!  So exciting.

This first blog will just include some fun facts. I drove 3198 miles, averaging 47-48 miles per gallon.I was in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Utah, Wyoming, Colorado, Utah, Idaho, Montana, Idaho and Washington (in that order). My most favorite state was Colorado. My least favorite was Wyoming (which I think that more to do with the part of Wyoming I was in, than the state itself). I did get the best gas mileage in Wyoming (55 MPG or so) because it was so damn windy! More fun facts, I used 68 gallons of gas and paid about $278 for it. For some reason, gas is much cheaper in those middle states than here on the coast. And for some reason, those crazy folks in Oregon won't let you pump your own gas. It made me very nervous!  Are you supposed to tip those guys??

The most I drove in one day was 535 miles.  It was through Idaho and Montana on I15. It's a dreamy highway, 80+ mph the whole way and totally straight and flat.    

One more fun fact, my car hit 10,000 miles the next time I drove, 3 miles after the end of my trip!

Okay, a few quick photos to wet your appetite for the good stuff.     

First stop QFC to buy some ice and a little light reading!

Otto looked like this most of the time in the car.  
I looked like this most of the time in the car (protecting the tattoo from sun).
Wyoming. This was a 60 mile detour I took by mistake. The road was completely empty the entire time!

Highway 15!
(There was plenty of bad traffic, bad trucks, construction, and mountain ranges, but I didn't take those pictures. If I had, I might not be here right now. )
Otto was not the only animal staying at hotels.  (Super 8, Nampa Idaho)

Some small towns are small and cute.

Some are not so small and no so cute cute.

Rolling was key after hours in the car. Though, I'm still a little concerned that I may have crippled myself for life!

More soon!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012


Where the goats go on dog walks. Random kids walk your dog. Schools are dog parks. And the la quinta parking lot is where all the action is.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Garden 2012

Okay, I wanted to get a quick blog up with the garden pictures. Some of you are ready to fall asleep right now, but that's okay, maybe you needed a little rest. Some of you seem to find this stuff fascinating, so here goes.

I have been very relaxed with the garden this year - perhaps to the point that I'm forgetting I need to plant things. This probably will not improve output, but we'll see what August brings.

Kale!  Leggy kale. Someone gave me these kale plants sometime in the fall and they sat around doing NOTHING forever. Now they're putting more energy into producing flowers than actual kale, but it all tastes pretty good sauted!

Let's see. Baby Kale. Baby Peppers (last year these same peppers never got any bigger than this, we'll see if anything happens this year). And Baby Delicata Squash that will probably have to move.

Last year I planted sage and a bunch of mint around my beds. They are both very happy!  The mint is invading the beds. Perhaps a little too happy!

Onions that my neighbor gave me. Radishes which grew really fast and are kind of awesome, except half of them are rotted and something is coming in and taking bites out of the tops of the radishes (euw). Carrots. Which are really really slow!

And, La Piece de Resistance. The woman who built my beds grows fancy tomatoes. One of these is pink with yellow shoulders (or the other way around) and one is black.  Last year I was not brave enough to grow tomatoes after some previous tomato trauma (see old posts). Let hope these year we get some sun and have happy tomatoes!
     That's the garden. There are blue berry plants I put in last year. But I forgot to take a picture and the something has already eaten all baby berries so I won't get much out of that!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


My many fans are requesting the recipe for my roast beef. Actually, it's not mine, I got the recipe here:

Delicious, though I'm not sure about eating it with gin..........

BTW, any time I need a recipe I just google what I'm looking for and add the word paleo and usually get a plethora or delicious options.

Gardening update, yes, I've been meaning to and need to do that. I'll try to get something up in the next couple days. It's pouring rain here, so the pictures and the plants will probably be pretty dreary.

Sunday, June 3, 2012

Some might call it garbage.......

I haven't eaten a lot of roast beef in my life. Well, it's possible I ate large quantities as a child, but there has been very little roast beef in my adult life. Since the late 80s when I hopped on the vegetarian band wagon, it's possible I've only eaten roast beef twice.  But a couple months ago, with the new crock pot screaming my name, I decided it was time to roast a little beef.  I scooped some up next time I hit the farmer's market, then of course, it sat in my freezer looking large, unmanageable, and intimidating.

Until today. I woke up on a mission to roast a beef.  I googled 'roast beef paleo crockpot' and the very first hit was for a smokey roast. The recipe was super easy. And I had all the ingredients except one.  Win, win, except for one small issue....... The missing ingredient was coffee grounds. Now, I realize, the city of Seattle is probably drowning in coffee grounds on sunday morning, but all those coffee grounds were doing me no good.  Perhaps I should hit up the local Starbucks ask for their garbage?  Finally, I settled on searching out a coffee drinking friend. After a couple texts I found someone who had JUST made coffee.  He was on his way out, but agreed to leave the grounds on the porch.

A half hour or so later I was mixing my friend's ex garbage with chocolate, cumin, chipotle spice, and garlic powder and rubbing it on my happy, grass fed, chuck roast! Six hours later, my smoky coffee infused roast was melting in my mouth. Holy goodness. My life needs to include more roast beef!

In other news. It seems you can buy hooch at the grocery store now. This may be of of no relevance or surprise to those who don't live in Seattle, but it's very strange for us Seattelites who have always had to go to a liquor store when we want to expand our drinking from beer and wine.

Maker's Mark at Trader Joes?  Crazy!!