Saturday, December 28, 2013

Adventuring: 40:40:11 Whiskey Run Beach

Not far from the lovely coastal town of Bandon Oregon is the well known beach Whiskey Run. It is really near the Bandon Dunes Golf Resort and is well traveled by locals and visitors alike. Access to this beach can be used by off road sand drivers, horseback riders, agate hunters, kite surfers, and beach walkers. There is generally a large wind blowing so prepare yourself with a hood and glasses. The views are spectacular though and you never know what the windy tide will bring ashore! After your beach adventure swing by either the Bandon Dunes for some amazing comfort food at McKee's Pub. Or head into Old Town Bandon for chowder at the Minute Cafe, or fish tacos at Tony's Crab Shack !

Adventuring: 40:40:10 Johnson Log Pond

Living in Coos Bay I easily have tread all the local trails, numerous of times. Although I love to travel our of my area to find new trails and see new places, time and funds don't always allow the opportunity. In searching the area I found the link to the Johnson Log Pond in Coquille.

The Johnson Log Pond at one time held the local logs as they awaited their shipping fate. In coming back from Myrtle Point one day I decided to check it out.

The weather was perfect, warm and calm. The trail is easy to find and there is plenty of parking, as well as picnicking areas, and kayak and canoe launching areas. The trail itself was only about a mile, and does not wrap all around the pond. Being stubborn I found this out the hard way and tried my darnedest to plow through. I wouldn't advise this. Save this trail for an easy day outing with the family. Bring a lunch, hopefully a little boat, and enjoy some Coquille beauty and history.

Thursday, December 26, 2013

lbs by lbs, inches by inches

(photo credit to Moreen Littrell)

I have never been a skinny person. Ever since puberty started hitting in elementary school I have been a little chunky, slightly plump, or rocking the love handles. Occasionally I will find a diet plan that fits my lifestyle and can follow it for a few months. With fingers crossed I will lose 30-40 lbs and then take the next few years to find them again.

The first year I moved back to Oregon I made it to my highest (unhealthiest) weight. Moving to Coos Bay helped my self-esteem which helped me take off 10 lbs. Then when my sister decided to have gastric bypass I decided to jump on the weight-loss wagon and lose some more. I got down to my lowest in about 8 yrs, although still a good 30 -40 above my goal weight. Luck be mine after my abdominal surgery a couple years ago and being sedentary for 6 months, I managed to catch those pesky pounds back.

A year ago my doctor suggested cholesterol medication. I suggested weight-loss first. I tried on my own for three months, then when unsuccessful  I followed  Dr. Furhman's plan of "Eat To Live". The lbs shed off, but as quickly as they were gone they came back when I started eating what I wanted again. (such is the story in most cases). Now after a three month battle of stress and the blues I was heading close to my highest again.

THIS HAS GOT TO CHANGE! That was my only thought. I sought the advice once again of my doctor and decided to do the medically supervised Optifast plan.

What is hard:
Sticking to just their products. Gratefully there are cold pre-made and shake drinks, as well as bars and soups. So there is a variety. But when you are in a home full of friends eating lovely cheese balls, it is easy to slip. (and I did).
850 average of calories a day. That is low. (thus why it is medically supervised). I had wanted to stop drinking soda along with starting optifast, but I have needed that carbonation at times to help keep me full.
Adding a MD apt as well as group meeting to my schedule weekly.

What I like:
Variety. I like that I still can have something warm with the shakes. It helps fill the void and cravings of hot foods. Plus you decide which products you want each week and can tailor them to your lifestyle and choice.
They actually taste good. I was pleasantly surprised when I took my first drink and found it to be good! 
Physician monitored. I need the accountability. It has been fun, and scary to get on the big medical scale each week to see what the loss is. I also have to report on if I went off program. Like I said, accountability.
Group meeting. I can meet others that have the same weight issues as I do and see what is working for them.
Quick weight loss. I am down 16 lbs in two weeks ,(and that is even with the cheese ball and peppermint ice cream).

I am dreaming of what I might weigh and be able to wear by my birthday in March. I also am excited to see the health benefits of being able to hike easier in the future.

Here's to a healthier future!

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

#36: Organize a Jane Austen Book Club

 Every since I saw the movie, The Jane Austen Book Club, I have wanted to start a club of my own. I was so drawn to the friendships the characters in this movie had. I know it was just a movie, but I so wanted to replicate that fun bond between people who did not know each other entering into the commitment to read the novels by Jane Austen. How could Jane Austen bring strangers together?

In reflecting over this past year of the JABC I mentioned my disappointment to one of my fellow members, Joanna. I had so hoped for a larger stronger bond and commitment. She did gently remind me though that we had not been friends before this started. I was shocked, no way! I felt that I had known Joanna for so much longer!

Even though I did not get the movie ending, lol, I did get precious memories with some amazing people! I got to know Rebecca who I had not spent any time with since high school. Even those that joined up towards the end brought light and joy! Each person that entered my home to discuss, and laugh about the life events of the Jane Austen characters became a permanent good memory of love and friendship.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Adventuring: 40:40:9 Sunset -Pack Trail

I have posted about the Sunset Bay Trail and The Simpson Reef Loop. There are actually a series of trails and loops that stretch from Sunset Bay up to Cape Arago, and then up and around to The Pack Trail. Starting from the beginning of the Sunset Bay Trail follow this around to the start of the Shore Acres Loop.

Continue on the Shore Acres Loop all the way to Simpson Beach.

Cross the wooden bridge and head up the trail to merge onto the Simpson Reef Loop. Follow the outskirts of this trail to it's end at the Simpson Reef overlook.

From this parking lot you cross the street and veer right starting on a part of the Oregon Coast Trail. This trail will wind around ravines and end at the far end Cape Arago. When this trail ends turn left to continue on the loop. This will be steep and will again climb up and around ravines and end on the top of the Pack trail. Turn left and follow the Pack Trail to it's beginning along the Cape Arago road.

Cross the road and after a short walk to the left turn onto a trail start that will again merge you onto the Simpson Reef Loop. At your first opportunity veer right and follow the trail back to the Simpson Beach and continue to retrace your steps back to the very beginning. This whole loop of trails will be approximately 9-10 miles.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Adventuring: 40:40:8 Multnomah Falls

 This fall is a 611 foot drop located 30 minutes east of Portland. With a restaurant, Lodge, and visitors center it's a great place for travels and adventure seekers. It is an easy stroll to the bridge that overlooks the lower fall and gives a great view of the dramatic upper fall. Then, if you are feeling more adventurous you can accomplish the 2.6 mile round trip hike to the top of the falls. This is a crowded trail during the tourist months, and closed during winter due to ice. There are plenty of rest spots on the way and beautiful views of the Columbia and of course the falls themselves!

Adventuring: 40:40:7 Cooper Mountain Nature Park

Created as a place for the metro-urban folks of Beaverton Oregon to experience a bit of nature. The park consists of 231 acres. Among this is 3 1/2 miles of gravel trail. Perfect for a nature walk or some daily trail running.

Adventuring: 40:40:6 Astoria Riverwalk

Astoria Oregon is known as the first US settlement west of the Mississippi. The tourism there has picked up over the years and one of the great perks is the Riverwalk Trail. This walkway is 5.1 miles along the river from the Riverwalk Inn to the docks were you can see the Sea Lions that have taken over. Along this path you pass under the Astoria Bridge, along the historic waterfront, and by the Maritime Museum. You can even take a trolly along this path in case you do not feel like walking.

Adventuring: 40:40:5 Peter Iredale

Again this is not a trail, but a nice walk along the beach with an amazing destination. Fort Stevens State Park contains destination spots that will thrill almost anyone. Empty fort ruins are there to explore, trails to walk or bike, camping, you can see where the Columbia River meets the Ocean, and my favorite; the Peter Iredale Wreck. This cargo ship heading to Portland to pick up a shipment of wheat for the UK wrecked in 1906 and instantly became a tourist attraction. Over the years there are still skeleton remains of this giant vessel.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Adventuring: 40:40:4 Cape Lookout Trailhead

This hike was a suggestion from my Uncle Mike. While he was a camp director for the Boy Scout camp, Camp Baldwin, he and his Boy Scout crew helped maintain the trails here. Wanting a longer hike to start my day I decided that the 5.5 mile trek here would be perfect. The early morning fog was thick and did not let up as the day progressed. It was an eery feeling as I walked along steep cliffs without being able to see what was around me due to this fog. The trails wound down and around, following kept gravel and wood paths to well worn dirt trails. If it is the rainy season expect to get a bit muddy. The views are exceptional though and a great sense of accomplishment is felt when you can look out over the farthest western point of the cliffs.

Adventuring: 40:40:3 Lincoln City

I know this is not one of my usual trail posts, but after walking over 5 miles along this beach I decided that it was worth a shout out! Lincoln City is including in it's fame the placing of fabulous blown glass "floats" along it's beaches for combers to find. As part of my coastal exploring trip I decided to try my best at locating one of these covetous floats. And I did! Thanks to some great pointers from a local I found one about two and a half miles down, and then got to enjoy my walk back to my car. Great day, great walk, and great find!

Friday, August 9, 2013

Adventuring: 40:40:2 Cape Perpetua

Cape Perpetua is full of history and beauty. It's location just two miles south of Yachats is easy to access from US 101. Just follow the signs. Once you drive up to the top you can choose to hike down the switch back path full of views of the cape to the visitors center, hike the moderate Amanda's Trail back towards Yachats, or walk to one of the perfectly situated benches to enjoy your view from the top!

If you plan on heading to the visitor's center plan on a steep trek back to the top. Once you get to the campground your connecting trail to the station is by the bathrooms. This is the most popular hike in the area with the most breathtaking views.
View looking down on the visitors center

Amanda's trail is in memory of a coastal Indian Amanda, who was forced to leave her daughter on the banks of the Coos River, and walk with other Coos and Lower Unpqua Tribes to Yachats for interment. This is a three and half mile one way trail.
Amanda's memorial- photo by Roger Scott

If you want to just enjoy the views from the top, they are spectacular! Short wheel-chair accessible walks wind through pines and other trees. A lookout built by the Civilian Conservation Corps is still present. This lookout was used in WWII as a watch station and had a large coastal defense gun temporarily installed.

Foggy morning on the Cape

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Adventuring: 40:40:1 Heceta Head Lighthouse Trail

Oregonians and visitors have enjoyed the perfectly situated beauty of Heceta Head Lighthouse. The easy way to approach the Lighthouse is to park in the parking lot bellow it's perch and walk up the 0.3 mile trail to get a closer look. Another way is to drive another mile north, past the entrance to a little pull-off to the right. Across the road to the left you will see a trail head for Hobbits Trail. Start following this and when it splits stay to the left to wind your way along the 1.5 mile trail to see a back view of the lighthouse. This trail will end at the base of the house and you can then enjoy all the usual tourist photos and tours.

The day I chose to do this was a foggy March morning. The trail will incline and descend though ocean grass, ferns, and trees. This AM there was an eery beauty with the fog and the rising sun.

40 for my 40!

I have been thinking and working on this since, well, March when my 40th B-day rolled around. I thought "How grand would it be to hike 40 trails during my 40th year!". The goal will be to post each of these here and then link so others can enjoy these same trails. They do not have to be trails that I have not hiked before, they just have to have hiked them again since March. This goal has been great in encouraging me to find new trails and stretch my distance and endurance. I still feel pretty wimpy at times, but it's all in good fun! Hike on!

Thursday, July 11, 2013

The Fabulous 40- Cruise Time!

My big-bash-birthday event was a Carnival Cruise to Catalina Island and Ensenada Mexico! Planned by my sister and ultimate trip planner Darilyn May, and accompanied by my mother Marilyn, we sailed off the end of April to enjoy the food, festivities, relaxation, and seeing new places.

The Inspiration ship itself was one of the smaller ones, but did not lack any amenities or lounge chairs! We got a few good hints from some other people that have cruised previously. One of the best ideas was to bring your swim clothes in your carry-on bag. This way you have them accessible and can enjoy the sunshine and hot-tubs while everyone else is waiting for their luggage.
The Ship had multiple bars and entertainment rooms with names like, "Blue-Rhapsody Piano Bar", "The Violin Bar", and "The Paris Lounge". The casino was the hot spot for the night time cruisers.
We enjoyed our evening meals with our assigned guests. We laughed, we ate way too much food......

On our day trip to Catalina we played total tourist and rented a golf cart to explore the island. The views from the top of the island were amazing. The Island is full of old architecture, mosaic tiles, and even a pet cemetery.

Ensenada was a shopping delight of folk crafts, knock of purses, jewelry, and food! We watched the water spray from La Bufadora, shopped the alley, walked in Al Capone's steps at the Casino, and won the right to say, "I was were fish tacos and the Margarita was invented!"

A great time, perfect for a first time cruiser.