Thursday, September 4, 2014

End of Summer Update

The summer has rolled on quickly and now that I find myself near its end, I realize how much has happened in such a short amount of time.  And so far, next summer is shaping up to be even busier.

First, as mentioned in the previous post, I finally moved to Boise at the beginning of July.  I came out without knowing when and where I might find employment.  We had money saved up for a potential long-term unemployment, and I spent my first couple of weeks in Boise on the job hunt.  I had a couple of major helping hands, and by the end of the month, I was offered and accepted an archaeologist position with URS.  The next day, we traveled out to Eugene for some Track Town racing!

Elizabeth ran her first marathon, running under her goal time and generally being awesome.  My achilles cooperated just enough for me to gut out a 17:08 5K and a win over a running flapjack.  That brought home the pancakes, so to speak.  Those who beat the flapjack received a "year's supply" of Krusteaz pancake mix or other Krusteaz products.  I'm not sure I would quantify what I received as a year's supply, but it was cheap as free, so I shall not look this gift horse in the mouth.

Another fun fact: before we left Eugene, we grabbed coffee and breakfast burritos and hung out at Spencers Butte, home to the challenge course where Elizabeth used to work as well as some very large trees that she loves.  I decided that was a great time and place to propose.  Thankfully, she said yes.  So yeah, we're getting married next year!

I will eat his brethren for breakfast.
Somewhere in there, we also spent a couple of nights in the Owyhee Mountains southwest of Boise.  We camped outside of an old mining town called Silver City, which we spent some time exploring.

Silver City, ID.

I started with URS at the beginning of August.  I spent a lot of the month on a project in eastern Idaho.  We were based out of Idaho Falls, with a short stay in Lima, MT.  The Centennial Mountains form the border between Montana and Idaho there.  I want to go back and explore.  The country isn't particularly high, but it is rugged and empty of people.

Living in a cabin in and RV park down by the river (Snake River, that is).
Sunset from Lima, MT.
Labor Day weekend, a group of us went backpacking in the White Cloud mountains northwest of Ketchum. Our ultimate goal was bagging Castle Peak, which, at 11,815, is the highest peak in the White Clouds and also the most prominent in the state of Idaho.  The climb involved a steep traverse of a gully that was mostly Class 3 with some Class 4 near the top.  

Castle Peak.
It snowed above 10K feet Saturday night.
Going up.  Photo: Monica Hubbard.

Terrible view.  Photo: Monica Hubbard.
Kim, Noel, Monica, Elizabeth, me, Landon, Katie, and of course, Stanley Dog.  Photo: Monica Hubbard.
Out of the mountains and on to Ketchum for burgers.
And with that, summer seems to be nearing its end.  I have spent a couple of weeks in the office, but I am on my way out to Washington on Sunday for a three week project on the upper Columbia River.  From there, I guess we'll see where things go.

As for running, I have been slowly easing back into it.  I definitely lost some fitness over the last couple of months, but the achilles, while not 100%, is good enough to let me get in a few miles.  I forgot how difficult it is to work running into a fieldwork schedule.  I have to be a little more dedicated to that.

I have scrapped all my racing plans for the rest of the year.  Between the injury and my work schedule, it doesn't make sense to spend money on registrations.  I also have an itch to just be outside.  Running can be part of that, but not all of it.

I will see how I feel in the coming months.  I did recently think that maybe it's time to consider a 100-miler.  It sounds stupid and horrible, but lately the challenge has seemed a little more acceptable.  I wonder if suffering through something like that might finally cure me of this need to compete.  

I'm open to whatever opportunities and challenges come my way.  I'm happy right now.  That's what matters.

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