Thursday, September 8, 2011

Finding the heat in the hills

In Washington DC along with most of the east coast, there has been one challenge after the other - Earthquake, heat wave, hurricane, tropical storms, punishing rains and now rising flood waters. Here in the Bay Area, our weather complaints have been for grey and foggy skies so enduring I have begun to feel as though I have been wrapped in a soggy towel for three months.

I have ever faith the fog will clear here in SF and the skies will be blue in DC. I don't know where our closing ceremonies will be, after all the Washington Monument is closed. The 3 day website only says now... "a" Washington Monument. What I do know is, Patti and I have not had a chance to do much warm weather training. We both felt it was time for hills, heat and altitude. The logical choice was Patti's childhood home in Colfax.

Colfax is in the upper Gold Country, or lower Sierras. It sits at 2450 ft and yes.... obviously there are hills. The forecast was for 90+ degrees. Tailor made for our training objectives... challenge.

On day one we walked to Rollins Reservoir - about 8 miles round trip. That doesn't sound like much considering all our training, but the hills made it quite challenging. The heat made it even more challenging.

The payoff of a swim in the Reservoir was worth the climb....

We ladies of the fog were hot when we arrived.

After the swim we headed back up up up to the crest of the hill....

And a bar! The Red Frog is quite the find. It sits with a stunning view of the hills and the Railroad section that winds around one corner called Cape Horn. Thinking about what it took to build that section back in the early days you can't help but feel impressed.

Our drink of choice after a HOT HOT walk is a corona and lime over ice. That my friends is bit of heaven.

We got back to Patti's house and made a light meal of Salmon and Salad. We finished off the night with a glass of wine at the local wine bar and headed off to bed.

The next morning we prepared for our "long" walk by having breakfast in town. Then climbed up the first hill to the Red Frog where Patti made a call on her I-phone....

I took the chance to go over to the edge of the hill and....

....took a picture of Cape Horn.

Here we are walking down 174 a busy hiway, but Patti....she is still on the phone!

Back at the reservoir...

The day was beginning to warm up and the water looked great, but we had a long walk still to come.... onward.

We crossed the dam ...

Walked across the spillway (don't do this unless you know there will be no water released!)

Climbing out from the reservoir we ended up in some country where there were farms and old and young orchards.

By now it was HOT! and we began our strategy to keep cool. We found a store and got some Gatorade and poured water over our heads.

That bull doesn't seem to mind the heat.

Pumpkins were riping in the sun....

We found a few sprinklers and filled our hats with water before putting them back on. This served two purposes.... 1. cooling us down and 2. creating our own humidity!

Hot... humid.... hill climbing - yep after today we will be well trained!

We stopped at a farm that a girl who went to school with Patti works. This gal, Mary, had taken care of Patti's Mom for years. She did this Mosaic work in the bath there.

She treated us to a great lunch of fresh tomatoes and melon and some sierra beef.

Thanks Mary! It was yummy!

Now back to the reservoir... it was time to swim!

And by the time we were at the Red Frog it was definitely time for our iced beer!

The end of the walk back at Patti's front door we had walked 18.07 miles, in 94 degree heat, at 2450 feet, up and down hills and we were still in one piece. Today we both have taken inventory and declared.... We're ready for the 3 day! One more long walk on Sunday (piggy backing on the SF 3 day) and that will be it for our training except short little 6 miles walks.

Tomorrow Patti and I are going to Treasure Island to serve dinner to the 3 day walkers. Sunday we will cheer them in Tiburon and then join them on the walk. If you are anywhere near Marin, Oakland/Berkley or SF please go do the same. Cheer on these amazing people who have raised at least $2300 and trained an average of 528 miles to walk to end Breast Cancer. Each and ever one deserve a hoot and holler and of course a donation...