Wednesday, August 29, 2007

In Barrow

Cool and foggy day here in Barrow. My flight was weather delayed leaving Fairbanks and in Prudhoe making for a long morning without much walking around. Hard to pace once you're inside the plane. I walked a bit this evening but just barely managed 10k steps today. It is the end of the day and it has been a really long day...

Friday 8/31/07 - Well, I'm still in Barrow. Made a drastic change in the BASC network configuration and it took much longer than I expected. Each day has been long usually something like 16 hours! The weather continues to be cool and foggy but I still managed to go jogging each morning. We did a test video conference this afternoon between Barrow and Scott Base in Antarctica to see how bad the latency was going to be. It was very noticeable with a double satellite hop but the 10 minute test went well. They are just beginning their spring season and they had a great view out of their window with a view of the ocean and Scott Cross.

Since I am still in Barrow, I won't get the Squiggly moved to its new location probably until Sunday or maybe even as late as Tuesday.

Saturday 9/1/07 - Patiently waiting for my flight back home. I went for a short jog this morning after breakfast as well as a walk after lunch. All appears to be stable with the exception of a few glitches with wireless but we didn't get done testing until almost 2 this morning. Still cool and foggy (mid 30s) and today there was a pretty good breeze blowing off of the Beaufort Sea through the NARL campus. There isn't anything to stop the wind except for a few buildings.

Sunday, August 26, 2007

CHSR Campout

This weekend, I was a parent at a scouting camping trip, and since I had minimal responsibilities, I managed to fit in a couple of walks along Chena Hot Springs Road. It was very nice out with a few sprinkles in the afternoon. We feasted on homemade pizzas, gingerbread and pumpkin pie all prepared by the boys in cast iron dutch ovens. They did a great job. It was relaxing to watch the river but it did get rather chilly (and dark!) at night. It made me want to escape to the hot springs but, alas, there wasn't enough time. Now I just feel exhausted and just want to lay around. Got to get myself moving...

Next weekend, I'll move the Squiggly cache for the last time and I was trying to come up with a good location that is convenient but still a little hidden so it wouldn't get messed with. I've noticed that a lot of people seem to walk the main road loop around campus, maybe I can find a good location near that route that wouldn't be to obvious.

Friday, August 24, 2007


I just checked on the Squiggly cache for August and there were no new visitors since in the last week and a half. At least it's still there. I wasn't sure since the Beaver Slide winter trail was recently mowed to get it ready for winter x-country skiing. I guess the geocaching idea didn't pan out, at least in Fairbanks. For myself, I now have a new hobby while walking or biking around or even while traveling. I've looked for and found about 12 geocaches in the Fairbanks area. I did check the site and there were no geocaches listed for Barrow. Maybe I need to set some...

Monday, August 20, 2007

Cooler weather & shoes

It was a nice, cool evening today so instead of dinner, I went for a longish walk. About seven miles with about two miles of jogging along some unpaved roads. The nice thing is that I'm not sore from the jogging like I was last week. I lost a couple more lbs over the last week which has gotten me a little more motivated. I had gotten stuck at the same weight for a couple of months.

What is the lifetime of shoes? I think I have quite a few miles on mine and the foam midsole isn't as supportive as it was when they were new. I think I have well over a thousand miles on mine (I don't remember exactly when I got them) but the uppers are worn but not worn out (my criterium in the past). Is there a good rule of thumb?

Friday, August 17, 2007

MSF course

This doesn't have anything to do with walking or exercise but last week, I took the Motorcycle Safety Foundation beginning rider course and I really had a blast. There was one evening of videos followed by a written test, then riding instruction on Saturday and Sunday mornings (5:30 am!). I really appreciate the patience of the instructors as it was more challenging than I expected. Several things were counter intuitive and I learned a lot. I was a bit sore after the first morning since I must've needed to use muscles that don't normally get much use. I did an Internet search and found that riding is worth about 3800 steps per hour which didn't surprise me at all. Overall, I would recommend the course to anyone even considering riding and it was one of the highlights of my summer. I now have an "M1" on my license and one of these years, I would like to get a bike. This is one of those things I've always wanted to do but it never made sense. Now with gas at $3.00 per gallon and rising, it's a little bit easier to justify...

Monday, August 13, 2007

Number of steps

Today was a record low number of steps for me. I managed the 2k steps I needed to finish the Orient Express by lunchtime but since I was in a class for most of the day and I started the day out exhausted, there weren't many steps beyond that. No motivation...

Tuesday 8/14/07 - Next Thursday is the last noontime WIN walk for the summer (I originally thought today was the last day). Four people showed up for the WIN walk.

Wednesday 8/15/07 - Feeling much better now. I walked/jogged 11 miles on the treadmill this evening averaging over 4 mph and it really felt pretty good. It improved my thoughts about walking and exercise in general. I'm thinking that since I haven't been too active lately due to travel, activities and weather, it was somewhat depressing. I guess maybe I really am getting addicted to exercise or at least accepting its role in my life. Last week while I was in Barrow, I tried jogging in the morning and it felt great. It is completely flat so you almost have to increase your speed to get any cardio benefit. The non-paved roads meant no sore joints and it was nice and cool (felt like Fall). A year ago I couldn't jog 100 yards let alone several miles. I'm pretty sure I won't be able to keep this pace up for the next 6 weeks so I don't plan on trying to finish again but I do feel some motivation again.

Thursday 8/16/07 - Small turnout at the noon WIN walk. We went down to the botanical gardens after a short walk on the ski trails. This evening, I went on one of my 'normal' loops and tried to jog on most of the uphill sections. Didn't do as much as yesterday but still enjoyed the outing. It wasn't too hot and minimal bugs. Averaged about 4 mph again for the 5 mile loop.

Friday 8/17/07 - It was such a nice morning, I went to check on the Squiggly cache. It is still there and I pulled out the 5 names from the bottle. I was concerned that the bottle may disappear since it is visible if you are walking south on the winter trail. Hopefully, traffic should be minimal since,after all, it is a winter trail. It was a nice walk while the morning fog was lifting. I also walked to lower campus during lunch to get one of the 89 Cal smoothies from the bookstore. A real treat and still fairly low carb. Tomorrow, I intend to fix my new-old bicycle and get some riding in before it snows.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Almost finished

Just about done with the Orient Express again. I took a lot longer this time around than the previous trips, about 7 weeks or so. I think that maybe I'm getting burned out on walking even though I know that I'll need to be exercising the rest of my life. I think the key to keep going may be getting exercise integrated into everyday life as opposed to some extraordinary activity. Since the beginning of the Orient Express back in April, I've logged over 1800 miles and the majority of that has been actual walking as opposed to using the conversion charts. Just thinking about walking that distance is making me feel very tired. Or maybe it's from getting up before 5am the last couple of days. There is just enough time left in the program to try for one more trip but I don't think I'm up to the challenge. Either way, I feel exhausted...

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Squiggly has a new home for August

At the south end of the Beaver Slide Winter Trail, you'll find a stash of red Squiggly chips. I was debating just posting the coordinates but broke down and added some pictures as well. Just copy and paste the coordinates (N64° 52.164' W147° 51.675') into Google Maps (then switch to satellite view) or paste directly into Google Earth and you will get a fairly good picture of its location and the winter trail shows up pretty well. It is at the base of a clump of trees between the field and the sign. The Beaver Slide trail is located on the West Ridge ski trail system about 1 mile NW of the warmup hut. It is a nice walk...

BTW, I modified this link few hundredths of a degree west and a few thousandths of a degree north as the registration was close but the location indicated was slightly off from where I believe it to be. I tried relocating the cache using the coordinates listed using another gps and it led me right to the spot so I have some confidence in the coordinates listed.

Thursday 8/02/07 - On the noontime WIN walk, I had someone else locate the cache using the gps and they found it pretty quickly. Where's the challenge? At least there are four names in it already! And on just day two...