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  • 09/24/16--10:34: Clouds on clouds
  • It's funny to start off early and have so few photo opportunities for so much of a walk. But there are things I notice, like this damn sign. It's supposed to read "INN" but the second N has been burned out for a long time. A year? Why not turn it off until it can be fixed?

    20160923_055947



    So it wasn't until I turned around to head back yesterday that I could finally start taking photos. I really like this fishing pier and am curious how busy it gets later.

    20160923_071242

    There was no sunrise to see, but I could see faint hints of color on the other side of the sky.

    20160923_071307

    The most color I saw all day.

    20160923_071849

    I always have lots of fun with Snapchat while I'm out. In fact, I'd say I enjoy my walks in a whole new way now. They have an ever-changing selection of filters to use on faces, and I finally got it to work on a statue.

    Snapchat-2100484650444400941Snapchat-969094402938103474

    I like when it's really cloudy and there are individual clouds below the cloud cover.

    20160923_073102

    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 6.57 miles in 2:06, 14,030 steps
    6.57 miles in 2:06, 14,030 steps

    I often cut across the parking lot to get to the car, but when I saw that I'd done 3.25 miles at the turnaround point, I decided to follow my exact path back so I could get over 6.5 miles. Nice long walk to finish the week. It was raining for the last part of the walk, and I always like how rainy dashcam videos look.




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  • 09/25/16--17:49: Another expensive day
  • I was on Spencer Island this morning for my walk and having an ok time. I wasn't feeling 100% this morning and a Facebook exchange from yesterday was bothering me. A friend posted a picture of the gravy from her breakfast because the gravy from breakfast the last time we all went out was pretty disappointing. Some dude she knows posted a comment saying she shouldn't eat it, and I really hate when people police what others eat. It's tacky as hell. So I asked why her food was being policed and she replied that she's a fat pig and wants to lose weight, makes bad decisions, complains about them, and needs a kick in the pants from her healthy friends. I asked, if she considers herself a fat pig, what does that make me? She said healthy, intelligent, handsome, and fun, and I replied that I'm considerably fatter than she is, so if she calls herself a fat pig, she's calling me one too.

    The fact that we don't exist in a vacuum is a concept I occasionally try to convey to people when they make self-deprecating comments. It's impossible to speak ill of yourself without also insulting people who look like you. And if you make fun of a celebrity for gaining weight, you're also insulting all your friends who are fat. It should be obvious, but people are extremely rude when it comes to weight. Always complaining about wanting to lose five pounds to people who outweigh you by 100? It generally comes across as hinting rather than your own concern.

    Anyway the whole thing just bums me out. I hate hearing people hate themselves, and I've heard it from that friend quite a lot. So I was taking pictures of pretty flowers and stuff, and after I made a comment on an unrelated post on Facebook, my phone froze, then tried to reboot and couldn't, then died. So I went back to the car, came home, and showered, then Garrett and I went to breakfast. The AT&T store doesn't open until 11am on Sunday, so we certainly didn't have to hurry.



    Since I couldn't turn my phone back on, I couldn't upload my photos to flickr. Thankfully I'd already sent a lot to Instagram and was able to share those to flickr.

    upload
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    The river was the lowest I've ever seen it. That boat that's partially submerged was completely out of the water!

    upload

    Here's a photo I was able to save from Snapchat. Pretty wild to see so little water.

    Snapchat-4216799151986979246

    And I had to draw my map manually. I'm not sure if I got it exactly right on the Northern part, and the time is an estimate.

    Today"s awesome walk, 4.42 miles in 1:30, 9,759 steps
    4.42 miles in 1:30, 9,759 steps

    I was in such a hurry to get a new phone that I didn't do any research. I figured since I had the LG G4, I may as well go ahead and grab the G5. Unfortunately, nobody is currently making a charging case for it, and I really loved my charging case. The company that made it, Mophie, decided to quit making them for LG devices for some reason. The G5 has a cool camera enhancement attachment that adds some battery life, so I've ordered that. And there's only one case available for the phone while it's got that on it, so it's on its way. From South Korea.


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  • 09/26/16--15:16: Gremlins
  • About 20 minutes ago, I clicked on an email from my boss and nothing happened. And I couldn't right click it in the taskbar, or right click the task bar to open the task manager to stop the process. I finally decided to turn the computer off, and it wouldn't restart. After it tried a few times, I was convinced that since my phone died yesterday, it was my laptop's turn to croak. I grabbed a couple of photos to send to Garrett, and they weren't going through because I get terrible signal for MMS down here in the basement. I went outside and they sent immediately, and thankfully there was a login screen when I came back inside. That was close.

    Speaking of the new phone, other than the fact that I have to wait for the camera/battery doodad and the case, I like it a lot. It's so fast. And the camera works really well. Actually, cameras. I still need to look up what the two different cameras in front do. I can already tell it does very well in low light situations. When I saw Zoey this morning I was shocked by how much brighter the video was than what I was seeing in real life.



    I also just spent all afternoon working on a work issue. It's simply not possible to describe it if you don't work with me, so I'll just call it gremlins.

    Oh and speaking of gremlins, I'm nearly done with Real World Las Vegas. I don't enjoy this season much, but these marathons MTV Classic are doing are rare opportunities to see the show. Somehow, my DVR timer for The Real World disappeared, and they either skipped seven episodes in the marathon, or the DVR ate them. I wouldn't be shocked if it was the latter, since the timer also disappeared, but I checked the schedule for the next marathon (Key West) and they're not showing every single episode. There aren't any seven-episode gaps, though.

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  • 09/27/16--17:27: Creepin' on up
  • I definitely would have been into the idea of leaving a little later so it wouldn't be so dark during my walk, but Sam's followup visit was at 9am, and I needed to get back, take a shower, and eat breakfast first. I also wanted to brush Sam before going, too, but I couldn't find the Furminator, so that didn't happen. I set aside the time, though, so here's Boeing glowing off in the distance when I set out.

    20160927_055320



    While it was still dark, I didn't listen to music, so I got a good advance warning about this plane's arrival.



    Just wanted a quick trip to the top of the gulch with two times along the access road. There was quite a bit of light when I got halfway through the route.

    20160927_063202

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    20160927_071805_HDR

    Today"s awesome walk, 4 miles in 1:22, 8,914 steps, 399ft gain
    4 miles in 1:22, 8,914 steps, 399ft gain

    I wasn't expecting a very interesting drive home, but I wanted to use the new phone to make a video anyway since I hadn't yet. But I see now that my YouTube upload failed, and I already deleted the file. Oh well.



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  • 09/28/16--08:10: Inconvenient
  • If all had gone according to plan, I'd be settling in with breakfast right now after a nice morning swim, with a quick trip to the grocery store on the way home. Plus I had plans for my friend Kristen to come by and re-plant the herb side of my vertical garden with new plants, after which we'd have lunch and go for a walk. But yesterday afternoon, there was a little tickle in my throat that was a full-on sore throat with itchy nose by the time I went to bed. And I was just in bed for almost 12 hours.

    Plus I was supposed to meet hildeaux for lunch tomorrow as she passed through town. I can't imagine with how gross I feel now that I'll be better tomorrow. But I don't get sick very often, so I can never remember how long I stay sick for. I guess I can't really complain, since a lot of people get sick all the time and for me it's once every couple of years. But it'd be nice if it didn't happen when I have tons of plans.

    Although I must admit, this week is better than next week. I've got a doctor's appointment and a tattoo appointment next week, and I've been waiting a long time for both.

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  • 09/29/16--11:09: Color me impressed
  • Since I knew there was only one case on the market that fits my new phone with the camera add-on, I didn't pay for expedited shipping when I ordered the add-on Sunday. No sense spending $15 to get it in a hurry when the case was coming from Korea. But it came in yesterday's mail! Three days isn't bad for a Sunday order when it's not expedited.

    LG G5 Cam Plus

    It's pretty neat. There's a switch to quickly turn the camera on, a shutter button that focuses when you press it halfway down, and a dial for zooming. But the most important part for me is the extra battery life. As far as I can tell, it kicks in whenever the main battery goes below 100%. I'm fine with that as long as it still works once its personal battery dies. I have my doubts about that, though, since it wouldn't work straight out of the box and had to be charged for a while first. Guess we'll see. Since I'm sick, I didn't have my normal phone-killing morning at the beaches and tank farm.

    Another thing that didn't happen was my Wednesday swim, which is funny, because I was looking at some new swimsuits on Amazon on Monday and noticed that several could be delivered for free that night if I ordered over a certain amount. I got four suits, three of which were part of that offer, and all of which were free because I paid for them with points from my credit card. Of the three that I tried on, two were pretty good, and one would probably be ok after wearing it for a while. That one will go way back in the drawer and come out if there's an emergency.

    One pair's longer, like bicycle shorts. That style's pretty popular these days, I guess because a skin-tight garment is somehow so much more modest if no thigh is showing. I mainly got it because my options for the free same-day shipping were limited. What's really weird is that I've gotten so many from the same company, and the fit across styles is so wildly different. Makes me wish Old Navy made more stuff. They're very consistent, they just don't have much to choose from.

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  • 09/30/16--05:34: SchadenFriday










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  • 10/01/16--06:00: CATURDAY







































































































  • BONUS Saturdogs















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  • 10/03/16--05:14: A triumphant return
  • A question I get asked sometimes that I don't have a really good answer for is, "How do you get up so early and go out and walk in the cold? I'd rather just stay in my comfy warm bed." Even now that I'm sleeping better and have an amazing new bed, I still don't want to sleep in. I'd much rather be out having adventures. Being sick all week was such a bummer, so I was glad to be about 95% better so I could head out to Langus Riverfront Park and Spencer Island, my regular Sunday spot. It was my first real opportunity to try out the new phone after worrying all week about the camera quality.

    20161002_064050


    20161002_065958

    It rained on and off throughout the night, so I figured I'd start with the portion of the riverside trail that was recently closed. I noticed driving by the week before that there were no longer any signs indicating it was closed, and I'm happy to report they put down gravel. A very nice improvement to a trail I wasn't even completely sure I was allowed to be on before.

    20161002_070210

    One nice thing about the new phone is the wide-angle camera. It'll take some getting used to, but it's cool. Almost like a low-effort, small panorama.

    20161002_070314_HDR
    20161002_070423
    20161002_074315_HDR

    Like the last phone, it automatically goes into HDR mode in low light. I think it looks a little more obvious when it's on with this one, though.

    20161002_070619
    20161002_072201
    20161002_073821_HDR

    I'm not sure it handles the zoom as well as the last one, though.

    20161002_071626
    20161002_071926
    20161002_074938
    20161002_074619

    I really like how things look when I get up close.

    20161002_072725
    20161002_072941
    20161002_075540
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    I wouldn't have been able to get this shot if it weren't for the Cam Plus attachment. I could barely reach these leaves, and the shutter button allowed me to focus even though I couldn't see or touch the screen.

    20161002_073312

    No clue why this one came out the way it did, but I like it.

    20161002_081438

    Even though I wasn't going to do the island loop, I popped over to the island on a mission. This is the fern I was about to take a photo of last week when the phone died and I wanted that photo.

    20161002_082559

    I love when still waters and overcast skies create these little scenes.

    upload

    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 5.36 miles in 1:59, 12,463 steps
    5.36 miles in 1:59, 12,463 steps

    I'm happy to report that I could have easily done the entire normal route with no issues. I coughed a lot, but they were good, productive coughs. Gross, I know.

    I finally got to test the dashcam. So far, it doesn't look like this phone does as well as the last one with that.




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    I left for the pool a little bit late this morning, and ended up seeing a bunch of cats on our street. At first I thought it was four cats, but what I thought was a black cat was two black kittens. Hopefully one of those other cats is taking very good care of them. Then when I got to the pool, Zoey was at the door waiting to be let out. She didn't like that I kept her waiting to get my photo, and meowed at me really loud through the door.

    Zoey, demanding to be let out

    When I got my card punched at the front desk, the attendant mentioned someone would be in the men's locker room with a hose to clean up. There was a CAUTION WET FLOOR sign near my regular locker and I didn't really pay attention because I figured it was just there because it was about to be hosed down. But then I nearly stepped in some blood while getting undressed. Apparently someone cut himself just before I got there. Judging by who wasn't around, I figure it might have been the guy who's always there with his wife when the pool opens that I usually end up saying good morning to. If he's not around on Wednesday, I might not know what happened for a while because my tattoo appointment is Friday and you have to wait two weeks or so after a tattoo to go swimming.

    This afternoon I went to get a skin tag removed and ended up getting three extra ones I haven't really noticed taken with it. It only hurt a little bit.

    And I just made dinner! Burgers on grilled pretzel buns with sharp cheddar, power blend, and a sauce I made from ketchup, mayo, and chopped pickles. Fry sauce made from ketchup and mayo for Garrett, malt vinegar for my fries. And a pickle spear for me.

    Dinner

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    After discovering that the route to Pigeon Creek Beach can be a little bit sketchy in the morning because you end up encountering a lot of sleeping people, I suggested to Kristen that we go over there in the afternoon sometime. Today was our fourth attempt at a walk to that beach and it finally happened. Unfortunately, we cut out half of the route I wanted to do because it was raining a lot and I was the only one prepared for that. But at least we finally got there. No reason to show the map, it's just a line from the parking area to the beach and back. Before we set out for that, she brought over plants and replanted the right side of our garden for me. The herb side just wasn't working out as well, so now there are plants in both halves.

    Vertical garden update

    Oh and we went to lunch before the walk. Just a quick trip to the cheesy neighborhood buffet. But I love that place.

    I originally thought I should walk this morning and just have two walks today, but didn't do it. Now I wish I had, as my total for the day isn't even two miles. Mornings are the best time and from now on I'm just never going to assume that an afternoon walk is worth skipping the morning one for. I might end up with a huge total for the day, but that doesn't really bother me.

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  • 10/05/16--09:44: That last 5% always lingers
  • It's weird how I can feel most of the way better for as long as I felt really sick, or even longer. There's just a bit of stuffiness and sinus pain, and that's not enough to stop me from swimming and walking, but I'm ready for it to go away. Today's swim was my last for a while, though, since I've got that tattoo appointment in two days. I'm almost positive that the gentleman I usually say hi to is the one who cut himself Monday, since he wasn't there again today, and Monday and today are the only two times I can remember not seeing him and his wife there since I started this new schedule.

    I got out of the pool a few minutes after sunrise, and found this cloud rainbow in the Western sky when I came out of the swim center.

    20161005_07204720161005_072138_HDR

    Not much else is going on today. I may finish my binge watch of The Real World: Key West. I didn't know anything about this season before I started watching it, and it's a pretty interesting one. The season starts right when Hurricane Katrina hit, so rather than meeting right away, the cast is shown hiding out in hotels that are falling apart and flooding. And it doesn't stop there. The cast has to leave town because of other storms, twice so far, and in the episode I'm on now, they didn't go far enough. The hotel they're on the 14th floor of is being torn apart by wind as they try to escape the upper floors, but they can't leave for fear of electrocution. Seeing this level of destruction somewhere other than the news is fascinating, especially since they're also all dealing with their own problems and interpersonal issues. One cast member is anorexic and finally starts therapy during the show for her rage issues. It's a lot to take in. Especially once her abusive ex-boyfriend who put her in the hospital drives through that hurricane to meet up with her.

    Of course another thing to consider is the crew that's also going through all of this, but has to catch it all on video.

    The weather's turned much colder, which I like, but suddenly this week I realized something. I like to keep my bedroom really cold, and that's also where I keep most of my air plants. In addition to the temperature concern, there's not much sunlight to take advantage of. My window faces West, and there's a huge hill across the street. I think I'll get some artificial sunlight bulbs and turn them on during the day.

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  • 10/06/16--11:24: Low light, high performance
  • Now that we're into October, the official hours over at Mukilteo Beach begin at 6:30am instead of 4:00. And that's fine, because it's so dark now, there's no reason to go there so early. So instead of starting there, I had a lap at the tank farm first. Today was mostly a chance to see how well the phone does in the dark, and I'm pretty impressed.

    20161006_061222



    20161006_061344
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    Strangely enough, I didn't see much that jumped out at me today once the sun was out.

    20161006_072757

    Today"s awesome walk, 5.12 miles in 1:43, 11,255 steps
    5.12 miles in 1:43, 11,255 steps

    One thing I don't like about not being able to go directly to Mukilteo beach is having to walk past the ferry terminal and train station twice. Not a big deal, just more chances of having to wait for traffic or deal with people. The things I specifically avoid.

    I noticed there was an option to export videos in Hyperlapse as 1080p, and used it, but I still don't think this phone makes the dashcam videos as nice as the old one did. Not sure what that's about. I noticed it takes a lot longer for Hyperlapse to process it, there might be a clue there. I guess the next step is




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  • 10/07/16--04:17: SchadenFriday








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  • 10/07/16--19:48: New ink
  • I'll post about today's walk tomorrow, but here's what I did this afternoon.

    IMG_20161007_170827

    Jimmy at Lion's Paw Tattoo is really awesome. He drew this directly on me, first as a layout with pale-colored sharpies, then with a pen to define the specific lines. He even re-did the tail partway through because he had a better idea for it. I'm so glad my friend Stephanie referred him and I'm looking forward to starting the shading on Halloween.

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  • 10/08/16--05:57: CATURDAY

  • RIP Simon, 2005-2016









































































































































    BONUS Saturdogs














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  • 10/08/16--09:15: Friday morning
  • Knowing that it's going to be dark and stay dark for a while is somewhat liberating. Rather than trying to time it so I see the sunrise, I can just resign myself to being out in the dark the whole time, and leave as soon as I want. That's not appropriate for every walking spot I go to, but the waterfront's one where it's totally fine.

    20161007_053654



    You can't tell in my photos, but it was a very windy morning. Made for lots of loud, strange Snapchat videos.

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    Apparently they've got the power turned on at the yacht club.

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    There may have been a bit of a sunrise to see if there wasn't so much cloud cover.

    20161007_065224

    A new thing in our county is people painting rocks and leaving them around for people to find. This is the second one I've seen.

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    And here's the third. I brought this one home with me. There's a happy cat on this side and a grumpy one on the other side. I'll take good photos later.

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    Yesterday"s awesome walk, 5.11 miles in 1:39, 10,997 steps
    5.11 miles in 1:39, 10,997 steps

    I didn't go quite as far as I normally do. A news van went by me as I got closer to main road and I was curious to see if they were really setting up or just pulling off the road. I think they did their broadcast from there based on the lighting I saw, but thankfully they didn't try to talk to me. I hate being on the news.

    Here's the video from the drive home. Best one so far with this phone.




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  • 10/09/16--14:30: Happy/Grumpy
  • I've tried a couple of times to upload today's photos to flickr and it hasn't worked yet. There are a couple there because of Instagram and I emailed the walk map in, but nothing else has shown up yet after two attempts. While I wait, here are both sides of that rock I found Friday.

    Painted rock I found Friday

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  • 10/09/16--19:09: Displaced
  • I was a little weirded out this morning as I drove into my normal Sunday spot, the Langus Riverfront Park and Spencer Island. There was a car behind me, and then up ahead, I saw two more. There's never anyone else on the road, at all. As I pulled in, I saw that there were tons of cars parking and people with flashlights and clipboards for some sort of event. I probably could have still walked there, but I go there for the solitude so there would have been no point at all. I got back in the car and left without asking anyone what was up, assuming I could figure out what the event was on the internet. Unfortunately, I haven't been able to figure that out. How the hell do hundreds of people drive up to an event without there being something about it you can find on Google? So weird. I could have just driven to one of my other spots, but since I won't be swimming this week, I'll use them all throughout this week, so it made the most sense to try something new. I looked on the map and found the next major park up north, Jennings Park in Marysville.



    I found the gates to the front entrance locked and couldn't find any info on the internet about when the park actually opened, so I drove to the nearest parking lot, intending to walk around the park until I could find an entrance. But I saw a sign stating the dentist office where I was would tow 24 hours a day and didn't feel like daring them to do it. I found another entrance to the park, also with locked gates, but thankfully by the time I got back to the main entrance, it was open.

    Jennings Park

    I had a hard time finding the park's trails until I finally realized they're on the map, but look like roads instead of trails. And I was bummed to find that even though the park is huge, most of it's conservation land and there are very few trails.

    Jennings Park

    One of the longer stretches of trail runs behind the houses surrounding the park. It's pretty, but I wouldn't want to live with a park just over my fence. Unless it was Lord Hill Park. But this is no Lord Hill Park, and these houses are much smaller than the ones out there.

    Jennings Park
    Jennings Park

    Because the park's not very big, I had to leave and walk a complete loop around it. Hopefully nobody thought I was taking a photo of the house this web was in front of.

    Jennings Park

    One of my pet peeves.

    Jennings Park

    Back in the park again, I completed the rest of the trails.

    Jennings Park
    Jennings Park

    This photo I took upside-down by the fishing pond is one of my favorites that I've taken.

    Jennings Park

    I covet the park's rooster statue.

    Jennings Park

    Today"s awesome walk, 4.13 miles in 1:29, 9,467 steps
    4.13 miles in 1:29, 9,467 steps

    That park's ok. I can't imagine I'll go back, though. It's pretty far away, as you can see from the video of the drive back. And since I spent as much time walking on streets as I did on trails, it's just not worth it. I went out of my way to drive above the riverfront to try to see what was going on down there, but couldn't get a good glimpse.




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  • 10/10/16--16:12: A Sunday on a Monday
  • Since I wasn't happy about missing out on my normal Sunday spot yesterday, and can't go swimming for the time being, I headed out there today instead. I got there quite early, and it was very dark.

    20161010_055247



    Of course, there was more light in some areas than others. When you're close to where I started, there's the water treatment plant, then when you move on, there are parts where you see city lights off in the distance. Varying amounts of cloud cover make for varying levels of light.

    20161010_054822

    I walked the paved path, and it was far too dark to cross over to the island when I got there, so I doubled back on the paved path, and then turned around and did it a third time. That killed enough time. It's really easy to walk the paved path when it's dark without worrying about slipping or tripping on anything, or stepping on any slugs, but you need to be able to see when you're off the pavement.

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    The water was really low again today.

    20161010_072213_HDR

    I often think about death when I'm walking this stretch of path. That's Everett's only major hospital off in the distance, so I always think about the fact that any major illnesses or deaths in my family stand a good chance of happening there. Thankfully they're still with us, but we've already spent time at the hospital during scares with Garrett's dad and grandmother. Not that I'm being overly morbid or death obsessed, it's just something that happens when I see the place. One weird aspect of life in a small city.

    20161010_072441

    On the last stretch of the walk, I decided I'd do a couple of comparison shots with the regular lens and the wide-angle one.

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    Today"s awesome walk, 7.25 miles in 2:13, 15,137 steps
    7.25 miles in 2:13, 15,137 steps

    I was a bit surprised to see by the time I got back to the car that I'd already gone over seven miles! It's been a long time since I went as far on a weekday morning, and don't even have too many Sunday ones that long these days. Turns out when it's pitch black out, I can go really fast and cover a lot of ground.

    One of the reasons I decided to go ahead and go to the island today in spite of my reservation about the highway merge with traffic on the way back was that I found an alternate route yesterday on my way back from Marysville. By going a little further North, I can double back and enter using my very own lane! No merging, no problems. Another cool thing, when I was confirming this route on the map, I found another park. I couldn't find much info, and its trails don't show up on the map, but judging by the satellite view, it looks like you can walk .9 miles out, for nearly two miles out and back. I drove to the parking area today, but someone was already parked there and I'd already enjoyed so much solitude, plus it was getting late. I'll probably walk it on my way home this Sunday.

    I'm looking forward to it. There was a heron right there by the parking lot when I turned around. I don't generally see them by where people are parking.


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