Life lessons from the seat of a mountain bike

P1010985Nick and I spent 4 days in the Methow last weekend exploring the trails on two wheels with our friends Dale, Ed and Jennifer. I’m not a natural mountain biker by any means. It’s a sport I have to work at … *really* work at … to avoid being a total klutz. Even after all that effort, I still have loads of room for improvement.

Some of the best life lessons come from doing the hard stuff, though. Here are some of the things mountain biking is teaching me:

17. Ups are followed by downs.

16. Sometimes the best way past an obstacle is straight through it.

15. Boldness pays.

14. The hardest parts are also the loneliest.

P101097913. There’s fresh horse poop on the trail ahead.

12. Balance is first among the virtues; momentum is second.

11. Success requires confidence, but cockiness invites failure.

10. Some people are lucky at some times; nobody gets lucky every time.

9. It’s all about the being and the going, not the having and the arriving.

P10109848. It’s tempting to focus on the immediate problem to the exclusion of the big picture.

7. The thing that nails you is the one you don’t see coming.

6. It’s worth stopping for a breather to see where you are.

P10109765. Thousands of tiny decisions shape the ride.

4. Fun starts when you push your limits.

3. You can get hurt, heal, and try again.

2. Practice makes you better.

1. No quitting allowed.

Freedom Peak (aka Little Navaho)

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Only 10 days after climbing Navaho Peak, I returned with two friends, Rena and Randy, to tackle its sister peak to the southeast. Freedom Peak (or Little Navaho as it’s sometimes called) isn’t particularly technical. Some off-trail navigation and ice ax skills are helpful. Otherwise this is a mellow adventure in the Teanaway area of Washington.

In May, the first part of the off-trail travel is mostly snow free. It just takes time and endurance to work your way up the steep slopes.

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At the saddle between Navaho and Freedom Peak, we finally found consistent snow. It was solid, and just soft enough for step-kicking. Goldilocks would approve. From here we could look back and get our first view of Navaho, too.

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The summit shot when you have Stewart in the background is always a good one!

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Michael Lawrence, Rena Marie liked this post

Assortment | 2

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It’s been a lovely couple of weeks in the Northwest. I made good progress on my vegetable garden. The kale, chard, tomato, and tomatillo starts are in the ground. The peas, arugula, and pumpkin seeds have also sprouted. In between gardening and work I’ve also managed to get a few hikes and scrambles in. I snapped the above picture of the Stuart range from the summit of Navaho Peak on Saturday. About 10 seconds later, it started hailing/sleeting on us and the view disappeared. Message: summer is not quite here yet.

Here are a few things that caught my eye on the Internet lately. Enjoy.

Would you believe a German city is putting traffic lights in the ground because people won’t look up from their cell phones?

Social self care…it sounds so weird to an introvert, but she might just be on to something

Please stop telling me I should have kids

An open letter to the Target boycotters

Yum: Smoked carrot “lox”

Must do things in/around Seattle: Seattle Beer Week is still going on (May 12-22) | Fisherman’s Village Music Festival (May 20-22) | U District Street Fair (May 21-22)

Lastly, check out this view of Bellingham Bay from the trail to Oyster Dome. If you haven’t been here, it’s time to take a hike!

Bellingham Bay

Assortment | 1

A while back, I did a series of posts called “Something for the Weekend” where I posted a few links to interesting things around the web. There was so much pressure to get it posted on Friday, and I eventually dropped it. I still like the idea of sharing a few curated posts, but instead of making it a regular weekly thing on a specific day, I’m going to rename the series “Assortment” to take the pressure off. When I have enough fun stuff to share – like today – I’ll post!

Hope you are looking forward to an excellent weekend.

A playlist of live Prince performances:

A hilarious and insightful look inside the mind of a procrastinator and a related blog post that might make you reevaluate what you’re doing with your life – or at least schedule a visit with your parents

Even in this digital age, there is still good reason to take notes by hand

Infographic reveals 20 cognative biases that affect our decisions. Of course, another notable bias is thinking that stuff that applies to everyone (like bias) doesn’t apply to you (and me). Let’s do our best to not kid ourselves.

Not enough time to keep up with the news? In the Know on TheEverygirl.com is one of the best weekly round ups of current events. If you do nothing else today, add this to your feed reader and mark it as a must read.

Yum: skillet braised celery with dijon sauce

Must do things in/around Seattle: Tilth edible plant sale | Street Requiem

Methow Balloon Festival

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Nick and I made a last minute trip to Winthrop for some spring skiing earlier this month. We got up super early on Saturday morning to check out the Methow Balloon Roundup before hitting the trails. Having never been so close to a hot air balloon before, I was smitten by their old-timey charm.