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First Hike of the Year

I know exactly when my nerve block from yesterday’s surgery wore off. At 3:17 am, my right shoulder woke up and the rest of me jolted awake with it. I made myself doze on and off until 9, but never got back to sleep. Thus armed with 1.5 hours of restful sleep (we got to bed pretty late last night), I knew that I was going to either A) be a miserable lump sitting on the couch while feeling sorry for herself or B) go and do something that would take my mind off of my shoulder. I chose B and so Boyfriend and I bundled up and drove east for the first hike of the year.

Mindful of the cold Boyfriend has been slowly fighting off, the general flabbiness we’ve found ourselves embracing, my recent surgery (yesterday!?), and Boyfriend’s slight hangover, I thought we should take it a bit easy on ourselves.  I proposed that we hike to Rattlesnake Ledge, a nearby hike that I’d never done. According to the guide, the hike is 4 miles round trip, with an elevation gain of 1,160 feet.  Getting to the trailhead around one, we had to park out on the street and walk in, so my watch logged 4.74 miles and 1,163 feet.

What a gorgeous day for a hike. Apparently a lot of other people agreed because this was one crowded trail. We must have encountered several hundred people on the trail- everything from avid hikers and trail runners to people walking up listening to the hike leader preaching a sermon.  About halfway up the trail, I found my pace and didn’t find the trail to be very challenging.  Boyfriend, on the other hand, really struggled on this one. We both agree that we will need to do a lot of conditioning this year, and what better time is there to recommit to one’s health and fitness than on January 1st? The view from the top was pretty, but didn’t really warrant the gushing that I’ve heard regarding Rattlesnake Ledge.

Because of yesterday’s surgery, I elected not to wear a pack (youch!). Boyfriend nobly carried our lunch, my microspikes, and a spare coat for me in his pack, and I put my camera in a holster bag that I can attach to my belt. It is  liberating to hike with nothing on your back! I am generally uncomfortable about hiking without all of my emergency gear, but given the option of not hiking until the incisions on my shoulder heal, or hiking with minimal gear, I’ll choose the stripped-down version every time. I wouldn’t go out alone without my safety gear though- if Boyfriend hadn’t come with me, I would not have done this hike today, even with the many people that were there to tramp and trudge up the trail with you.

The view from Rattlesnake Ledge.

The view from Rattlesnake Ledge.

We hit snow just as we climbed out onto the ledge.

We hit snow just as we climbed out onto the ledge.

Time for smiles and pictures.

Time for smiles and pictures.

There were a LOT of people on the summit with us, and Taro was very watchful of the strangers and their dogs.

There were a LOT of people on the summit with us, and Taro was very watchful of the strangers and their dogs.

Irene Thai Cuisine on UrbanspoonAfter our hike, Boyfriend and I went to Irene Family Thai Cuisine for dinner. Irene’s is one of our favorite Thai restaurants and they seem to be open when no one else is, such as on New Year’s Day. I love their fresh rolls as an appetizer, and either the spicy eggplant or the Pad Si Ew (rice noodles with broccoli in a sweet soy sauce). Boyfriend really likes their Yellow Chicken Curry which is prepared with chicken, onion, potato, and pineapple. We both love their black sticky rice pudding with coconut milk- the dessert arrives hot and is lightly sweetened and creamy.

The restaurant is never crowded, the service is attentive, and the food is well prepared and arrives piping hot. I find that the cook at Irene’s takes the time to develop layers of flavor- their yellow curry has a lot of complexity and depth. The food is a bit more expensive than other Thai restaurants in and around Woodinville, but I think the food is worth the small extra charge.

Spicy Eggplant with Tofu

Spicy Eggplant with Tofu

Brown Rice

Brown Rice

Yellow Chicken Curry

Yellow Chicken Curry

My shoulder pain has not been as intense as what I experienced after my first surgery. This is partly because this operation was less destructive than the first surgery was and partly because I can actually stomach the prescription pain meds this time. I think too that the level of pain after the first surgery was shocking because I had never been hurt so badly before whereas this time, I expected it. I do have almost a full range of motion today, and much more than I’ve had over the last 9 months and so while painful, I’m better able to stomach the ouch because I can already see progress. Tomorrow is my first physical therapy appointment with Jessica and I’m looking forward to seeing what kind of progress she and I can make this time around.

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