I think that Boyfriend, Taro, and I collectively groaned when the alarm went off at 7:30 this morning. Boyfriend put the dog out and headed for the shower while I got my gear together. Although David, Boyfriend, and I left the house at the time we had decided we needed to leave during our Happy Hour discussions, we stopped for breakfast at Jack in the Box before heading up to the Nordic Center at Stevens Pass. It also took us a lot longer to get up there than anticipated- so long in fact that there was no parking left at the Nordic Center- we had to turn around and drive to a lot 4 miles to the east and then take a shuttle back to the Nordic Center. Perhaps time management planning is best not left to the sangria-sodden!
We got to the starting area just as the runners were finishing and I was still strapping on my snowshoes when the walkers started to leave for the course. Juggling snowshoes, snow clothes, a pack, a camera, and a tutu was no easy feat. To complicate matters, I decided to go visit a Port-a-Pottie before setting out for the 5k course. Ever tried to use a Port-a-Pottie with snowshoes on?? I wouldn’t recommend it, especially if you’re also wearing your pack, a tutu, etc., etc.
The course was relatively mild. According to my watch, we snowshoed 3.34 miles with a total elevation gain of 394 feet. But, we did that at about a 21 minute/mile pace- that’s hauling for walking in snowshoes! After finishing the course, we walked down to the main stage area to watch awards given out to the fastest racers, highest fundraisers, etc. We also checked out the vendor booths and walked away with a lot of free swag. Maybe next year, we can convince a group to put together a team!
For lunch, we stopped at the Alpen Village Drive-In which is located between Sultan and Startup on Highway 2. The Alpen is one of Boyfriend’s favorite places to stop after a hike; they have crispy crinkly fries and about 25 milkshake flavors to compliment a fairly extensive menu of burgers, sandwiches, and the other goodies you would expect at a 50s-style burger joint.
In the summer, we usually snag one of the many picnic tables scattered around their whimsical garden, but luckily, they have a small cabin (shed?) with tables where you can eat in a semi-heated room. This is one of those treats that we have to be careful of; there have been hikes where I’ve wondered if we completed the hike for the hike, or for the meal after the hike.