Cough Cough Coffee

Does anyone else remember the 48 hour flu? I know the lifecycle of some microbeasties is on the order of three days, making the potential for a nine to twelve day event more than possible. I’m on day seven, and I still can’t talk right. Twenty-two extra slow miles with a few hours further of exposed air made it more than worth it.

That, coupled with the long bouts of darkness and no exercise aside from walking, leads to all kinds of impatient ideas. Stay with me, dear reader, I hope this makes for productive work.

I’m pretty excited about generating a suite of projects for the new year, and I’ve already committed to visiting every state in 2019. But if that’s all I manage to accomplish, I think I’d be sad. So here’s what I’m thinking.

Oh What To Do

I want a localized project, kind of similar to what Ricky Gates is up to. For me this is tantamount to hygiene. Starting from my ticklist-from-town idea, I’m pretty sure this will be something in Issaquah.

The obvious thing would be to run every foot of trail in our big backyard. Of course, this isn’t the style of project I’m looking for. The idea is to become intimately familiar with the hills themselves, not to simply see them all. Something like repetition will be involved here, but with just enough nuance and alteration to break the brain out of any elastic modes. How many folks from the HHRG know those “old” and “new” loops cold, but aren’t certain about taking one random left? What’s the best way to instill that in yourself? I’ll sketch some propositions below, but if anyone local wants to collaborate on something, please drop me a note!

Aside from the local, I’d also like a regional project. This one is harder to pin down. One idea involves circumambulating some volcanoes. Another involves running along river systems. The former is almost played out at this point, while the latter is actually pretty hard to do in a style that is satifying. It almost makes more sense to “run” them in a boat. The Friends of the Parks group is keen on folks running the entire John-Wayne / Iron Horse / Palouse to Cascades / whatever-you-want-to-call-it-trail. I’d also really like to celebrate and run along the Snake River, given the calls to breach the dams are getting louder and louder.

A pair of projects along those lines, together with the pizzas, the races and the other incidental trips will hopefully make for an interesting year.


Here are some sample styles that might work in these projects. I’ll try to update this as I get more or better ideas.


No matter how the final approach shapes up, these ideas give me hope that the data visualization will be pretty.

  1. Scattering: Take two trailheads and traverse the park, point to point. Do this repeatedly and aggregate the paths, and adjust as needed to get new paths in. Bonus points for doubling up with an out and back. Iterate by updating the pair of parking lots or entry points.

  2. Random Walk : Flip a coin at each trail intersection until the time or mileage mark is halfway up, then return back

  3. Laps: Run laps of increasing or decreasing size from a trailhead. Three minimum.


I definitely don’t want these to be sufferfests. I’m down with doing long self supported endurance trips, but somehow I’d like to enjoy the experience and have these fit into a nice portfolio at the end of the year. I want to learn something external. We can always explore our minds at 100 Milers.

  1. Volcanoes : Do something in and around the vicinity of a bunch of volcanoes. As “run out” as this approach has become, it’s fair to say it’s relevant to the geology of our bioregion.

  2. Park Visits : Aggreate a list of parks, perhaps grouped by some geologically interesting feature. Create a tick list and chase them all down.

  3. River Systems : Organize a run from mountains to coast as best we can along a watershed. These could be a single day, a single weekend, or multiple trip adventures

As always. Got any ideas or want to collaborate? Drop me a line @seanforscience.