In Seattle, folks have a tendency to label any snowstorm “Snowmageddon,” or “Snowpocalypse,” or any number of other clever names due to Seattleites’ inability to cope with an inch or two of snow, let alone many inches. In February 2019, the Puget Sound area has faced upwards of 14” of snow in a few days, prompting residents to clear out grocery stores, schools and businesses to close, and folks to take time off to play in the snow. I’ve sen a couple other Seattle snowstorms get close to this one, but never with the longevity or quite the coverage. It was treacherous and beautiful.
One of my best friends, Miranda has been running half marathons for quite a while, but her white whale has been the sub-4 hour marathon time. Not that it has been outside her grasp; far from it. She has grown leaps and bounds, bringing that time within her grasp, but past attempts have been difficult due to injury and other events outside her control. With a solid training block behind her, she felt so good, she decided to abandon her plan for the Bellingham Bay Marathon at the end of the month, pinned her ears back and said "screw it!" She ran the Skagit Flats Marathon in roughly 3 hours and 52 minutes, with ease.
Ting and I traveled to Spartanburg, South Carolina, home of the Edward Via College of Osteopathic Medicine, Carolinas (VCOM) to watch and celebrate as Ting's brother, Matthew, and his girlfriend, Emily, graduated as Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine. Spartanburg was a charming little town!
My dear Aunt Shelly passed away last year. Some of my family finally managed to get together to say our goodbyes. I tried to convey how I think of her every time I run; she was, surprisingly (to me) one of my biggest supporters, constantly talking about how she wished she could run like I do and how much she enjoyed the pictures I took as I ran. We threw rose petals (her favorite) off Magnolia Bluff in her honor.
I fell in love with trail running last year, but a late-season injury sidelined me until early 2017. After dozens of 30+ mile weeks and 5 races, I traveled to Yachats, Oregon, with my wife, my friend Mac (who convinced me to sign up for this race), and his wife, so I could race in the longest, most brutal race yet of my short career: The Oregon Coast 30k (which ended up being nearly 20 miles and over 4,000 feet of climbing). It was a beautiful, inspiring event. From simply walking around Yachats, to dinner with the race director, to meeting ultrarunning legends, to watching Mac complete his second 50k in as many weeks, to running with amazing people in primeval woods along roaring coastline, this weekend was the best.
My friend Eric and his new wife Felicity decided to host a "friendeymoon" - instead of a honeymoon - at a villa in Tuscany. Just our best friends, dozens of liters of wine, insanely good food, and Tuscan mountain towns for a week.
I was out watering our plants this morning and heard a ruckus - it was this Steller's Jay, cavorting on and around our apple tree. A handsome bird, and now I know his call. I've heard him around before.
My friend Justin and I arrived early on Saturday in the rain - the rain stopped right after we got our tents up, allowing us one glorious day to explore unmarked trails up Rampart Ridge. Then, that night, a gnarly storm rolled through. Of that, I have no pictures, so shots of Rampart Lakes, Rampart Ridge, and Lila Lake must suffice.
Although we spent one night in Lima, it was a very short sleep before heading back to the airport to fly to Cusco. The city sits near 11,000ft high in the Andes; airport billboards warn travelers (with images of puking gringos) to beware of altitude sickness. Coca tea, which is supposed to help, is abundant. None of us fell ill with altitude sickness, but we were all exhausted from travel, the lack of oxygen, and general excitement.
We left Cusco after one night to explore Machu Picchu and returned; we left again for a day to climb Vinicunca and returned to stay again. While in Cusco, though, we ate amazing food (Gaston's Chicha is fantastic; Bodega 138 has the best pizza; you can get street food - risky, I know - for 3 soles) and found the good beer spots (Cholo's is tucked away up a hill and has quiet, courtyard seating). We even found delicious breakfast (The Meeting Place - a Christian mission-based, not-for-profit, volunteer-run organization) with kittehs.
Having just returned from a mind-bending trip to Peru, many dozens of photos await editing. I began processing shots haphazardly, jumping from day to day, style to style - until I started on some stark, haunting images from Machu Picchu, a few days into our adventure. The first half of the day was still, quiet, and more intimate; tourist count was low, and although views were obscured, I think we saw a side of the ruins about which people don't normally gush. Although I'm excited to finish the rest of my frames from this trip, I decided to begin with these.
One of my favorite bands, The Radio Dept., released a protest album late last year in reaction to the rise of far-right, faux-populist politics in Sweden. One of the tracks, Sloboda Narodu, refers to the Yugoslav partisan rallying cry from World War II: Death to fascism, freedom to the people! I reflected on that sentiment repeatedly today.
Today, I marched with my wife - an American woman with Chinese immigrant parents - joining millions around the world (and more than 120,000 in Seattle) in a show of support for people like her, her family, and countless others being been told: immigrants aren't welcome here; your health, safety, and well being are trumped by the desires of the wealthy; and, in a truly surreal twist, that truth is relative.
The pictures below are what I saw on the streets of Seattle. Reflecting on the powerful joy I saw in my sisters and brothers today fills me with hope for the future and pride in my neighbors.
My company sent my team along with one other on a quick sailing cruise around Elliott Bay. It was beautiful, of course, and a nice escape from work.
My good friend, Danny, and I walked around UW's campus and snapped a few frames. Check out what he did!
I just wanted one blossom photo this year. Most trees were already bare, but I did find this beauty (as did everyone else with a camera, it seemed).