church o’klunk – family style

Last Sunday, I took a bike ride with my mom, brother and sister-in-law along the Snoqualmie Valley Trail.  Quite a lovely day, despite the grey sky. We biked from the Nick Loutis Park in Carnation to the Snoqualmie Falls Brewery in Snoqualmie.  The trail is an old railroad bed, which offers a nice easy climb up the valley.  Smiles all around.

Gearing up

Mt. Si along the Snoqualmie River

Enjoying the view of the Snoqualmie Valley from one of the old train trestles along the trail

Family Photo! Nick (my bro), me, and Larissa (my sis-in-law)

Nick and Mom - cruising

Meanwhile, Carrie went on a solo ride down in Oakland...


neighborhood hike

My mom and I took a nice walk on Saturday morning up to Twin Falls.  My parents house is just a couple miles from this trail head, and in high school I can remember going on training runs from my house, up this trail and back during soccer and lacrosse season.  This weekend, though, it was just a nice walk with my mom. I’ve become accustomed to urban parks and trails in and around Oakland, so its nice to be reminded of what a walk in the woods feels like.  Whether I live in the city or a small town, it’s become very clear to me that I need to have easy access to trails.  They keep me calm, balanced, and happy.  I’m lucky to have grown up in a place where I learned this from an early age.  Nothing about this hike is really strenuous, just a nice easy climb; I think about 2.5 miles round trip, but its just so rewarding to get outside.

Moss covered maple branches hanging over the trail. The average 90 inches of rain that falls here each year keeps these plants green and moist year round.

A lookout to twin falls about half way up the trail. The lower falls drop about 150 feet over a huge granite slab.

Douglas Fir stand along the trail.

The upper falls from the bridge.

Morning Commute

On my way into the Seattle NWF office today, I had to stop for a few minutes and watch a herd of elk chomping on their breakfast.  Momma was too busy cleaning up her little one to care about the car driving by.  There were about 30 elk along the road, but these two were the most photogenic.  Just a normal winter morning out on the Edgewick; my parents really do live in paradise (aka North Bend, WA).


There’s nothing better than a day of skiing with your mom on the mountain that you learned to ski on….. I got to hang out with my parents, Chrissy and Elisa Eng on Saturday night and then wake up to 6 inches of new snow on Sunday.  Life is good.

Good morning Crystal Mountain! Riding up the gondola, ready for some fun.

Yes, friends who know me as a snowboarder, I skied, and I enjoyed it.

Two queens - my mom and the mountain behind her.

A quick view before we drop in for some turns.

My mom is so stylish.

A quick shot of me, as I take a minute to enjoy the view.

As my dad is demonstrating, skiing can help you to work up a healthy appetite.

Sorry there aren’t any more action shots, I was too busy having fun.

Bike Camping! Day 3

On Monday morning, February 20, I woke up early in the Hikers Hut. We had planned to ride 20 miles on our last day, starting with cruising the fire roads down the mountain and then climbing back up and over one last pass, rolling back to the Menlo Park Caltrain station to ride home. I was a little sore from the two days of riding behind us, but looking forward to another sunny day on the road. We took it slow that morning too, eating breakfast, drinking coffee and reminiscing about the epic game of jenga we had played the night before. Aside from one flat tire, the trip was a smooth as you could hope for.

George is all packed and ready to ride.

As am I.

Rolling down Towne Fire Road - zoom zoom

George and his newly named Shamrock Shake - George built this bike with the help of friends and the good peeps at Spokeland

Carrie taking a moment to gaze up at the monumental Redwoods.

Carrie - Klunking - 'nuff said

Carrie fixed this flat in about 10 minutes - whoever says that ladies can't fix things hasn't met my friends.

Tired, but happy as we BART home at the end of the ride. Until the next one.....

Bike Camping! Day 2….

Sunday morning on President’s day weekend, I woke up at Pie Ranch, climbed out of my tent and discovered goats just yards away chomping on their breakfast.  We took it slow getting out of camp, taking time to make coffee, eat breakfast, walk around the farm a bit and visit the goats and chickens.  Ginger and Brooke rode the whole 43 miles back to the train that day, but Carrie had discovered a gem of a destination for George, Carrie and I to make our way to.  23 miles took us through farmland along the coast, a stop in Pescadero for another lunch, and then back up to the Santa Cruz Mountains to stay at a Hikers Hut that the Sierra Club runs in Sam McDonald County Park.

Rolling along Cloverdale Road

A conservation easement along Cloverdale Road.

Riding up Towne Fire Road as the sun begins to set

Hikers Hut!

Sunset at the Hikers Hut

Ollie Mayer (center) led the charge to build this Hut in 1977. Thank you Ollie and thank you Sierra Club for making this available for everyone to enjoy.

dinner = vegi tacos with homemade guac and refried beans


Bike Camping!

I took a three day bike trip with my good friends Carrie Harvilla and George Chan over Presidents Day Weekend. Totally amazing. The plan – Saturday morning take BART and CalTrain to Menlo Park, ride 42 miles, climbing over the Santa Cruz Mountains en route to Pie Ranch just south of Pescadero, go to a barn dance for the night, camp out on the ranch, and then the next morning ride 23 miles back up to the Santa Cruz Mountains to stay at a Hikers Hut that the Sierra Club runs in Sam McDonald County Park.   Monday morning, ride 20 miles, starting with cruising the fire roads down the mountain and then climbing back up and over one last pass, rolling back to the Menlo Park Caltrain station to ride home.

Sometimes a plan is just a plan, but man, did this one work out.  As George kept saying throughout the weekend, “Great programming, Carrie, great programming!”

Clearly I'm excited for the ride ahead.

Day one, we met some new friends. We rode with Ginger, Brooke and Veyta. Here is the crew taking a break half way up Old La Honda Road, an 1100 foot climb in 2 miles. This road is a common training ride for the spandex road riders in San Mateo County. They were a little taken aback by our rag tag crew climbing up this pass fully loaded with camping gear. At one point, one of them asked Carrie if she was carrying a microwave.

The climb was worth it. Looking west over the Santa Cruz Mountains as we begin our decent to La Honda.

Farmland in Pescadero Valley. Breathtaking topography. Beautiful weather. Can't complain.

After eating a late lunch at the sandwich deli in Pescadero, we climbed out of the valley and happily came upon a tail wind that carried us the last 11 miles down Highway 1 to Pie Ranch.

While the barn dance was a blast, I sadly don’t have any pictures to share. All I can say is even if you think you’re too hip to go square dancing, what you may not know is that it’s actually the hip thing to do these days. Pie Ranch is guaranteed to be a good time!

Carrie, me, Ginger, Brooke, and George. Happy Campers, ready to ride on day two.

Stay tuned for more pictures and tales of the rest of this adventure…. Fire roads, redwoods and jenga to come.