Everything in Moderation

Sunday, March 1, 2015

Bday Misogi

So I'd read about the Japanese Misogi in an Outside magazine article a few months ago, and had since then been brainstorming ideas for a Birthday Misogi on my 31st birthday. As far as I could tell, a Misogi is some sort of difficult, ancient Japanese cleansing ritual, but it's also been interpreted in modern times as a once a year challenge that:

- may or may not be possible
- pushes the limits of physical/mental endurance and strength
- is taken on by a group and involves the group working togeher
- takes people out of there comfort zone or the activities that they're already proficient at
- involves some element of risk or danger

In short, like ultrarunning, it's meant to push you beyond your preconceived limit and set the tone for the next year (boosting confidence in capability).

For my first go at a misogi, I knew I couldn't make it TOO hard or I wouldn't be able to coerce my admittedly coercible friends into it, so I loosely followed the above guidelines in concocting a plan to get a couch from my house up to the top of Spencer Butte and back (roughly 8 miles round trip and 3,000' vertical feet up and down).

I'm pleased to report that my 31st birthday misogi was QUITE a success. It wasn't as hard as it probably should have been--we laughed a TON and only experienced a fair amount of strain and pain--but I couldn't have been more pleased with the outcome. We started at 5 am, made it up top for sunrise, and some friends met us with propane stove and beer and cooked us up a delicious hot breakfast on the summit.

Here are some pics that Blaine took from our outing:

The crew, appropriately fuzzy as we depart at 5am!

This idea did not work at all!

Thought we had something until...

the wife is amused!

Out the door

Out of the parking lot

Headed up the road and on the trail!

A break on the trail

Back at it

The technical summit push!

BINGO! We did it!

Beer break on the way town

Not a bad seat

Suffice it to say, the couch is back down from Spencer Butte and is now residing in Emily's apartment with lots of trail spice and good karma. I have amazing, crazy friends (and wife!) who indulge my amazing, crazy dreams...like taking a couch to the top of Spencer Butte : ).

Thursday, February 5, 2015

Hawaii, Part Two: All the other awesomeness!

Here is part two from our other days/outings in Hawaii. Suffice it to say, we had a spectacular time (minus Blaine battling a stomach bug for a few days) and we are pretty much sold on the fact that Hawaii is heaven on earth. I mean, this is a place where you can hike some serious mountain terrain in the morning and then spend all afternoon on an amazing beach. I especially appreciate how all of the beaches and trails are free and open to the public (also free parking abounds) without all kinds of payment/safety/permitting hullabaloo. It's pretty much go at your own risk, and the number of beach accesses is pretty sweet.

February 1st:

Gennie and Blaine scope out the jump off plank

Pele's chair

February 2nd:

Volcom Pipe Pro Surf competition, final day

Volcom house

Pipeline breaking backdoor...way bigger than it looks here

You can see a guy on a wave here to give it some perspective

Headed out to Lanikai to just relax on the beach later in the afternoon. This location is pretty close to where Gennie lives:
Mokes in the evening

February 3rd:

Stairs of Doom at Coco Crater. Steps are only about 3/4 of a mile, but they gain 1000' in that distance, so it made for a nice hike up to the crater's rim.

Straight up

Looking back on the way up. Waikiki below

Coco Crater Rim

Solid view

Gennie joins at the top (Blaine sat this one out after giving it a go, due to her stomach bug)

Hot day! Random Aussie on the left


Going down

This part was a little hairy...the gaps and the bees

Don't miss a foot

This hill
 After the hike, Blaine, Gennie and I headed to the Elks Lodge (Gennie is a member I guess?!?) and spent the rest of the afternoon hanging out in style:


Pina Colada (necessary umbrella drink pic)

February 4th, Our beach day:

The Mokes at Lanikai

"Put a Moke on it"

Blaine, finally feeling a bit better!

Strapping down the important passenger

A kayak afforded view of Pill Boxes and Lanikai

Paddling out to the Mokes

February 5th:

We headed to the North Shore and rented stand-up paddle boards. Here's Blaine rocking it

Waimea Bay