Was it a Waste of Time?

On Friday, the odometer on the bike hit 12000 miles.  When I finally got to the house, the legs felt as if I had done the entire 12000 at one time. I was beat and it was time for a weekend off.  No riding.  And go figure, it turned out to be NICE both days! (Bet it woulda rained if I had ridden)

It was good for the legs to rest though.  They will be ready to ride home from work 3 tines this week, then hit the Flying Wheels Century on Saturday.  It’s a tough one, so I better be rested.

12000 miles is 4 one way trips across country (roughly).  I only started riding seriously in 2008.  I started pondering, how far and where would I have ridden if I had started earlier….

Between 1995 and 2007, 12 years, I focused primarily on trying to climb Mt.  Rainier.


14410 ft of big assed mountain.  You can see this thing from almost anywhere in the state, and the snow  stays on top all year round.  4 times I tried, 4 times I was turned around by a body that just did not function that high.  I was great until Camp Muir, 10000 ft:

Camp Muir, overnight camp for Summit push
Camp Muir, overnight camp for Summit push

But after that i was shot!  That’s 4 attempts at climbing, 4 payments to guides, and 12 years of training for the big mountain.  I had some successes with smaller mountains, Mt Baker and Mt St Helens:

St Helens Summit
St Helens Summit

But never bagged the big prize!

So the thought has hit me from time to time, did I waste my time trying to climb that sucker, AND giving my poor mom gray hairs every time I tried.  All those years I could’ve been riding from here to forever, and had 4 or 5 times the amount of miles!  More stories to tell, pictures to share…

But then I went back to some of the pictures I took while hiking…

First Snow showing on Hwy 410 (closed for the winter) on the way up to Mt Rainier


I love both these pictures, natural ice sculptures, and only those willing to strap on snowshoes would ever see them.  Plus, they will be different every year.   Could be less than 10 people in the world saw these exact things.

Rainier has MANY sites I have seen over the years:
























All of these were snapped along the way for a training hike.  

Another favorite place is Heather Lake.  Just a quick up and back hike, up hill most of the way, but some of the things you see:







He’s a funny looking guy in this picture, but you can see how big the stump is and only imagine how big the tree was.

These are all day hikes, less than 1-3 hours from my house.  So many to choose from, with 2 mountain ranges around me, there is no way I could hope to list them all, let alone hike them!



My travels also too me to Alaska, Denali National park.  I have posted some of those photos before, but I will only put up two this time.



My favorite celebration.  Wine at Denali Base Camp.
My favorite celebration. Wine at Denali Base Camp.



After flying in by skiplane to land on a glacier, and seeing mountains like this all around me for a week.  Climbing, a small peak, snowshoeing and completely in awe of everything I saw around me.  

Sitting here, sipping wine, waiting for our planes, knowing it better be here soon or we will be snowed in for 3 extra days.  But really not caring if I was.  We still had food and all we needed.  I loved every minute if it even pulling the heavy sled while carrying the 40 lb pack.

Many times you will hear people say (those you know and those who get paid to speak to and inspire you) “It’s not about finally getting to your destination, it’s about the journey getting there.

Now like everything I think you need to take that in context.  If you are stuck on a plane, with no window seat, heading for Disneyland or Key West, it is TOTALLY about the destination!!  I want to get there and start enjoying myself!  the inside of a plane with a bunch of smelly people I don’t know is NOT that much fun.

HOWEVER, looking at these and literally hundreds of other pictures I have taken over the years.  The hikes and climbs I took to get in shape, or for the pure fun of it.  The views, the trees, the lakes, and streams, waterfalls and avalanches.  In the sun, rain, snow or fog.  I have seen and experienced things that few of my friends ever have.  

I had camp robber jays land on my boots when I was leaning against a rock to beg for a piece of a cliff bar.  I’ve seen a huge rock slide falling off the lava dome in the crater of St Helens. Not to mention seeing the newest glacier in the world inside the same crater (fire and ice baby).

I’ve seen lighting striking as I RAN down the mountain from Camp Muir, and a mountain goat slowly moseying right through when I had planned to put up my tent.  I’ve seen the milky way as we took off at 1 AM from 10000 feet, and flew a kite at 11000 waiting for the group to come down.  

Eagles, hawks, humming birds, chipmunks and once, in the distance, a wolverine.  

Yes, it true, I could’ve ridden more miles had I started earlier.  But there is no way in hell I wasted my time!  It really is about the journey, and the bike riding is not the end, it’s a continuation!  There is a lot more see in this journey, and I may never get to the “destination” nor want to! 

Thanks for sharing part of the journey with me!  




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