Monday, January 11, 2010

Everything that happened when I had a camera

It's 2010 now, and that's a good thing. Practically speaking, it's really all just a continuum anyway and arbitrary human designations describe any given date. That is, of course, unless you subscribe to the theory of relativity in which timespace is not at all linear. But I digress. For my intents and purposes, a new year means a new triathlon season and I have every reason to be stoked about it all.

To begin with, I just like the sound of 2010. Twenty ten. Two thousand and ten. Two thousand and nine never really jived with me. I like this twenty ten thing much better. Secondly, I got to begin the new year with an outdoor ride, as the city of Spokane seems to have been spared the barrages of winter that crippled us for the past two years (and seem to be blanketing the rest of the country in cold and snow). Two thousand and nine presented what was for me the first unwhite Christmas in recent memory. Another good reason to be done with the blasted year. And now, a week and a half into this twentyten, I have an armchair pulled close to the fire, three adorable cats and a computer competing for prime lap space (mine), and really, life is good. Yet I can't help but wonder when this dog lover became a cat lady?

Of course, I can't complain about how 2009 panned out. I ended the season on a mildly disappointing note, with a sub-par performance at Kona tricking me into thinking that the whole season was a bust. In hindsight, however, I know that I made my typically slow, steady gains throughout the season, and I really made my season into what I wanted it to be. I raced in 3 Ironmans, 6 half Iron-distance races, and I additionally did a super-fun smattering of sprints, Olympics and Xterras. I raced in my favorite local events that I was sad to have missed in 2008, I experienced some new, top-quality events (Ironman Canada, Hulaman), I got married, I got hit by a car, and I got humbled by Madam Pele once again. Life is fun to learn.

After returning from Kona, Aaron and I decided to embark on what was meant to be the first of a year long series of honeymoons. With our vacation budget substantially reduced due to his bursitis episode (and that was with health insurance and an HSA), we decided to keep it on the continent for this go-round and when torn between Nova Scotia and Copper Canyon, Mexico, the hurricane forecast sent us North and East. To the homeland of Coach Dan. Our plan was to explore the Cape Breton Highlands and to then ferry over to Newfoundland to see what there was to see, but the distances proved vast, and we relied mostly on our own feet for exploration. So it turned into a week and a half of trail running/hiking/slogging. We covered about 15-25 miles each day, and though the pace was never fast, we experienced a lot . We especially experienced a lot of wet, as is the nature of trails in deciduous forests in late October, we learned. It sure was a pretty wet though.

Day 1: Still dry

Pretty birch trees in fall

A solitary blue heron

the first time we realized that wet feet were inevitable

. . . and cold . .

but it was worth it because it was beautiful

and occasionally there were bridges

and insanely cute sciurids

and dramatic light effects

along with short autumn days

our first taste of snow
some goofing off
trails that end in the perfect place
beautiful coastlines

waterfalls aplenty

moose blocking the trail

and my favorite wildlife find - an Eastern toad! Cool, eh?

After tooling around the Cape Breton Highlands we drove to Baxter State Park in Maine to climb Mt Kathadin, the highest point in Maine and the northern terminus of the Appalachian trail. We considered just running up it like we had everything in Nova Scotia, but ultimately decided it would be better to pack lunches and warm clothes and that turned out to be the right decision. The peaks in the West are a lot higher, but East Coast trails are decidedly harder. They don't bother with switchbacks and instead take the most direct route to the summit. I had some similar experiences hiking in Vermont, but I have to say, it was even tougher than I remember. The mountain didn't look terribly intimidating, but there was a lot of ice to contend with on the trail, and it was STUPID cold at the top.

Then we got home and decided that a new kitten would be a good thing. We lost Atilla last year and Jeremy seemed to like her well enough, so a new feline friend was in order. Unfortunately, we got to the shelter and just couldn't decide which one to take, so we got two. Meet Floyd and Leroy.

Despite our wanting to find him a friend, Jeremy was relatively unimpressed with our new additions and spent a lot of time defending his territory.

But eventually the kittens' cuteness won Jeremy over because seriously, who wouldn't want to be friends with this?

I thought it was particularly cute when Leroy started hanging out in the ficus. That was until he started crapping in it. Crapping in plants is not cute.

Conversely, children and kittens are cute. Especially when the child is a dimpled one.

Otherwise, life continues in the Cooper-Scott house. I finally feel like I'm really back in the training groove and I've even been able to eek in some skate skiing. My favorite time to go is just before sunset. It's such a peaceful way to bid farewell to the day and the sunsets and shades of gray are so much more spectacular on the mountain. Of course, they're shades of gray that my camera does a miserable job of capturing. Just trust me, it's amazing.
This sunset was so much more spectacular in real life.

The gloaming. My favorite time to ski.

Soon, I'll actually give triathlon related updates, including some exciting sponsor information, but tonight I need to get back to my anatomy textbook. I'm a little bummed that school is preventing my participation in some pre-season training camps, but ultimately it's for the best. Human anatomy and physiology are SO COOL to learn about. We're studying the brain right now and every time I swim or ski, I'm astounded and thrilled at the brain's ability to process all of the incoming sensory information to coordinate and learn new movements. It's incredible and I'm SO lucky. Yay for brains!


Sue said...

Nice pics and sounds like a great fall & winter so far...see you in the spring time!!!

Matt said...

great shots! Baxter State Park is great, eh! Cute cats, dont let Jessie see that pic..

I hope all is well!

Spokane Al said...

Very cool! I am glad to see that you are back documenting your great life.

jessithompson said...

loved the update and all the cool pics! said...

Coops, those are some incredible pictures! If I was a good cartoonist I'd doodle the mental image I now have of you, Aaron and the domesticated menagerie.
I love the career choice but hate what it means for my play time with you. It's okay though. I may just take up knitting until you're out of school and your unborn children are grown. Then we can once again lay down those dance routines that take the better part of a week to perfect. I'm patient when I need to be...
Love you!

Charisa said...

Awesome hiking pics. Kittens!! Very fun. And I'm pretty sure you live in the one of the most beautiful places. said...

I can see you still take beautiful pictures... Seems to me your life took a big change since Stephens Island and Hamilton frogs !
Congratulations for your winnings !
xxx said...

I can see you still take beautiful pictures... Seems to me your life took a big change since Stephens Island and Hamilton frogs !
Congratulations for your winnings !

Robyn Poulson said...

way to go today at IMCDA!! You rock Haley!

Miss seeing you at races - but let me know if you head down under - it would be great to see you!

:-) Robyn Poulson

Robyn Poulson said...

way to go today at IMCDA!! You rock Haley!

Miss seeing you at races - but let me know if you head down under - it would be great to see you!

:-) Robyn Poulson

Dawn Saari said...

Awesome job today, Haley! We were so proud of you in CdA IM. You rocked! ~your former neighbors Dawn and Sophie (we lived in peach house across the street from you 4 years ago...Sophie used to ride bikes with Eric's daughter)lol Since we moved to CdA 4 years ago we have rooted you on every year!

Dawn Saari said...

Awesome job today, Haley! Sophie and I were so proud of you! You rocked! Sophie is sure you are going to be first next year since you keep moving up one place every year. lol I don't doubt it. Since we moved to CdA 4 years ago we have rooted for you. Keep up the amazing work.

all the best,

Dawn and Sophie Saari (we used to live acorss street in peach house on 12th and Adams. Soph used to ride bikes with Eric's daughter) : )

Dawn Saari said...

oops sorry to post twice. I am a klutz with blog entries sometimes. Just means we think you are twice as wonderful. lol

Megan Mackenzie said...

Haley! My husband and I just moved back to Spokane, and lo and behold, you're in the local paper. Congratulations on your big finish!! I realize I'm a year or two behind the times with this blog, but I didn't know how else to get in touch with you. Would love to get together sometime if you're in the area (and if you have any ounce of free time!) Megan Mackenzie

Gomoescu Robert Professional TRI-athlet Romania said...

Hi Haley. :-* I wanted to tell you that I read a few things about you are an amazing woman and very very beautiful <3 love your beauty and your love life and all respect for everything you do. I wish you luck continues ...a smaller size fan like you by 10 years you <3 <3 <3