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Valley Forge and Sequoia

August 15th, 2004 by

i’ve actually done a reasonable bit of being outdoors in the last few weeks

from the hikes.txt file:

07.31.2004 Valley Forge
Went with davidglasser to Valley Forge.
Meant to do a couple of mile out and back of the Horseshoe Trail
(which goes like 120 mile to the AT) but there was a sign saying the trail
was closed for regrowth, and we chose to respect that, and instead
went on the 1.2 mile long Valley Creek “Trail” which goes to this
wooden covered bridge dating back to 1865. Valley Forge has lots
of beautiful meadows and whatnot, but damn it was humid.
glasser and I had some good conversation.
So, including walk to and from car, ~2.5 miles,
no noticeable elevation gain.

08.07.2004 Tokopah Falls, Sequoia National Park
Hike 50 in the Sequoia/Kings Canyon region of “California Hiking”
Guidebook says 3.6 miles, signage says 1.7 miles one way, so let’s break
even and call it 3.5 miles, mmmmkay? 500′ elevation gain.
Really really nice little trail, going along the creek,
passing under beautiful trees and hitting many little
meadow areas. The last bit right before the falls
(which were only a trickle, but nice ones, when we went)
kind of has an old school Star Trek feel to it-
all rocky and desolate. Felt kind of staged.
Awesome little dayhike.
Went with ryan, danny, danny’s brother, his wife, glenn,
mark, chris, and another couple

08.08.2004 The Watchtower and Heather Lake, Sequoia National Park
8.2 or 9 mile hike, whether you believe the sign or the book.
~1900′ of elevation gain (7200 –> 9100). Starts at Wolverton
parking lot, and goes and goes, and you get up to the watchtower,
which is this giant stone edifice that I was too much of a wussy
to go on out to – the 1500 foot straight drop down intimidated me.
So I watch some of my group go out there. Then we continued on to
Heather Lake, a beautiful little alpine lake thing. Then the
others went on to the next lake (Emerald Lake) but I stayed
and waited at Heather Lake because I was having trouble with the elevations.
It was gorgeous up there. On the way down there was a stag in the trail.
Went with ryan, danny, chris, mark, glenn
Hike 47 under Sequoia in California Hiking.

08.15.2004 Fall Creek Trail
Did about 4.5 miles total, I would guess. This trail is barely listed,
But if you go up the Angeles Crest Highway, then turn on to the Angeles
Forest Highway, go for a few miles, and then park at Hidden Pines,
right after a tunnel, then go 500 feet up the road, the trailhead
is signed. Nominally 3 miles to the creek, but it was really hot
and boring, so we saw at about 2.25 miles that the creek was still
many hundreds of feet beneath us, and decided to turn back.
Goes on a sandy dirt path on a chaparral covered slope, with much
loose packed up and down. We saw a snake , too.
Me and rax.

Sequoia was freaking rad, despite the elevation being reasonably difficult for me. It was the first time I’ve ever been camping.
I need to go more. Word. All the rest of it was pretty cool too. I hope to go hiking each of the next two weekends before burningman, too. We shall see. Also, I’ve actually managed to go “running” (going slightly faster than a walk, around the block) for the last few days. This is something I keep picking up and then letting fall to the ground again, but every time I manage to do it for even a few days, I feel much the better for it.

Still very conflicted about the Isshinryu club out here – I love the style, and I want to keep practicing in it, but the sensei out here just has so little focus on detail and balance (mental and physical) that I just find it isn’t really giving me what I want or being very fulfilling. But every now and then he says some amazing things…I don’t know. Life is hard all around, eh?

Edited to add :

annabarr: Fall Creek Trail - August 15, 2004 &emdash; fall-creek-gorge
View down into Fall Creek Gorge, into which we did not make it

annabarr: heather lake &emdash; IMG_3374
In Sequoia. There are people in this image on that rock that you basically cannot see.

annabarr: Philly &emdash; horseshoeglasser
At Valley Forge, we took the shorter trail

May 10th, 2004 by

managed to get to karate again tonight.

the fact that the sun doesn’t set until late really seems to make the traffic last later and later. it was trafficky out until almost 7 pm. i still feel so weird about the classes. sensei sean has some great stuff to teach, but he is wicked focused on fighting. and he makes noise everytime he shows a strike (“shoom!”)

i miss the clarity and attention to detail from the mit club.

bah. too much to say. working out is good though.

April 26th, 2004 by

500 yard swum this morning. whee! before it got too hot, too.

karate this evening; more enjoyable that normal. normal sensei wasn’t there, one of the new dan rank guys is, and i really liked him. and also this other sensei who trained with the collamer-jones dojo in new york, which also follows master shimabuku , and not master angi uezu. who is also an amazing karateka, but yeah. you get used to certain styles of things. davila-sensei, out here, is just a bit too , i don’t know. something. informal, maybe.

why did i?

September 3rd, 2003 by

boston was all karate. got one more workout than i expected, due to turning over to fall schedule. so we went from T–>M workouts, so i got that last monday class. it was good. i’ve now been force fed the last bit of chinto kata. hopefully i will be able to self motivate and work on it on my own, or i *will* lost it all. although i will at least get some karate next week, i believe.

put my bike together this morning, and proceeded to go out a bit. downhill is great. oh, but my, do i suck at uphill. must conquer this. cannot be a bike weakling, can i? anyway, there is a bike path that goes right next to I-5, and skirted on the other side by the los angeles river. “river” i mean. have you read snow crash? where vitaly’s band plays? the la river. right. actually, there were lots of birds. i was surprised. watching ducks try to dive when they can only go down like 4 inches is funny. their butts stick out….

anyway, went a few miles, then the path ended. came back through griffith park. went to the ranger station, and asked if any of the trails were open to bikes, which they aren’t. but, this is kind of neat, it is because the bikes scare the *horses*. i can deal with this as a reason. and hey, people here ride western style. maybe i can even ride again.

vague plan to hike up mt hollywood tomorrow. complete with water fountains! or something. we’ll see.

August 16th, 2003 by

karate has been mostly it.

i went to an aikido class. in the small rolls at the beginning, i managed to catch my toes and pull them up very badly. this hurt quite a lot, but i went through the class nonetheless. it hurt more the next day. talking to my mom that day, i found out i still had health insurance, so i went to the hospital and spent 2 hours and whatnot getting xrays taken. fortunately, nothing broken.
but i have some nice bruising, which is always such a joy when you know it is all due to internal bleeding.

but karate is good. *sigh* just one more on the long list of things i will miss (even if i keep up with it, it won’t be the same – one more reason i should have applied to berkeley, eh? to work out there….. ah, the “important” reasons)

steve from our karate club just moved to miami. a bunch of us went to lunch in a somewhat-more-chinese-than-normal place in chinatown where they all knew him. while i couldn’t say i knew him well, i certainly knew him, i don’t know, personally.

did it

July 19th, 2003 by

yay new belt. well, some brown e tape on my belt. but that makes it new. test was a bitch, as i expected. commentary afterword was…enlightening, in that entirely muddled way.

dave is right though, they want something from me, for me to grow or change in some way. we’ll see. i think i understand what they want, but working towards it will certainly be a challenge. i think i have a good basis on which to stand now though. very sad, not so many classes left with the club.

but srinivas was there for the test! and chris came for the last couple of classes, and we haven’t seen him for 5-6 months, since just before his kid was born (understandably)

the hits just keep on coming

July 9th, 2003 by

monday, another 30 minute treadmill love fest, at 5.2 mph, so, marginally faster.

tuesday, 1 mile at 5.4mph, which seems to be a good speed for now that i can play with, then karate.

today, no running cause i went to the beach before karate. good class; we gave borthwick-sensei dorky texas baseball cap we got him, that has borthwick-sensei embroidered on the back. he liked. 🙂

TESTING. July 19th, noon-2, wrestling room. scary scary. come watch them make me do hard things.

couple of days

July 2nd, 2003 by

yesterday, went sailing again with jenny. dwight suggested she take out the new tech dinghy, so we got the shiny boat, that also handled a little funny. i also got a boathouse card. i *am* a winner. of course, i’m only rated to swim. but whatever.

yesterday and today were karate. smallish classes; a lot of people are out of town. no class on saturday, as the z center is closed for the holiday weekend. banks sensei is the only one of the senseis around, so class has a slightly different timbre. a good one. also ran a bit before class today (treadmill, didn’t feel quite up to braving the mid-afternoon sun). i’m in pisspoor running shape, will have to do more of that. did ~1.5 miles, in about 18 minutes. i would like to be able to get up to 3 miles or so, at least at a 12 minute mile, and work up speed from there.

tourney

June 30th, 2003 by

saturday was the IWKA tournament, in dallas.
friday afternoon was the seminar with master shimabuku (who is actually apparently going to the dojos in berkeley this week – if i had chosen the other schedule, i could have seen him there as well, oh well).

anyway, the seminar was neat. the tournament was….enlightening. it was very obvious that the various sets of judges were scoring (mostly) for…i don’t quite know. speed. power. i really felt like they were looking much less for artistry and elegance and understanding. although i do suppose that with speed and power it is somewhat easiser to look like you are actually fighting someone.

all of our senseis did sai kata, and basically got smacked down in the scoring. the greatest majority of the other dan ranks did bo or tonfa kata, both of which look much flashier. dave also did bo kata, but his performance was mostly just ok (i’ve personally seen him do it better).

in the open hand kata,they also didn’t much like our senseis. i guess they weren’t flashy enough (same goes for my performance). dave did what i would swear was his best ever performance of sanchin kata. unfortunately, this kata involves a lot of sanchin breathing, aka, slowness and controlled breathing and whatnot. and the judges didn’t like it much. jake was doing really well, but messed up a bit. for all that, he scored ok. steve they liked, he got 3rd in his division (despite also making a mistake, which he almost didn’t show. he got 2 really high scores, who are the ones we think didn’t notice). in my division though, it was cool, katherine did her kata (seiuchin) , which, as we do it, also has a lot of slow bits. i was sitting there thinking “damn, she looks good. but i bet the judges won’t like it. she’s too graceful” much to my surprise and pleasure, they scored her really high, and she won 2nd.

sparring is sparring. a lot of the people were kind of out of control. our two senseis who sparred, well, let’s just say that in the black belt divisions, you get some crazy people, and they just lost on points in the first match. steve lost his bout, although this sort of hyper guy he was sparring was getting kind of freaked by steve being unflappable. but steve still got third in his division, on points.

jake won two straight bouts on points, lost his third, got 3rd in *his* division. way to go. he was doing really really well for his rank. his comment “if you come at my head screaming, i say , hmm, you seem to be screaming and attacking my head. well, i block and punch you. point!” katherine was taking it easy and lost her bout. this also was my division, of course. i won my first bout easy, 3-0, although we did get tangled at one point and i took a fairly heavy fall, which was fine except for the jamming of the finger. but then i lost my second, 3-1, although, meh, i wasn’t going for headshots at all, i’m leery of hurting people, but whatever, i still got 2nd.

the best part, really though, was talking to all my clubmates about everything and everybody we saw there. that was really great. we all love the karate we do, and analyzing it and why we do it , and what exactly we and others do really makes the day.

Edited to add a pic of Banks-sensei. Most of the pics I took are garbage, but I do love this one:


annabarr: Misc &emdash; Sitting

gar

June 11th, 2003 by

this is easier if i do it daily. ah well.

swam on monday, 1000 yards. i only really do crawl and breaststroke, interspersed with using the kickboard and leg floaty thing (ie, restricting your use to your legs and your arms, respectively). i actually feel like i might be improving my strokes a little, which is good. no swimming this week though, cause the pool is closed. 😛

karate yesterday. more of the same. my kata is progressing reasonably. matt gave me some more good comments which i hope to be able to incorporate today. one of the things i want to work on the most is to just pick a speed to perform the kata it, and stick to it. i rush when i’m performing for judges, and then go too slow when i’m just doing it for commentary. and i need to work a couple of my stances more. but it seems to be progressing.

i wonder if wren-sensei and heath-sensei in berkeley will have anything to say about it. especially wren-sensei. she is amazing!