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Work Trip

This week was a different one for me being that from Tuesday through Friday I was overseeing a rails to trails project over in Ellensburg in Central Washington.  Bryan and I had one good last day on Monday with our last swing dance class and a walk to get burgers at Lil’ Woody’s which was a tasty treat.  I then packed up and woke up at the crack of dawn on Tuesday to get on the road and to the site by 7am.

Generally what my shoes and pants looked like the entire time.
Generally what my shoes and pants looked like the entire time.

All four days yielded more or less the same experience on the site; I walked to the tunnel to spend time watching the crew, walked by to the car to warm up, repeat several times a day, eat lunch in my car, use the port-a-potty.  Tuesday though I managed to step in a puddle of mud that went past my ankle which made me squeal and made me super eager to get my boots and socks off.  Tuesday was beautifully sunny and warm and I saw a herd of deer drinking along the Yakima River that runs along the track and there was no joke at least 70 of them.  Thursday I had visitors, those being the project lead from my company, the owner from the Washington Parks Department and a park ranger who didn’t want to get his feet dirty so he stayed in the truck.  The tunnel was for the most part very dusty/dirty and loud.

Love it
Love it
Absolutely beautiful day
Absolutely beautiful day
And a few more.
And a few more.
Just some of the deer.
Just some of the deer.
The east portal to Tunnel 46.
The east portal to Tunnel 46.
The Yakima River was a pretty site.
The Yakima River was a pretty site.

Post work activities generally included soaking for a while in the hot tub, getting dinner in Ellensburg (7 minute drive from hotel) checking the front desk for their freshly baked chocolate chip cookies, and then tucking myself into my too-big king size bed to watch something on TV.  I did have some great meals while I was on my trip, of course, they all tasted good after spending an entire day outside.  I also appreciated the breakfast in the hotel for snacks to take with me during the day.

Japanese bento box with tempura shrimp and vegetable, pork shumai, chicken teriyaki, salad, and eel and avocado roll along with a miso soup that is not shown. Can you say "huge"?!?!
Japanese bento box with tempura shrimp and vegetable, pork shumai, chicken teriyaki, salad, and eel and avocado roll along with a miso soup that is not shown. Can you say “huge”?!?!
Pretty good Middleeastern food at Kabob House; falafel, chicken schwarma, and a huge greek salad.
Pretty good Middleeastern food at Kabob House; falafel, chicken schwarma, and a huge greek salad.
I forgot how good Pita Pit is! Yum!!
I forgot how good Pita Pit is! Yum!!

Wednesday was the highlight of the week as I set out for a very nearby hike right after the crew finished up, around 3:30 pm, to stretch my legs.  I chose the closest hike to me that I knew I could do in under 2 hours and that was the Westberg Trail just a short 25 minutes from the site and only 15 minutes from the hotel.  The trail had snow on it but that was so packed down it was rather slick in some areas.  It was a tad slow going but the fresh (and clean) air and the sun that had come out in the afternoon got me excited.  It was a steady 2 mile hike to the top with a gain of 1780′ that provided really good views of the valley.  I saw no wildlife which was a relief to me and only saw five people on the trail.  I was up and down within 2 hours and had worked up a good sweat.  It was a fun thing to do after work and was so conveniently close.

Westberg Trail
Westberg Trail
Heading up
Heading up
The sun just setting over the ridge.
The sun just setting over the ridge.
The top of Westberg Trail.
The top of Westberg Trail.
Me at the top. Note all warm stuff but the hat has come off...I was sweaty!
Me at the top. Note all warm stuff but the hat has come off…I was sweaty!

I had my eyes on other hikes in the area but both Thursday and Friday were rainy in the afternoon.  Today after the site finished up I hit the road to make the trip back to Seattle to meet Bryan and then back in the car to meet our friends at Steven’s Pass for the weekend.  We have a cabin rented for 10 of us and Bryan and I will be skiing at least Saturday and Sunday if not also Monday.  I’m looking forward to having company and people to talk to again.  And I’ll be ready to be back at my desk in the office again!

It was fun while it lasted!

Chelsea

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