Ragnar Trail North Shore Oahu

Ragnar Trail OahuLast weekend (April 21–22), I participated in a Ragnar Trail race on the Hawaiian Island of Oahu.

The setting on the North Shore near Turtle Bay was very nice. The weather, however, was not nice. It rained the whole time (off and on). Sections of the trails were covered with puddles and ankle-deep mud, especially the yellow trail. Although the conditions weren’t at all what I was expecting when I signed up, the event was awesome.

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Build a Ski Boot Spreader Board

Ski Boot Spreader Board

To make it easier to do work on my ski boots, I needed to build a ski boot spreader board. A boot spreader board provides solutions for a couple problems:

  1. The ski binding attached to the board secures the boot in place while doing work.
  2. The board provides a way to hold open the boot flaps, which is useful for checking fit and getting equipment in place before executing shell stretches.

A boot spreader board is not always necessary when doing work on your ski boots, but it is nice to have available, and it is easy to build one at home. Here’s how I built and use my boot spreader board:

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Snowbird Tour

I took the day off work to go skiing at Snowbird. My goals for today were to ski the Upper Cirque and to film the view from atop some of the Upper Cirque chutes. I succeeded on both accounts, but I didn’t ski my run very well. The conditions weren’t great, and it had been a long time since I last skied anything that challenging, but I figured I could put it all together for one run. I did not, but that’s OK. I also accidentally passed the chute I had planned to ski. It’s one of my favorites, so I cut back across the next chute to get to it, which didn’t make for great footage, but I wanted to ski that chute because it was more familiar.

Washington State Trip

Our big trip this year was to Washington state in July. During our ten days there, we drove over 1,600 miles. We flew into Seattle and watched the Mariners play the Angels at Safeco Field. We visited Olympic, Mount Rainier and North Cascades National Parks, Vancouver, British Columbia, and we spent time exploring the area around Mount Baker.

I was most impressed by the incredible scale of the Cascade Range, especially Mount Rainier. Photos of Rainier’s somewhat rounded peak do not do it justice. Although Rainier’s profile isn’t as jagged as other peaks I’ve seen, nothing can compete with it on sheer vertical. While sitting on the porch of the National Park Inn inside Mount Rainier National Park, I was in awe that Rainier rises almost 12,000 feet above.

Oahu 2014

Last Thursday (October 30, 2014), I returned from a vacation to the Hawaiian Island of Oahu. The trip was very fun, but–make no mistake–Oahu is not a paradise. No paradise should be as crowded as Oahu! Kauai is a paradise. Oahu is more like an awesome playground, which is not a bad thing.

Over the course of my week-long trip, I hiked, surfed, kayaked, drove around the entire island (except for a 10-mile stretch west of Hale’iwa) and visited a lot of the major sites. I stayed very busy.

My only complaint about Oahu is in regards to the hiking. Oahu’s hiking simply cannot compare to the hiking on Kauai, in my opinion. It was difficult for me not to compare the two islands during this trip. For example, the biggest hike I did on Oahu was a portion of the Maunawili Trail. The trail did have a few excellent front-row views of the Ko’olau Range’s steep cliffs, but, overall, I was mostly bored by the scenery. The best parts of the Maunawili Trail were not even as good as the worst parts of the Kalalau Trail on Kauai. Oh, well. The hike was enjoyable, nonetheless.

Oahu does, however, seem to have more accessible water activities compared to Kauai. Waikiki is a perfect spot to learn how to surf. Kaneohe Bay is a calm bay great for a kayaking novice like myself. Hanauma Bay is a very inviting snorkeling area, although I do regret that I never made it back there to do some snorkeling on this trip.

Overall, this trip to Oahu went very well and I have very few regrets. So, now I’ve visited two of the six main Hawaiian Islands. I look forward to visiting the rest of the islands someday. Enjoy the photos and video!