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Because it's there

Started: 2007-04-05 21:23:12

Submitted: 2007-04-05 21:46:49

Visibility: World-readable

"Because it's there" is a pretty good reason to climb mountains. I also happen to enjoy standing on top of mountains and looking out, and downloading the gps track log later. (That's another link to my shamelessly-self-promoted lifetime kml file, which I tend to update weekly with the places I've been. It's a great way to visualize hikes around Boulder Mountain Parks, at least those trails that I've hiked. (I still fantasize about generating average paths between my tracks and posting that.) On Sunday, I executed a hike I'll call "South Bear"; it involved parking at the South Mesa Trailhead and heading north along the Mesa Trail, turning west to climb Fern Canyon and Bear Peak, then heading across the saddle to South Boulder Peak, and dropping down Shadow Canyon to the trailhead I started at. I finally got around to figuring out how to use the route feature of my GPS receiver; I can string a bunch of waypoints together and it'll tell me when I'm about to hit one and make a turn. (Basically, it does pretty much everything I hoped it would do but never managed to investigate. This should come in handy if I try another winter ascent of Twin Sisters, when I can't see the trail above timberline. I looked at my old track logs in Google Earth, added waypoints for each turn, downloaded these waypoints onto my GPS receiver, and created a track. Have I mentioned that gpsbabel is a truly amazing piece of software?)

On Sunday, I also acquired a heart rate monitor, which features an EEG strap and a watch receiver which will tell me where I am within my target heart rate zone and estimate how many calories I've burned. At the moment, I think I'm in better physical shape than I've been at any point in my life except my senior year of high school (when I ran cross country in the fall, biked to school every day, and ran a 52-minute Bolder Boulder 10K in May), mostly from traipsing up and down hills, mountains, and other geographical features on a regular basis. My new plan is to add running to my exercise routine; so far this week, I managed to run on two evenings, and decided that I still have a little ways to go before I can declare myself in my best physical shape ever. (I still want a permanent heads-up display that displays my heart rate as well as other useful numbers, like blood oxygen and caffeine levels.)

(I'm currently on something not entirely unlike the Neil Gaiman diet, which he calls "The Don't Eat So Bloody Much and Would It Kill You To Take A Walk Now And Again Diet".)

In unrelated news, I'm flying to San Diego to spend the first three days of next week at my employer's Supreme Intergalactic Headquarters, which should be exciting and all. Having downloaded it an hour ago, I can hereby declare Stellarium to be amazingly-cool software (it's your own planetarium; or: It's 3 in the morning, do you know where Venus is?). And the new Arcade Fire record, Neon Bible, is my pick so far for best of 2007.