Charlie and I worked with John where we first met at Whole Foods for two years. Not only that, but he also lived in our same neighborhood for two years! We bonded with John’s love for dogs, work ethic, and healthy lifestyle.
Fast forward two years after changing jobs, homes, and even our lifestyles too, John and his girlfriend Barbara, randomly saw me running nearby Green Lake and we decided to catch up soon over a hike.
Our plans ended up coming last minute on a Sunday. After deciding to meet we had to do our grocery shopping for the week. Our moods, unfortunately, turned sour. I don’t know what it is about doing grocery shopping on Sundays, maybe it’s the crowd, but it always rubs us wrong. Sadly we postponed the shopping this week, and we were now taking forever to meet with friends we hadn’t seen in years.
I think it was past 3pm when we were finally able to pull everything together and be on our way. The start of the morning we were thinking about Lake 22… by 3pm, we needed to improvise. Barbara picked a place on Squak Mountain in Issaquah. Issaquah is actually where I grew up, but I had never taken hikes there! My mom and sister typically chose hikes in North Bend or Snoqualmie.
Driving up the mountain I reminisced about high school memories I had there. Once we hit the trail, it actually took me back to a trail I had been on near Lake Sammamish when I was in Elementary School. I love how different places can come together in your mind and it creates a special space and releases something from your brain…dopamine? Is that just me? If that doesn’t make sense… Essentially, I instantly felt at home being in the woods. >.>
After getting sidetracked, I looked behind me to see John feeding his dog Bentley carrots. Bentley is an Australian shepherd. Saying he is full of life and energy is an understatement, even for the breed! I had a blast hiking with this dog and it inspired me to maybe try hiking with Gizmo again… he is more of a sniffer.
The Bullitt Fireplace trail on Squak Mountain is easy itself and wide almost throughout. One bummer was that it was pretty muddy due to the lack of sunshine passing the bulk trees surrounding us. The sight of bright moss and wet leaves above however made up for the soggy ground.
I was feeling good and let the negative morning stay behind me as I kept climbing the incline. Even for how short the trail was, with it being so steep I was really able to get my heart rate up, especially in the spurts tagging along with Bentley. Once we got to even ground I waited for the rest of the gang. It was a great moment to myself, letting my heart rate slow down and paying more attention to my breath.
The rest of the hike we stuck together and talked about life and of course, Whole Foods. It’s one of those places where once you leave you’re instantly a part of the “you’ve made it!” club.
The Bullitt Fireplace destination was probably the least visually impactful we have experienced, Mother Nature wise, but was cool in its history. It was also a bit of an awkward space for multiple parties to enjoy together due to the natural acoustics of the trees.
Getting down must have been super fast because I barely even remember it! Except for discussing running. At this point, I don’t think I had even ran 5 miles before. I was feeling excited and determined though. Having people to connect with seriously on a health and fitness level, even in the Pacific Northwest, is surprisingly hard to find… but is so much fun when you do!
Likeness – 2/5
Difficulty – 2/5
Squak Mountain, Issaquah, hiking – October 8 at 3:20pm – 61 degrees
31:03 avg pace, 16:48 best pace
1,194 elev gain
121 bpm avg hr, 164 bpm max hr