The last time I did a "looking back" post for August, it started like this: August was a good month! As usual, it was filled with lots of outdoor activities, family and friends! I love summer! Well this year sure is different! Not that I do not love summer, but this year was not filled with very many outdoor activities, family or friends! In fact, COVID, topped with a healthy dose of forest fires, has really put the kibosh on pretty much everything! But I still managed to eek out a few "summer" activities!
Running: I won't lie; running has been a bit meh lately. I am having a hard time getting motivated to go out, and the fact that there were several very hot weeks, and then thunderstorms and then smoke, has only added to my enthusiasm, or lack thereof. However, I did get out and about each weekend a little, including a fun hike with my brother and Dad at the beginning of the month. Total running miles ended up being 215 miles, including the hiking trip.
|Running in the smoke|
Reading: Some people watch a lot of Netflix; other people read a lot of books! I fit very strongly into the latter camp. In August I read 11 books (7 of them were audiobooks). My favorites were (1) Unorthodox: this is a book about a Hasidic Jewish girl in Brooklyn and her struggles to live within the confines of her religious group. I learned a lot, for instance, did you know that the Hasidic women all shave their heads and then wear a wig or a shawl? (2) One of Us is Lying: this book reminded me of The Breakfast Club; it is about a group of highschoolers and one of them dies unexpectedly and we have to find out if he was killed, and by whom. Each person has a distinct personality and it is fun to try to figure out who-done-it. (3) Know my Name: this book was about a woman who got assaulted on the Stanford campus and how helpless she felt. It was powerful and had many uncomfortable moments, but it really makes you feel how she felt (and still feels) after the trauma.
Travel: Ah, travel, what is that? Just kidding. At the beginning of the month, I met up with my brother and my Dad and we did a backpacking trip in the Sierras for a couple of days. This was a lot of fun, as it's been a while since we have done a hike together (I think the last one was climbing Mount Shasta in 2013; can that be right?) It was fun to be with the guys and also interesting to see the dynamic change. My Dad used to plan everything and carry everything and be the leader and this time, we decided on the location together, I planned all of the meals and carried all of the food and had the maps, and my brother carried my Dad's tent. We are now peers more than father and kids and it is fun to make decisions together. Other than that trip, I spent the rest of the weekends at home.
|Hiking with the lads|
Etc. & Misc.: Speaking of spending the weekends at home, I have been studying a lot and taking some breaks to experiment with making dehydrated food, protein bars and balls for backpacking (anybody have a protein bar/ball recipe with no flour and no sugar that is high in calories and stays together and can be carried on the trail for several days?) If asked what I spent the majority of my money on in the past 6 months, it would definitely be food! Other than that, I have been picking things from the garden (figs, tomatoes, peppers) and hanging out with Gato.
What have you been up to? Do you have any good book recommendations? What was the most fun thing you did in August?