Kevin Hellriegel's Blog of Worthless Advice

The only blog that you really want to read…or ignore.

Tag Archives: hiking

Tired of having a home? The Guide to living the Homeless Lifestyle (the Correct Way)!

I sometimes worry myself about how I can even figure this stuff out…..

Ok, maybe you just can’t handle the whole “owing a house or renting an apartment” thing.  Maybe you are more suited to living in your car or in a shipping crate by the railroad tracks.  Perhaps that is more of your housing style, however, what will you do about showers, laundry, and sleeping arrangements?

Not to worry dear readers, my worthless advice about “How to Be Homeless” will give you all the awesome advice (or perhaps worthless advice) you need to be successful as a homeless person.

In addition, my tips will allow you to save money and become a success in your personal and professional life.  Remember, homeless doesn’t mean you are jobless!  And homeless doesn’t mean not having a vehicle either!  It only means you don’t have a home!

Shall we begin?

  1. Be Clean: Join a 24/7 Fitness Gym with shower facilities that has many locations.  A hot shower, free soap and shampoo, free towels, and a shave?  And you exercise too?  Sign me up!
  2. Dump Your Garbage.  Learn where all the public parks are located at.  Free garbage service and access to some interesting bathroom options.
  3. Learn where all the Starbucks ae located (Just kidding…there is one on every corner).
  4. Hide right under their Noses: Find Fire Stations or Police Stations to park at.  You can certain park your car in the visitor parking lot for a few hours or overnight.  Who is going to check?
  5. Hang out in Plain Sight.  Park your Honda right at the Honda dealership or  Honda Mechanic’s Garage parking lot.  One more care isn’t going to be noticed.  Or if you have a white van, put a made up delivery company logo on your van…your van is now a delivery van.  Park it in the back of a UPS store.  You now look like you below there.
  6. Enjoy Food: Not having a home means your food budget is now huge!  You can eat out all the time or you can eat healthy salads you make in the backseat.  Yum!
  7. Visit relatives/friends during the holidays.  Bless them with your presence for two or three nights.
  8. Find locations off the beaten path that offer free power. Invest in a long extension cord from that rest stop bathroom to your car.
  9. Find 24 hour Laundromats.  Do laundry, drink beer, and watch TV.  Everyone wins here!
  10. Find 24 hour Businesses.  You can park in their parking lot and they will never know.  People are always coming and going and your car will look like an employee’s car.
  11. Get a Post Office Box for your mail.  But ideally, pay everything online.  Have auto deposit and auto pay systems set up.

Enjoy these eleven awesome “How to be Homeless Tips!”  Remember, you don’t have to let society dictate to you on how to live your life!  You can still have a nice car or van, be a clean person, have a good job, and be a productive member of society by using my proven system!

Happy Homelessness!

Do you have some awesome advice?  Well, keep it to yourself.  We want only worthless and sarcastic comments below.  Hmm, maybe you can add a few tips…go ahead…comment below and hit the “Like” button too.

beautiful-1846474_1920

 

 

Pilot Ridge Hike – 30 miles in 3 Days

This coming weekend I’m headed out on a 3 Day/30 mile Boy Scout backpacking trip outside of Darrington, WA. We will be hiking the Pilot Ridge Hike picked by one of my senior scouts (who runs cross country and is in great shape). So you can imagine, I’m a little concerned about the least fit members of our backpacking trip. I’ve nicknamed it Anthony’s Death March in his honor.

The weather conditions this coming weekend will be sun and showers on Friday, with mostly clear skies on Saturday and Sunday.   I’m not too worried about the weather. I’m more worried about the actual hiking and backpacking. The elevation gain and loss on this hike is quite a bit. The bonus of sleeping outside two nights on the hard ground is also a big draw. Hmm, nice hard ground instead of my soft bed. Gee, I can’t wait.

I’m not too worried about the backpacking part except for my backpack will be much larger than my day pack. You have to carry everything you need for three days. At least it is summer time here so I can carry less of my backup gear. I still carry all of the Ten Essentials…plus #11 Toilet Paper and #12 Duct Tape.

http://www.wta.org/hiking-info/basics/ten-essentials

I don’t have a problem hiking. In fact, I did some high elevation hiking in Colorado in July. But backpacking is a lot different than car camping. You don’t have a nice established campsite with easy access to water and flush toilets. Camping in the backcountry is you, out there in the wilderness, making sure you have enough food and water for your entire stay. You have to be prepared. You need a decent shelter, food, water, a water filter/pump, and a handy dandy Hello Kitty LED flashlight.

When I was younger, I loved to do backpacking and camping. I still enjoy being outside hiking; the backpacking part isn’t as appealing as it once was. I’m older and sleeping on the ground just isn’t that enjoyable.

Needless to say, I’m looking forward to doing a backpacking trip with my son. We have gone camping a lot as a family and on numerous Boy Scout camping trips. This will be a fun final trip before he gets his Eagle Scout rank.

Do you have any fun day hikes or backpacking trips planned?

 

What's for dinner?

What’s for dinner?

Happy Mother’s Day! A message from your favorite Worthless Advice Blogger!

A Happy Mother’s Day to all the awesome moms that take the time to read my blog; I do appreciate you taking the time away from your kids to read my words of wisdom (or rather my Blog of Worthless Advice). Of course, by reading your blog you are really just learning how to be an even better mother than before, right?
Well, it probably has been a month since I last posted something; which is just plain awful. I was swamped with work (and still am) so I’ve put a lot of projects on the back burner. Then, when I do have free time, I’ve been working on Boy Scout projects or hikes. In fact, last month we did a service project and managed to get in a hike. I’ve decided to include my Girl Scout troop in on these hikes and the girls do just. Our last hike was on May 2 to Taylor Mountain here in King County. I thought it was going to be between 3 to 5 miles but we logged in 8.65 miles on a wonderfully sunny Pacific Northwest day! You can’t complain when you get a great hike in!
I’m still behind on my work, but I’m fairly confident, I can catch up this week. Of course, this is what I say every week. But again, I think I can do it this week. It’s all about positive thinking, right?

Kauai, Maui, Sunny March Weather in Seattle! Oh My!

IMG_5778Yesterday, we had some beautiful sunny March weather here in Seattle. I was actually out on my back deck enjoying the sunshine and working on my suntan. It must have been about 65-70 degrees out. Even after we “sprung” ahead into Daylight Savings Time, I got some stuff around the house accomplished. So spending a few minutes on the back deck with my wife and daughter was a treat that was well deserved.

We usually, have pretty gray weather around here in March but not lately. Last week, we went hiking in the sun.   I have been able to preserve my Hawaii tan for a lot longer than I thought I would. Yes, dear readers, I was gone for two weeks to Hawaii in February. I spent a week on Kauai with my daughter visiting my parents and then we flew to Maui and join my wife and my son for another week. Life is rough.

My last trip to Hawaii was two years ago and that was to Kauai. I haven’t been to Maui in 15 years. To be honest, both are wonderful places but I prefer Kauai. I admit I lean towards Kauai (since I went to school there and lived on Kauai as a teenager). My wife likes Maui because she use to live there. As I always say, Hawaii is a great place to visit but not as fun to live there.

Koi Fish Pond

Koi Fish Pond

What? How can I say that? How can I say Hawaii isn’t an awesome place to live? When you take a vacation, everything is awesome. I’m relaxed, I don’t worry about money, and I’m living in a nice condo resort with hot tubs, swimming pools, and sunny beaches. I picture myself relaxing and drinking every day of my life if I lived in Hawaii. Heck, every time I’m on vacation I think how wonderful it would be to live in Washington, NYC, Eastern Washington, etc. Where ever I am at, I can picture me enjoying living there. My family and I would be hanging out at the pool every day. In reality, you have to work or you would be retired. Ah, retirement. But you would be doing the same thing as you would be doing now. Just in a warmer, humid climate.

Now, I’m not turning down the opportunity to move to Kauai or Hawaii in general if someone offered me a job there. Both my wife and I know what it is like to live there.   But rest assured dear readers, I’m still a few years away from retirement, I haven’t won the lottery, and my online business hasn’t taken off where I can retire from school photography just yet.

Do you have a place you wish you could move to? What is holding you back from moving or even taking a vacation?Kaua'i -  The Garden Isle

Twin Falls State Park Hike – North Bend, WA

image3

Twin Falls in North Bend….no one fell in so the hike was a success in my book!

The semester ended for our kids this past Monday so the whole school district has to let the kids off for the day. I’m not sure if my kids really go to school for a full five days in a row. What, with all the holidays, late start days, etc. my kids never seem to go to school for a full week.

Wait children….

However, we aren’t here to complain about the state of our education system. Instead we are here to chat about another great little hike here in the Seattle area. It is the Twin Falls Hike off of I-90 in the North Bend area. This is a short hike coming in at only two miles round trip.

Of all the years I have live here, I have never done this hike. With all of this great winter weather we have been having lately, I thought we should take advantage of going on an easy hike during the “off season” of hiking. (Die hard hikers would say there is never an “off season”). From what I have read about this hike, it is a fairly popular hike especially during the summer. Consider it is January and we usually have a bunch of rain, I figured this is as a good time as any to do this hike.

Luckily, I checked the trail report at wta.org and learned that there was a washout on the trail to the Twin Falls. This would stop is if we left from the traditional trailhead off of Exit 34. Good thing I check it out before we started our hike. The Wta.org website is an excellent resource for all hikes in Washington State and I highly recommend checking it out before any hike.

We modified our starting point to the Ollalie State Park parking lot off of Exit 38. You start your hike on the Iron Horse Trail for about half a mile until you come to the spur/trail to the Twin Falls trail. The Iron Horse Trail is an old Burlington Northern railroad bed (now a service road) so the downhill grade is mild for about half a mile. The trail to Twin Falls is clearly marked (from the Iron Horse Trail) and you won’t miss it (unless your face is buried in your phone texting a friend).

After you leave the Iron Horse Trail and use the Twin Falls Trail, you will be going downhill for about 3/4 of a mile. Just remember, you will be going down and that means the way back is uphill.

Easy trail down for my hiking partners and myself. In our hiking band, we had my wife, my daughter, and another Girl Scout (and friend) with us. No one complained about the hike so that means it is a fairly easy one for 12 year old girls and 40 year old parents.

For all you math geeks, the different route brings this hike in at 2.5 miles.

Awesome detailed map of where you will be lost. The best part? You won’t have a clue of where you are at!

Overall, this hike is a good family hike and easy to do. We left the Covington area around 2 pm and we’re back to Covington by 5 pm. That included a stop at McDonalds for hot fudge sundaes (for the girls). Hey, I’m working out so I can win the Fat Ass Dads Weight Loss Challenge so I’m skipping that stuff. Well, until I get home…then I pig out and cry into my bowl of chocolate peanut ice cream….

At least Cyndi (my imaginary stalker) cares….

See those two dots? Those would be the kids I’m suppose to be in charge of.

Let’s Talk About YOU! (Because obviously talking about me isn’t working….)

With the weather turning to gray overcast skies, even the die hard optimist can get a bit depressed with the rainy weather. Everything around you can be depressing; the wet roads, the bad traffic, the gray skies, the rain, the gray skies, the rain, the cold 40-50 degree weather. Did I mention the gray skies and rain?

IMG_4300

It isn’t always bad here in the Pacific Northwest but you would think it is because of all the lousy weather we are currently having. We had great weather up until the middle of October. Now, it is the normal Seattle weather. I tend to be very busy at work (since I am a school photographer) during this time of year. I don’t notice how bad it is until I have a little breathing room. And with Daylight Savings Time ending, you really notice that it isn’t nice here anymore. It isn’t as bad as Alaska but you do notice that it gets really dark around 4 pm everyday. We haven’t even seen the worst of it yet. The shortest day of the year: December 21 Winter Solstice.

That means from now until December 21, the days will get shorter and the people of Seattle will die a little more each day.

I don’t really care. To me, it is just another day in a series of depressing days where I live my life. Oh, before you get all concerned about my well being, just know that this blog post is about you, not me. I can weather any storm my way. I just jump on YouTube and get all pumped up by listening to some Tony Robbins or Les Brown. I like the crappy weather because it forces me to look at what I’m doing in my business and life.

Now, some people can’t handle all the rain and gray skies around Seattle. They complain, they mope around, yet here they still are…wet and whining in the Emerald City called Seattle.

For me, the rain and gray skies bring my busy work season. I know during this time of the year, I’ll be making the bulk of my income as a school photographer. I know that I’ll be busy working 60-80 hours a week. I know I’ll be getting up at 5 am, putting in a 12-15 hour day. On top of my work day I will also need to be a dad, a Scoutmaster, an aikido student and teacher, and a blogger. I will be attempting to balance my work life with my personal life during the months of the fall school photography season.

My darling wife is also more than willing to point out that I pretty much have summers off (work free) as a trade off for my busy, crazy fall. However, during this hectic fall season, I also think I should be creating an online business of some sort to balance out my income. I imagine it would be extremely nice to have a summer schedule during the rest of the eight months of the year. Don’t you think it would be nice to have a few extra thousand or tens of thousands of dollars to live on and invest in my retirement? People who say money isn’t important must not be too concerned about the future (or even the present). Money can’t buy happiness? But it sure makes life a lot more enjoyable!

What makes you survive the fall season? Do you feel you live in a better area and therefore can make fun of schmucks like me?

As always your sarcastic and non-sarcastic comments are welcome! At least hit that like button!

This is Boy Scouts, not Whiney Scouts!

Yesterday, our Boy Scout troop hiked through the Ape Caves. This isn’t the easiest of hikes, nor is it the hardest of hikes, but it is a hike. You will be walking, climbing, scrambling over piles of boulders, and getting wet. Now, my Boy Scouts took all of this in stride. However, we had some visitors (age 11) from a local Cub Scout pack with us. The Cub Scouts were fine, it is their adult leader that was a pain.

One situation that sticks out in my mind from yesterday’s hike was climbing the lava fall (like a dry waterfall). It is an eight foot wall (drop) and we were climbing up it. To be honest, if your kid likes to climb trees or climb the playground structure at his local elementary school, he can climb this wall. My Girl Scouts could climb this wall (disclaimer: My Girl Scout troop is pretty much fearless and they do an awesome job. In fact, they do a lot of things better than boys. That is for another blog post. And there is nothing wrong like “throwing like a girl”.)

So Mr. Gung Ho Webelos Leader gets to this wall and says “Oh, we can’t climb this. Looks like we need to turn around.” What? I don’t think so. We don’t give up because of a small wall. We passed little kids in this lava tube cave that made it up and down this wall. We passed people that had extra padding on themselves (they were overweight) and they made it up and down this wall. You bet your candy ass, we are making it up this wall.

Sure some of the younger scouts were a little scared but nothing to the point where they were having an epic meltdown. They were frightened but nothing to where we needed to turnaround. Using the EDGE method (Explain, Demonstrate, Guide, Enable), we allowed the older scouts to go up, then some of the younger ones, and finally the fat ass old adults.😄

We helped the Webelos Scouts up and they didn’t have a problem making it up. Sure, it might be a little scary but you don’t give up. Overcoming a little hurdle makes a big different in helping to build their self esteem and demonstrating that teamwork helps to accomplish your goals.

You also have to push your child sometimes. A little motivation from older Boy Scouts and other leaders (other than your parents) can be helpful to get over those whiney moments. A little push in the right direction never hurt anyone.

So what happen to the scouts that were a little afraid? They all made it up the wall. Five minutes later the fear of the wall was a distant memory and they were scrambling over the next pile of rocks.

I asked the scouts afterwards “Did you have fun?” This is when they all broke down, started crying uncontrollably, and said they hated me and Boy Scouts. They screamed and asked in their high pitched voices (between all the sobs and sniffles), why I made them do it.

I didn’t wait for an answer, I just turned and walked away. Jumped in the Green Van of Doom and drove myself home. Bye, bye whiney scouts!!

Some other data from the cave hike: we had six Boy Scouts ranging in ages (12-15), three registered Boy Scout Adult Leaders, a Webelos Leader, and three Webelos scouts (ages 10-11). It took our little band about 2 hours to go through the Upper Ape Cave. We started at the lower entrance and exited out thought the upper entrance. Due to recent rain, the cave/tunnel is wet and there is a lot of water dripping. Be sure to wear waterproof clothes to stay dry. Temperatures in the caves average 42 degree F year round. A single person or a group of two (in reasonably good health HWP) could probably whip through the tunnel more quickly. The hike back is very easy. Make sure you take two sources of light (headlamps were better than flashlights), extra batteries, etc. No food is allowed in the caves.

IMG_4276.JPG

IMG_4287.JPG

Loon Lake Vacation: A week of our family together and we didn’t kill each other!

Loon Lake Vacation: A week of our family together and we didn’t kill each other!

This summer, instead of spending a week on the Oregon Coast, our family went to Loon Lake in Eastern Washington.  Sure, it isn’t Southern California with Disneyland but I wanted to go somewhere to read a book, play some board games, swim, canoe, and just plain relax.

Eagle on our lawn!

To be honest, I have never been to Loon Lake but with the handy dandy internet it appeared to be a good choice. 

Where the heck is Loon Lake?  Loon Lake is about 26 miles north of the city of Spokane and an easy drive north from the downtown Spokane area on U.S. Highway 395.  As I said before, we have never been to Loon Lake but I did do some research on the internet, asked a few friends (who where from the Spokane area), and it turned out to be a good choice.  We rented a house right on Loon Lake with the thought that we would have another family come with us.  As it turned out, no one else could make it (or maybe they just didn’t want to spend a week with me?).  Nevertheless, we had a nice family vacation with just the four of us.

The other bonus (of Loon Lake) was our mobile phones didn’t work (no cell signal) and we had no wi-fi/internet at the house we had rented.  We were disconnected and it was very nice to be out of the loop.  No Facebook, no Google searches, no email; just books to read, games to play, canoes to paddle, and a warm lake to swim in.

Our house was located on the east shore of Loon Lake so we had a sunset to admire every night.  The weather was a mix of sunshine, rain, and thunderstorms.  We had some awesome lightening storms a few nights while we were at Loon Lake.

The wildlife around Loon Lake is abundant.  We had a bald eagle that landed on our lawn with a huge fish one morning, lots of ducks, loons, etc.  The fishing is Loon Lake is supposed to be very good as well.  They stock it with silver salmon in the spring and our neighbor mentioned several other kinds of fish.  I’m not much of a fisherman, so I didn’t pay too much attention to the list of fish mentioned.

One drawback to our vacation house was the lake was a bit shallow off our beach and dock area.  You could swim but it took a while for you to get to a deep enough spot to swim.  It was only five feet deep 50-75 yards off our beach and it was very mucky (if you put your feet down and tried to touch the bottom).  If we come back to Loon Lake, I would like to have a vacation house with a beach with a steeper slope and less muck off the beach.Loon Lake house

We brought a canoe and this allowed us to paddle out to a swim dock (that one of our neighbors had anchored in deeper water).  We had a great time jumping off the float and swimming in the deeper water.  In August, the Loon Lake water is very clear and warm.  It was warm enough that I wish I had brought along my snorkel gear; I’m sure I would have enjoyed myself for a few hours swimming around.

Loon Lake is a fairly large lake at 1,100 acres.  It is about 2 miles long and 1 mile wide with a depth of 100 feet at its deepest point.  You will see jet skis and water ski boats driving around, but it wasn’t too busy during the week we stayed.  I wasn’t annoyed by the noise and most of the time; you can’t hear a ski boat on the other side of the lake.  I’m not sure that Loon Lake has a public boat launch or a public beach.  Perhaps the lack of a public boat launch keeps the crazy boaters off the lake?

loon Lake, Washington

If we come back to Loon Lake next summer, we will most likely come a week or two earlier in the month of August and look for a smaller cabin/house if it just the four of us again.  The house was too large for us.  We will look for a smaller house, maybe one with a hot tub.  We would also be nice to have a water ski boat (but I haven’t been waterskiing for about 18 years or longer).  Or some loud jet skis!  So if you have either, you are already invited for next summer’s Loon Lake vacation.

making peace with the wrong side of 40

My midlife crisis made me want to live simply. Unfortunately, there isn't much simple about it most days.

New England Nomad

All Things New England

Evil Squirrel's Nest

Where all the cool squirrels hang out!

Abbey Co.

Seattle mom Turned Lifestyle Blogger - Lover of Food, Wine, Fresh Air and Family Time

The Phil Factor

Where Sarcasm Gets Drunk and Let's Its Hair Down

The Brasharian

style and culture blog

Appetite for Sexual Destruction

Welcome to the Jungle that is online dating in your 30s...

Everything Southern

lifestyle blog

joeyackles2

Hopeless & Waiting

kristina gallo - Broken rules

psychology, society, relations, business

UpChucking Words

Puking up Poetry, One Verse at a Time

Rebel Housewife

Wife. Mother. Employee. Blessed, stressed, living the real {good} life.

minmylife

Minimizing in your life to achieve your dreams!

Letters From The Sky

a personal journal

Alex Lehman

Her work. Her thoughts. Her life

%d bloggers like this: