Sunshine and Some Outdoor Time

Everyday I check my iPhone to see what the weather will be, cross my fingers for some sunshine, and then pack my rain coat and boots regardless of what the weather app tells me. After 5 years here I’ve finally learned that Mother Nature seems to have a permanent case of PMS in the fall and is constantly changing her mind. What starts out nice can instantly turn to downpour, especially when you have something important going on outside. But for this weekend I have it on good authority that she’ll be in a good mood and will be bestowing upon us ample amounts of sunshine and vitamin D :) So in honor of what may be the last sunny (and not freezing) weekend of the year, I’ve compiled a little list of ways you can have some fun outside.

Go for a hike

Seattle has been named one of the best cities for outdoor exercise in the country because of  the many beautiful trails and parks both in and around the city. If you’re looking for an           easy walk you can check out the Arboretum, Discovery Park, Alki Beach, Seward Park             Loop, Greenlake, or Carkeek park. If you haven’t been to Carkeek park and stood on the bridge that the trains zoom under I would highly recommend you go.

If you’re in the mood for a more difficult hike you can strap on some sturdy shoes and head out to Mt Si, Tiger Mountain, or Cougar Mountain. Mt Si has two trails to choose from- a moderate 5 mile trail (named Little Si) or a much more trying 8 mile trail. The first time I went up the regular trail I was pretty surprised at how out of breath I was. I was also pretty surprised to see people 3 times my age passing me as I huffed and puffed my way up (you can’t even imagine how good that felt…). But when I got to the top I wasn’t surprised that this hike is the most popular in the area. It’s just so stinkin’ pretty-definitely worth the drive and wobbly muscles.

Bike to Redhook Brewery 

This has always been on my bucket list of things to do. All I need is a bike, and maybe a friend with a bike, and I’d be good to go. Depending on where you start, this is roughly a 40 mile roundtrip ride on the Burke Gilman. Based on what I gather from the reviews, this is a relatively easy bike trip and one doesn’t need to be the next Lance Armstrong to go the distance. Upon arriving at the Brewery you can go on a tasting tour at 1, 3 or 5pm for just a buck and get five samples of delicious beer. Some fresh air, exercise, and beer for a buck? Fantastic.

Train for an upcoming 5k

Seattle always has some kind of 5k going on over the weekend and most of them support a great cause. If   you’re feeling philanthropic this weekend you can still sign up for the Beat the Burn 5k which benefits Seattle’s Northwest Burn Foundation on Sunday, October 16th at 9am. Your 30$ entry fee helps local families receive the treatments they need after suffering from severe burns. Plus you get a sweet t-shirt that you can feel proud wearing AND there’s booze at the end. Enough said. Also, if you’d rather do a little training this weekend and run next weekend instead, you can sign up for the MVP 5k challenge next Saturday at Greenlake. Registration is 30$ and funds go directly to Andrew Moritz, a former UW Basketball player who was diagnosed with an extremely rare form of cancer. There are only two hospitals in the nation that can treat his disease and by participating you’ll be helping him with his sky-high medical bill and travel arrangement bills. You will also be given a sweet t-shirt and can pack some booze in the car to celebrate with afterwards.

Root Root Root for the Home Team

Both the Husky Football team and the Seattle Sounders have home matches this weekend and cheering for your boys would make for an excellent autumn afternoon. This is my preferred way to spend a   sunny day- just say no to exercise. I’ll take a hot dog, some nachos, a beer (or two) and       count the walk from my car to the field as a phenomenal form of physical activity. If you’re thinking of heading to the Husky game consider going early and getting in on the tailgate action. The game is at noon and often times the food, drinks, music, games, and camaraderie beforehand is my favorite part of the event. Sounders more your style? Go for a pre-game drink outside the Clink. The pubs are always packed with noisy, up to no good fans looking to have some fun. No tickets? No problem. There’s always some guy hustling seats on your way in.

There’s obviously many, many more ways to spend some time outside this weekend. Feel free to comment and give some other suggestions, us at TWIF would love to hear them! And as John Denver would say…sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy :) So go soak up what’s left of this year’s vitamin D resource and have some fun in the sun!

-Amber Carrigan