Wednesday, November 7, 2018

WWU - Walking Workout

Last week Jeff and I flew to Arcata, California for the 50th reunion of the Marching Lumberjacks, the band at Humboldt State University.  HSU is Jeff's alma mater; he was a member of the band so I was as well by default.  We haven't been back to Arcata since the band's 20th reunion, so we had a lot to see while we were there.

Jeff wanted to visit all of the places he lived during his era (1980-83).  We didn't rent a car for this trip because Arcata and the HSU campus are made for walking - and walk we did!  This was the activity report for Thursday from Jeff's Apple watch:
We were going all day long - please note the 14 flights of stairs as well as all of the steps.  HSU not only stands for Humboldt State University; it also stands for Hills, Stairs, and Umbrellas.  If you are on campus, you get a workout whether you want one or not.  We arrived on Wednesday evening and after checking in, we walked from our hotel to this house:
He lived here, and then he moved to a different house, and then he and I lived here for a summer.  After we left another MLJ moved in.  That little yellow house went through a lot of band members - I wonder if any current bandas live there now?
This is the road right next to the yellow house; Jeff is standing on the railroad tracks that are no longer in use.  They certainly were in use when we lived could tell time based on when you heard the train rumbling by.
The next morning, we walked across the pedestrian bridge that spans the 101 freeway to another house that Jeff lived in.  We walked down a very steep hill to get to it, and Jeff kept asking "how did I ride my bike up this hill" - he used to ride to campus.  This house faces the freeway that we had just crossed, yet we didn't remember it being that close to the freeway at all.  Interesting what you notice at the time versus present day.
We were surprised to see this one still standing - it was mostly plywood and duct tape when he was there in 1983, and it doesn't look any different from the outside now.  He lived in a tiny alcove upstairs, and shared this house with four other roommates - it had one bathroom, so that was super fun when I went to visit him, LOL.  They had about 100 plastic cups and I swear every last one was sitting in the sink.  When Karen, another roommate's girlfriend, and I visited at the same time we washed all the cups and dishes to be nice...oh and to have something to drink out of.  But the next time we visited and all the cups were dirty again?  We wised up - washed a cup for ourselves and left the roommates to fend for themselves.
Here's his dorm...again with the hills.  Although, who can complain when you live in a building that is nestled among giant redwoods?
Stairs on campus.
More stairs.  And yes, I climbed them.  I climbed allllll the stairs. 
No stairs, just a hill.

I did OK with walking up the hills, but the stairs winded me.  The general consensus among the returning band members is that everyone was in much better shape back in their college years thanks to HSU's hills and stairs. 

OK, one more statistic:
On game day we left our hotel at 6:45 am and started walking toward campus.  A pickup truck pulled up next to us and offered a ride, which we accepted.  YES WE GOT A RIDE FROM A STRANGER.  But it was a band member, so basically he was family.  We stayed out all day for band practice and then the football game, and into the night for the reunion party, then walked the mile back to the hotel, arriving close to 1:00 am.  That was probably the longest and most active day I've had in decades, and it seems only fitting that it was at Humboldt State, with the Marching Lumberjacks. 


  1. I say that counts as any and all workouts and/or runs you might have missed on your trip! How fun to go back and see everything with new (old) eyes.

  2. It's always interesting going back to visit places from your youth--and have a different perspective! Looks like a fun trip up memory lane! (see what I did there...)

  3. How fun! But wow, that's a lot of stairs! So I'm curious, can you actually fly into Eureka? I'm kind of surprised about that! So the 50th reunion must have been since the band started, because it couldn't be Jeff's 50th reunion? Anyway, it must have been a fun place to go to college. I really like that whole area. But its VERY far away from me, and I probably haven't been there for 15 years. I still have a redwood tree in a pot that I've managed to keep alive from my last trip!

  4. Very important question - what instrument did Jeff play in the band?

    That sounds like a fun trip! Did you guys meet during college or before? I've been out of college 15 years in December, which is apparently not long enough for me to feel like campus looks any different.

    1. He played drums - tenor and bass. We met in college, but not "in college" - I'm working on that story for a post next week. :)

  5. Oh, that sounds like such a fun trip! I started college at University of Arkansas, which is also all hills and steps. I was in the best shape of my life then!

  6. What a fun ‘all weekend long workout’ and trip down memory lane!!!!

  7. Fun! And omg...that story about you and your friend washing all the cups and dished, lol...all men must be pre-programmed to not notice dirty dishes or something:/ one time I went out of town for the weekend and saw a dirty dish with food still on it on the table, but continued on my way out the door thinking, "it's fine...Ryan Wil be home in a few hours and surely hell notice it and put it in the dish washer". Um. NOPE. I returned after the weekend to find the dish exactly as it was except with a nice furry mound of green mold on top! Ryan claimed he never noticed it, even though the guy had to have walked by it a million times over the course of 3 days. Sigh.

  8. What a fun trip down memory lane!!! Ha, especially seeing the houses you used to live in and remember how silly it was. Ahh, how our standards change as we get older, right?!

    I wonder how faculty does with all those hills! I bet they're in good shape!!!


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