Team… building?

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A few weeks ago, the head of our department sent out an email that we would be going on a team-building hike. Now, I’m not a very enthusiastic hiker (I generally consider hiking to be boring and a lot of work for little return… ) so I wasn’t very excited about it. M has been getting into hiking this summer, so I told her which route we were doing and she responded that it was one of the toughest hikes they’d done all summer and basically 4 miles straight up. Oh, goodie… So, not a great choice for a Marketing teambuilding activity, considering some of our team members don’t do any kind of exercise at all. I decided to focus on the fact that I would be outside, rather than sitting in my cubicle all day.

The actual day of the hike was cloudy, but we’d had similar weather all week that had burned off in the afternoon to be a pretty sunny day, so I was hoping today would be the same. I met up with my carpool downtown in front of our office, which meant riding the bus with the commuters in my hiking clothes/camelback. Awesome. Everyone arrived at the trailhead, more or less on time. There was one team that was really late, so we initially waiting for them to show up. My co-worker R rocked some awesome rainbow socks:

At some point, the head of our department decided that it was too cold to wait and that the straggling group would just have to catch up. (Yay, team building!) So, we headed off.

Initially, there were many rest breaks:

The trail was well-maintained, so we saw a number of trail-runners out. There wasn’t much scenery-wise, unless you like tall trees:

Then there was more trudging… er… I mean, hiking…

We had a couple of dogs along for her hike. (I didn’t notice that my Hipstamatic switched to black & white film, so hopefully you can make out the cuteness of them sharing a water bowl… )

Eventually, the foggy air was making it difficult to wait and regroup, so we split off into different groups. I am proud to say I largely hung with the first group (all boys, except for yours truly) and that there was A LOT of climbing. I’d like to thank all of our bike training for my ability to climb four miles of steep terrain. I couldn’t help but notice that it was getting cloudier/foggier the higher we climbed and that it was very unlikely it was going to burn off any time soon. So, this was the gorgeous view that we climbed four miles for:

Did I mention that it was cold and raining? Miserable. Thankfully, I’d tossed my running jacket into my backpack so I pulled that on and shivered with the rest of the front of the pack. There was a last “scramble” portion that was too rainy/slippery/not worth it to climb up. Some of my cohorts decided to climb it any way, but I opted to huddle under a tree as the other groups eventually caught up. It was such a bummer to see everyone’s faces as they made it to the top only to be underwhelmed by the view. Some people made the best of it, but everyone was pretty miserable.

Coming down was just as bad. It felt like it went on forever and I didn’t want to run and risk falling and breaking something, so I just trudged along with one of the more annoying members of my team. Sigh. At least there was a reward for all of our hard work: burgers and cherry pie at a diner in North Bend:

(Fans of the 90’s show Twin Peaks will recognize this as the diner where someone eats cherry pie. I never watched Twin Peaks, due to my rabid hatred of David Lynch’s work, but that’s what I gleaned from listening to others/reading about it on the menu… ) The food was decent and there was a ton of it, so at least we ended on a high note. I still think any team-building resulting from this outing will be because we survived that terrible hike together, like war buddies…

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