This was our first full month with our new dog, Quinn, so most of it was spent showing him the ropes. The “no dogs in the bed” rule went to hell immediately.
We got him used to being around bikes…
We still thought he was a puppy at this point—we later found out that he was just a small adult—so we took him to a lot of puppy socialization groups. Here he is, a full-grown man terrorizing a baby dog:
Gradually, the boys became friends.
We did a lot of hiking. Quinn discovered he really loved trails.
Our niece, Willa, came over to decorate sugar cookies. It was charming/gross.
I was training for the L.A. Marathon, so I spent a lot of time like this:
We started the month camping at Pyramid Lake—my first visit! I did a 20-mile run out-and-back along the highway at dawn and it was unbelievable.
We visited my family in the Bay Area over Presidents’ Day weekend. I did my final 20-miler for L.A….
…and we took plenty of walks up the hill behind my parents’ neighborhood (my favorite place on earth).
We visited my brother and sister-in-law and met our nephew, Wes, for the first time!
I knit him a baby blanket, keeping my niece/nephew blanket tradition gonig strong.
We voted in the Democratic primary. Warren 2020! (Update from the future: didn’t work out as planned.)
We went skiing like one time total. Mo might have gone twice.
We watched Daisy and Ellie, bringing the dog:human ratio to 2:1—just how I like it.
I developed a debilitating addiction to HOKA Rincons.
We drove to Los Angeles for the marathon! We stayed in Silver Lake, which was delightful.
Best of all, we got to see Juliette, Jack, John, and of course Charlie.
I was nervous for the marathon but I was pretty sure I could nail my goal of sub-4:00. I prepped everything just so…
…but the course had other plans, and my total inability to chill got in the way. I blew up hard at mile 19 and ended up with a 4:07:10. Lessons learned! They still give you a medal even if you don’t hit your A goal.
We had one of the best breakfasts of my vegan-ish life at Counterpart Deli on our way out of L.A. the next day. Driving back to Reno, we heard a lot about coronavirus on the radio.
COVID-19 blew up that week. Morgan and I were both supposed to travel to the PNW for work; my trip got cancelled due to the virus, but his went ahead. Looking back, it’s amazing to think that having just driven from hotspot L.A., Mo hopped on a plane to hotspot Seattle. OH MARCH. The dogs and I managed at home, unaware that this was about to become our whole life.
We got a jump on the homemade bread phase of lockdown.
We started working from home! We enjoyed the novelty: two whole weeks of surprise WFH. Nine months later, I am still into it. Mo maybe less so.
I started running most days, often on trails with the dogs.
There was a lot of at-home yoga and strength work. This reminds me I really need to dig Running Rewired back out of storage.
We started exploring new-to-us trails on the other side of Peavine—we love Hoge Road!
I tested A LOT of women’s sandals for OutdoorGearLab.
We did the 12-mile round-trip hike up the river canyon to the Lagomarsino Petroglyphs. I didn’t really care about the petroglyphs but the hike was amazing.
I staretd a new sweater, Andrea Mowry’s Throwover. It’s worsted weight so quick and satisfying to knit.
We spent a lot of time at the dog park.
These were the days of the great run on toilet paper, so we bought a bidet. Recommended!
As part of Mikkeller Running Club’s running bingo challenge (which defined my early pandemic experience), the dogs and I ran up Rattlesnake Mountain (after learning that Rattlesnake Mountain exists).
My family all created stop-motion films to share with the group. Mine featured Mr. Stick’s ascent of Mt. Hat just before it was destroyed by a meteor/ball.
We tried to go backpacking but the road to our trailhead was closed, possibly due to the pandemic (?). So we just backpacked up the road.
It ended up being a pretty fun weekend!
And I’m pretty sure it was Quinn’s first time in a tent. This sums up the experience:
Out frontyard blooms were a big source of joy, and we had so much time to look at them during lockdown.
We perfected the ergonomics of WFH.
We headed out for a beautiful, chilly overnight in Carson-Iceberg…
…including a great happy hour stroll up a ridge above our campsite…
…and a heroic assist across a river from Mo to Quinn.
We made our own masks!! (this is Mo’s)
(and mine—I look like Hanibal)
We got insanely into chickpeas and started regularly eating a meal we called “chickpeas three ways”: fried chickpeas and hummus over socca (a chickpea pancake).
We started up a semi-regular tradition of going for a trail run after work and having beers at the trailhead, which we call family Fridays. This is one of my favorite things to come out of the pandemic.
We took a socially distant camping trip with Ty, Ruth, and Willa in Dog Valley.
We scrambled up Alpine Walk Peak.
We went on another backpack in Carson-Iceberg, this time over to Fish Valley.
I couldn’t tear myself away from my new Follett book.
And Quinn learned about begging.
We painted! This led to a major fight and we hated each other for a day or so, but it ended up worth it.
We trekked out to Phoenix Lake for the weekend to hang out and test Quinn’s new backpacking pack.
We borrowed a dehydrator from friends and got super into it.
We started a week-long backpacking trip on the PCT. It was a great challenge and a much-needed change of pace. We started out from Carson Pass.
We all enjoyed relaxing at the end of each day, maybe Banner most of all.
There were a zillion beautiful lakes on our route.
We very much enjoyed our new UL tent.
Our backpacking trip continued. We detoured off the PCT to take in more of Granite Chief Wilderness.
It was a good decision. So beautiful!
We definitely nearned our snacks each day.
River stops were a highlight of each day.
On our last day, we had a stunning route along the ridge beyond Tinker Knob. A fantastic end to a really great trip.
Post-trip, we took down an astonishing amount of Ben and Jerry’s non-dairy ice cream.
I packed up my old office in preparation for the College of Engineering’s great shuffle up. I ended up moving just around the corner, where my stuff remains in boxes.
Mo drove to Washington for a month-long work trip, and I I started a two-week strict quarantine in preparation for visiting my parents. It was pleasant, long, short, open-ended, regimented, stimulating, mind-numbing. It was a weird time.
We did sneak out for a couple early-morning runs by Patagonia where we weren’t likely to run into anyone.
I went to stay with family in the East Bay! It was so worth the weird quarantine—this was such a great trip. My brother, sister-in-law, and nephew were there as well, having done their own quarantine.
The twice-daily dog feed was a major production.
We did many runs up the hill! The day I ran up with my brother and found my dad up there by chance was a highlight of my year.
I rode bikes with my SIL and nephew.
And did a big long trail run with my brother and mum.
There was a major yard remodel going on.
We staged a 5K race—I’ve never been so proud to come in last (3rd place!).
I headed to my other brother’s house for a couple days, soaking up my newest nephew…
…and participating in some intense cribbage.
And then it was back to Reno for the hellish fire season. This was grim.
It was either smokey or hazy for the rest of the month, but there were at least a few days that were good for a trail run.
We did manage to find a clear couple days for an overnight up to West Lake out of the Green Lakes trailhead. We took an incredible scramble up to the Par Value Lakes.
It ended up being quite a big day but was a highlight of my year for sure.
We hiked out and hit the road just in time to see the beginnings of the Slink Fire in our beloved Carson-Iceberg 😦
I started fall classes, including chem lab.
I turned 34. I don’t remember this.
We spent a week in Santa Barbara. It was still weird and smokey, but at least there was the beach. Quinn fell in love.
I took what may turn out to be my last run on the Westmont Track, as Mo’s dad is renting out their family house.
Cali the cat went from being 100% nasty to being 95% nasty and 5% tolerant. LITTLE DID I KNOW what this foreshadowed.
We made the decision to incorporate Cali into our family. She came back to Reno with us and settled in. Everyone is still adjusting!
We walked from Incline Lake to the stateline and the dogs sat in separate states.
We enjoyed a family Friday with the boys’ friend Penny.
Quinn and Penny fell all the way in love.
The boys and I ran up Relay Peak for one of the best sunrises of the year.
We started to plan the boys’ Halloween costumes, but this is as far as we got. Any guesses??
We celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary and 11th year together with 11 miles up Relay. We each shared a memory every mile for the corresponding year. A delightful experience!
Cali continued to wheedle her way into our routines/hearts.
We spent a gorgeous morning in Desolation cheersing our friends Lisa and Dante, who got married that day in the Bay Area.
Because backpacking wasn’t allowed due to wildfires, there was absolutely no one about—it was the quietest and most beautiful I’ve ever seen Desolation.
We voted! (for Biden/Harris.)
I gave myself a pretty solid quarantine haircut.
The neighborhood kids upped their PSA game.
We joined the rest of the United States in election anxiety…
…and it turned out well! I proudly wore red, white, and blue on a Mikkeller run the day Biden’s victory was announced.
It snowed! Instead of staying inside with hot chocolate like normal people, we ran Jones-Whites plus Church Pond.
We acclimated to living in a zoo.
We epically lost Quinn up the Truckee River canyon on a Thanksgiving Day run, but found him two hours later through the abundant kindness of strangers. I’ve never been more relieved.
We had a truly incredible two-person vegan Thanksgiving.
Finally, we headed to an Airbnb in Oregon for the start of an insane vacation.
Every day included a great trail run.
And an amazing sunset.
Beach access from our bnb was unbelievable.
And being in the Oregon lushness was a balm to the soul.
I cannot oversell the sunsets.
We got some quality schnoozin in.
We were staying up in the hills so the views were sweet.
The Oregon Coast Trail turned out to be a singletrack gem.
I reaffirmed that Banner is my favorite soul on earth.
And that Morgan is also up there.
We leaned into cookies to smooth the transition back to our lockdown lives.
Skiing got off to a bumpy start, with a weird snowpack and light coverage. Still, nice to be out.
We got Quinn a light-up vest for night runs—one of the best purchases of 2020.
I got a short story published in Like the Wind’s marathon supplement—very proud!
I went to the ER because I was concerned about a blood clot and it turned out to be a classic case of Absolutely Nothing.
And that’s it! Now it’s Christmas Eve and 2020 is just about winding down. I don’t know if I’d do this year over again, but we’ve certainly been among the luckiest people out there. I’m grateful for family, friends, modern medicine, pets, books, podcasts, running, food, and television. And I’m looking forward to 2021.