We've been in Portland, Oregon, all week and will be here a week more. The city strikes me as progressive, hip, cool... but my gosh, the RAIN! It has rained every single day, and more is forecast every day for the next five days. (The optimist would say "If only California and the rest of the Southwest would be so lucky.") Of course, all this precip is falling in the form of SNOW in the mountains -- the Cascades are getting dumped on! I hope to get out toward Mt. Hood or the Gorge next week for some skiing or snowshoeing.
Having done just a brief drive through of Portland last summer after climbing Hood, I hadn't spent any real time exploring the city and consequently knew nothing of Forest Park or the Wildwood Trail. Forest Park is said to be the largest urban park in the country at around 5,000 acres, and it has about 50 miles of trail. (Not sure why the Blue Hills Reservation south of Boston isn't considered the largest at 7,000 acres -- perhaps too far outside the city boundaries?) Anyway, the Wildwood Trail is simply an awesome running trail; in fact, it seems the trail was built FOR running, with its miles and miles of smooth serpentine singletrack. Mountain bikes are not allowed though it sure would be a fun ride! I hope to do the entire ~30-mile trail on Sunday, the only thing barring an excursion of that length being the weather, seeing as how I am a wimpy California gal now and can't be out in the cold rain very long. ;-)
I also got out of the city and ran around Hagg Lake (14 miles) on Wednesday. Being a midweek February day, I had the trail entirely to myself save for one man walking his dog and a bunch of ducks on the lake. Except for the sprawling lumber mill just before the lake's dam, it was really pretty and quiet.
The hotel has a decent fitness center, so I've been able to keep up on my upper body weight work, and I did one yoga class at the Y a few blocks away. Last but not least, I discovered the amazing Powell's Books, "the largest independent used and new bookstore in the world." It took me almost two hours to get through the first (of four) levels. To say, I could spend a lot of time there!
All in all a fun week of exploring a new area, eating some great food, and hitting some awesome trails. :-)