Friday, February 8, 2008

Portland

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. :-)

6 comments:

neighbor and chickety said...

hi n.s.!!!!!
while you're up that way, would you be so kind as to melt all the snow around the p.c.t. trail markers for us??? ;-D

olga said...

Looks like you found the most we are proud of! And bummer you couldn't change the run to Sat - it was a fabulous day...I know, I promised Sunday:) I hope it won't drizzle too much on you today. Rain does get to us too, and we appreciate sun that much more.
And I love Powells books!

lonerunman said...

Hey Sue - hope you get out on the Wildwood Trail, it really is a gem in the city there. I came down and ran the old March MUDness 100k on the Wildwood a couple of years ago. It sure is a lovely trail, but the flat trail plus the fact that it WAS a total rainy windy mudfest on the day made it seem pretty long...and dare I say, kinda boring after 11+ hours. Anyhew, hope you hit it on a nice day, it would be fabulous.
And Portland - mmmmm, microbrew heaven!! :-)
Bruce

Sue said...

I did run the 30-mile Wildwood on Sunday, from Newberry Road to the Zoo. Fun, fun, fun! And no rain, not even a sprinkle -- woo hoo. T'was a bit muddy, but that's part of the fun.

Bruce, one traverse was enough for me. Olga, thanks so much for your help. :)

Alpal said...

so what do you do for fun?

Billy said...

sue, yes, stevo told me you were coming to the natural state. when, where and what? i'd love to see you while you are in this neck of the woods. have backpack, will travel......billy