Friday, May 6, 2011

I Love Oregon

As well as being home to many kick-ass runners and kick-ass people, Oregon is full of kick-ass scenery.  The trails of Sisters were a refreshing change for me, even if they were all torturesome and flat. ;)  Kidding, the trails of Sisters were AWESOME largely because they were DRY.  Yes, this little running vacation was mostly to give Keith and I a reprieve from winter and we ran, joyfully, soaking it all in. I made mental note of every leaf, blade of grass and flower fighting to come out.

James Varner and RD-Sean Meissner

Getting Past by a Weinereimer

The day after the race, we headed out to Smith Rock - only 25 minutes from Sisters. We hiked for about 2 hours and gawked at the incredible scenery and the swollen river.  I know Smith Rock as the place where all of our local climbers go in the off-season.  Sure enough, the climbers were out in full force.  Keith and I did a little mini-scramble of our own, but were cautious - our legs were not our own.  Still, the walk was the perfect thing to get our legs moving.

After that, we hopped in the car and headed for Hood River - my first visit to the Columbia River Gorge.  I was stoked to be there and the first thing we did was head to Double Mountain for beer and pizza.  Aaaaah.  Next day, we started our day with 3 hours of walking and running at Eagle Creek in a green, magical forest with lots of water flowing. It was exactly the image I had in my mind of Oregon, all moss, ferns and water falls.  We were in our happy place, but both were a wee bit tired.  That afternoon, the weather cleared up, so we got on our bikes and went for a tour.  I was expecting wet, drizzly grey - but instead we got a gem of an afternoon.  The Gorge is Gorgeous.

The Super Model - a beautiful Great Dane

Looking to the heavens, on Eagle Creek

I bought myself a map of the region, because the next day I was planning on a big run - inspired largely by the Gorge Waterfalls 50k course.  So many trails, so little time. I was stoked to be heading out for a longer exploration of this incredible place.


HappyTrails said...

Awesome - now you have added another place to our "Have to Go There" list... Glad you had a great time!

Mary said...

Nice! But next time come a little farther east!

Leslie said...

Hey Steve and Kathleen! You do need to go. Tons of great road riding, incredible mountain biking and trails, trails, trails. Hood River is magic if you like small mountain towns (most of my favorite places!) with all the amenities and all of the trails nearby. Of course, it's most famous for wind sports - but the trails are plentiful and awesome.

Hiya Mary! The closest we came was the Tri-Cities area, when were motoring through on the Express Route to Sisters. It looks like you are in the middle of nowhere - and surrounded by big mountains, National Forest(s) and a wilderness area? AND a lake? WOW! I think you've found paradise. You must be excited to explore some more this summer. And now you're on my radar!! ;)

amy said...

Oregon loves you, too! So nice to meet you and glad you got to explore a bit. Isn't the Gorge amazing? One of my favorite places in the world. Come back soon for another visit!

JeffO said...

Wow - water gushing everywhere!! Beautiful!

Leslie said...

Thanks, Amy! I knew I'd love Oregon and I've only seen a teeny-tiny bit. I imagine you could spend a lifetime exploring Oregon's wild places. The Gorge IS amazing, so much to see and do - the world is such a big place. My list is getting overwhelming! :)

Hey JeffO! Yup, wait 'til you see the Waterfalls pics!!

Bonnieenqb said...

Awesome - now you have added another place to our "Have to Go There" list... Glad you had a great time!

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