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I bailed on my first 50-mile race. Having a big mountain biking trip coming up a month before the race, and not much spare time, I spent more time training on the bike than running. I had a great mountain biking trip though, 200 miles of riding, 7 days of beautiful scenery and lots of mountains. That’s another story I will be adding to the blog soon. But the biking stole all my time. Although I was in great shape from biking, I didn’t have my running legs so thought I would hold off until another time to try my first 50. But, since I already had a couple of extra days off, the kids, myself and my man all headed off to Portland, Oregon, to visit my family for a long weekend.

What did we do all weekend with the family? Well, we ate a lot, as my dad likes to cook. Of course, my mom made some yummy stuff too. You know how parents love to keep taking care of you always, mine are the best at that. We didn’t drink much although there was an occasional beer inhaled over the weekend. After all, you can’t go to Portland with all those wonderful craft beers and breweries around and not drink. That would be insulting!  We had some fun family time, many games of (don’t laugh) Chinese checkers. We would have 6 of us playing at a time with one huge traffic jam in the middle of the board. I don’t know how many rounds of that we played but it was fun to sit with all of us together clustered around this little board.Just don’t be the sucker to sit across from my dad, he tends to win a lot. My mom and my dad took turns at winning most of the games it seemed.

Saturday we headed out to the Clark County Fair in Hillsboro. It had been ages since I’d gone to a fair. We strolled through and looked at all the 4H animals, then had to head to the rides so the kids could have a little fun. Of course, I had to indulge in a corn dog. They are the best at a place like that!  And we tried some other beer there. Then I ran into the Queen..who liked my Olympic Team GB shirt and thought we should have a picture together. What a lady, one night parachuting into the Olympic Stadium, the next day in another country hanging out at a small time county fair. She is pretty cool.

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We convinced my younger brother, who hasn’t quite taken to the hiking/running, active outdoor cardio-type stuff like we have, to come along with us on a hike – promising to not do anything really difficult. We also suckered my daughter into coming along too with the same line. he he he..  So Sunday morning, my older brother drove us all out to the Columbia Gorge. We took the Scenic Highway, which has some sweet views of the Columbia River and the Gorge from up high. We couldn’t resist a stop at Crown Point for some more views before heading on down to the trailhead.

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Starting from Horsetail Falls, we did a nice little loop (with a small out and back section to Triple Falls) ending up at the trailhead for Oneonta Gorge. Now, I have been in the desert for 25+ years. With that fact, and having been born and raised in Oregon, I find myself going gaga over the trails and the scenery. It took everything in me not to just take off running. The trees are stunning, draped in thick moss. The trails are lined with lush plant life (including poison oak), flowers, and berries. It’s such a contrast to the desert where I spend a lot of my time, which is equally beautiful in its own way. 

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Glenn and I at Triple Falls

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Horsetail Falls Trailhead

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You can walk behind this waterfall.

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View from behind the falls, looking out.

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Mossy delight

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At the Triple Falls overlook. Newbie hikers (l-r) My little brother Dave and my daughter, Chelsea. On the far right, that’s Don – older brother, hiker, climber, and sometimes Loverboy impersonator.

We had a great hike. Both the non-hikers enjoyed it. At least they looked like they did, acted like they did, and said they did.

We stopped at the Edgefield (a McMenamins property) for lunch on the way home and just had to sample another beer or two. It’s such a great place with huge gardens and neat little bars tucked away all over the place, not to mention some other really cool, funky fixtures and such.

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Cool piping at the Edgefield

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In a garden at the Edgefield

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Garden area at the Edgefield

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Cool little bar, tucked away and almost out of sight on one side.

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Garden buzz

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Yummy berry.. not sure what kind it is.

After lunch and roaming the grounds for a bit, we found another cool spot and played some shuffleboard.

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Shuffleboard competition

Monday arrived too quickly. We got in a short run while Glenn was on a quick work break. Thankfully he was able to work from my mom and dad’s house that morning. After that quick run with Glenn, a nice walk with my dad, and another couple rounds of Chinese checkers, we were all ready to head out. We drove through downtown Portland on our way to the airport, stopping for a bit to roam around on the waterfront. It was a sunny warm day and we had my cute little nephew running around, taking in every little thing he saw, enjoying time with his cousins.

Once at the airport, we had a nice lunch at a great German place. Who knew “airport food” could be so good?!

We will be back up in Oregon in September as we put on our adventure race in Bend, the Bend-AR, on September 22nd. We had such a crazy fun time last year, I am so looking forward to an even wilder time at this year’s race.

This time next year, I hope to be back in Portland to live out my 50-mile dreams.

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