oregon adventures

Saturday, September 30, 2006

Grassy Knoll Hike

The paper showed today as the last blue sky mid 70's day, so I decided to go hiking. Nobody was available, so I asked my old hiking partner if he wanted to go and he jumped around and grabbed his leash and carried it around until I was ready to go. He's 10 now so I picked an easy 4 mile hike because that's 70 in human years! Drove to Cascade Locks and took the Bridge of the Gods to Washington and up towards Carson and then about 12 miles of dirt road later got to the Grassy Knoll trailhead with one other car. It starts out really steep, so I let the leash drop and Spenser would go just out of sight and then turn and wait for me. I took a picture of him coming back down the trail to see what's taking me so long.
About halfway up the trail is a viewpoint with a vista of Mt. Adams (very faint in the background) and the Big Lava Bed that looks like a lake of trees in the picture. My daughter and I drove the dirt roads all the way around it when she was learning to drive and under the trees are huge lava boulders.
Some more steep climbing and we got to the top and a view of Mt Hood (top picture). It was very windy, so we ate some trail mix and headed down. Spenser was starting to get tired, so we went really slow on the way down. Stats- 4.4 miles 1200 feet elevation gain.

Friday, September 29, 2006

Salmon Creek Run

Before work yesterday I wanted to get a run in somewhere I hadn't been in awhile. Thought about a state park down by Salem, but after folding laundry I didn't have time to drive that far so I went to Vancouver and Salmon Creek Park now called Klienline park (picture)it has a small lake that must have fish because there were a couple of guys fishing. It has a 3 mile paved windy path that goes along Salmon creek in a grassy flood plain valley with nice houses up on the hills surrounding. Ran along at a pretty good clip waving at the walkers, bikers, runners, and skaters. Only about half waved back. Got to a big curve that started uphill towards the nice houses and the GPS said 2.25, so I turned around there. Pretty run and very sunny and got back to the end and ran .1 more to get my yearly average of 4.6 miles. Clocked in at 38:55 for an 8:28 pace- yeah! Had time to get a sandwich to go from Harry's deli and shower at work and was on-time. Swings might work out.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Peach Century

Sunday I drove down to Salem to do the Peach Century. Everyone I do stuff with were busy this weekend, so I went bymyself. Last year I rode the 62 mile route in the pouring rain for the first 30 miles. This year it was forecast for 82 degrees and it was a perfect blue sky. I got there 20 minutes before the start line closed and they were out of numbers and the parking lot was jammed. Started out and rode along at a good clip looking at the fields and mountains. The first food stop was at 28 miles, so I fueled up and took off. Got to the point where the 62 and 100 routes separate and saw 2 guys turn for the hundred and decided I feel good, why not go for it so I turned for the 100 also. What a mistake I was thinking about ten miles later. The sun was hot and I was getting tired and instead of almost done, I wasn't even halfway. At 40+ the route went though a covered bridge. The next food stop was at 51 miles near a another covered bridge. They had lots of trail mix with chocolate and pbj and bagels, etc. It was starting to empty out, so I took off. I had averaged 17.3 up till here, but then it was into the wind after the food stop. At mil 64 there was a 6 mile long climb that wasn't steep, just constant. Then a short down and at 71 miles was a store, so I stopped for a Diet Pepsi and water and a candy bar. Most of the riders stopped at the store also, so we filled the front porch area. By now I was pretty tired and no one to push me, so I slowed down and did tourist speeds. I'd been mooing at all the cows, but I saw three goats and baa'ed at them and one of them jumped and started baa'ing back. The last food stop was at 83 miles where the 62 and 100 routes joined back up. Saw a very, very pretty girl checking out my Air Guard jersey, exchanged hi's. My right knee hurt pretty bad and one of the volunteers went through all the kits they had looking for Advil and came up blank. After I'd gone about 1 mile after the food stop, I remembered I had a first aid kit in my bag. Sure enough it had some Tylenol, so shortly after that my knee was better, plus I slowed down to 14-15 most of the time. The rest of the ride was pretty much pedal, pedal, pedal. Really pretty rural scenery, but the legs were the only thing functioning, the brain was off. I would celebrate mileage ticking off 77.77, 82.35, 91.07, 98.45, 99.98, 99.99, 100.00, 100.02, etc. Finally got back to the end at 103.50 where they had peach and marionberry pies with whipped creme. I asked one of the organizers if he had an extra number explaining that I save them and hang them up. He said no, ask one of the riders. Behind me a girl said, do you want mine? It was the very, very pretty girl from the last stop, she unpinned her number from her shirt and gave it to me as she was leaving. As I was driving home stuck in a traffic jam, I realized that I had forgotten to take any pictures, so I took a picture of the number she had given me. Stats- 103.5 miles with a 16.1. I've done many centuries but this was the first time ever doing century by myself- wouldn't recommend it, it's better to have someone to share the pain.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Best Dam Run- 10K

Today I went to Estacada and ran the Best Dam Run 10K. The race started at 900, but the brochure said to be there at 830 to ride a bus to the start. So I got there at 800 and signed up. Rode a school bus to a boat ramp (picture)with a view of the dam on the Clackamas river. At 800 my Jeep said it was 41 degrees out, but the forecast called for 80, so it warmed up nicely for the run. Started in the middle of the pack and started my watch when I crossed the start line. It was slightly downhill almost the whole run and starting in a group and racing along at the first mile my watch said 8:09! Ran along about a third of the way from the front it seemed like with a gap in front of me. We ran along the river up on a cliff, but you could hear the river and the rapids and it made me want to pee. So I looked behind to see if it was ok because the gap in front was big enough and there was a huge group right behind me- I guess I was the pace runner. Held the pee in and tried to keep a good pace ignoring the water stops and chugging along. There was one 60 foot rise between miles 4 and 5, but other than that it was mostly down. Came across the finish line back in town (lower picture) at 53:01 by my watch an 8:32 pace. Woohoo, new personal best- official time came out at 53:12 which is still a personal best by over half a minute and a pace of 8:35! This run was the first time I've run over 5 miles other than during an Olympic tri since June, so I'm very happy with it and knock on wood nothing hurts. They printed out results and taped them up and I saw I was 14th in my age group, I guess most guys my age run like Papa Louie!

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Beaches Ride and Swim Class

Monday I had the day off and decided to join my friend Kevin and the headhunter tri club for their Beaches Ride. It started at Beaches restaurant in Vancouver and there was Kevin, Denise, Bob, and myself. We started out just ambling through downtown Vancouver to the road to Vancouver Lake and then kicked it up. Bob lead at first and we were cruising along at 23-24. Then Denise got in front and she slowly kept kicking it up and I hung onto her wheel and we came to the lake turn going 27. She slowed and we looked back and had lost Bob and Kevin. So I led at 19-20 until they got back on. Then when Bob led again and sped up, I fell off. Denise came back and I rode her wheel back on and then they slowly bumped it back to 22-23 and we stayed at that speed even though my turn to lead. At the turn around point by the Ridgefield Wildlife preserve, the Ironmen joined us. A bunch of guys training for Ironman Florida. so when we started out again the four of us were in the back and the ironmen took the paceline turns and we stayed in the back. Cruising along at 26 in a group of 11- it was like PIR racing. It was great paceline practice, I was able to stay really close and it made a huge difference wind wise. After about 3 miles with the ironmen, Kevin suddenly fell off. Since I had come with him I decided I should stay with him, so I fell back and joined him. As soon as I slowed down, I was suddenly tired. Denise came back and we did a three person paceline of 20-23 all the way back to town. Then really slow and relaxing through downtown back to Beaches where we went in for happy hour and had salads and Diet Pepsi.
Denise talked me into going to the LaCamas Swim and Sport club she part owns and doing her swimming class- so Wednesday morning (1200) I started total immersion swimming lessons. I'm not used to swings yet- just looked at the clock- I have to go to work.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Race For The Cure

Decided to run the co-ed 5K run in the Race for the Cure today in downtown Portland. The website said they were expecting 50,000 people and the announcer at the race said they had 46,000 registered. Rather than try and fight traffic, I took a shuttle bus they had from a hospital on the east side of town. Got to the race and there was people everywhere, but I was able to check my jacket and camera and get in the start line. They had it by pace with 6 then 7-8 and 8-9 minutes. I got in the 7-8 area, but found out after it started that most people ignored the system and just got as close to the front as possible. The horn blew and I stood for about 20 seconds before the movement got to where I was then walked up and was able to start running right before the start line. I started my watch when I passed under the start line. At first I did a slow jog looking for a way to get around the slow people, then after about a half mile it started to spread out and I could start running full speed. Then we climbed a small hill and at the top turned onto Broadway and I lost my breath for a second- the whole street for as far as the eye could see was full of bobbing people! Hard to describe the sight of hundreds of runners filling a street. I weaved in and out and made my way towards the front and got into a good rhythm but may have been going too fast because I started to tire, but at one corner they had a drum group from one of the high schools doing a march beat and it helped pump me back up. They had cheerleaders every so often and a jazz band and groups of cheering people. Came across the finish line at 25:55 with an 8:23 pace- very happy with that! Around the same pace I was doing at tris in April. Walked back up towards the checked clothes booth and there were even more people now and I got a bag and started filling up with free stuff, booth after booth of free stuff and lines everywhere. The all women's 5K run took off while I was in the checked line so when I got my camera I walked towards the start line as the main event- the 5K walk- was lining up. First I took a picture of the booth area (lower picture) and that only shows half of it. By the time I got near the start line there was a massive line of people ready to go and I saw a news van with a cameraman and a guy with a microphone on top of the van. I asked the reporter if he could take a picture for me and that is the picture on the top of the post. If I watched the news I'm sure I'd know who he was- that was nice of him though. I thought I'd wait and see how long it took for that crowd to start and got boxed in. 30 minutes later I was able to leave and they had only started half of the line.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Crown Point Ride and Trail Run

Did a long training ride on Sunday, the day after doing a triathlon. Started at the LaCamas Swim and Sport club in Vancouver. My friend Kevin joined the club and their tri club and improved by 1000%. He said the tri club does Sunday morning rides, so I joined them. It was led by Denise who is a part owner of the club and has done tons of tris. Started out easy through town, then over the I-205 bridge and then on Marine Drive we did a paceline at 24+ (5 people on the ride). Then comes the climb. It's about 750-800 feet from Troutdale to Crown Point and it gets easier each time, next year I need to work hill speed into it. Sat awhile at Crown Point soaking up the view of the Gorge (sorry, forgot my camera). Then instead of just going down, one of the guys suggested another climb, so we turned up a road in Corbet and climbed some more. Then the 40+ downhill zoom. More pacelining on Marine Drive and back over the bridge and through town. I was feeling wiped by then. Stats- 58.2 miles 15.9 average. Denise gave me the hard sell tour of the club afterwards. It's a 30-45 minute drive from home, but 10-15 from work. Very triathlon centered club- maybe, still thinking about it.

Today I went for a run on the Springwater dirt part- same as last week. This time I went to the end across a dirt parking lot and then back for 4.8 miles. Only slight twinges of the right ham and sciatic, so I stepped it out a little and came in at 42:32 with a pace of 8:52. Yeah, back under 9 minutes! Drove up the road to a point where I could get a picture of the fish processing plant and the trail. If you look real close there is a mountain biker on the trail.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Aluminum Man Triathlon

Saturday I did the Aluminum Man Triathlon in The Dalles Oregon sprint distance. Drove over Friday and had dinner at the Road Stop restaurant where they have HUGE portions. I got a side baked potato and cottage cheese because I'd heard it was a great pre-workout combo. When the potato came it was entire plate with many potatoes smothered in cheese and onions. I added the cottage cheese and ate a little. That was supposed to be an appetizer, so of course the entree was gigantic.
The next day setup transition and it was very windy. My friend Kevin has a half-iron in a couple weeks and didn't have anything scheduled this weekend, so he came along to take pictures. The swim started with a run out into the water until it became deep enough to swim which was quite a ways out.
The swim was only 650 yards, but the waves in the Columbia river that day were whitecaps. They didn't look that big from shore, but when swimming they lifted me up and then I would slam down into the trough. It took awhile to work out that rhythm. At first the waves would slosh over me while trying to breath. After a mouthful of water, I tried to find the wave's timing. Three times the waves crested over my head and covered me- that had never happened to me on a swim before! I got out of the water in a time of 17:29, which is the worst per 100 yard pace ever (3.14), but I was happy with it considering the conditions.
The bike was very pretty as it wound up through the brown hills behind The Dalles. It climbed a hill about 400 feet up and then a slow climb some more to the turnaround. I had been zooming along, so I thought it was a slow downhill. After the turnaround the wind slammed my upright almost. Luckily it was mostly downhill to the end. You know it's windy when you lose speed going downhill! My speedometer said 13.3 miles with an average of 18. The results show an average of 19.9 for 15 miles.

The run was along the riverfront path they have in The Dalles and the wind pushed me around even on the run. Got to the turnaround and it was with the wind, but I was pretty much done for by then. I either ate too much the night before or not enough in the morning, or not hydrated enough. It was my ninth tri of the year and probably the last for this year, so I wanted to run well, but came in at 28:10 for a 9:04 pace. I was proud of my bike time considering the wind and I was 39th in the bike, but 6 of 8 in my age group on the bike. Overall I was 63rd out of 115 and 7th of 8 in my age group with a 1:36:49 time.
Drove the bike course afterwards and took the picture of Mt Hood from one of the turns on the course.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Springwater Trail Run

Went for a run on the dirt part of the Springwater trail tonight. Last time I ran this part, I didn't bring my camera, so this time I did. Hard to tell by the picture it's on the edge of a large city. Have a sprint tri on Saturday so I only did 4 miles. Started out slow and my right sciatic hurt and my right knee hurt from the hike I did on Sunday and then my right something- whatever runs along the inside of the thigh started to hurt. Enough!! So I told my body it was September there is only one more tri and then it's take it easy and relax (haha) time. So I sped up and ignored everything hurting and they stopped hurting. Finished in 36:39 for a 9:07 pace. About 1 and 3/4 miles into the run I passed a fish processing plant that had a strong odor, so by the time I was done with the run I was curiously hungry for fish.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Oregon State Fair- Trask Mt- Middle Pyramid

State Fair
Friday I took my daughter and her boyfriend to the state fair. I've always enjoyed the animals and hobby pavilion and the photo exhibit. Unfortunately, I'm a triathlete now and people walking around smoking cigarettes makes me gag. Tons of people smoking made me have a hard time breathing, so I rushed through everything and didn't stay long. Plus I can see the animals better while riding a bike in the country. They did have a booth of Oregon authors so I talked to my favorite hiking book author William Sullivan and picked up a new signed NW Oregon edition hiking book.
Trask Mt
All the races I've been doing has caused me not to climb any county highpoints this year, so a long weekend sounded like the time. But I have a tri next week, so I didn't want to drive to Southern or Eastern Oregon where the highpoints left are except one- Yamhill county. So my friend Kevin and I set out to drive up to the top of Trask Mt the highpoint of Yamhill county which is over on the west side in wine country. Got out to Yamhill the town and then down a dirt road to the Trask Toll Road which is actually a dirt logging road. Less than a mile later we came to a new locked gate, Weyerhaeuser owns the land that Trask Mt is on. So we went down another dirt road to the Flying M ranch (picture) and went in the really nice lodge/restaurant right beside a dirt airstrip with huge stables with guided horse rides. Asked about the gate and the woman said they locked it for fire season, so no highpoint today. Looking at the map we saw a large reservoir I'd never heard of so we went in search of it and after a few miles of dirt we came to a two lane paved road and took that. Eventually after a lot of climbing we came to a reservoir (picture)
that looked nice except for the barbed wire fence all around and cameras periodically. It's the watershed for the towns in the valley. Took the paved road all the way back to town and remarked that it looked like a good bike training road and sure enough there was a rider. So sometime have to try riding Meadow Lake Road as training.
Middle Pyramid

Sunday I wanted to go to a long drive hike. So I chose the Three Pyramids area down by Mt. Jefferson, about a 140 mile drive. Beautiful drive until about Detroit Lake where it got hazy and smelled like smoke. Stopped at the ranger station and asked about the Pyramids and they said it was fine there, but there were four fires from Mt Jefferson to the Three Sisters area. Eastern Oregon has four or five huge fires also. There's one on Mt Hood also. Anyway got to the trailhead after 6 miles of dusty dirt road( my jeep was caked) and started out in a fantastic old growth forest along a stream with HUGE trees, I love Oregon! Got to a meadow (seen in picture from top) and saw the top and where I had still to climb to. By the time I reached the top I was almost as soaked as doing a spinning class. Couldn't see much other than hazy hills, but it was still nice. On the way down I saw a guy coming up with two dogs and one of the dogs had what I would call a small boulder in his mouth. Asked the guy if that was a rock and he said "Yeah, Grover likes to pick up rocks from streams and carry them". Stats- 4 miles 1800 feet gain and 275 miles driving.

Friday, September 01, 2006

VBC Time Trial and Run

Thursday evening I did the Vancouver Bicycle club's time trial for the second week in a row. Smaller crowd this week and I took off and seemed slower, but the wind seemed stronger. There was lots of glass on the shoulder and I was worried about a flat because I had taken off my bag and pump because it was a race. Anyway, tried to average 20-21 and did until mile 4-5 when the wind was head on and slowed to 17-19. Then turned around and 25-26 for awhile. I'm a racer now because there were three fields of cows on the route and I didn't moo at them, had to conserve breath and energy. About a quarter mile from the finish I pushed it up to 24 and ran over a small rock and felt it hit the rim through the tire, that felt bad but for awhile no flat. So I pushed it to 25 and felt the back vibrating- sure enough a flat tire, so I stood to even the weight out and coasted across the finish line going 22 with a flat tire- my first flat in a race ever! My speedometer said an average of 21.1 in 28+ minutes. Walked the bike to the Jeep and put it away, got the running shoes on and started running back up the time trial road. Handed my number back to the guy on the run and he yelled after me 28:27 which comes out to a 21.1 average just like my speedometer said and two seconds better than last week. Ran out two miles and turned around, passed 4 other racers going the other way who were running also. Got back to the parking lot and I was the only car left and the port-a-pottie was locked, run time- 4 miles 37:01 for a 9:15 pace. Planned on taking a picture of the time trial route, but it was almost dark when I finished running so I took a picture of the start. On a personal note I officially go to swing shift (2:30-midnight) starting on Sept. 18th, all the weekday races will be over by then but next year I'll have to take time off to do them.