Oh, Portland!

This past weekend I did a little exploring on the west coast. Oregon was one of the many states that I hadn’t been to yet so a few weeks ago I booked a flight, sent Erin an email and made plans to harass the crew at the Columbia HQ. I flew into Portland late on Thursday night and Erin was at the airport waiting for me…and that was only the beginning of a weekend of being spoiled by Erin and Brian!

We arrived at their new home and I was welcomed with the cutest list of things to do around Portland, snacks and car keys. We crashed as soon as we found our pillows then got up early to take on the day! Erin and Brian headed to work like responsible adults and I wandered off to explore Portland! Up first, Multnomah Falls!

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Thanks to crazy ice on the roads as I ventured east it took me about 90 minutes to get to the falls. Holy ice! When you’re driving around a new state you learn all sorts of interesting things…like how Oregon doesn’t really do ice removal or provide legitimate pull off areas for truckers to put chains on! The last stretch of interstate was…interesting, to say the least. But once I got to Multnomah Falls…wow!

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At first I was going to just take a few photos from the bridge but the sign said it was just a mile to the top…and who doesn’t want to see the top of a waterfall?! Turns out the top of waterfalls are kind of boring. However, the river leading up to the gigantic drop?! Absolutely gorgeous, especially when covered with inches of pristine white snow! Whip cream snow!

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I made the trek up to the waterfall overlook, explored the river trail for a bit and then ran down the trail. It felt so good to just run. My Achilles was happy, the air was crisp and the snow was crunchy. I was a freaking pile of smiles when I got back to the car! Up next…lunch with Tori, a tour of the Columbia Headquarters and more Portland exploring with my very own Tori tour guide! We visited Pittock Mansion, nearly died on a black ice parking lot and took a few selfies with all of Portland behind us…then wandered around the trendy part of town and filled ourselves with lattes before parting ways for dinner.

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Portland in the afternoon…Portland after dark!

Erin, Brian and I went for “eclectic” and had dinner at Le Bistro Montage, an interesting place “under the bridge” where we got to try alligator! After a stop at Deschutes Brewery we called it a night…far too early to say we experienced the Portland nightlife but we had big plans on Saturday. The “just in case” email I sent out to my mom said we were going to backpack the Three Fingered Jack Loop, a 20-ish mile trek in the Cascade Range between Portland and Bend. That’s not exactly what happened…but we still had an awesome, snowy week! More on that later…

Winter is here!

Well, winter finally showed up in Colorado. We had far more weeks of 65+ degree weather than we should in October/November but that all changed yesterday! On Monday I showed up at the office in Fort Collins at 8am…it was 62 degrees and sunny. By 10:15am it was 28 degrees and snowing sideways. Welcome to Colorado where the weather cannot make up it’s mind!

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The change in weather in Boulder from the CU campus…all photos were taken within a 4 hour time span by Chris Nie.

By the time I left the office yesterday it was cold but dry. Seriously. There was but a tiny dusting of snow on my car! I was all sorts of bummed about the lack of snow. Until I flipped through my Twitter feed. Denver got a fair bit of snow…during the hours that everyone is attempting to drive home. I’m a terrible person as I giggled at many of the rants posted online. Hello first snow of the season…the one day each year when multiple silly accidents on main highways are mandatory! I guess “small town” living in Fort Collins isn’t that bad after all…

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Lucky for the snow lover that lives inside of me snow decided to show up overnight. I spent about 15 minutes post-alarm laying in bed trying to find an excuse to avoid the gym [I’m trying to be good and cross train, this is a prime example of my success]. I didn’t want to. It was cold. The gym would still be there after work. My back was weirdly achy after Sunday’s hike. The bed was warm. The cat looked comfy at my feet. You get the point…

Eventually I got up and looked outside. SNOW! Yay snow! Screw the gym, I was going for a run! My phone proclaimed a temperature of just 14 degrees but I didn’t care. I added a few layers, tucked my hair up in a beanie and headed outside to play! It wasn’t nearly as cold as I expected 14 degrees to feel and by the time I returned home I wasn’t cold at all, I was actually sweaty!

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That run was exactly what my day needed…it got me up, it got me moving and it got me smiling. Turns out not all dark, cold mornings are a bad thing! Sometimes a little time spent lost in your own head is exactly what you need! I’m finally taking on a day motivated with a glimmer of hope that I’ll actually be able to take on the checklist I have staring at me! Welcome back Achilles tendon…and bring on winter, I’m ready!