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30 miles of the Washington PCT

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  In preparation for the Backcountry Rise 50 mile race, Susan and I decided to run a 30ish mile route as our last big run before the race. (editor note we later dropped to the 50k) We had originally thought we would run the last 30 miles of the Oregon PCT heading towards Washington (Lolo Pass to Cascade Locks) but we saw a posting on Oregon Hikers that said there was a lot of blowdown from winter storms that made large parts of the trail nearly impassable. After dealing with that on Hunchback Mountain we decided to come up with Plan B. Luckily Plan B was literally on the other side of the river. We decided to run the first 30ish miles of the PCT in Washington going north. Yassine and a few other folks had also done it recently and confirmed the trail was in great condition.  Running in a cloud and happy about it We decided to start at the Bonneville trailhead and run the PCT to Wind River, which meant we needed both our cars for shuttling. The great thing about this route is it is on

Day off run: Green Canyon blowdown extravaganza

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Susan, Ann, and Mt Hood at Devil's Peak For our June day-off run, we were ready for Salmon River, one of our favorite routes over the years. Ann had read some reports of manageable snow and downed trees, but since there's a part of the route that always has a number of trees to climb over, we assumed that the folks who report just might not be used to it. We were wrong. Sunbeams through the trees on the steep slope of Green Canyon We decided to do the loop backwards from our usual, starting up Green Canyon to get the blowdown out of the way, ending with the Salmon River Trail so there'd be water for Cedar during the hotter part of the day. Green Canyon is so steep that we can't even run part of it downhill, our normal direction, so hiking up it wasn't that bad. Then we hit Hunchback and the adventure began. There were some trees down across the trail. It wasn't that bad. We climbed over them. Fairy slipper orchid But soon it wasn't just trunks. It was branch

Day off run: Table Mountain and a crazy 5 mile loop

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making our way up Table Mountain I have hiked Table Mountain quite a few times and never understood why anyone would want to run it. Mostly because of the unrelenting climb up heartbreak ridge and the scramble up the rocks at the end.  New to us section of the PCT Susan and I had a day off adventure / training run planned for Friday, May 21st. I was hoping to do a 29 mile loop in the Herman Creek area but the snowline was still pretty low which didn't leave us with a lot of options. I gave Susan a few alternative options and the one she picked was Table Mountain, despite me warning her about the scramble at the end. To be honest I wasn't excited about the choice but she'd never been there before and I had never started the route on the PCT, so it was a new adventure to us both.  Table Mountain We got to the Bonneville Trailhead  early and were the only car there. It was a nice and sunny day, we were pretty optimistic after our last adventures runs having horrible weather, e

Mary's Peak 50k - 2021

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Top of Mary's Peak Susan and I are training for a 50 mile race in early July, which is great because it doesn't occupy our whole summer with training, but it doesn't leave us with a lot of training options outside of Forest Park because the snow is still melting at higher elevations. While I was researching some route options a few weeks ago I noticed that Mary's Peak 50k was happening in 2 weeks and wasn't full. We ran Mary's Peak in 2019 was a training run for Waldo and loved it. So, I texted Susan about it and a few days later we were signed up.  Cedar and I posing with the 3 foot gnome at the RV park The race approached quickly and just a few days before the race the CDC said that Covid vaccinated people did not need to wear masks outside. I was really curious if this would have an impact on the race or not. In previous years the race shuttled you to the start, this there was no shuttle which mean we had to run the extra 2+ miles to the original start, whic

Day off run: Wilson River Trail

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Selfie on the North Fork bridge For our "day off run" at the end of April, we struggled to find something without snow, and ended up on the Wilson River Trail. We started at Elk Creek with the intention of doing the classic route up Elk Mountain. I didn't relish the traverse between Elk and King Mountains after our snowy debacle in April 2018 , so we decided to just do an out and back up Elk.  Cloudy views We started up Elk, and were transported back to that cloudy, wet day. Ann had some misgivings, and-- unlike last time when I dismissed them-- I heartily agreed with her and we turned around. We continued on the Wilson River Trail. Cedar loves the Wilson River Trail We ran to the trail up King Mountain and tried again. And once again, we just weren't feeling it. We decided, just this one last time before we got serious with our training for the Backcountry Rise 50 miler, to let ourselves have a day where we didn't push ourselves too hard, a

North 5.5

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Most of the routes we post are 20+ miles long, but sometimes it nice just to get out for a quick run. The north end of Forest Park, or the end as some people call it since Wildwood ends at Newberry, is overlooked since it's a lot further away from the city center of Portland.  The north end of the park feels a lot different to me than the rest of the park. It feels lush, quite and the trees seem larger. I am not sure if this is actually true, but it sure feels that way. My favorite short loop is lollypop loop that weaves in BPA, Firelanes 12 & 15. You get to run next to a stream and get a nice climb back up to Wildwood.  I hope you enjoy this route as much as I do.    Route: Newberry/Wildwood  Left on BPA Left on Firelane 12 Left on Firelane 15 Right on Wildwood Total 5.45 / 834 ft gain ( according to Strava )

Dog(less) Mountain

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a rare break in the rain cloud Dog Mountain is arguably one of the most popular late spring / early summer hikes in the Columbia Gorge due to the amount of wildflowers in bloom and the views of the Gorge. It has become so popular that you have to get permits on the weekend through late April to mid-June. Due to this fact I have not hiked / ran Dog Mountain in years. Susan unexpectedly had this past Friday off and texted me that she could run on Friday and Saturday. Knowing that we were going to do our long run on Saturday I suggested we go to Dog Mountain since we didn't need a permit and could get a good amount of vert over a short distance and bonus wildflowers. I decided to leave Cedar at home because I didn't know how crowded it was going to be and having a dog on leash who pulls a lot going down Dog Mountain as asking for problems.  Susan making her way up Dog Mountain We got to the trailhead around 8am and there were probably half a dozen cars in the lot, not too bad. It