Jul 012015
 

Saturday morning we got up and went to the downtown area of Astoria to get breakfast. We went to a Bistro that we’d been to in the past and were able to get a seat outside so Bella could join us. It was warm but a little overcast. Michael got the brisket and eggs. I got two eggs with bacon and it came with buttermilk biscuits.

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Sadly the food wasn’t very good. It was really good last time but this time we were both really disappointed and won’t be going back. The coffee and the biscuits were the only thing good about breakfast. :(

The plan for the day was to go for a hike. I found one nearby, Gnat Creek. The description of it sounded nice and it said it was considered easy to moderate. The whole thing was 8 miles. After breakfast we picked up a sandwich at Subway and then drove north about 30 minutes to the campground where the trailhead was.

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It was pretty easy to find and there was plenty of parking right at the trailhead. It was so muggy and humid! We climbed up the stairs and the trail quickly went deep into the forest and wound through the trees along the creek. The ground was really soft from hundreds of years of pine needles.

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We hiked through the woods, setting a pretty quick pace, and then all of a sudden the trail ended! It turned out you had to cross the highway to pick the trail back up. Luckily the traffic wasn’t too bad so we didn’t have to wait long to cross. We got to the other side and the trail was winding through the trees and then all of a sudden we were at the Fish Hatchery.

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On the other side of the hatchery the trail continued. It was getting much hotter out now and this part of the trail wasn’t shaded. We saw some wildflowers, lots of butterflies, and then the trail was back in the woods. Thankfully! It was slightly cooler in the trees. There were a lot of cool little bridges all throughout the hike and lots of different trails you could take.

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We crossed a bridge and then all of a sudden the trail was going steeply up. Our heart rates were climbing as we climbed and we were both DRENCHED in sweat. Not from the exercise really, but the humidity. It was SWAMPY. That was the feeling for most of the hike. Hot and humid and gross. And I wasn’t wearing typically hiking clothes that wick the sweat away, nope! So I was feeling extra gross and sweaty.

We kept on climbing and it was getting hotter. Bella started doing weird stuff on the trail (it was exposed to the sun) like jumping off the trail and hiding under bushes. We figured she was too hot. We stopped a lot for water breaks but clearly it was time to turn around. We hiked back down the trail and found the waterfalls where there was a bench and we cooled off in the shade to eat our sandwiches.

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It was a nice little spot for a picnic. Despite the name “gnat creek” it wasn’t too bad on the hike as long as you were moving. But once we stopped for the lunch break the gnats and mosquitoes and flies were really bad! And of course I forgot to pack bug spray. There was one gnat really bugging Bella and she kept trying to bite the air to get him.

After lunch we hiked back down to the hatchery, across the highway and then back to the trailhead.

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We ended up hiking just under 5.5 miles. I burned 718 calories during the hike. It was a decent number! But I’m pretty sure I sweated out a few extra pounds just from the humidity.

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The drive back to Astoria was slow. There was some nasty traffic jam and it ended up taking twice the amount of time but we eventually got back and cleaned up and then spent some time in the hot tub relaxing our sore bodies. There was another couple in the tub visiting from North Carolina and they wanted to tell us all about what they saw on their trip to Portland. :) I was just happy to be relaxing in the saltwater.

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So one of the nice things about the hotel we were staying at was the free wine and cheese social hour they had every night from 5-6pm. After cleaning up Michael and I went down to check it out. Got some delicious cheese and crackers, some toast with cream cheese and smoked salmon on it and an Oregon Pinot Noir that I love. We sat outside on the patio with everyone else, enjoying the sunshine and view and tried to figure out what to do for dinner.

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In the end we decided to get take out again. There were a few restaurants we’d been wanting to try but they were booked for the Saturday night. We didn’t plan ahead very well. So back to Fort George it was! This time Michael got a Cobb Salad and I got a cup of their clam chowder and the kid’s fish n’ chips. It was two small pieces of fish and just the right amount of food.

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The fries were terrible so I didn’t eat them. Which was fine, who needs the empty calories. The clam chowder was pretty good. On our way to the restaurant we’d also picked up a bottle of Bogle Red Blend to drink in the room and relax.

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Cheers! I’m glad I got the small portions for dinner. It was just the right amount. I had about two glasses of wine and called it good for the evening. We were both really tired after the long, hot day.

Sunday

Sunday morning I woke up and had PLANNED on going for a run along the waterfront on the trail. Unfortunately when I took Bella out to do her business it was shockingly cold, gloomy and sprinkling quite a bit. That was a surprise! I hadn’t seen rain in the forecast. So I ended up running on the treadmill in the small hotel gym. They had a treadmill, exercise bike, stairclimber and weights.

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I ran 2.55 miles on the treadmill with a few walking breaks and then called it good. The hotel offered a continental breakfast, too. It was the usuals–pastries and donuts, cereals, oatmeal, granola bars, bagels and English muffins, yogurts, fruit, fruit salad, juices, etc. I had some plain Greek yogurt with the fruit salad and an English muffin (and two coffees). It hit the spot.

One thing I forgot to mention, the hotel also offers free car rides to restaurants in this car:

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I was kind of bummed we didn’t get a chance to take it! It’s so cute. Anyways, after breakfast we packed up the car. The original plan was to drive south to Seaside and let Bella run wild on the beach but the forecast was stormy and rainy for Seaside so we ended up skipping that.

That was a bummer but all in the weekend was a nice getaway and I was glad we could bring Bella to such a nice place! I really recommend the Cannery Pier Hotel if you are ever in the area.IMG_4089

On our way out of town we stopped by Flavel House and I took some photos. It’s the house that George Flavel built in 1883. It was such a cool looking house on the outside! Next time I’ll have to do the tour of the inside.


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I also walked around the Sunday Market. They shut down a few streets in the middle of downtown Astoria for a Sunday Farmer’s Market. I bought some cherries, blueberries and raspberries and a few other goodies and then we hit the road back to Portland.

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Jun 242015
 

MUCH BETTER!

My second ride of the season was a lot better than my first. My back was much happier for some reason and didn’t feel tight or sore. I decided to drive to the Park and Ride and bike in from there instead of Sellwood. Last time, even though my body felt fatigued,  I felt like it wasn’t quite long enough of a ride. Just as I was getting warmed up it was over with.

Not this time. Even just adding a little under 2 more miles was just right. I wore my arm-warmers this time because it was a little chilly that early in the morning. I biked through Sellwood, on the Springwater, and then crossed the Hawthorne Bridge. Thankfully it wasn’t overly crowded on the bridge. This time I was cyclist #875 to cross the bridge that morning (at 7:30am) according to the bridge counter.

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My ride was decent and my body felt really good and strong. It made me happy that I was able to bike and not feel knee or back pain. YAY ME.

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And my calories were a little bit better this time around, too:

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Morning Stats:

Miles: 7.81

Time: 36 minutes

Calories Burned: 370

My goal for the rest of June and July is to bike once a week. Running is still my priority right now because I want to be trained for my two 5k’s later this summer but I love being able to combine my workout + commute. Hopefully in August I can bump it up to biking twice a week to work.

For lunch I got a rare treat and went out. I met Michael and a friend in Director’s Park for a lunch date. Since my lunch hour is only 30 minutes Michael kindly picked up food for me too. They went to Addy’s and got the kale salad he’s been raving about for months!

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Kale, quinoa, pesto chicken, sunflower seeds, red cabbage, hard boiled egg and half an avocado. It was DELICIOUS! Small, but filling. And a calorie bomb. I’m guessing it was around 700-800 calories for the whole thing (and I ate the whole thing). I was so famished and it tasted so good. It was all good, healthy things but definitely higher in calories than I’d like. It was a nice little break from work, though, and I don’t go out to lunch very often (I usually walk or read my book during lunch).

Afternoon Ride

It was another great ride! Body felt fantastic. My sit bones weren’t too sore (not like last time) and the ride felt comfortable and dare I say, easy…I huffed and puffed up the Morrison Bridge but thankfully it’s a short one so I can coast once I get to the top. Ooof. Biked by OMSI and caught the Springwater. And I saw some wild raspberries along the path! I SO wanted to stop and pick some but…ick. Who knows WHAT has been on those berries. No thanks.

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Since I parked at the Park and Ride it was a bit longer of a ride than the last time. My body felt good, though, so I didn’t mind it. In fact, I was tempted to keep going up to Johnson Creek and then turning around. I decided to play it safe, though. I did see that they are building a new path that connects the new Max line to Milwaukie.

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Got back to the car, feeling good and strong and had the urge to high-five myself! YAY BIKING.

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Afternoon Stats:

Miles: 7.55

Time: 32 minutes

Calories Burned: 326

Total Miles: 15.36

When I got home I took a hot bath with epsom salts. Seems weird, especially on such a hot day, I know. But I didn’t want my muscles to tighten up or get sore and my right hamstring was feeling a little bit of a strain. Not sure what happened there or when it happened. I didn’t feel anything while I was riding and it seems like a weird muscle to pull when riding a bike, so who knows.

Since it was such a nice night Michael suggested we get sandwiches and go to the park. I got a Subway sandwich (ham on flatbread) which was pretty low in calories, so that was good after the high calorie lunch I had. After our picnic dinner we walked over to the fenced dog park area of the park.

We’ve been trying to go once a week lately to help Bella with her social skills. She’s pretty good with other dogs but she’s nervous and jumpy and sometimes sudden movements (i.e. playful dogs) can make her scared. She’s getting a lot better with it at the dog park. And we are seeing some regulars there! So she’s making friends. :)

Bella is usually the fastest dog in the park. Seriously, her zoomies are epic. But she met her match last night when an adorable little whippet beat her!

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Go Bella! Go!

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