Summer Sports

Thelma & Louise & Bella

Michael was off in Seattle doing boy things and so Bell and I were flying solo for a little girl’s weekend. On Saturday I had plans to go for a mini road trip and picnic lunch with my friend Erika.

But first, I went to the gym for a quickie weight workout. Erika and I weren’t planning on doing any hiking or anything and I wanted to get something in for the day. Afterward, I cleaned up and got everything ready for the picnic and then Erika arrived.

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When we discussed getting together for the day we talked about a few options. The first was doing the Fruit Loop in Hood River. It’s a bunch of country stores, fruit stands and farms in Hood River. Michael and I did part of it a few years ago and I really liked the idea of checking it out again but thankfully Erika checked it out online and saw that they don’t want dogs to visit (since a lot of them have farms with animals). Good to know! So Erika suggested we check out Lost Lake.

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I’d heard of Lost Lake but didn’t know anything about it and hadn’t been before (Erika camped there as a kid). We picked up lunch from a grocery store deli (I got Broccoli Salad, Potato Salad and some Goldfish crackers, Erika got a sandwich) and hit the road! It was a really nice drive out to Hood River. It’s such a gorgeous, picturesque area of Oregon.

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We drove past all my favorite wineries and were surrounded by several mountains. The sun was out, it was warm but not uncomfortably hot and we had the windows down and the music up.

The road to Lost Lake was off the Fruit Loop through the forest, some clear-cutting (sad) and the road was windy and climbed up quite a bit. The drive was just under 2 hours from my place and in a very remote and romantic neck of the woods. We got to the campground and it took awhile to get a parking spot. They had a lot of people directing traffic and trying to help people find places to park. It was a popular place!

We finally found a spot and then grabbed the cooler and walked down to the lake to have a picnic. There were day use areas but since we’d gotten there so late in the day it was pretty crowded already. We walked along the shore and found a little spot to have our lunch and listened to the water lapping on the shore.

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After lunch we decided to walk around the lake. According to the website it was only 3 miles around the whole thing and very easy. We walked back to the car to drop off the cooler and kind of got a little teeny bit lost. LOL So we ended up walking around the camping loops of the park for awhile before we finally got back to the car! Oh well. We took the scenic route.

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We grabbed our backpacks with water and then set out to walk the trail around the lake. According to the website, the Lakeshore Trail was 3.2 miles (it turned out to be a lot longer!). I was just about to comment that it was odd we hadn’t seen the mountain at the Lake when we turned a corner and saw this:

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Gorgeous! It looks like a postcard.

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The lake had a ton of kayakers and swimmers and there were families fishing. Lots of kids were playing near the dock and families were having BBQ’s. It was cool how many little nooks of picnic areas there were along the shore, hidden in the trees. I think the secret is to get there early in the day and grab one of those great little picnic spots and just spend the whole day!

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The trail was so nice! It was VERY easy. Flat and sometimes there was a boardwalk and there were parts of the lake that were completely secluded.

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Bella was doing a great job. It was pretty crowded and there were lots of dogs on the trail but she never barked once. She was loving the woods and the trail. It was such a nice and peaceful walk along the lake. Sometimes you couldn’t see the lake but then you’d turn the corner and it would be a breathtaking view.

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We got to the other side of the lake and found a little dock that was empty. We decided to sit down and relax for a little bit. Erika had some chocolate chip cookies and we lounged in the sunshine having a snack and enjoying the view.

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It was the perfect day and a great view! I commented that we needed hammocks. Next time bringing a camping chair and a book and spending some time next to the lake! After the break we continued up the trail a little bit and then got back to the parking lot.

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Like I said, it was a little bit longer of a walk than the website said, about 4 miles. But it was a very easy 4 miles. I was actually kind of surprised at how many calories I burned on our walk considering my heart rate never got over 110 during the whole walk.

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What a great way to spend the afternoon! We headed back towards Portland and made a quick stop at a fruit stand to get some fresh fruit. Erika got some blueberries and I got cherries and raspberries.

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It was a bit of a slow drive back into town but so pretty it was hard to feel impatient. When I got home I made a veggie burger and some steamed broccoli for dinner (and might have eaten all of those raspberries while I cooked) and relaxed with some Netflix while I ate. Bella was zonked out on the couch.

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I finished watching “Bloodlines” on Netflix. It’s a really good show. It’s a little slow to start. I know a few people who say they tried to watch it and gave up but give it a few episodes. By episode 3 or 4 I was hooked. Episode 11-13 was super good! On the edge of your seat good. I hope they make a second season. Then I started watching “Royal Pains” on Netflix. Totally a guilty pleasure show. It’s goofy and trashy but kind of entertaining. 🙂

It was a fabulous weekend! Finished up with a run on Sunday, lots of yard work and playing with Bella in the sunshine.

Gold Medal

My boyfriend is a peach: he’s been recording the parts of the 2012 Summer Olympics that he knows I will be interested in. Guess what that sport is? Duh, swimming. 🙂 If you aren’t impressed with the amazing skills of these athletes, I don’t know what could convince you. It’s exciting!

I’m probably a few days behind watching the sports but what I’ve seen so far has been fun to watch. I’ll admit, I’m a big Michael Phelps fan, so of course I’m rooting for him.

Synchronized Diving

I watched the synchronized diving and was so impressed with China! Those girls were identical in every way–they looked like robots! While diving has never been my favorite sport, I know exactly how hard it is to be good at synchronized swimming. It takes a lot of strength to hold poses for long, hold your breathe under water and be 100% in synch with your team. I did synchronized swimming for a few years as a kid and I marvel now that I was able to do it!

The diving with the spinning was absolutely beautiful to watch.

100m Fly

Dana Vollmer beat the world record for the 100 meter butterfly (55.98 seconds) and won the Gold Medal. Watching her made me wish that I could do the butterfly. It was beautiful and fluid.

What I noticed first about the women’s 100m Fly event was how different it was from the men’s. The men had more power in their upper body and were raised out the water higher than the women. I’d never noticed that before.

400meter

Lochte is the new favorite but I’m still a Phelps fan. It’s pretty exciting watching these two perform even though Phelps didn’t win. Ryan Lochte beat him by 4 seconds but as they were swimming I commented to Michael that Michael Phelps looked really good–conditioned, slender, strong.

There is a lot of hype around Lochte and a lot of questions about whether Phelps is on his way out. I really hope not, because he inspires me every day. (Check out this article: Why Ryan Lochte Will Always Be in Phelps’ Shadow.) But Lochte is the second fastest time in history–behind #1 Michael Phelps!

4×100 Swim Relay

By far, the most exciting part was the relay race. I was on the edge of my seat the whole time. USA had the lead, thanks to Phelps. His long body, powerful stroke and speed had him as much as a body length ahead of everyone else. The other teammates continued the lead on their turn and then Lochte–picked to win–lost the lead they had. France won by a tiny fraction, disappointing.

If you missed my series on swimming, you can check it out here:

Lap Swimming Etiquette

Swimming Tips for Beginners

How to Swim Freestyle

How to Swim Breaststroke

So You Want to Be a Swimmer

My Favorite Swimming Gear

The Time I Swam 2 Miles

I Am Legendary 

I’m loving the swimming events. I could nerd out all day long on it. What I want is a comprehensive breakdown of what these athletes eat.

Now I’m off to the pool to set my own world records! 🙂

QUESTION: Are you watching the Olympics? What is your favorite event?