Weekend, Interrupted

The plans I made for this weekend were way different than what actually ended up happening. I was going to have the house all to myself for the whole weekend! I made a bunch of plans with friends–even double booked Saturday so I got to see two friends that day! But my body had another plan, apparently.

Michael was in Seattle Thursday-Sunday for work. I spent Thursday night watching the first disc of “The Closer” (why has it taken me so long to watch this show?! It’s so good!) and making holiday cards from scratch. I was starting to feel the beginnings of something…sinus headache, kind of achy. Unfortunately, as the weekend progressed I came down with a full-fledged head cold.

The good news: I was able to do some fun things before the black plague took over my body and kept me on the couch. Friday night I met my friend Robyn for dinner at Stickers Asian Cafe in Sellwood. I wasn’t feeling too sick yet, just congested. I ordered a bowl of the hot and sour won ton soup with the hopes that it would clear me up.

The soup was spicy and delicious. I ate some of the soup and saved the rest for lunch the next day. Robyn and I shared an order of Jiaozi dumplings. They were lighter than potstickers and really good. We ordered them with shrimp in it and I was glad we got a full order.

Then we split the Bangkok Tangy Sesame Noodles. It was yakisoba noodles with chicken and peanut sauce. The noodles were just okay. While I like sweet things, and I do like peanut sauce this dish was a little overpowering for me so I didn’t eat very much of it. I liked Stickers a lot and will probably go back. It was a diverse menu with Chinese dishes, Thai and Indian curry dishes. It’s a good place to go to satisfy lots of different cravings.

It was nice to see Robyn and I also got to hang out with another friend. My friend Debby and I saw Lincoln. What an outstanding movie! The costumes and sets were wonderful and there were so many scenes that had “Oscar” written all over it. Daniel Day-Lewis was mesmerizing as Abraham Lincoln and I found myself riveted when he spoke. When the film was over the whole theatre clapped. I really recommend this movie!

On Sunday I had planned on attending the memorial for Kirk Reeves, a legend here in Portland who died recently. For years, Kirk sat at the end of the Hawthorne Bridge downtown playing his trumpet and waving to people passing by. I saw him nearly every day on the way home from work as my bus passed him by, or I rode by him on my bike. He was the happiest person I’ve ever seen and no one could be in a bad mood after seeing him!

He always wore a white tuxedo with a Mickey Mouse hat. He passed out toys to kids and waved to everyone that went by. I was really saddened by this news. The bridge seems empty without him there now. I wish I could have made it to the memorial and contributed some money for the statue they want to commission but I was too sick by Sunday to do much of anything.

So most of my weekend was a bust. My nose is raw, my sinuses are congested, and my body aches. It’s not a fun way to spend the weekend. I’ve been resting and watching so much TV on Netflix that my eyes hurt but I’m trying to do as little as possible so I’m well enough for the upcoming holiday. I hope you guys are all healthy and taking your vitamins!

QUESTION: What are your plans for Thanksgiving?

A Gem in the Middle of the City

Saturday morning we woke up to sunshine and the promise of nearly 60 degrees outside! What a gorgeous little burst of sunshine in the middle of winter. We shared a lovely breakfast of pancakes and bacon before heading out for a day hike.

I was still getting over my nasty heady cold but feeling pretty good. The hike we chose was the Gillette Lake Hike over at the Bonneville Dam. Unfortunately it was about 15 degrees cooler out in The Gorge and about 15x windier out there! It was quite unpleasant so we chalked it up to a nice drive in the sunshine, and returned to Portland. Instead, we did a hike that was right in the middle of the city.

The hike was the Marquam Trail to Council Crest. To get to the trailhead, get off I-5 at Terwilliger and SW Barbur, and drive up Terwilliger towards OHSU. The trailhead was small and easy to miss, but since it was such a nice day out we just kept our eyes peeled for a bunch of cars parked by the trailhead and we were right!

The trail was classified as “Moderate.” There was a climb right at the start, but it wasn’t too bad. The trail went up the side of the hill, through tall trees covered in moss.

It was so much warmer and not windy in town! The sun was so bright and the sky was bright blue. It was such a lovely day. My stamina was definitely not what it used to be before my cold took over. I wasn’t feeling sick or weak, but I also wasn’t ready to run the entire trail! Speaking of running, we saw half a dozen trail runners during our hike, too.

The trail went steadily uphill. We were definitely getting our hear rates up. I still don’t know that I’d classify the hike as “Moderate.” It was more “easy” with a few “moderate” spots. It wasn’t unpleasant but definitely not the type of hike for someone with any sort of knee issues. Luckily, my knees were holding up.

The trail went downhill a little bit. The trail was very dry, with only a few muddy spots. We crossed the main road and picked up the trail on the other side. I realized once we got to the other side of the road that the Marquam trail eventually connected to Washington Park! It was part of the 40 miles of trails there.

This part of the trail was straight downhill. It was easy to get going and start running down the trail. I can see why the runners love it there! We got to the bottom of the trail and took the fork in the road towards the Marquam Shelter.

We stopped at the shelter to eat our lunches that we packed. Sitting still while sweaty means getting a chill pretty quickly so we didn’t stay too long once we were done eating. We headed back up the trail. It was a steady uphill climb back to the main trail.

We definitely got our hearts pumping as we climbed back up the Marquam trail. We decided to head back instead of continuing onto Council Crest. That will have to be another day when we have more time and more energy. I didn’t want to wipe myself out.

We crossed the road and picked up the trail again on the other side. It was mostly downhill the rest of the way. We crossed over a few creeks. There was this crooked little bridge and staircase that felt like it was about ready to fall off the face of the earth. It was entirely crooked but felt steady enough.

My cold didn’t hold me back too much. My body felt pretty good–my runny nose, not as great, but I was glad that my body didn’t feel fatigued. Michael’s back was holding up, too, so even better.

This little hike was such a GEM! It’s the perfect day hike right in the middle of the city. It was easy to get to, fairly easy to find, and close to everything. If you’re in Portland looking for a hike that will get your heart pumping, but don’t want to drive an hour east, definitely give Marquam Trail a try.

You can extend this little hike into so much more, as well. So please pack a lunch and some snacks and give it a try!

Hike Stats:
Time: 1:57
Calories Burned: 529
Mileage: About 3.5 miles

We got back to the car and stopped by the Viewpoint near the Chart House restaurant–which Michael and I want to try someday. I’d never heard of it, but the seafood restaurant was perched on the side of the hill overlooking the water and valley below. What a romantic spot!

When we got home I took a short nap. I was suddenly exhausted. Then I spent a the rest of the afternoon finishing Season 1 of Downton Abbey and starting season 2! I am officially addicted!

We made homemade pizza for dinner (this dough recipe we used was fantastic!) and I crashed in bed with a book, waiting for the NyQuil to kick in. đŸ™‚

QUESTION: How far do you have to travel from home to find good hikes? Have you done the Marquam Trail?