hiking Powell Butte Park

Hiking, Brunching, Eating

Saturday we went for our first hike of 2017!

Saturday it was kind of a nice day. Cool but sunny and around 50 degrees. After Logan woke up from his morning nap, we packed everything and everybody up, grabbed sandwiches from Subway and drove to Powell Butte.

It’s a good little hike in the city that doesn’t take a lot of effort to get to. Bella was SO excited to get out of the house and into the woods! Especially after being trapped in the house with the snow and ice and rain for the last month!

We bundled Logan up in layers and he wore shoes and a hat (that was slightly too big) and mittens. Thankfully he kept the mittens on the whole time!

I forgot that Powell Butte can be a little cooler than the rest of the city because it’s up on a hill without trees and the wind can whip through there pretty fast. It was definitely cooler than we were expecting but once we got down into the forest part, it was good.

Logan babbled and squawked and talked to the trees and forest creatures. 🙂 Bella sniffed every fern in the forest.

Since it wasn’t as warm as we would have liked and it was getting time to feed Logan (and it was past nap time) we cut the hike short after the loop in the woods and went back to the car.

It was nice getting some fresh air! I think we all felt better after being outside for a bit. In the car Logan ate and then passed out:

Bella was tired too. (So was this mama.)

 

On Sunday we had a few belated birthday celebrations. First, we went to Michael’s mom’s house for brunch for my birthday. It was really nice! She made a lovely egg casserole and a potato casserole. There was fruit salad and miniature cinnamon rolls.

We hung out there for a few hours. It was nice not really being in a rush for once. Logan was having a great time showing off all his new abilities for the family. This weekend he stood up from sitting on the floor WITHOUT holding on to anything for the first time. Then once he was standing he realized what was happening and I think he freaked out a little bit because he reached out to hold on. But that was a big step!

They had some Baby Einstein toys at their house and he loved those. The ones that play music are a huge hit. He starts dancing. It’s adorable. 🙂

The family was very generous and I am totally looking forward to using my birthday gifts–one was a mini spa day (massage and facial) and the other was a gift card for three pedicures. Can’t wait!! 😀

It was getting to be time for Logan’s afternoon nap so we went home and all three of us took a nap! IT WAS GLORIOUS! 😉 After a month and a half of not being sick, Michael and I both caught a head cold. Thankfully it’s pretty mild and more annoying than anything else. But as a result we both took it easy this weekend and I skipped swimming on Sunday.

Sunday evening we met my friend Star and her boyfriend for dinner. I really wanted to give this place a good review:

The food was pretty good but the service was SO terrible! Star is vegetarian and ordered the vegetarian wontons with noodles. They came with pork in them!! When we talked to the waitress she didn’t seem to care and said that the noodles were vegetarian. Um…but what about the pork in the wontons?! I felt SO bad for Star because I picked this place (after reading great reviews) because it would be easy for her to get something vegetarian.

Michael got the brisket noodles:

I got the wonton noodle soup. The beef broth was delicious. I have leftovers for lunch (which I added srichacha to) which is perfect for my cold.

So I was really disappointed with the bad service and I feel badly for picking the restaurant. But it was still nice to see Star and Larry. Her birthday is a week after mine so we were able to celebrate that. I got her this book: The Oh She Glows Cookbook: Over 100 Vegan Recipes to Glow from the Inside Out for her birthday. I hope she invites me over soon for dinner out of that cookbook! It looks amazing. 😉

 

Playing Hooky

After a recent burst of summer-y weather, I vowed that the next day it was sunny and warm I’d take a vacation day and enjoy it. With the wedding and stuff I have been saving my vacation days but I had enough to spare one. I ended up taking off Monday to extend my weekend. I had nothing planned other than enjoying 0% chance of rain and the possible temperature of 74 degrees.

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I packed a backpack and water and Bella and I were off to play in the sunshine! I got an iced coffee, we filled up the gas tank and then drove to East Portland for a hike. I decided to do Powell Butte Park. I’d heard of the park before but had never been. I decided Monday was a good day! I didn’t want to drive all the way out to the Gorge for a hike and I’m glad I gave this local hike a try. I’d like to do it again with Michael.

They are doing construction at the park so the visitor parking lot is closed. I parked at the bowling alley across the street from the entrance road and Bella and I hoofed it up the steep road to the park. The hardest part of the hike was the first 1/2 mile trek TO the park!

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The park was pretty empty. We came across a few other people with dogs and Bella did a great job! She didn’t bark at any of the strangers except for one. The park is under massive construction. Not sure what all they are doing but I did see parts of the park were closed for habitat restoration. There were also tons of newly planted trees.

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The park is supposedly popular with cyclists, hikers and horseback riders. I saw evidence of horses on the trail but didn’t see any horses on our hike. The summit of the park was pretty barren; there were some trees but mostly it was just views of the surrounding mountains. It was a gorgeous lookout from the top!

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The sun was out, the skies were perfectly blue and it was warm out there. Bella and I hiked on the Wildhorse Trail and then it hooked up to the Orchard Trail. The path started to lead downhill and wound into some trees. The hike turned into a more typical Oregon hike–through old growth forests.

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The only sound was the breeze through the trees and the birds hiding in the branches. It was very peaceful. I followed the forested trail downhill for awhile and decided to turn around. I’m glad I did. We’d hiked a lot longer than I had expected. The trail was deceptive–it didn’t seem very far.

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It was a pretty warm day and most of the hike was out in the open. The sun felt really nice. We stopped many times for water breaks. We turned around and headed back the same way we came. I loved seeing the mountains! I found a map after the hike that showed all the trails. I’m not sure which ones are under construction but I was impressed with how big the park was!

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I’ve hiked on my own many times before. I’m always aware of what’s going on around me, pay attention to other people on the trail, and just be smart. I liked having Bella with me! We got back to the car and had more water before heading home.  We did about 4.25 miles total. It was such a nice way to spend a day off!

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When I got home Bella fell asleep on the couch (snoring) while I cleaned up and had lunch. Lunch was leftover cashew chicken from the weekend and it really hit the spot. I’d worked up an appetite!

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I ran a few errands–one being a trip through the car wash! My poor car hasn’t been washed in months. And Bella got the exciting experience of going through a carwash. I posted a video of it on my instagram if you’re so inclined to check it out. After a day in the sunshine, Bella and I finally sat down to relax a little. She fell asleep and snored on the couch. 😉

When Michael got home I gave him his birthday present and made dinner. Even though we’d had Italian for his “official” birthday dinner, we ended up having Italian again! I opened a jar of my homemade marinara sauce made entirely from the tomatoes, rosemary, onions and basil from last year’s garden. I cooked some Trader Joe’s pesto tortellini, browned some turkey into the sauce and opened a bottle of red.

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For dessert I tried something I saw on Pinterest. You take the crescent roll dough, roll some Rollos into it, bake it and it’s all melty and gooey on the inside. For about 180 calories, it’s a nice treat! It was a little weird but tasty. Kind of reminded me of the croissants that have chocolate baked on the inside.

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We watched Game of Thrones and ended the day. It was such a nice day off!