Powell Butte Park

Race the Rain

We’ve had a house guest for the last few days and over the weekend I had a bit of a stomach bug. Not sure if I ate some that didn’t agree with me or what, but I took it a little easy. Honestly after having a busy few weeks it was nice to relax and watch some Netflix and decompress. I started watching “Bosch” on Amazon Prime. If you have Prime, I highly recommend it! It’s REALLY good! The books are great, too, if you haven’t read those.

IMG_8751

So Sunday came and I met a friend for a walk. She recently had a baby and it was a pleasure seeing the little one! We got in a nice walk–around 3 miles or so. Then Michael and I went out for a hike after lunch. We needed something near the city because we were racing the forecast of rain.

IMG_8774

We went out to Powell Butte Park in SE Portland. It’s a quick, easy drive and a nice little park in the city. If you’re looking for a hike to do on the east side of town, this is a good one. The last time I was there it was under construction but now it’s mostly done and the trails are really nice! It’s a huge park with sweeping views of the city, the countryside and various mountains.

IMG_8758
It’s not a really strenuous hike, but there were a few parts of the trail that got my blood pumping. There are mountain bike trails and we saw evidence of horses, too. The clouds were looking ominous, but it seemed to be off in the distance.

IMG_8760

Part of the path is paved. Then it turns into gravel. Then the trail goes downhill and into the woods. There were tons of mountain bike trails with hills and stuff. We hiked through the woods and it was nice. Not too crowded out there.

IMG_8761

IMG_8764

We came out of the woods and started hiking back up the hill. We saw the dark clouds and could see the rain far off in the distance but it still looked far enough way. We hiked around the summit and looped around the whole park.

IMG_8766

There was a viewpoint with markers showing what each mountain was off in the distance.

IMG_8767

I was starting to get tired and a little sore. (I did a lot of weights Saturday and was a bit sore from that in addition to walking earlier in the day.) We saw the dark clouds moving even closer and then we heard thunder! Thankfully Bella didn’t seem to notice or hear it, so that was good. We picked up the pace and headed back down the trails to the parking lot. Then we saw this guy:

IMG_8769
IMG_8771

We’d heard rustling in the hillside above us and then we looked up and saw the deer! Wow! Again, Bella was oblivious–which was good. She didn’t bark at the deer and freak it out. Bella was too preoccupied by smelling something in the bushes. LOL

IMG_8772

Back at the car. We did just under 4 miles. I burned 431 calories. It was a good little hike for a quickie exercise when pressed for time. I was happy with my numbers. Michael’s were a little lower than he wanted.

IMG_8776
IMG_8775
As Michael was driving out of the parking lot the rain started. We’d just missed it! Then it started to downpour and it rained for most of the drive home.

Dinner was jalapeno poppers (fresh from our garden) and steak topped with caramelized onions. I made us side salads with romaine and spinach and fresh roma tomatoes from the garden. Dessert was some vanilla ice cream with fresh strawberries and some chocolate on top.

IMG_8779

 

Those poppers, by the way, were borderline nuclear hot. We are definitely having a HOT jalapeno summer!

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.

photo 1

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!

IMG_0020

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.

IMG_0034

IMG_0025

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!

IMG_0052
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.

IMG_0041

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.

photo 2-1

IMG_0044

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!

IMG_0047

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!

photo 2

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!

photo 1-1
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.

pasta

wine
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.

dessert

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