May 052015
 

Sunday morning we headed out towards Estacada/Mount Hood with the goal of going hiking on the Memaloose Lake Trail. I’m not sure what happened but we ended up having to turn around because the directions we took said to go on an old logging dirt road that was blocked off by a gate. We drove a little further up the road to see if we could get the GPS to figure out another route but it didn’t so we turned around. I was bummed. I wanted to check it out! The pictures looked beautiful. So I need to do a little more research and see if I can find out where we went wrong, or if there is another route.

Instead, we ended up going to Milo McIver Park because we passed by it on the road and I remembered awhile ago I’d looked into hiking there. It turned out to be a pretty good backup plan! Here is a pretty good map detailing the park and trails. The only downside? None of the trails are marked or named so once you’re out in the forest, good luck!

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Most of the trails were pretty easy but there were a few spots that I’d classify as “moderate.” Even a little out of shape and getting over the cold, I was able to due the big, steep hills but my heart was pounding for sure!

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There were also parts of the trail that were overgrown. About half-way through the forest my leg got hit by some stinging nettles from the underbrush. I knew what it was right away and it sucked. We got to the top of the hills and hiked past a big silo, then came to an open field.

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We decided it was a good spot to stop for lunch since there wasn’t anyone around there were a ton of picnic tables. I took care of the nettles first. Poured a little water on my leg, wiped the area with an alcohol pad and then used some Burt’s Bees hiking salve that I keep in my first aid kit. It worked really well. The stinging disappeared, there were some red bumps on my leg, but it settled down pretty quickly.

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The benches by the big tree is where we had lunch. We tied Bella up to a post and let her rest in the shade with some water while we ate. Michael had packed us homemade turkey sandwiches and I had brought some sugar snap peas.

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It took about 15 minutes or so for lunch and then we let Bella off her leash so she could go nuts in the giant field.

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Then we went back to the trail. During the hike I saw so many slugs and TONS of snails! I’d say at least 50. They were all over the trails so you had to be careful where you stepped.

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There were a bunch of wildflowers blooming in the forest, tons of blackberry bushes growing wild. There were a bunch of bridges on the trail, some creeks, and then we climbed some stairs in the forest (it was very steep).

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We left the forest and ended up on the Equestrian Trail. It wound downhill and was very wide. There were a few times we had a peek of the river below but mostly the view was blocked with trees. We saw TONS of horses! Bella did really well and didn’t freak out. We stepped off the trail and in the bushes to let them all pass and she didn’t bark once.

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She was very curious about the horses though, and when the last ones went by Bella was dying to chase after them (but we didn’t). We let them go further up the trail before we continued on. After a bit we turned around and hiked back the way we came. A lot of the trails connect but since none of them are marked, it was hard to compare where we were on the map to see if we could loop around.

I was a little disappointed that we couldn’t just do a loop and I REALLY WISH they’d mark the trails! It was a nice park but I can see it being easy to get disoriented. Stubb Stewart was really well marked and that was helpful.

We got back to the car and then decided to check out the rest of the park. There was camping, two disc golf courses, lots of covered picnic areas, volleyball, off-leash dog areas, the trails and then there were two boat launches for the Clackamas River and the Estacada Lake. There were a bunch of kayakers on the lake and it looked so wonderful and peaceful! What a nice place to kayak.

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Here is how we did for the day:

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5.63 miles hiked, I burned 789 calories and Michael burned somewhere around 1200. It was a good little hike and the trails were not that crowded. We didn’t see many other hikers (just a few) on the trail and mostly saw the horse back riders. Bonus: the park wasn’t too far from our place. So while I was disappointed we didn’t make it to Memaloose Lake, I’m glad we found an alternative hiking location that isn’t an hour’s drive!

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May 042015
 

So yeah, my health has not been great lately! The cold I had that turned into a sinus infection, came back last week. Just when I thought I was feeling better and ready to get back at things I felt like I was WORSE. I went back to the doctor after spending an entire night up with a sore throat and she tested me for strep (negative) and made sure I didn’t have pneumonia. She said that it could either be viral, and in that case the antibiotics I took didn’t work (they didn’t work, and usually they kick in pretty fast when I take them) or I didn’t take the antibiotics long enough. She said that they used to prescribe them for 10 days but recently changed that to the standard being 5 days (which is what I took) and that’s often not long enough. So lucky me, I got a second round of antibiotics–and a different kind. This time for 10 days. Ugh. I am so over it!

By Friday I was feeling a lot better and I even went for a swim. I was able to swim like normal and didn’t feel like taking 2 weeks off made it a tortuous activity.

On Saturday I slept in really late (like seriously late, 10:30!) and then went to the gym. Since my back is still in recovery I’ve been taking a break from weight lifting. But the last physical therapy session she gave me the okay to do SOME. No squats, nothing that could aggravate my back but things like biceps, triceps, chest press, etc, could potentially be ok. I did a minimal weight lifting session and then ran/walked 2 miles on the treadmill.

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I can tell that I’m still not 100% recovered because that calorie burn is pretty high for what I did. That’s the norm when I am sick–my heart rate is higher and I get worn out easier. I was feeling pretty good and energized, though. It was such a nice day that I decided to do some work in the yard. I pulled weeds, trimmed back some of the blackberry bushes and then discovered that the rose bush I planted last year was actually blooming!

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The photo doesn’t really do it justice, it’s a gorgeous salmon-orange color. I was told it might be 2 years before I’d get flowers on it, so I’m pretty excited that it’s already blooming. Check out how many calories I burned doing less than an hour of yard work:

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I always forget just how much work it is. The day was filled with chores and errands and grocery shopping but it was so nice that we wanted to enjoy the weather and BBQ. So we invited some friends over for dinner. Michael picked up some pork ribs from Costco and got busy grilling. I bought some BBQ sauce at Trader Joe’s that you MUST BUY ASAP! The Sriracha and roasted garlic sauce is AMAZING. So so good. It might be my new favorite BBQ sauce. I can’t imagine using another one after trying this one.

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Our friends brought the side dishes: some raw veggies and hummus, a mediterranean vegetable salad and a delicious bleu cheese and bacon potato salad (that was so good). I had some wine with dinner and we relaxed outside on the deck in the nice weather. It was the first grilling of the season! I can’t wait for summer.

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I had three ribs and a little too much of that amazing potato salad. On Sunday I woke up and was feeling the weight lifting and gardening I had done. Boy howdy was I feeling it. Thankfully none of it was PAIN and I didn’t aggravate my low back. But I was incredibly sore and feeling it. I knew the perfect remedy/activity for a sore body: hiking in the sunshine!

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