wildflowers

90 Degrees and Picnic in the Park

SUMMER!

I love summer in the NW! It’s so picturesque and usually pretty comfortable–not TOO hot (although, local Pacific NW-ers may disagree with me, seems a lot of them like the cool 60’s much better). This past weekend it was going to be clear skies, bright sunshine and hot weather. Saturday we made plans with our friends we went to Bend with in January to go for a hike and have a picnic lunch at Stubb Stewart Park. Our friends Sean and Margie had never heard of Stubb Stewart and it’s not too long of a drive from their neck of the woods, so it was nice that we could expose them to such a cool park nearby! (From where we live it’s a little less than an hours drive. From Hillsboro area it’s about 30 minutes.)

It also turned out to be National Park Day so the entrance was free! We met them at the park on Saturday morning and got started on our hike. Most of the hike was through the forest (near the horse trails and the disc golf course). It was a good little hike because the ground is nice and soft and it’s really shaded (which was good for a hot day). The day was much cooler in the trees.

We hiked around the looping trails that all connect and got a pretty decent workout in! Even though the hike isn’t super strenuous, my heart rate was at a great rate for most of it.
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Because it was such a hot day I was super aware of Bella the whole time. We stopped to rest in the shade a few times, gave her water and I poured water on her body to cool her down. She was panting but not abnormally so. For the first part of the hike she seemed to be doing pretty well and had a lot of energy.

The place was full of wildflowers blooming. I just love the wild flowers that grown in Oregon!

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Don’t you love wildflowers? I know it’s not a really interesting subject matter but I really could just take pictures of flowers for the rest of my life and be pretty happy. 🙂

After hiking for a bit we found ourselves back at the Hilltop parking lot and picnic spot so we grabbed the cooler and sat at a bench in the sunshine to have our lunches. This was the view for our picnic:

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This was my calorie burn for the hike:

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Sweet number! Lunch for us was a Subway sandwich I’d bought before we left (we were out of everything to make something at home). I got us ham sandwiches on flatbread and we had some Trader Joe’s white cheddar popcorn and sugar snap peas. It was a really nice lunch break. Bella hid under the picnic table in the shade and relaxed.

After lunch we walked a little bit longer to show Sean and Margie the cute little cabins that you can rent. I was hoping they’d be interested in renting one out with us sometime this summer and they were! How could you not? They are super cute looking. I hope we can make this happen (even though last time I checked they were pretty booked this summer).

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We walked a little more through the forest. The trail we’d done last time we were there was closed and even though it was shaded in the woods, we could tell Bella was getting hot. She was slowing down and just didn’t seem interested in hiking anymore so we called it a day.

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We went back toward the Hilltop parking lot and ended up on the park road. I could really tell that Bella was feeling the heat now. She was much slower and so we decided the hike was over and went back to the car area. When we got there Bella kept trying to hide underneath the picnic benches for some shade. 🙁 My poor baby! We probably should have called it a day after lunch. But she was a trooper and was acting pretty normal (other than being tired).

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Here is the calorie burn for the little hike we did after lunch:

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We stopped in the shade and I poured water over Bella and we tried to get her to drink. While Michael was in the shade with B, I got the car started with the AC on full blast to cool it down before we got inside. We said our goodbyes to our friends and then we were hitting the road.

Of course, we had to make a stop at Dairy Queen on the way home for the Orange Julius smoothie. I got the pina colada flavor just like last time! 😀 It was fantastic! (And less than 200 calories so on a stifling hot afternoon, it was a nice treat.)

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Total calories burned for the hike: 867 and we did just around 6 miles! We got home and I gave Bella a bath and a big dinner and she just chilled on the couch for the rest of the evening (as per usual). She seemed to be doing okay so I was glad we didn’t overdo it on the hike. When it’s that hot you never can tell.

Sunday

Sunday was NOT as great of a day.  🙁 It was that time of year to take all the beasts to the vet for their annual check-ups. Usually it’s an all-day thing (which kind of sucks because I hate how quiet and lonely the house feels without my babies) and I also hate the idea of them being stuck in cages at the vet’s awaiting their turn.

Bella was all good and just needed her exam and a refill on her monthly flea/heartworm etc meds. The kitties were getting their exams as well as dental cleaning. It’s part of their pet insurance package and while they are indoor kitties and in good health, I signed them up for the dental package because a few years ago Maya (who had a cracked tooth) ended up needing to have two teeth removed. My poor baby! That was an awful experience and I felt so bad for her. She needed antibiotics and pain meds twice a day for 10 days (imagine trying to give a skittish kitty meds twice a day…yeah!).

Anyways. There was some kind of emergency at the vet (another pet) and so that pushed all the other pets back and my kitties didn’t get their cleanings until late in the day. The hard part about the dental cleaning is that they have to put them under anesthesia in order to do it. I absolutely hate that and I shared my concerns with the vet. Last time Fat Kitty had a very negative experience to it (he became like a crazed feral cat). So this time she used a different kind of anesthesia.

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When I got them home I took them into the office where their litter box and food and stuff is and closed the door. I let Fat Kitty out and he was a like a drunk sailor–he could barely walk. He didn’t fall down but he looked like he was about to at any moment. I sat with him for awhile and monitored him. He was so high. It was really distressing. He definitely wasn’t the feral crazed cat like last time, but I might prefer that to this high-drunk-sailor-wobbly-kitty. 🙁

I let Maya out of and she was a little goofy but not too bad and she even let me pet her! And she came up and rubbed against me and wanted cuddles (coming from the cat that always hides, this was abnormal). They weren’t allowed to eat for a few hours but could have water. I tried to get them to have water but they were both too loopy.

For several hours I sat with Fat Kitty while the anesthesia wore off. He didn’t have an appetite (VERY abnormal) and wouldn’t eat the wet food or dry food I put out once it was okay to eat. He kind of sniffed it and licked it and that was it. I hated it! I was so stressed out. It’s no fun seeing our babies hurt or sick. I wish I could make them feel better.

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Despite all that the vet said they were all in good health. Fat Kitty was on the borderline when it came to his kidneys. She said it could be a combination of not eating anything since the previous night (no food/water after 8pm the night before) and the stress of being at the vet. She wants to check his kidneys and blood work again in a month to be on the safe side. She said at that time he might be put on a prescription diet for his kidneys if they weren’t better. I decided to go ahead and get the special food now and start mixing it in with the other cat food just to be safe. She said she wasn’t TOO worried yet but a little concerned. On the drive home from the vet I cried a little bit when I thought about my baby possibly being sick.

I stayed up pretty late monitoring my baby. The anesthesia was wearing off–he was walking normally by like 9:30pm and starting to eat. I stayed up to make sure he wasn’t going to vomit or anything.

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So yeah, Sunday kind of sucked.

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A Slow Start

The day began cool and overcast with the promise of 75 degrees and perhaps some sunshine. I took last week off from biking to work because of the rain (back to spin class) so I was looking forward to getting back outside. My morning began early and I felt groggy and tired–completely unmotivated to get out of bed. But I did. And I ate the last pancake from the weekend with one fried egg on top (super fast breakfast) and managed to get out the door on time.

Check out my bike makeover! Michael rewrapped my handlebars with new red tape that is very soft (and clean). I think it looks great.

My ride started slowly; my legs felt lethargic and tired. I was slow on the hills and felt fatigued but eventually it got better. I can’t say that my morning ride was fantastic. Several times a car just missed me. It was like I was wearing an invisible cape or something. I hate that!

I also got stuck at an intersection that I despise. It never senses bikes, so the light never changes. No cars were coming behind me to trigger the sensor and I just missed the light. I was really annoyed. I tried the crosswalk and the whole thing was a debacle. I should have just waited for a car to come and trigger it! I hate that intersection. It added at least 5 minutes to my commute. I need to find another route.

Another thing, my phone decided to restart on itself mid-ride so I don’t think the mileage is accurate. I think it’s really 11.47 miles.

I think that 34 mph was downhill. Hehehe I am definitely not that fast. Luckily, the wind was at my back on the Springwater Trail so I was able to make up some time. The one good thing about my ride was that I spotted a deer on the trail! He was beautiful, young and alert. I wish I’d gotten a better photo.

Morning Stats:
Time: 53:38
Calories Burned: 551
Mileage:  10.47?

My snacks for the day: apple in the morning, bagel thin sandwich with cream cheese and ham, crackers and cottage cheese for my afternoon snack.

Afternoon Commute

The day warmed up nicely and the sun came out. I don’t know what the temperature was but it was pleasant. Luckily I made it out of downtown quickly and crossed the Morrison Bridge in no time at all (I hate biking downtown, have I mentioned that?) and passed by the Rose Festival carnival that is in town. I felt okay other than my lower back being tight for the first few miles of my ride.

For the rest of the bike ride home, I played the game “Do I Have a Flat Tire Or Don’t I?”. I hate this game. My ride was bumpy, the tires felt like they weren’t quite right, but every time I stopped and checked, the tires were fine. Ride a few miles, “do I have a flat tire?”, check, nope it’s fine, ride a few miles, “it’s totally flat”, nope. I got through the annoying intersections that cause me anxiety without the same issues as I had that morning and made my way to the quiet road to my house.

Remember all that construction and detours on my new route? Well they are finally paving! The roads were shut down temporarily while they were laying the black top but the workers flagged me through as long as I stayed on the sidewalks. I thanked them and zipped on my way on the sidewalk. I am totally looking forward to biking on that nice, new road!

I wanted to get a picture of me in front of our beautiful blooming rose bush but my aim wasn’t that great. I had a good ride home and immediately had a small glass of chocolate milk when I got home.

Afternoon Stats:
Time: 52 minutes
Calories Burned: 473
Distance: 10.46 miles
Average Speed: 13.5 mph
Fastest Speed: 38 mph 

Dinner was a boneless pork chop, sauteed kale from our garden with shallots and cottage cheese for me. (Currently going through a “eat cottage cheese at every meal” phase.) And I had 1 glass of white wine with dinner while Michael and I got caught up on AGT. 🙂 Oh and vanilla pudding for dessert. And I still have nearly 400 calories left for the day!

QUESTION: Have you ever seen wildlife out on a bike ride, run or hike?