Portland, baby!

At the weekend, it was my birthday. I was not 21. Alas I wasn’t even 40. Ugh. Anyway, never one to forgo the opportunity for a trip, I booked some flights and we headed up to Portland, OR. I’ve wanted to go to Portland for years – people rave about the place and post the most amazing pictures on instagram. So I was really excited to go.

We flew up on the Friday night. I rocked my new birthday leg-warmers (I rocked them 30 years ago too) and tucked into the birthday reading the husband brought for me!

me emelie

Because I look just like Emelie when I run.

me

I will only admit this on my blog where you are all runners and you won’t judge…but basically I wanted to go to Portland to run the trails of Forest Park. Forest Park is a massive park just outside downtown Portland. I’d seen so many pictures of it, I was dying to run there. But being a family girl, I was prepared to run/hike with my boys. We brought along the Bob stroller, although I was unconvinced I could push the Dude in it any more. However as we drove up on Saturday morning, the Husband announced that he would take the Dude hiking and geocaching, and I was free to run my heart out for an hour and a half.What an awesome present for a  mum!

How I felt

How I felt

I ran and ran and ran, and it was every bit as amazing as I expected. I honestly can’t tell you how much running through forests makes my heart soar. There’s something almost primeval about it, it’s utter magic. I ran up Wild Cherry trail which climbed steadily through trees that were bright green with moss on their branches and trunks. At the top, I turned right on Wildwood trail and ran along that for three miles or so. It’s a balcony trail that is roughly parallel with Leif Erickson trail – there’s some undulation but it’s more or less flat. It was just magical, running through the forest. I loved every second of it.

I felt really safe even though I was running alone through a forest in a city. There were plenty of runners on the trails, every time I felt like I was a bit too isolated, another runner or hiker would come into view. There were plenty of women running alone too. The trails were all deliciously smooth and well maintained so I wasn’t worried about twisting my ankle either.

portland wildwood forest park

See how the trail curves round? Magic, people!

portland wildwood forest park IMG_2222 wildwood forest park portland

Eventually I turned off down a very steep, very muddy fireroad to get back to Leif Erickson trail. It was a bit tricky and that was the only time I felt isolated but it was fine and soon I was back on Leif. Leif (we’re on first name terms now) is a wide, smooth fire-road shaded with lovely trees. It was steadily, gently downhill for me all the way back to the car. I arrived back grinning from ear to ear and buzzing with endorphins as I found my boys again. Just the most brilliant 7 miles I’ve run for a very long time.

In case anyone’s interested in practicalities, we parked at the trailhead at the top of NW Thurman and I ran a route of Leif Erickson – Wild Cherry – Wildwood – Fireroad 1 – Leif back to the start.

I’d intended to run the next day along the river, on the floating walkway (!) but my nasty germs rallied for one final hurrah, which meant I felt pretty ropey. A wise decision. I shall save my floating walkway for our next time in Portland.

A few more photos of our weekend because I really love other people’s travel photos and I’ll assume you love mine too 🙂

portland

Get your falafel and lentil soup here, folks! (Alder St pod)

portland cake doughnut

Voodoo doughnuts. Good but not worth the calories

portland mini golf

Every Ramsden trip needs to include mini-golf (Glowing Greens in downtown Portland)

me portland

DO get brunch at Mother’s!!!!!

The Dude is obsessed with hedgehogs but California is a hedgehog-free state. So I emailed Rose City Hedgehogs and asked very nicely if we could come and visit. The lovely lady said yes and so my favourite small person (who isn’t very small any more) finally got to hold a hedgie!

IMG_0617

multnomah

Multnomah Falls. An Instagram cliche but totally amazing!

family multnomah portland

Our awkward family photo

dude portland oregon

Getting sworn in as a junior ranger. Oddly moving for his mother!

bridge of the gods portland oregon

Bridge of the Gods from the book/movie ‘Wild’.

columbia gorge portland Oregon

The beautiful Columbia River Gorge

family portland

Ending with the obligatory IG shot of our feet on the PDX airport carpet

Oregon, you wowed us! We’ve already started planning our trip there in August!

About Cathryn

I'm from Wiltshire, a beautiful rural county in the south of England. My husband, son and I moved to California in August 2010 with my husband's job, whilst I stay at home with The Dude, our gorgeous five year old son. I love running and cycling. I'm a Christian. I am finally learning to cook (about time too). I'm loving exploring this new part of the world and meeting its wonderful people.
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2 Responses to Portland, baby!

  1. Layla says:

    Well, now I need a dose of Forest Park, thanks to your blog post. 🙂 I agree with you about Voodoo — not worth the calories (but then again, I will always take a bagel over a doughnut). I’m glad you had a lovely birthday trip to Portland!

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