Monday, September 29, 2014

Hello October!

Leaves just starting to turn in Washington Park
Summer has flown by, and I find myself welcoming Autumn.  It has been a few years since I got to experience an Oregon October, and I am so looking forward to the things I missed while living in Arizona.  The leaves have been changing, and although we have benefited from a lingering summer, the air is starting to turn crisp.  This summer K and I decided to make an effort to do the things that we kept saying "You know, we should really do that before the end of the summer".  We made a list of things that were Must Do items.  And then we scheduled them.  It is a little amusing to me to schedule fun, but you know what?  It worked.  We had a great summer, and there really isn't anything that we are kicking ourselves about missing.  September was one of those weird hybrid months - still summer, mostly, but transitioning to fall.  We didn't have as much scheduled fun for September, but I had a few goals, one of which was to do a weekend hike every week.  We are NOT hikers, or really outdoorsy or athletic in general.  We are sort of weirdos in the Pacific Northwest, where it seems that everyone just loves the great outdoors.  Here in the Northwest, people need to soak up every ounce of sunshine that summer has to offer, to counteract the gloomy winter.  So they tend to spend the entire summer camping, hiking, running, floating the river....K and I just have never been drawn to those types of activities, despite my rugged Alaskan upbringing.  Don't get me wrong, I have done my fair share of camping, but at this point it isn't my go to activity.

The City of Portland from Washington Park (they love the Great Outdoors)

So in an effort to be more active and spend a little more time enjoying the Pacific northwest that I love, I decided that we should start a weekly hike.  Nothing crazy, mind you.  I googled "easy Portland hikes" and picked the easiest one I could find.  No need to overdo it right off the bat.  How do I know what these hiking people consider easy?  K seemed slightly uneasy about my declaration that we would now be doing weekly hikes, but being both a good sport and a loving husband, he agreed and jumped on board.  We ended up taking a hike 3 out of 4 weekends in September.  We are sticking with the easy hikes for now, but we are starting to feel more confident in our ability to love the Great Outdoors.

Oh nothing, just a hike in the woods

If you want to start checking out some hikes in the Portland area, I have found this website to be very helpful.  Last weekend we did the Washington Park hike, a beautiful hike in a park established over one hundred years ago by early Portlanders with amazing foresight.

Our most recent hike was in Tryon State Park.  This park is near Lewis and Clark College.  It is filled with amazingly HUGE trees, and even has trails for horseback riding.

But First: Waffles!
On the same day that we went to Washington Park, my BFF texted me and told me that one of my favorite restaurants from Eugene, Off the Waffle, had opened a Portland location!  She and I try to go there for breakfast every time I go to visit Eugene, so I was ecstatic to find out there was one close to me.  

We plan to keep up our weekly hikes as long as the weather stays decent.  But we have also come up with a few "Must Dos" for October.

October Must Do list

Sauvie Island Pumpkin Patch
Apple picking on Hood River Fruit Loop
Wine Tasting in Yamhill Valley
Weekend trip to Seattle to see friends

I've already scheduled our fun on my calendar.  What are your October must dos?

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