McKenzie River Trail – 8/16/14

Last weekend Jesse and I hummed and hawed about what to do, debating the importance of mountain biking, running, sleeping in, eating candy, and watching TV.

In the end, at the last minute, we decided we could sleep in, eat candy, and watch TV any other day of the year but the number of mountain biking/camping/nice weather running weekends were limited and we should grab life and the world by the, um, horns, and take advantage. We would camp Friday night and on Saturday Jesse would mountain bike from one end of the McKenzie River Trail (MRT) and I would run from the other end and we’d meet in the middle somewhere.

So Friday afternoon I spent some time shopping (i.e. researching) sleeping bags for me, as I didn’t have one (I ended up with the Mountain Hardwear Petaluma 20, which I’m very happy with). Long story short, I needed the left hand zip one and ended up with the floor sample at a discount because of a small cosmetic blemish. But hey, I’ll take it!

We packed up the trusty Outback on Friday evening and headed to Sisters, OR; with some not-so-quick stops at Chipotle and Target for “supplies”. Of course. Though we were not brave enough to try these. They sounded too questionable. #’merica!

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We arrived at our carefully selected campsite around 11 PM…….I know what you’re thinking. “Ugh, setting up a tent in the dark when you’re tired is literally the worst thing about camping. Literally. Not even kidding. It’s awful.” However, I’ll have you know, our tent is pretty spiffy and sets up in about 3 minutes. I’m so grateful for that thing – good work, REI.

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Morning quickly came and Jesse was itchin’ to get on the trail so we ate our oatmeal in the back of the Subaru, packed up camp, and drove the .1 miles to the trailhead (that was lucky planning)! He took off on his bike and I drove the 20-some miles to the other end and started my run.

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According to the website, it would take Jesse about 2.5 hours to ride the trail; so assuming he had about a half hour start, we would meet mid-trail somewhere and that would be my turnaround point.

The trail was really beautiful, as promised. Though many of the first miles were near the main road, which was a bit of a drag. It was a fairly warm morning and running along the river offered a nice reprieve (though the water was too cold for swimming or even wading, it was gorgeous scenery and the light breeze over the water felt incredible).

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IMG_4539(I don’t know why the “Leaving National Forest Land” sign cracks me up, but it does. National Forest Land – such a magical place…)

After about 2 hours of running, not including the 30 minute drive time, I still hadn’t run into Jesse (or many other riders in general), and I started to worry that either A) he was injured and I didn’t have cell service to know; or B) I was on the wrong freaking trail and he was waiting at the car, completely confused.

I confirmed that I was indeed on the MRT by no fewer then 3 people and turned around, certain he was hurt and I should probably head to the ranger station to figure out what to do.

At mile 11 of 15 of my run, Jesse comes barreling up behind me, grinning from ear to ear. “What the hell!?” I yelled. “Where’ve you been!?”

“Oh, it turned out the 2.5 hour thing meant to mile 16. Not end to end.”

Well. That’s slightly misleading! At least he was okay. Ironically, I was the one who was hurting! I ended up walking my last 3.5 miles or so; hips sore, feet, and heart, sad. If I was injured again, I was going to be super pissed. (I had done a 10 mile run on Wildwood 3 days earlier and still felt sore. I was panicked I had messed something up in my hips again.)

We were both pretty beat and though extending the adventure was tempting, we decided to head straight home.

On Sunday we slept in 🙂 Later I met up with my friend to help her pack for her move to San Diego (of which I do not approve. I miss her dearly already).

This week I had a 7 mile run on Wildwood from 53rd, since I hadn’t done that section in a while, and a 7.5 miler the following day on the Waterfront/downtown Portland. Both felt really good, though for the next few days I was feeling incredibly hungry!

Our DIY project this week was making our race medals into fridge magnets. We decided this was a much better use of them – on display, rather than sitting in a box in the garage. They turned out pretty cute! But we’re missing a few – will need to find them and add to our collection!

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We’ve also been enjoying some backyard slacklining, as we finally put up our set between the deck and the tree. Jesse’s getting pretty good – my suspicion is that he spends hours a day on that thing while I’m at work!

In other news, at this time a week from now I’ll be on a plane with my love en route to France!

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