Archive for June, 2007


So tomorrow I start training for the Marine Corps Marathon, actually, tomorrow is an off day, but it is the first day on my training schedule. The real training starts on Monday with a simple 5-mile run. Tuesday will be an off day as well, with the Peachtree on Wednesday [6.2], 4 miles on Thursday, rest on Friday and 10 on Saturday [actually, I may split Saturday into two 5-mile runs, one on Friday and one on Saturday]. That will complete my first week of training with 25.2 miles in the record book.

I really, really need this. I need a schedule to stick to and a goal to reach for. I can get pretty lazy without that!

I bought a new pair of running shoes today, the same as I’ve been wearing for the past year or so, Fila Flow Sanctuary. These will be for the marathon.



A few things I learned yesterday:

  1. Oregon is the ONLY state in the US where you CANNOT pump your own gas — that’s right, I said YOU CANNOT PUMP YOUR OWN GAS — too dangerous I guess. When you pull up to the pump an attendant comes out [just like in the old days] and says, “Fill’er up?”, “Premium or regular?” How COOL is that?!? You don’t even have to get out of your car — just like the old days. Of course, they don’t check your oil, and they don’t do windshields either.
  2. I thought that this time of the year would be the “off season” for Timberline. WRONG! It’s like their peek season because it is the only place in the US to ski or snowboard during the summer. We are thinking about returning in the spring when the rooms are not so expensive and we can REALLY see snow!

The trip back yesterday was nice and uneventful. Uneventful is good when you’re flying. I sure didn’t want to come back! It is so beautiful out there, so beautiful in Oregon. We took lots of pictures but pictures do not do it justice. The soil must be like really, really fertile. It’s like the whole place is made up of nursery after nursery and orchard after orchard. Fruit stands are everywhere, everything is so green and lush, lots of evergreens. It’s like a HUGE Christmas tree farm! I would think the growing season to be pretty short.

A few things I didn’t see: billboards, churches, and people of color. These things are in short supply in Oregon, at least the part we visited. You really take for granted all the churches we have in the south — the “Bible belt”. There are not that many in other parts of the country. I think I could count on one hand how many churches I saw, and only one of them was Baptist.


Our trip around this grandiose mountain yesterday afternoon was quite interesting.

The temperature difference is SO diverse from the mountain to the valley. When we were up on the mountain it was SO COLD [probably like 30 or so] that we had sweaters, coats, mittens, gloves, hats, boots and the like on. We went to find a lake in the valley that we can see from the mountain, lake Trillion it was, and when we got there it was like 80! People were swimming — it was such an AMAZING difference in temperature just from the mountain to the valley, two places that were not that far apart — you can see one from the other, but so, so different! People were doing outdoor kind of stuff at both places, but in totally different clothing and temperature. It was so cool!

Last night we had the best pizza I think I’ve had it my whole life. A little place at the bottom of the mountain called the Ice Axe Grill in Government Camp. It was really, really yummy! –their signature pizza with tomato and spinach.

This morning we are just chilling until it’s time to check out. Then it is on to the airport for the long trip home. We didn’t get first class on the way out but I think we will on the trip home.


Today I have discovered that God is a God of variety. It’s not something you will find in the Bible, at least not in those particular words. But as I was riding the ski lift up Mt. Hood this morning and enjoying the cold, beautiful scenery and thinking about all of the other beautiful backdrops I have been privileged to witness over my lifetime, like the Grand Canyon, the Caribbean, and others, I realized that God IS a God of variety. But not only in the landscape he created for us, also in the people he created – So many different personalities and looks. He is SO a God of variety!

We got in bed pretty late last night; we were up almost 24 hours [21+]. This morning the sun came up so early. I had my alarm set for 6:00 but woke up at a little after 5:00 and the sun was up, bright and shining! Grabbed a bottle of water, some granola and raisins, a banana, and we were on the lift a little after 7:00. The ride up was incredible; they call it the Magic Mile and it is magical!

After about 4 times down the mountain BIG Tom was done! His side is scraped up, he had fun, maybe he’ll go back out a little later.

BTW, pictures are posted on facebook. Sorry to all you folks who don’t have a facebook account; you can see the pics when we get home.

This afternoon we took a driving tour of the surrounding area. Actually, we drove completely around the mountain. Took several hours. We actually found a STARBUCKS! Can you believe that?!? We came back on the”road less traveled” and it was nice — a one lane road for miles and miles and miles and some of it wasn’t even paved. Glad we rented the Jeep!


I don’t even know where to begin to describe the beauty of this place! It’s like a HUGE Christmas tree farm 🙂 Evergreens everywhere! The trip out was great, it took 5 hours but really to me it only seemed like about 2 or so. I had a good opportunity to work on my book as I hope to on the trip home as well.

When we arrived the first thing we noticed was the clarity of the air in Portland and lush, green vegetation everywhere – So different than the dry, parched grass and shrubs at home. Oh yeah, the temperature is a lot different than back home too – in the 50s up on the mountain at Timberline, 60s in Portland, and it should get down into the 30s or low 40s tonight.

The Timberline Lodge is nice and quaint. It was built in the 30s and much of the furnishings in the rooms and other areas of the lodge are from that era – original to the structure I would guess. Our beds are actually feather! The view out our window is incredible! It is a picturesque view of the valley and we can see Mt. Jefferson off in the distance. Mt. Hood is about 11 thou feet at its summit and Timberline sits on it at 6 thou feet.

We hiked part of the way up this afternoon and will hike some more tomorrow. We will not be able to reach the summit on this trip as the higher trails are closed for restoration. We really came out here to let BIG Tom snowboard so as long as he gets to do that tomorrow, all it well!

It is all about the huckleberry out here… huckleberry ice cream, huckleberry milk shakes, huckleberry jam, huckleberry syrup, huckleberry honey, huckleberry chocolate. You name it and they’ve got it in huckleberry flavor!

There is still plenty of snow as you will see in the pictures, especially up on the mountain. I think I read that in the winter the snow gets 21 feet deep! There is still a good 2 feet in some places around the lodge. We even saw a snowman that someone had made here today. People probably think we are crazy to get so excited over 2 feet of left over snow but we just don’t see this stuff in Atlanta. We get excited there over 2 inches of snow!


Just finished a pre-Peachtree run [+ 1 mile] starting at the BIG Peach on Peachtree to Piedmont Park. Today is the Gay Pride thing in Piedmont Park, so… that was interesting. I mean, there are always a lot of those types down there but today the place was crawling with them. YIKES!

The run was 7.2 miles total [it is a mile from the BIG Peach to Lenox]. I felt OK about the run. It was pretty low key. Sponsored by Rebook and the BIG Peach. They had a trivia game [about the Peachtree Road Race] before the run and I won a radio. Woo Hoo!

My time was pretty off 1:19. Last year I finished in just at an hour. But the course felt so easy today compared to last year [even my running partner said so] that I would have thought my time to be better. Up until last year I had done NO hill work whatsoever in my life, but while we were in training for the ING GA Marathon this winter and early spring we ran those hills at the Rock and Heartbreak Hill [at Piedmont Hospital] doesn’t even begin to compare to that!

I stopped during the run to spin the big wheel at Caribou Coffee and won a tin of mints — maybe that’s why my time was off. Ha Ha Ha Ha

When we got back to the BIG Peach they gave us a drink bottle [like I need another drink bottle– I just got finished cleaning out my “drink bottle” cabinet a few days ago and threw a bunch away] and a training journal. I need to use that, but I probably wont.

I’ve gained like 20 lbs. [and it’s not even Christmas!] That’s one reason my times lately have been so bad. That’s like running with 2 1/2 gallons of milk. I’ve got to work on getting rid of that 2 1/2 gallons! It won’t happen quickly. It’s crept on slowly, since that marathon in March, so I expect it will take a few months to get rid of. I’ve set myself a goal of 5 lbs. a month for the next 4 months.

I probably won’t run again until the end of next week. Hopefully we will be doing a good bit of hiking on Monday – Wednesday though. Mt. Hood here we come!


I think I’m recovered from the campout and lack of sleep :O well, maybe not fully [that’s me yawning, again].

Tomorrow we will run the full Peachtree course + a mile, starting at the BIG Peach at 7:45 a.m. to Piedmont Park. I hope my friend Anne will be able to join us, that will give me someone to run with [maybe]. My running partner could be back at the BIG Peach before I finish… he he he he she’s FAST!

I’ve got a new site going up [as I write – watching it w/one eye, writing w/the other]. This one is loaded with PDF and MP3 files and is taking FOREVER to upload. I will be maintaining this one as well and it will require quite a bit more time than any of the others I have maintained in the past, maybe with the exception of one.

I’ve already drug out the suitcases to begin packing for our trip to Mt. Hood. We will leave early [VERY EARLY] Monday morning. I’m SO excited!

June 2007
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