Running in the desert

When I booked an early flight to Southern California for last week, I thought oh I’ll go for my long run at Huntington Beach, I’ll see the ocean it will be lovely! And that’s what I almost did.

DSC01409Except that when I got to California and opened up my wallet I saw my National Parks Annual pass and I was like oh I wonder what parks are around and then I felt like a dumbass because I was only 2 hours from one of my all time most favourite of national parks: Joshua Tree. So I said to myself and also texted to Eric: I’m going to take an impromptu trip to Joshua Tree and run my miles there! Sure I’d be driving 4 hours to run 5 miles, but honestly, what else was I going to do with the day? I mean other than sit on the beach and probably shop. I like the beach, but I like Joshua Tree better and the beach is more accessible for days when I don’t have a ton of time.

DSC01425Off to Joshua Tree I went. Additional things to note about the day is that I ate two breakfasts because I had a first class upgrade and I was like eh, why not? Although, I know that I should only eat one breakfast, but it turned out to actually be a solid decision! Because it was noon when I arrived at Joshua Tree and if I hadn’t had second breakfast then I would have been starving for lunch and would  have had to eat and then wait to run. Instead I was still full and immediately went for a run.

DSC01417I chose the nice and flat boy scout trail. I had never hiked it before and that was part of the goal, to see new places at the park. I didn’t do the whole trail because it’s 7 miles one way and I wasn’t going for that long of a run at this point anyways. So 2.5 miles in and 2.5 miles back. Perfect. Long run complete and it was only 1:30. That left quite a bit of time to explore the park and get back to Fountain Valley in time for some grocery shopping for the week.

DSC01437I can tell my fitness is improving. I’m not tired after longer runs and I’m ready for more activity instead of being like whew! spent! no more moving for me! It’s pretty exciting and motivating to see the hard work pay off. When I trained for my previous half marathons I wasn’t as on task with my mid week runs and as a result my long runs on the weekend tended to be a bit torturous and then my shorter runs during the week never really improved because I wasn’t being consistent.

DSC01433I then hit up a few other scenic spots and a little bit of hiking here and there and a bit of climbing on rocks and being very jealous of those who were really rock climbing. I felt a small itch to break out those climbing shoes again and perhaps soon I will but for now the focus is running.

DSC01407Joshua Tree is one of my favourite places to be alone. I can’t wait to also bring the boys there sometime soon but I find it to be a very peaceful place to be lonely. There’s something so warm and cozy about those rocks. To me they seem like big friendly giants who one day got a bit sleepy and have laid down to rest. It wouldn’t surprise me at all if they were to yawn, pulls themselves up from the ground, and carry on with life someday. There is something very special about that piece of desert and I’m glad that it’s being protected.

“Rest” Day

DSC01358Sometimes I suck at rest day. For example, today for rest day I hiked 2.5 miles and ran 1 mile, but I did it with leisurely thoughts in mind.

DSC01391We hiked out to Pool of the Winds out near Hamilton Mountain. I keep meaning to hike Hamilton Mountain.

DSC01366We brought The Outlaw Josey Wales with us in his new adventure gear. He loves the woods and water as always. We did go a bit off trail adventuring below the falls.  Last time I hiked this trail, the water was too high to climb about on the rocks but today the water was low so we had some fun.
DSC01350Then the little bear and I went on a 1 mile run to start training for the Turkey Trot on Thanksgiving day. The joys of running with a 6 year old is that at mile .64 he made a request if we could just stop for a minute and do the hokey pokey. Can’t say no to that request! So we did the hokey pokey on the trail. It was pretty legit!


Last night Eric and I went out on the town (aka Portland) to celebrate the wrapping up of my Dallas project. And by celebrate I mean eat a lot of things and go see some folk music. I’m currently on the not drinking a lot band wagon so my usual beer consumption was replaced by tacos and ice cream.

But it was an overindulging kind of day. I started off the day by needing to go buy some new black heels for work because the heels I’ve been wearing I’ve had for about 3.5 years and I wear them every day and I have repaired them numerous times. They’re looking ratting, it’s time for a change. So, I intended to buy one pair of shoes. Instead I bought heels and adorable olive drab boots with heels (which I wore and felt like a giant in and I was like oh I get why tall girls can be bitches. I really let that power of a 3-4 extra inches of height go to my head) and 4 new pairs of leggings and a new crop top. All things that I really do not need, but hey, sometimes when you’re like I have worked out so much this week and I’m feeling good, you gotta treat yourself. Right? Sure. That’s how I’ll justify it.

I did get a good 3 mile trail run in though. That was in the afternoon and I overindulged in listening to too much Kesha on that run. Guilty pleasure music!

Then I made the mistake of being like oh, I’ll just wait to eat until we go to dinner, which was a few hours after that run. I was very very hungry leaning towards hangry at that point. So we went to Cruz Room on Alberta and they have AMAZING tacos! So I meant to get two tacos and a salad and no beer, but instead I got a beer and three tacos.

But then we had a conundrum as we’re both trying not to drink much and one of us has to stay sober because we moved too far out of the city for cabs and that conundrum is what do you do in Portland if you’re not drinking? Basically the whole nightlife of that town centers around alcohol consumption, as it does in most towns, not just hating on Portland (we’ll get to that later). So, the obvious answer if you’re on Alberta St is go to Salt ‘n Straw and get some ice cream.

Obviously since I was feeling over confident in my results from working out and because I was still hungry from earlier, I was like let’s do this bitch! Something to know about Portland if you haven’t been here yet is that people stand in a lot of lines and regardless of how long they’ve stood in that line, when it’s there turn they completely forget that others are standing in line and perhaps it would be polite not to doddle and not try every fucking flavor of ice cream. Live a little, take a chance, and just order some ice cream you haven’t tried! I promise you, it’s ice cream, it can’t be bad (but I’m not a picky eater so there’s that). When it was finally my turn, the girl was like want some samples and I was like no, I got this. I’m throwing mother fucking caution to the wind! And wouldn’t you know, that I got the ice cream with pop rocks in it and it was an amazing surprise party in my mouth. See how that worked out everyone?

Next up was going to Mississippi Studios to see Korey Quinn and Charlie Parr. I really like Korey’s music as I’ve seen him a few times. This time David Lipkind joined him on harmonica and he is the most amazing harmonica player I have ever witnessed! I will make it a point to go see him some more. It was really impressive. I was like how is a harmonica even making that sound?

I always dig Korey’s music. It pays homage to a style of country roots that I really enjoy. I also really dig his voice and how he has a level of raw grit that I really love in a vocal style.

Charlie Parr I did not connect with, which I find weird. I liked his style of playing a lot and his voice, but I didn’t find his lyrical content to be compelling. However, I will go see him again if I get the opportunity. I’d really love to see him outside of Portland. I’m annoyingly sensitive to the vibe of the crowd I’m in and I know that a hipster crowd at the Mississippi has a disingenuous feel to it and that may have really had an impact on if I could connect with his music. I know, I’m weird and annoying and all my friends who I go to shows with would so totally eye roll at that take on Charlie, but they also weren’t there so maybe they should have been to help make that crowd a bit more real.

And then we hopped by the The Know to catch the last punk band that was playing that night… We get around.

a weekend shit show in missoula

Sometimes I’m very fortunate to have opportunities to go to amazing places with amazing people and see amazing things. And actually, sometimes isn’t the best way to describe it because it’s rather often that I find myself in those situations. This weekend presented itself as such an opportunity.

I spent the weekend over in Missoula with some friends. We were there to celebrate a friend’s birthday and see one of our favorite bands (Fruition) on Friday. My friend who I stayed with asked me what I wanted to do for the rest of the weekend since we weren’t coming home until Monday and I said all I really want to do is make sure that i get to see the super moon and the eclipse. Then the question became where we wanted to watch it.

We spent Friday in Missoula and it was an intense shit show. People were almost arrested. People were lost and stranded. I walked 7 miles after 1 AM. Just no good all around and not a night I wish to relive. Despite the fun that was had, it doesn’t seem entirely worth it for the mess that could have and nearly did happen. So it was quite a nice thing that on Sunday we had planned to go up to Flathead lake and watch the eclipse. My friend’s family has a condo there and we climbed up to the top of a hill to overlook the lake on one side and the mountains on another.

I’m still not awesome at night time photography, but below are the best two photos I captured of the evening. We then went back to the condo, which is on a golf course and I wandered out onto the green to take in the stars in such little light pollution.  All very beautiful. All very good. A strangely good weekend and a strangely bad weekend. Overall many important conclusions were drawn that I think will lead to more happiness.DSC01337 DSC01344

Let there be songs to fill the air

I’m so behind on posts so I’m combining day 2 and 3 of the San Fran trip with my mom!

Day 2 included a trip up north to Santa Rosa to Russian River Brewery!

Originally the first order of business was a stop at Muir woods. I didn’t quite believe it would be as crowded as the interwebs told me it would be, but I should have believed the interwebs as it was crowded and impossible to park. So we improvised and hit up Muir Beach.

Then I remember that ah ha! Petaluma is on the way to Santa Rosa and you know what’s in Petaluma? Lagunitas Brewing!

It was a day of delicious beer!

Finally Day 3, it was back to Santa Clara.  My mom and I have been counting down the days to this show. We tried to get Chicago tickets and no luck so when the Santa Clara shows came around, I was like I’m just going to put my name in for two and we’ll just see what happens. And I got tickets! They were shitty tickets and we didn’t really have a view, but that wasn’t about to stop us from having the best time ever!

We did decide to go with tickets to the parking area so we could tailgate and be part of the scene and that was definitely worth it! We were way out in the blue lot 1 and the scene was solid. We had some beers and walked around to see the sites.

We happened to be by all the RVs so it was hippie bus galore! So awesome!

And then we saw the show and it was glorious. I could go on and on and on and on and on about the show, but I’m simply going to say that I had a fantastic time sharing that with my mom and it’s an incredible special memory I will never forget! Also, the rainbow was real.

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The sky was yellow and the sun was blue

windmill at Golden Gate Park

This past weekend I met my mom is San Jose with one purpose, to see The Grateful Dead and we accomplished that purpose, along with a bunch of other stuff! So, I decided to break the trip into 3 parts to do it justice and because otherwise it would be one really long post.

I flew in from working in Dallas on Wednesday night and met up with a friend I randomly made at the San Jose airport a few months ago on a layover. Seriously. This is how I make friends hence I have only 1 or 2 friends in Portland and the rest live scattered about the country due to work, bluegrass shows/festivals, and randomly making travel friends. I guess since I’m rarely in Portland, it works itself out. So, we had a few beers and caught up and had some good conversations and listened to some Grateful Dead and other music. Music is one of my favorite things to talk about.

the pacific ocean

Thursday I picked up mom and the fun began! We had reservations at AsiaSF Thursday night and determined we didn’t want to deal with the rush hour traffic on the 101 so we went a head to the Golden Gate Park and Haight/Ashbury area earlier in the day.

Hippie Hill at Golden Gate Park

We checked out Golden Gate Park and had lunch overlooking the Pacific Ocean.  I was determined to find the carousel to ride in the park only sometimes I’m not good with details like that perhaps the horses on the map didn’t indicate that there were many carousels for my enjoyment. We finally found it after we took a little stop at Hippie Hill only to discover that they had just literally started the last ride of the day. But we shall persevere and decided it was time for our next stop at the Grateful Dead house.

the house!!!!

We met a few other dead heads at the house and all took turns getting pictures of each other there.  We enjoyed the Haight/Ashbury area, although parking was a bit of a bitch. The atmosphere and many different kinds of folks there were quite fun. Funnily enough I got many compliments on my octopus tattoo on my thigh and people were generally nice. Which I was surprised by because I may have a bad opinion of San Fran thanks to all the tech companies there. But the folks in the Haight/Ashbury area seemed like the solid sort of either chill hippies or maybe dangerous street people. Regardless, those are my people so I enjoyed it. And even though I’d never want to live there and I really don’t ever want to have to drive there again, I would go back especially to take Eric to visit and to make Indie stand in front of the Grateful Dead house with me.

DSC00498We also met this super rad cat named Butters.  His owner was super sweet and kind enough to let us take a picture of Pete with Butters. Indie sends a stuffy with me on every trip and I send him pictures every day. This helps us stay connected since I travel so much for work. Pete is my favourite to bring with so I was quite happy when he said I could take Pete on this trip and Pete was quite happy to meet Butters.

Then we went to AsiaSF. AsiaSF is an experience all in itself. It’s dinner and a show and the show is put on by very beautiful transgendered women. It’s a little like a drag show with lip syncing and dancing, but it’s more than that as well. It’s a super fun time and I definitely recommend you take your mom there too! The food is absolutely phenomenal and the ladies are downright beautiful and really talented dancers!

All in all, the first day was fun. I only freaked out about driving in the city a few times. I’m not a good city driver. I get overwhelmed easily.  Off to bed we went, ready for adventures with breweries the next day!

2 Days in Bend


Oh did we have quite the fun Friday and Saturday in Bend.  I’ve been over to the Bend area quite a number of times. Last year I was out that way often for climbing at Smith Rock so needless to say despite having been over there often, I haven’t explored much.  I didn’t even make it to Smith this time as I’m not really climbing right now for a variety of reasons so no one had to suffer through me trying to figure out how to shoehorn that into the trip, which made for quite a relaxing time.

We left early on Friday because we wanted to camp at Skull Hollow and it’s first come first serve and well, there wasn’t a reason for us to wait around Portland so over the mountain we went.  Skull Hollow has turned into one of our favorite camping spots although I will say this time was the least dramatic time we’ve been there and boy was that a nice change! It’s in the high desert and the space is quite open, there’s no light pollution so the stars are amazing, and you always get to hear coyotes at night. We are not light weight campers, we car camp and we bring many of the comforts of home and we don’t apologize for it!

At Crux. Playing. The Sisters, Broken Top, and Mt. Bachelor are in the background

After a quick camp set up we were off!  We went over to Crux brewery, which is by far one of my favourite breweries not only for their excellent beer, but also because they have a huge lawn with some lawn games set up and you can bring a blanket or chairs and just chill. They have good food there, but even more importantly is that they have a couple of food trucks and the El Sancho truck makes some of the most legit street tacos ever. The tongue taco is to die for! DSC00287 DSC00289 DSC00290

Then we were back to the campground for the evening. It was windy. Soooooooo windy! But we managed to batten down the hatches and had no tent blowing away issues, which we were honestly a bit concerned about.  As noted before, the stars were amazing, but the wind was cold and the daylight was lengthy so we retired after looking at the stars for just a bit.

The setting sun

Morning found us with quite a conundrum, the gas stove was not working. Luckily we hadn’t used up all our firewood the night before (we nearly did and decided eh, we’ll save a few for a small fire in the morning). So, Eric saved us all and made bacon and eggs over the fire. The bear and I hung out and enjoyed the morning.

Morning sunshine
There’s a bear in that tree!

Then we were off for the main event of the weekend, which was checking out the Lava River caves in the Newberry Volcanic National Monument. I was pretty excited because my parents got us the National Parks annual pass and I thought I would get to use it earlier this year at Glacier, but it was off season so no need to pay so this was going to be the first use. However, it was the 25th anniversary so it was free. No real complaints, but I just laughed and noted that with all our plans to go to parks this year it would be hilarious if we hit them all on special days and didn’t need to pay at all.

Indie was a bit nervous, as was I, when we first went into the cave, but he warmed up quite quickly. He even was on board for and enjoyed turning out all the lights to be in the total darkness. He noted several times that this was his favorite part of the day.


Then because the boys humor me, we did another unplanned hike along the Deschutes to and it was AMAZING!!! I haven’t spent much time by the Deschutes and this particular section of it was so beautiful!DSC00426

Eric was not a fan of taking this picture as I’m sitting on the edge over some raging rapids.


Indie was also not pleased with the heights and I picked him up for a picture. This is not him smiling, he’s yelling “AAAAAAHHHHH!”DSC00475

Then back home over this beautiful mountain we went. The bear got into the car and fell asleep immediately.DSC00483It was an amazing weekend and we had so much fun. It was then off to Dallas for me today and I don’t get home until July 3. I’m meeting my mom in San Fransisco this weekend for the Grateful Dead show. This means that I won’t see the little bear until the end of July because my mom is traveling up to Portland to pick him up and take him to stay with them for a month. So we had many snuggles this morning before I left. Eric and I are going to enjoy some adventures on our own for the month of July!


Even More Weekending

I believe highly in weekends and I believe in doing as much as possible in each and every weekend even if that sometimes means laying about in a hammock.

DSC00074This weekend was kind of full of randomness and a lot of thai food.

DSC00077We’ve recently gotten into disc golf because it’s a great reason to walk around the park. We don’t really take it that seriously and we’re by no means good and we don’t care so really we have a good time. This weekend we decided to hit up the course at Rooster Rock and have a picnic and river day. DSC00080This is my insane disc that I like to call my disco disc. Look how it just naturally found that little mushroom grove to go chill in. I took a regular distance driver and modge podged it with glitter because I really wanted a crazy glitter disc. Pretty sure I totally fucked up the aerodynamics, but lucky for me that I’m a shitty player and I can’t tell the difference so I get to use my disco disc.

DSC00081But we decided to skip going to the Columbia River while at Rooster Rock and after a round of disc golf and a picnic of spring rolls (which I’m getting rather good at making), we headed over to the Sandy River. I discovered my favorite spot along the Sandy River last year after a day of climbing at Broughton’s Bluff. It’s not the most reclusive spot on the Sandy and occasionally a train goes by, but it’s super convenient and fun and I like the little island that is about 2/3 of the way across the river there. It’s not a really pretentious place to be and it’s a little whiskey tango, but I guess that’s kind of where I’m most comfortable. We had a good time. The bear had such a blast playing in the river and he and Eric made me go out to the little island with them. Personally I was happy to soak up the sun on the shore and not get in the freezing water but freezing my lady bits was worth it because Indie was extremely stoked to show me the little island. DSC00095Eric and I spent most of the day talking about pad thai after we had our spring rolls so that was a must for dinner and turned out to be extra advantageous because we found a thai place close to us that delivers. We don’t really do delivery food often at all and in fact before that, it had been probably since we lived in Wisconsin that I’ve had any delivery food, but now I have a fix for lazy days when I just really want some pad thai.

DSC00105Sunday we had big plans for the Belmont Goats! It was an urban goat meet up so we got to see the Belmont goats and a couple of other herds of goats. Super fun. I did discover that I have a little leftover fear of goats from childhood. Thanks to my parents thinking it was hilarious that our goat, Diamond Lil, would butt me and my sister with her horns! As an “adult” I realize that this is ridiculous and I’d like to pretend that I’m not still like ah goats! But I am. It’s no worries though. I just consider going to visit the Belmont goats to be good immersion therapy. By the end I was only mildly concerned that one of those sweet cutie goats was going to turn on me!
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Memorial Day Weekending

20150524_201601We did some serious car camping over Memorial Day weekend. It was a blast.  At first we were planning to do Crater Lake and some really rustic camping and then we were like, you know, perhaps we start out the season with some really easy camping? And so we did. We bought a giant tent for the three of us (we will soon be upgrading to camping cots as well). And we lived in relative luxury considering it was either raining or moist mist all weekend. But that did not deter us! In true Lindsay fashion, I brought my nice camera, but failed to charge it appropriately, so you get cell phone pictures.

A couple of weeks ago we met up with some folks to go to Abiqua Falls and we met them at Camp Dakota, which we then determined would be the perfect place to do some Memorial Day camping. They not only offer camping but also many activities, such as disc golf, zip lining, obstacle courses, rock walls, paintball, etc. So, it’s kind of like summer camp and you can buy pizza there, which they’ll deliver to your tent along with your fire wood. Easy peasy camping times. Also, it’s kind of not in the consciousness of Portlanders since it’s not in the Gorge and not on Mount Hood and not on the coast by Cannon Beach or Seaside or Astoria so that meant a nice nice break from the Portlanders (which sometimes, you just need a break from, I like a  more basic type of folk sometimes and I wasn’t in the mood to spend the weekend with tiny cut off shorts and tank tops).

Geared up for zip lining

The bear really wanted to zip line so he and I did. Eric isn’t a fan of heights so he stayed on the ground as the designated photographer. Indie was SOOOO stoked about the zip line, until he got to the top of the first ladder of the first platform and the reality of the situation sunk in. We did tandem so he was always with me and he had such a good time on the zipping part, but he was not at all into being on the tree platforms. We played a game and thought of an animal that lives in the forest and climbs up trees and glides from tree to tree. So, then we were just little northern flying squirrels going from tree to tree and it was all pretty smooth sailing from there on out. We were with another group of kids who were just the sweetest kids in the world and kept cheering Indie on and telling him how brave he was and when they saw him later in the day they gave him so many cheers again. Super awesome kids


Overall, I think Indie’s favorite thing was the little pond with the fake alligator heads and more importantly many, many little newts who I have never seen just swimming around in ponds like this before (but we saw again while fishing at Horning’s Hideout on Monday).  And we saw many tadpoles.


We were also close to Silver Falls State Park so we hopped over there for an afternoon. We only saw the South Falls and Lower South Falls so we’ll definitely be going back to do the whole hike with the ten waterfalls


South Falls
Lower South Falls
Indie in a tree!

summertime summertime


I’m declaring that it’s summertime. At the very least it’s summertime in my mind. I’m ready to be warm and feel the sun beating down on my skin. I’m ready to jump into cold mountain streams, build camp fires, fight off mosquitos, stay up too late, watch sunrises and sunsets from a tent, spend most of my time away from the house, laze about in hammocks, listen to bluegrass out at hornings hideout, and the other many glorious things that come with summer.

Our summer is basically already booked out. I don’t mind it. There’s the occasional weekend that doesn’t have anything penciled in on the calendar, but we can just go ahead and assume those weekends will be spent camping. I don’t mind a busy life, in fact I prefer it.

So, here I stand on the cusp of summer awaiting the many great adventures, itching for the many days running around, trying to fit in all the many things I want to experience this summer. The anticipation is always the hardest, I’m ready to just jump!