Saturday, August 29, 2009

Exploring the Mountains

On Sunday, Jenny and I were up pretty early after only like 5 hours of sleep (you'll notice that sleep was not a priority on this trip) to go run.  I had made plans to join Alisa and her group of gals for a nice little run on a path in the forest. Unfortunately I was totally lame and forgot to get any pictures, but she's every bit as lovely in person as on her blog.  I had fun running a few miles with an awesome group of ladies before I turned back to find Jenny and head home to get ready for the day's adventures.  I logged 8 miles and decided that was sufficient for a vacation long run.

We got cleaned up and headed out with Chris and Zack to go pick up Jenny's friend Erin (who lives in the area as well!)  We pulled into a gas station and got our first lesson on how Oregon is different than Tennessee.  We were already running late to pick up Erin, and Jenny and I were exchanging quiet glances in the backseat and wondering why nobody was getting out to pump gas.  We soon found that you can't pump your own gas in Oregon.  What?!  That's something I could totally get on board with...

We soon were on our way, picked up Erin and headed to a nice little viewpoint to check out the Columbia River Gorge.  I don't have our group picture yet (we're still working on exchanging pics so I may have to make a post later with cool pics from the others once I have them), but here's a nice one of the gals.

Next stop? Multnomah Falls.  My pictures just don't do anything from this trip justice, but I think the one below kind of shows how big this fall is. It was a beautiful spot to stop for a short bit.

We headed on to have lunch in Hood River at a cute little brewery.  I also don't have our pictures from that yet, but it was a quaint little area to explore for a bit as we let our food settle before getting back in the car.

Before we knew it, we'd made our way to Mt. Hood.  We parked at the Timberline Lodge (used in the filming of The Shining) and climbed a good ways up the mountain.  It was steep.  I didn't feel guilty for having a shorter long run.  The mountain was beautiful, and the views of the other mountains was even more beautiful.  

We walked around for a while and finally settled on a big rock to hang out for a while and wait for sunset.  It was pretty cold, which felt weird since it was August and it seemed so wrong to be bundled up and shivering.

Before long, the sun was starting to set so we made our way over to a nice vantage point to watch.

Even once the sun set, it was still beautiful!

We had dinner inside the lodge and then drove over to Frog Lake.  It was REALLY cold, but we got out and laid on some blankets and did a little star gazing.  I don't even remember how many shooting stars we saw!

It was really late by the time we got home, so we got into bed around 2am I think.  I know it doesn't seem like it was a super exciting day, but it really was!  It was just amazing to get to see so much beauty.  I have to say it... I thought Oregon was even prettier than the things I've seen in Europe.  Gasp! I know...

I found myself just in awe of how beautiful everything is out there... and Jenny and I both started talking about how we could see ourselves living out there some day... maybe... possibly. I've never been somewhere that hit me like this.  It was just such a lovely place.

More to come tomorrow!


Carlee said...

so beautiful!!!

Rachel H. said...

Beautiful! I'm so jealous!

the gazelle said...

I am so glad that you enjoyed your trip to Oregon - it really is pretty here, isn't it?

When I first moved here, I went to the gas station for often that was strictly necessary, just so I didn't have to pump my own. Now I do find it more of an annoyance than a convenience (unless its raining. Or cold, of course!) :)

It was really nice to meet you last week!

Niki said...

Great pictures! I am just amazed that you don't have to pump your own gas! Who knew that even existed?!?

Nicole said...

Sounds AMAZING!!! I could live there! And it sounds even more amazing for running. That sunset is SWEET! :)

Nicole said...

p.s. not pumping your own gas is something i could get used to!!!

Alisa said...

Wow, your pictures are amazing!!!!!!!!! I've only been up to Mt Hood once. Looks like you guys had a great time.

I HATE not being able to pump your own gas, it's super annoying =).