|Hip and cool.|
Photo by Eliza Eaton
Would it surprise you if I said that I truly believe that I am meant to live in Portland, Oregon? That is of course if the whole living in Europe thing doesn’t work out…and I truly decide that the east coast doesn’t work for me, which is highly unlikely. But I digress. Recently I was fortunate enough to travel to Oregon with my cross-country team. Now, I’d never been to Oregon, but I’d heard from many people that they thought I would just love it. They were not wrong. Portland kicks ass. Its kind of the ultimate place for people to live if they love being outdoorsy, and are hipstery and... runnery? I just made up words, but you get the point. In other words, sounds like a really annoying place to live for those who aren’t into that. However, for those freaks like me who want nothing but to be able to go on a morning trail run, and then drive only two miles into a city to get pancakes from some quirky diner for breakfast, Portland may also be the place for you too. Lots of fun things happened on our trip to Portland, but for the sake of not sounding mundane with a chronological retelling of the trip, I’ll narrow it down to my top five favorites like I usually do. Also like John Cusack did in the movie High Fidelity. Which is where I got the idea.
1) Meeting professional runners at Nike Track. I’m just going to say up front that my teammates and I are extremely lucky. Not only did we have the opportunity to run on the gorgeous Nike track and around Nike campus, but we were also fortunate to meet world class and very elite athletes. Our coach scheduled us to meet Brent and Sara Vaughn, two athletes that train at Nike and have been featured in Running Times and Runner’s World. They had so much information for us and were extremely kind and thoughtful to come talk to us. I won’t deny that I almost fell over when Brent said that he sometimes does 180-mile training weeks, but never the less he was able to give us good advice on how to get enough rest and recovery when doing heavy mileage: sleep 13 hours a day. That’s all.
|A quality photo of Nike Track|
By Eliza Eaton
An unexpected turn of events occurred when, in the midst of the Vaughn’s answering our questions, I looked across the track at a large group of people getting ready to warm up for a run. Scanning the crowd of people, I stopped dead when I saw what I thought I wouldn’t see in a million years. It didn’t take much to spot her. She had her signature knee-high socks and that tiny little blonde bun on the back of her head. It was Shalane Flanagan, an Olympian and world-class athlete who ran alongside my other hero, Kara Goucher, in London this past summer. I grabbed my friend, Melissa’s arm and said something sort of creepy along the lines of “Its her! Its her!” Sara noticed my excitement and asked if I wanted her to bring Shalane over to meet us. WAS THAT EVEN A QUESTION??!?! But it was a kind gesture and I will forever be thankful that she did that. Anyway, Shalane posed for a picture with us, and then I awkwardly shook her hand and introduced myself, asking if I could take another picture with her. No I didn’t sound like a psychotic weirdo at all (false). The truth is, I don’t really care cause I got to meet freaking Shalane Flanagan, bitches!
2) The house that we stayed in. First things first. All I’m going to say is this: gated community. These houses were fresh, y’all. I mean fancy yards, fancy views, fancy fancy fancy everywhere! Before we arrived at the home of our host, who has been a long time friend of our coach and kindly agreed to have us stay with him for our trip, we stopped to get Subway to go and planned to eat it when we got to the house. Well as soon as we got to Kevin’s we didn’t necessarily feel that our Subway was appropriate for the decorative circumstances of his dining room. Aka he had a full dining set on his probably very nice dining room table that was more than likely made out of some fancy wood and sat among the rest of the house’s elaborate decorations. Needless to say, I loved this place. Apart from just the magnificence of the house, those who inhabited it were equally as wonderful. Kevin’s partner and kids were literally the perfect hosts and always had delicious food made for us (All Organic! I mean we are in Portland…duh). However, I think my favorite part of the house was the view of the Portland skyline in the late evening and at night. Every night we were there, a group of us would sit out on the deck and just look at it, take it in, and wish we were going out in downtown Portland for the evening.
3) Runnin’ at Willamette. What was especially great about this was just getting to see all new people, including the amazing Nick Symmonds who, as an alumnus of Willamette, started the races. I went out with a faster pace but felt fine with it because I was being carried by other runners, not holding myself back, and with that I ran a season best! Our whole girls and boys teams as a whole did really well and I think that it made the trip even better. I apologize for not really having anything that funny to say about the experience. I mean, maybe JHutch took some funny running pictures of me that I could post, but in all reality the meet was just a splendid moment that added all the more greatness to the trip. Great course, great competition, and for the sake of my own version of our signature hashtag, one hell of a gucci team, babyyyy. #good2great #good2gucci #CNUXC
Photo by Eliza Eaton
4) VOODOO FREAKING DONUT. I mean the gods must be crazy to have given us a place as wonderfully dazzling as the one, the only Voodoo Donut. Can I just start out with saying that the bloody building is covered in sparkles? Sparkles, I tell you! It had a line going out the door that we had to wait in for almost 45 minutes (worth it because I got to go get coffee) and we also got to people watch, which is an excellent way to spend your time in Portland, Oregon. Once we got into the shop, my decision wasn’t that hard: a classic cake donut with chocolate, Oreo pieces and peanut butter drizzle, that was affectionately known as the Old Dirty Bastard. Yeah, ain’t no way I was getting anything else. That creation of all of God’s goodness into one baked good was literally one of the grandest things I’d ever, ever eaten. And trust me I’ve sampled many a pastry. This one was by far my favorite. It’s probably a really good thing I don’t live anywhere near Voodoo Donut.
Photo by Lydia Cromwell
5) Multnomah Falls. I’ve trolled jealously through so many Facebook pictures of people standing in front of those waterfalls. So, of course, when I knew we were going to get any opportunity to go, I was extremely satisfied. We had already run in an xc meet, stuffed our faces with pizza and donuts, and were near the end of a short but delightful trip. So why not take a leisurely stroll on the 1. 5-mile trail up the mountain to see the top of the falls? Why not? Because we’re crazy, weird and competitive cross country runners and felt the need to power walk up the whole thing (only within like a half hour of eating that donut… bleh). But it was well worth it when we got to the top. We played in the artic cold creek (Melissa fell in tehehehe) and looked out at the spectacular view. Walking up and down the rocks and fallen branches in the creek was especially nice because it sort of reminded me of home. Like a good ol’ hike near the Cascades, only with a slightly larger waterfall.
Photo By Eliza Eaton
Photo by Karen Bumiller
So obviously the trip was fantastic. Its not often that you get to go on a cross-country trip AND get to experience a little bit of the place you’re visiting as well. I would love to go back and see the city a little more and hike in other spots surrounding it. Maybe I’ll climb Mt. Hood!? Who knows!?
But thanks for reading y’all. More blogs that may be more relatable to your life will be coming soon, but for now, you just stay classy.