PORTLAND AND YACHATS, OREGON
Finally, this trip is making a blog post appearance! In October, Atch and I flew out to Oregon for the main purpose of running in the Rainshadow Running Oregon Coast 30K trail race (recap on that below) that takes place in Yachats. We spent a few days prior to the race exploring Portland and the surrounding areas prior to driving to the coast.
Portland is a fun city absolutely spoiled with fantastic food and drink! Our flight arrived early, so after dropping off our luggage at the very well located and outstanding Mark Spencer Hotel in downtown Portland, we laced up and headed to the waterfront for a short shake out run. And on this run, comes my only complaint about Portland: the huge homeless population! We were not in an unsafe area by any means and the entire run along the water was passing one homeless camp after another. Drug use was quite visible, so this particular downtown run may not be appropriate for solo runners/walkers or female runners/walkers. A quick google search shows that Portland recognizes this problem and has implemented several shelters but it seems there is still a huge issue of displaced individuals.
After our run, we walked the streets for a bit and ducked into one of Atch’s favorite stores, Poler Stuff for a rain jacket he has been eyeballing for a while. Then it was back to Mark Spencer for tea time complete with cookies then showers and out to dinner and drinks at Deschutes Brewery and Public House which was one of the best meals we have ever had…so delicious, we ate here twice in two days! The elk burger was phenomenal (and I am not ashamed to say I ordered this both times we ate here), as were the pretzels and beer cheese with local beer! Highly recommend!
Pretzels with beer cheese
Fancy a flight?
Local brew at Deschutes Brewery and Public House
Camping Vibes at Poler Stuff
Our next day was the highlight of our entire trip- the Columbia River Gorge! Just outside the city, are a few short hikes leading to absolutely gorgeous waterfalls! We started at the falls farthest away from the city first and then stopped at the next few as we made our way closer to Portland. There are pros and cons to doing it this way: our first stop (and my fave), we had the fall completely to ourselves however, as we creeped to the next few falls, they became increasingly more populated.
Wahclella Falls was our first stop (and farthest from the city) but a MUST! We ran the short 1 mile moderately easy but wet trail from the parking lot to the falls and had it all to ourselves! The waterfall was raging and the pool below is deep enough to swim if you like VERY chilly water (I was only brave enough to put my lower legs in, which was not the best idea I’ve ever had because my toes were numb for the next hour)!
The trail leading to Wahclella Falls
And Wahclella Falls!!!
Next up was the most challenging of the hikes to the falls that we visited. Oneonta Gorge is definitely worth a visit but only for the adventurous: you have to climb a mass of fallen trees atop each other and will be submerged about waist deep in frigid water to make it to the falls. Wear good shoes, bring a change of clothes, and keep the phones and non-waterproof electronics in the car! At least two people that were hiking this when we were there got their phones very wet or dropped their cameras in the water while they were climbing the pile of logs.
The pile of fallen trees that block the way to the falls…you must climb this to reach the falls.
This pic cracks me up every time I see it! Man cups may be on the packing list hehe!
And then, once over the pile of fallen trees, you get to this…
Which is anywhere from an inch deep to waist deep…and VERY VERY VERY cold!
But your reward is this beauty at the end…
The last stop off on our waterfall route was Multnomah Falls. It was packed, very popular likely due to the ease of accessibility of the falls. You can hear to roaring of the falls from the parking lot, even over the noise from the highway and it is a short, easy paved route to a stunner of a waterfall! There are restrooms, snack bar and restaurant at this stop as well.
The next day began with shots for Atch (the non-alcoholic ones of course) that he shot with the super sweet juice bar girl, and an acai bowl for me at Greenleaf Juicing Company (ah-mazing btw!) and then a stop at the infamous Stumptown Coffee for both of us to get us through the drizzly drive to the coast.
A morning shooter of ginger, lemon, and cayenne to start the day! At Greenleaf Juicing Company.
I opted for the less fiery ginger, orange, cinnamon!
Stumptown Stop for cold brew coffee!
On the way to Yachats, we stopped for seafood at Ocean Bleu at Gino’s for ceviches nachos (incredible) and sandwiches then walked to the pier to investigate some very noisy barks which turned out to be a swaggle of seals rain-bathing!
They were everywhere!
On arrival to the Adobe Resort in Yachats, we dropped our bags in our rooms and briefly explored outside around the hotel which is where the Oregon Coast 50K/30K starts and finishes. Our room had this view:
…and this friendly creature…
…who occasionally required chasing out of the threshold of our room.
Before turning in for the night, we took the short hike up to visit Heceta Head Lighthouse for amazing views of the coast before we started getting drenched and bee-lined back to the car and warmth of the Adobe.
The next day was Rainshadow Running Oregon Coast 30K race day! Fortunately, we were blessed with gorgeous weather and the sun finally made an appearance for our race! Up until this point, weather was overcast, drizzly or full on rain, and foggy which seems to be typical weather for that region. But yay for sun to light our path for the beastly 30K! The route for the race was stunning and the trails were well groomed and soft (unlike our Smoky Mountains rocky and stumpy terrain) and the views were phenomenal! As far as the race itself, the aid stations were well equipped with food/drink/volunteers and the volunteers themselves were great, and the trail was clearly marked. My critiques for this race are: 1. The race was supposed to be a 30K but ended up being about 1-2 miles longer. This does not bother some people, but this irritates me…I signed up and planned to run a 30K and I don’t want to run any longer than this. I don’t mind tenths of a mile, but more than a half of a mile longer than advertised is annoying. I am ready for food, beer and to plant my rear in a chair or on the grass! 2. NO swag included in your race price. The entry fee was $70.00 not including tax or processing fee but does not include anything else either. Every race I have ever entered had some sort of swag, especially the longer distance races. You do have an option to purchase a race shirt, finisher bracelet, or race pint glass at additional cost but I expected to at least get a medal when I crossed the finish line. Instead, I got a high five from a Rainshadow guy (much appreciated though and very kind) and then had to wait in a long line for water (most lengthy races have buckets of bottles of water or gatoraid and volunteers handing these out at the finish). Overall, it was an incredible race, particularly because of the scenery and race route!
Race day ready!
Topping out during the race!
This picture sums up why I run trails! God is an amazing artist!
And this is what a mountain man finish looks like, folks! Too much sexiness to handle! Awesome end to an awesome trip!