Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Day 1, Sisters to Sisters

 From Sorosis Park in The Dalles, OR.  Mount Adams in the background.

This is a pretty big piece of meat I've bitten off.  I was as mentally prepared for the heat as I think I could be, but I wasn't ready.  Not only is it hot, there is absolutely no shade, anywhere.  A few days running in the 80's, or even the 70's might have helped.  It was very tough to go from the 60's to the 90's. But before the gory details, 2 very big hotel endorsements.

I can't recommend enough the Balch Hotel in Dufur OR.  I'm not sure Dufur would be at the top of anybodies destination list but it is "along the way" to many.  The Balch was originally built in 1907.  Jeff and Samantha Irwin have restored it and it is absolutely beautiful.

Not to be outdone, we stayed last night at The Oak Street Hotel in Hood River.  Due to a mix up in reservations last year, the Oak Street Hotel offered me a free room.  It wasn't completely their fault and they didn't have to do it, but it was awesome that they did.  The Oak Street Hotel was originally built in 1909 and is also wonderfully restored.  If you can't tell, I love stuff like this.  Drives me crazy to see new building built while old ones sit vacant.

Back to Day 1 run, I got a late start.  In retrospect, I planned to start too late and I started later than I planned.  It was 6:30 before I left Sorosis Park in The Dalles and headed out through about 6 miles of rolling hills and Cherry Orchards.  I remember thinking some of these early hills were pretty tough, that seems funny now.  It was pretty disheartening to see some of the migrant farm workers living quarters.  It made me think that if the results of the Mexican American war had been different, these people might have been working in a casino instead of a cherry orchard.  I hit highway 197 around mile 7 and headed toward Dufur.  Jeanne had met me at every road change getting out of The Dalles, but once we hit the highway and everything was ok, I had her go ahead to Dufur.  This proved to be my second mistake of the day.  By the time I hit Dufur at mile 16 my energy was pretty low.  I usually drink coffee in the morning before a run, well before anything really, but didn't have any today.  I also started out with just water in my bottle and hadn't eaten anything yet.  I think the low energy was just a combination of no fuel and/or caffeine.  I sat down for a little while in Dufur and had half a P n J, filled my bottle up with Infinit and headed out.  The 9 mile hill out of Dufur is brutal.  I know tomorrows hill is worse, but I'm trying not to think about that right now.  I had several miles, trying to recalculate this trip so that I didn't have to complete today.  I even for a while was thinking about making it a 5 day run instead of 4.  I knew I had 5 miles of downhill at the end, at times it just didn't seem possible to get there.  Using the old tricks, 'just run for another 2 miles then decide', I made it to the top of Tygh Ridge and was feeling much better, physically and emotionally.

So happy to see to see this sign

Taking a break at the top of Tygh Ridge, Mt Hood in the background.

Started at Elevation 450.

Yeah, this is the brown side of Oregon.  The down hill felt good, the Tygh Valley Canyon is beautiful.  I had a venue of vultures following me for a while, but thankfully they gave up, maybe I looked better than I thought.  I made it to White River, where Tygh Creek empties into the river.  I made it to my intended stopping point for the day, 33.5 miles.  I had a secret plan to try and go further today and make it up and out of the valley, one less hill tomorrow, but I just couldn't today. 

I really wanted to soak my legs in the river but didn't want to scramble down a steep river bank.  Jeanne found a little path down to Tygh Creek that was very easy to get to.

This beats an ice bath any day.

From the minute I first started putting this trip together I knew Day 2 would be the hardest.  I'm gonna go get some dinner and try not to think about hills for a while.

1 comment:

  1. Chris,

    I'm so sorry I was unable to run some of the day with you, especially when I found out how freaky hot it was for you. Thanks for the kudos about the hotel and I hope our staff treated you and Jeanne well.

    If you decide to run this route again next year, I will certainly run with you to at least to the Tygh Ridge Summit (next year we won't be running off to Leavenworth to celebrate our 11th year anniversary).

    Hopefully you'll do it again next year, and (hopefully) it will be about 15-20 degrees cooler!

    Your adventure sounds amazing and I must admit, it has me a bit intrigued.