The dream of a runner is alive in Portland

We are three days into the month of March, and I’m already closing the contest for “Run of the Month”. The competition was fierce and the two contenders, March 1st Run and March 2nd Run, equally deserve the title. I’m happy to call it a tie, friends.

Isaac, incidentally the winner of the “Husband of the Month” award, and I spent a long weekend visiting friends in Seattle and Portland. We both really enjoy exploring new places on foot, so we planned on running each day of our trip. Side note, I am so thankful to have a husband I can run with! Anyways, at the recommendation of friends, we ran the Hawthorne Bridge Steel Bridge Loop on Saturday and Tryon Creek State Park on Sunday. Forest Park also came highly recommended, but we couldn’t fit it in on this trip – add that to the long list of reasons (food, friends, trees, trees, trees) for a return trip.

Winner 1: Hawthorne Bridge Steel Bridge Loop

Saturday morning, we rand the Hawthorne Bridge Steel Bridge Loop. The bridge to bridge loop is approximately 2.5 miles, so we added some distance on the front and back ends. This route is great because it allows you to experience so many perspectives of the city. You get the “downtown” feel while on the west side of the Willamette River, but also get to appreciate the city from a distance while you cross the bridges and run along the east bank.

Standing under the Hawthorne Bridge on the west side of the river.

Standing under the Hawthorne Bridge on the west side of the river.

Standing on the east side of the river looking towards downtown Portland.

Standing on the east side of the river looking towards downtown Portland.

Mid-run stretch break on the east side of the river.

Mid-run stretch break on the east side of the river.

Plus, running over bridges is just straight cool, guys. I felt like Rocky… I would bet money he ran across bridges and not just up stairs.

Steel Bridge

Steel Bridge

Do we look happy? We are!

Do we look happy? We are!

Saturday was cold with some light rain. After running in Seattle on Friday without a headband, I learned my lesson – my ears ached the entire time. So, I was prepared (and very comfortable) on Saturday.

On the east side of Willamette River in front of the Steel Bridge.

On the east side of Willamette River in front of the Steel Bridge.

After our run, we enjoyed a little “his & hers” at Coava Coffee Roasters (winner of the “Coffee of the Month” award).

Coava Coffee Roasters is where it's at.

Coava Coffee Roasters is where it’s at.

Winner 2: Tryon Creek State Park

Sunday morning was cold and rainy. Cold like the 30’s. Rainy like pouring. It really wasn’t that bad once we started running. Since we were staying in Lake Oswego, Tryon Creek State Park was the perfect choice. The park is gorgeous, accessible, safe, beyond green and very muddy. We entered from Boca Ratan and spent about an hour exploring the trails in the rain. It was the highlight of the weekend for me.

Old Main Trail

Old Main Trail

Natalie + Isaac

Natalie + Isaac

Couldn't resist.

Couldn’t resist.

I'll follow this guy anywhere (almost).

I have a crush on my trail guide.

I felt like I had stepped into The Hobbit or something magical.

I felt like I had stepped into The Hobbit or something magical.

We ended up totally wet and very muddy. Honestly, I feel right at home and totally alive when covered in mud and rain. After rinsing our feet and dusting off the best we could, we grabbed breakfast at Babica Hen Cafe. Delicious. I got the Hen House breakfast with 2 poached eggs, wheat toast, a side salad and maple sausage. Suuuuuuh good.

My poor pink shoes! They're in the washing machine as I write this.

My poor pink shoes! They’re in the washing machine as I write this.

Thanks for hooking me up with cold weather running gear, friends (you know who you are). Until next time Portland! Stay cool, green, cold, and alive!

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11 Comments

  • Reply
    thedancingrunner
    03/03/2014 at 3:39 pm

    Gorgeous photos! Looks like you two had a RUNderful time!

  • Reply
    Holli
    03/03/2014 at 8:23 pm

    I can see why those runs are both winners. The state park reminds of the forests we have up here in British Columbia. Portland is one of my favourite cities and the bridge run looks like an interesting way to check it out. Thanks for sharing your inspiring photos.

    • Reply
      hellodaynatalie
      03/03/2014 at 8:39 pm

      Lucky you! Do you explore the forests much? I would every single day if I could!

      • Reply
        Holli
        03/04/2014 at 10:07 pm

        Yes, we are blessed to live close to some great forests stocked with running trails and I try to take advantage anytime I can.

  • Reply
    Ashlee
    03/04/2014 at 10:11 pm

    Beautiful pics! What an adventure! I would love to explore these areas with you two. It was off-and-on pouring down here in CA this weekend, and I too went on a rain-soaked run. The right gear totally made it fun.

    • Reply
      hellodaynatalie
      03/06/2014 at 1:12 pm

      Since rain is such a novelty, it was fun to run in it… not sure if I would get sick of it, but at this point it’s kind of dreamy. Do you have a rain jacket?

  • Reply
    Maddi @ Push Ups in Pennyloafers
    03/05/2014 at 2:30 pm

    I love your running pants! And those trails look absolutely beautiful 🙂

  • Reply
    Ashlee
    03/12/2014 at 2:07 pm

    I don’t know if it’s an official rain jacket, but I use it as one and it’s pretty water resistant. It’s from RoadRunner, and I like that it’s light enough to tie around my waist and run without being annoyance, and that the hood stays up when I want it to.

  • Reply
    Starr
    03/29/2014 at 6:50 pm

    Luke, your nephew says: you being up on the bridge is totally dangerous!
    Your sister says : I love the beautiful forest!

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