Home-Away-From-Home...

Greetings from Vancouver -- Washington, not Canada; just outside of Portland. This is my home-away-from-home-away-from-home and I’m excited to spend the next 9 days with family. I was awaken this morning by Chip, the baby of the family who everyone spoils.

Chip
Chip

Shortly thereafter, my Uncle Rich and I headed out to Lacamas Lake for a run - he for 4 miles, me for 12. Its a popular area for runners, walkers, and lots of dogs. It’s 95% trail and marked every half mile.

Weather
Weather

Though the temperature was a few degrees warmer than I am used to for an early morning run, the trail is mostly shaded so it was still cool.

Lacamas
Lacamas

Actually, it was pretty ideal running conditions, with the exception of being a little “dewey” - I guess its the “lake effect.”

My legs were very tired so I just kept things simple. Not being very familiar with the trail, I just took my time taking in the scenery and stopping for photos.

Lacamas2
Lacamas2
Lacamas3
Lacamas3
Lacamas4
Lacamas4
LacamasLake
LacamasLake

It wasn’t as flat as I thought it was. There were tiny rolling hills, which kept things interesting. I cruised along until I got to the end of the trail and realized it was only 3.5 miles out. I thought it would have been about 7. I tried to run past the end of the trail and only got as far as this place, another .25 mile:

CamasMoose
CamasMoose

The shoulder on the road ended, so I turned around and headed back. It was about this time that the iPod on my iPhone started going bezerk. It would either stop on its own, or start “Voice Control.” I don’t even know how to work the Voice Control feature, so I have no idea how this all started happening. I couldn’t get it to stop. I even powered it off and on, but still no luck. It was driving me crazy so I turned it off and tried to run without music. That lasted all of about 2 miles - maybe. I couldn’t take the sound of my breathing and stomping so I sucked it up and put the music back on and dealt with the constant adjustments.

By the time I got back to the start of the trail I had only run 7.5 miles. I thought about running all the way home, but my legs were really tired. I’ve been having some pain in my left leg, and while it only hurt during the first few miles, my foot also bothered me a little so I dumped that idea. I hated having to repeat. While my iPod was going nuts, I could deal with it. Instead, what almost made it me quit was the chafing on my lower back at my waistline. It hurt so bad that if I wasn’t in the middle of the trail, I might have. But I had to get back to the start of the trail so I trudged on and eventually, managed to finish all 12 miles.

While this run wasn’t one of my favorites, I must say, runners in Washington made it exceptionally pleasant, despite the challenges. They were really, really friendly. In California we usually get a nod if we make eye contact all. Here, they not only make eye contact and nod, but they also wave AND say “hello” or “good morning.” And not just 1 or 2 people - EVERYONE!

The rest of the trip plans to be pretty much more of the same. Lots of baseball, probably some hiking, and exploring more running paths -- including the course for the Portland Marathon!