If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Monday, June 02, 2008

Weekend in photoshoot

Since Larry was the one who carried the camera, you are going to see a lot of my behind (I lead the way), but try and focus on what's around:) There are a lot of pictures (much more didn't make the cut), and boo-hoo poor you, I have no idea how to set up a slide show, so you'll need to scroll down. At the same time, this way I am able to put captions under each photo and have a little story going.

Gorge run on Friday - I am very very cold, stop admiring the Falls and lets move it! It is difficult to understand now (well, not really, but to feel how outsiders feel) how lucky we are to live where we do. That's why I love having people visiting, I can see it all with new eyes! I wish somebody has guts to go to Russia with me, may be I can re-awaken my interest to mother-country:)

Considering if I ever want to jump off this thing and disappear in the whirlpool of Multnomah Falls. Or may be at least send my ashes here when I am ready...

Lush trails, something we are spoiled by here in PNW and very proud of! Follow me, I dare you!

We call it "rockfield", but Texans find it only mildly a challenge.

I promise I can lead us up to Larch! Well, may be not, we all know by now I am a master of getting lost myself and those fools who tags along with me...but in theory there is a trail where I stand, and may be I do remember what I am supposed to see around?

We met a hiker Ron who turned around at that last 2M intersection, and chatted a bit. I want to be like him when I grow up. It always amazes me (coming from Soviets) how many older people are active and living full live with nature envolved. Something I am not used to growing up.

Ron took the only picture where we are together.

If you think I have a GPS navigator - that would be a nice (and useful) guess but far from the truth. I was just making a phone call to Alex to check up on him.

We made it up! Have to say, I was really proud of my navigational skills and the fact that we decided to come up here. Well, ok, my navigational skills certainly were magnified by Larry's mountaneering skills and his ability to steer me back to follow some vague steps instead of suncups.

Where are the views? We are supposed to see Mt. Hood, Mt. Jefferson, Mt. Rainier and Mt. Adams on each of four corners of this observation point. Well, that was the intention for going up here. At least it was warm when we reached it.

It's on the way DOWN from Larch where I managed to take us off course (if the course even existed) because I tend to let things go as they come while just enjoying the "free fall" feeling. Lucky for me, when I was at the point to make a decision to turn around and retrace the steps, Larry proposed to keep going in a direction of whatever sun position felt correct, and it turned out we were a mere 5 minutes away from the trail.

Catch me if you can! I love this trail so much...

Larry's practicing his downhill skills. He kept up, not that I was trying to shake him off, because I could if I wnated to:) Nah, I am just shwoing off here.

Just fooling around on the way, trying to impose some new skills on my poor guest.

Sneak peek at the Columbia River and WA side of the Gorge.

Re-supplying at the top of Angel's rest, the sun is fully glowing by now and the air is nice and warm. Actually, I felt hot, but Larry laughed it off at me.

Last downhill at the end of our Gorge run, you can make it a good 6 mile stretch down with a few bumps on the way - can we have better training ground to trash the quads?

Oregon Shore trip on Friday night. Lookout to Sea Lion Rock Formation. While the one afar does look like a Sea Lion ( and has real ones groaning around), the closer formation remids me an alligator.

The view on Canon Beach with its prominent features standing tall in the ocean water (very famous for postcard pictures).

You think this is where my sickness got worse? I was freezing! But it was nice to feel alive...

Sunset on the magnificent Oregon Coast, Pacific ocean plays with colors even on cloudy days.

Central Oregon adventure begins. There is no water in Smith Rock trail system, so you better fill up before you go. Locals do loops, or make the park's entrance their middle point of the long run.

Isn't it worth driving 3 hrs to see? I'd take it over home-sitting any day, sick or not!

Welcome to our hills, you know, the ones that some folks can run, but most puff and huff while hiking:)

Monkey Face rock-climbing Mecca is overtowering the valley.

Larry thinks it's cold when it's 70F, but at least we have dry air!

Just plugging along, soaking the sun. We got blessed with the weather, and the thunderstorm started as soon as we finished our adventure.

Remember The Scar trail from my Rumble weekend, the one that only Eric Skaggs was able to run all the way up? I am back! I really didn't think it was that bad for the second time around, after I did this "lil' hike" with Mike in April.

Larry tries to run parts of The Scar and now has a new respect of what we call "hill" comapring to Austin trails.

The Scar up-close and personal. Scary, huh?

We made it to the top of The Scar and were treated with fantastic views on the valley below.

Ridgeside trail - best running in Smith Rock park, nice slightly rolling terrain with easy footing.

Monkey Face from another side, getting back to the car at the end of the run. I think I am tired now, and the caughing drives me nuts.

This snake crossed the path right in front of my feet and I almost died of a heart attack while jumped high in the air. I have no idea what it was, nor do I want to...

Bumping into Krissy, Karen and John at Smith Rock wasn't totally unexpected - I knew we'd see somebody for sure. It was a nice little chat.

"The Scar" trail from afar distance to give a perspective.

Mt. Hood on the drive from Central OR - the beauty of the state. A pure gem, indeed.

Timberline lodge

That would be it. I did dress up once to go out to eat, I swear, I wasn't always wearing running gear! The food was great, the drive(s) almost un-noticed, and I wish it could always be a weekend. But it's not - what I think is a good thing. Just like here in Portland we love the sun and have such an excitement when it comes out, if it were a vacation all the time, I wouldn't have appreciated it so much. On this note, I got all my Anatomy books required and it's time to really begin to study. I also had registered with ACE for Personal Training certificate and got all the studying material from them too. Now that it's all paid for and here ready to be taken on as a challenge, I am kind of overwhelmed with my decision of life changes, but I've done overwhelming changes before, so all it needs is juts a first step. Now if I only can squeeze a few hours of sleep in my days...it'd be nice!


Darin Swanson said...

Great pictures. Makes me want to go back and run Smith when it is not foggy and rainy :-)

Carilyn said...

Goregous, gorgeous, gorgeous! I can see why you love Oregon so much! That Scar trail is wicked!

Congrats on making the decision to do massage AND personal training. You are going to be awesome!

sea legs girl said...

What a hot date! We're jealous of the beautiful trails and really enjoyed the post. And now SR wants to know, was it a king or two queen beds at the Timberline hotel? :)

Anonymous said...

You are a great tour guide Olga. Enjoyed seeing the scenery.

Meghan said...

Oh how lovely, Olga. I second Sea Legs' comment by the way. You left a little too much to mystery for us! Hah! ;)


TonyP said...

You always post such great pictures, and these are no exception. Amazing shots. Sorry to read that you weren't feeling well...hope it is nothing.

LK said...

Hey Olga! You used almost all my pics!!! What am I supposed to use. ;) Thanks, again, for showing me beautiful Oregon!

Anonymous said...

I'll try and remember to say hi for ya. Nice hills. Especially the SCAR.

JeffO said...

I'm very jealous. Wait, I mean about the great places you get to run! I'm not jealous of Larry - even though you two look really good together in that photo. REALLY good together. So really, I'm not jealous.

Looks like fun, Olga! Get well.
The Gorge and the views... I'm not sure if Colorado is quite so very scenic as that, even though I love it here.

Deanna Stoppler said...

Yeeha on the awesome photos. I want to run there!

Journey to a Centum said...

Meghan & SeaLegsGirl crack me up! Come on... Olga was blowing snot bubbles, gurgling, and expectorating from her head cold. I don't think that spells hot date! Unless of course he lives way out in the middle of nowhere herding cattle all day long with his only human contact coming every other year. Then yeah it may have been a hot date.

Olga - Thanks for sharing your vacation pictures. How many weeks were you off so you could get to all these places? A weekend? GET OUT! On behalf of Texas, Middle Eastern Oil producers, and the CEO's of the major US petroleum suppliers we thank you.

Mad Monkey #2

Sarah said...

Thanks for the beautiful tour of our little slice of the world! It's a wonderful place. : )

Unknown said...

Thanks for the photo journey. I am jealous of your trips, but thankful that I can enjoy the trails at least through you if nothing else.

Backofpack said...

Looks like fun! I'm excited for you to be making big changes and hitting the books. It's hard work, going back to school and still working, but so worth it. You'll be a great trainer and a great massage therapist. Do you know Annette? I think the ACE personal trainer is what she did too.

Anonymous said...


Krissy Moehl said...

Awesome to run into you at Smith! Also fun to find your blog again (I go in and out of reading blogs) - you have a fun style to read and capture some great shots. have it bookmarked again. Best, K

Billy said...

Hey Olga, Your looking good.....see you at HR. Check out the little cabin i bought over the weekend. Now you have a place to stay at 3 Days of Sylamo.


Scott said...

Enjoyed your incredible pics!! Oregon looks like it definitely rocks. Very cool.

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