Sunday, October 19, 2008

Vacation! sort of.

I took a quick overnight trip to Ashland, Oregon so that I could have sort of a mini vacation. I can't call it a real vacation because I had to work yesterday, and today I am taking a 12 hour OSHA safety class online. I'm not doing all 12 hours of it today, but a good chunk.

I went to Ashland because in the October edition of Trail Runner magazine, Ashland is named as one of the 8 best trail running towns in America. I stopped at Rougue Valley Runners when I got there and they pointed me in the direction of some good trails.

Oregon is full of great running towns. And I LOVE all of them! I really really want to live in Oregon or Northern California one day. Eugene, OR is considered "Track Town USA", and this past summer they held the Olympic trials there. Bend, OR is also a great trail running town, and has been called the #1 trail running town in America, they recently held the Xterra trail running national championships "which I competed in" there . All 3 towns are home to numerous world class runners and triathletes, and there is a fair chance of seeing an Olympian while out on a run "according to magazines". I'm not sure if I have seen any, although I have seen a lot of runners out and about.

Minneapolis by the way ranks right up there with them, and in my opinion actually has a better system of trails within the city. The only thing lacking in Minneapolis is mountains, however there are lots of lakes and woods not to mention the Mississippi river that help bridge that gap. I think that being below zero for weeks at a time might take away some points though for many people . Our new house essintially borders Theodore Wirth park, which is a large urban forest that has many running and Mountain biking trails that connect to all of the Lakes and the trails all over the city. I can't wait to be able to stay at home so that I can tear those trails up!!

I took a few pictures while I was in Ashland, unfortunately I forgot my camera on my mountain run last night, but I took it on my run this morning and got a few pix.

Here is a picture on the road coming in to town, to give you a general idea of the terrain.

And here is "town"

Hopefully the neighbors aren't scared of spiders.

Here is the entrance to the stunningly "really" beautiful Lithia park. I know it looks tame, but trust me the trails get very wild. There is a half marathon here every summer that starts right at this sign and gets over a mile of vertical elevation gain.

Random trail shot. You can sorta see it drop off.

A store that Rebecca would like.
All in all I loved Ashland. Its a very artsy town, there are a lot of neat shops and restaurants. It's very clean and safe like all Oregon towns. Plus its home to a Shakespeare festival that lasts ten months every year, and a large part of downtown is built in dedication to that which is kind of neat.