R2R 2014

When I found out that we were going to Oregon one of my first emails went out to Jolleen (my two time R2R teammate and Moab Autumn Run partner) to tell her that I wanted in on this years Rainier to Ruston if there was a spot. She’d put together a 4-person team for 2014 instead of our usual 6-person relay squad. A spot had opened up on the team due to injury and I happily accepted the spot to join Jo, Mel, and Sarah.

We met up on Friday in Vancouver and headed up to Orting where we spent the evening at my aunt and uncle’s house eating pizza, watching the deer in the yard, and enjoying the evening. Our muscles even got a pre-race hot tub session.

Carbon River

In the morning, we headed up to the race start. This year the start seemed a little warmer than it had been in the past and I had a great first leg. I felt great the whole way and was really surprised how fast the turn off for the handoff point came up. Similarly, my second leg went really well; this leg was really fun because my legs still felt fresh and it was a new leg to me and it was mostly in the shade.

Ranier To Ruston

My last leg was a little more of a struggle. It was nice and flat but my legs were definitely tired towards the end as I ran my 12th and 13th miles of the day. I had a nice treat at the end though—my mom brought my nephew Drew down to cheer me on!

End of Leg 9

Sarah anchored the last leg with a great final leg along the waterfront. As is our tradition, we met her about a mile from the end to make the final push as a team (this pushed all of our mileages for the day over the half-marathon point). As we crossed the finish line we were all in high spirits with Mt. Rainier behind us over Commencement Bay.

Instead of hopping in the car for the drive south, we’d reserved an awesome apartment near Wrights Park via Airbnb. It was nice to have a place to relax as a team. We briefly headed out for dinner at The Hub where we devoured our meal. Thanks again ladies for a great race in awesome company!

On Beth UR Sportswear Just Rock Shorts / Stonewear Designs Velocity Top

Strawberry Jam

It’s strawberry season in the Northwest! And that means it’s finally jam time! I grew up eating only homemade freezer jam—I remember one time that we ran out of jam when I was a kid and tried buying Smuckers or something and, well, my whole family hated it. The last time I made jam was when we lived here in Oregon in 2009; in the meantime F’s grandma and my mom have given us a couple of jars but overall we’ve been trying to make do with the store bought… stuff.

Strawberries

If I’m really honest, that’s basically meant that I have skipped eating jam entirely for years. Since we have freezer access and it’s fruit season, it’s jam time. I bought a flat of Hood strawberries and got to work.

Strawberries

I used SureJell pectin and made two batches of the regular type (aka high sugar) and tried one of the Low/No Sugar pectin packets (the pink ones with a lot less sugar). I sampled both and they’re delicious. I love how freezer jam just tastes like fruit.

Strawberries

We’re now stocked up with strawberry jam for the year but I’m looking forward to making raspberry and blackberry jams later in the summer. I also think I’m that since the standard commercial pectins (SureJell, Ball, and MCP) all include dextrose I’m going to try Pomona’s Universal Pectin this summer. (Seriously, what’s the point of making low(er) sugar jam when there’s already a sugar in your base?)

Strawberries

But, mmmm… freezer jam on vanilla ice cream? Best.

Prepared berries

Mt. June and Hardesty Mountain

Saturday, I tagged along with a hiking group I found on Meetup.com. They were headed out to hike Mt. June and Hardesty Mountain southeast of Eugene. We started by climbing Mt. June and then returned to hike Sawtooth Trail out to Hardesty Mountain. The weather was lovely for a nice leisurely long hike along the ridge between the two peaks.

Mt June benchmark

View from Mt. June towards Sawtooth Rock and Hardesty Mountain:

Sawtooth and Hardesty Mountain from Mt. June

Mt. June from near Sawtooth Rock:

Mt. June from near Sawtooth Rock

Oregon forest

Backlit leaves

Trail Signage

Dixon Reservoir:

Dexter reservoir

“View” from Hardesty Mountain:

View from Hardesty Mountain

View from Sawtooth Rock

View from Sawtooth Rock