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Monday, April 26, 2010

Running in the Rainforest

My husband got a great job making Facebook games at Playdom . So we're leaving the Sage Brush and Juniper of Central Oregon's High Desert and moving back home to the ultra-fertile Willamette Valley and Eugene, Oregon.

Eugene is home to Nike, thousands of hippies who show up for the Oregon Country Fair, the late, great Ken Kesey and the Merry Pranksters, and more giant moss-covered oak trees and ferns than you can shake a stick at.

As a 5th generation Oregonian with roots in the valley, I do feel a certain happiness well up inside me when I smell the rain forest of my youth. It's a Pavlovian reaction, I think. I can't help it.

The earthy smell reminds me of camping and fishing along the McKenzie River as a kid, picnics in the woods and searching for fairies at Hendrick's Park with my kids when they were little, and running on Pre's Trail, one of the best running trails in the Northwest.

We're looking for a place to live, so I packed the kids up and left Bend on Friday night and drove to the grandparent's house in the McKenzie Valley, about 30 minutes from home. I got up Saturday morning and took myself out for a run along Deerhorn Road.

After months of looking at winter snow on the gray-brown rocks of Bend, my eyes had to adjust to the new emerald green palette of the valley.

It was easy to talk myself into 4.5 miles since I was rewarded with a spectacular tree at every bend in the road. The running was easier, too, since I've been at a higher altitude for so long. I wasn't expecting the difference, and my lungs were as surprised as I was.

I wonder how long it will take before these trees and colors become ho-hum again, as part of my every day landscape. Never, I hope.


mugmkr said...

Julie! That's great news, congrats on the new adventures ahead. We'll miss you here in Bend, a lot!

Wendy said...

being in the greenery rocks! good luck!

Holly said...

Awww, I will miss you and we never even met!

You inspired me and my friend Vicki to walk/run 3 days a week and we are now on week #3. Are you going to appoint a Bend representative?

We need to organize a race for Chubby Mommies in Bend to target!

juliejulie said...

Thanks friends! Holly, I would love to organize a Chubby Mommy Running Club Race in Bend, it's one of my goals! As soon as things settle down a bit I'll work on it with FootZone. I'll put you on the volunteer list! By the way, I'm here 'til the end of June so we have plenty of time to meet. You can email me at julie anderson at hotmail dot com

Ells said...

I have to correct one thing: Eugene may be the birth place of the ideas of Nike, it's not the home of Nike. Nike world headquarters are in Beaverton.

(Can you tell that I lived in Beaverton and went to school in Eugene? I know my Nike!)

Regardless, congrats! Hope the spring flowers are enough to cheer you up from a rain-induced depression! Oh, and I hope you don't mind running in the rain. Personally, I think it can be refreshing.