Today, I feel blessed.
We live in a pretty dense part of Portland–okay, not New York dense and not even downtown-Portland dense, but dense enough to support a great bus system, dense enough to be able to walk to many different grocery stores, restaurants, even my doctor, dense enough to feel like a city.
And despite that, on any given day, without setting foot in a car, I can run in the woods.
Mt Tabor is a great stop-gap woods run: it doesn’t feel particularly remote, but there are still excellent trails and it’s a migratory bird hotspot, plus it’s about a 7-minute bike ride (or 12-minute run) from my house.
With a little more time investment, I can bike to Tryon Creek State Park or so many different access points to Forest Park, or I can run from my work right into Hoyt Arboretum and Washington Park. Any of those actually feel like woods: no roads to be heard or seen, just the doug-fir, cedar, ferns, and, right now, more new springtime birds every day.
Today, I found my early way to Lower Macleay Park, along swollen Balch Creek, around and around in the misty woods–past the Audubon Society of Portland, up to Pittock Mansion, around and around and up and down, nothing but the squelch of mud under my feet, the songs from pacific wren and spotted towhee and even a barred owl that hadn’t yet tucked itself in. The Indian plum is starting to flower, as is the red-flowering currant. The rain, when it started in earnest, was almost warm on my face. I ran and ran and ran, so in love with the world and its springtime waking.
Portland, it is amazing that this happens right in our backyard. It is amazing that I can be out for hours in what feels like the deep, dark woods, and yet be only a 35-minute bike ride from my front door. We are so lucky to have what we do.
I fricken love this city.