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Posted by on Aug 20, 2016

Taking a Walk on the Wild Side


I vowed to always be a one-and-done marathon runner.  My first and only marathon was in San Francisco in 2012.  Almost four years to the day I walked 30.2 miles, not entirely realizing I was walking four miles more than a marathon until I approached the 26-mile marker on the hike.  Ugh.

Since moving to Portland, I have had a goal of walking the 30-mile Wildwood Trail through Forest Park – in one day.  It became item number three crossed off my 40 by 40 list and I’ve since re-vowed to never do another marathon (or any distance longer without realizing it).

Dave happily reluctantly joined me, leaving our house before 7 a.m. to drive to the far end of the 30-mile trailhead. One Uber ride (from a bewildered driver) later and we were at the start of the trail near the entrance to the Oregon Zoo.

Miles 0 to 4 along the Wildwood Trail

Miles 0 to 4 along the Wildwood Trail – wow, this is so cool we’re doing this!

Someone else who completed the day-long hike described it as a treadmill walk through the woods. A very adequate description of the trail, the trees, the ferns and the same bend you swore you’ve already walked around. Luckily, each mile is marked providing solace in the fact we were actually making progress.

Miles 5 to 10 - hmm...we've been at this a while and we're only a third done?

Miles 5 to 10 – hmm…we’ve been at this a while and we’re only a third done?  It’s still fun though!

Miles 11 to 19 - we're making progress...we think...

Miles 11 to 19 – we’re making progress…we think…

Hitting mile 20 provided some relief, but like most challenges of this nature, the 10 additional miles took all of our mental and physical energy.

Miles 20 to 24 - we're having that wine in your backpack at mile 25, right?!

Miles 20 to 24 – we’re having that wine in your backpack at mile 25, right?!

It’s about now our conversation hit rock bottom. Like “if a helicopter dropped a keg of Budweiser in front of us, would you drink it?” Jill – yes; Dave – no.

Miles 25 to 29 - So.Delirious.

Miles 25 to 29 – So.Delirious.

Eleven and a half hours later, we hit the 30-mile marker with just .2 miles uphill to our car. This is not a challenging trail – there isn’t a lot of climbing. This is a challenging physical endeavor. My legs were tired, my hips were in pain and my feet were crazy swollen. I was so tired I almost passed out in my supreme mac and cheese dinner afterward. But, I got to spend an entire day in a beautiful park, doing what I love the most (hiking) and accomplished something I’ll never forget.

Mile 30! Barely standing, but so happy to be finished!

Mile 30! Barely standing, but so happy to be finished!

Just don’t ask me to join you on your attempt to walk the trail in a day….

Next up on the 40 by 40 list is taking a Bollywood Dance class. Less physically taxing than this hike, but 100% more embarrassing I’m sure!

1 Comment

  1. So proud of you. I can not imagine 30 miles in one day. I am dying after 6!