Spencer In the Rain 18May2022

It has been raining in Western Oregon. Surprising, I know. Seriously, there’s usually a bit of sun in May, mixed with the rain. This year, however, has had a wet start. I’ve gone to the gym, listlessly trudging away on the elliptical machine. I’ve even gone as far as to use the stand-up tanning booths in the gym for a few minutes of “sun,” albeit fake sun. I would rather be outside, but it seems like the few sunny days we had, I was working a 12-hour shift.

I looked at the ever-changing weather forecast and saw rain coming today, starting around 8am (30% chance), and really picking up by 9am. However, I thought maybe I could beat the rainclouds. I went to bed early and got up early… only to find the forecast had changed once again. Rain was imminent by the time I got up around 5am.

I had a choice. Go to the gym and mindlessly walk the elliptical machine like a drone or go get rained on. I chose the latter. I’m tired of being inside! Rain is rain, and I’m a native Oregonian. I can take it. I took off with Matilde on a dry road. After about two miles, Oregon’s liquid sunshine came down with gusto.

At just before 7am, you can see how busy the main trail is. I came across two people on my way up (one passed me), and three on the way down. The one who belongs to that truck, the first one on the trail, was a fantastic woman. We greeted each other, and I said, “Oh, so YOU’RE the other vehicle in the parking lot!” She laughed and said, “Yeah! It’s great!” I told her to have a great day, and she replied with, “Namaste!” It was the best interaction I’ve had with a stranger in forever.

I haven’t been here in a little bit, and I can see they’ve finished the new port-a-potty stalls. This is much nicer than the two naked port-a-potties that sat out in the open. I don’t know why it seems nicer… Maybe for the sound buffer?

The trail, when I was last here, was dormant and bleak. Spring has sprung, my friends! There’s a whole lot of different shades of green, along with some beautiful flowers.

Even the trees have fun, furry looking growth on them, making them look a little more like a Jim Henson creation than a plain ol’ tree.

A tiny stream was flowing with the rain that was definitely coming down. It wasn’t too bad though, especially under the shelter of the trees.

Friends. Birds are hard to catch on camera!! This sweet American Robin is a bit blurry because I had to be sneaky and zoom in. Sorry about the bad quality, but those dang things are quick!

The rain was lighter as I climbed, and I appreciated it. I mean, I’m going to get rained on, but I don’t need to be miserable! Especially when I am a fool and forgot my raincoat. Oooops.

Stinging Nettle
Candy Flower (Claytonia sibirica)
Herb Robert (Geranium robertianum)
Pacific Bleeding Heart (Dicentra formosa)
Giant White Wakerobin (Trillium albidum)
Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)
Star-flowered Lily-of-the-valley (Maianthemum stellatum)
Sticky Cinquefoil (Drymocallis glandulosa)

This picture does not, in any capacity, reflect how cool this tree looks in person. I added the picture anyway, so you’ll just have to take my word for it. Ha!

The stairs are always a welcome sight… and often I emit an inward groan when I see them. I’m excited to be close to the top, but there’s a very good reason why I avoid the stair-stepper at the gym.

When I saw the fog coming up, I tried to go faster to beat it to the top. I want good pictures! I don’t think I actually went faster, but the intent was there.

Watching the fog move was like watching magic.

It’s me! Taking a selfie!

Pretty decent view from the top. I DID beat the fog! Or the fog wasn’t going to climb this high. Either way… I was also blessed to have NO RAIN! While I was up on the top, it didn’t rain!

Dark-eyed Junco (Junco hyemalis)
Hooker’s Fairybells (Prosartes hookeri)

I think this picture (above) can really sum up the feel of the hike. Green, fresh, and alive. You can bet it smelled great. Kind of a spicy freshness.

Dutch Iris, I believe

As reluctant as I was to go in the rain, this was a great hike for me to do. It cleared the head and put me in a great mood. I’ve been struggling with keeping a good attitude recently, because I found out I have sleep apnea. The test was insane (many, many wires), and the process has been tedious (a lot of waiting for the doctor’s office). Even now, I am waiting for them to set me up with my first CPAP.

This has put me in a funk because I’m trying very hard to improve my health, just to have something else tell me how fat I am – at least, that’s how my head wants to perceive it. But as my friend Christine said, “Don’t be upset at self-care! You’re taking care of yourself by finding out if you have sleep apnea.” The whole point is to get facts (do I have OSA? Yes, yes, I do), and then do something about it.

The test showed I’m getting very little REM sleep. When I’m in REM sleep, my airway is obstructed about 66 times per hour. Not good. Also, my oxygen dropped to 77%. Really not good. So, I have the facts, and it’s time to do something about it. Yeah, it’s hard to face this stuff. But it’s better than denying it and letting the problem get worse and worse.

I am hoping that others may read this and decide it’s time for them to check their cholesterol, blood pressure, get tested for sleep apnea, get a mole checked, or whatever. As Schoolhouse Rock taught us, “Knowledge is Power!”

Distance: 2.58 miles; Elevation: 771 feet

Published by aimee

It all started with my friend, Christine. She called me a Viking. It's because I like endurance sports as well as lifting heavy things. Plus, my heritage includes Norwegians... It struck a chord somewhere deep down. I suddenly liked the idea of not having to be a small, slender person. I could be strong and thick. I could have mass. I don't want to be overweight or obese, mind you. I just don't like trying to be a waif when that is very likely unattainable to me. I have muscle (under this fat). I like being strong. So this is my journey of becoming more fit and liking the fact that I will never, NEVER weigh 120 pounds.

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