#7 Hiking Beacon Rock in Washington State

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While vacationing in Portland, Oregon we planned a day for hiking of course. How can you go to Oregon and not enjoy the outdoors?

Just so happened my hiking buddy Maribel was with me and we also had our families going out to enjoy the trails too.

We actually came to Beacon Rock by chance. I had not even heard of this place before. But what a great find!! Thanks to Maribel’s husband who talks to everyone- including all the volunteer guides hanging out at our first stop, Multnomah Falls.

Multnomah Falls: That view never gets old

I had to make the first stop at Multnomah because I wanted to recreate my family portrait from the last time we were here as a family. I had also planned to hike to the top of the mountain to reach the top of the waterfall. We made our way around and happily took pictures and started our hike up to the top only to be stopped by a fence. I was shocked and thought Great! What are we going to do now? I was really disappointed ๐Ÿ˜” Traveling so far and dreaming about the views from the top…

At the end of the access area

But Fernando had the whole scoop and it seemed the area was closed for restoration and construction. He had the map of all the main trails along the Columbia River Highway. I guess I should have paid better attention!

Crossing the Bridge
Views from the Bridge of Gods

Beacon Rock is just about 10 minutes down the road from Multnomah Falls, you cross The Bridge of Gods which goes across the river that separates Oregon and Washington states. That cost is $2 each way. Once across the bridge turn to the left and a few miles down there is a dirt parking lot off the side of the highway to the left. To park you pay $10 unless you have a Discover Parks Pass. We obviously do not since we are from California. But maybe look into it if you plan to go to a lot if Washington State Parks.

We had to walk and sort of hunt for the trailhead, there is a lot going on in this one small piece of highway. So Ill save you some time and let you know its on the same side as the parking area and there is a sign next to a big pine tree. The trail starts like any other; rocks, dirt and tree roots this section is shaded by pine trees. The trail moves onto a wooden bridge and it seems to be a sectioned path from there and you walk on wooden planks, pavement and dirt. It reminded me of a line at Disneyland with all of the switchbacks and metal hand rails. At a mile worth of switchbacks with the elevation gain it makes for a pretty difficult hike.

Wooden plank pathways and switchbacks
Happy Kids!

There is not a lot of shade climbing up the rock and it gets hot. But the views are amazing. There is no where else you would be able to take in the full picture of the landscape.

Starting the uphill climb

Stopped for a family pic

Views about halfway up

We finally made it to the top! Hallelujah! Straight ahead there are is a rail with a pretty flat area to rest in the shade. If you do a little climb up some rocks you can see the views for days. On our trip there were a bunch of people just hanging out with their dogs, that made it a little crowded. We got our pictures and headed down the mountain. It took us about 50 minutes to go up and back down.

Views on the way up

It was a really cool place to go! I never had known it even existed so that made it an adventure ๐Ÿ˜‰

Beacon Rock! We just climbed that โœ…

I say: GO!

Warning โš ๏ธ

I would not feel comfortable bringing little kids there is a lot of chances to fall or get hurt. Disabled persons with walkers or wheelchairs or even strollers I do see how that would work either. Its some tight spaces.

What to bring:

Water

Hat/Sunscreen

$ for parking

Camera

#6 Dipsea Trail via Pantoll Station

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I am on a 1 year challenge to take a hike every month and I am taking you with me via this blog about all the beautiful places that I am visiting and posting pictures on my Instagram site of the same name @projecttrailmix. I am so excited to share it with you!

This brings us to Hike #6. So this one had to be epic…and I have always had the Dipsea on my mind. There is so much talk about this trail and its race history, at least in this neck of the woods. There is a race titled The Dipsea Race, it is a 7.4 mile trail race that has been going on since 1905! It is one of the oldest trail races in the United States.

Amazing, right?!

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Trail Shoe Review: ASICS Alpine XT

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Im so excited to share with you my review of my newest purchase, the ASICS Alpine XT trail running shoe.

I went on a trail run today and I have to say I am in love with these shoes. When I was done I felt faster and way more in control of my footing especially on the downhills. The trail was a little on the muddy side and I felt very sure in my steps.

I have always been a fan of a more “natural ride” type shoe. I dont have a very high arch and I hate tight fitting, heavy shoes. I always have worn Nike Flyknit Free Run shoes because of the flexibility and lightness. But there is no grip and certainly not a lot if cushion for long distance. When Im running on pavement a long distance I already have a pair of ASICS Gel Kayano 22 that I bought a year ago they are good but I was specifically looking for a trail running shoe.

So after talking to the store rep I decided on the Alpine XT for the light weight and cushioned heel. The upper is slightly stretchy material which means if my feet swell it won’t be unbearably uncomfortable. Although this also means they are not meant for running through water. The sole has grip and was designed to channel water in the case of a puddle or a small amount of running water on the trail. Another plus, I bought they are affordable at the $100.00 price. I purchased these at the ASICS outlet for $60.00. I am extremely happy with the price.

If you’re looking for a trail running shoe, be sure to check out the ASICS Alpine XT online at Amazon. I definitely recommend this lightweight trail running shoe. Ready for the trail...

Road Trip

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I feel like I have been doing really well following my training plan and eating right to prep for the trail race in May. My next challenge is vacation. Does anyone else feel like ๐Ÿ™Œ๐Ÿผ and ๐Ÿ˜ฑ at the same time when you say “vacation”? Diets and vacation don’t mix right?

Well the awesome secret that I have with me is my good friend Gianna aka G the Ketocorn, she is going to be teaching me some Keto hacks along the way. She is also a new blogger and has great content on the Keto Diet. Have you heard of it? She is a great friend and inspiration to me, she’s just an overall amazing person to have around. So stay tuned for some great tips for beginner Ketocorns, as she calls her followers.

We are taking a family road trip to LA from the Bay Area. We decided to go in February because my oldest son, who is a Freshman in college, has the week off of school for spring break. My two other kiddos are in high school, we brought the homework with us, don’t worry. One of the greatest things about Disneyland in February is hardly anyone goes, meaning short lines and more rides!! Im honestly a huge fan of Disneyland it is one of my favorite places to go, that is not on a trail. Im like a 6 year old kid again!

We are driving Sunday morning to Anaheim. Doing Disneyland on Monday and leaving Anaheim Tuesday. We are then heading to Universal Studios on Wednesday and driving back to the Bay on Thursday. That leaves Friday and the weekend to do a NEW HIKE!!

In saying that our family is big on having a plan to follow for Disneyland. We are not going to get bent if it doesn’t go according to the plan exactly but going there with no plan and only one day is a giant headache waiting to happen. See my separate post on how to do Disneyland in a Day. Its a packed week but its going to be so much fun! Lots of upcoming posts, hikes, hacks, and more so don’t forget to subscribe!

Ready, Set, Go!

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If you remember from my last post I decided to do a 9k trail run in May of this year. I have made up an exercise plan for myself and my readers. I hope you all subscribe I donโ€™t want you to miss the workouts! We can do it together ๐Ÿ˜‰

Please remember to ask the advice of a doctor before you start a new exercise or nutrition plan, everyone has different needs and I certainly don’t want to be the reason for an injury.

I am currently working out or being active 4 days a week and I am going to move to 6 days. Only things you need are running shoes and dumbbells. If you can I highly recommend a fitness tracker like a FitBit you can find it at Amazon for a good price. I have this one FitBit Charge 2. I started with 5lbs and now I’m at 10lbs weights. Like these: Neoprene 10 lb weights.

The first 2 weeks are here in the workout plan below. I’m cutting way back on carbs and trying to eat sugar free. Its so hard because I have to admit I have a sweet tooth. I want to aim for an hour of activity a day. I get bored so I’m trying to add in variety and make the strength training exercises somewhat my choice. Also I feel like I need to focus on my lower body strength and abs. Running in itself is a full body exercise.

You can look up plenty of different exercises but a few I recommend are:

  • Planks
  • Straight Leg Deadlifts
  • Jump Squats
  • ๐Ÿธ Jumps
  • Donkey Kicks
  • Walking Lunges
  • Weighted Bridges
  • Single Leg Bridges
  • Skaters
  • Leg Raises
  • Alternate Heel Touches
  • Russian Twist

The Weekly Plan-Weeks 1 and 2

I will start the week with “interval training”. Interval training gets your heart and lungs conditioned. You move at a max pace for 2 minutes and then bring the heart rate down for 8 minutes. Then repeat 3 times. Before you know it you’re at 30 minutes. Big cardio day.

Tuesday is an easy day! Pop onto YouTube and find a yoga video. Gaia usually has good ones just search Gaia Yoga, I recommend Rodney Yee and Tara Stiles. Try different people I sometimes jump around to find a person that I like that day. Or mix it up and grab weights and do strength training then relax with yoga stretches.

Wednesday and Thursday are the same. Run at a good pace for 30 minutes. Then 30 minutes of strength exercises. Start with 10 reps of 3 different exercises and then repeat till you get to 30 minutes.

Drum roll please!…. FRIDAY FREE DAY! You need a day of rest.

Saturday and Sunday are my favorite days to go hiking. So whether I go for a hike or a trail run I will be training. At the minimum a 2 mile run. I plan to do interval work for the first mile then steady pace the second mile. I want to do this plan for two weeks. Then move up depending how I feel. I have to listen to my body. At the same time if I don’t push myself I wont make the goal I have.

I welcome any feedback or tips on how you got ready for your first trail race๐Ÿ˜…

Don’t forget to subscribe! ๐Ÿ“ง

Time to Step It Up

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For the past seven years I have done a run/walk with family or friends, whoever I could drag along with me. Signing up for an event has become a tradition for me. I use it as a motivator for myself, you know, like I have to get in shape and not embarrass myself, but also it was a way I could help motivate others. Getting everyone together and trying to make a training plan and holding each other accountable, its an awesome feeling and its honestly fun.ย  Its hard to believe its been so many years since my first race.

But this year I felt like I needed to step it up! Since Ive been hiking so much recently I thought it would only be fitting to do a trail run. I am starting small and only doing a 9k. But I am so excited to finally be doing a trail run!!! Its one thing that has been in the back of my mind but I always thought… nah I should just stick to what I know.

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