Tag: climbing

Take the Stairs! Laurel and Hardy’s Latest Adventure

April has come and gone. Which means so has another girls’ weekend with my high school BFF, Laurel. This year we tackled the “Take the Stairs” adage.

Not sure what I’m talking about? Oh sure, you’ve heard the saying, but you’re still wondering what it means for weekend plans.

Obviously, you need to get this book.

Yes, Portland, Oregon (close to home for me) was our destination of choice this year. My friend adores Portland, and her mother got her this book years ago. Since then, she’s wanted to discover all these hidden stairways.

And you know I’m all about helping people tackle their bucket lists.

I hope you have a BFF like mine

The Plan

It all started on a Friday afternoon. Laurel picked Hardy up and they drove to nearby Beaverton. There they used Hardy’s Hubby’s Hilton Honors points to nab a cheap room at the Embassy Suites. (Yes, I do love my alliteration.)

Once we determined that the author of The Portland Stairs Book was an authority, and picked out our FIRST hike for the next day, we walked to nearby Washington Square. Might as well get the tootsies prepped for the big outing, right?

Here is the first hike we settled on.

Yes, that really does say 3.5 miles. And yes, we really did ascend 169 steps and descend 364. All of that before LUNCH on Saturday.

The Execution

One of the things Laurel does NOT love about Portland, Oregon is the rain.

Joke’s on her. And maybe me because I was walking beside her all day.

It rained.

But that didn’t stop us. We reenacted some photos of stairs from the book. Like this one near a school in our first walk.

We walked up a ton of stairs.

Pictures from the top are more impressive than pictures from the bottom.

We walked down some MORE stairs.

And it rained. But it didn’t pour. And like good Oregonians, we put our hats on and sloshed through it all.

Whats a little frizzy or flat hair among friends?

Laurel got some great photos. I’m barely skimming the surface of them here.

And it wouldn’t be Portland if we didn’t see a weird thing or two.

It’s the goal of folks to “Keep Portland Weird” after all.

We enjoyed a great lunch at a small sandwich shop in NW and still made it back to our car before our four-hour parking limit expired.

We drove a few miles. And set out to conquer another hike. It looked like this.

Although we’d exceeded our 10,000 steps before lunch, we were determined to follow the path of this next hike. Yes, that would mean 5.25 more miles. And we ended the day with more than 24,000 steps.

In fact the 279 steps we climbed? They all were almost from ONE set of very creaky, creepy stairs that required 13 platforms to twist up the hillside in SW Portland near the VA Hospital. Crazy!

No, these are the stairs at the START of hike #2, not the creepy ones

You’d think going DOWN 252 stairs would be relaxing, right? Not when people are camped on them. I only wish I was kidding.

This second hike was SO crazy. We walked up steep inclines to an old cable car platform on top of the Sunset Tunnel. And the guidebook promised our burning legs would be erased by the amazing views.

Maybe for a moment.

There is a mansion here AND an amazing blue spruce.

Still it was an excellent adventure, and if you live near Portland, OR, you should consider checking out this book.

The Results

We ruled the stairs. We climbed the heights. We conquered. We saw amazing sights.

We are woman. Hear us roar!

And our feet were screaming too. Things like, “Get me out of these shoes” and “Are you done yet?”

Needless to say, our feet would have been up for a pedicure after this big adventure. But, who could walk that far? Instead, we had snacks at the hotel, devoured out leftover cheesecake and watched old movies in our room.

We’d tackled two of five “guided stair tours” and our legs wouldn’t let us forget it. So we slept in and lounged at the complimentary breakfast table.

Then it was time to meet with my husband. The perfect way to end an exceptional adventure? Black Bear Diner. Of course, plenty of other people thought so too, and we had to wait.

And then my order was wrong. And it was the worst experience I’d ever had at a place I generally LOVE to eat.

Oh well. Hugs, my friend. Same time next year.

We’ll tackle some hot springs then.