Three Parks

Sometimes I’m not sure what all I have in Portland, but I do have my parks to run in. There are three within a mile or so of my house. Today I ran all three. First Normandale, nice and flat and grassy. Most people know Normandale for its dog-play area, fenced-in and dusty under the trees. There are always dogs and their people coming and going, and I sometimes have to weave to avoid them as I go past the entrance on my 0.68-mile loop. A few times around the park then onto Laurelhurst, with its grim green pond (though the ducks and turtles seem to do OK) and its wide-open grassy area in the middle where the dogs and hipsters run around. I stay on the margins, in the trees, mostly. My Laurelhurst loop is 0.9 miles. It’s got a few little rises and falls and maybe a third of the way I’m on dirt. What’s really great about Laurelhurst is the clean bathroom that’s actually open in the winter and comes in handy once in a while, and the working water faucet that I hit quickly every couple of loops. From Laurelhurst, it’s east toward the rise of green trees in the distance: Mount Tabor. I often head straight to Tabor from home but it’s not a good idea. Boom, right up the hill practically out my door, from 200 feet elevation to over 650. Better to get loose on some flat terrain, as I did today. By the way, when I began today the morning rain had blown away and the sun was shining. I wore shorts and a short-sleeved technical shirt. When I got to Tabor an hour-plus later great gray and black clouds were overhead and random huge raindrops plopped onto the ground and my bald head. Soon the raindrops were plentiful, then they became hail, then it all ended, and I was down the hill and home.

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