Posted by: Jack | February 16, 2008

25 Year Birthday Challenge Complete!

…and in pretty good form too. Today’s run was to mark the 25th run in the five weeks since my birthday. I had originally tossed around the idea of a longer run but later dismissed it as pretty pointless.

But…while on my 24th run yesterday, a casual 4 miles, I began contemplating a unique opportunity. Sister Jennie had invited me to join her and visiting Aunt Mary for lunch out at Multnomah Falls Lodge in the Columbia River Gorge. I wasn’t sure just how far East this location was, but knew it wasn’t super far. When I got home I was a bit disappointed to find that it was actually close to 40 miles from our apartment. But then I noticed that if I started a little ways northeast — still technically in Portland — I could make a straight shot to the falls via the Historic Columbia River Scenic Byway, covering a much more reasonable distance.

So I told Jennie that I’d already be out that way and would just meet up with her and Mary at the falls. Having initiated plans to go unicycling with the bastards last night, I felt unable to back out — which certainly would have been a wise decision — and so, went on to do some pretty impressive trials riding with the astounding, 10+ riders who showed up. I did come home a little worried that I may have overdone it a bit.

With my support crew (Anna) dropping me off a specifically selected intersection, I began heading East around 7:30 this morning. The first 40% of the run was far from scenic but the road was flat and straight so I got it over with quickly. Along with the first bend in my route came a downward slope along a very high ledge paralleling the Sandy River. Crossing this river via the Stark St. Bridge put me right onto the scenic byway.

Having descended basically to sea-level, the next 20% consisted of a continual climb up to 1000 ft. Although long and slow, upon reaching the Portland Women’s Forum State Scenic Viewpoint — no idea what the name is all about — I was greatly rewarded with a view that is known to be the most photogenic point of the entire river gorge. And better yet, the remainder of the distance was generally downhill.

It was tough not having a camera along for this outing, passing one enormous waterfall after another and continually overlooking the river gorge, but obviously that would have complicated things and given my muscles plenty of opportunity to seize up on me. So with only a couple stops to dig some fuel out of my bag, the miles continued to pass and just as I was reaching my last paces, I came around a small bend and saw my goal.

Check out a map of the route here.

As an appropriate ending to the 25th Year Birthday Challenge, this 25th run was 25 miles (actually about 25.7 according to the GPS watch Jennie loaned me). The weather was great and the views were amazing. As soon as I can walk, I’ll have to get out that way again with my camera.

On a related note, somewhere in my long-winded detailing of the plans for this challenge, I mentioned that I had bought a scale and might like to lose five pounds along the way. I lost three in the first week but then tapered off and hovered around 145 for three weeks. But, just yesterday I found that I had lost the last two pounds, thus reaching yet another goal.

And with that, my birthday celebrations are complete.



  1. Congratulations; good for you for accomplishing (to say the least) such an ambitious goal and making the most of your opportunities with such a scenic run! Proud of you, Jackson! Hope you can walk without pain soon!

  2. It was good to see you and to witness the completion of your birthday challenge!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: