Huff-n-Puff

(dreary day outside my apartment window, taken with a make-shift pinhole camera)

Portland is being awfully stubborn by withholding warm weather and doling out plenty of cold, gray days instead. My immense love for cloudy skies and raindrops on the roof is fading into a deep abyss – I need some sunshine!

Tim and I thought we could capture some warmth by heading out of the city and onto our bikes. Well, we definitely worked up a sweat, but the cold weather followed us as we pedaled uphill and downhill. Where did we go? We went to the Banks-Vernonia State Trail: a beautiful, old, abandoned railroad path in Northwest Oregon’s coastal range. The trail maintains a relatively gentle grade with the exception of two mighty steep parts. It is 21 miles one way and we chose to ride the trail out and back, making for a long 42 mile ride. Needless to say, I was pooped when we finally crashed at home after the ride. Smartly, we started the ride in Banks, OR and rode to Vernonia Lake (our halfway point) for a lengthy lunch break. We were in company of red-winged blackbirds, osprey, and other sweet chirping creatures.I wanted to stop along the ride and photograph more beauty, but I wasn’t up for losing my momentum – which was keeping me warm!

(Banks-Vernonia State Trail)

(Vernonia Lake)

We snacked on some gluten-free vegan sambusas (a test recipe for Kittee’s almost-done cookzine!) before dinner to warm ourselves. These are amazing – pure, spicy, snacky, goodness that is portable, for folks on the move.

Speaking of Kittee, have you seen the new website she and two other amazing women launched yesterday? Well heck, you better go check it out! It is a 100% vegan and gluten-free website filled with everything you could ever wish for. Seriously. So proud of them.