Cold weather ain’t got nothing on me

On Mount Hood

On Mount Hood

I’ve had an uncharacteristic bout of cold-weather courage these past few days, braving below-freezing temperatures with glee — thanks to the company of some of my fearless friends:

1. Thirsty Thursday with Portland Running Company

Portlanders aren’t used to these bone-chilling temperatures, so I wasn’t surprised when only six of us toughed it out for PRC’s Thursday night run. I have no photos to share from the 30-minute jaunt in 20-degree weather. BUT, I do have an excellent tip for all you winter wusses: Buy this¬†fleece blob of a sweatshirt¬†from Target. Your arms and torso will stay cozy even as your snot crystallizes.

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Photo from Target.com

2. Pittock Mansion summit

Dave was visiting Portland over the weekend, so I thought I should promptly subject him to a freezing ascent up the Wildwood Trail to Pittock Mansion with my trail running buddy Hong. I wore Big Pink again and felt great on the 5-mile loop with about a 950-foot climb. Once we reached the top, the wind nearly blew us down to the city below.

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3. Hot spring hiking

Natural hot springs were a foreign concept to me until Dave and I set out to find some in Mount Hood National Forest on Sunday. We drove on slick roads from Portland through Estacada and along the Clackamas River to find Bagby Hot Springs — a steaming site of natural springs complete with wooden tubs for public soaking. From the parking area, we hiked about a mile and a half to find the soaking tubs. In 15 degrees, we (mostly) derobed and enjoyed the contrast of the boiling bath outside in the snow-covered scenery. The Forest Service-contracted maintenance of the hot springs is pretty hands-off, so expect to see a little bit of litter and graffiti if you go. But we didn’t really mind once we were cozy in the springs. The real test comes when you have to hop out onto the icy deck and bundle up for the return hike.

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Half-frozen tributary of the Clackamas River along the trail to Bagby Hot Springs

4. Snowshoeing on Mount Hood

Our final and most scenic rendezvous with the cold weather was a stunning snowshoeing hike along the face of Mount Hood around Timberline Lodge. It was about 10 degrees up there at 6,000 feet in the mountain, and the views were freakin’ breathtaking.

Cold weather, conquered.

Cold weather, conquered.

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About District Sweats

After a year of running in Portland, Ore., I'm back to my roots in Washington, D.C. Follow me here on the blog and on Instagram and Twitter. Got questions or sweat recommendations in D.C.? Hit me up: districtsweats@gmail.com.

10 responses to “Cold weather ain’t got nothing on me”

  1. kristenk says :

    Everything you did sounds awesome! In Philly we don’t get too much snow (although right now we’ve had 2 snow storms in the past week and another one on the way on Saturday!) but I’ve always wanted to learn how to snow shoe! I also love the cold weather and snow so I’m pretty jealous of all your adventures. And thanks for the tip on the Target sweatshirt, it looks like it’s on sale so I might need to get that!

    • DistrictSweats says :

      Yeah, it was gorgeous up in the mountains! Just cold rain now that I’m back in Portland. :)

      Definitely snowshoe when you have a chance. It was way more fun than I expected.

      Ps – Love your photo!

  2. Cynthia @ You Signed Up For What?! says :

    It looks gorgeous there in the winter!

  3. Crystal says :

    I agree it looks gorgeous but I bet it feels cold! What a great trip!

  4. David @ Captain Speedypants says :

    It really can be hard to motivate yourself to do anything in the cold. Sounds like you were able to and had a great time as well. I’m so jealous. :)

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